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I ain't Ricky Rude.


tiger_rick
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24 minutes ago, jazzygeofferz said:

 

My uncle doesn't watch wrestling, never cared for it. But he bought this Survivor Series for his kids one christmas and even now, I can send him a text asking what he is thankful for, and he will reply My Polka Dots.

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I’m thankful for the whole of the Survivors 89 tape, or “Third Annual Survivor Series” with the smashing yellow box art template.

It was the first tape I ever got bought for me as a kid. I’d gotten into the WWF off the back of a lend of Mania VI which was quite a bit old at the time and since there were so many tapes to choose from at the time, I made myself promise to not start buying anything older than Mania VI or I’d never be able to catch up (kids logic). When my parents took me into John Menzies, which boasted the biggest range of WWF tapes within a four or five town radius, FAR more than any store of Woolies, narrowing my choice down to one was near impossible. I knew this was likely to pre-date Mania VI spotting Hogan with the belt, Warrior with the Intercontinental belt and the Twin Towers still together on the box, but I was familiar with the Survivor Series format having borrowed the 4th and 5th Annual (plus the anomalous 6th) from my mate Simons sisters video shop, and the matches cried out for me to buy it, especially looking at that version of the Hulkamaniacs. So I failed my “no old shows” test at the very first hurdle, my old man parting with £14.99 (which was a lot at the time, at least in Transformers value which was my frame of reference) and me dashing excitedly to the car, knowing the raid family at the time probably via Three Cooks for a swift sausage roll on the way back to the multi-storey.

The tape was fantastic and I watched it to death. It was Gorilla and Jesse, who were on commentary for Mania VI so immediately my first favourite pairing, two fabulous babyface outings for Hogan and Warrior, Bret (fast becoming my underdog hero) getting the shit kicked out of him trying to help that moron and cheating bastard (see Mania VI) Hacksaw Duggan, Macho King getting to show off his skills without getting impeded by a pair of cheating fat bastards (see Mania VI) and even though lead bastard Dusty Rhodes got a win, he was battered for it afterwards, jolly good stuff. Perfect looked great, the Rockers were great, though after seeing Marty get eliminated so soon and Shawn do what he did during their match, so soon after seeing Marty’s bumbling costing them their count-out at Mania VI, it was obvious to me why Shawn had done without him and gone into singles as a baddie (according to the trading cards I’d been looking at round Simons).

Soon after it was back round Menzies for the 1993 Royal Rumble on my way to catching up. The shop was also my gateway to Hasbros with my first couple being Anvil (Brets partner innit, though mysteriously dressed in pyjamas) and The Model (dunno). My birthday greeted me with the ring and Hogan from my parents and Papa Shango (dunno) from a mate, and soon I was off to Menzies to spend pocket money on figures and choose some tapes. I picked up Sid Justice, Macho Man #3, Boss Man #2, and maybe Warlord IRS and Virgil, along with the Nasty Boys and Bushwhackers (they didn’t have LOD). And relevant to tapes, Rumble 91, SummerSlam 93, SummerSlam 88, WrestleFest 93, Invasion of the Bodyslammers and WrestleMania The Greatest Hits (Sovereign Series). Soon after my mums coming home with older tapes from the cash and carry like Mega Matches or Collectors Series releases and eventually Simons sister got me the Mega Mail catalogue so we could start ordering direct from Silver Vision.

But it all started with that yellow box.

 

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7 hours ago, garynysmon said:

That said, the theme was the best of them all with Vince's intros being the icing on the cake.

This was something else that endeared me to the 1989 video. When I watched 4th/5th/6th Annual, each had different formats in music, presentation or in 1992s case was just another show of singles matches. It delighted me that the 3rd was essentially the same show as the 4th (minus the finals match which was introduced as a first and ended up the last). Only eliminators, teams of 4, teams have proper names, same music, same Vince intro except slightly less refined than by 1990. When I started ordering from the Mega Mail catalogue 2nd Annual was one of my first tapes and of course that’s rather different to the two that followed.

Its a symptom of the 3rd/4th/5th being such an impact on my early fandom that I’ve never really got past “Survivor Series” being 4 on 4 (Super WrestleMania on the SNES too) even though the event began life as “Teams of five strive to survive” and far more shows since have been 5 on 5 after it reverted permanently to those numbers in 2005. The real team names thing is also sorely missed in terms of the format losing sparkle slowly, I was really happy that 94/95 had all team names (apart from the Wild Card match) after only one eliminator had team names in 93, no true Survivor Series matches to speak of in 92 and no team names in 91. It was much more fun to have The Vipers or The Rude Brood than “Andre The Giant’s team” earlier on, and the beige that swept through WWE in the last decade was perfectly summed up by churning out “Team Orton” vs “Team Ziggler” before finally relaxing into the lazier-still Raw vs SmackDown format.

Yeah, I know it’s a bit “old man convinced it was better in the olden days” but it was, wasn’t it? I suppose the real debate is whether 89 or 90 is the better snapshot of the era, but for me it’s 90. Tornado and LOD are there, Boss Man is a goodie, Perfects a big enough deal to have his own team, the Harts are on the same team, the Undertaker shows up. There’s even a chance that 90s Warriors eclipses 89s Hulkamaniacs for best hero team with Warrior as WWF Champ, Tornado wearing the Intercontinental belt (even though he’d already taped losing it back to Perfect) and the awesome LOD, but it’s fine margins. Although it’s worth pointing out, Warriors vs Perfect Team can be 100% staged with Hasbros which not a lot of Survivors matches can be done with era-accurate attire.

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On 11/27/2021 at 11:04 AM, garynysmon said:

I've watched that clip about five times since last night. Crikey, what a cast of genuine characters.

All larger than life personas with clearly defined gimmicks. It really is no wonder that the WWF was so popular back then.

Funny thing is that into 1996 they started to reverse their own stance internally on the over reliance on gimmicks. It’s been retconned that WCW allowing Scott Hall and Kevin Nash to just go out there and “be themselves” was a big influence on the change from gimmicks to more “real” characters like Stone Cold but even at the time JR would say for instance of Bret Hart at Survivor Series “He ain’t no clown. He ain’t no trash man. He’s a wrestler, and so is Steve Austin.” Despite this they still had gimmicks, even ignoring stuff like Godfather and Val Venis, the guys like Austin, DX and The Rock who made the Attitude Era successful still had clearly defined characters that made them stand out. Hell, even Steve Blackman dressed and wrestled completely differently to most other guys on the show even if you did think he was boring as sin.
 

Fast forward to today and with half the talent just going by a “name” name without any discernible character and most of the rest trying to get by on a gimmick of “is a good wrestler” it’s clear to see things went too far in the opposite direction. I’m not saying every match should be Pizza Delivery Guy vs Taxi Driver * but I think things would have been far less beige over the last ten years if we’d had a few more vegan Daniel Bryans or even Bray Wyatts and fewer Dolph Zigglers.

* Later to reconcile and tag as Uber Eats.

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4 hours ago, air_raid said:

I’m not saying every match should be Pizza Delivery Guy vs Taxi Driver *

* Later to reconcile and tag as Uber Eats.

They feud against the team of Deliveroo, which is bicycle riding Hunico teaming with Jinder Mahal under a new curry related gimmick or Ziggler dressed as Colonel Sanders. 

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