Previously on Mullet’s PPV Diary…
I discussed the cutthroat tactics on Thanksgiving 1987 by Vince McMahon to ensure that Survivor Series squashed Starrcade 1987. I alluded to the fact that we would see the NWA get some revenge with Clash of the Champions being better and getting great ratings versus WrestleMania 4. Often forgotten is the middle clash in January of 1988.
Both companies tried unique concepts to a larger audience. WWF did it on broadcast television (which means that the Network is cheating with the next show we will watch) and the NWA tried to make that money.
We know now how the WWF’s idea turned out, considering it is still running strong today and the most anticipated show of the year outside of WrestleMania (and that is still arguable). How did the NWA’s idea pan out?
Spoiler alert: I think I know why this is the last time this happened. And why Vince won the war.
PAY PER VIEW NUMBER 12- NWA BUNKHOUSE STAMPEDE
Written on 7/13/2014
THE FIRST THING YOU SEE: The title card, which calls the show “the Bunkhouse Stampede Finals” is shown while typical, crappy NWA music plays. We are in the Nassau Coliseum in New York, a very weird territory for this event. Nikita Koloff enters with the TV Title.
-Bob Caudle and Jim Ross are ringside. They talk about this being the third annual event. Tony Schiavone with a worse haircut than moustache is handling the ring announcing. Jim Cornette struts in the ring alongside Bobby Eaton, who I am excited to see solo. We are wasting no time tonight!
MATCH NUMBER ONE: TV TITLE MATCH-Bobby Eaton w/Jim Cornette vs Nikita Koloff (Champion)
-Looking at Bobby Eaton, I can see what William Regal meant by saying someone has the physique of a melting candle. I do love his pink and green tights.
-The crowd boos Eaton and Cornette hugging. They are either homophobic or upset that the bell rang one minute ago.
-Nice Winston sponsorship up in the rafters.
-Nikita awakens after a stiff punch from Eaton.
-Cornette keeps talking trash with fans at ringside. He also talks it to Nikita. He is the early MVP of the PPV just for being so damn charismatic with his banter as opposed to the boring stalling and chain wrestling that is happening in the ring.
-Schiavone announces five minutes has elapsed like Kevin Kopelow from All That (I will try it.)
-A slugfest on the floor briefly gets the crowd into the match.
-Eaton shows his lack of creativity by repeatedly telling the ref to ask Nikita if he gives up in a headlock. Cornette shows his abundance of creativity by yelling at the ref that Nikita’s shoulders have been down for ten years. Corny should do improv.
-The ref is going to need therapy if Cornette keeps riding him verbally like this.
-I hear some boring catcalls. New York is actually being a little nice.
-I’m starting to notice that I rarely notice the NWA commentators. It is fairly by the book and boring.
-Eaton eats the post twice and gets hip tossed on the concrete floor.
-The referee counts incredibly slow. He looks like an Italian barber. Cornette keeps calling him an idiot.
-“Cornette sucks” chant starts. “Arm locks suck” chant starts in my living room.
-Nice missile dropkick by Eaton. It gets a two count and Eaton yells “Goddamn it!” Naturally, you gotta go back to the armlock after that.
-Cornette might be letting the crowd get to him now. I know how much he hates New York. Get him a Sprite STAT!
-Cornette could talk over the seagulls from Finding Nemo.
-Thank God Jim Cornette doesn’t have Jimmy Hart’s megaphone.
-I’m talking about Jim Cornette this much out of necessity.
-Fifteen minutes have gone by. The crowd is ready for anything else.
-After an eternity, Nikita hits a sloppy Russian Sickle. Eaton recovers and goes right back to the arm. I’m waiting for the crowd to chant for Caudle and JR, but it’s not the modern era.
-Two minutes left and this arm lock is still going on. It is broken and reapplied. If it didn’t work the whole match, why would you have it on with 60 seconds left?
-Nikita hits some corner punches followed by the Sickle. It is the last moments of the match. The bell is ringing one way or another.
WINNER: Time Limit Draw in 20:00
-Cornette tries to attack Nikita, but gets caught and yells like a girl. Stan Lane appears and helps beat down Nikita with Eaton after the Russian got one racket shot in. The Express dump him out and that looks to be it. The crowd takes little solace in the announcement that Nikita retained via draw.
FINAL WORD: If you showed that match to a terrorist, they wouldn’t give up any information because that type of torture just makes you mad.
-JR and Caudle recap the first match while the Midnight Express flex behind them. The referee for the next match walks right in front of them.
-Actual music plays live in the arena. It’s one of the NWA songs that is totally synth and sucky. Baby Doll leads Larry Zbyszko into the ring. The “Z” on his jacket makes him look like Zorro. Another song plays that sounds like it is from Captain EO and Barry Windham isn’t the person I expected to walk out.
