This month’s edition of Falcon’s Pick is heavy on the month of June as there is plenty of great and memorable June matches available on the WWE Network.
WWE’s King of the Ring was a June staple for years, but sadly I didn’t put any on here. If you have the time this month, set aside some to rewatch some great King of the Ring matches: Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect in 93, Bret Hart vs. Bam Bam Bigelow in 93, 1-2-3 Kid vs. Owen Hart in 94, Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho in 2002.
Where WWE struggled to find a June staple in a post-King of the Ring world, WCW ran their annual Great American Bash in June, reviving the event in 1995. To celebrate the tradition of WCW I’ve included a match from their Summer spectacular as well as WWE’s The Bash revival.
Please tweet me at @MikeVSPhilly with your feedback and recommendations of your favorite hidden gems on the Network. If you watch these matches for the first time, I’d love to hear from you and know what you thought of them.
Doink the Clown vs. Marty Jannetty
WWF Monday Night RAW June 14, 1993/June 21, 1993
(11:00 start/7:45 start)
This is actually two matches in a two-week series on RAW. The rematch is two out of three falls with the background that they wanted to prove who the better man was. It’s not deep storytelling, but it’s checks out for me.
Despite Jannetty’s former tag partner (Shawn Michaels) being known for his superkicks, Marty throws a CRAZY one that makes an incredible noise. These guys have great chemistry with each other and each fall gets a little more aggressive than the one before. This is a really great pair of workers that I wish got a longer run to work with one another.
NWA World Heavyweight Championship
Barry Windham vs. 2 Cold Scorpio
WCW Clash of the Champions XXIII – June 17, 1993
Michael Buffer doing the intros really add a special vibe to this to make it feel important. This was Scorp’s first match back after a tour of New Japan for Top of the Super Juniors, the precursor to Best of the Super Juniors. It certainly showed as he looked super motivated and put on a hell of a show.
This is a HELL of a showcase for both guys. Scorp as a babyface underdog with breathtaking moves and Windham as heel Champion showing the potential that so many people in wrestling knew he had. Things ended up not going that way as he ended up losing the belt to Flair at the Bash the next month and ended up gone from the company and wrestling really until Slamboree in Philadelphia the next year. GREAT match to dig into the Clash of the Champions section, with another noted later on in this column.
Eddie Guerrero vs. The Barbarian
WCW Monday Nitro – June 24, 1996
This is a random example of a real great pair of guys to put together on a Nitro in Charlotte and see what happens. Eddie bumps like an absolute lunatic for the Barbarian here and has some great babyface offense. There is a powerbomb in this match that is just absolutely vicious as well as a hell of a top-rope belly-to-belly suplex where Barbarian almost throws Eddie out of the ring. Crowd is really into it a lot too and these guys did not hold back.
Japanese Death Match
Tajiri vs. Super Crazy
ECW Hardcore TV – February 12, 2000
Last month I featured these two in a Mexican Death Match, so this month is it’s Japanese rematch from a few weeks later. Tajiri in the ring and Crazy rushes to the ring for a hot start. This hits the ground running big time in the first few minutes. We get double juice and some really nutty bumps, including Crazy hitting a flying leg drop through a table on the outside where it was basically more so his ass putting Tajiri through it. Killer spot. Stick around for a Dusty Rhodes bunkhouse match after this in the episode if you have the time.
Mexican Hardcore Match
La Parka/Silver King vs. Damian/Ciclope
WCW Monday Nitro – June 7, 1999
This needs to be prefaced by advising you to take the bad commentary into consideration ahead of time. Heenan and Schiavone laugh throughout the whole thing and make a general mockery of it — if you can look past that you’ll be okay.
This is a crazy, wild brawl that was a total spectacle to watch. I think the crowd is quiet for a lot of this just because they were in awe of the car crash happening before them. I think a crowd today would enjoy this more and react a lot more vocally throughout. The match goes about eight minutes or so and is all action with these four trying to make this gimmick work when it’s clear they were given just a direction to go out there and lose their minds. There are some sickening bumps by all four guys. Nitro in 1999 is a mixed bag, but there’s a lot of good in these shows and this is worth your time seeking out.
Ultimo Dragon vs. Psychosis
WCW Great American Bash 1997 – June 15, 1997
This is a fantastic opener for the start of summer WCW PPV from 1995-2000. Yes, it was very WCW to have the 4th of July themed show take place in mid-June but that’s the legacy of WCW.
