Bryan Turner’s VHS Rehab YouTube channel has been uploading old Tennessee wrestling footage from a variety of different promotions that had previously been thought of as lost footage. Thankfully, a lot of footage has been donated to Bryan and he’s been posting new matches and segments every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Full shows published on Saturday’s.
Match #1: Brian Christopher vs. ‘King” Mike Rapada – USA Championship Wrestling – 6/9/2001
Reason For Reviewing: It’s obvious that Rapada is doing a gimmick to insult Jerry Lawler the father of Brian Christopher. I’m not entirely sure that I’d be interested in this match had it not been clear that he’s getting heat on Lawler. I believe this is shortly after Christopher getting released from the WWF. So, I’m sure he’ll be sticking to the Too Cool persona and style. I’d much rather see Christopher doing his early Memphis gimmick, but he’s fresh off WWF and the fans will want to see that. Actually, Rapada has apparently stolen Lawler’s cape and crown. Oh, it’s personal then.
Christopher goes after Rapada on the floor after they traded some words and sends Rapada into the ring post face first. Christopher sends Rapada into a pizza sign. Christopher bulldogs Rapada on the floor before they return to the ring. Christopher boots Rapada in the corner and goes after Ernest, Rapada’s manager. Rapada nails Christopher with an axe handle from the apron. Rapada sends Christopher into the ring post. Rapada nails Christopher with a weapon around his fist. Rapada is using a chain on Christopher and chokes Christopher over the bottom rope. Rapada continues with an elbow drop and gets a two count. Rapada continues with a back suplex for a two count. Rapada dropkicks Christopher leading to a near fall. Christopher almost gets a three with a rollup. Rapada rams the back of Christopher’s head onto the mat. Christopher decks Rapada with a right hand to avoid a backdrop attempt. Christopher decks Rapada with a few right hands. They collide heads and drop to the mat as the show goes to commercial.
Rapada eye rakes Christopher and tries for a pileriver, but Christopher counters with a low blow. Christopher continues to deck Rapada with right hands. Christopher plants Rapada with a DDT for a near fall. Christopher rams Rapada into the corner head first and continues to deliver right hands. Christopher tries for a springboard crossbody, but accidentally hits the referee. Christopher sends Ernest and Rapada into each other as the referee is down. Christopher decks Ernest to the floor. Rapada hits Christopher from behind with the trumpet and manages to pin Christopher for the win! (**1/4. I enjoyed this one as there was some good brawling early on and the crowd energy added to the encounter. I was shocked that Rapada won the match, but I love the decision and allows for a rematch. The rematch has added value with Rapada having a win over Christopher. A solid match and I’d be interested in seeing a return bout.)
Match #2: Air Paris vs. Elix Skipper – NWA Worldwide Wrestling – April 2000
Reason For Reviewing: An interesting match here as Paris is a guy that I’ve been wanting to see in action. Paris had a lot of hype prior to getting a shot in WCW. It was usually Paris and AJ Styles getting a lot of attention. Skipper has grown on me after seeing him compete a lot in TNA. I’m sure this will be a little rough, but I’m interested in it.
Paris gets control with a headlock to start the contest. Paris shoulder blocks Skipper and runs the ropes where Skipper hits an arm drag and hip toss. Paris hip tosses Skipper and they both go for dropkicks leading to a standoff. Skipper backs Paris into a corner by attempting a kick. Paris eye rakes Skipper and works over Skipper with strikes in the corner. Skipper hits a hurricanrana and sends Paris to the floor. Skipper takes Paris down to the mat and controls with an STF until Paris reaches the ropes. Skipper puts an arm bar on Paris, but doesn’t get a submission. The show goes to commercial.
Skipper has kept a hammerlock on Paris and gets a two count. Skipper goes back to arm control with his knee on Paris face. Skipper tries for a hip toss, but Paris counters with a swinging neckbreaker. Paris sends Skipper over the top to the floor. Paris connects with a sit out slam for a two count. Paris dumps Skipper to the floor and Prentice attacks Skipper behind the referees back. Paris dives over the top to take Skipper out with a dive. Paris eye rakes Skipper on the mat a few times. Paris eye rakes Skipper over the top rope. Prentice cheap shots Skipper while the referee is distracted. Skipper decks Paris to the mat and has a cover, but the referee isn’t paying attention. Paris sends Skipper to the floor and Prentice stomps on Skipper. Paris goes to the top rope missing a swanton bomb, but may have actually grazed Skipper. Paris plants Skipper with a sit out spinebuster for a near fall. Paris keeps a chin lock on Skipper. Skipper connects with a wheelbarrow suplex and both men are down. Skipper hammers away on Paris and hits a belly to belly suplex. Skipper tosses Paris with an overhead suplex. Paris stops Skipper with a low blow. Prentice chokes Skipper on the apron to help Paris. Paris sits Skipper on the top turnbuckle and they trade strikes. Skipper shoves Paris off and hits a missile dropkick. Skipper landed on his feet and covers Paris for the clean win! (**. The finish was a little abrupt, but I thought they both looked good in there. The match wasn’t sloppy as clearly both men are better in the ring at this point than I expected. Skipper’s offense looked really good and it doesn’t surprise me that he was on WCW TV on a regular basis in just a few months.)
Match #3: Chris Michaels vs. James Storm – USA Championship Wrestling – 2005
Reason For Reviewing: After previously watching the feud between Michaels and Chase Stevens from USWO, I picked this match to see how Michaels works against a guy like James Storm. Michaels worked well as a heel in the Stevens feud and I’m hoping for some quality action here. The Stevens/Michaels series happened after this as Stevens is aligned with Michaels and at ringside for the match.
