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Review a random WWE Network match


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Let's take advantage of the awesome (third-party) WWE Network randomizer at:




Just visit that page and you'll get a random match. Then click on the eye logo to be taken straight there in your browser.


Pick a match then review it here. Up to you how you play it, but my ruled would be that you have to do whatever comes up unless A) you've seen it in the past year, B) you've seen it at least five times, or C) it's a Rumble, Iron Man or other guaranteed longass match.




I got Ron Garvin vs Mike Force, a squash from the WCW TV show in 1987, a few months before Garvin got a surprise title win. I'd tell you the story behind the match, but an apparent technical error means we only get David Crockett talking and nothing from Tony Schiavone. Technically Schiavone is play by play and Crockett colour, but in reality Crockett is doing literal play by play. He does virtually nothing other than tell you exactly what you've just seen happen, as if you're playing TNM 7 with a screenreader on.


What we do gather is that Garvin is fighting Jim Cornette in a cage on a house show later that night and the story appears to be that if Garvin does this to a wrestler, what will he do to a manager? Yep, while Garvin has a rep for being stiff, this is something else. It's not a guy unleashing a bunch of professional wrestling moves without answer. It's a guy beating the shit out of an opponent. It's pretty much a mix of open hand slaps and chops, backrakes, and sticking the guy in a standing front headlock and laughing as he tries to do something. It's not exactly UWFi, but you could absolutely believe this was real, or at least that the jobber didn't know it was a work but was still unable to do anything. Garvin winds up winning with the beautifully unspectacular move of punching his opponent, then sitting on him for the pin.

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I'll give this a go.


Christ! It's given me Jake Roberts vs. Sika from Saturday Nights Main Event, January 2nd 1988. (http://network.wwe.com/video/v33481845/milestone/37012367)


We've got Vince and The Body on commentary and neither of them really sound arsed with this match.


Jake and Sika lock up and we get the traditional Britwres starting chain wrestling sequence. Exchanging wristlocks. This goes on for about 8 seconds before Sika sends Jake into the corner. Jake's having none of that though, and just turns around and punches Sika in the mouth.


Vince calls this a "decoy manoeuvre." - I call it a punch in the mouth.


Sika then gives Jake a backdrop and the 3 minute match slows right down and is still going on to this day. Stomps and backrakes that make any fat lad who does hardcore wrestling look as quick as Kalisto on a sugar rush. Jake gets under the bottom rope and Mr. Fuji jabs him in the throat with his walking stick.


Jesse Ventura then attempts to put Sika over as a threat by saying that it's Mr. Fuji who makes Sika dangerous. Surely that's just putting Fuji over?


Sika then applies a nerve hold, that immediately goes magna (thanks OSW Review). Jake powers out of this and hits the deadliest of all divas finishers, a roll up, for the pinfall victory. No DDT, no incredible psychology that Roberts is famous for. Nothing. Bollocks.




Jake retrieves Damien from his sack and Sika gets out of dodge. Jake grabs Fuji and nails him with a DDT and the crowd go fucking mental! I forget just how popular this move was. Sika comes back to rescue Fuji from Damien. Jake celebrates and the crowd go to the concession stands happy.


I'll assume this match was just filler and to get Jake and the DDT onto the card. Can't imagine this one having any backstory.

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Fantastic topic idea!


I gave it a whirl and got Torrie Wilson and Victoria vs Trish Stratus and Ashley from Unforgiven 2005 (main event is John Cena v Kurt angle).


JR and Lawler are commentatorizing, and possibly Coach too but he barely says a word. This was probably the arse-end of the previous decent wave of WWE women's wrestling, before Johnny L flooded the division with tits 'n' teeth. It's paralyzingly obvious how good Trish and Victoria are next to Torrie and Ashley as the former do the work. Victoria in particular is just as good as I remember her, busting out a floatover BCL in the first minute, laying her shit in and transitioning from move to move in a flawless way. Both her and Trish look like they really want to hurt each other.


But Torrie is just awful (sorry Harmy Gee) - wanders in for a slap then disappears. Ashley is similarly awful. It makes you appreciate how less sexualized it has become, as Ashley is basically wearing an ill-fitting bra. She walks everywhere with the limpest of offence.


As a match it has a great old-school template (was it Malenko and Finlay road agenting the women at this time?): waiting for the face hot tag, ref misses the legit tag. WWE thinks this makes refs look stupid, but who cares if you're not going to name refs anyway?


Trish (current champ) scores the win after a neat double-headscissors / snapmare spot into the Chick Kick.


JR gets line of the night when he says "one of these days, Ashley's going to be a good one."

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I got a 20-man Battle Royal to determine the number 1 contender for the Intercontinental Title from a 1995 episode of Raw. I love this thread idea. I consider this match a reward for my support. A battle royal with Sid in it! For some, that'd be a punishment, but I can't wait!


