by Ervin Griffin Jr
Part 2: The Bulldog Wars
In 1984, The Hart Foundation team of Jim "The Anvil" Neihart and Bret "The HitMan" Hart was one of the hottest teams in WWF if not wrestling. There was only one team in the WWF that was just as hot as the Harts. That team was the combo of Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid: The British Bulldogs. Born and bred in England, these two spectacular athletes took the WWF tag team ranks by storm!!! Interesting to note, though, is that these two feuded in the Calgary Stampede Wrestling area during the early part of the 80's!!! After their feud, these two decided to form a tag team and go to the WWF. I remember the first time I saw the Bulldogs in action. It was on USA Networks' WWF Prime Time Wrestling. Prime Time used to play matches from house shows around the world. They showed a squash match The Bulldogs had at Madison Square Garden. I'm sitting there thinking, "My god, look at these moves!!! This is the team that should be the champs!!" Dynamite's snap-suplex and
Davey Boy's powerslam (along with their double-team maneuvers) made them an instant favorite with me!!! Then, I saw a Madison Square Garden bout between the Harts and the Bulldogs. I'm thinking, "The Bulldog will kill them." The match ended in a time limit draw but (even as a young man) I was impressed by the way the Harts held their own against these miracle men from England!!!
The feud died down for a time while the Bulldogs went on to feud with then WWF Tag Team Champions Brutus Beefcake and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine. Meanwhile, the Harts were still struggling to get a break!!! One of their first appearances on the big stage was at WrestleMania II in the 20 Man Battle Royale. The Harts used teamwork to survive most of the match until they were eliminated by the eventual winner, the late Andre The Giant.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, finally caught up with Valentine and Beefcake as they defeated them for the tag straps. A bad day for Valentine and Beefcake but somewhere in the Rosemount Horizon, the Harts were smiling!!! Their chance had arrived!!!
NEXT TARGET: WWF Tag Team Championships
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Ervin Griffin Jr. is Solie's resident historian and also contributes to the Ringside Insider on a regular basis. Many of his previous articles are available in the
Joey Styles is on the air hyping the PPV for several minutes before the beginning of the program.
Live from Pittsburg, PA - and then it flashes off. It turns out that I can't see it until the replay at 9 PM! I fool around with the remote control and somehow I get it started (I hope this doesn't mean I have to pay for it twice!)
Chris Candido vs. Tommy Rogers - here's a grizzled veteren vs. a modern day warrior if ever there was one. For all of his boyish good looks - Rogers has to be in his late thirties or maybe even his forties. Both wrestlers are of a size but Rogers is the one with real experience. He controls the early going until he misses a baseball slide to the outside. They struggle for position as they return to the ring. Candido gets a flurry and then Rogers takes the advantage once more. Candido levers him to the floor to turn the tables. Coming back in Rogers suplexes his opponent to the floor and re-assumes command. Rogers settles into a series of rest holds based around a front chancelry. Candido finally regains his feet and the advantage with a couple of suplexes but he can't pin the guy. A leg drop and then another pin attempt. Still no cigar. He stands Rogers up in the corner and chops away as the crowd goes "Whoooo..." But Rogers turns him around to deliver some chops of his own. The match see-saws with neither man seemingly able to hold onto the initiative. Suddenly Lance Storm comes running in and attacks Rogers! Candido joins in the doubleteam until Jerry Lynn storms into the ring and cleans house. Then Storm tumbles to the outside and Lynn throws a planche on him. Then Rogers bombs both of them! Then Candido does the swan dive bit! They sort it out into a tag match at this point. Since none of these guys knows the rules (apparently) the erest of the match is a confusion as to who is legal etc. What follows is a succession of suplexes off the top performed by everybody on everyone until Candido finally pulls off the pin against Rogers.
