The Netcop Retro Rant for Halloween Havoc 1997. – Okay, so here’s the deal: Much like my King of the Ring 95 rant, I felt unsatisfied with my original rant for this show that I did in 1997 (even though it was plugged by Rick Scaia during the days of Online Onslaught) and so I decided to rewatch the show and update my notes, and subsequently the rant, for a more modern perspective. As well, the original show was rated using the Hot Poker up the Ass rating system, which was cited by some as being too difficult to use as an objective ratings source. (Cited by JERKS maybe.) So here’s some of the original, mixed in with some new stuff, along with times and star ratings and more up to date comments. Enjoy. (Oh geez, I’m actually ripping off 99 Scott, I guess.) – Live from Las Vegas, Nevada. – Your hosts are Schiavone, Heenan and Dusty. – Opening match: Yuji Nagata v. Ultimo Dragon. Remember a few years ago some video game company releasing a bio-feedback bodysuit for fighting games? That’s what Nagata’s outfit looked like. This was probably one of the dumbest choices for a feud in 1997, because Nagata is a heavyweight and Dragon is a cruiserweight. A knee used to block the handspring elbow is a nice touch from Nagata. Nasty kicks, too. Nagata works on the shoulder, then applies a sort of figure four to further the damage. Oy vay. Hey, Yuji, the arm is ATTACHED TO THE SHOULDER. Just thought you might like to know. Finally, he hits the Herb Kunze armbar for the tap out at 9:47, which is a pretty bad ending and didn’t fit with the flow of the match. Still, good match otherwise. ***1/2 (That rating seems a bit disconnected with the match description.) – Gedo v. Chris Jericho. For those of you not acquainted with the finer points of my tastes in Japanese wrestling, let’s just say I hate Gedo’s guts and wish he was dead and leave it at that. (I’ve since gotten over it.) He was nice enough to chop off his dumbass Don King hairdo for this match, but the jumpsuit remains, in fashionable banana yellow. Tenay scares the hell out of me by suggesting that WCW was interested in bringing Jado and Fuyiki over to join Gedo. DEAR GOD, NO! Tenay also annoys me by reminding everyone that Gedo got unfairly pushed to the finals of the 1995 Super J Cup, losing to Jushin Liger, but not before single-handedly dragging the entire show down a notch. Standard Gedo v. Jericho WAR match here, with the only notable bit being Jericho blowing a top rope rana so badly that I’m surprised (and a little disappointed) that he didn’t break Gedo’s neck and retire him forever. To give you an idea, the announcers note that Gedo has a love for 1970’s style southern brawling, and compare him to Dusty Rhodes. Yes, he’s THAT BAD. Liontamer gets the submission at 7:16. Match was good. ***1/4 – Cruiserweight title, mask v. title: Eddy Guerrero v. Rey Mysterio Jr. Rey has his “SLAM EVIL!” alternate costume tonight. Big heel heat for Eddy here. Good fast sequence to start, with Rey mistiming a highspot and Eddy covering by bumping him onto the floor. Eddy springboards in and hits some stiff shots. Rey with a dropkick and Eddy blocks a handspring with a backdrop suplex and a jackhammerish move for two. Tilt-a-whirl gets two. Eddy goes for an abdominal stretch and turns it into a nasty pumphandle backbreaker. Ee-yow! It gets two. Eddy applies a knucklelock and gets a few twos. Rey fights up and goes into a springboard DDT. Dropkick sends Eddy to the floor, but Eddy thinks ahead of him and dodges the highspot. Brawling on the floor. Back in and Eddy rips at the mask while in a rear chinlock. Gory Special is reversed into an armdrag, so Eddy dropkicks him in the face and into another submission move. Flying elbow gets two. Rey is in the Tree of Woe, and Eddy gleefully charges, but misses and crotches himself. Rey hits a plancha as Eddy bails. Back in, and Rey snaps off a rana for two. Headscissors puts Eddy on the floor again, and Rey follows with a somersault plancha. Back in, and Rey hits a corkscrew moonsault for two. Moonsault #2 hits the knees and Eddy nearly KILLS him with a powerbomb. He misses a blind charge and Rey comes back with the rana, but gets caught with a backbreaker. Blown spot, but I can forgive it. Frog splash misses, and they head to the top and fight over a superplex. Eddy maneuvers into Splash Mountain, but Rey reverses to the rana for the pin at 13:49 for the title. Whew. ***** I still liked Hell in a Cell better for emotional impact and heat, but this was the better pure match. – Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan do a soundbite where Hogan threatens not to wrestle until WCW can guarantee Sting won’t be in the building. This is stupid on many levels. – Steve MacMichael v. Alex Wright. Bill Goldberg comes out as Debra distracts the referee and gives Alex the win. Okay, that’s not exactly how it happened. It was more like Debra walks around the ring and the referee wanders over for no good reason and starts yapping at her. She *then* jumps onto the apron and “distracts” the referee. Bill wanders in, takes 15 or 20 seconds readying himself, clips MacMichael (nearly knocking over the referee), then