We’re nearing the end of Pass Me the Mike’s countdown of 30 (and then some) Unheralded Wrestling Gems, but there’s still more to come!
Entries 30-25 can be found HERE.
Entries 24-19 can be found HERE.
Entries 18-13 can be found HERE.
12) Jason Jett vs. Kwee Wee (WCW Greed – March 18, 2001)
There’s just no polite way to say that the late-era WCW product was complete and utter garbage. So, the late-era WCW product was straight trash. This match from WCW’s final pay-per-view, though, was a COMPLETE surprise as Jett, the former EZ Money in ECW, took on Kwee Wee. Jett really took some big-time bumps in what ended up being a really fun opener. Eight days later, the final WCW Nitro episode aired and the company was donezo.
11) The Steiner Brothers vs. The Nasty Boys (Halloween Havoc – October 27, 1990)
The Nasty Boys were never known for their great technical skills. Paired against The Steiners – a more technically sound team with amateur backgrounds, this one could’ve easily been a mess due to a clash of styles. The end result was a good match as the Steiners, too, are great at throwing blows. After a big brawl to start things off, the match settled into more of a standard contest with Knobbs and Sags isolating Scott Steiner. A wicked Steinerline from Rick followed by a Frankensteiner from Scott on Knobbs spelled the end for the Nasties and their United States Tag Team Title hopes.
10) Marty Jannetty vs. Shawn Michaels (WWF Monday Night RAW – July 19, 1993)
A couple of months prior to this, Jannetty had made a surprise return to the WWF, defeating his former partner for the Intercontinental Championship in one of the more well-known matches from RAW’s early days. Michaels regained the title less than a month later and again defended the title against Jannetty on this episode of RAW. Thanks to a replay reversal of an apparent Jannetty victory early in the match, Michaels went on to retain the title. This match has a really unique finish, with Jannetty taking a tumble over the top rope and HBK’s bodyguard, Diesel merely placing him back in the ring for Michaels to cover him for the win.
9) The Midnight Express vs. The Southern Boys (WCW Great American Bash – July 7, 1990)
My buddy Dion likes to talk about how little Stan Lane ever did in Midnight Express matches, leaving Bobby Eaton to do all the work. I’ve never taken the time to truly test his assertion that Lane did nothing, but if you use this match as an example, it certainly seems plausible. The first of three tag matches (not counting a six-man tag) on this show was a good one as the Midnights defended the United States Tag Team Titles against Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong. Eaton was absolutely the workhorse in this one for The Midnight Express and, after a series of near falls, caught Smothers with an inside cradle after he was kicked by Lane to secure the victory.
AND THEN SOME: I mentioned a Sid Vicious squash match earlier in the countdown and there was a pretty good squash on this show, too. In his WCW debut, Big Van Vader made short work of the Z-Man a couple of years before he would sit atop the promotion as its champion.
8) Mick Foley vs. Terry Funk (WWF RAW – May 4, 1998)
With a chance to become the No. 1 contender for “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s WWF Championship hanging in the balance, Mick Foley, as himself, clashed with best friend Terry Funk in a no holds barred match in RAW’s main event. It didn’t take long for this one to turn into a pier sixer and Austin, who was on commentary, even got into the action by assaulting Jerry “The King” Lawler. This one went into the crowd and Funk even pulled off a moonsault from an elevated railing onto Foley and a couple of other random people. A hell of a fight and they did a great job of playing up the friendship on commentary and in a video package before the match.
7) Lex Luger vs. Dan Spivey (WCW Wrestle War ’91 – February 24, 1991)
There is no way this match should’ve been as good as it was. Luger is, well, Luger. Capable of good matches with the right opponent. And I really like “Dangerous” Dan, but let’s be real – he’s not making very many people’s “Greatest Wrestlers of All-Time” lists. These two tore the house down on a show that featured several good matches, including an awesome War Games main event. I love the surprise finish here with the top-rope bodyslam attempt being turned into a small package. Great finish to a surprisingly awesome match.
AND THEN SOME: Be sure to also check out the Bobby Eaton/Brad Armstrong match, as well as the Japanese women’s tag team match featuring Itsuki Yamazaki and Mami Kitamura taking on Miki Handa and Miss A.