Wrestler of the Day – May 16: Greg Valentine

Speaking of people from Seattle named after a basic tool, I give you Greg “The Hammer” Valentine.

Valentine is the son of wrestler Johnny Valentine and wrestled in the indies for most of the 1970s. After a nice run with Ric Flair before Flair started going after the World Title, Valentine would head to the WWF in 1979. One of his biggest feuds was with Chief Jay Strongbow, whose leg Valentine broke early in the year. Here’s a rematch from Philadelphia on July 21, 1979.

Greg Valentine vs. Chief Jay Strongbow

Valentine jumps Jay as he gets in the ring but Strongbow is quickly on the warpath and taking over. A bunch of chops get two on Valentine and some shots with a foreign object bust him open. Strongbow goes outside and chokes with a camera cord before hitting him in the head with a stool. Somehow this isn’t a DQ and Valentine is able to get to the floor for a breather. Back in and Greg goes after the leg but has to stop another warpath. The third warpath is knocked to the floor but Valentine is pulled to the floor.

An editing move sends us to a crowd shot during the beatdown before they both head back inside. Some knees to the face put Valentine down and Jay pulls him back inside when Greg tries to escape. He finally makes it to the floor before heading right back into the ring where Jay shrugs off some right hands. They ram heads with both guys rolling to the floor. Only Valentine slides back in for a countout win.

Rating: D. It was a good attempt at revenge by Strongbow but the match felt all over the place. The leg work by Greg made sense but they felt like they were trying about four different finishes before the really fast countout. It’s not the worst match in the world but this needed a better structure.

Valentine was a big deal in the company and would get a WWF Title shot on October 19, 1981 in MSG.

Bob Backlund vs. Greg Valentine

The Grand Wizard has yet another new client in Greg Valentine. Backlund has Arnold Skaaland with him, who has managed both Sammartino as well as the current champion. This is a regular one on one match rather than the death matches we’ve been looking at. It’s a feeling out process to start with Valentine hooking a quick armdrag for not much effect. A slam puts Backlund down again and Bob isn’t sure what to do. Backlund comes back with an armdrag and hip toss of his own to stagger Valentine and Greg wants a breather.

Greg comes back with some right hands to the ribs in the corner but it results in a standoff instead of an advantage. A quick shoulder to the ribs of Valentine staggers him a bit so they try a test of strength. Valentine fires off some shots to the ribs to take over before going to work on the champion’s knee. There’s a half crab from Valentine and Backlund is in some trouble. Backlund fights up and escapes the hold via a monkey flip but Greg gets in a shot to the back of the head to take over again.

The challenger goes back to the leg by cranking on the ankle before shifting over to the ribs via an abdominal stretch. Bob reverses into one of his own but Valentine goes back to the knee to take control once again. Valentine cranks on a leg lock before dropping some elbows on the bad leg. A spinning toe hold works on the leg even more but Bob kicks him away. They trade forearms to the face but both guys collapse down to the mat.

Backlund is up first but a slam attempt fails, giving Valentine a two count. Greg hits him in the knee again but still can’t put on the Figure Four Leg Lock. Instead Valentine kicks him to the floor before pounding away at Backlund on the ring apron. Back in again and Bob is getting fired up as the blows from Greg are having less effect each time. The champion starts hammering away on Valentine’s leg now, wrapping it up in the ropes and kicking at the inner thigh.

Bob knocks him down again but can only get two. A suplex gets the same for Valentine but Backlund comes back with one of his own for a delayed two count. A cross body gets two for the champion but Valentine chokes him down with the ring rope. Greg goes for the leg again and hooks the Figure Four but it’s not on that well. Backlund is easily able to roll into the ropes to break the hold but some damage has been done. Bob comes back with a piledriver out of nowhere and Valentine is in trouble.

Greg gets into the ropes to avoid being covered before going back to the knee. Backlund fights out of another Figure Four attempt but can’t avoid the shots to the knee in the corner. A middle rope elbow drop misses Backlund though and the champion has an opening. They trade headbutts from their knees before Backlund hooks a belly to back suplex to put both guys down again. Valentine gets back up and puts Backlund in an airplane spin during which the referee is accidentally kicked in the head by the champion. Greg is dizzy from spinning Backlund around though and Bob falls on top of him for the pin to retain the title.

