Daily News Update – October 3, 2023

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WrestleDream 2023

Monday Night Raw – October 2, 2023


WATCH: You Might Know Him: Edge Makes Surprise AEW Debut, Reignites Old Feud.


Family Ties: Huge Betrayal Takes Place During AEW WrestleDream Main Event.


Double Ouch: Injury Takes Place At AEW WrestleDream, Champion Suffers Possible Second Injury.


Well Done: NXT Star “The Talk Of The Show” After No Mercy.


They Can Get Along: Backstage WWE And AEW Reactions To Adam Copeland’s AEW Debut.


She’s Out: Becky Lynch Reportedly Pulled From This Week’s Monday Night Raw.


For The Belts: New Title Match Officially Set For WWE Fastlane.


WATCH: Two Superstars Make Surprise Returns On Monday Night Raw, Get In Huge Brawl.


Give It Back? Original Plans For Recent NXT Title Change Were Very Different.


WATCH: Former Champion Makes Surprise Return To End Monday Night Raw.


Out For Now: Two WWE Champions Not Medically Cleared For Monday Night Raw, Title Defense Set.


Reunion Time: Tag Team Family Reunites And Returns To The Ring After Lengthy Absence.


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WWF Cage Match Compilation Volume I: I Could Get Used To This

So this is something new that I’m trying, as I recently purchased access to an INCREDIBLE treasure trove of wrestling from around the world and throughout history. It’s almost exclusively NOT WWF/E stuff so expect quite the variety. There is all kinds of stuff that I’ve never even heard of before (including a weekly French series from the early 90s for a real twist). I’m not sure how often I’ll be doing these but more wrestling is a good thing (in theory).

WWF Cage Match Compilation Volume I

Ok so it’s mostly non-WWF but they do have a collection of about 70 cage matches from the company, including quite a few fan cam recordings from house shows. That is going to make for quite the look back, though some of these are from major shows that you have probably seen before. I’ll be doing them at random in a series so let’s get to it.

Superstar Billy Graham vs. Butch Reed
Date: October 16, 1987
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Attendance: 19,700
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Nick Bockwinkel

This is from Graham’s last run in wrestling and he only had a handful (ok two big handfuls) of matches before he hung it up for good. These two feuded for a good while during this run, though Graham’s body is rapidly deteriorating as he is already wrestling with a replaced hip and it’s only getting worse.

Before the match, we need to put the cage together (a thing that I miss but is completely impractical in the days of just hanging it above the ring). While that is taking place, we get some pre-match promos.

Graham talks about having Reed in the bearhug and now he’s ready to be locked in the cage so no one can interfere whatsoever.

Reed is ready to be in there man against man, and the REAL man is the only one leaving. Guess who that is supposed to be.

We go to the actual match and Reed jumps him on the way in to start fast. Graham is sent head first into the cage as Bockwinkel says this is like a prison cell. What kind of jails do they have in the AWA territory??? Anyway, Reed sends him into the cage and then uses Graham’s own bandanna to tie him to said cage. Reed charges into a knee though and Graham slips out.

This time it’s Reed going into the cage and Graham gets to choke with a shirt. It’s too early for Graham to get out as Bockwinkel thinks Graham’s knee might be his Achilles tendon. You were one word away from a perfect illustration. Reed gets caught trying to escape and Graham grabs a quickly broken sleeper. The ram into the cage lets Reed crank on the leg but Graham pulls him down.

A low blow doesn’t do much to Reed, who goes right back to the bad hip. Reed gets caught trying to climb out and the bearhug has him in trouble. That’s broken up with another ram into the cage but Graham pulls him down again. With the climbing not working, Reed pulls out some brass knuckles but misses a few shots, allowing Graham to use them on Reed instead. Graham dives (work with me here) out of the door to win at 11:04.