So, as we begin with Isaac Yankem's music playing, currently in the ring are King Kong Bundy, Bam Bam Bigelow, Hakushi, 1-2-3 Kid, Kama, there's a Godwinn in there, and Chris Candido, I can see Owen Hart, Triple H I think, and…. ah FUCK, it's FUCKING Savio Vega. 


Of all the matches on all the WWE Network, they randomise me with Savio FUCKING Vega. This is a punishment.


Vince's first call of the match: "Twenty men, going at it!" 1995 Vince should narrate porn.


Oh, Aldo Montoya's in this. Standard battle royal brawling to open, Bundy's already out. Kid's getting some strikes in on Sid, which is impressive - I'd watch Kid vs. Sid if that ever happened at some point.


Fatu's in there, looking pretty well built at this point and going chop to chop with Sid. Bam Bam and Helmsley are focusing on each other, and the camera misses Aldo's elimination.


Sid goes over to help Owen eliminate Bob Holly, and Savio cunting Vega jumps over Holly's body to get a cheap shot in on Sid. What a twat. Sid sells for him as well. Fuck you, Savio Vega.


Vince's call of "Action all over the place!" is pushing it a bit considering nothing happens for the next three minutes.


Marty Jannetty's in this match! I just noticed.


Holly's eliminated. Sid gets rid of Duke the Dumpster with a smashing big boot. What's Sid doing fighting to be number 1 contender for the IC title anyway? This seems beneath him.


Skip eliminates Hakushi, and we just miss a battle of two Hall of Famers as Kama eliminates Fatu (even if they never mentioned any Charles Wright character except The Godfather when he was inducted). Sid and Barry Horowitz have teamed up. I realise I'm just listing eliminations here but really, nothing else is happening. Still quite fun though.


Horowitz eliminates Skip to the biggest reaction so far, and we skip the middle part of the match entirely as Raw goes to commercial! When it comes back, we're down to the last six or seven. Sid, Yankem, Bigelow, Owen, Jannetty… OH FUCK OFF, the FUCK is Savio Vega still in there for. If he wins I'm cancelling the Network.


They show some of the eliminations we missed. One was Rad Radford. I don't remember Rad Radford at all. In this match or ever, actually.


Sid eliminates Yankem with ease! I swear you can see Yankem saying "shit" as he leaves. Also, Jean Pierre Lafitte is in the match and is also still in it. Marty Jannetty goes for a rollup on Owen, who kicks him in the head for being an idiot.


WOW! Genuinely cool moment as Bam Bam hits a shoulder barge on Sid that's so powerful it eliminates him! That was impressive, go Bam Bam! Big reaction from the crowd.


They then go to another ad break, and when we return Bam Bam's been eliminated. So much for that then. Down to four. Four people on the whole planet that could have been in this match at this time, and they chose SAVIO VEGA to be one of them. Shit. Shiiiiit.


Is Lafitte dressed as a pirate? I'd forgotten they'd done a pirate before Burchill.


Marty very cleverly avoids elimination by using his feet and the top rope. Nice.


Nothing much happens for a while, except Owen being generally very good and Savio trying to act like he is. He's not. And yet, he's dominating. Mostly because I'm convinced he just can't sell so they have to have him on offence all the time.








HE ELIMINATES LAFITTE! GO MARTY GO MARTY GO MARTY! This is legitimately exciting, it's down to Marty vs. Owen. Owen's thrown into the ropes, he flips over against them but doesn't go over. Jannetty clotheslines him, he doesn't go, he does it again, Owen's over the top rope, he punches him, Owen staggers, he does it again, he staggers, again, he falls to middle rope level, again, Owen's hanging on for dear life, one more, he's down on the apron… Owen takes him down!


This has turned into something that's genuinely really good. Owen and Jannetty both playing their parts brilliantly. Jannetty goes out through the middle ropes and Owen celebrates like he's won. The refs tell Marty to get back in the ring, but he's distracted with chasing Jim Cornette BULLDOG RUN-IN BULLDOG RUN-IN IT'S THE BULLDOG HE'S JUST CLATTERED MARTY!


Bulldog throws him back in, and Owen throws him out. Owen Hart has done it! Cut to an ad for WrestleMania: The Arcade Game and that is that!


That was good fun. Dull start but GREAT ending, starting from the instant Vega gets eliminated and I can watch without fear of him winning. Great performances from Owen and Jannetty at the end, made it feel like it wasn't just a random match but something I could have chosen to watch out of merit, if that makes sense.


Good thread.

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I got an odd one. JJ Dillon vs. Ron Bass at Starrcade 1985. This isn't a normal match. A bloody Bass has just beaten Black Bart to earn 5 minutes with Dillon. JJ quickly attacks Bass and gives him a couple of shots with a cowbell while peeling his top off to reveal his tubby tummy. Meanwhile the referee is dressed as a banana. Or if we've playing WHAT BAR? - he's definitely a Cadbury's Flake.