Rating: B. This was another good match as Backlund is starting to find his rhythm as champion a mere four years into his title reign. The idea here of Valentine trying to get the Figure Four time after time but never being able to hook it properly was a good story throughout the match but the fact that it didn’t play into the finish hurt things a bit. The finish however is the most important part of the match for reasons yet to be explained.

After the match is over, the confused referee hands Valentine the championship due to being confused by the kick to the head. There was no question about who was pinned but Greg leaves with the title anyway. An official announcement is made that the title is being held up and there is no champion. Valentine wasn’t the official champion and Backlund would be recognized as the champion in cities other than New York. This was an old tactic to build interest in a rematch in this city only, meaning that this doesn’t interrupt Backlund’s title reign. Bob would win a rematch in a little over a month.

We’ll jump ahead a bit to probably the most famous match of Valentine’s career. Greg is back in the NWA and the US Champion. He’s recently busted Roddy Piper’s ear and is facing him in the second biggest match at the first Starrcade in 1983.

Roddy Piper vs. Greg Valentine

Greg is US Champion but this is non-title because it’s a dog collar match. The idea is they both have collars around their neck and there’s a chain attaching the two collars, meaning neither guy can run away. Anything goes and you can win by pinfall. This match came about because Valentine injured Piper’s ear in the match where he won the title. They immediately start by pulling on the chain with their necks in a painful looking tug of war. Neither guy can get an advantage so they both start pulling on the chain to get closer to each other.

Piper gets in the first shot with the chain and Valentine is mad. They back up again but Valentine misses some swings and Piper gets back to the corner. Both guys come to the center of the ring for a slugout but no one can take over. Roddy gets in some shots with the chain and Valentine is in trouble. Greg goes for the bad ear and start choking away with the chain but also wrapping the chain around Piper’s face for extra torture.

Piper comes back with some shots to the eyes of his own before choking away in the middle of the ring. Valentine is sent into the corner and Piper keeps pounding away on the head. Piper takes it to the floor for some HARD shots with the chain as they head into the barricade. Greg gets in some shots to the bad ear and Piper is bleeding from the side of his head.

Back in and Valentine pounds away but Piper blocks a suplex. A hard elbow gets two for Valentine but Piper is in big trouble. Greg tries to hit the ropes but Piper pulls the chain to bring him down. Piper goes NUTS on Valentine and pounds away on him, busting the champion open in the process. Valentine goes right back to the ear but Piper comes back with some straight left hands to the jaw. A BIG right hand drops Valentine but Greg goes after the ear again to take over. Greg gets two off a knee drop as both guys are tiring.

A chain shot to Piper’s ear gets two but Roddy comes back with a suplex to put both guys down. Greg grabs a quick sleeper but Piper’s arm only drops once. Roddy wraps the chain around his hand but the hold slows him down again. A jawbreaker gets Piper out of the hold but it’s Valentine going up first. Roddy pulls him off the ropes and beats the tar out of him with the chain before tying the legs up to pin Valentine. Solie says that was for the title but corrects himself a few seconds later.

Rating: B+. This is a very hard hitting brawl but it can be a bit slow at times. This is the match that made people realize how insane Piper could be as he went out there and took an insane beating before coming back time after time and trying to hurt Valentine. He would jump to the WWF soon after and become the top villain in the world, which is what he deserved to be.

It was soon back to the WWF and Valentine was near the top again, including a World Title shot at Brawl to End It All.

WWF Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Greg Valentine

Valentine was a much bigger deal back in this era, even “being awarded” the WWF Title once in a big mess that was a pretty decent story. Anyway let’s get to this. We get promos from both guys. Valentine says Hogan is going to feel his wrath. There’s a reason he rarely talked. Albano is his manager. This guy was BUSY back then.

Hogan had only been champion about 6 months at this point so his title reign wasn’t really huge yet. Eye of the Tiger for his music at this point along with the white tights. Sweet GOODNESS Hogan is over. The song fits perfectly here, almost better than Real American. What was up with the five bell strikes after everything Fink said? Hammer jumps Hogan and we’re on.

