WWE Network Collections Collection
It can be a daunting labyrinth to find individual matches on WWE Network. They put up a "Collections" section, which would cover significant matches and moments for significant wrestlers/teams/stables/match types. Even within those collections, most of the matches are the most famous ones that you've already seen 10 times. But there are some hidden gems if you search through the collection of collections, which is what I've done in this collection of matches from said collections of collections. Collect 'em all.
Randy Savage vs Steve Austin
What a dream match! On Saturday Night. While Austin has been a jobber for months. Just a couple of balding guys trying to hide their bald spots. "Looking for a little excitement in your life? Snap Randy's dad's back!" Lol. For very short match, this is pretty heated, and Austin gets quite a bit of offense. Well, all the "offense" is punches/eye rakes/stomps, but still. A real shame this was their only meeting. Macho won with the elbow drop in about 2 minutes. Imagine this match a year earlier. What could have been.
Randy Orton vs John Cena
Both men were just a few months away from getting called up to the main roster. In fact, this is Randy's last OVW match before getting called up. Weird seeing these guys in a match with Cena as the heel. Kenny Bolin takes a punch. Jim Cornette's announcing is so obnoxious here. You don't have to scream everything, man. You also don't have to call EVERY SINGLE thing on the screen. Let it breathe. Cena is able to turn the tide of the match with a flapjack after Randy having an answer for everything he could throw out. There was a pretty cool spot where Cena threw Orton on top of the ring post. Orton starts to fire up, and his come back spot was the same in 2002 that it was in 2014. Protoplex OUTTA NOWHERE! Cena wins as Orton leaves the territory.
Bruno Sammartino vs Mr. Fuji
Now, I normally would never go out of my way to watch anything with Mr. Fuji in the ring, but this site needs more Bruno. Fuji is billed as weighing more than Bruno. Lol. Jesus Christ, the ring is so fucking loud. Sounds like a thunder storm ever time someone takes a bump. Fuji is able to use his devious cheap shots to get the advantage over Bruno, while Bruno uses his brawn. I swear they do a body slam > up kick > arm drag spot 3 times in a row. So weird. And it's also shown on replays. Then they repeat a spot of Fuji having a PECTORAL CLAW on and Bruno getting out by stomping the feet twice. Fuji takes something out of his tights and rakes Bruno's eyes with it. Repeatedly. It's like they had 3 spots planned and decided they'd do them 3 times each. Fuji goes up top, gets slammed, then Bruno wins with a back body drop. The heat Fuji was getting just based on his cheap shots was amazing, because he was clearly a terrible wrestler. Didn't seem to matter much. Xenophobia and racism wins out again!
Daniel Bryan vs William Regal
It's weird to me that at this point, Bryan was the holder of the MITB briefcase and was involved in the main events of Smackdown, yet this match is taking place on...Superstars. It's also in England. During Regal's entrance, his music stops to play HE'S A MAN, SUCH A MAAAAAAAANN. Lol. Bryan and Regal share a giggle, then Regal has to get back into angry cunt mode. Lol. Regal played more of a role as a trainer in Bryan's career than HBK, so this is the true teacher vs student match of Bryan's career. Bryan starts getting a little too cocky for his own good, which pisses Regal off. Regal's reaction to an uppercut was tremendous, as was the camera work involved. A lot of that nifty WoS type grappling and knuckle locks and what not. Tempers flare, with both throwing their preferred strikes, and Bryan then goes after the leg. Half nelson suplex OUTTA NOWHERE. Bryan wins after a head kick and the LeBell Lock. Really nice match. Regal showing how to work within your limitations to still be able to keep up with someone much younger, smaller, and more athletic, but making it looks completely believable for both sides. 1994 Regal against 2011 Bryan would have been incredible. As it was, this 10 minute TV match in 2011 was pretty damn enjoyable.
Venum Black vs Histeria
Just a straight up AAA match on WWE TV. I can't tell which show this was on. Maybe Shotgun? I can tell you that these fans don't give a flying fuck about these guys, probably wondering who this bootleg Psychosis is. It doesn't help that they're both very sloppy. LOOOOOL at Histeria trying a super rana and somehow landing face first on the bottom turnbuckle. Brehs missing dives, mising ranas, just missing. Turns out it is Shotgun Challenge. This is so bad. Lol. Holy shit, Black Venum does a phoenix splash moonsault thing to the floor. Finally got a reaction at least. Kevin Kelly and Ray Rougeau is a weird commentary team. Venum Black wins with a shooting star press, but he was called Histeria the whole time.
