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[1992-07-20-WWF-Worcester, MA] Ric Flair & Shawn Michaels vs Bret Hart & Randy Savage

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On a 1992 WWF yearbook, this might look good. Not really on a global yearbook. First, the announcing is absolutely horrible. Bobby Heenan seems high, and Jim Ross is annoyed and half-asses his own PBP as a result. Also, for a match featuring the WWF's top two feuds at the time, this should have had way more heat. Flair and Shawn seemed to be having fun working together, but Bret and Savage were pretty uninspired. This needed to go on the yearbook since it's a good glance at the WWF's four best guys at this point, but there's really not much to this.

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WWE runs a lot of matches like this these days on Raw with guys like A-Ry/Rey vs Miz/Swagger or something like that. Gotta agree with Loss that this wasn't really that good. Seemed more like a dark match that should have stayed dark.

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Total dream match on paper. Total throwaway on execution. Between this and the ladder match, two strange WWF matches that could have been big deal on PPV.

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Guest Slickster

Weird to have JR call a Ric Flair match that occurred before Ross arrived and was released on video long after Ric Flair left WWE.

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JR sounded like he wanted to strangle Bobby during the match

 

Bobby blurting out "there's my man Mr P!" was hilarious as Perfect had turned on him months earlier and in theory Bobby should have hated him. Very weird

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Probably best part of the match was Savage slapping Flair around. Hart seemed to be in the background. Figured he would do a lot more in a match like this with Flair and Savage involved. They do the Shawn running into Sherri standing on the apron and getting pinned finish again. You think Shawn would be getting annoyed at Sherri at this point but I guess they weren't building to that angle.

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This reads like a '99 Nitro main event. And unfortunately it was about as good, even though the talent level here was off the charts. We've got our first JR appearance in the WWF on the yearbook. Some nice slaps by Savage on Flair early. Flair, Michaels & Sherri look to be trying reasonably hard, Perfect is a zero at ringside, Savage doesn't do much and Hart is a bystander much of the way. Savage pins HBK after bumping Sherri.

 

**1/2

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These Coliseum Videos were filled with all sorts of weirdness like this--Ross calling a Ric Flair match or matches with Bret as IC Champion when Bret won and lost the WWF title right as Ross made his TV debut. Plus Heenan is talking about Savage as a broadcast partner rather than a blood enemy of Flair's. It's even more jarring in a Yearbook setting. Ross and Heenan sound like they'd rather be anywhere else than in the studio overdubbing commentary and the heat machine is in full force. Michaels is working hard here and the other three are working like they're at the end of a 20-date road trip which they may well have been. Pretty disappointing match results. I know the WWF doesn't normally care about this thing but Savage and Michaels jumping into the ring from the apron and immediately going to near-falls and the finish really bothered me. At least run a pier-six brawl for a bit so we can buy the idea of confusion over the legal men.

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This match was a mess from beginning to end. There was some good work, of course; how could there not be with the kind of talent involved? But between the lousy finish and the flat-as-a-pancake commentary, this wasn't half the experience that it should have been.

 

First of all, I watched this match specifically to see how JR not only called a WWF-style match from this time period, but worked with Heenan to boot. Even taking into account that this was an overdub of a match that was almost a year old, he was bad here. Not just his attitude, but his whole approach to calling the match. He showed no interest in getting over strategy or informing us about the competitors, nor did he seem to have any talking points at all. And if you thought he's showed annoyance with Jesse at times, you haven't heard a blessed thing yet. He seemed actually repulsed by Heenan, especially after Bobby started the "She's my centerfold" routine about Sherri that we've all heard a thousand times by now. Bobby didn't help with some of the most inexplicable stupidity I've ever heard out of him, such as confusing the sternum with Sterno. (Yes, really.) I've gotten on Sean Mooney and Lord Alfred for their bad performances on these redubs, but these two were way worse. Maybe JR didn't like Heenan doing Oklahoma jokes, but if he'd seen the Brain for more than ten seconds, JR knew who he was and what he was, so it was his own fault if he couldn't handle it.

 

With all of that said, Heenan actually got in more wrestling talk than JR did here. He put over the wrestlers more, talked about the moves more (his explanation of how a cheap shot to the nose actually does damage is unexpectedly illuminating) and kept the proceedings from falling flatter than they did. I liked his exasperation over Bret not tagging Savage when he had Flair in trouble late in the match (which was astounding, considering his allegiance to Flair) and he seemed genuinely impressed by the fact that four singles wrestlers could put together a good solid tag match.

 

Speaking of the match, it's time to address the finish. Simply put, it was awful. I don't think Earl "lost control" of the match or "forgot" who was legal; I think he just realized they'd been in there long enough and counted the first possible finish that brought about the desired result. Maybe Bret and Flair missed a go-home cue of some sort and Savage and Michaels came in specifically to do the finish even though they weren't the legal men, although that wouldn't explain how Sherri was in perfect position to be knocked off the apron by Michaels. At any rate, something somewhere must have gone wrong, because bonzo gonzo finishes (a Kal Rudmanism for all four men in the ring) usually are more chaotic than this one was, and last longer too.

 

Surreal moment of the match: Sherri pounding the holy mackerel out of Randy. Yes, dear hearts, the Kingdom of the Madness is indeed beyond reconstitution.

 

Line of the bout: JR's reaction to Heenan claiming that Bret Hart's dad is really named Stewed: "You're stewed yourself!" And he probably was, too.

 

Big save of the bout, broadcast division: Heenan starts to talk about what a great bout this is for four guys who've spent their careers relying only on themselves, then remembers the Hart Foundation and the Rockers and shuts himself up.

 

What was Heenan's obsession with the time all about? You'd think he'd never seen a twenty-minute tag match before.

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This commentary does indeed drive me nuts. It's as if Jim Ross thinks Bobby Heenan is really insulting him and doesn't get it's a character. Either that or the so called greatest announcer in wrestling history (who isn't worthy to shine Lance Russell, Jesse Ventura OR Bobby Heenan's shoes IMO) can't condescend to having some fun. (Of course if Heenan were one of his southern friends like Cornette it would be a different story naturally)

 

Bottom line WWF Jim Ross in this time period is a disaster, and if I were Vince I would have canned him, not hired him back and seen him finish his whiny uber sports nerd persona career in SMW.

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I wanted more out of this.  So few times this kind of talent has been in the ring together and it just...fizzled.

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