Paying homage to the many greats of the past and to the NWA/WCW Saturday Night program that ran on TBS at 6:05pm from 1972 until 2000 was the goal of the 6:05 The Reunion pay-per-view. For the pure nostalgia factor and price tag of $19.99 it was well worth it, but for in-ring action it is by no means a must see.
The atmosphere in the Hard Rock Live in Orlando, Florida was electric and complimented the wrestling action very well. Great commentary was provided by the legendary Lance Russell, James E. Cornette, Ron Niemi and Cory Maclin.
Many of the faces on the program have not been seen in years and some have kept a relatively low profile. On the other hand some of the participants such as Scott Steiner, Buff Bagwell and Jim Duggan are still very much active in various promotions. The only knock on the program was the editing — nothing affected the ring intros and the action itself, but the show felt rushed with ten matches in a two-hour time slot.
6:05 The Reunion Recap (Taped Sunday, March 5, 2006)
The show opens with the WCW Nitro Girls doing what they do best and that is dance and bringing out the cheers from the male fans in attendance. Announcer David Penzer entered the ring to kick off the festivities.
Match One — Nikolai Volkoff vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
The Big Russian Nikolai Volkoff entered the ring alongside his former tag team partner Iron Sheik to square off against his former nemesis “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan with his trusty 2 x 4 in hand. It was over in just over a minute when Duggan hit his finisher.
Winner Via Pinfall – “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Match Two — Rick Steiner vs. Mr. Jones (Virgil)
Jones jumps Steiner from behind as he is taking off his trademark leather jacket and opens up with a flurry of punches keeping the Dog Faced Gremlin on the mat. Steiner gets to his feet, landing two clotheslines and then finishes off Jones with a fireman’s carry in less than two minutes.
Winner Via Pinfall — Rick Steiner
Match Three — Disco Inferno vs. Koko B. Ware
The Birdman minus his sidekick Frankie squares off against Disco Inferno. Crowd became more alive during this battle with lots of Koko chants. Back and forth match up that ended when the Birdman pinned Disco with a bulldog in four and a half minutes.
Winner Via Pinfall — Koko B. Ware
Match Four — Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/Jimmy Hart vs. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka
Slow-paced match with lots of chops and showboating by Valentine and Snuka. The Hammer was in control throughout most of the bout. After interference by Jimmy Hart, Snuka laid him out and then climbed the top rope for the splash but was stopped by security and the referee. DNA entered the ring to aid Valentine and Hart then the ref waved it off at the eight minute mark.
Winner – No Contest
Match Five — Eddie Colon w/Carlos Colon vs. Vampiro
The sole Canadian on the show was Ontario native Vampiro. An exciting battle between Vampiro and Colon who could both very well be wrestling in one of the two big promotions as both are young and could be hardly classified as legends at this point in time. Both competitors looked sharp and the crowd took notice at the fast-paced action. Interference by Carlos Colon backfired and after a lariat Vampiro was able to pin Colon with his feet on the ropes at ten minutes. Best match of the night.
Winner Via Pinfall — Vampiro
Match Six — Kamala w/Friday vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
The start saw Roberts taunting Kamala with the bag that contained Damian. Early on Roberts controlled the action then Kamala took over. When they were tied up in the corner, Friday took the bag and placed it in the middle of the ring and told Kamala to splash the snake. Roberts pulled the bag away in time and gave Friday the DDT. Out came Damian and Kamala left the ring leaving an unconscious Friday to feel the wrath of the snake. End was at eight minutes.
Winner Via Count out — Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Match Seven — Dory Funk Jr. & Mike Graham w/Bruno Sammartino vs. Tully Blanchard & David Flair w/J.J. Dillon
Before the action got underway Dory Funk Jr. took the microphone as Bruno Sammartino was waiting in the ring. Funk commented that it was an honor to be standing in the ring with him and also mentioned that they wrestled in the same era but never against each other. Fans were chanting “One More Match”. The two legends hugged and shook hands. Funk and Blanchard kicked things off then Blanchard bailed out of the ring and Funk tagged in Graham.
Graham took Blanchard to the mat and kept him down until the former Horseman made the tag to David Flair. Along with Vampiro and Colon, Graham was in tremendous shape and looked like he hasn’t lost a step. Funk and Graham made quick tags and Blanchard and Flair could never get into a rhythm. Graham got a hold of the shoe that Dillon threw in the ring and nailed Flair in the head with it and Funk got the pin at ten minutes.
Winner Via Pinfall — Dory Funk Jr. & Mike Graham
Match Eight — Diamond Dallas Page vs. Chris Kanyon
Kanyon jumped DDP before he made it down the ramp and the two brawled outside the ring. When the action got into the squared circle Kanyon nailed DDP with a low blow then went outside and grabbed a table from under the ring. DDP was able to avoid the suplex on the table but Kanyon was still in control and mocking the former WCW champion. After DDP was able to seize control Kanyon became frustrated and tried to hit him with a chair but it bounced off the ropes and hit Kanyon in the face.
Shortly after Kanyon went for a bodyslam which DDP reversed and hit the Diamond Cutter. Fourteen minutes of toe to toe action. After the bout Kanyon admitted to the crowd that he was gay. Page took the microphone and said they both have been through a lot together in the ring and said to Kanyon that they will always be brothers then they hugged and the crowd rose to their feet applauding. Tie for match of the night.
Winner Via Pinfall — Diamond Dallas Page
Match Nine – “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton, “Loverboy” Dennis Condrey, “Sweet” Stan Lane w/James E. Cornette vs. “Bullet” Bob Armstrong, Brad Armstrong, Scott Armstrong w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
The Midnight Express vs. The Armstrong Family brought back memories of the good old days in tag team wrestling and much of the focus was on the managers, two all time greats. A lot of interference from both teams took something away along with the frequent tags. The teamwork from the Midnight Express was evident as they were able to maintain control until Cornette got involved. The tennis racket was the deciding factor as “Bullet” Bob got hold of it and nailed Eaton in the back with it to score the pinfall at ten minutes.
Winners Via Pinfall — The Armstrong Family
Match Ten — “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner vs. Buff Bagwell
Before Bagwell got into the ring, Steiner started ripping the rednecks in the crowd and was telling the ladies to come meet the freak show backstage. The action was back and forth early on then Steiner took control and didn’t let up keeping Bagwell grounded. The momentum shifted when Steiner was showboating and Bagwell was able to take advantage. Bagwell attempted the Blockbuster when Steiner’s valet pushed him off the top rope and Steiner caught him in a belly to belly suplex followed by the Steiner Recliner. Bagwell had no choice but to quit at the seven minute mark.
Winners Via Submission — Scott Steiner
As stated earlier, this was an entertaining PPV despite the lackluster main event plus many of the matches could have used more time. In hindsight, many of the participants are well over fifty years of age and you can’t beat father time so just having the privilege to see them in the ring for what could be the very last time for some made it worth watching. A future DVD release would be great, chronicling the careers of all the participants and give the fans, young and old a chance to see and learn what many of these legends contributed to the industry we all love.
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Ed Ludwig is a boxing/wrestling writer from Burnaby, BC.