does the JackHammer not two feet away from the referee. The referee glanced over his shoulder *twice* and clearly saw what was going on. Then Goldberg picks up Wright, heaves him onto MacMichael, and finally leaves just before the ref turns around. This was SO STUPID. The announcers spend the entirety of the match talking about Hogan v. Piper later. Match ran 6:30. DUD (Remember when Goldberg was a heel?) – Disco Inferno v. Jacqueline. I was pretty pissed off about the match back in 1997, but with all the crap that has gone on in wrestling since then, I’ve mellowed to it. The match is still a horrible abomination, and Jackie isn’t just a bad female wrestler, she’s a bad wrestler period. But now I can just view it as the crappy match it is, rather than a personal offense. (I think that if there’s one thing Vince Russo has taught all of us, it’s that things can ALWAYS be worse.) Jackie gets the pin off a cradle at 9:39, 9:00 of which was stalling. DUD – US title match: Curt Hennig v. Ric Flair (US title). Hennig takes the Pillman bump to the railing. Hennig’s oversell of the chops is glorious to see, back when Curt gave a damn. Hennig works the knee very well, too. The announcers are STILL talking about the main event. Match kinda drags, however, so it’s excusable. The belt (which was the CRUISERWEIGHT belt, by the way, instead of the US belt) gets involved, and Flair uses it for the DQ at 13:55. A very watchable match ruined by another screwjob ending. **1/4 – Scott Hall v. Lex Luger. Oh, lord. Why do you test me so? Just to sum up this whole match, there’s a spot where Scott Hall is holding both of Luger’s wrists behind Luger’s back, in a surfboard move. Luger goes behind and reverses it, but Hall is STILL HOLDING LUGER’S WRISTS. Uh, Scott, why don’t you just LET GO OF HIS WRISTS? It was that bad, folks. Ending #1: Lex does his obligatory 3 offensive moves in succession (in this case, an atomic drop done 3 times) and goes for the rack, but Syxx comes in and misses a kick to the head (which Lex sells anyway) and allows Scott to hit the Outsider Edge and get the (very reluctant) pin from Larry Z at 12:38. But Larry demands instant replay, and match starts again. Luger gets Hall in the rack 5 seconds later, Syxx runs in, DQ. I think. No decision was announced. Bischoff runs in and takes out Zbyszko, just to continue making himself look better than every wrestler, announcer and referee in his whole company. Utter waste of 20 minutes. * – Las Vegas Death Match: DDP v. Randy Savage. DDP has suddenly acquired some sort of padding taped to his ribs here. (And it stayed there for like 3 years.) They go into the crowd and do basically nothing. They hit each other with styrofoam props and sell it. Kimberly comes out and drags Liz back to the dressing room by the hair in a pointless spot that would have been much improved by them ripping each other’s clothes off and falling into a conveniently placed tub of jello. Neither girl is seen again after they go back to the dressing room. Ref takes a bump as DDP hits the Diamond Cutter, then Fake Sting #2939B (aka Hulk Hogan) comes out (even the announcers aren’t buying it this time), hits DDP with the bat and the referee wakes up and counts DDP out at 18:05. I enjoyed this MUCH more on second viewing. **** – “Main” event: Roddy Piper v. Hulk Hogan (non-title). Not only was the match bad, but they couldn’t even decide on the rules. They spent most of the match fighting to get out of the cage like in a WWF style match, but at one point both guys walked out the door and fought outside the cage. Then when they got back in, they fought to get out again. They spend 40% of the match hanging from the cage in some form. Hulk gets the advantage, the ref comes in to count the pin, Piper kicks out. Sleeper, Piper wins at 13:14. I guess WCW’s thinking was that everyone is going to buy Starrcade anyway, so who cares if the World champ is made to look foolish by Piper two months beforehand? (Well everyone did buy Starrcade at least.) Savage leapt off the top of the cage in a spot that would have been cooler had the cage not been so high up and far away from the ring that he would have needed a tracking system to actually hit Piper from where he jumped from. Hogan and Savage handcuff Piper to the cage, some fake Stings run in, a fan runs in and the Megapowers beat him up too, show over. Huh? -** The Bottom Line: I brutalized this show on first viewing, but after two years of perspective, this is really quite an enjoyable show with an amazing FOUR matches at *** or better, and two of them at **** or better. Even with the nWo bullshit, you can’t really ask much more than that. I’m reversing my original thumbs down and going thumbs up for this one. (Really, 15 years later the only thing anyone remembers is Eddy v. Rey, but it was a hell of a match.)
Taped from Philadelphia, PA
Hosted by Joey Styles
For those who have not read my Wrestlepalooza report, please
Thanks for reading it, now let’s recap a RECAP show!
installment of the History of ECW holding “Barbie” (a 2×4 covered in barbed
wire). We will take a look back at Wrestlepalooza and all three title matches.
