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1-2-3 Kid & Marty Jannetty vs The Headshrinkers (WWF Wrestlefest 01/11/94)

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I stumbled across this by accident a couple months ago and thought it was a lot of fun. I said this about it (I was in the midst of watching a shit load of 1994 WWF at the time):

 

Oh, fuck! Dream match! Waltman and Marty were two of the best guys in the company in '94, and the Headshrinkers might be the best tag team. This got ten minutes and totally ruled like I hoped it would. There are some GREAT kicks in this. Waltman throws a few roundhouse kicks that look like they'd just shatter your jaw, and both Samu and Fatu rattle Jannetty's brains with side kicks. Great spot where Jannetty rams Samu's head into the steps, but Samu just shakes it off (he's Samoan and has an indestructible head) and cracks him right under the chin. Kid and Marty try and work the arm and make quick tags so Fatu just punches Kid in the nose and flattens him with a fatboy powerslam. He looked disgusted that a 70 pound girl would even try that. Marty is a really good FIP, taking a sweet inside-out bump off a Fatu clothesline (which is a cool role reversal since Fatu always loved to take that bump when he'd get clotheslined) and sells the shit out of getting choked with the tag rope. He and Samu have a nice sequence early on where they do a criss-cross spot with Marty dropping down and catching Samu with a monkey flip. When they get back up they do it again, but this time Samu drops down and tries to monkey flip Marty, except Marty is hip to it and just punches him in the face instead. Apparently Samu getting hanged in the ropes is a signature spot of his, because he does it again here. Maybe I should feel guilty about loving that spot so much since it wound up mutilating Mick Foley and turning him into a hideously deformed freak, but I'll assume the ring ropes in the WWF were more forgiving than the ones in Germany that ripped Foley's ear off. So I will continue to love that spot. Headshrinkers should've been on every show WWF ran, every week of every month in 1994 (although I think they turn face soon...that's mildly disappointing).

 

 

I'm curious as to what made you guys toss this on the yearbook. I'm obviously not complaining or anything, because I really like it and think it fits right in on a project like this -- I just didn't expect to see it here. Although there's a fuck ton of cool semi-obscure matches on these yearbooks (which is maybe my favourite thing about them), so I guess I shouldn't be surprised it got put on.

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Thank Bix. :)

 

I haven't seen it myself, or at least I don't remember it, but it was his recommendation.

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Apparently Samu getting hanged in the ropes is a signature spot of his, because he does it again here.

Heh, I haven't watched a Samu match or even thought about him in years and years but I was able to instantly remember that "oh yeah, he did do that one a lot"

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I liked it too after seeing it for the first time yesterday. But I will say, if you're not a fan of the Gorilla/Polo commentary team, it's in full force during this match.

Who would possibly not be a fan of the Gorilla/Polo commentary team?

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Apparently Samu getting hanged in the ropes is a signature spot of his, because he does it again here.

Heh, I haven't watched a Samu match or even thought about him in years and years but I was able to instantly remember that "oh yeah, he did do that one a lot"

 

He also does it in the '94 rumble and it looks insane. He really throws himself into it and I'm not sure how it didn't yank his head clean off.

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Before I get started, let me just say Gorilla and Stan Lane are the announce team here.

 

This was loads of fun. I think I liked this even better than the title change the day before. Samu and Fatu were in great shape. Two guys that size cutting this pace is pretty impressive. And yeah, Samu doing that hangman spot is nuts. Also, Afa's run-in was pretty amazing, as he worked an entire exchange with Kid that looked really good.

 

Really good, athletic performance that's worth seeing.

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Afa hit a sweet Samoan Drop here. He looked pretty spry in his brief exchange with the Kid. Second ref running down and changing finish is silly as there is no consistency with this type of stuff. Samu did a great hanging of himself in the ropes off a Kid spin kick. Agree with Gorilla, should have just let the match continue instead of DQ. Fonzie is indeed a goof.

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This is the epitome of a fun tag match. I did like this better than the title change on Raw. Jannetty and Kid are just so awesome here in their selling and high energy offence. Not to take anything away from the Samoans as they were tremendous. I liked Gorrilla's call of Kid's inexperience was causing Jannetty to take a beating. Hated that Gorrilla predicted a short rain for the faces. Just a great way to bury them instead of building them up.

