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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Hey, This Happened: Smothers/Savio vs. JBL/Dutch


Freddie Joe Floyd & Savio Vega  vs. Justin "Hawk" Bradshaw & Zebekiah (WWF Superstars 7/23/96, Aired 8/17/96)

ER: You look at that lineup, and there's no way you think "Of course that happened on WWF TV at some point". No, you think "That looks really terrific". And you'd be right. Smothers had just debuted in WWF a couple weeks before and was treated as a somewhat fresh faced babyface upstart, Dutch had barely been used as a worker, Bradshaw wasn't an unprofessional company man yet, it was a weird time. Smothers works this as a great fired up babyface, throwing wild fists to the back of Bradshaw's head, hitting high dropkicks and his cool whipping heel kick, taking a huge bump off the apron into the guardrail on a Hawk big boot (that the cameras almost miss) and eventually making a MASSIVE hot tag to Savio, literally leaping most of the way across the ring to make the tag. The real revelation was Dutch, already nearing 50, looking like the best guy in the match. Vince and Hennig dump all over him on commentary, with Hennig talking about how he's not a wrestler and Vince talking about how his best days are behind him, and then Dutch tags in and clearly looks like the best guy in the match, tearing into Smothers with nasty punches, big lariat and an incredibly cool stomp/boot scrape on Smothers' face. Before that he was great at running distraction from the apron and floor, total killer hidden gem performance. I love that things like this match are still out there, ripe for rediscovery. Bless those two weeks where Tracy Smothers was treated by WWF as someone to watch, and bless Dutch for making the most of his infrequent WWF ring time, and bless Bradshaw for letting Smothers take a ton of their sequences, and bless Savio for his stretchy tough skins jeans.

PAS: This was really fun, kind of makes me want to see what other weirdo matches were floating around WWF Superstars from that period. Bradshaw was great in this just laying into FJF and Savio with big boots, slams and an awesome senton. I loved Smothers as a hot tag, his crazy dive for the tag was great, but I also loved him crawling across the bottom rope like he was on a corporate team building ropes course. Dutch is one of the all time greats, and his short clotheslines, punches and bootrakes show what a waste he was as a manager, he should have been feuding with Austin.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"kind of makes me want to see what other weirdo matches were floating around WWF Superstars from that period."

The Henry Godwinn vs. Bradshaw 1996 King of the Ring Qualifier rules.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=henry+godwinn+vs.+justin+bradshaw

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Floyd and Zeb had a singles matches here too https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmTXNfwuCHc

7:09 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

I watched the entire Superstars '96. Here's my top forty matches w/ write-ups. This match came in #3 btw

http://neverhandover.blogspot.com/2010/09/brians-superstars-96-ballot.html

10:18 AM  
Blogger EricR said...

Everybody's comment here is a win! I'm definitely going to be going through and cherry picking some 95/96 Superstars gems. I don't want to look up what ones are regarded as the best, I'm just going by the on paper eye test. 123 Kid/Bob Holly vs. Heavenly Bodies? That'll get a watch. Bob Backlund vs. Ken Raper? Obviously.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In addition to the HOG/Bradshaw hidden gem, allow me to recommend....

Aldo Montoya vs. Salvatore Sincere
Shawn Michaels vs. Salvatore Sincere
Rad Radford vs. Skip

*I'm sure more will come to me. I watch entirely too much 95-96 WWF.

12:13 AM  

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