Wrestler of the Day – September 10: Bull Buchanan

Today is someone that had one heck of a clothesline: Bull Buchanan.

Buchanan got started in 1995 in SMW as the Punisher. He went about as far as you could go in that promotion before heading to the USWA as Recon of the Truth Commission. The team would be called up to the WWF in mid 1997. We’ll pick things up at the 1997 Survivor Series.

Truth Commission vs. Disciples of Apocalypse

Jackyl, Interrogator, Sniper, Recon

Crush, 8-Ball, Skull, Chainz

The Truth Commission is based on a real South African thing, where there were a lot of crimes were committed during Apartheid and the government said “tell the truth that you committed/witnessed these crimes and say you’re sorry.” Amazingly enough it calmed a lot of people down and made the situation a lot better. That being said, I have NO idea why it’s used as a wrestling gimmick. In short, they’re a military themed group. That sums them up as simply as I can.

Jackyl is the leader and is more famous as Cyrus in ECW. Interrogator is Kurrgan and the real star of the team. Sniper is a French Canadian wrestler who means nothing at all and Recon is Bull Buchanan. Crush is Crush, 8-Ball and Skull are big twins and Chainz is Brian Lee from ECW. This really doesn’t scream interesting to me but this is during the Gang Warz period which didn’t ever do anything for me.

Interrogator and Chainz start things off after a brawl with Chainz hammering away but having no visible effect. A sidewalk slam eliminates Chainz in about a minute. Off to Recon vs. 8-Ball with Recon hitting a World’s Strongest Slam for no cover. Jackyl comes in for what might be the only match he ever wrestled in WWF. Apparently that’s almost true as he only had some Shotgun Saturday Night matches other than this. He’s much better as a manager anyway.

Jackyl drops a top rope knee which is immediately no sold. He chops away a bit but walks into a sidewalk slam for the pin to make it 3-3. Sniper jumps 8-Ball and hits some elbows for two as Jackyl is on commentary now. Off to Crush, the leader of the team, who stomps away on Sniper a bit. Recon comes back in to face Skull and they collide, sending Skull to the floor. 8-Ball comes in illegally and clotheslines Recon down for the pin.

Sniper comes in to beat on Skull but gets caught in a double spinebuster from the twins for two. Interrogator hits 8-Ball from the apron and Sniper hits a bulldog for the elimination, making it 2-2. If this match sounds like a total mess that is hard to follow, it’s because that’s being nice about what’s going on.

Off to Crush for a figure four headscissors on Recon. Skull (I’m picking the names arbitrarily. It makes absolutely no difference at all and JR has no idea which is which anyway) DDTs Sniper but walks into a sidewalk slam from Interrogator for the pin. It’s Crush vs. Sniper and Interrogator and Crush immediately powerslams Sniper down for the pin. Interrogator is in the ring before the pin hits and ANOTHER FREAKING SIDEWALK SLAM gives Interrogator the final pin and the victory.

Rating: F. In ten minutes, we had seven eliminations, FOUR of which were by the SAME FREAKING MOVE. This was another match where just like the first, there was no one out there that could carry things to make the match work in any way. It makes Interrogator looks good, but it barely accomplished that because of how bad the match was.

This one has to be better. From Raw on January 5, 1998.

Sniper/Recon vs. Skull/8-Ball

This is an interesting pair of teams. Sniper/Recon (Recon is more famous as Bull Buchanan) are part of the Truth Commission led by Jackyl who was going to be a huge part of a major angle but was more or less thrown out of the company after being a jerk in general. He wound up in ECW as Cyrus.

Skull/8-Ball are the Disciples of Apocalypse, a biker team that was part of a biker faction. This was a very faction heavy time as there was also the Nation and Los Boricuas, the Latino gang. There you have four factions with 16 guys combined. That covers a lot of ground. The DOA here are more famous as the Harris Brothers, Creative Control, and the Blu Brothers in the mid 90s. Why they kept getting hired is beyond me.

Jackyl gets on commentary here. He goes on one of his rants as Recon beats up Skull. Swinging neckbreaker puts Recon down. Ok Recon is bald. Got it. Hot tags on both ends as the crowd doesn’t seem to care. Here comes Kurrgan, the monster of the Truth Commission, as Skull hits a DDT on Sniper to get the win.

Rating: D-. Wow this was uneventful. These factions feuded for what felt like ever and nothing ever came of it. They all kind of just went away with nothing to show for it, much like a lot of other stuff during the Attitude Era. Nothing to see here other than more weak build for the Rumble where the winner was never once in doubt.

Well….it was better. We’ll try again on Raw, February 9, 1998.