Yikes! He closes the opening segment by kissing “Barbie” and says he “likes it
rough.” TMI, Joey, TMI.
Shane Douglas. If you want to know what he said please refer to my
Wrestlepalooza report here. In
the meantime, a graphic from WWE gives us this little factoid: Al Snow and the
Unabomber (Kane) won the Smoky Mountain tag titles in 1995.
then the opener.
to be driven from Pittsburgh to Marietta for the PPV and was hospitalized for
three nights under the care of a private physician. Hmmm…if Paul used his PPV
revenues to pay for that bill it’s no wonder this company couldn’t sustain
course, for HER pleasure. The aftermath included Taz’s destruction of a
backseat window while handcuffed. This definitely has to be seen to be
Shane? How about his promo before the title match? Here ya go.
about Shane’s condition after the PPV. Francine shoos him away. Never thought
I’d type that sentence. He proceeds to insult her by calling her “girl.” After
giving him what-for, she opens the door to allow him locker room access, but
Bam Bam Bigelow is bouncing the door from the inside. Candido acts like a
superball behind him, and DeTruth gets denied once more.
brace, and Jason stand alongside him. The former Aldo Montoya states that he’s
Justin Credible “4 Life.”
Whipwreck are shown.
then said highlights are shown.
him about the team of Candido and Storm. Lance quickly and menacingly corrects
him then leaves. He was definitely SERIOUS for a moment there.
cap. According to her, with all of her “connections”, we will never know where
she will show up. She finishes with the “What a rush” clincher from the LOD.
corner is shown.
Our truly laughable moment of the show occurs when Joey says “the true outcome
of the matchup…will be debated in- and outside of Extreme Championship
Wrestling for years to come.” In spite of my enjoyment of the match I don’t
think so, Joey.
argument that he won the match.
about to announce the winner Fonzie and his whistle interrupt him as well as
cause him to declare a draw. Get intimidated much, Jeff? Fonzie offers some
words until RVD interrupts him. RVD says he’s the best wrestler in the world
and won…until Sabu interrupts him with a tug of his ponytail. Oooh, it’s game
on now! Fonzie holds Sabu back, and RVD closes out the segment touting himself.
match by both wrestlers. He then reiterates that Shane Douglas won the main
event match to retain the ECW World title.
pauses for a long time, looks at Head, and leaves.
with Wrestlepalooza. Next week’s episode will emanate from Buffalo, NY.
from our comfort zone – the Northeast.” And, in an effort to be extremely
creepy, he excuses himself stating he’s “reserved a room at the Stamford Motor
Inn for me and Barbie.” Ick.
did not need to watch this week’s episode. Albeit this show was taped TWO days
after the PPV there was barely anything outside of it to recap. If you have not
read my Wrestlepalooza recap and want to know what happened please be my guest.
The road to Heat Wave ’98 starts with the next episode. I wonder where Paul
takes us next. Until next time stay away from barbed wired 2×4 please!
Be sure to visit http://www.rockstargary.com to check out more info on me!
From: "Jared Migden" <[email protected]>
Date: Oct 8, 2012 6:06 PM
Subject: Fw: CASTING-WIN HUGE $$-Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's New Adventure series
To: "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
From: Lisa and Debbie Ganz <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Sent: Monday, October 8, 2012 4:37 PM
Subject: CASTING-WIN HUGE $$-Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's New Adventure series
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The SmarK RAW Rant – 10.08.12 Rough day to work in creative, apparently. With Vince desperate and ratings falling, the trainwreck can only be GLORIOUS. Live from Sacramento, CA Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jim Ross John Cena and his pink outfit are booed out of the building to start. He talks about missing a WHOLE WEEK and makes stupid jokes about all the stuff that has been happening. Like really, Antonio Cesaro has giant nipples? This is the guy on top of the promotion? He promises to fight for the championship even with one arm, and notes that Punk isn’t a man unless he defends against Cena in the Cell. Wow, what a scintillating segment that was. Ryback v. Epico & Primo Way to continue building up the tag division. The Colons manage to double-team Ryback and pound him down, and Primo gets two. Primo tries a sleeper, but Ryback clotheslines them to come back and finishes with his double move at 2:33. I really wish they’d figure out what they want to do with this guy. ½* Brodus Clay v. R-Truth Apparently Little Jimmy is going through puberty, so Truth calls off the match and they all dance instead. Vince interrupts and kicks them out of the ring. Vince McMahon is out for his State of the WWE address, but CM Punk interrupts before he can deliver it. Vince is disrespecting him! Vince clarifies that he respects the length of the title reign, but he’s “not a CM Punk guy”. Punk thinks that if he doesn’t get more appreciation, he’ll take the belt and leave the company, again. Vince says that he only listens to the WWE fans, and