Posted 27 October 2013 - 08:02 AM
Posted 03 November 2013 - 05:01 AM
Jay Strongbow's leg in 79, which was basically a reprise of the Wahoo angle. Also led to perhaps the best matches of Strongbow's career.
After watching as much Mid-Atlantic Valentine as I could find, I wondered if I was wrong to like Valentine more than so many other American workers, then I watched the Strongbow stuff and had one of those if lovin' you is wrong I don't wanna be right epiphanies. Man, I dig those 70s-to-mid 80s Madison Square Garden crowds. When did the MSG vibe change? Is it post-SNME where it's not the same sort of wrestling crowd? Gorilla was FAT in 1979. Holy shit.
Posted 03 November 2013 - 09:33 AM
Man, I dig those 70s-to-mid 80s Madison Square Garden crowds. When did the MSG vibe change?
As far as I understand it part of the change was due to the fact that, around 1984 and the beginning of the Hogan-era, Vince essentially purged MSG of all the long-time front row fans who had been permanent ticket holders and made sure their seats were taken by yuppies and other young people in order to project the image on TV that the WWF was now "cool". That is not to say the long-time fans were banned from shows, but they were essentially "swept under the rug" in an effort to yuppify the fan base. But the main factor in the vibe change was that a lot of the long-time fans were simply turned off by the new WWF and slowly faded away, while young kids and their parents replaced them.
Posted 03 November 2013 - 09:08 PM
Posted 13 December 2013 - 06:21 AM
WWE have a sub-five minute match on their Youtube channel with Greg working Rob Conway on Heat from 2005, and I'll be damned if the Hammer doesn't bust his arse for it. I don't remember giving it a second thought when it actually aired, but rewatching it, it's lots of fun albeit marred by a lame Eugene run in.
Even his WCW stints when he was way past his prime in the 90's I find enjoyable. Big time Greg Valentine fan.
Yeah, he was still good up until the late 90's atleast. He did a random tour for Battlarts in 98 and had a fun match vs Hisakatsu Oya
Based off of this thread, I'm watching a bunch of Valentine stuff as he's not someone I've paid close attention to in the past. Several matches in, and I'm a big fan - the guy is just so damn believable with pretty much everything that he does, and has amazing timing. Even his goofier bumps and selling come off as pretty credible and still work in a serious environment. I loved the Toronto tag with him and Brutus against Steamboat and Santana, although that's a pretty amazing showing for Tito too. Damn those two guys had fantastic chemistry with one another.
Posted 26 March 2014 - 07:32 PM
Valentine was briefly in Bruiser's WWA during early 1971 as Johnny Fargo. He teamed with Don Fargo. I'd like to say I remember him from those days but I don't. I was only 6 years old. I do remember his Los Angeles run in 1974 and 1975. Very good team with John Tolos. Americas Champion. On the surface Greg seems to be a Hall of Very Good guy. I agree with the previous posters that stated he should have gone back to Crockett earlier. I could be talked into working on a Greg Valentine ring record book if there is interest. Much of the research has already been done. It just needs to be put together.
Posted 26 March 2014 - 07:38 PM
I could be talked into working on a Greg Valentine ring record book if there is interest. Much of the research has already been done. It just needs to be put together.
It actually was started years ago. I will have to re-do it as many corrections and additions have been made since I tried doing it the first time.