Rating: C+. It wasn’t exactly a great technical showdown, but that’s not what they were going for here. This was about Graham getting some revenge on Reed by hitting him in the face/sending him into the cage. The fans were still reacting to Graham and you could see the (super) star power, but the injuries were catching up to him way too fast to really be effective in a bigger way. Reed was good as usual, and for a big house show cage match, it worked well.

WWWF Title: Bruno Sammartino vs. Stan Hansen
Date: August 7, 1976
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Attendance: 22,000
Commentator: Vince McMahon

Bruno is defending (of course) and this is a rematch from Showdown At Shea, which was a rematch from when Hansen broke Bruno’s neck. We get the ESCAPE ONLY explanation and Hansen looks like a monster during his introduction. Bruno gets a heck of a reception (shocking I know) and after some Big Match Intros, we’re ready to go. Hansen jumps him to start but Bruno fights right back and sends him into the cage to an awesome roar. Some stomping puts Bruno down for a bit but he fights back again and sends Hansen into the cage.

It’s too early for Hansen to escape so he hammers away some more, earning a stomping from Bruno for a change. A shot to the ribs slows Bruno down but Hansen misses the elbow. Bruno grabs a reverse chinlock (or Boston crab according to Vince) before just stepping on Hansen’s face. What looks to be a low blow gets Hansen out of trouble but Bruno is still fine enough to catch him trying to escape.

We get some boots to Hansen’s head (there is something awesome about the way Bruno swings his leg so wide as he kicks someone) so Hansen goes with another low blow (or “foul” as Vince calls it). Another escape attempt is cut off for another ram into the cage, this time busting Hansen open. Bruno ties him in the ropes and unloads on him as Hansen is almost out. One more big right hand drops Hansen and Bruno walks out to retain at 10:43.

Rating: B-. This was a good old fashioned fight as Bruno didn’t so much care about the title as much as he wanted revenge on Hansen. Bruno always looked best when he was ticked off and just wanted to hit someone in the face over and over, which is exactly what you got here. You can feel the emotion when Bruno is in the ring, as even someone like Hansen is just overwhelmed. Very fun match and the crowd’s reaction to Bruno is incredible.

Post match the rather bloody Hansen gets up and poses before collapsing again. Vince: “Hansen, absolute annihilated here.” That’s about the size of it, yeah.

Andre The Giant vs. Big John Studd
Date: September 24, 1983
Location: Philadelphia Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 18,983
Commentators: Dick Graham, Gorilla Monsoon

We see Andre walking through the tunnel in the back and my goodness it’s such an imposing visual. That’s a big part of the appeal and dang does it work. Studd jumps him on the way in and stomps Andre down in the corner (that’s a weird sight) but the ram into the cage is blocked. Andre sends him into the cage a few times and Studd is already busted open.

Some rams into the other cage walls (just to be a completionist) have Studd staggered until he elbows Andre in the face a few times. Studd tries to leave so Andre sits on him for a rather painful cut off. Back up and Studd grabs a front facelock but gets cut off rather quickly for daring to try an escape.

Andre has to dive to cut off another escape attempt as Gorilla isn’t sure what size boot Andre wears. Back up and Andre sends him into the cage a few times but Studd hits a big clothesline. Studd’s next escape attempt is cut off with a legdrop to the back of the head and there’s the slam (good for $10,000). Andre goes nuclear by heading up top for a super sitdown splash. Since Studd is pretty much crushed beyond repair, Andre walks out to win at 10:04.

Rating: C+. Remember how I said the visual of Andre walking to the ring was awesome? The visual of him jumping off the top to crush an innocent human being is even better. I’ve seen him do it before but if there is a bigger ultimate finish in the WWF’s history, it’s a new one on me. Studd was one of the few people who could match size with Andre and he did well enough here, but there was no stopping the force that was Andre.

