2015 Scott Sez: In Your House International Incident

The SmarK Retro Rant for WWF In Your House: International Incident. – In retrospect, perhaps this wasn’t the best PPV title to pick out of the trunk. Well, what’s done is done.  (I presume this was written around September 2001, then?)  – Let’s go back to July 1996, as WCW was busy changing the world and Vince was farting around with Shawn Michaels, still trying to figure out how to get him over. (In the long run, Vince won that one.)  – Live from Vancouver, BC, home of all the WWF’s crappier vintage of PPV.  (Was there another Vancouver show around that time I would have been slagging on?  I know New Blood Rising would have been fresh in my mind at that point, but that was WCW.)  – Your hosts are Vince, Jerry & Good Ol’ JR. – Free 4 All match: Savio Vega v. Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw. This was shortly after Bradshaw’s debut, when the WWF thought the cure to their financial troubles was to find someone who could imitate Stan Hansen. (Well, aside from Steve Austin, I guess, but that was more influence than outright imitation.)  They slug it out, won by Savio. He kicks away, but eats turnbuckle. Bradshaw pounds away, but misses a blind charge, and again, and a third time. He finally bails and they brawl outside, where Bradshaw then punches the post by mistake. Not exactly his day. Back in, Savio works on the hand as Vince declares this a “real romp’em stomp’em affair”. Ah, truly he had his finger on the pulse of young America. (Just think, this was before he was REALLY senile and out of touch!)  Big boot from Bradshaw, but Savio comes back with chops. A pair of leg lariats get two, but Bradshaw catches him for the blockbuster, and Zebekiah pushes them over and holds Bradshaw on top of Vega for the pin at 4:44. Heel beatdown follows, and JR declares that Savio will never forget this day. Well, that makes one of us. ¾* – I would be remiss in not mocking Michael Hayes during his Dok Hendrix period, shilling for the PPV and advertising the big special for that month…a half-price membership in the WWF Fan Club! Considering how low most IYH buyrates were, I’m pretty sure they were the only ones buying the damn things to begin with.  (I feel like the Network needs a Handsome Dok Hendrix or even Don West to just come out and do the hard sell on it.)  – Opening match: The Smoking Gunns v. The Bodydonnas. Gunns were the champions, but this is non-title, just to make sure to kill any last vestiges of people thinking of buying the show. I mean, what the hell is the selling point of a NON-title match supposed to be? Especially when the Bodydonnas were already the biggest joke in wrestling at that point thanks to Cloudy, perhaps the dumbest idea Vince McMahon came up with that year. Next, of course, to dying Tom Pritchard’s hair blond and naming him “Zip”. (Could have been “Flip” if not for a previous copyright claim, so look at the bright side, I guess.)  The Donnas double-team Billy, and Vince calls shenanigans. Gunns bail and stall. Zip & Bart slug it out back in the ring, and Zip goes armdraggin’. They work the arm for a while. A long while. Bart clotheslines out to break and Billy stomps away on Skip. Fameasser ends a rally, but Skip goes back to the arm shortly after. A rather surreal conversation breaks out at ringside, as JR suddenly goes off about the speed of the Bodydonnas (while Skip is standing around holding an armbar, mind you), and Vince counters by pointing out the speed of the GODWINNS, of all teams. JR seems legitimately incredulous that Vince would say something like that, and asks him if he meant the Gunns, trying to cover for Vince, but indeed Vince meant the Godwinns. I really wonder sometimes what it was with Vince and the hillbillies. Billy bails, setting up Skip for an ambush, which prompts a funny line from Jerry about how Skip would never stand a chance to get someone like Sunny. Anyway, Skip is YOUR crack addict-in-peril. (To be fair, I don’t know if he was ADDICTED as such.)  Bart tosses him around while Tammy mugs for the camera. The thrill is gone with her, thanks to drugs and naked pictures. (And to think that she would find a lower level of rock bottom 14 years after I wrote that.  