they all think Punk needs to shut his mouth. I would disagree with that assessment. Punk continues the Steve Austin trash-talking, saying that Austin ran away from fights and beat up a clueless millionaire to get to the top. So Punk hauls off and slaps Vince, which prompts a challenge for a match tonight. Sin Cara & Rey Mysterio v. The Primetime Players Cara hits a rana on Young and the luchadors dump him and follow with a pair of dives. We take a break and return with Titus pounding on Sin Cara, but he comes back with a tornado DDT out of the corner. Cole reads idiotic tweets from fans as Rey gets the hot tag and boots Young down for two. Young hits his finisher on Cara, but falls victim to the 619 and flying splash at 6:49 to send the masked men into the finals. Did Titus fall into a chasm or something? He just disappeared after the hot tag. ** Meanwhile, Heyman has concerns about Punk’s impending match against Vince. Even if Punk wins, Vince will make their lives miserable, and feels like Punk should throw the match. Sheamus v. Wade Barrett This goes about 10 seconds before Big Show interrupts. So they stop and gawk at him, and then Barrett attacks to restart it. Sheamus works on a headlock and slingshots into the ring with a shoulderblock before going back to the headlock. Barrett slugs out, but Sheamus gets a suplex for two. Barrett goes to the apron and Sheamus kneelifts him to the floor, but Barrett clips the knee and pulls him out of the ring as we take a break. Back with them fighting to the floor again, and Barrett kicks the stairs into Sheamus’s knee, and back in for two. Barrett goes to the rear chinlock and chokes him out on the ropes, then boots him down for two. Barrett goes up and misses an elbow, allowing Sheamus to make the comeback. He dumps Barrett and gets the forearms, but Tensai runs in for the DQ at 13:43. That was a very long match for that terrible finish. Dunno why they’d give this one away when it could be a PPV main down the line, but it was looking pretty good at the end. ** The beatdown appears imminent, but Sheamus lays out Tensai with the Brogue kick and gets rid of Barrett. Show comes in and blocks the kick, but Sheamus, as usual, is standing tall at the end. Antonio Cesaro v. Tyson Kidd Cole scoffing at JBL’s mountain-climbing is kind of a funny running gag. Cesaro takes Kidd down and does bad things to his arm, but Kidd flips out of it and gets a rollup for two. Cesaro pounds him into Swiss cheese in the corner and adds a double-stomp on the apron. Back in for a neck vice, but Kidd escapes to the floor and adds a baseball slide. Back in for a rollup that gets two and a guillotine legdrop, but a springboard elbow misses. Cesaro MURDERS him with a press into an uppercut, and finishes with the NEUTRALIZER at 3:55. Oh man, that uppercut was EPIC. Kidd continues his thankless role in making others look awesome. **1/2 Team Hell No v. Dolph Ziggler & Alberto Del Rio What a thoroughly random pairing. The champs continue to tread water despite getting some of the biggest reactions in the company. Bryan gets a kneelift on Ziggler and gets ADR’s arm, and that brings Kane in. He controls the arm as well and then beats on Ziggler and tosses him. Bryan comes in with a running knee off the apron, and surprise, we take a break. Back with the champs controlling Ziggler and Bryan gets a top rope rana, which is reversed into a sunset flip for two. Del Rio stomps him down for two. Superkick and it’s over to Ziggler. Elbow gets two. Del Rio with a snap suplex for two. Bryan fights back in the corner and misses a blind charge, and Ziggler gets two. He misses his own blind charge, but manages to cut off the tag so that Del Rio can issue a further beatdown. Del Rio with a backdrop suplex for two as this thing just DRAGS on. Del Rio with a backbreaker for two. This heat segment literally started in the second hour and has continued into the third hour unabated. Del Rio finally charges and hits the post, and it’s hot tag Kane. Ziggler gets a blind tag, and Kane tries to chokeslam both of them, but the fameasser gets two. Kane blocks the Zig Zag and goes up, but Bryan tags himself in with a missile dropkick for two. Kane and ADR fight to the floor, and Ziggler rolls up Bryan for two, but Kane tags himself back in and finishes with the chokeslam at 17:22. So long. So very long. **1/2 And really, what did it accomplish in exchange for that ungodly chunk of TV time? They still don’t get along, Ziggler jobs again and isn’t booked on the PPV, and ADR has a vague issue with Randy Orton that wasn’t addressed by this. Meanwhile, Jim Ross thinks Vince is making a mistake tonight. Larry King has a talk show segment, and the Miz is his guest for some reason. Miz demands that everyone sing Happy Birthday to him, but the production people would probably dub it over with a cheaper song if that happened. Larry is already bored with Miz, so he brings out Kofi Kingston instead. This greatly offends Miz, who cuts a funny promo on King, and gets into a brawl with Kofi. Hey, it’s a new feud over the title with an actual story to it! I approve! Not of this segment in general, fuck no, but Kofi v. Miz is at least a decent feud. Santino & Zack Ryder v. The Rhodes Scholars Ryder