Oh come on it’s 1984 like that’s going to work at all. This is Hogan back when he was in his 20s so he’s moving incredibly well. Scratch that actually as he’s 31 here. It’s so weird to think that his big break didn’t come until he was that old. It just comes off as strange in today’s era of people being world champion by their mid 20s.

Valentine reverses a headlock into a suplex to take some control. Hogan takes back over a bit later with just pure power. He even throws in a shoulderbreaker to mess with our heads a bit. We hit the floor and it’s all Hogan. Valentine jumps him as he gets back in and Gene says it’s because Valentine is a capitalist. Ok then.

A chinlock has our hero in trouble. Hogan does the always funny finger shake of no before the comeback. He throws some left hands which are weird to see from him. Valentine gets some chair shots to the knee and the referee is ok with it I guess. Figure four is blocked twice so Valentine just punches him. Rather than Hulking Up Hogan just hits Valentine as he’s coming off the top and drops the leg to retain. It was a different time I guess.

Rating: C+. Nothing that special here as it’s really just a standard Hogan title defense. It’s not bad or anything but it’s just Hogan out there doing his thing and not really looking like he’s in that much trouble. Still though he was moving very well out there and had the place rocking so I’ll give him something for that. Decent match and fine for a basic title defense.

Time for Greg’s most famous feud against Tito Santana. Greg would challenge Tito for the Intercontinental Title in MSG on October 22, 1984.

Intercontinental Title: Greg Valentine vs. Tito Santana

This should be good. Since when did Valentine have Lou Albano with him? Valentine took the title from Santana and injured Tito’s knee, putting him out of action, making tonight about revenge. Santana goes right after Valentine from the opening bell and knocks the belt out of Greg’s hands. Valentine goes face first into the mat as it’s all Tito so far. The fans are finally awake for this

Greg comes back with right hands but Tito wins the slugout and sends the champion to the floor. Tito is fine with beating up Valentine on the floor and brings him back inside to ram the champ’s head into the mat. Valentine finally gets a breather after raking the eyes and a knee sends Tito to the floor. Albano gets in a cheap shot of his own but Tito pulls Valentine to the floor to keep up the brawl. Valentine grabs a chair and THROWS IT at Tito but only hits the apron. They head back inside with the chair and Tito cracks Valentine in the head, busting him open. Somehow that isn’t a DQ but Tito throws the referee down for the bell.

Rating: C+. This was short but VERY intense throughout. Tito knew how to work a crowd into a frenzy and the New York crowds ate him up with a spoon. This was one of those feuds that was going to work no matter what they did and this was no exception. Also it woke the crowd up which was what this show needed more than anything.

Greg would get the title a month later and defend it at Wrestlemania I.

Intercontinental Title: Junkyard Dog vs. Greg Valentine

Dog cranks on the arm to start and punches him in the shoulder ala Marciano. A punch to the face takes Valentine down and a headbutt sends the champion (Greg in case you’re not familiar with this era) to the floor. Valentine tries his luck at the arm now and pounds away with some forearms to the back of the head. I’m not sure if that should hurt the Dog or not.

The champion goes after the leg now with what looks to be the start of a half crab but he never turns Dog over. A kind of DDT on the leg has the Dog in trouble again and there’s a headbutt between the legs. Dog breaks up the Figure Four and hits a headbutt to stagger the champ some more. Jimmy Hart tries to interfere but Dog causes Valentine to blast him in the head instead. Valentine grabs a fast rollup and puts his feet on the ropes for the pin.

Rating: D+. I’m getting tired of using that rating but this is what the matches keep coming out as: not terrible but nothing good at all. Valentine would get back to his current feud with Tito Santana very soon with the title changing hands pretty soon if I remember properly. Dog was there as more of a fun character than a serious threat so this was fine.

Speaking of Santana, here he is to tell the referee what happened. The referee restarts the match but Valentine walks out for the countout without ever getting back in. That’s just building Santana vs. Valentine for later.

And here is one of those laters, from July 6, 1985 in Baltimore.

Intercontinental Title: Greg Valentine vs. Tito Santana

In Baltimore here and in a cage. Tito drags him into the cage and it’s on. No commentary again with Gorilla doing the voiceover. Valentine goes for the door early but Tito makes the save. This should be good either way. Both try to get out and can’t do it as the other grabs his foot. Valentine keeps trying to run which makes sense. I’m not entirely sure if I get why Tito keeps trying to run as this is supposed to be his big revenge match. I guess getting the title back is enough revenge for him.