MATCH NUMBER TWO: WESTERN STATES HERITAGE TITLE MATCH- Larry Zbyszko w/Baby Doll vs Barry Windham (Champion)
-There is a typo on Zbyszko. No shit given here. It is difficult.
-Larry is trying to make himself look like Bruno Sammartino from the neck down.
-Baby Doll taunts Barry and pokes him with her finger. JR says he should retaliate and that isn’t right. The bell rang 90 seconds ago, by the way.
-Hey, Rich. Cowboy…aw, fuck it.
-Barry Windham has delivered more offensive moves already than the last match had total.
-Barry Windham is 25 or 26 in this match. I feel like shit now.
-Larry makes me chuckle with his aggravated noise after Barry counters his hammerlock.
-Larry threatens to kick Barry’s ass and then misses a big karate kick. After an atomic drop, Larry plays the heel chicken great.
-“I think you all suck” says Larry Zbyszko to all the fans at ringside.
-A shoving match ensues and Larry acts like a child to the ref, blaming Barry for starting it. He is coming up on Cornette’s heels.
-While in a toe hold, Barry is super polite while telling the ref “No sir” when asked if he submits. Then, he calls Larry a bastard.
-The first match had arm work. This match has leg work. Everyone else on the rest of the show is going to be out of body parts.
-One tall enziguiri by Barry is followed by a LOUD right hand and a powerslam. Barry then misses a top rope elbow drop. I expected this action in the first match.
-Larry hits a weird bodyslam/backbreaker combo. It was just a botch probably.
-Sweet one arm belly to back by Barry.
-Windham nails a dropkick. It isn’t sound psychologically, considering all the leg work. Thankfully, it is followed by his leg giving out during a suplex attempt.
-The crowd pops for a sleeper hold. Huh?
-There is a funny quick cut to a Valley Girl with crazy hair in the crowd, watching with her mouth wide open.
-Larry is thrown into a wooden table and steps, but recovers to send Barry into the ring post.
-Fifteen minutes have gone by. Is every match on this show going to be a draw? This one has a 30 minute limit, at least.
-Two fans in Michigan sweatshirts laugh hysterically at Larry’s balls being driven into the post.
-Barry misses a flying lariat and flies out of the ring, just like Starrcade 1987.
-Good back and forth countering of backslides, back drops, sunset flips and more until the two wrestler’s heads collide mid-ring.
-Barry hits corner punches until six. That is followed by a ref bump and a female’s persuasion being the difference maker.
WINNER: Larry Zbyszko in 19:17 to win the title after hitting Barry Windham with Baby Doll’s heel.
-The referee acts like he didn’t take a bump at all 30 seconds ago. The replay shows the ref getting splashed in the corner, selling death but getting up quickly to make the count.
FINAL WORD: I totally didn’t expect to be solidly entertained by that. They pick up the slack from the opener.
-Edit and WHAT?!?!?!?!??!
MATCH NUMBER THREE: NWA TITLE MATCH- Ric Flair (Champion) w/JJ Dillon vs Hawk w/Paul Ellering
-We are in the ring after the bell. The text on the screen says “Presented in the most complete form possible, due to original production technical difficulties.” Good job, Crockett.
-Hawk is built like a brick shithouse.
-Flair’s chop literally bounces off of Hawk’s chest. That was a negative sell.
-Hawk hits an overhead slam and Flair rolls out, screaming. It finally has started to bother me that Flair doesn’t take bump right.
-Flair flop. It was more like a David Flair flop. That is just David Flair.
-Hawk stomps a massive mudhole in Flair in the corner.
-Flair is continuously bailing and calling for JJ on the floor.
-Five minutes have gone by. I think I only missed 10 seconds then.
-More chops are no-sold and Hawk hits a flying shoulder block. It makes me want to see Cena with facepaint and Hawk’s haircut.
-Hawk is thrown into the rail, but still doesn’t sell it. Flair moves the steps in front of Hawk, who just picks them up and chucks them.
-Flair sneaks in a low blow and Hawk is finally affected. That will work on every dude and Nicole Bass.
-Flair’s first WOO comes eight minutes in. It’s a standard WOO.
-They cut to that Valley Girl again. Was she Flair’s catch of the night?
-Flair SUCCEEDS with the double axe handle off the top rope! All-time record on PPV for Flair from the top: 2 for 5.
-A sick Rude Awakening neckbreaker by Hawk on Flair is followed by a missed fist drop and the meticulous leg work begins.
-Flair eggs Ellering on at ringside. The ref starts talking to Ellering, which allows Flair to hit another blatant low blow.
-Hawk chops Flair, but Flair responds with a belly to back suplex.