Posted 07 June 2014 - 07:00 PM
WCW US Tag Champions Greg Valentine & Terry Taylor vs The Fabulous Freebirds - WrestleWar '92
The only reason I even watched this match was because I was curious to see The Hammer's performance this late in his career. It turned out to be a pretty entertaining match. It ain't going to set your world on fire, but the Freebirds were over like rover. I don't when they turned them face, but Jacksonville was lapping up what they were selling. There were constant chants of "Freebirds" and "DDT". Hayes really knows how to work up a crowd playing from either side of the tracks. Taylor came off as a generic create-a-wrestler. I am not a super Taylor hater as I do enjoy his Mid-South matches with Flair, but outside of that I have never found him all that interesting and even in those matches it came off as a bit "plug n play". In the beginning, we do a little strut off and it is not even close as Hayes destroys Taylor's bush league strut and they have a little fun with Valentine and Taylor colliding on a criss cross. Valentine says enough of this bullshit and starts throwing forearms and chops. Valentine had definitely lost some mobility, but he still had a heavy hand. The face control section involves arm work on both the heels, but all four keep things moving. Garvin has a tendency to sit in holds, but he tagged out to Michael a lot to keep things moves while Hayes would usually work the spots with the heels. I am also a sucker for the babyfaces doing a little cheating (tagless switches, hair pulling) and the crowd all screaming "YES!" or "NO!" depending on the question to defend the faces. They tease Garvin as the Freebird in Peril, but TIMBBBBBAAAAAAH off Garvin's boot. Garvin has to further earn his tag (got to love Valentine makes you work for every inch) and when Hayes comes in he looks for the DDT, huge pop, Taylor comes in blasts him with a forearm. That cutoff really hooked me into the match. Hayes is a pretty good as the Freebird in Peril as he keeps the crowd interested while the heels are overall the place in their work. Valentine is working the back and then return to work the legs to set up the figure-4. Taylor busts out the gutwrench powerbomb for a nearfall. Hayes with a Left and down goes Taylor! Garvin in and he is a surprisingly good house afire. Garvin goes for the DDT on Taylor backdrops Valentine over and hits it for the victory and a massive pop! I really liked some of the cutoffs like the Taylor forearm and Hayes left. The finish was hot and everything built to that crowd-pleasing DDT when he hit that what a satisfying ending. This match relied on two things: the crowd loved the Freebirds and these were 4 savvy veterans. They stuck to a fundamental layout get the Freebirds over early, have Valentine beat the shit out of them in the middle and go home short and sweet. It ain't five star restaurant, but sometimes all you want is Mama's home cooking. ***
Posted 09 June 2014 - 09:33 PM
WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan vs Greg "The Hammer" Valentine w/ Capt. Albano - MSG 7/23/84
You don't think "physical" when you see Hogan's name on the marquee, but then Valentine could make a man out of anyone in that ring. Valentine and Hogan went to war in MSG and Hogan gave as good as he got. His punches looked like some of the best he ever thrown and once he took over from Valentine's initial sneak attack, he was all over him. His follow-up back elbow in the corner looked great and his bodyslam over the ropes into the ring was impressive. Valentine takes over with a back suplex out of a side headlock. One of my main complaints of later Hogan is that he sells too much too soon. Here Hogan, powers out of Valentine reverse chinlock as a hope spot only for Valentine to beat him back down with great forearm and elbow shots. Valentine is so brutal. Again, at the right opportunity, Hogan fights from underneath with the suplex and then takes it out to the floor with some great, great punches. Hogan throws his carcass back into the ring first. Rookie mistake as Valentine cuts off Hogan with a wicked knee. This has been a fight from the beginning. There is a great exchange after the failed Valentine sleeper with Valentine clubbering and Hogan throwing rights and back fists. He throws this massive right and Valentine falls on his ass, but in desperation grabs Hogan's leg trips and yanks it against the apron. Then he goes to hit it with a chair and a fan grabs the chair out of his hand. Now worries as there is another. So now we get some nice leg work, but it is for naught as Hogan knows of the power of the figure-4 and pushes him off twice. Work like that puts over a finish just as much as winning with it. The Hammer drops the Hammer elbow, but just for two. Hulk Hogan does one of the most subdued Hulk-Ups ever catching The Hammer coming off the top and hitting the legdrop for the win. Tack on a classic Hulk-Up and this match would be one of my all-time favorite Hogan matches. As it stands, I would submit this as one of his best matches from the peak Hulkamania period 84-88 as it does not feel like standard Hogan. There are two reasons for that as Hogan still has not refined his formula yet and how Valentine always brings people out of their comfort zone. Hogan has a lot of Clash of the Titans, summer blockbuster like matches, but rarely does get gnarly and rough. Valentine will bring that out of you. Hogan went toe to toe with the Hammer and it was one entertaining fight. ***3/4
Posted 18 June 2014 - 08:17 PM
1984 WWF bug has bit me. Going back to watch the Hammer/Santana matches I have not seen.
WWF Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana vs Greg "The Hammer" Valentine - Philly 3/31/84
I am pretty sure this is their first major encounter with each other. This bout did not have the "I want break your fucking leg because you broke mine" element to take it to the next level, but still this is physical as all hell. These two are just so different from the rest of the WWF roster and just had such great chemistry. Everything is such a struggle. Little things like Valentine swinging and actually missing because Tito moved. Unlike most wrestlers who will half-ass their misses, if Valentine connected he connected; if he did't he didn't. During some of the comebacks, it really felt like Valentine would just wrangle Tito and drop a vicious elbow. You really got the feeling how much the Intercontinental Championship meant to each competitor.