gains control of Cody in the corner, but Sandow gets a cheapshot from the apron and a clothesline for two. The Scholars double-team and Sandow hits the ELBOW OF DISDAIN for two. Hot tag to Santino, and he gets his usual comeback, but the disaster kick finishes him at 3:00. Heath Slater and his jobbers run out and beat on Santino afterwards. I agree with the person who suggested they just start calling them the nWo to mess with people. Why not? They own the name and likenesses anyway. Divas title: Eve Torres v. Kaitlyn Is this division still a thing? Haven’t they all quit yet? Kaitlyn quickly gets a TORTURE RACK, so bad that Lex Luger is rolling over in his grave (is he dead? He’s gotta be dead, right?) but hurts her knee on a backbreaker. Or ankle. Whatever. Eve goes after it and uses a Gracie-like submission on her at 2:48. By Gracie, I meant Gracie Allen of course. Layla is extraordinarily whiny on commentary, claiming that she should get the rematch and making excuses for losing. ½* Meanwhile, Kane and Daniel Bryan torment Larry King in a funny bit (“You look like someone slapped you in the face with a Fruit Roll-Up!”). CM Punk v. Vince McMahon Punk kicks Vince’s ass and even busts him open hardway, but can’t quite GTS him onto the table. Vince sends him into the post and makes the comeback, beating him up behind the announce table, then grabs a kendo stick. Punk gets his own and it’s KENDO DUEL, but Punk loses that battle and begs off. Thankfully, he was just waiting for a chance to hit Vince in the nuts, which as always raises the match an extra star. GTS is threatened, but Ryback heads out and wants to be fed more. Punk escapes the Shellshock and runs away into the crowd, which prompts Vince to offer him a choice: Face Cena or Ryback at the PPV. I’m thinking that ends up a three way. A quick check of the DVR reveals that Punk hauled off and punched some dude right in the face while standing in the crowd, and that’s probably not gonna end up well for anyone. The Pulse I was pretty bored with most of the show, although thanks to the power of DVR I could skip through the ENDLESS recaps of the Punk-Vince segment, but at least SOMETHING happened to end it. The Ryback thing was a super-hot finish, and Vince is now the biggest babyface in the company again. Gotta show these kids how to draw ratings and bleed himself, I guess. It would be nice to get a PPV main event announced at some point, but that’s the nitpicker in me, I suppose.
I stayed up late to do a live blog on Raw. I'll never do it again. Please plug so my sacrifice is worth it.
Survivor Series seems so close…yet so far away.
I am quite the perv so I read Gawker’s hilarious take on Hogan’s naughty video and saw some of the footage….and well I think his bragging about 24″ pythons is a little bit of an exaggeration, but for a 60-year-old man it’s not bad. And the chick is much better looking than that drunken disaster he was divorcing at the time.
Anyhoo, enjoy the show and come out swinging but try to keep it cleaner than I just did :).
The Netcop Retro Rant for Halloween Havoc 1996. – Apologies for being a day late with this one, but I had to get my nerve up to sit through it. By the way, kudos to everyone who pointed out the truly frightening proportion of my prognosticative powers, with regards to the Fabulous Moolah. It still gives me nightmares, too. (I believe that was in reference to my comment that Moolah could end up winning the Women’s title any day now, and then that very thing happened.) – Live from Lost Wages, Nevada. – Your hosts are Tony, Bobby and Dusty. – Opening match, Cruiserweight title: Rey Mysterio Jr. v. Dean Malenko. This one had a real unusual backstory to it: See, Mysterio won the title from Malenko, and Malenko was upset at losing his title and decided he wanted a rematch. You don’t see that kind of edgy storyline these days. Malenko is a full heel at this point, for those who have trouble keeping track, much like myself. Tenay notes that Rey is nothing without his mask. Two years later and suddenly it’s “Rey has improved peripheral vision without the mask” because American fans are too stupid to know about the Mexican mask heritage. Doncha love Eric Bischoff? (12 years later and it’s “Rey can live in a gold-plated mansion because of all the masks he sells in WWE.”) Mysterio was not yet over at this point, as fan reactions indicated. Much like the Hardy Boys, the fans pop for highspots and not much else. Mysterio steals back his stolen mask from Malenko at one point, and does a neat little mask switcheroo in mid-ring while Malenko is on the outside. Dean comes back and works the knee extensively. Superplex gets two, and it’s more knee workage. Rey gets a quick small package for two, and then Dean goes to an extended sleeper sequence to quiet the crowd. A hammerlocked northern lights suplex (ouch!) gets two. They fight on the top rope and both bump to the floor. Rey makes the big comeback and they go into a complex pinning sequence, finished by Dean as he simply clotheslines Rey. Remember that for later. Dean bails, and Rey follows with a corkscrew quebrada. Rey with the rana for two, and a second attempt is turned into a powerbomb by Dean for two. Rey puts Dean in position for the top