Steve Blackman vs. Recon

Recon is more famous as Bull Buchanan. A few seconds into the match the Jackyl’s music plays and a pulpit comes down from the ceiling with him behind it as he talks about how evil wrestling and this company is. A leg drop from Recon gets two as it’s hard to tell what’s going on in the match as we keep looking at Jackyl. It would be a lot more impressive if he didn’t look at his script every 2 seconds. Sniper, the partner of Recaon, beats on Blackman a bit on the floor and sends him into the steps just because he can.

Sunset flip gets two for Blackman. HORRIBLE Russian leg sweep gets no cover as no one has gone after Jackyl to yell at him. Ross finally says we have a match going on by the way. Granted the match kind of sucks but who cares? Top rope elbow by Blackman misses but Recon misses a rotating splash and a chest stretch ends this clean. This whole match was one long promo by Jackyl. No rating due to me missing most of the match due to the camera being on Jackyl.

Due to what should be obvious reasons, Buchanan was sent to OVW for a lot of training. He would return nearly two years later under the name of Bull Buchahan as Big Boss Man’s partner. They would open Wrestlemania XVI.

Godfather/D’Lo Brown vs. Big Boss Man/Bull Buchanan

Ice-T raps Godfather and Brown to the ring. Apparently it’s pimp or die, which I think might be taking it a bit too far. Buchanan and Brown get things going to prevent us from having a future RTC matchup. D’Lo tries a quick O’Connor Roll but only gets two. Boss Man tries to come in but gets run over by Godfather. Off to Godfather for a clothesline and the spinning legdrop but an elbow misses.

Godfather gets beaten on for a bit but comes back with a hook kick for two. Back to Brown who is almost immediately caught by Buchanan for even more pain. D’Lo pounds on Buchanan in the corner as this is going nowhere so far. Of all people, Bull gets things moving a bit better by climbing the corner for a spinning clothesline. Bull puts him in 619 position and both heels slide under the ropes for a double uppercut.

A clothesline gets two more for Bull and everything breaks down for a few seconds. That goes nowhere so we go back to Buchanan pounding on Brown in the corner. Now we keep the excitement going with a bearhug. Boss Man comes in for some double teaming and does his best to get the fans to care at all.

Brown’s cross body is caught in a backbreaker for two from both guys but as Buchanan goes up, Godfather crotches him down. Brown comes back with a nice top rope rana to put Buchanan down on the mat, allowing for the hot tag to Godfather. House is cleaned and there’s the Ho Train to Boss Man. Bull breaks up the Low Down though, allowing the Boss Man Slam to set up a guillotine legdrop on D’Lo for the pin.

Rating: D+. Who in the world thought this was the right idea for an opening match? They were WAY off base with each other here and the match suffered a lot as a result. This didn’t work on almost any level and on top of all that, the popular team loses. The whole point of an opening is to fire up a crowd, so having one of the most over acts in the company lose was a dumb way to start things off. Just a bad match all around.

He’s on an upswing! Let’s keep going with Raw on April 10, 2000.

The Rock vs. ???

It’s pin/submission/escape here. The opponent(s) are Boss Man and Buchanan, as introduced by HHH and company. Rock fires away on both guys to start before the numbers catch up with him. Both guys beat him down and go for the escape but Rock pulls them both down in a nice display of athleticism. Rock goes to escape but Shane climbs the cage for the save, allowing Buchanan to crotch Rock for the real stop.

A legdrop gets two for Buchanan and Rock is still in trouble. Gee, who would have bet on him getting beaten down this much to start? The ax kick from Bull puts Rock down again for two from both big guys and they’re getting frustrated three minutes into the match. There’s a double suplex to Rock and things slow down a lot. A lot of choking ensues and Rock is sent into the cage.

Buchanan tries the one cool move he can do, a spinning clothesline off the top, but it hits Boss Man by mistake. Rock makes his comeback and hits a Samoan Drop on Bull for two before walking into a sidewalk slam from Boss Man for two. Rock knocks Boss Man down and sees Buchanan trying to leave. He hits Bull in the back and catches a jumping Bull in a Rock Bottom for the pin out of nowhere.

Rating: C. Did anyone not know the ending from the opening bell here? The fans were into it but it doesn’t do much this many years later. At the end of the day there was no way Rock wasn’t winning here off a Rock Bottom out of nowhere. It sets up HHH vs. Rock though at one of the best shows ever so I can’t complain much about that.

From a few months later on Raw, June 5, 2000.

Hardy Boys vs. Bull Buchanan/Big Bossman

Bull starts with Matt and a big boot puts Matt down. Off to Boss Man as Lita is watching in the back, having not yet hooked up with the brothers yet. Back to Bull for a backbreaker but he misses a leg drop. Off to Jeff who speeds things up as everything breaks down. Jeff hits a quick Swanton on Bull for the win. This was nothing.