WWF Title: Bob Backlund vs. Jimmy Snuka
Date: June 28, 1982
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Commentator: Vince McMahon

Backlund is defending and it’s escape only again, albeit this time ONLY through the door (As apparently Backlund’s manager Arnold Skaaland thinks Snuka is too good at jumping over the cage. That’s quite a cop out for a heroic champion.) Snuka has Captain Lou Albano with him, like any good villain of the day should. Backlund tells him to get inside before grabbing him by the hair to start fast.

Some stomps have Snuka in trouble and Backlund strikes away, even headbutting Snuka without hurting himself. Snuka fires off some chops and knees as this is much more of a brawl so far. It’s Backlund going into the cage first as Vince talks about how there are TWO opponents each here, getting all philosophical you see. There’s the big whip into the cage and a backbreaker keeps Backlund in trouble.

The middle rope forearm/headbutt connects but it’s way too early for Snuka to escape. Backlund gets all fired up and punches away, setting up the catapult into the cage. Snuka is busted open and you know (at least you should) that a ticked off Backlund is going to go after that. A shot to the chest cuts Backlund off again though and an elbow….does nothing as pins don’t count here. Backlund gets suplexed but the splash off the top of the cage misses, allowing him to escape and retain at 10:25.

Rating: C+. This was just starting to get good when it wrapped up and that’s rather annoying. The splash off the cage looked like the big epic finish and Backlund escaping after it misses worked well enough, but the anger and hatred were just starting to flow here when they wrapped up. This was a huge feud at the time though and it’s easy to see why Snuka was a huge star the second he turned.

Post match Backlund says he kind of liked getting to hurt Snuka like that. He likes going out the door anyway because he wants more of a contest than a fight. Backlund respects Snuka’s power and athleticism and he’s ready for his next challenger, who might be Cowboy Bob Orton.

Vince gives us a quick backstory, saying Backlund and Orton were going to wrestle in high school but Backlund got hurt and couldn’t do it. As a result, Orton thinks he’s a coward but Backlund is ready to prove that he’s the better man. Backlund doesn’t have much say in who he faces but he’s requesting to face Orton. Total “bye golly’s” in this five minute interview: four. Oh and a “hello mom and dad”.

WWF Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Kamala
Date: January 11, 1987
Location: Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Attendance: 17,500
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Johnny V.

Hogan is defending and I’m surprised it took this long to get to one of his matches. In a rare moment, this is described as a ten foot cage instead of the traditional fifteen. Kamala has the Wizard and Kim Chee with him to uneven the odds a bit. Hogan has his face painted up and slaps his stomach on the way to the ring so Kamala uses the belt to beat the racial stereotypes out of him. Hogan fights back and chokes with the bandanna but has to block some cage shots.

There’s the back rake but Kamala sends him into the cage as Monsoon talks about Whipper Billy Watson. A leg dive keeps Kamala inside but he chops Hogan down. The splash connects as Gorilla talks about Kamala’s cannibalistic tendencies but it’s already Hulk Up time. The bloody Hogan sends him into the cage over and over and there’s quite the slam. Hogan drops the leg so Chee and the Wizard jump the referee and come in. That doesn’t work for Hogan, who beats all three of them up and goes through the door to retain at 6:19.

Rating: C. The match was nothing but Hogan came off like an absolute superhero here. He shrugged off Kamala’s biggest stuff, beat up the cheating managers, and walked out to retain in short order. The fans were going nuts for this too and I can’t say I blame them, as this is the Hogan that felt like the strongest force in the universe. How could you cheer for him?

Post match the villains go after him again and get beaten up, again! Posing ensues.

WWF Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff
Date: January 3, 1987
Location: Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, Connecticut
Attendance: 10,000
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jesse Ventura

Hogan is defending and this is a famous one, from Saturday Night’s Main Event #9. Before the match, Orndorff’s manager, promises to make Hogan the paper that lines a bird cage. Danny Davis is here as the second referee and yeah that is going to mean shenanigans. In the back, Hogan says the cage is the last resort. They both come out to Real American in a still awesome angle. Orndorff grabs the belt again for some shots but Hogan reaches for the ankle.