They lockup with Michaels getting a side headlock for early control. Storm tries to get out, but Michaels keeps control and shoulder blocks Storm. Storm comes back with a hip toss, arm drag and dropkicks Michaels to the floor. A fan in the second row really wants to fight Chase Sevens. Storm goes to the floor and decks Stevens, which the crowd loves. Storm gets a two count on Michaels with a rollup. Michaels bails to the floor to regroup with Stevens. Storm and Michaels do drop downs until Michaels falls through the ropes to the floor. The crowd is loving the humor aspect of the match. Michaels shoulder blocks Storm and they do the drop downs again. Storm pretends to fall to the floor and instead trips Michaels from the floor. Michaels misses a splash in the corner. Storm pulls Michaels groin first into the ring post. Storm rams Michaels several times into the post groin first. Storm punches Michaels a few times in the corner. Michaels sends Storm into the corner and pulls Storm to the corner, but Storm sends Michaels into the post face first. Stevens comes in while the referee is distracted to heel kick Storm.
Michaels gains control by choking Storm over the middle rope. Stevens chokes Storm over the ropes while the referee is dealing with Michaels. Storm is stopped by an eye rake. Michaels stomps Storm in the corner. Stevens hip tosses Storm on the floor. Michaels elbows Storm coming off the ropes and manages a two count. Storm stops Michaels with a side Russian leg sweep. They trade strikes with Storm getting the advantage and elbows Michaels to the mat. Storm goes to the top, but is crotched by Stevens. Michaels hooks Storm and hits a superplex. Michaels goes for a cover, but Storm kicks out. Storm hammers away on Michaels to get the momentum. Michaels kicks Storm and hits a neckbreaker for a near fall. Storm boots Michaels in the corner and drops down to deal with Stevens. Storm ducks a superkick and sends Michaels into Stevens to get the win with a rollup. After the match, Michaels stomps on Storm and Stevens helps attack Storm. Chris Vaughn runs into the ring and makes the save. Humongous scares the heels off. (**. They did a good job with getting the crowd into the action with their comedy. The action was fine for what it was, as well. The main takeaway from this was the effective crowd work by Storm and Michaels while not having to do too much to keep the crowd invested.)
Match #4: Rock n’ Roll Express vs. The Tennessee Vols (Riggins & Dunn) – MCW Wrestling – 1997
Reason For Reviewing: I’m a sucker for the Rock ’n’ Roll Express and it’s Tennessee so it’s a given that I’m going to have to check it out. Riggins is a guy that I’ve only ever really seen as an enhancement wrestler. Dunn was part of the lackluster Well Dunn team in WWF. I’m giving them a shot to impress here with the Express.
Gibson and Dunn kickoff the match with Dunn backing Gibson into the corner, but cleanly backs off. Dunn shoulder blocks Gibson, but Gibson hip tosses Dunn and decks Riggins on the apron. Dunn accidentally decks Riggins on the apron as Gibson broke free. Morton grabs Dunn and sends Dunn into Riggins knocking both men to the floor. Dunn hammers away on Morton, but Morton decks Dunn to the floor again. Dunn hammers away on Morton, but slides through Morton’s leg and is knocked to the floor with a right hand. Gibson nails Dunn with a strike. The show goes commercial.
Riggins has a headlock on Morton and delivers a shoulder block to send Morton into the corner. Riggins runs the ropes and shoulder blocks Morton again to the mat. Riggins knee lifts Morton in the corner followed by forearm strikes. Morton atomic drops Riggins and taunts Riggins. Morton takes Riggins down to the mat and tags in Gibson to deliver a knee drop. Gibson and Morton roll across the ring to deck Dunn off the apron. Dunn returns to the match as Gibson tags into the match, as well. Gibson takes Dunn down to the mat and Morton returns to the match to work over the legs. Riggins is punched off the apron. Morton atomic drops Dunn and Gibson hits a clothesline knocking Dunn to the floor. Dunn returns to the ring and tries to shake hands with Morton. Morton eye rakes Dunn, but misses a spear in the corner and hits the post shoulder first. Morton is double teamed as Gibson is distracting the referee. Riggins sends Morton hard into the corner to maintain the advantage. The show goes to another commercial.
Vols drop Morton over their knees with a double gut buster. Dunn tags in Riggins to continue to double team Morton as Gibson distracts the referee. Riggins takes Morton down with a vertical suplex for a near fall. Riggins keeps Morton on the mat with a sleeper. Dunn comes off the ropes to kick Morton. Dunn enters the match and keeps the sleeper on Morton. Riggins delivers an axe handle from the middle rope. Morton is sent into the corner and Riggins connects with a powerslam for a near fall. Dunn chokes Morton in the corner and continues with a choke. Dunn sends Morton through the ropes to the floor. Dunn tries for a cover, but Morton gets his boot on the bottom rope. Morton comes off the ropes to deliver a DDT. Morton tags in Gibson and Gibson cleans house with strikes to the Vols. All four men are in the ring at this point. The Vols are sent into each other and Riggins falls to the floor. Dunn uppercuts Morton. Reggie Rivera comes in with a chair and hits the Vols to make the save. The Vols win by disqualification. (*1/2. A bit of a disappointing match as the bout was slow and they never really got going. The finish was lame and protected either team from doing the job. Riggins and Dunn failed to produce quality action.)
That wraps up this edition. Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.