Mikey Whipwreak vs. Justin Credible (w/Jason) - at 188lbs Whipwreak is the clear underdog size wise. He seems to make up for it in guts and determination as he goes right to work on his larger opponent. They fight to the outside and back in where Credible lands a flying DDT to turn the tables. The youngster is a pretty in-credible flyer but shows little or no wrestling technique. He tosses Whipwreak to the outside where Jason gets in a clothesline. Meanwhile Mikey is following his usual gameplan - taking a drubbing throughout the match while looking for an opening. He seems to gain some ground with a sleeper but then it is reversed. Still he is in it now he takes to the air. He has things under control until Jason gets involved again. Mikey takes care of that distraction with a shot to the groin then turns and finishes off his opponent with a Whipper Snapper. Cut to a dressingroom and Al Snow talking to a manequin head. He wears a shirt that says "Job Squad" and has tattoos on his forehead. He rants about being the "star"...
Promo for Sandman vs Sabu match coming up later.
ECW TV Title match - Taz vs. PitBull #2 (w/PitBull #1 and Mr. Wright) - Paul E joins Joey Styles at the broadcast booth. They joke about RAW's sagging ratings. Taz seems decidedly outnumbered in this one and his opponent greatly outweighs him. PitBull uses his power and agility to dominate the early going until Taz slaps on a series of suplexes leading to a Tazmission hold. PitBull #2 fights it but eventually submits. Taz has to fight off PitBull #1 after the call but makes short work of him. He grabs a mic and taunts a rather large handsome stranger whom he refers to as "Wright's boyfriend" (is that Brakkus?). The monster jumps up on the apron - Taz beakons him in but a security guy gets between them. Taz attacks the security guy and we cut to a clip of Bam Bam Bigalow tossing Spike Dudley into the fourth or fifth row ringside. Dudley is body surfed back to the railing. Bigalow takes him back into the ring and powerslams, then pins him. We get a review of how Bigalow won the ECW Title from Shane Douglas a while back. Rick Rude figures prominently in the saga.
Four Way Dance for the ECW World Tag Titles - We return to Tommy Rich and Tracy Smothers ranting. Someone (one of the Dudleys) invites Joel Gertner to rant - he introduces the Dudleys (Big Dick, Bubba Ray and Devon). Balls Mahoney and Axle Rotton, Little Guido and Smothers plus the Gangstas are the other competitors. The fight gets underway even though the Gangstas haven't yet appeared. This is a Texas Tornedo type match wih everyone in at once. The Dudleys and the Punkers seem to be obsessed with each other while the FBI (Full Blooded Italians) more or less stand by. After about 3 minutes of mayhem the Gangstas show up with a trash can full of weapons. Everyone gets into the frey and Styles is having as much trouble sorting it out as I am. Several wresters are bleeding in moments. Devon Dudley and John Kronos are left in the ring while the rest of the fight goes on out on the floor. Big Dick replaces his partner (even though he is not officially in the match) and gets creamed. New Jack is left alone in the ring with a guitar at one point. Tommy Rich tries to sneak up on him but gets kicked away then pummeled with the guitar. Kronos tries to dive on him but Bubba gets in between them and applies a "Bubba Cutter". Kronos is eliminated - the Gangstas are out. Bubba and Mahoney are struggling for position when Gertner jumps on the apron and throws dust into Bubba's eyes. He is pinned and the Dudleys are eliminated. Rotten and Mahoney are doubleteaming Little Guido when the referee goes down. A second official runs in to count but the breaks it off to attend the first referee. Mahoney accosts the second ref who kicks him in the shins and then counts him out as Little Guido rolls him up.
Tommy Dreamer is limping and throwing out threats directed at Rob Van Dam in a taped interview. Cut to Styles telling us that he is unable to get interviews from the participants in the Worlds Title match. He introduces...
