Welcome to NXT! We’re kicking things off right tonight with a first round match in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic that promises to be glorious!
We begin things backstage where Ezekiel “Big Ryck” Jackson is signing a contract with Dario Cueto. Dario tells him, “When I invited Johnny Mundo to Lucha Underground, I wanted to use him as an example that no matter the talent, the reputation, the flash, no one is safe. Put everyone on notice because violence is my favorite kind of entertainment.“ Champagne gets busted out and Big Ryck lights up a cigar.
It’s Lucha Underground!
“That goofy Leatherface” makes his USWA debut, coming out with Embry and Ta-Gar to scare the hell out of Dave Brown and Michael St. John with his chainsaw.
Embry cuts a promo and yells some shit about Jerry Lawler. He declares, “Well you know, Lawler’s a little bit more stupider than what I thought he was,” and then gets in the ring with youngster Tim Hall.
Sadly this is the final appearance of Ta-Gar on Memphis TV. After the match, Eric Embry runs out and to jump Lawler, but Lawler knocks him out of the ring. There’s then an old clip of Jackie Fargo wrecking house on Moondogs because he’s coming in to team with Lawler in an upcoming bout against Leatherface and Eric Embry.
Ta-Gar the Lord of Volcanoes apparently comes from space and arrived in Memphis in the summer of ‘91 looking for gladiators to challenge. A youngster by the name of Randy Johnson answers Ta-Gar’s call and promptly gets beat down via a flaming claw hold. “Superstar” Bill Dundee shows up with a chair to chase Ta-Gar off before bellowing some shit about needing a belt around your waist if you want to get real paid and then challenging the decidedly beltless Ta-Gar to a match.
Adam Bomb’s WWF in ring debut and he’s sloppy as fuck. Adam Bomb has some shitty offense and Virgil pretty much runs roughshod on him for most of the match until he misses with a top rope maneuver allowing Adam Bomb to hit a terrible looking powerslam for the win.
Some English speaking dude on commentary summarizes this match best when he says, “What the hell is this? This isn’t wrestling. This is bullshit.”
Forget Rikidozan or Giant Baba or Shinsuke Nakamura. The greatest pro-wrestler ever to come from Japan is Survival Tobita. Tobita is the owner of Saitama Pro-Wrestling Company, a glorified backyard federation, in which he fights tirelessly to defend Earth from a never ending horde of monsters that seek to destroy us all.
Here Tobita is going up against a somewhat more human opponent as he goes one on one against former AJPW/WAR wrestler, Kodo Fuyuki. Fuyuki, perhaps to prove his manliness, agrees to be handcuffed during the match.
Things go rather well for Tobita in the early going of the match until a hideous fiend emerges with bolt cutters freeing Fuyuki who then proceeds to lay waste to Survival Tobita. It’s a stark reminder of what can happen when Tobita lets his guard down for even a moment.
Oh and Genichiro Tenryu shows up and yells stuff because early aughts Japanese wrestling…
On June 22, 1998, Edge made his WWE debut against one of the non-Savio Vega Los Boricuas guys, Jose Estrada. The match lasted about 20 seconds because after dropkicking Estrada out of the ring, Edge goes for some sort of somersault deal over the top rope and lands with all of his weight on Estrada’s head, breaking his freakin’ neck.
Estrada’s a good enough wrestler, but he’s no Kurt Angle and thus unable to finish the match with a broken freakin’ neck, so the match ends in a count out victory for Edge. A less than auspicious beginning to a terrific WWE career for Edge.