Buchanan would join Right to Censor, including this match at Summerslam 2000.

Right to Censor vs. Too Cool/Rikishi

Too Cool and Rikishi are WAY over at this point and even won the tag titles over the summer. The RTC is Richards/Goodfather/Bull Buchanan at this point. Some of Goodfather’s former women come out with Rikishi, one of which would become known as Victoria. It’s a big brawl to start until we get Scotty pounding on Buchanan. Hotty backflips over Buchanan and pulls him down before getting two off a high cross body. Off to Sexay for a double suplex before Goodfather comes in and falls to the floor. He shoves Victoria down before punching Sexay in the face to take over.

Buchanan gets in some shots of his own and it’s off to Richards for his cheap shots. A powerbomb gets two and JR sounds stunned. Steven gets crotched on top and superplexed down allowing for the hot tag to Rikishi. The fat man cleans house and Victoria throws Richards back in the ring. The RTC is sent into the corner with Too Cool being launched into all of them at once, but Bull gets in a quick ax kick to take the Samoan down. Scotty loads up the Worm but Steven kicks his head off for the pin.

Rating: C. Basic six man tag here to get the crowd going. A fast paced act like Too Cool and Rikishi is always a great choice to start up a show as the crowd gets fired up for the entrance and hopefully stays hot for the rest of the show. The RTC was a fine choice for a heel stable as they took away what the fans wanted to see and the people were glad to see them get beaten up.

Buchanan and Goodfather would get a Tag Team Title shot on Raw, November 6, 2000.

Tag Team Titles: Right to Censor vs. Hardy Boys

The Hardys are defending of course. Lita spears Ivory and hammers away before the match starts, earning a double ejection. The champions double team Buchanan to start and get two off a double suplex. Matt is sent throat first into the middle rope and choked by Goodfather as the challengers take over. A belly to back suplex gets two for Goodfather and he drops Matt with a boot to the chest.

Matt breaks up a superplex and nails a top rope legdrop, allowing the hot tag to Jeff. Everything breaks down and the referee gets knocked to the floor. Goodfather is sent to the floor for a top rope clothesline from Matt. Jeff hits the Swanton on Buchanan but there’s no referee. Edge and Christian hit the ring for a distraction, allowing Steven Richards nail Jeff with a title belt to give Goodfather the pin and the titles.

Rating: D+. This was more about Edge and Christian vs. the Hardys than the new champions but at least they finally did something with the RTC. The team was never going to be anything major so giving them the midcard titles is about as good as they were going to get. Not much to see here.

After losing the titles, the RTC would face the APA on Christmas night, 2000.

Right to Censor vs. APA

It’s Buchanan/Godfather this time. Buchanan gives a very southern promo, talking about how evil the Dudleys are. Bradshaw starts with Godfather and the beating begins. Farrooq and Buchanan come in and the bald one takes a spinebuster. Bradshaw comes in and runs people over, including a top rope shoulder. Ivory interferes and Jackie runs her over. They get in the ring because Jackie has to get on my nerves at least once a year. Val Venis uses the distraction to run in and DDT Bradshaw. A Buchanan legdrop ends this. The match was nothing.

Commissioner William Regal would use the RTC as minions to attack Chris Jericho. From Raw, March 12, 2001.

Chris Jericho vs. Right To Censor

All four of them here, as in Richards, Venis, Buchanan and Goodfather. Oh and Ivory is chilling there also. At the very least they have to tag so this won’t be a total slaughter. Buchanan starts as this is luckily non-title. No idea why Regal didn’t want the title on the line but I doubt it matters for the most part. Middle rope dropkick sets up the bulldog and the Lionsault but Goodfather makes the save.

Off to Venis now as the problem becomes clear: none of the RTC are that good. Regal would keep sending these matches against Jericho for awhile including a handicap tables match with the Dudleys. The RTC finally triple teams him to take over for Venis. Venis gets a Russian leg sweep and it’s off to Goodfather. Jericho fights them off but walks into a Steven Kick which gets them nowhere as the heels have some miscommunications and start brawling as Jericho gets the Walls on Val and then Buchanan and then Goodfather, only for Val to get a powerbomb move for the pin.

Rating: C. For a 4-1 match this wasn’t all that bad. The idea of stacking the deck against Jericho was a good idea which resulted in Jericho beating Regal at the PPV for the IC Title before losing it to him at Backlash I think. Not bad here but really nothing they could go anywhere with as he wasn’t going to beat four guys.

After the team disbanded, Buchanan was sent back to OVW. He would return in late 2002, including this match on Velocity, August 10, 2002.