Dillon chokes Bass but he hulks up and makes the comeback. Dillion can't escape because they're strapped together. Black Bart at ringside is bleeding a gusher like Bass and a shot with the cowbell later and so is Dillon. Fuck knows how the ref's yellow outfit is still clean.


The crowd sound loud for this but they cut to a crowd close up and it'sa load of middle aged people sitting and sometimes pointing. It could be Tennis.


The ref takes a bump off the cowbell and Black Bart piledrives Bass and drags Dillion on top for the win. The crowd boos the shit out of the finish and the announcement of the decision. I'm just left fucking stunned that the ref didn't blade.

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Kane vs Wade Barrett, Smackdown 691, November 15, 2012.


Barrett's old music is playing. The one that sounds like the guitar was recorded in a toilet bowl. Kane is already in the ring.


Barrett takes control early on with a kick and some punches. Kane hits the ropes and Barrett hits him with the winds of change already. Josh Matthews starts talking and I'm already hugely resentful of having to listen to anything he says. He then mentions to JBL that he's already said that Barrett will be a "future World Champion", to which JBL replies "No doubt about it." Kane hits a big boot and it's the first time I notice the classic Smackdown piped in "ooohhhhh!"


Kane clotheslines Barrett over the ropes to the outside, then gets out and immediately throws him back in. Kane climbs to the top turnbuckle and hits the big jumping clothesline. Kane stands up and starts pulling the glove to signal for the chokeslam. (Match can't be more than 45 seconds in at this point). Then we cut to the entrance ramp and there's loads of lads running down. Ziggler, Sandow, Del Rio, even Ricardo Rodriguez! They start beating up Kane and the match ends in a DQ.


But wait! Here comes Daniel Bryan! He runs down to help Kane but gets overwhelmed. Mick Foley appears on the stage and motions for someone to come from the back. Down runs Kofi Kingston to help out. And then moments later, Orton's music hits and he runs down to even up the numbers and clean house. "This thing is going to explode in 48 hours," according to JBL, ruminating on the impending Survivor Series match between Team Foley and Team Ziggler. (I have absolutely no memory of this). Sandow and Ziggler both eat RKOs. The segment ends with all the faces standing in the ring looking at the Miz on the stage, who stands there holding his jaw gingerly, selling an earlier RKO from Orton.


As a bonus, right away after, we see a picture of a pint of Guinness, tweeted by Sheamus, after he was ejected from the show earlier, declaring "If this fella can't have a fight, he'll surely have a PINT!" Did anyone mention he's Irish? Fellllaaaaaa!

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I got King Kong Bundy vs Kevin Von Erich – WCCW Number 51 – 10th December 1982


I knew Texas was ‘Von Erich Country’ in the early 1980s but I didn’t realise just how big stars the Von Erichs really were. The crowd are red hot for this match as their hero, the yellow pants wearing, bare footed mop-head took on the egg-man Bundy in a competitive match. I have to admit I don’t like wrestlers going bootless unless a part of their gimmick (for example Kamala) because it just doesn’t look right. The fact that Von Erich looked like a gymnast with a waxed chest, legs and back didn’t help! Von Erich looked more at home at a ballet than in a wrestling ring but that is besides the point. The referee took an epic bump out over the top rope BACKWARD to the outside! The match itself is by the numbers but the great crowd really adds to this otherwise standard fare. 

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Mankind (with Paul Bearer) vs Alex "The Pug" Porteau
Raw 174 - USA Championship Friday
6 September 1996 (precisely 19 years and 11 months ago)


I still remember a nightmare I had about Mankind when he'd recently debuted as the creepy, rat-loving boiler room dweller. He was chasing me through the narrow back alleys of my neighbourhood at the time. I was 13. That November, I attended my first WWF show when the UK Xpress Tour hit the London Arena. I would run to the barricade with a crowd of other smelly kids and reach out to the wrestlers as they walked to the ring. One of the Godwinns tagged my hand. We grabbed The Undertaker's steel-like arm and wouldn't let go till he pulled himself free. Not Mankind though. I'd pat Paul Bearer on the shoulder but wouldn't go near his masked associate, for fear of losing a limb. Wrestling isn't real, but try telling that to the surgeons who'd be sewing my fingers back on.


This match on a special Friday edition of Raw takes place nearly four weeks after SummerSlam, when Bearer shockingly struck The Undertaker with his own urn to assist Mankind to victory in the first ever Boiler Room Brawl, ending a five-and-a-half-year relationship. It still sickens Kevin Kelly, whose commentary partner Jim Ross informs us that 'Taker has just been released from hospital and will make his return to Raw "this week" (meaning next week).