However, going back and watching her on these shows today, the thrill is definitely there.)  Skip goes up, but gets powerslammed. Billy screws up the double-team leapfrog, failing to clear Bart and landing lamely back on the mat as the crowd gives him a sarcastic ovation. The beating continues ENDLESSLY, as the crowd is just gone. Bart & Skip get crossed signals and screw up a reversal sequence, then repeat it. Billy goes up, but lands in an atomic drop, hot tag Zip. I’d be quaking in MY boots if a guy named Zip with blond hair was after ME. Billy quickly trips Zip, and the Gunns go for the Sidewinder, but Skip pops in with a missile dropkick on Bart and Zip gets the pin at 13:06. Boring and heatless. ½* The Donnas disappeared for good soon after.  (Yeah, we’ve been discussing the Bodydonna babyface run on the RAW rants, but man what a disaster they were in that role.  As others have pointed out, the New Rockers should have been in this spot because the matches would be better if nothing else.)  – Mankind v. Henry Godwinn. Godwinn is subbing for an “injured” (no-showing) Jake Roberts, allowing Jerry Lawler to unleash a bevy of drunk jokes about Jake. The best of them is Jerry declaring that Jake has succumbed to the “Wrath of Grapes”. (That’s not saying much.  What a mean-spirited feud that one was, for no real reason.  Jake was trying to deal with his problems and be honest about it, and Vince let Jerry mock him endlessly on national TV for months.)  Mankind attacks to start, and bites away. He goes low, but HOG slugs away. Mankind bails. Back in, Mankind hammers away and Henry responds in kind. Mankind comes back with an elbow, bulldog and elbowdrop. Running knee in the corner and guillotine on the apron follow, and mats are pulled up as they head out. Mankind gets a neckbreaker on the concrete, and they head back in. Blind charge misses, and Henry lariats him, but gets tossed. Mankind follows, but gets slammed on the concrete. Slop drop is blocked, mandible claw finishes at 6:52. Okayish last-minute squash. ¾* I think that instead of Henry O. Godwinn, he should have been O. Henry Godwinn, so that they could have all his matches feature some sort of twist finish to them. – Steve Austin v. Marc Mero. What? This is a rematch from King of the Ring, what? (Aha, definitely 2001, then.)  Austin was the RVD-ish bad boy heel at this point, who the more rebellious element of the fanbase cheered for before the rest “got it”. Austin pounds away to start, but gets bodypressed for two. Mero works the arm, and Austin grabs a headlock, which leads into an early pinfall reversal sequence. Mero slugs away, and Austin takes a powder. Mero attacks and rolls him up for two. Austin fakes another mouth injury (ala KOTR), then suckers Mero in and dumps him, drawing BIG cheers from the Austin Cheering Section. (That cheering section was sort of like the Cesaro one, but Vince actually started listening to this one.)  They head out, and Austin posts Mero. Mero climbs onto the apron, and gets shoved into the railing as a result. Back in, the FU Elbow gets two. Austin hits the chinlock, but misses a Bossman straddle. Mero crotches him on the top and comes back, but Austin goes for a powerbomb. Mero tries to block with a rana, and they end up tumbling out. Mero hits a somersault off the apron, and a wicked standing moonsault off the apron. NOW the whole crowd is into it. Back in, springboard splash gets two, but Austin crotches him. Stunner is blocked and Mero gets a springboard legdrop for two. Austin clips him, KICK WHAM STUNNER, goodbye at 10:47. Big face pop for Austin. Match wasn’t as fluid as the King of the Ring one, but it had it’s charm. **3/4 – Undertaker v. Goldust. Goldust stalls FOREVER. I’m eternally shocked that a pairing that produced that such shitty results as this one did got so much PPV time in 1996, with four appearances (counting Beware of Dog #1). UT nails him and he stalls again. Finally, they slug it out on the floor, and Taker drops him on the stairs. Back in, Taker chokes him down, and clotheslines him. Legdrop gets two, and he continues manhandling Goldust. OLD-SCHOOL ROPEWALK OF DOOM, but an elbow misses, and they head out. UT retains control, but Goldust pulls a turnbuckle off and whips Taker into it, backfirst. Stairs to the back, and Taker is in trouble. Hey, what’s that thing he’s doing, where he pretends to be affected and/or in pain from the actions of the heel? Um…selling, I think it’s called. But, but, but…I thought he didn’t DO that back in the Dead Man days? At least that’s what all the whiny rationalizing Undertaker fanboys who write me always seem to be trying to convince me of.  (Obviously I was going through a phase here.)  Goldust hits the chinlock, but Taker comes back with a small package for two. Flying lariat and tombstone, but Mankind pops out of a hole in the ring for the lame DQ at 12:06, thus negating the whole point of making me sit through 12 minutes of this tripe. ½* Taker then disappears into the hole while steam rises out of it and Mankind sits there like an idiot waiting for Taker to re-emerge and UT’s music starts and stops intermittently. Finally, Taker pops out of the OTHER side of the ring, through another hole, and gets his revenge. Thrilling. – Unintentionally funny bit during the “Vince & JR banter” bit to fill time before the main event, as fans behind the table get all excited and stuff, and a security guard is all like “Hey, no excitement on a 1996 WWF PPV, sit down you hooligans!” and he proceeds to stand there on-camera, monitoring the poor guys in the front row and making sure no enthusiasm is shown for the duration of the segment. But then my general experience with the security guys at wrestling shows is that they’re all a bunch of grumpy rent-a-cops whose crushed dreams mean that no one else gets to have any fun, either, so maybe I’m biased on that score.  (I’d say that’s not unique to wrestling.  I had front row tickets to Def Leppard a few years ago and the security force was just the WORST, staring down anyone who dared to leave their seats until finally Joe Eliot basically told them to fuck off and let people have some fun.  Not a great show as a result, unfortunately.)  – Owen Hart, British Bulldog & Vader v. Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson & Sycho Sid. Warrior was supposed to be part of the babyface team, but, you know, it’s Warrior, so instead we get Sid, who at least can be reasonably assured of making his dates before disappearing without giving notice. Shawn & Vader start, and Shawn moves quick, but gets slugged. Rana is blocked, but perseverance pays off as he completes the move. Vader bails and gets baseball slid, and pescado’d. Another dive misses and Shawn eats railing. Back in, Vader hammers him until Sid comes in (to a BIG pop) and he pounds the shit out of Vader, Owen, Bulldog and anyone else in there. He cleans house and the crowd goes NUTS. Okay, Canada likes Sid, I have to apologize for my country for that. (It’s true.  He was crazy over at every house show I saw him at.)  Owen comes back in and gets clocked, and Ahmed hits a triple german suplex! Holy crap. Elbow misses and Bulldog pounds on him, but Ahmed comes back with a spinebuster and Pearl River Plunge. Vader saves, but Ahmed wears him out in the corner. Vader comes back with an avalanche and pummels him, but walks into a powerslam for two. That’s some impressive strength. Owen comes in with a leg lariat to take over again, and the crowd keeps chanting for Sid. So Ahmed tags out and gives them what they want. (If it was TODAY, Vince would call an audible and have Sid immediately do an injury angle and get stretchered out to spite the crowd.)  Big boot on Owen and Sid whips him in the corner, and Owen takes a vicious bump there. Bulldog comes in and gets an amazing delayed vertical suplex on Sid, for two. Vader pounds him, but Sid shrugs off Bulldog and Shawn comes in via the top rope. He misses a blind charge, posts himself, and he’s YOUR face-in-peril. Shawn whips Bulldog into Vader for two, but Bulldog takes over again. Owen uses the ol’ Oklahoma Roll for two. Shawn counters it for two, Victory Roll gets two, countered for two by Owen, rollup, bridge, reverse, backslide, you know the drill. Awesome stuff. Owen nails him with a cast to break it up, and gets two. Bulldog legdrop gets two. Powerslam gets two. Owen cheapshots Shawn again with the cast, and Vader comes in to kick some ass and chew bubblegum, minus the bubblegum. (LAME.  Come on, 2001 Scott.)  