Shoulder breaker by Valentine but you would think he would go after the leg but whatever. Escape only here if I didn’t mention that. I like the old school thoughts on cage matches like that too as pins in a cage match are kind of stupid when you think about it. Tito blocks the Figure Four as the violence is a bit low here. Gorilla points out that the figure four is a bit stupid as you can’t win by submission which makes sense to a degree I guess.

Flying forearm by Tito takes Greg down. Tito goes into the cage as this is very much back and forth. Very slow paced match but they’re hammering away in there and it’s working well I think. It’s very weird to see the match presented like this as the ring is only kind of microphoned here so you don’t here the ring make any noise at all.

This is more about the cage itself as this is back in the day when a gimmick match still meant something and wasn’t more or less something you throw in as a free prize in a cereal box. Tito gets a leg over the top but still can’t get out. Make that both legs out as Valentine is going for the door which Tito kicks on his head to get out and get the title back.

Rating: B-. This was more about the aura of the cage rather than the guys in there. Tito gets the title back and gets his revenge by beating on Valentine very well. This wasn’t a classic or anything but it was definitely a good conclusion to their feud which was always good. This worked.

Valentine would soon move into a tag team along with Brutus Beefcake. After winning the Tag Team Titles from the US Express, they would lose them to the British Bulldogs at Wrestlemania II. This led to some singles matches between the teams, including this on April 22, 1986.

Davey Boy Smith vs. Greg Valentine

This is about a month after Mania. Valentine gets a quick rollup for two. We’re talking about Clint Eastwood for no apparent reason. After a quick bit on the floor Hammer takes over in the corner. Davey just shoves him to the mat for two. Armbar for Davey and Valentine is in some trouble. And never mind as Valentine reverses and gets caught by a dropkick to send him down again. Never mind the never mind.

Sharpshooter (obviously not called that) by Smith as this has been completely one sided so far. Valentine is able to make the rope so we get some stretching as Davey uses his arms and legs to spread Valentine’s legs open as wide as he can. Better positioning I guess. Valentine hits the apron to run but gets suplexed back in for two. Valentine finally gets a shot in and we clip to him being in solid control.

Elbow drop gets two and we go to a chinlock now. Davey fights back with some shoulders in the corner and the powerslam for two. Wow that move was kicked out of a lot. We head to the floor where Hammer runs but slides in and catches Davey as he comes back in. So simple yet so effective. Figure Four goes on but there’s the rope so that didn’t last long. Another attempt is sent into the corner but Valentine climbs the ropes and comes off with a forearm to get the surprising pin. That was out of nowhere.

Rating: C-. Eh just ok here. Not a bad match or anything but the ending really surprised me. They did their thing out there and it worked well enough. Valentine winning was very surprising and I’m not sure why this was included. Also a weird ending with Valentine just hitting him in the head and winning it. Not bad though.

Here’s a quick match from Superstars on February 21, 1987.

Dream Team vs. Paul Roma/Frankie Rose

So we have Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake vs. a jobber and a future Horsemen. Dino Bravo is with the heels here and still has dark hair. That’s just odd to see. The Rougeaus are ready for their match at Mania. Is this an upgrade over the Lombardi feud for Roma? They talk about the midget match. In other words, they’re still not talking about the match that’s going on. Rose taps to the figure four.

Rating: C. It was short but it worked fine I guess. It was kind of long so it qualifies for a grade. Nothing great here but that’s fine for a show like this. There really isn’t much else to say about something like this, but it’s always strange to see someone like Roma who would one day become a st…..a sta……I can’t say it.

Greg would be in the WWF World Title tournament at Wrestlemania IV.

WWF World Title Tournament First Round: Greg Valentine vs. Ricky Steamboat

Should be good. Steamboat brings the future Richie Steamboat to the ring with him in matching outfits. Feeling out process to start with Steamboat taking him down via an armdrag. Gorilla says Ricky has excellence of execution to coin a phrase. A few shoulders get two on Valentine so he throws Steamboat over the top. That of course doesn’t work on the Dragon so he comes back with a dropkick and a crucifix for two.