Rob Van Dam (w/Bill Alfonso) vs. Tommy Dreamer (w/Beulah McGillicutty) - Alfonso prances to the ring leading his charge and tossing out smart-alec gibes directed towards Vince McMahon. Beulah leads the way for her man - showing a lot of cleavage and leg. This is advertised as a flag match (ECW vs. WWF banners). Dreamer is still limping as they circle one another. He is wearing a walking cast. Van Dam goes right after the injured leg of his opponent. Van Dam's only fault is over-confidence. He allows himself to be out maneuvered and goes to the outside. Dreamer hits him with a baseball slide then goes out to pummel him on the floor. Van Dam comes back with a flying move off the guard rail. They struggle for position and Van Dam gets dropped speadeagle on the rail. He rolls back into the ring followed by Dreamer who brings a chair. Dreamer ties his opponent up in the ropes then backs up to deliver a blow with the chair. Alfonso trips him up but he comes back and retains his advantage. The fight goes outside again and Dreamer gets crotched on the railing. Van Dam's face is cut but he won't let the ref get a look at it. He goes back out and attacks again then tosses Dreamer back into the ring. It's all Rob Van Dam as he drop-kicks the chair into Dreamer's face. He continues to beat his opponent with the chair. The drops a leg on his face. Dreamer is out of it. Van Dam climbs to the top for a moonsault but Dreamer comes up behind him and upsets his balance. The crowd is chanting "Break his neck!" as Dreamer opens up. He sets Van Dam up in the corner and crashing the chair into him. Van Dam comes back with an attack on Dreamers injured heel. He's starting to showboat again to his downfall it would seem. Dreamer is on his feet again and they battle it out - but neither can get the pin. Alfonso gets into an argument with the ref and brains him with a construction sign! Another ref comes in to count Van Dam out but a third ref (Jeff Jones) interferes then decks the second referee!! Dreamer downs Jones then goes for the pin. The first (I think) ref goes to count but is attacked by Jones! There are bodies everywhere as Alfonso exhaults in the ring only to be the victim of a low blow from Beulah. Now Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon show up! Then Stevie Richards!! Together they dispose of Dreamer - Van Dam is declared the winner. LaFon and Furnas drag a table into the ring and the four of them set Dreamer up with a WWF banner draped over him. Beulah tries to interfere but Sabu upsets her and she falls into the ring. Dreamer tries to protect her as his enemies put the boots to him.
Here comes the Sandman for his match with Sabu - but Alonzo's troups are still in the ring. Sandman has busted himself open with a beer can before he gets to the ring. The blood-thirsty crowd at ringside loves him. He smokes a cigarette and poses at ringside before beginning the match. He starts to climb a step-ladder to enter the ring - Sabu dives at him and they tumble to the floor. Sabu tosses his opponent into the ring and renews his assault. Sandman finally gets clear and returns the attack using a ladder that is in the ring. Sabu gets levered to the outside. Sandman propels himself and the ladder over the top rope and smashes his opponent. Sabu is right back up is all over his opponent in the ring. They tumble out again where the Sandman drops a table on Sabu. Somehow the table gets set up between the apron and the rail. Sandman slams Sabu onto it. He sets up Sabu on another table and then enters the ring only to hop the rope and drop a leg on the table. It breaks and spills both guys on the floor. Sabu recovers first and takes control. He pummels his opponent and then lays him out on yet another table. He re-enters the ring then uses a chair as a springboard to throw a planche on his opponent. Another table bites the dust. I see now that Alfonso is the one setting up the tables. The fight is out on the floor again and Sabu sets Sandman up on yet another table. He goes back into the ring and gets the ladder which he sets up and rides onto his opponent!