He tosses Shawn, and then back in gets a short-arm clothesline for two. Vader bearhugs the neck as some idiot runs into the ring and gets triple-teamed by Bulldog, Ahmed and security. Shawn fights out, but gets splashed. Sid nails Vader, but Shawn can’t QUITE make the tag. Bulldog puts him in a body vice, and then reverses a crucifix into a fallaway slam for two. Blind charge misses, but Owen cuts off the tag again. Double-KO with Shawn & Owen, but Bulldog powerslams Shawn for two. Sid saves. False tag to Ahmed, and Shawn gets gang-raped by the heels. Metaphorically speaking, of course. Heel miscommunication follows, and finally it’s the HOT tag to Sid. Chokeslam Vader! Chokeslam Owen! Chokeslam Bulldog! It’s BONZO GONZO in Vancouver as Shawn gets launched onto Vader. Shawn gets the tennis racket and uses it for two, but the Vaderbomb finishes at 24:30. That was a rather fortuitous finish for Jim Cornette, considering he promised a refund to everyone if the heels didn’t win. Hmmm…almost…TOO fortuitous. You don’t think maybe this wasn’t on the up-and-up or something, do you? Wrestling? FIXED? **** (Oddly enough, that stip was never mentioned on RAW.  It must have been on Superstars because I just did the go-home show and Cornette didn’t say anything about it.)  The Bottom Line: Minor bright spots aside, 1996 sucked ass for the WWF for the most part, and this was no exception, earning the lowest buyrate in the history of the promotion with a 0.37, a record which held up until December, when they shattered it with a 0.35 for It’s Time. But then the buildup, hype, undercard and main event dynamic (with Ultimate Warrior flaking out and leaving the promotion the week before the show) all rivalled post-Russo WCW for sheer stupidity, so by the time the show rolled along they’d already decided it was a write-off anyway. I just wish they’d have resurrected Saturday Night’s Main Event if they just wanted a buildup show for Summerslam, though, instead of wasting our time with this junk. But hey, the main event is really, REALLY good, so you might wanna track that match down at least. But it’s not enough to save the show. Strong recommendation to avoid. (On the bright side, James Dixon e-mailed me to let me know that the sequel to Titan Sinking is almost done, so this era should produce some entertaining stories at least!) 

2015 Scott Sez: In Your House / Beware of Dog II

– Okay, this is the semi-famous Beware of Dog PPV, famous not because of anything that happened in the ring, but rather because storms in South Carolina blew out the transmission satellite feed and left the arena in darkness for the better part of an hour. In order to make up for this WCW-like snafu, the WWF offered a makeup show on the following Tuesday in the replay slot, called Beware of Dog II, where they’d redo the matches missed by the outage. That’s the show I’m reviewing here, as it was a spliced-together combination of the two matches from the first show and the three from the second. (That’s also the show that is featured on the Network, as it is now considered the “official” version of the show.  Holy shit was I pissed at this show back in the day, and Shaw Cable actually refunded the PPV for me and gave me the makeup show for free!)  – Live from Florence, South Carolina / Charleston, South Carolina. – Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler / Jim Ross & Mr. Perfect. – Free 4 All Match, WWF tag team title: The Godwinns v. The Smoking Gunns. This was taped at the first show. Sunny has her wagon hitched to the Godwinns, who upset the Bodydonnas to win their first tag title a week prior to this. Bart overpowers PIG, but they mess up a double-reverse spot and Billy comes in to work the arm. HOG comes in to break it up, but gets armbarred as well. Bart & HOG exchange wristlocks, and HOG clotheslines him for two. PIG stays on the arm, but now the Gunns work on HIS arm. That goes on for a while, until Sunny jumps onto the apron and gets kissed by Billy. I guess she must have been looking like Chuck Palumbo that night. (Well NOW she does…) PIG is so distracted by this that Bart is able to suplex him for the pin and the titles at 4:53. If you like armbars, this is YOUR match! DUD Billy’s post-match interview sets up the Gunns’ heel turn and Billy’s eventual solo run.  (And wasn’t the world waiting for THAT) – Onto the PPV. – Opening match, Wildman Marc Mero v. Hunter Hearst Helmsley. (Remember, you always have to say it like Vince, always as one word:  WILDMANMARCMERO!) Mero attacks and they chase, allowing Hunter to gain control. Mero slugs him out of the ring and follows with a dive over the top, then gets a slingshot legdrop for two. Hunter goes to the eyes, but gets KO’d for two. Mero charges and hits the post, however, hurting his shoulder in the process. Hunter gives him another trip to the post for good measure, and then goes to work. Armbar takedown and he stomps away on the shoulder. He pounds away in the corner viciously, and gets a high knee for two. Back to the shoulder, as he surfboards the arm, but Mero cradles for two. Hunter nails the shoulder again and posts the arm, however. Back in, he works the arm using the ropes and stomps a mudhole on the shoulder. To the turnbuckle, and into a cross-armbreaker, but Mero blocks it. Vince is totally out of his league calling this stuff, and I think he knew it. That’s one thing about Vince; once he realized that a new style of UFC stuff was being worked into the matches, I think he knew enough to get out of commentating in favor of JR. (I wish he’d have the same realization about booking these days.)  Mero can’t make it to the ropes, so Hunter starts cranking on the armbreaker and gets two before Mero makes it. Hunter kneedrops the shoulder, but Mero fights back. Hunter keeps yanking on the arm, however, and bars it with his own knee. Kind of a spinning toehold on the arm. Back to the turnbuckle, but Mero gets a fluke rollup for two. Hunter nails him from behind for two. Hunter stomps the shoulder again and snaps the arm off the top rope. He goes up and nails the arm coming down, and then goes to another armbar, using the top rope for leverage. Attaboy. Hammerlock slam and Hunter goes up again, but Mero crotches him and gets a top rope rana, making sure to sell the arm injury the whole time. Both guys are out, but Mero comes back with a flying headscissors and a kneelift. Backdrop and he’s fired up. He goes up with a sunset flip for two. Dropkick puts Hunter on the floor, but he misses a plancha and blows out his knee. Back in, Hunter goes for the Pedigree, but Sable doesn’t want to watch, and Hunter wants her to. So he yells at her until she gets in position to watch, goes for the Pedigree again, and Mero reverses to a catapult into the ringpost and falls on top at 16:22. Good finish, great match, as Mero keeps selling the arm the whole time. ****  (I don’t think it holds up that great, actually, and it’s probably more like *** or so.)  – Meanwhile, Camp Cornette prepares to “drop the bomb” on Michaels later tonight, and Owen Hart gets a manager’s license for one night only.  (Judging by the attendance, the only bomb was this show.  HEY-YO!)  – Okay, here the power goes out. The show actually continued live in the arena in the dark, with all the babyfaces going over. If you want the full experience of watching the show live, turn off your monitor here and leave for an hour, then come back. I’ll wait. – Welcome back! – WWF title match: Shawn Michaels v. The British Bulldog. The “bomb” is Clarence Mason announcing a lawsuit for “attempted alienation of affection” on behalf of Diana Smith. As you might surmise, this angle went NOWHERE. In fact, according to Diana’s glorified roll of toilet paper “Under the Mat”, she was supposed to have seduced Shawn but had her advances spurned and sent Davey after him. (That’s kind of insulting to toilet paper.)  That’s actually not a bad storyline, unlike this one, which IS a bad storyline. Bulldog attacks Shawn and he comes back with an armdrag and goes for the superkick quickly. Bulldog bails, but Shawn follows with a pescado. Back in, Shawn grabs a headlock and hangs on for two. Rollup is blocked and Bulldog catches a bearhug. Shawn escapes, and gets a rollup for two. Enzuigiri gets two. Shawn goes to an armbar and short-arm scissors for two. Bulldog powers out and stomps away. Hairtoss, and Bulldog hits the chinlock. It goes into a body vice and and a samoan drop. Legdrop gets two for Bulldog, and back to the chinlock as Vince points out that Shawn has never submitted or surrendered in any form. Unless of course you count Survivor Series 92, where he submitted to Bret Hart. Okay, now it’s about 10 minutes into the match, and while they’re doing this chinlock Earl Hebner quite clearly tells Shawn to go home, and Shawn equally clearly starts arguing like a 12-year old, nearly throwing a tantrum while supposedly incapacitated on camera. (Yeah, this was not a great time for Shawn’s maturity levels.)  