Valentine comes back with his usual elbows and forearms to put Steamboat down. He pulls Steamboat off the ropes so Ricky drops onto the back of his head. This allows Gorilla to bust out the term “external occipital protuberance”, to which Jesse replies “THE WHAT?” The voice Ventura says that in is hilarious. Apparently it’s that little bump on the back of your head. Steamboat reverses a suplex into one of his own and hooks an armbar. Jimmy Hart goes a rant of instructions to the Hammer which is such a lost art in wrestling.

Steamboat gets dropped on the back of his head, allowing for another discussion of whatever that thing is called. Gorilla: “External occipital protuberance.” Jesse: “Oh ok. Back of the head for all you normal people back there.” Valentine pounds away with elbows as Gorilla says they’re “right in the kisser, right between the eyes.” His biology knowledge is all over the place. Donald Trump is in the front row. Steamboat comes back with some chops for two but Greg puts him right back down with a gutbuster.

Valentine goes after the leg but the Figure Four is broken up. They chop it out with Steamboat taking over, only to charge into a boot in the corner. Valentine hits a top rope forearm but still can’t put the Figure Four on. Steamboat hits an elbow to the face and a top rope chop for two. He rams Valentine into the corner ten times and shoves the referee away when he tries to break it up. Ricky goes up and hits the cross body but Valentine rolls through to eliminate Steamboat.

Rating: C+. Like I said, decent stuff here although Steamboat would be gone pretty much immediately over wanting to take some time off. Vince said no so Ricky left wrestling for about nine months. Anyway, good stuff here from two guys that know how to work whatever kind of a match you ask them to. Valentine was great in a role like this where he wasn’t going to win anything but he could fill in a spot and do just fine.

We’ll jump ahead a bit to a random tag match from June 27, 1989.

The Rockers vs. Dino Bravo/Greg Valentine

Bravo and Valentine used to be the New Dream Team if you’re unfamiliar and I’m stunned that they’re still around at this point. They’ve been new for about two years at this point so I wonder if they’re old yet. This is at a Superstars taping in some unspecified city. Bravo vs. Jannetty to start us off here. The announcers try to imply that Valentine is a power guy which is a bit odd but kind of true at the same time.

A lot of dropkicks clear out the ring and the heels hug. That must have been a Jimmy Hart thing for some reason. Off to Valentine and Shawn now as it appears to be Shawn that is selling like a madman this time. The Rockers work over Valentine’s right arm which is very different to see. They’re wrestling like heels here but with face personalities if that makes sense.

Heel double teaming (by the actual heels that is) takes over and Marty is playing Marty. Bravo spits on Shawn for some more double teaming to take place. Off to Valentine and the back work continues. In a nice spot Marty nips up and runs into Valentine’s shoulder block to send him right back down again.

Totally classic heat segment with Marty tagging Shawn but the referee doesn’t see it. I love that spot. Bravo misses an elbow and it’s time for the tag off to Shawn. Where have I seen this before? Marty gets a sweet springboard off the bottom rope to launch himself past Bravo to make the tag. I’ve never seen that before.

Shawn cleans some house until we get a double dropkick to Bravo followed by the double flying punch. Why mess with something as simple as a punch to the head I suppose? Why has no one else ever used a move like that? Another near fall for both teams sets up an O’Connor Roll by Jannetty. Shawn comes in to stop Valentine but the referee stops Shawn, allowing Valentine to blast Jannetty and put Bravo on top for the upset win. Wow indeed.

Rating: C-. This got a lot of time at about 12 minutes. It’s not horrible or anything but it’s got nothing on the previous match which was almost exactly the same formula with a slightly different ending. Not a terrible match really but the ending is really weird as why in the world would you have these two go over the Rockers? Bravo and Valentine sound like tag team jobbers, not a team getting a relatively clean pin.

In the words of Saliva, “Hold tight cause the show is not over!” Here’s referee Ronnie Garvin (I wish the show had been over) to tell Hebner what happened and despite not doing anything that the referee saw, the Rockers win by….well apparently by decision. Keep in mind that neither Rocker pinned either other guy. Oh well I guess.

