Random Reviews returns with a look back at the enhancement career of the late Buddy Wayne.
These’ll be short outings, as we take a look at a handful of matches that Buddy Wayne worked in perhaps his most effective role: making others look good. Of course, Buddy passed away last weekend at the age of 50, so what better way than to remember him than by looking at what he did best?
Shawn Michaels vs. Buddy Wayne
We’re going back to February 1993, in the run-up to WrestleMania 9, for this match from Wrestling Challenge – a time when enhancement talent got a nameplate and a glimpse of the camera… and little else!
Once Shawn finally disrobes, they lock-up, but Shawn easily takes down Buddy with a waistlock, before wringing the arm as we cut away to a picture-in-picture promo from Tatanka. As that’s going on, Buddy’s taken down with a shoulder tackle, before connecting with a leapfrog and a dropkick. A second dropkick misses as Shawn rained down punches, before a suplex set up Buddy for a double axehandle off the top rope. How very early 90s! After a snapmare, an armbar with a handful of hair keeps Buddy down, before he turned around into a superkick as Shawn abandoned plans to hit a teardrop suplex, and just jack-knifed Buddy for the pin. Pretty basic, but that was the role of enhancement talent back then… take the star’s moves, make them look good, and maybe, just maybe, get something of your own in too!
Brian Pillman vs. Buddy Wayne
We’ve moved to WCW Saturday Night 1994 here… there’s a bald guy with huge mutton chops, and a fan wearing a shirt saying “I still love you Richard Nixon”. Yep, it’s the south! Unfortunately the backdrop to this was the arrival of Hulk Hogan, so Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan barely acknowledge this match. “Flyin’ Brian” starts with a hiptoss before he and Buddy exchange wristlocks and waistlocks… Buddy even manages to duck under a leapfrog from Pillman, before claiming that the tights had been pulled after Pillman hit an armdrag. Still, Buddy takes Brian into the corner for a chop, before lifting Brian onto the top rope as they exchanged slaps.
From there, Pillman chops away before delivering a back body drop… Sherri appears at ringside to distract Brian, but he continues with a hiptoss before going up top for a diving clothesline that Buddy flipped like a champ for… and that’s all folks!
Ricky Steamboat vs. Buddy Wayne
Still on a Saturday in 1994, we’ve got another outing from WCW against someone who was one of the best in the world in his day. Ricky’s breathing fire, so I’m hoping Buddy – and all of the fans with mullets – didn’t use any hair spray!
Buddy starts by shooting Ricky into the ropes from a headlock as the high-paced action featured headscissors from Buddy, and a load of armdrags from Steamboat. Ricky holds onto the arm, but ducks some big boots from Buddy and replies with another armdrag as we go back to the armbar. A random crowd shot gives us a break as Buddy takes Steamboat into the corner for some close-range punches and chops, buty Steamboat fights back into some more close-range punches from Buddy, who then got whipped into the corner, as he rebounded into another chop from Steamboat.
A back elbow and a belly-to-back suplex follow, as a cross body off the top earned the Dragon the win! Short, simple, and exactly why Buddy was one of the go-to enhancement guys for WWE and WCW.
Tajiri vs. Buddy Wayne
We leap forward to 2003 as Buddy was called to action when WWE hit Spokane for a SmackDown taping. He’s up against the Japanese Buzzsaw here, and if you want to date this… the adverts are for the PlayStation 2, whilst Ernest Miller and Josh Mathews are on commentary.
I feel old.
From the tie-up, Buddy grabs an arm and works the wrist of Tajiri as Josh fawns over a kiss between Sable and Torrie Wilson on commentary. He’s never changed. Tajiri drops a knee on Buddy’s face as he tries to gee up the crowd… but Buddy just boots him in the gut and grabs a headlock. Buddy scores with a shoulder block, before slapping Tajiri out of a leapfrog… and this is more offence than we’ve seen in the prior matches put together! A neck crank has Tajiri in some trouble, but he elbows free… only for Buddy to pull him down by the hair.
Tajiri kicks out at two from a spinebuster, before a snap suplex leads Buddy to try and go airborne… which was his downfall as he misses a moonsault, allowing Tajiri to chop away with kicks, finishing with a savate kick and a Buzzsaw kick for the win. Wonderful stuff – and a nice way to highlight that Buddy was more than a crash test dummy.
If you want to watch any of these, all but the Tajiri match is up on the YouTube channel for the Buddy Wayne Wrestling Academy.
Rest in Peace Buddy. Amongst wrestlers and fans alike, you’ll be missed.