Santana frustrates Valentine with speed like the armdrags, moving from elbows and dropkicks. Valentine catches him with a kneelift, which is one of my favorite transitions. He does some quick great work in the abdomen including hanging him out to dry on the top rope. Santana starts to mount a comeback and Valentine finally drops a huge elbow to quell him. It feels almost shooty. Valentine starts to work over the legs with Indian Deathlock and then attacking legs. Santana would grab a headlock and a kneecrusher would stop him. I loved stuff like Santana launching his body at Valenine just any thing he could do. Santana was selling so well, but always working hard from underneath. Valentine even took time to revel in his glory while Santana is crawling around the ring. Santana goes for the leg, but Valentine quashes that with a inverted atomic drop. Valentine of course misses his second rope elbow. Huge rights by Santana and slams his head into turnbuckle. TIMMMMBBBBBAAHHHHH! I love Valentine because he is an ornery, mean asshole during his control, but when it comes time for that comeback he is always game for bumping, stooging, and begging off for the babyface. Santana works some side headlocks pinfall attempts, but is always energetic. I love the spot where Santana does an atomic drop, but did it on the hurt knee and Tito sells it so well. HUGE ATOMIC DROP BY THE HAMMER! Wow, I don't think I ever seen a heel hit that move. Tito sells the fuck out of it and you really believe Valentine has a shot now. Valentine big butterfly suplex, repeated shots to abdomen and a toehold as the 20 minute time limit expire. What?!?!? Valentine delivers some heavy shots, but repeatedly misses elbows and Santana challenges to come back and finish it.
The finish really threw me a loop because you expect the babyface to end the match on top before the time limit expires. It is also interesting that Santana was making his comeback and Valentine was actually able to surmount this surge in momentum and regain control. The whole finish was a real curveball. Add on top of that the whole match had a real anything could happen feel to it. You never knew who was going to take control at any point. There were no neat little segments where one guy who take control and then a nice little transition would cause the next control segment. Still it never felt back and forth because of how well Santana sold everything from the abs to the knee to fatigue and how Valentine sold he could be overwhelmed. I really enjoyed this match, but I think the next matches in their series benefit from having extracurricular heat. ****1/4
Posted 15 September 2015 - 04:43 PM
Posted 16 September 2015 - 07:18 AM
By default, yes, but his Crockett work from '76-84 is probably a better indicator of his work given that practically everyone who worked for Vince was better in the territory they came from.
Is there anyone who bucks this trend? I want to say Savage. That it?
Bret and Owen were better in the WWF, for sure. Bret rates his Stampede work highly, but to me it always felt like the unfinished articles of the Hitman.
Posted 09 October 2017 - 04:24 PM
1. There are more matches I need to watch, but there is always more matches to watch. I decided Voltaire is right "Search for perfection is the enemy of good." I just wanted to get these reviews out there so people could be inspired to watch more Hammer.
2. I want to write a real in-depth 1-3 paragraphs on what makes Valentine great that really unifies all the different threads found in these reviews, but I ran out of steam.
Best of Greg Valentine in WWF 1979-1984:
Greg Valentine vs Bob Backlund:
Greg Valentine vs Tito Santana:
Greg Valentine: Dream Team Era 1985-87:
Greg Valentine: IC Champ Era 1984-85:
Greg Valentine: Later Years 1988-1991:
Posted 09 October 2017 - 11:07 PM
Hey Sleeze, the Valentine v Santana match from 11/26/84 is on the WWE Network.
Posted 10 October 2017 - 05:53 AM
Posted 10 October 2017 - 08:41 AM
Strangely for my GWWE watching I just blitzed through Valentine and Tito's '84 matches yesterday and I was sporadically checking the comments for the various matches here as I went along. I felt that this November match was the best in the series so I was surprised that you hadn't written up a review for it yet. Not to rush you or anything....but you should totally write up a review for it
Posted 10 October 2017 - 08:37 PM
The Hammer is number 18 or 19 on my list. I underappreciated him as a kid as I started watching regularly after Wrestlemania 2 which was pretty much the beginning of his decline. I still liked the guy.
Posted 11 October 2017 - 12:49 AM
Currently have him at #12 for GWWE. Watched a lot of him after GWE and yeah, a terrific worker. All time great heel, super hard hitting, lots of good-great matches.
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