Valentine and Garvin would feud for awhile and have their blowoff match at Royal Rumble 1990.

Greg Valentine vs. Ronnie Garvin

This is a submission match as they both use submissions for a finisher. See? Not that complicated. Now the interesting thing here is that both guys have shin guards (Garvin even has his named: the Hammer Jammer) which blocks the pain of a Figure Four. They slug it out to start with Valentine being rammed into the buckles repeatedly. Greg comes back with chops and they slug it out in the middle of the ring.

It turns into a boxing match until Valentine goes after the leg. That gets him a thumb in the eye and they slug it out some more with both guys going down via a Garvin headbutt. Ronnie tries a sunset flip for reasons of stupidity and Valentine tries a cover of his own. Both guys go down again as this match is already running too long. Garvin rolls him up again to REALLY make it clear that it’s a submission match. See, wrestling fans are stupid and can’t understand the basic explanation of the rules.

Valentine adjusts his own shin guard (the Heartbreaker) and puts Garvin in the Figure Four. Ronnie’s guard blocks the pain, so Garvin makes funny faces at Valentine. Since that doesn’t work, Valentine puts on an over the shoulder backbreaker, much to Jesse’s delight (his old hold). Garvin pounds away in the corner and puts on an Indian Deathlock which has an effect on Greg but Valentine finally makes a rope.

They slug it out for the fifth time, although this one is at least on the floor. Valentine backdrops out of a piledriver on the concrete and we head back inside. Garvin misses a dropkick in the corner and gets caught in the Tree of Woe. That goes nowhere so they collide again and both guys go down. Hart steals Garvin’s shin guard and there’s the Figure Four. After a rope is grabbed, Garvin can’t even stand up.

Valentine goes up and Garvin slams him down from one leg. He takes off Valentine’s shin guard and tries a rollup because Ronnie is STUPID. Valentine gets tied up in the ropes so Garvin beats up Hart for fun. A shin guard shot to the head knocks out Valentine and the Sharpshooter (called a reverse Figure Four) makes Valentine give up.

Rating: C+. Not a bad match here and it was even good at times, but MAN it was long, running nearly seventeen minutes. On top of that, the stupid pin thing went WAY too long into the match. This is probably the best Garvin match I’ve ever seen, but that doesn’t really mean much as he absolutely sucks most of the time.

Greg would really start falling down the ranks soon after this and wind up opening house shows, like this one at MSG on December 29, 1991.

Hercules vs. Greg Valentine

Yep it’s clipped as two matches are cut off here. Actually based on what I’ve seen later that’s not the case as everything is here but the show is edited from an order perspective. This was originally the third match on the card. Heenan says this is going to be a heck of a match. Hercules is on the very brink of leaving and Valentine is a face for no apparent reason. He had a face push around this time and it BOMBED to the shock of no one.

And now let’s talk about the Rumble because that’s about as interesting as it’s going to get as far as this match goes. With Hammer taking over, we hear something I have never heard before: Hogan and Taker get to draw from #21-#30 in the Rumble. What the heck? I know they had the title before but how have I never heard of that before? This match is really rather boring indeed.

Hercules has a little gut there and gets a low blow to take over. What does he think this is, the late 90s? We talk about the Rumble more which has Gorilla predicting Santana or Bulldog. Smith I could understand, but dude, TITO SANTANA? I love the guy but come on now. We argue Hogan vs. Flair a bit as Hercules is dominating.

We hit the floor for a bit with Hammer’s back being rammed into the apron. Hercules is a very ugly man indeed. This is when he has the long hair going for him which isn’t a good look on him. We hit the bearhug to continue this boring mess. Hammer fights back and it turns into a comedy of errors as neither guy can hit a move for like 30 seconds which is funnier than it sounds.

It’s the dreaded double clothesline as both guys are down and in trouble. The fans are in trouble too as this match is in desperate need of ending. And there’s the ending as we go old school with Valentine getting a belly to back suplex and bridging but Herc gets his shoulder up. Does this guy know ANY other finish to a match?

Rating: D. Boring match for the most part that didn’t get the crowd going in the slightest. I’ve seen worse, but this was a rather dull and uninteresting match for the most part. Both guys meant nothing by this point and everyone knew it. I really don’t get why this opened things up and I don’t think anyone else did either.