-Flair applies the Figure Four. No one’s finisher means less than, arguably, the greatest of all time. Ever using the ropes for leverage never won it.
-Hawk reverses the hold, but it barely looks on. Both men are tangled in the ropes soon after.
-Flair screams “Jesus Christ” in pain. Oh, the life that Flair lives is SAD! (Cut to an obvious dummy of Ric Flair being thrown out of a building like Coach Kreeton).
-Flair tries the top rope again, but is caught this time! All-time record on PPV for Flair from the top: 2 for 6.
-Hawk is starting to look winded.
-Hawk clotheslines Flair, but follows through with it and hits the ref as well.
-A brawl starts outside and Flair is sent into the post several times. Flair bleeds because it is a day on Earth.
-Hawk’s clothesline is the only thing he has left now. The ref has now been down several minutes.
-Flair tries the tope rope for a third time! He is superplexed this go-around and that still moves the needle. All-time record on PPV for Flair from the top: 2 for 7.
-The ref isn’t able to count after the superplex, so JJ enters with a soft chair shot to Hawk’s back. Where is Ellering?
-Flair hits Hawk in the head with the chair and Hawk gets his hands up, smartly. The ref recovers, but Hawk kicks out quickly. Flair hits a delayed suplex and Hawk immediately stands up. This is getting ridiculous.
-The crowd can feel a title change, then Flair rips it away from them in the cheapest way possible.
WINNER: Hawk by DQ in 21:26 after Ric Flair hits Hawk in the back with a chair in front of the referee.
-The replay shows JJ’s shitty chair shot again. So little has gone on in this show thus far, so I’m making JJ Dillon the LVP of the PPV at the moment.
-Almost the entire end of the match is replayed.
FINAL WORD: That felt like every other Ric Flair match I’ve watched so far. It was good, but I expected more, including Hawk to not get gassed.
-Someone off camera is heard saying, “Lost headset, we doing on camera?” A few seconds later, Caudle and JR are on camera, recapping the title match as the cage is set up. Dusty is promoted as the favorite because he won the previous two Bunkhouse Stampedes. The crew is listed on screen. Michael Sheehan, the Electronics Graphics guy, is the LVP of the PPV because of his typos and lack of spaces at times. The crowd is dead quiet as Schiavone announces something unintelligible.
-To be eliminated in the Stampede, you need to be thrown through the cage door OR over the top of the cage. Good lord! I thought I was wrong reading that all these years.
-The end of the Zbyszko/Windham match is shown again. They make a big deal out of Larry winning a major singles title finally in his 14th year in wrestling.
-More stalling and talk of the upcoming Stampede. Apparently, Dusty qualified at the last moment. JR segues into wanting to talk about Lex Luger’s chances and Caudle straight up ignores him and talks about something else. I’m tired of his crap. Bob Caudle is the new LVP of the PPV.
-Crap, JR mentions that Paul Jones has three guys in this match. I thought we were done with him. Apparently, this match has a $500,000 prize.
-The music from the start of the show plays and Schiavone introduces the entrants. God, he looks like he going to knock on my door and tell me he is obligated to tell me he’s moving into the area.
1. Dusty Rhodes enters in a yellow tank top, trucker hat and jeans. Black circles are the only thing missing.
2. Tully Blanchard has a giant weight belt on.
3. Ivan Koloff is wearing all red and Paul Jones looks like Bruno Kirby in City Slickers.
4. The Warlord is out, wearing a lifeguard tank top for no reason.
5. Arn Anderson is just cool.
6. Lex Luger receives a big pop and shakes some hands without screwing it up.
7. The Barbarian wearing a shirt in general is weird.
8. Animal comes out, announced as the man who won the most Stampedes in December. Okay, I’m super confused as to how these work now.
MATCH NUMBER FOUR: BUNKHOUSE STAMPEDE
-The match starts with the Horsemen double teaming Luger, Ivan and Warlord double teaming Animal and Barbarian and Dusty battling.
-Ivan Koloff is decked out like Ken from Street Fighter.
-Someone needs to teach Lex how to punch.
-Elimination attempts are less exciting than a battle royal because there is no reason to climb to the top rope. It is silly.
-Ivan is the first man bleeding and Dusty bites him.
-Three people have climbed onto the top rope now. The Barbarian just saved Ivan from being eliminated. There is zero psychology here.
-The Barbarian impressively lifts the Dream up on the top rope to try and eliminate him. It ends with him getting crotched on the top rope.
-No one sells agony in a cage like Tully Blanchard.
-Tully is caught from the top rope by Animal into a powerslam in the background. It is hard to follow everything, especially in a cage with tight shots all the time.
-Tully is bleeding now. We are 25% there!
-Arn is really cut. JR calls it chopped beef and that is gross.