Mike Awesome vs. Bull Buchanan

Bull now has short red trunks and a blond mohawk. Awesome quickly clotheslines him out to the floor and nails a big dive to take over. Back in and a top rope clothesline gets two on Bull but he comes back with a neckbreaker for two of his own. Buchanan nails him with the running corner clothesline and we hit the chinlock. They head back to the floor with Awesome getting sent into the steps. It doesn’t seem to have much of an effect though as he comes back in with a slingshot shoulder. The Awesome Splash misses and Buchanan ends him with a guillotine legdrop.

Rating: D+. Awesome is always fun to watch and the match was a decent enough power brawl for four minutes. Buchanan does look a lot better here, but at the end of the day this is just a match on Velocity and not Raw or Smackdown. Awesome being treated like this still doesn’t make sense to me as he could have been a fairly big deal if treated as something other than a big jobber.

Buchanan would head off to Japan after this for a long run in AJPW. Here he is on July 18, 2004. This is one heck of a lineup.

Animal/Robert Gibson/Gran Hamada vs. Jamal/Buchanan/Taka Michinoku

Jamal and Hamada are about to start but Jamal tags out to Taka to make it fair. That sends Hamada over to tag in Animal…..who tags Hamada right back in before there’s any contact made. Hamada picks the ankle to start and easily takes Taka down to the mat. Back up and Hamada tries a Fujiwara Armbar but Taka is quickly in the ropes. A tilt-a-whirl slam gets two on Taka and it’s off to Gibson vs. Buchanan.

Robert’s full nelson has no effect so he tries it a few more times until Buchanan climbs the ropes. Gibson is the first smart guy ever as he just lets Buchanan fall to the mat instead of letting himself get rolled up. Buchanan hammers away in the corner before going Old School into a neckbreaker. Gibson avoids a legdrop and rolls over to tag Animal. Buchanan tags Jamal and it’s time for the big power showdown.

They lock up with both guys being shoved into the corners. With that going nowhere, Jamal runs Animal over with a clothesline and tags Taka, who dives into a powerslam for two. Back to Gibson who drops some knees before bringing Hamada in. The heels (I think?) take over on Hamada in the corner with Buchanan pounding away with right hands and a slam. Back to Jamal for some elbow drops before Hamada is put in the corner for a running dropkick, splash and Umaga Attack for two more.

Buchanan hits the top rope clothesline and Jamal adds the top rope splash but Animal makes the save. Taka superkicks him for the same but Hamada scores with a tornado DDT. It’s off to Buchanan vs. Gibson as everything breaks down. Buchanan loads up a powerbomb on Hamada but gets hurricanranaed down. An ax kick is enough to put Hamada down for three.

Rating: C. This was a nice mix of tag wrestlers in a big six man and the match wasn’t too bad. Buchanan looks much better as a power guy just there to beat people up rather than trying to fit him into a character or stable. Granted that’s something that works a lot better in a place like Japan where it’s more about the action than the characters and promos.

We’ll wrap things up with a tag match from Pro Wrestling Noah from November 14, 2008.

Keith Walker/Buchanan vs. Akira Taue/Takeshi Morishima

It’s a brawl to start and all four guys head out to the floor. The Americans have the early advantage with both guys choking away and Buchanan using a table as a bonus. Taue comes back with a chair to Buchanan’s ribs and a DDT onto a platform. Walker has a bit more luck with Morishima by sending him into the barricade and nailing him in the ribs with a chair. Keith and Takeshi get back inside with Takeshi backdropping out of a powerbomb attempt and sitting on Walker’s chest.

Taue comes in for a double big boot followed by a series of running boots to the face in the corner. Walker finally comes back with a clothesline and makes the tag to Buchanan to clean house. A knee drop gets two on Taue and a claw slam gets the same. Morishima comes back in with a missile dropkick but Buchanan kicks him in the face. Back to Walker for two off a spear and a chokebomb to the hugh Morishima but Taue makes the save. Keith charges into the post though and Taue chokeslams Takeshi onto Walker for two. A Saito Suplex is enough to pin Walker.

Rating: C-. This was fine save for the barrage of boots to the face. It’s like the chops and forearms in ROH: do something else already. The match was another big power brawl and there’s nothing wrong with that. Walker was even more of a muscle guy that Buchanan but somehow with less variety to his style.

Buchanan is a guy that is fine as a monster in a stable or tag team but he was never going to be a star on his own. He had some good agility though and that’s more something that always impressive in guys his size. The RTC run wasn’t bad at all but Buchanan was a guy that did stuff which was topped by other guys his size.

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  1. Mike M. says:

    Nothing from his short-lived run as Cena’s hip-hop homie, B Squared?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    He actually didn’t wrestle that much in that stretch. There might have been ten matches and they’re hard to find.