Hogan catches him on top as well, with Orndorff having to be dragged back over (Ventura: “Hogan would not be the champion if Mr. Wonderful was bald.” That line has cracked me up for over thirty years now.). Back down and Hogan punches away but Orndorff catches him on top. Orndorff misses some elbows and the comeback (I think?) is on but Davis doesn’t have the door unlocked in time. Some knees to the head rock Hogan again and stereo rams into the cage leave both of them down. They both climb up and get to the ground….at the same time at 6:45, with one referee each saying they both win.

It’s a tie, so we’ll get them back inside and keep going. Back from a break with Orndorff throwing him back inside and getting in some cheap shots. A fist drop triggers the comeback and Ventura isn’t happy. Some rams into the cage set up a backbreaker of all things into the legdrop. Heenan tries to break it up but Hogan shrugs him off, beats them both up and leaves to retain at 16:34.

Rating: B-. This was billed as the first cage match in network television history (accurate) and it felt like a big deal. Hogan vs. Orndorff had been a massive feud so giving them this big of a blowoff made sense. The stuff in the middle added some drama and as usual, the chemistry was rolling between these two. Hogan was off to something bigger though, which Orndorff would have to settle for the end of the biggest run of his career.

In the back, Heenan promises to get the footage of the match and show it to Jack Tunney because Orndorff is the champion. I still want one of those WWF duffle bags.

Hogan isn’t worried about Heenan’s plan.

Hulk Hogan/Brutus Beefcake vs. Randy Savage/Zeus
Date: December 27, 1989
Location: Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jesse Ventura

This is The Match from No Holds Barred: The Movie/The Match. Since the movie was falling apart, Vince McMahon tried this idea: get the movie on pay per view and see this match as well, as the big blowoff to the Hogan vs. Zeus feud (which would eventually be available on the original Supertape, which I’ve seen roughly 183 times). Hogan rips off Beefcake’s shirt but won’t let Beefcake do the same. That’s why he has no friends. Sherri, apparently a Beefcake fan, sends the cage door into Hogan’s face to drop him outside, leaving Beefcake two on one.

Since it’s Hogan, that lasts all of thirty seconds before Hogan punches Savage through the bars and climbs over the top to clean house. Zeus gets sent into the cage a few times to take over but he sends Hogan and Beefcake into the cage to drop both of them. Savage goes up but Beefcake breaks that up as well. The sleeper doesn’t last long on Zeus so the villains send Beefcake and Hogan into the cage a few times each. For some reason Savage and Zeus try to climb over the top, earning stereo suplexes back down.

All four are down so the referee tries to go inside (because he doesn’t understand the rules), allowing Sherri to ram him with the door as well. Sherri gives Savage the chain as he goes to the top of the cage but Beefcake manages to punch him out of the air. Savage and Beefcake fight on the side of the cage until Beefcake escapes and Hulk Hulks Up. With Beefcake dragging Savage out of the cage, Hogan sends Zeus into it a few more times. A slam sets up THREE LEGDROPS (GEEZ) for the pin at 9:44. Jesse: “I don’t believe it, he did it again!”.

Rating: C+. Watching this back, it is the definition of a post show dark match to send the fans home happy as other than Savage jumping off the cage, there really wasn’t anything special to this. Hogan dropping that many legs made it feel big, but the match itself is just pretty good. The nostalgia is strong enough though and Hogan was over like free beer in a frat house, so it’s the definition of good, easy fun.

WWF Title: Bob Backlund vs. Pat Patterson
Date: September 24, 1979
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Commentator: Vince McMahon

Backlund, with Arnold Skaaland, is defending and Patterson’s Intercontinental title isn’t on the line. Vince says that this is the fourth time the two have fought at MSG, apparently the first time a match has happened that many times at the Garden. Backlund starts fast and sends Patterson into the cage a few times as the fans are rather pleased. It’s rather too early for either to escape so Backlund cages him again.

