Date: April 17, 2020
Host: Tom Phillips
So now things have really changed around here and I’m not entirely sure why. Some of it might have to do with both regular commentators being released on Wednesday but it’s not like you need to be the best commentator around to call a show like this. Instead, we have a show about the wrestlers themselves, but not in the way you might expect. Let’s get to it.
Tom Phillips says that while the Interim Cruiserweight Title tournament is going on, we’ll be looking at the matches that inspired some of the best cruiserweights. Tonight, we start with Brian Kendrick, with a match that inspired him and a match that he was in.
Kendrick talks about going over to a friend’s house but seeing them watching the end of a wrestling tape. This is what he saw and it made him want to be a wrestler.
From Wrestlemania VI:
WWF World Title/Intercontinental Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior
Title for title. The fans are WAY into this one as they come to life more than they have all night long. Warrior comes out first and stands on the corner as Hogan makes his entrance for an awesome visual. The crowd is totally split here. I don’t mean the WWE definition of totally split where it’s 70/30 at best. I mean it’s dead even here with both guys being equally loved.
They lock up to start and both guys are shoved into the corner. We get the iconic test of strength with Hogan going down first, only to fight back up and take Warrior down. They trade slams but it’s Warrior getting the better of it and clotheslining Hogan to the floor. Hulk comes up holding his knee and says he’s blown it out. He gets back in and Warrior kicks away at the knee but Hulk stops selling it about ten seconds later and it’s never mentioned again.
Hulk comes back with right hands and a clothesline in the corner as the fans are losing their minds over every single move. Off to a front facelock on Warrior (Jesse: “Ask Richard Belzer!” Belzer was a talk show host that Hogan put in a front facelock and knocked him unconscious, leading to a lawsuit. That’s quite the edgy reference.) before going back to just punching Warrior in the head. We hit the chinlock on Warrior and the fans are even into this.
A belly to back suplex gets two on Warrior and it’s back to the chinlock. Back up again and it’s a double clothesline to drop both guys. Jesse gets it right again by saying Hogan should be in better shape because he’s been in control for so long. Warrior gets up and starts shaking the ropes, setting up the running clotheslines. A suplex gets two on Hulk and we hit the bearhug. Two arm drops mean it’s time for Hogan’s comeback, only to have Warrior run over the referee. Warrior hits a pair of top rope ax handles but misses a shoulder and gets driven face first into the mat.
There’s no one to count so Warrior belly to back suplexes him for the same result. Hogan gets a VERY slow two off a rollup as the referee is only halfway back into it. Warrior is knocked to the floor but comes back in for the gorilla press. The splash connects but Hogan kicks out at two and it’s Hulk Up time. Warrior takes the big boot but the legdrop only hits mat, setting up the second splash to give Warrior the pin and the title at 22:50.
Result: Ultimate Warrior b. Hulk Hogan – Splash (22:50)
Hogan is stunned and dejected at his first ever clean loss in the company. The referee brings Warrior both titles and the camera focuses on just Warrior so the WWF World Title can be returned to ringside, allowing Hogan to go get it. He hands it to Warrior and endorses the new champion before riding away in the card, leaving Warrior to celebrate to end the show.
You might know this one:
Kendrick talks about being proud of his title reigns, but there is a match that made him think he might be done after it was over.
From the Cruiserweight Classic on August 31, 2016.
Quarterfinals: Brian Kendrick vs. Kota Ibushi
USA vs. Japan. Kendrick invites him to the floor which isn’t a common strategy in this tournament. Ibushi doesn’t bite but he does kick Kendrick in the head and hits a big dive to take over. Kota misses a kick though and gets his foot caught in the barricade so Kendrick dives in to try for a countout. They’re doing a good job here of having Kendrick win any way he can against the younger and more talented Ibushi.
More kicks have Kendrick in trouble so he grabs a neckbreaker across the turnbuckle rod for a unique counter. Brian grabs a cravate to stay on the bad (and surgically repaired) neck, only to eat a dropkick to put both guys down. A middle rope moonsault gets two for Ibushi but Kendrick superkicks his head off to get them back to even. Sliced Bread #2 gets another near fall for Kendrick so Ibushi gives him a release German superplex from just off the corner to knock Brian silly.
Kendrick tries the Bully Choke but Ibushi turns to the side to make it a regular chinlock. A Burning Hammer of all things makes Ibushi’s neck even worse, though not enough to put him away. Ibushi misses a middle rope Phoenix splash and another Bully Choke has Ibushi in trouble. He breaks the hold with a rollup though and the Golden Star Bomb finally ends Brian’s run at 13:57.
Result: Kota Ibushi b. Brian Kendrick – Golden Star Bomb (13:57)
It’s an emotional moment:
Daniel cries as he talks about Brian’s run being over.
Tom wraps it up.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!