It’s quite blatant if you know what to look for. Shawn fights back and was supposed to take a kneelift from Davey on a criss-cross, but deliberately avoids Smith and misses by a foot, but sells it and takes a dramatic bump out of the ring anyway. They can’t even find a replay to show that would explain the bump, and Vince & Jerry are totally at a loss to justify Shawn’s behavior. Back in, Shawn slingshots in with a clothesline that again misses by a mile, and both are out. Another collision, both out again. Shawn makes the big comeback and goes up, and gets a double axehandle for two. Ref is bumped and Shawn gets the flying elbow, but Owen comes in and gets taken out by Shawn. Bulldog stomps Shawn as another ref comes in. Powerslam is reversed to a german suplex by Shawn, but both shoulders are down as both refs count the pin at 17:19. A big argument ensues, but tie goes to the champion so Shawn retains pending a rematch. Shawn’s childish reaction to having the match shortened from 30 minutes to 18 minutes aside, the match was actually quite good for what it was, especially considering most guys today would kill to get 18 minutes. ***1/4  (Yeah, 18 minutes for a MAIN EVENT is considered pretty epic now.)  – Okay, now we go live to the Tuesday show. – Strap match: Steve Austin v. Savio Vega. If Austin loses, Dibiase joins the nWo. (WCW was offering a ton of money when his contract expired, and Lloyds of London paid him a giant amount of money for his career-ending neck injury at this point, so he was doing pretty well for himself.  About two years after this I got to meet him at a local church where he was giving a talk and he was a really awesome guy and very forthcoming about everything in his career to that point.)  Austin bails to start, but can’t go anywhere. Austin pounds away but gets backdropped and bails again. Savio uses the strap to yank him into the apron, and then follows him out and pounds away with the strap. Back in, more vicious strappings follow, and Austin bails over the top. Savio fires down with the strap and suplexes him back in. A superkick from Vega allows him to touch three, but Austin goes low. He starts in with the stiff shots from strap, but Savio takes him down and they scuffle. They head out and Savio chops away, but gets sent to the apron. Austin chokes him over the top and suplexes him back in. Austin drags him around for two, but Savio uses the leverage of the strap to whip Austin around the ring and into the turnbuckle. That’s some pretty wicked psychology, by playing up on Savio’s knowledge of using the strap and making it mean something in the match. Savio gets a clothesline with the strap, but Austin dumps him. However, it backfires as the strap is too short and takes Austin with Savio. Savio suplexes him on the floor and keeps strapping him, but Austin comes off the stairs.and gets nailed. Back in, Savio hogties him and drags him to two corners, but Austin legsweeps him down and gives him the leather. Savio comes back with a superplex attempt, but Austin headbutts to block. Savio crotches him and gets that superplex after all. Savio touches three, but Austin gets a wicked spear to stop the fourth. Austin chokes him in the ropes and in the corner, then stomps him down. Austin touches three, but then hesitates for some reason and allows Savio to poke him in the eyes. Hmm. Tombstone reversal sequence leads to Savio tumbling over the top, but when Austin leans over to suplex him in, Savio kicks him in the head. Austin recovers and goes to the top, but Savio redirects him on the way down using the strap and Austin meets the railing facefirst. He sends Savio into the stairs, however. Back in, Savio fireman’s carries Austin around, touching two before Austin uses Savio’s pants to block. Austin piledriver looks to finish, but Dibiase wants another one for