Mankind assaults his opponent right out of the gate with right hands into the corner. The Pug, whose amateur wrestling gear ably disguises his identity as a small, wrinkly-faced dog, drops to a hind leg joint and tries to escape the mauling with a fireman's carry takedown, but Mankind is just overwhelming him.


JR meanwhile drops the major scoop that "Big Daddy Cool" Diesel and "The Bad Guy" Razor Ramon are on their way back to the World Wrestling Federation, which, as we're all aware with hindsight, nipped WCW's nWo storyline in the bud and prevented Nitro from gaining any serious ground on the WWF.


The Pug does his trainer proud by playing dead, hanging upside down over the bottom rope with only the curl of his right knee and the grip of his right hand preventing him from tumbling to the floor. It's a convincing performance, let down only by the giveaway wagging of his tail.


To the delight of his new manager, Mankind mimics The Undertaker's kneeling pose before laying in the boots to The Pug, who rolls over like a good, good boy from the apron into the ring. JR lets us know how to buy tickets for Mankind's upcoming title challenge against Shawn Michaels at In Your House: Mind Games, however WWE Network responsibly points out onscreen that this phone number is no longer active, sparing subscribers in Philadelphia much stress and anxiety.


The Pug finds that the corner isn't the safest place to learn to sit, as a running knee to the face keeps 'Kind in control while helpfully smoothing out some wrinkles. Some excellent selling of a swinging neckbreaker by Alex is then accompanied by some of his opponent's trademark screaming which could easily be his own.


Segueing from Porteau's amateur credentials, JR notes that Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle was in Stamford yesterday visiting with World Wrestling Federation officials, making Angle's the longest built debut in WWF history if we don't count The Shining Stars.


Poor Alex is sent into the ropes and runs straight into the Mandible Claw. His arms flail helplessly before he collapses limply to the mat with the nerve hold still applied, prompting the referee to soon call for the bell. Soothing music and lowered house lights invite an especially sinister looking Paul Bearer into the ring with the urn for his gently rocking protégé, as JR warns that the same fate could await Shawn Michaels at In Your House - so long as the WWF Champion can get by Goldust next tonight.


As straightforward squashes go, this match highlighted everything it could about Mankind that made him such an eerie, unsettling character in those days, with his finisher in particular still being put over as a frightening, paralysing hold that could cause serious long term damage to opponents if not for the judicious calls of referees for the victim's own good.


It's also going to be my lasting impression of Alex Porteau, whose mid-'90s glorified jobber status was shared more memorably by the likes of The Goon and Duke "The Dumpster" Droese. I remembered The Pug's existence, but nothing about him. He entertained me here, so I got a treat out of this match even if he didn't.

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I got


Kaz Hayashi vs. The Cat from Nitro


I've almost certainly not seen this match before.  15 minutes into a 2 hour 22 minute show.


Kaz Hayashi is out first with Sonny Ono banging on about how great he is presumably (can't make it out).  The commentators don't even acknowledge him.  They're talking about Sting.  It's Schiavone, Zbyzko and Tenay.


Out comes The Cat.  They've not acknowledged him yet either.  The crowd seem to care about him.  They were silent for Kaz.


Both men are in the ring now, and the commentators still haven't mentioned either of them.   Oh Schiavone is now talking about The Cat.  I saw very little of him in WCW at the time.  Wasn't much of a fan of his short WWE run.


Cat's got the mic.  Turns out he's a bad guy.  Sounded like the crowd were cheering him when he came out.  They're booing now though.  He calls Kaz "Jackie Chan".  He's given Kaz 5 seconds to leave.  Turns his back, counts to 5, Kaz is still there.


Kaz just stands there, so Cat kicks him in the face.  Bell rings.  Cat's dominating the match early on, some kicks in the corner and Kaz is down.


Crowd's making noise, but they look bored.


Kaz is in control now, but it doesn't last.  Cat's chucking him all over the place and kicking him in the chest and shoulders a lot.


The commentators have only talked about the match since it started, so their attitude's changed.


The Cat has a very odd looking submission hold on that I've never seen before.  He's just squeezing Kaz's ribs.


Bret Hart vs. Sting is happening....I didn't catch if that's later tonight or sometime in the future.


Kaz is on the top rope, but Cat blocks him with a "leaping side kick" as Schiavone called it.


Big kick to the face, and it's over.  Cat wins.


21 minutes into the show now.


Cat has the mic again.  He tells everyone he's the greatest.  No one can stop him.


Sonny Ono stares at him and smiles.  I think he sees a future client.  They leave together!  Didn't see that coming.


He tells the camera that Cat is the greatest, Cat knows karate, so does he, so I guess they are soul mates.  Kaz looks confused.


Cuts to a "Nitro Party" video - lots of 10 year old boys with no shirts on.  Weird.

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