This Week In WWE Vintage Collection History: New Beginnings For A Tag Team, An Entire Promotion And Dr. Thuggypants
By Aaron Wood Jan 22, 2012 - 7:24 AM
COLLECTION #191 Remember
when at the end of last week's episode, I noted that Mean Gene said
"we're only in the middle" of these New Beginnings shows.
Well, either Gene doesn't know what "middle" or he'd been
ribbed because he opened up noting that this was the LAST New
Beginnings show, which would include a new start for one of the WWE's
we would be starting with a tag team, namely The Midnight Express.
But which one? For at Starrcade 88, two versions of the team would
collide as the Original version of the team, in "Loverboy"
Dennis Condrey and "Ravishing" Randy Rose were brought in
by Paul E. Dangerously to take on the-then current iteration with
"Sweet" Stan Lane and "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton,
managed by Jim Cornette. Paul E. thought the original was better
than Corny's which which would prevail?
this video is a segment of the show, rather than the match, as I
couldn't find the match as a self-contained unit. However, this
video does pick up mere second after the introductions and bell.
in the studio, Gene said that for years, ECW had been the alternative
to WWE and WCW, and some of the most memorable matches and moments
took place in the arena that housed Extreme Championship Wrestling.
And even after the doors closed, they had such an impact on wrestling
that crowds would continue to chant "ECW" for years to
come. And on June 13th 2006, the ECW brand was resurrected and had
it's debut show, main eventing with a 10-man Extreme Battle Royal,
with the winner getting John Cena at Vengeance. Gene noted earlier
this was the first time ECW was featured on Vintage Collection.
Without checking, he could be right as I can't remember any ECW
previously, for obvious reasons.
notes on how it aired, at least on this UK airing on Sunday morning.
After the break, when Joey said "ECW On Sci Fi", the "On
Sci Fi" was muted. Also, given that this aired on a Sunday
morning, suffice to say that when the weapons came out, it became a
nightmare of freeze-framing and clever editing.
the break, it was time for our final "New Beginning", as we
went to Smackdown on the 4th of July 2002, and backstage with Vince
McMahon & Chris Jericho, who were talking as as the young rookie
who had debuted the week previous knocked on the door and came into
the room. That young rookie? John Cena.
shook his hand and said he was impressed with him last week, showing
the Ruthless Aggression he was looking for. Vince introduced
Jericho, who refused to shake Cena's hand. Y2J riled against him and
his "ruthless aggression" with his green tights and spiky
hair. He wondered what ruthless aggression Cena had. So Cena
slapped the holy hell out of Jericho. He sure got the note to "make
it look good".
in the studio, Gene set up the match that would take place later as
when Cena burst on the Smackdown scene, he attracted the attention of
the WWE Universe right away, as well as the unwanted attention of
Chris Jericho. While Cena would put a halt to Jericho's career a few
years later, it was Jericho to tried to stifle Cena's early run.
the break, we went to the Smackdown of January 30th 2003, as Cena
came out with Redd Dogg (Rodney Mack), cutting a rap. However, we
didn't hear it as Gene talked about his change in attitude, as Cena
was coming to the ring for a match against Eddie Guerrero. We did end
up hearing the last few lines of the rap. But then again, it's all
in the video...
said that the Lie, Chest and Steal mentality of Los Guerreros would
prove too much for Cena on this occasion. Some months later, they
would engage in a bitter feud over the US Title, ending a in Parking
Lot Brawl, where would once again would lose. But it was only part
of the ascent to the World Champion leader of the CeNation. Gene
then signed off.
match was set up for the Midnight Express & Jim Cornette against
The Original Midnight Express & Paul Heyman for the February PPV,
with the loser of the fall being fired. However, due to politics
backstage, Dennis Condrey quit the promotion before the match rather
than take the pay day. The match went ahead with Jack Victory
subbing for Condrey. The result of the match would see Randy Rose
take the loss and indeed leave the NWA.
Lane & Bobby Eaton would themselves leave the NWA for a short
period later in 1988 due to issues with their direction and booking.
However, they soon returned to what was a thriving tag team division,
coming back in time to take part in a tournament to crown new tag
champions after the belts had been vacated, although they lost in the
finals to the Freebirds.
ressurected ECW would last nearly four years on Sci Fi/Syfy before
ending in February 2010, although Heyman's "vision" of the
new ECW was killed off after the disastrous December To Dismember
PPV, although in my view, it was often under-rated, especially around
the 2009 time frame when it had week upon week of good matches and
for the winner of the Battle Royal, Sabu, he faced Cena at Vengeance
in what ended up as an Extreme Lumberjack match, featuring members of
both the RAW and ECW rosters. Cena would win the match however by
submission. Sabu would however engage in a feud with Paul Heyman and
his chosen ECW Champion Big Show, a move which came about after RVD
was busted for drugs by the cops.
had been due to face Edge at the upcoming Vengeance, but elsewhere on
that Smackdown episode, Edge and Hulk Hogan would defeat Billy &
Chuck for the Tag Titles, defending them (and losing to) against the
UnAmericans at the PPV, so Jericho ended up in a rematch with Cena,
wich Cena pulling out the win this time.
that. a couple of months after Vengeance, Jericho found himself sent
back to RAW, although he would quickly win the IC Title. And despite
dropping that quickly, he'd then soon win the World Tag Titles with
would float around for a while after his feud with Jericho until
teaming with Billy Kidman in the tournament to crown the first WWE
Tag Champions, since the World Tag Titles were exclusive to
Smackdown. However, after losing in the first round, Cena attacked
Kidman, before he famously dropped a rap at the Halloween party and
turned his career around. Indeed, he saved it as he was being
considered for being cut.
losing to Eddie here, they would meet again a couple of months later
in a tournament to decide a contender for Brock Lesnar's WWE Title at
Backlash. Not only did Cena win that match, but he would win the
shot at Lesnar, although he would be ultimately unsuccessful. Then
soon after a PPV loss to Undertaker, Cena would turn babyface once
again, and has never turned since.
the time of his match with Cena, Eddie was actually tag champion with
Chavo. However, on the following week's episode, they would lose to
Haas & Benjamin, then part of Team Angle. Los Guerreros would
remain unsuccessful in rematches, both at Wrestlemania 19 and
Backlash. However, after Chavo tore his bicep, Eddie would start
teaming with Tajiri, and they would win the Tag Titles at Judgement