It would be back to WCW after this where Valentine was the old veteran. Here’s one of his matches from Beach Blast 1992.

Greg Valentine vs. Marcus Bagwell

Seriously, WHO thought this was a good idea? I want them shot. And we’re five minutes in and no one cares at all. This just isn’t interesting in the slightest to the shock of no one with any intelligence. Crowd is DEAD by the way. The wrestling is ok I guess but seriously, it’s Greg Valentine vs. Marcus Bagwell on PPV. This goes on forever it seems although it’s only about seven minutes again. To my complete and utter shock, Valentine gets the clean submission. Yes, they took Greg Valentine and put him over the rookie of the year. I can’t believe this company ever made a dime.

Rating: D-. This is mainly for just making my head hurt. Seriously, who in the world thought this was a good idea??? After a good opener we have two matches that are just wastes of time. At least Simmons won which makes sense. This is just stupid though and I apologize for how badly written it was.

Later in the year Valentine would be a bit better and be on Clash of the Champions XX.

Dick Slater/Greg Valentine vs. Bobby Eaton/Arn Anderson

This is an odd match as everyone is a heel. Slater and Valentine have Larry Zbyszko (with a broken arm) in their corner. Arn and Valentine get things going but everything quickly breaks down with Anderson and Eaton being sent to the floor. Back in and Slater gets in a cheap shot from the apron to take Arn down and things start to break down again. Bobby gets caught in a swinging neckbreaker from Slater followed by a Russian legsweep for two.

Back to Anderson for a spinning arm lock on Dick but it’s quickly back to Valentine. Anderson and Eaton take him into the corner but Greg fights out with some chops. Valentine takes him into the corner with Arn being put down on the mat for a stomping. Eaton comes around the ring and jacks Slater’s jaw before breaking up Valentine’s Figure Four. Anderson scores with the spinebuster for two as everything breaks down again. Zbyszko accidentally hits Valentine with the cast, allowing Eaton to drop a middle rope Alabama Jam for the pin.

Rating: D+. The match wasn’t bad but it’s some incredibly strange booking. The fans didn’t have anyone to cheer for in the match and the whole thing was kind of bizarre as a result. It’s not a terrible match but it’s a good explanation for why heels and faces need to be balanced out.

Valentine would be brought back as another veteran in 1996 for a few appearances, including this one on Nitro, September 23, 1996.

Greg Valentine vs. Randy Savage

Eric says there’s a new NWO member tonight. I can’t think of who that would be as the next member wasn’t until October and it was nothing of note unless I’m totally overlooking someone. Valentine jumps him and that doesn’t work all that well. They go to the floor with Valentine having his token control period. We hear that Super Calo has injured his elbow in a dark match so he’s out for awhile. Savage clocks Valentine with a chair twice and that’s a DQ.

Valentine would be brought back in for a cameo match against the new legend killer, Rob Conway, on Sunday Night Heat from October 21, 2005.

Greg Valentine vs. Rob Conway

Thankfully Valentine has the big robe here. Unfortunately he’s not in great shape and Conway starts wrestling in sunglasses. Greg shrugs off some right hands and chops away in the corner before throwing Conway outside. The brawl heads outside and Valentine is quickly posted before Conway pounds on Greg. Hammer avoids a dropkick though and drops some elbows but the Figure Four is easily countered. Rob hammers away but Eugene comes in to save his friend, drawing a DQ.

Rating: D+. Considering he was 57 and had been mostly retired for years, this wasn’t half bad. Conway’s gimmick was mostly limited to Heat until a bunch of legends got together and beat him up so it’s hard to complain about something like this. No it wasn’t a great match, but all things considered I’ve seen far worse.

Valentine thankfully uses common sense and shoves Eugene down for costing him a win.

Overall Greg Valentine was a great hand and that’s a great thing to be. He was very tough and could have good matches with almost anyone. His series with Santana in 1984/1985 is arguably the best feud ever over the Intercontinental Title and still holds up very well to this day. The Piper collar match is excellent as well. Check Valentine out if you want to see a skilled old school worker.

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1 comment

  1. MrHashasheen says:

    I wonder how many times the WWE has done the whole “legend killer/legends all join up to kick ass” bit.