Great American Bash 1997 is also the only WCW or WWF PPV to happen at The MARK of the Quad Cities in Moline, Illinois. These two go about 14 minutes in front of a really hot crowd. Great, fast pace throughout with some crazy bumps by Psychosis. He does an insane dive to the outside from the side of the ring that is just bonkers. Look for Dragon hitting an absolute GORGEOUS Asai moonsault too, fitting it bears his name. It’s just so crisp, I love it. Sonny Oono hijinx in this is a little annoying, but it plays up with the match alright. This match rules.
Intercontinental Championship vs. Mask
Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
WWE The Bash – June 28, 2009
One of the best WWE era Great American Bash matches from the event when they dropped the Great American part. It lasted one year. This is really a classic match and when you lay it out there, it’s one of Rey’s greatest WWE matches. Rey at his absolute top form here with a beautiful match that was nearly perfect. JR and Todd Grisham tell a good story and the connection with Rey and being in California plays well. Rey does crazy dives here like it’s 1995 and Jericho plays the smug prick heel so great.
ECW TV #216
June 10, 1997
ECW is butchered on the WWE Network with the music rights edits. But I feel this particular episode of ECW TV is worth looking past the flaws.
This was built as a big show with them moving up two matches from the next PPV to tonight. At the beginning you see Perry Saturn—in one of his last appearances on ECW TV—announcing he’s out with an injury. Thus this ends the ECW run of The Eliminators, one of, if not the, best ECW tag teams in it’s promotion’s history. Raven/Dreamer is a fun brawl around the building to start. You’ve seen them countless times in ECW, but given the context that this is the end of Raven/Dreamer (for now) it doesn’t drag as much. It gets real great once they get in the ring, but overall it’s fun with a nice ending with a two year build. Or is it the ending? Following this is perhaps one of Paul E.’s best ever booked angles with RVD, Sabu, and a surprise guest. And if you ever want to see how hot that ECW crowd can get, you just see this response. They then do a tease with Douglas (who was watching the show on the stage) and Taz, before Taz calls out Sabu. They have the rematch “because they couldn’t wait” for the PPV between Sabu and. Taz, in what i felt was a better match than the Barely Legal one. That is then followed up by a Taz/Shane Douglas fun segment to close. This is an extremely well done hour of TV. When people say that ECW doesn’t hold up well, there is a lot I can agree on that may not hold up to modern fan’s eyes. But this I feel is a good example to show that is not always the case.
NWA World Tag Team Championship
The Steiner Brothers vs. Doom
Clash of the Champions XI: Coastal Crush – June 13, 1990
A super fun smash mouth tag with these four in front of a hot crowd at The Citadel’s arena. Steiners were so over here and Scott in this time was one of the best wrestlers in the world. He would start a singles run around this time too. Innovative mix of offense and power with him. Love the backflip powerslams. Doom is a team that I like the gimmick more than I like the performers doing it, but Ron Simmons and Butch Reed definitely held up their end of the match. This was maybe their best match between the pair and it was the blowoff to their long series. You can also find matches at Havoc ‘89, Starrcade ‘89, Capital Combat, and another Clash match before this one, but I feel this is the best. The Capital Combat match is worth watching too, but this one is a like six minutes shorter and all the good stuff is a little more contained in the 12 minutes or so this goes.
Little Guido & Tony Mamaluke vs. Super Crazy/Tajiri
ECW One Night Stand – June 10, 2006 (event labeled as taking place on June 10, 2006)
More Tajiri and Super Crazy on the list, but hey, what rational minded person can complain about that?
This month marks the ten year anniversary of the second One Night Stand, which was a little less heralded and beloved as much as the original, but it had it’s moments. There’s a batshit nuts Edge/Cactus vs. Funk/Dreamer match, the spectacle of Rey/Sabu, and the great crowd for RVD/Cena. There’s also a this hot tag match. The crowd is just SO into all four of these guys too so it adds to it a ton. It goes about twelve minutes and hits all of each guy’s spots and double teams. There is a segment with Tajiri and Guido that is just beautiful pro wrestling. Mamaluke takes his trademark psychotic bumps too. Turn off after the finish and if you’ve heard the Big Show’s theme song, you’ve played it too far.