rope rana, but Dean blocks that as well with a powerbomb, which this time is enough to put him away at 18:26 and regain the title. He gets a BIG pop too. One thing about 1996 WCW: You sure got a lot of 20 minute cruiserweight matches. ***1/2 (What a wacky idea.) – Lord of the Ring match: Eddy Guerrero v. Diamond Dallas Page. This is the final blowoff for the meaningless “Lord of the Ring” title won by DDP at Slamboree 96. The REAL purpose of the feud was to put DDP in a series of good matches with the Guerrero family to trick the fans into thinking he had improved as a wrestler. And obviously it worked, because by the time the general populace figured out he was still essentially useless, he had 2 World titles under his belt. (Oh come on, he wasn’t USELESS.) It should be noted that Nick Patrick is into his first Evil Referee stint, wearing a neck brace and selling a crippling neck injury all night. Eddy babysits DDP through a wrestling sequence to start, and a long headlock follows. DDP bails and they brawl on the floor. Back in the ring, and DDP crotches him on the top to take control. He gets a rope-assisted two count. Good. I approve of heels who put their feet on the ropes. DDP still stalls too much in between moves at this point, however. A tilt-a-whirl slam gets two, prompting a shoving match with Patrick, which in turn allows Eddy to roll him up for two. Eddy comes back and again carries DDP through a pinning reversal sequence, which is ended by DDP lifting Malenko’s move and clotheslining Eddy, just like in the last match. See how smart he is, making sure to associate himself with the good workers and use their tactics. And sure enough, the clothesline gets a good pop, too, just like it did for Dean. They exchange more two-counts, until gets a pancake and a rotation powerbomb. Eddy is stunned, and DDP finishes him with a sloppy Diamond Cutter (looking closer to the original form it held — a direct ripoff of the Ace Crusher, before evolving into the more “snapped off” version he uses today) at 13:38. Anticlimactic ending to an okay match. **1/2 (I must have had it in for DDP at that point.) – The Giant v. Jeff Jarrett. The issue was that the Giant stole the US title belt from Ric Flair and beat him up, so Flair brought Jarrett into WCW to help him out. And to say that the fans didn’t take to Jarrett would be a gross understatement. Had Jarrett just accepted the nWo’s original offer, he might have been over and everything. As it is, supposed babyface Jarrett gets booed out of the building here. Bringing Flair out with him helps some. A little. Okay, not at all. Jarrett uses completely unsound strategy, trying wrestling moves on him and getting tossed like a lawn dart as a result. Repeat SEVERAL TIMES. Note to Paul Wight: Backbreakers are not your strong point. Giant misses a blind charge and Jarrett plays David & Goliath with him, trying to knock him down. They end up fighting outside and Flair low-blows the Giant in view of the ref for the DQ at 9:55. Well, Flair certainly tried there, I’ll give him that. 1/2* – Syxx v. Chris Jericho. This could have been great, but Syxx absolutely did not care at this point, and the match was merely a backdrop to set up Jericho v. Nick Patrick at the next PPV. It should be noted that X-Pac is my least favorite wrestler name to type, because the keyboard positioning is so awkward. Just for those who care. (Other difficult ones: Christian and Psychosis) Syxx was still very much Lightning Kid-ish at this point, sticking out his tongue and tossing off highspots, before a neck injury later in 1997 would essentially ground him and turn him into the more complete wrestler he is today. (By “complete” I obviously meant “addicted to painkillers”) Tumbling sequence to start here. It is pointed out that the Dungeon of Doom is sitting in the front row. Geez, WCW comps the freakin’ DoD front row seats and they wonder why the nWo ended up kicking their butt? Jericho gets knocked to the floor and they brawl there. Back in and Syxx hits the kick combo and goes to the chinlock. A blind charge misses and Jericho takes over. He gets a few two-counts and Patrick gets increasingly biased, pissing off the crowd. Syxx hits a simple leg lariat, and Patrick supposedly quick-counts on Jericho, although it looked fine to me. Storyline overwhelmed the match here. *1/2 By the way, someone e-mailed me after Unforgiven to make the case that this match was better than the X-Pac v. Jericho one there. I personally think they had it confused with the Syxx-Jericho series from 1997, but to each their own, I guess. – Arn Anderson v. Lex Luger. Since I can’t be bothered to remember what the storyline was here, Tony kindly explains it: Arn was pissed at Luger for being a wuss and submitting at Wargames to give the nWo the win. Okey doke. Arn does some quick damage, but turns his back to gloat and Luger comes back. And yells a lot, can’t forget that. The Dungeon are cheering Lex. Lex works AA’s back, and nothing of note happens for a good long time. Arn gets a fluke spinebuster and starts working on Luger’s back. And thanks to Dusty, I can now use the phrase “Bulla Bulla” in proper context, and DON’T THINK I WON’T! Years later, Luger blocks a DDT and makes the superman comeback, which I guess is apropos for a guy with initials “LL”. Ref gets bumped and they fight on the floor. Luger gives him a few lovetaps with a chair, then racks Arn for the submission at 12:20. Whoa, check the irony on that one! It’s so poetic, it’s like Keats and Kerouac rolled into one. * (Arn was definitely on the tail end of his career at this point, only a few months away from retirement.) – The Feces of Fear v. Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael. Hey, who’s the bimbo with Mongo? Debbie or Brenda or something like that. Meng and Mongo start, and I half-hope for a Ming the Merciless run-in to complete that whole vowel sequence thing. Benoit hangs tough with the Barbarian for a bit, but the demons booking this thing insist on giving the fans that Meng v. Mongo sumo showdown they were clamouring for. Mongo gets beat on for a bit, coming back with a pair of dropkicks so sad and yet inspired at the same time that I feel the need to create a new rating scale: The Erik Watts Scale. Just as awesome bladejobs are rated on the Muta Scale, I now christen this new system, whereby truly pathetic dropkicks will be rated against the mother of all bad dropkicks: Erik Watts’ belly-flop at Starrcade 92. In this case, we’ll call it 0.5 Watts. Feel free to play at home. Benoit tags in and promptly gets powerbombed. Whoops. Barbarian hits an admittedly impressive overhead belly-to-belly off the top, although it was basically Benoit doing a 15 foot dive across the ring from the top rope, but maybe that’s just the cynic in me talking. A double-team diving headbutt gets two. They hit a suplex and splash combo on Benoit, but Mongo utilizes his finisher — the briefcase to the head — on Meng for the Benoit pin at 9:20. Not as brutally bad as it could have been, I suppose. * – Mayday! Mayday! This show is going down faster than Missy Hyatt at a sex addict convention . . . – WCW World tag team title: Harlem Heat v. The Outsiders. Wait, wait, I feel a shill coming on… Coming soon to WrestleLine: The Netcop Revelation Rant, covering the epic rise and fall of the nWo from 1996-1999 and explaining just why Kevin Nash is such a tool. Be the first on your block to get a copy! (That one never happened, by the way. I was getting so sick of Wrestleline’s nonsense that I just never bothered to write it. Original title was going to be “There Goes The Neighborhood” before others talked me into tying it into the classic literature theme of the previous two history pieces. Basically the bulk of what I had written got turned into the nWo entry in my first book, in case you’re wondering if there’s secret unreleased stuff in my vault.) Okay, got that out of the way. This, by the way, is the match that officially marks the end of tag team wrestling in North America as we liked it. Fans chant “Razor” and “Diesel” at various points in the match, depending on who’s in. Hall starts while Nash picks his nose on the apron and thinks up booking ideas. He tags in and does his usual stuff, but gets beatdown by Stevie Ray. Whoa, is that SELLING from Big Lazy? A Booker T axe kick gets two. I question booking the Outsiders as heels here, given the massive babyface reaction they’re getting. Booker T plays sucka-in-peril. Hall runs through his Razor Ramon stuff, until Sherri jumps on the apron to run interference. Hall kisses her in response, and I leave it as an exercise to the reader to make the proper cheap joke. I can’t do EVERYTHING, people. Stevie Ray gets the hot tag and they hit the Harlem Hangover, but the ref is distracted putting Stevie Ray out. In the meantime, Kevin Nash bullies Rob Parker into giving him the cane, and bashes it over Stevie’s head to give the Outsiders their first tag titles at 13:06. They pose with the belts in a famous image. Match was nothing. 1/2* (Yeah, but the Outsiders were the biggest stars in the promotion, so having the belts elevated the title above the midcard nothing it was before that, at least.) – WCW World title: Hulk Hogan v. Randy Savage. Hey, haven’t we seen this before? Oh yeah, on every other show of 1986 through 1998, inclusive. That’s right. The announcers mock Hogan’s obvious wig, left over from the Three Ninjas movie he did. (My wife looks after three elementary school aged boys, so recently I actually had a chance to watch said Three Ninjas movie on Netflix, and even the 8 year old wasn’t buying Hogan’s performance in it. Holy GOD what a steaming pile of crap that movie was.) Savage had a long winning streak to earn him this shot, whereby he LOST EVERY MATCH. But hey, WCW promised Hogan v. Savage months before the match, so Hogan v. Savage you get, even if Savage looked like a lame duck challenger. (Yeah, but this show did a monster buyrate by WCW standards, and the Slim Jim sponsorship got them a bunch of money, so you can’t argue the effectiveness of the strategy.) We get the mother of all stall sessions to start, as no real contact is made until FIVE MINUTES into the match. Hogan gets a simple punch at that point, and Savage starts selling as though the glove was loaded with buckshot like Iron Shiek’s boot. Hogan poses a lot. Savage comes back with a double- axehandle. More stupidity as Savage steals the sunglasses and wig that Hogan