Back in the ring he lays Sandman out on the mat and covers him with the ladder then moonsaults onto him. He hurts his knee in the process which allows the Sandman to recover. He brings a larger ladder into the ring but as he is setting it up Sabu recovers and brains him with the smaller ladder. Now they are just stumbling around for a while until Sabu comes up with a fork and starts stabbing his opponent!! Sandman goes out again and sets up the larger ladder as a teeter totter. He tries a leverage move with it but it isn't effective. They both go back into the ring and trade blows with the smaller ladder. Sandman seems to be gaining ground now. Sabu is reeling but manages to escape and take to the air only to be regrounded when Sandman reverses an Hurrancanranna. He drags Sabu out to a waiting table then sets up the large ladder in the ring, climbs up and launches himself onto his opponent. The table collapses in a heap. Back in the ring Sabu tries to throw a fireball but misses his opponent. Alfonso distracts Sandman and Sabu comes back with another splash. They seems to be competing to see who can pull off the craziest stunt now. An Atomic Iranian Face-Buster with a ladder puts Sandman down for the count. He is left laying in the ring.
Joey Styles hypes the ECW Hardcore Hotline for ECW merchandise. Taz interrupts to rant about the World Title match which is next. He wants Bigalow to win so he can challange Bigalow for the title at the next PPV (March 1st - Living Dangerously) Styles goes on with his merchandising.
Scott "Bam Bam" Bigalow vs. "The Franchise" Shane Douglas (w/Francine) - ECW World Title match - Bam Bam (the Champion) enters first apparently because he wanted it that way. Douglas takes his time getting to the ring. Francine comes to the ring on crutches as a result of a fracture of her pelvis (ouch!). They go nose to nose for a moment then tie up. Douglas is shoved back and out of the ring. Douglas grabs a wastelock but can barely lift his opponent. Bam Bam takes the initiative away with his overwhelming power. Soon Douglas is bullied into the corner and squashed. Douglas gets loose and fights back with punches and kicks but Bigalow crushes him once again. This time he muscles him piller to post then splashes him in the corner. Douglas is taking it now and can't seem to turn the tide. A couple of times he tries to lift his opponent only to collapse to the mat each time. Bigalow settles into a reverse chinlock as Doulglas begins to go under. He releases the hold and slams his opponent to the mat. Douglas is hanging in but still losing ground. He is dumped out and then suplexed back into the ring. Douglas is outside again in a moment, Bigalow follows him to the floor and continues his attack. Douglas has shown almost no offense in this match.
Douglas finally turns it around with a low-blow but then loses the struggle for a vertical suplex. Bigalow grabs the reverse chinlock again. Both wrestlers are laying on the mat. They struggle to their feet and Bam Bam, after two false starts, gorilla press slams Douglas onto the top turnbuckle. The crowd is chanting "Bam Bam's a Bitch!" Douglas returns to the ring and is downed by a headbutt. Bigalow gets a table and sets up his opponent - but he goes to the top only to have Douglas recover and turn the tables (no pun intended) on him. Bigalow recovers quickly and takes over yet again on the "Franchise". He uses the ropes to punish his opponent. Both guys are exhausted at this point but Douglas is definitely the worse for wear. He throws a reverse victory roll to the outside but Bam Bam reverses the move into a powerbomb on a table. Bigalow is apparently injured in the kidney area but is still dominating the action (what there is of it now). He has Douglas in the corner and is pummeling him. The referee is shoved aside when he tries to get between them. He lets the match go on however. Bigalow signals that he plans to toss Douglas into the crowd. Francine signals the rest of the Triple Threat (Lance Storm and Chris Candido) to attack. They run up and get their compatriot thrown at them - all go down in a heap. Storm and Candido are ushered away as Bigalow goes back to work on Douglas. Francine tries to interfere using her crutches as weapons. Bigalow holds her off and then uses the crutches himself. Douglas is clutching his arm after Bigalow drops an elbow on it. Bigalow continues his assault but Douglas finally slips in a belly to belly. Immediately Bigalow throws an avalanche splash to regain the advantage. He sets up a school desk in the ring and plans to drop Douglas on it but the Franchise reverses into a belly to belly onto the desk and gets the pin. Shane Douglas is the three time ECW Champ.
Well, there was plenty of action but I'm still not sure this is my cup of tea...
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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