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Rikishi could work back in the day. Jannetty is the FIP in this match and gets killed with a clothesline to start off the beat down that ensues. I can't forget the early match exchanges though with Kid's awesome dropkick and over the top rope splash sequence. Back to Jannetty taking a beating. He gets his back worked on some and takes some nasty back breakers. Kid keeps distracting Bill Alfonso and causing Marty to get mugged in the corner. Eventually Jannetty gets the tag and all hell breaks loose. Kid is taking out both Headshrinkers until fucking Afa comes in the ring and has the most impressive manager exchange ever landing a tremendous Samoan drop. Alfonso had his head up his ass somewhere and didn't see it. The Headshrinkers get the win but a goofy ass looking Mike Chioda (I believe) shows up and lets The Fonze know what's up. Gorilla berates Alfonso too. Alfonso reverses the decision and Jannetty and the Kid retain their belts. This was a pretty fun match with Afa's interference being the highlight.

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Fun match although I did prefer the title win. Afa looked really spry for his age. I enjoyed Gorilla calling another referee a goof considering how much grief Joey Morella got back in the day. Gorilla calling the babyfaces lucky and that they stole one is awful.

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God, Gorilla is such a putz. "I DON'T KNOW WHY THEY DIDN'T JUST LET THE MATCH CONTINUE, STAN!" This from the guy who whines about how every infraction "is an automatic disqualification in my book!" Anyway, the match is really fun and the Headshrinkers, somehow, are miles away from what the SSTs were doing a few years prior. Some great bumps by all four guys and yes, Afa's interference is awesome--his Samoan Drop looked like it killed the Kid dead. I don't know where the dual commentaries come from but Polo completely marks out when that was hit, which was endearing and felt more real than anything Lane or Gorilla have ever said.

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Why are prople going after Gino for saying that Marty and Sean got lucky? They did​ get lucky with the second ref deciding to come down, which as others have noted didn't happen in every match. And let's face it; anyone who loses an exchange with Afa, who's been retired for almost ten years at this point, doesn't deserve to hold a title of any sort. The Shrinkers mauled Marty and Sean at every turn here, and looked like they should have won the match going away.

 

You could tell that Vince had big plans for the Shrinkers in the not-too-distant future, as Gino and Stan put them over at every turn and barely give the champions credit for pluck. Then again, the commentary for this match might have been recorded long after Marty and Sean broke up, so why waste time putting them over as a team at all when they're not going to draw another dime for you as a unit? Maybe it shouldn't ​be that way, but it is, especially in a match where the Shrinkers got eighty-five percent of the offense at least.

 

I liked how Stan indirectly referenced his own past battles with the Shrinkers back when they were the Samoan Swat Team. Vince seemed to be loosening up a bit on guys' pasts being referenced, although the initials "WCW" were still nowhere to be heard for another eight years.

 

Marty as FIP was an interesting decision, but it allowed Waltman to play the young, overenthusiastic face who hurts his team without meaning to. Plus, he's too small to believably take the beating that Marty did. I liked Stan calling Waltman out for continuously distracting Fonzie, and I wish that more announcers would do that instead of simply cheerleading for the faces.

 

Let me amend my statement from earlier; Gino and Stan put over Waltman's incredible arsenal of aerial moves, and quite well in fact. They just didn't act like it would mean much against the size, power, and experience of the Shrinkers. It reminded me a lot of the kind of commentary we used to get when a babyface team would take on Sheik and Volkoff back in the eighties, especially when they were still being heavily pushed in '85 and '86. They were even more awesome than Bundy and Studd, who teamed less often and usually against two of the Heenan Family's enemies.

 

The ending may have been necessary, but it stinks that the only match on tape of Marty and Sean as successful champions had to end this way. I know they were just transitional champions ("Remember, anything can happen on Monday Night Raw!"), ​but this was almost worse than not getting the belts at all. Still, I'm looking forward to their matches against the Quebecers, who are a little bit closer to their size (especially Jacques) and can be thrown around a little more believably (though the Shrinkers bump well for a team as big as they are).

 

On a final note, Afa looked really good, almost as if he was training to get back in the ring for a few six-mans. Did he ever return as a wrestler, even for a match or two? I seem to remember him being marginalized when Albano came back a few months later.

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