Patterson cuts him off for a change and rams him a few times, only to get caught at the door. With that not working, Patterson tries to climb out so Backlund goes up as well. They slug it out on top until Backlund barely makes a save for a double crash back to the mat. In a change of pace, Patterson goes for the door but gets caught, then goes over the top but gets caught.

What appears to be a foreign object busts Backlund open and Patterson hammers at the cut. Backlund gets up for a hard shot of his own and they’re both down again. Patterson pulls him down so Backlund hits a catapult into the cage to bust him open as well. The atomic drop hits Patterson but he catches Backlund on top. The swing with the foreign object misses but they crash back down anyway. Backlund kicks him away and backs out of the door to retain at 16:41.

Rating: C+. This one took some getting into and it was only so good. They did a lot of the same things over and over and it didn’t exactly work. Backlund was trying here and Patterson was usually good but something was holding them back. Maybe they needed to mix it up a bit but this didn’t get beyond pretty good.

WWWF World Title: Bruno Sammartino vs. George Steele
Date: July 25, 1970
Location: Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sammartino is defending and this is the earliest match in the set. There is no commentary here and we see the cage put up by a guy in an undershirt for a weird visual. The ring announcer even tells us what the two of them will be wearing in a smart touch. Bruno starts fast and unloads with those kicks in the corner that he made look very good. The choking is on in the corner as it’s all Bruno to start.

Steele cuts him off from an early exit so Bruno unloads with some ax handles to the chest. A ram into the cage cuts Bruno off for once and the stomping ensues. Bruno manages to kick his way up from the mat (that’s awesome) to take over again and Steele is sent into the steel. Steele is allowed to go up but Bruno pulls him right back down for another crash.

A low blow gets Bruno out of trouble but he’s right back up and hammers Steele in the head. Bruno gets in those big stomps to the head and then chokes away until Steele goes to the eyes. Raking of the face has Bruno gyrating a bit and the fans are all over Steele. The blind Bruno swings away so Steele sends him into the corner for more stomping. Finally Bruno has had enough and just erupts, firing Steele into the cage over and over and stomping away. With Steele properly destroyed, Bruno walks out to retain at 14:34.

Rating: B. I’ve seen this match a few times before and it’s just fun. The crowd carries it a lot as they are absolutely rabid for Bruno and that comeback at the end had them looking like they were ready to kill Steele. It’s a very different era and they aren’t doing anything more than basic stuff, but my goodness the reactions and energy from Bruno are both great.

Jesse Ventura vs. Tony Atlas
Date: May 22, 1982
Location: Philadelphia Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 11,513
Commentators: Dick Graham, Kal Rudman

As usual, Jesse is great at being a heel, as he walks around the ring and yells at various people, like a villain should. Jesse takes his sweet time getting in and immediately tries to escape, only to be pulled back down to start the beating. Right hands and elbows have Ventura down fast but he blocks some rams into the cage. A headbutt puts him down instead but Ventura is back up with a failed ram of his own.

Ventura cheap shots him and sends Atlas into the cage to bust him open. A bite to the arm and an atomic drop keep Atlas in trouble as commentary is a bit stunned. For some reason it takes Ventura way too long to figure out how to get out of the cage, meaning the beating can be on again. Some rams into the cage bust Ventura open and then does it again to make it worse. Ventura hits him low for a breather but again takes way too long to go out. This time it takes so long that Atlas gets up, hops over the cage and escapes to win at 10:36.

Rating: C+. They were having a good fight until the kind of weird ending, as Atlas just suddenly remembered he had maxed out leaping ability and won. Ventura getting outsmarted, or at least outjumped, was kind of a weird way to go, but at least they had a unique way out. Not a great match, but it was getting good there at times.

Bruno Sammartino/Paul Orndorff vs. Roddy Piper/Bob Orton Jr.
Date: October 26, 1985
Location: Philadelphia Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 16,000
Commentators: Dick Graham, Gorilla Monsoon

Before the match, Sammartino says he isn’t climbing over the top, but rather walking out the door after he has destroyed Piper and Orton. Yes Sammartino is a little older but he is ready to take these two out.