Dusty Rhodes vs Superstar Billy Graham WWWF Championship
Texas Death Match
Vince does a promo with Dusty before the match. He loved it. And MSG loved Dusty. Superstar's arms were incredible. Dusty attacks while Billy was taking his shirt off. What a heel. Wait. Superstar is quickly begging off and bailing to ringside. I love the hard cam being elevated and actually looking down on the action. I know WWE still uses that set up at shows today, but they never use the angle on TV. It's like a boxing angle. Dusty's fire ups are something else. After repeated stretches of Dusty bouncing Superstar around, then Superstar bailing for a while, Superstar finally gets a cheap shot in and busts Dusty open. Billy gets a rope from under the ring and uses it to choke Dusty. Almost like they're setting up a bull rope match or something. Dusty gets a hold of it and briefly hangs Superstar. What a classic shot. Lol at Vince freaking out when Superstar got thrown into the table and it fell over. Superstar is bleeding now. Dusty has the match won, but he puts his feet on the ropes...and the ref stops the count. Even though there are no rules in this match. Superstar hits a shoulder block, which apparently KO's Dusty, as he takes his sweet ass time to make a cover, and then as soon as the ref counts to 3, Dusty rolls over and hits a bunch of elbow drops. What a weird finish. Title retained.
Undertaker/Big Show vs Rock N' Sock Connection WWF Tag Team Championships
Buried Alive Match
Man, the Show/Taker theme is fucking dope. Mankind enters the match before Rock even comes out, because he's an idiot. Taker pairs off with Rock. Cameras barely pay attention to Mankind and Show until they head up to the grave. Show is in the grave! Show is in the grave! It's just random brawling. Taker appears to tear his groin rolling down the hill. Then Show tries to throw Mankind from the stage into the grave. Poor Mick didn't make it. Even with a full running start, he still didn't land in the grave. I mean, he did...after he bounced off the ground first. He somehow recovers almost immediately, putting the Mandible Claw on Show. Rock and Taker are now brawling around in the back, where HHH attacks Rock. Taker leaves them be, while Kane shows up to attack HHH. Chyna shows up and hits Kane with a chair, and he chases her away. Meanwhile, Mankind is just trying to bury Show all by himself. Mankind starts getting buried when Rock returns. There is so much shit going on in this. HHH comes out and hits...Big Show with the sledgehammer. What? Why would he do that if he was beating up Rock just a minute ago? He BERRIES Mankind, and Taker/Rock brawl to the back AGAIN. New champions! Even though Big Show is dead, and HHH is the one that did the burying. An ambulance comes out, presumably to get Show or Mankind, but SWERVE, Austin was inside! DTA: DON'T TRUST AMBULANCES. He puts HHH in the ambulance, drives it out back, then runs into it with a semi. Fuck yo white hummer, WCW. God damn, this was Russo as fuck. A gimmick tag match, three run ins, one guy attacking both teams, one guy doing a run in to attack the first run in, then stealing two vehicles, and finally concluding with attempted vehicular homicide.
Paul London vs Akio
Shout out to Velocity. It's really weird that they changed Yang's name when he came into WWE. He was all over late WCW PPVs. Just pretending he was a different guy is strange. Paul London is also strange. Just in general. And he hits a dive about 2 minutes in. When he gets back in the ring, Yang catches a kick and flings it up, which sees Paul flipping backwards into the ropes, lawn darting his fucking head into the mat. "HOLY SHIT!" I agree, Josh. What a crazy looking spot. Yang goes after the neck after this. Strike battle! What is NJ doing on my secondary WWE show? Paul's chest is shredded up from the chops. Just really beating the shit out of each other. Paul wins with a flying DDT that looked like it killed Yang. This was about as dope as 6 minute match can get. This type of stuff is why Velocity was the shit.
Shawn Michaels/Ric Flair vs Randy Savage/Bret Hart
I can't believe that Vince wasn't running HBK/Macho and Bret/Flair matches in the US. And when they did, it was just on house shows. Like...fuck. This was a dark match at a random Superstars taping. A taping that saw Repo Man/Beverly Brothers vs Duggan/Bushwhackers and Papa Shango/Razor/Bret/Nailz squash matches. To run this at the end of it almost makes up for how fucking terrible that show must have been. Since it's a dark match, there's no commentary. It's interesting to hear the 1992 crowd, generally thought to be terrible, dead, and small being a packed house full of rowdy fans. Flair is very over here in Massachusetts. Bret and HBK begin, as you'd imagine. The lack of commentary gives this a totally different feel than most matches from the era. It's really interesting. Everything has more...impact, I guess. Macho slaps Ric around for a bit, then HBK runs into the post shoulder first. Bret and Macho take turns working it. There's really not a lot going on, but it is very enjoyable seeing all the interactions in this. The lack of commentary makes it kind of feel like you're there. Macho ends up as FIP, with the match being centered around cutting him off from tags. Bret gets the hot tag and goes to town. Then Earl counts as Savage rolls up HBK (with a handful of tights) despite neither of them being the legal man. And clearly not being the legal men. There was no way Earl could have got mixed up, because he literally was watching Shawn break up a pin that Bret had on Flair, then Savage rolled up HBK.
It's baffling to me that WWE has all this content from random shows digitized and cleaned up, yet wait until someone dies to put it out.