-Fifty percent there with Animal now busted open. Just spit in each other’s mouths and get it over with!
-Barbarian eats Animal’s head like he is biting an ice cream cone. Nasty.
-The faces start to charge back and the crowd pops. Dusty whips everyone in sight with his belt and the crowd lights up.
-A fan with a “Funky like a Monkey” sign gets a close up. Sure.
-Arn ties Lex to the top rope. That is probably for the best.
-The faces work well together. If this were actually treated like every man for himself, it might be less messy.
-JR and Caudle talk about the upcoming $1 million Crocket Cup tag tournament. Jim Crockett Promotions in kayfabe is worse with money than TNA is with really money.
-Dusty has a nasty gash on his arm. Ivan is wrapping his belt around it. It is under the guise of being mean, but he might be trying to help.
-This is never boring. It is getting tiresome, though.
-Caudle can only reiterate shock that nobody has been eliminated. I can only reiterate that Bob Caudle is the LVP of the PPV.
-Tully chokes Ivan at the door. The heels get it!
-Dusty hasn’t left the corner in quite some time.
-IVAN KOLOFF is the 1st wrestler eliminated at 16:14 by Animal. It was a safe looking drop from the top of the cage.
-Ellering continually yelling encouragement at Animal at ringside is annoying.
-THE WARLORD AND ANIMAL are the 2nd and 3rd wrestlers eliminated at 18:08 when Animal boots Warlord while hanging on the cage door and Animal spills out as well. They might have screwed up because Animal seems really pissed.
-Lex hits the Torture Rack on Tully. That is worthless in this match.
-A nice Gordbuster combo by the Horsemen on Lex. They pick him up and carry him to the door and Lex starts to fight him off.
-All three men at the door. It is pretty obvious what is going to happen. Arn and Tully are pushing Lex as much as they can.
-I’m still watching these three skirmish at the door.
-LEX LUGER, ARN ANDERSON and TULLY BLANCHARD are the 4th, 5th and 6th wrestlers eliminated at 22:36 when they all fall through the door ridiculously.
-Dusty and Barbarian battle and Paul Jones sneaks a weapon into his charge, who hits Dusty.
-The camera misses Barbarian hitting his top rope headbutt. They don’t miss his second one.
-Barbarian tries to shove Dusty out of the door and the crowd starts a lackluster Dusty chant. The camera keeps showing “enthralled” fans just sitting down and looking on, bored.
-Both men climb to the top rope. Barbarian impressively lifts Dusty again, but Dusty counters and props him up.
-One bionic elbow leads Barbarian over the other side of the cage. A second elbow means THE BARBARIAN is the 7th person eliminated.
WINNER: Dusty Rhodes in 26:21
-The crowd pops a little bit, but I sense zero fucks being given.
-RICH!!!!!!!!!!! GIANT COWBOY BOOT!!!!!!!! THE TROPHY IS A GIANT COWBOY BOOT!!!! I WIN!!!!
-A quick replay is followed by a quick Dusty celebration and a quick exit with his boot. The Giant Ear of Corn could fit in that boot (I’m totally watching a ton of All That now).
FINAL WORD: I can see the kinks being worked out eventually, but it wouldn’t be worth the effort. I feel like spitting into a bucket after that match.
-Caudle sounds like an old fool. JR shows good broadcasting and passion about the show and the NWA’s place in the wrestling world. Caudle shows stupid reasoning for explaining that Dusty wasn’t the favorite even though he said the opposite earlier.
-I hear a loud REFUND chant. Ouch! It wasn’t THAT bad. One guy can be loudly heard saying, “This shit sucks!” Caudle and JR sign off at a good time.
-Another video recap. It shouldn’t be that long.
THE LAST IMAGE: Dusty Rhodes with an oversized cowboy boot.
THE WRAP UP
FINAL MVP of PPV: The Barbarian almost changed my mind and Larry Zbyszko was solid, but Jim Cornette was the most entertaining aspect of this show, especially in the shadows of a excruciatingly boring match.
FINAL LVP of PPV: It sounded like Bob Caudle needed to be put into a home.
MY FAVORITE MATCH: Larry Zbyszko vs Barry Windham
MY LEAST FAVORITE MATCH: Nikita Koloff vs Bobby Eaton
WWE HALL OF FAMERS IN ACTION: 7 (Barry Windham, Hawk, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Animal)
DEARLY DEPARTED IN ACTION: 1 (Hawk)
FINAL THOUGHT: The NWA and New York City don’t mix. The crowd wasn’t into their brand of action, or lack thereof, and more of an undercard could’ve saved this short and sloppy show. MULLET DOESN’T RECOMMEND.
NEXT TIME: Pat Patterson gets to throw his shit on a wall and see it stick with the 1988 Royal Rumble.