One more thing: before the match, we hear about next month’s card. This will include:

David Sammartino
Corporal Kirchner
Hercules Hernandez
Hart Foundation vs. Uncle Elmer/Hillbilly Jim
Big John Studd vs. Hillbilly Jim (listed as a correction)
Don Muraco/Mr. Fuji vs. Tito Santana/Ricky Steamboat
King Kong Bundy vs. Andre The Giant

Freaking WOOF man, and the show itself would be even worse.

Anyway, all four are in at once here but in a twist, only one has to escape. It’s a brawl to start and Bruno is busted rather quickly. Orndorff slugs back to take over, including taking Orton’s cast and using it to smash Piper in the head. Piper is busted open and panics as he tries to escape, only to be pulled back inside.

Bruno is back up as well and starts unloading on Piper (as only Bruno can) but a cheap shot takes him down. Everyone is busted and we hit stereo chinlocks (that’s a new one in a cage match) but the good guys are up rather quickly. Orndorff and Orton go up and over at the same time, with Orndorff hitting the ground first for the win at 7:33.

Rating: B-. As has been the case, this was getting somewhere and then it ended before it could turn into something really good. What matters here is that Bruno got to look like a killer again as the awesome Piper vs. Orndorff feud continues. I could go for either combination of this again and that is because there was some awesome talent in there. Good stuff here, but it could have been better.

Post match Orton gets right back in and Bruno is left laying. Because THAT’S a good idea.

Intercontinental Title: Magnificent Muraco vs. Jimmy Snuka
Date: October 17, 1983
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Pat Patterson

You might have heard of this one and Muraco is defending. Before the match, a serious Muraco talks about the experience you need in a cage match and how he is still champion because he is the best.

Snuka’s manager Buddy Rogers talks about how Snuka will win because he is the best.

Snuka promises violence in the cage, as only he can bring.

We get the entrances from the backstage, including the famous fan sign “When Snuka Flies, Muraco Dies.” Snuka checks the cage and looks up, with a certain Hardcore Legend Mick Foley clearly seen in the crowd after hitch hiking because he had to see this match in person. Snuka goes right after him to start and chops against the ropes but a catapult sends him into the cage.

Another shot puts Muraco back down and Snuka goes up, but Muraco knows what that means and cuts him off quick. A slam off the top brings Snuka back down, followed by a low blow to keep him down. Back up and Snuka’s chops bust Muraco open to make it even worst. The middle rope forearm to the head sets up a flying headbutt….and Muraco goes sprawling through the door to retain at 6:46.

Rating: C+. Oddly enough, for one of the most famous moments ever in wrestling, the match is pretty much nothing. Muraco was terrified of letting Snuka get up top and then absolutely lucked his way into retaining. Snuka was so obsessed with violence and revenge that he kind of screwed himself over, but you could feel the intensity here, which is one of the places where Snuka often shined.

Snuka isn’t having that and pulls Muraco back in for a suplex. Then he climbs the cage and, in one of the most famous shots in WWF history, dives off with the splash to END Muraco (who sells it perfectly and doesn’t move an inch). Snuka drops the belt on him and poses before leaving.

Post match, Muraco’s manager Lou Albano says that Muraco is hurt but not destroyed. Muraco survived the most dangerous move in wrestling history and Albano goes on a rant about how Muraco fell out of the door COMPLETELY on purpose because he’s that smart.

Overall Rating: B-. The overall rating doesn’t mean much here as it’s just a random assortment of matches but there really isn’t a great one on here. A lot of these are rather short but what matters is how much the energy is cranked up. This was about beating the fire out of each other and it did show just how intense things can get when the cage is involved. Good enough stuff here, and I’ve got more than enough of these for a few extra volumes, which sounds rather appealing.



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