WrestleMania Flashback: WrestleMania XII

wrestlemania-xiiWrestleMania had a bounce back from the year before. So was it worth watching? I’m going to say yes on this one. You get a match that is over an hour-long for the WWF World Championship.

THE GOOD: The build to theBret Hart/Shawn Michaels match was epic, and the Iron Match itself didn’t disappoint. Well maybe it disappointed me a little, as I’ve always been a Bret fan. The “Backlot Brawl” was absurd, but in a good way. They framed this Roddy Piper/Goldust match with a gold Ford Bronco car chase, reminiscent of the one from the OJ Simpson saga the summer before. The premise itself was very silly, but still fun to watch.

THE BAD: If anything, the match for the Tag Team Championship with the Bodydonnas and the Godwinns, and the Vader/Owen Hart/British Bulldog versus Jake Roberts/Ahmed Johnson/Yokozuna one are pretty forgettable. Although I really did like the Camp Cornette Stable with Vader, Hart and Smith.

MATCH TO WATCH: It’s funny watching the Ultimate Warrior squash Hunter Hearst Helmsley in under two minutes, especially through modern eyes. You would never believe that Triple H would wind up becoming such a superstar, one of the faces of the company and now be so heavily entrenched in the behind the scenes aspect of the business from this.

WrestleMania Flashback: WrestleMania XI

wrestlemania-xiWell they all can’t be good. And not even Salt-N-Pepa could save WrestleMania XI. There was something about this event that just doesn’t make it feel special. And that’s why it’s mostly forgettable.

THE GOOD: This was part of the era where Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were always having the best (if not one of the best) matches on the card every night. So their respective matches with Bob Backlund and Diesel really carry the show.

THE BAD: The Undertaker/King Kong Bundy, well, they have  match. At least you get the trivia question of having longtime MLB umpire being the special guest referee. And what was up with all of the celebrities at WrestleMania XI? Not only was there Bam Bam Bigelow’s match with football player Lawrence Taylor (which I still don’t understand was the main event), but the rest of the show featured a who’s who of the early 1990s by having Nicholas Turturro, Jenny McCarthy and Pamela Anderson also appearing at the event.

MATCH TO WATCH: You can really skip this one. Go read a book or something instead.

WWE Classic Superstars: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper

"Rowdy" Rody Piper“Rowdy” Roddy Piper was one of my favorite wrestlers as a young child. I don’t know why I connected so much with him so much; maybe it was because he’s the only significant Scotsman in popular culture or maybe because I’ve always been a snarky, wise cracking person. Anyway, I always loved Piper, even more so than Hulk Hogan. His figure in the WWE Classic Superstars line was a must have.

"Rowdy" Rody Piper

The sculpting on the figure is really good, capturing his signature “Hot Rod!” ringer t-shirt. The only problem I have with the figure is that the face doesn’t really look that much like Piper. They got the hair perfectly though.

"Rowdy" Rody Piper

Get rowdy!

But face aside, Jakks did a really good job capturing his look. He’s wearing his kilt, with the appropriate tartan. You can remove the kilt, and he’s wearing his blue wrestling trunks underneath. I wouldn’t recommend it, as he looks kind of odd wearing just trunks and a t-shirt. The figure looks awesome on my shelf with the rest of his wrestling chums.

On the accessory side, he comes with the original style WWF Intercontinental Championship title belt that he had in early 1992. I still think the match he had with the Mountie on Saturday Night Main Event, with him wearing a zap proof shirt to prevent the Canadian villain’s zap stick from being a factor, was one of the silliest things ever in pro wrestling.He also comes with a microphone. It’s appropriate since he was/is among the best talkers ever in the history of wrestling.

Criticisms aside, it is a really fun action figure and I’m very happy to have it. He stands proudly over Hogan.

It’s the Gobbledy Gooker

Who remembers the Gobbledy Gooker?  I certainly do. This over-sized turkey first appeared at the WWF’s Survivor Series in 1990. So how did we wind up with a turkey in the world of professional wrestling?

Before we start that, we do have to acknowledge that Thanksgiving night was traditionally one of the biggest days for professional wrestling events. The logic behind that is that by the evening, everyone is antsy from sitting around all day eating and wants something to do. Having a big event provides a perfect alternative from sitting around eating and listening to Uncle Jimmy tell the same tired story over and over again. Don’t believe me? The NFL and NCAA schedule tons of football games on Thanksgiving day, and wrestling promoters followed suit.

The WWE’s November pay per view event Survivor Series originally aired on Thanksgiving night, providing many a family with some much-needed entertainment. The 1990 show had a mystery of sorts to it, as to what exactly was in the big egg.

WWE programming would feature a big egg, with various personalities wondering what was inside. Was it a returning wrestler who had been not on television in a while? Had some huge star from one of their competitors like Sting decided to join the WWE? I remember watching every Saturday morning what was in the mysterious egg.

So what was in the egg?

A big giant turkey. Literally. Survivor Series watchers were treated to the debut of the Gobbledy Gooker…an anthropomorphic turkey that was full of enthusiasm. Unfortunately, the crowd wasn’t that receptive to the bird.

For the next few weeks, they tried to make the Gobbledy Gooker cool by having him hang out with various WWE personalities. This didn’t help the turkey, and eventually his goose was cooked after a few weeks.

Since then, the Gobbledy Gooker has made sporadic Thanksgiving time appearances in the WWE, usually as someone else wearing the costume to surprise their opponents.

The original Gooker was none other than Hector Guerrero, whom I got to meet at a TNA event in Trenton a few years back. He’s currently their Spanish-language announcer, and  super nice guy. It’s worth checking out his non-Gobbledy Gooker matches on YouTube.

WrestleMania Flashback: WrestleMania VIII

WrestleMania VIII was an interesting show. There were a few really cool matches, and a really confusing ending. What happened?

THE GOOD: Randy Savage had a great match with Ric Flair for the WWF Championship. Flair was talking trash about Savage’s wife, Miss Elizabeth, which set up this feud. Flair was being so scummy towards her the whole time, so you really REALLY wanted him to not only beat the tar out of Flair but take away the title. And he did. Another awesome WrestleMania moment from Savage.

THE BAD: The ending of the Hulk Hogan/Sid Justice match. Sid was so awesome, and Hogan wound up costing him the Royal Rumble, which made him go crazy. Rightfully. I was so sure that Sid would end Hulkamania once and for all. Unfortunately, the next day I found out at school that Hogan one and never got around to seeing this match. I just saw this for the first time this month and it is confusing. There’s a lot of confusion, Papa Shongo and the Ultimate Warrior get involved. Just craziness.

MATCH TO WATCH: Bret Hart beating Roddy Piper to win the Intercontinental Championship is the highlight of the event, if not the best match I’ve ever seen Piper in.

WrestleMania Flashback: WrestleMania VI

WrestleMania VI was pretty forgettable, except for the Ultimate Warrior/Hulk Hogan match for the WWF Championship. But it didn’t matter, because everyone thought that the Warrior was the most amazing thing EVER in 1990.

THE GOOD: WrestleMania VI was held in Toronto and it is amazing how many future Canadian wrestlers were in attendance. BFF’s Edge and Christian were at the SkyDome that night. So was Lance Storm.

THE BAD: There were three matches that ended in a count out or disqualification. For the big showcase event of the year, you would have hoped that there were a few more definitive endings.

MATCH TO WATCH: I guess it would be the previously mentioned Warrior/Savage match. The crowd is electric for it and win Warrior claims the title is quite the moment.