has been wearing the whole match and prances around with them. Is this WCW or the Geriatric Match from WrestleMania 12? They allegedly brawl on the floor, and deep down I almost hope for Savage to blade off the shot to the padded post he takes, just to complete the self- parody in a work of true artistic Sid-ism. (CALLBACK! CALLBACK! I gave up on that one too quickly.) Liz wanders out, because obviously the bookers felt that the match was underbooked, what with only two nWo members at ringside to provide possible screwjob endings. By the way, for those who complain that *I* sold out (even though WrestleLine, a division of CBS Sportsline, which is in turn a division of the largest and most popular network on TV right now, hasn’t actually paid me anything yet for carrying this site) (While technically true, Mike Samuda sent me a pretty obscene chunk of money early in 2000 for no real reason, perhaps as a make-good for Wrestleline’s cheapness. So I did get paid as of that writing, sort of, but only once. Although considering all of Mike’s legal problems since then, I’m wondering if I unknowingly was aiding and abetting in some form…) it should be noted that Randy Savage has Slim Jim ads right on his tights. Now, I’m not saying I personally wouldn’t sell vital organs to major corporations for the right amount of money, but really for an event sponsored by Slim Jim with the ringposts already replaced with Slim Jim ads, this just seems like overkill, and if there’s one thing that offends me more than corporate pandering, it’s bad taste. Anyway, Hogan hides behind Liz to stop Savage’s awesome offensive onslaught, and it works because Hogan gets the big boot soon after. Liz comes in and covers Savage up to prevent the legdrop. Hogan shoves her aside, but the legdrop misses. Then, in the REALLY embarrassing part, Dibiase hands Hogan an international object that looks suspiciously like a dildo. Liz steals it, which lends more credence to that theory. The ref then gets bumped, and Nick Patrick: Evil Referee takes his place. Nick’s so into his evil role I’m surprised he didn’t grow a handlebar moustache, just so he could twirl it like Oil-Can Harry. Savage hits the big elbow, and Patrick’s neck injury acts up, preventing the three count. So Savage wrests the SEX TOY OF DOOM from Hogan and hits him with it, but now Ted Dibiase and the Giant double-team Savage, toss him back in, and the pin is a formality at 18:35. Hell, with that kind of overblown booking protection, even I could look like a credible main eventer. Sadly, even with it, Hogan and Savage don’t. DUD – And now to top off the evening, Hogan talks. Roddy Piper interrupts to a big pop, and they do a long duelling microphone segment that would be cool if either guy still had all their original body parts and could back it up in the ring. I don’t see why Hogan and the Giant didn’t kick Piper’s ass right there, but I guess that’s why I’m not booking. The segment just goes on and on, until finally the PPV runs out of time and cuts them off. Thank heavens for allotted TV time. The Bottom Line: Hogan v. Savage is good for a laugh if your taste in humor runs towards crap, everything past the first two matches sucks, and the first two matches were done before and done better. The nWo is here, good wrestlers need not apply. I think I can speak for everyone when I say “Bulla Bulla”. You can’t get more eloquent and succinct an explanation than that. Bulla Bulla indeed.
Was there a political reason that Test never got another serious run after the Stephanie betrayal storyline? Not saying the dude should have ever been WWF champ or anything, but the logical extension of Steph marrying HHH seemed to be some sort of street fight or last man standing or something. Instead, he just kind of disappeared from the angle and didn't seem all that terribly concerned about losing his woman (who he beat up Shane for in a HOT match/angle). In retrospect, if you dropped Albert from the T&A equation, they could have at least had Test return with the debuting Trish Stratus as his new lady. "Yeah, I'm over Steph…and I'm back, this time with a fitness model. No big deal". Again, not saying it should have been Test getting the early-mid 2000 push instead of Jericho, Angle, Benoit, Rock, HHH, et al. Only saying the HHH vs. Test match could have drawn in a short program. Especially with the Russorific soap opera driven angles, I would think that would be exactly the kind of program to try in late '99 or early '00.
The feeling I get is that Test was basically a Russo project, because they basically tried to drop the whole thing as soon as he left. But yeah, Test and Trish as an initial duo is actually a pretty clever idea, so kudos.
Just rewatched the Hart Bros vs. Steiner Bros tag match and, what the fuck, early 90s Scott Steiner really should have been the biggest thing since Hogan. Was it really because he didn't want to "break up the tag team" that he didn't get the rocket strapped to his ass as a singles guy? Or was there another reason? Roids? Politics? Rick would have done just fine for himself as a sympathetic babyface mid-carder, but Scott seemed like the next big main eventer who could have succeeded where the "Lex Express" did not. Any thoughts?