some reason. Austin obliges, but Savio reverses. Austin goes to the Million Dollar Dream, but Savio manages to touch two while fighting out of it, and then pushes off the corner to break. Austin stunguns him and chokes him down with the strap, then drags him around the ring. However, Savio sneaks in to touch each corner after Austin, and when they get to the fourth they fight over the strap until Austin “accidentally” pulls Savio right into the corner at 21:22. The finish actually works once it was revealed that Austin deliberately threw the match to get rid of Dibiase. (I am aghast at a pro wrestler possibly fixing the result of a match!)  And the match was incredibly stiff and featured neat stuff you don’t normally see in strap matches, plus terrific psychology. Definitely an unappreciated classic, much like most of Austin’s early WWF stuff. ****1/4  (Yeah, this match ruled and might be the only worthwhile thing Savio Vega accomplished in his run.  I know the Death Valley Driver guys were all about his Boriquas stuff, but….meh.)  – Yokozuna v. Vader. This was pretty much the last gasp for Yoko’s babyface run, before leaving the promotion later in the year. Slugfest to start, won by Yoko. Stalling follows. They do a sumo challenge, but Vader chickens out and stalls. Again, and Vader balks again. Finally they go ahead with it, and Yoko wins easily and Vader bails. Back in, Vader wins a slugfest but gets taken down and bails. Back in, he slugs away again, gets taken down again, and bails again. They slug it out, and Yoko gets a Rock Bottom and avalanche, into a samoan drop. On the samoan drop, you can actually see Vader doing it all himself. Yoko goes for the Banzai drop, but stops to beat up Jim Cornette. When he goes for a Banzai on him, however, Vader drags Cornette out of the way, and it misses. Vader splashes Yoko for the pin at 8:55. This was like watching the main event of a show from England in the 80s. ½* – Intercontinental title, casket match: Goldust v. The Undertaker. (Having watched all the RAW shows leading up to this, I still have no idea why they were even wrestling each other.)  Taker attacks, and Goldust bails. Back in, he hammers away, but gets tossed around by Taker. Clothesline and Taker tosses him, but the lid is closed and he lands on top. They brawl outside, and Goldust eats stairs and has casket for dessert. Back in, Taker legdrops him and they slug it out. Taker gets the ROPEWALK OF DOOM and chokes away. Goldust slams him, no-sold. Tombstone by Goldust, no-sold. He gets a seated clothesline and rolls Taker towards the casket, but can’t shut the lid. Aker gets a big boot, but gets dumped. They brawl outside, and Goldust takes over in the ring. Taker keeps fighting back, but Goldust gets a sleeper. Into the casket, but again the lid won’t shut. Back in, Taker gets the flying clothesline and dumps Goldust. Chairshot is blocked and they head back in, where Goldust gets a powerslam and goes up. Flying clothesline, but he goes for a cover for some reason. Taker fights back and slams him off the top, then tombstones him. Into the casket.but Mankind pops up and puts him out with the Mandible Claw and into the casket at 12:36. I’m amazed two human beings can put on matches this boring on a regular basis. ** (And both still active!  Sort of.)  The Bottom Line: The two matches from the original show are both great, and the strap match from the second show is even BETTER, so call this thing an easy thumbs up. I’m not sure if it was ever put on video, but definitely check out the strap match if you can find it somewhere. (Like the WWE Network, free for the month of April!)  Strongly recommended.

2015 Scott Sez: In Your House Good Friends, Better Enemies

(I forget if I’ve Scott Sez’d this one before, but we’re at that point so let’s check it out again.)  – Live from Omaha, Nebraska. – Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler – This would be the farewell show for both Diesel & Razor Ramon, as they departed for WCW in what was supposed to be a minor defection and ended up turning the company around. Sound familiar? Well, not that the WWF needs turning around these days, but hopefully someone at WCW was watching RAW on Monday night and paying attention to the response for the Radicals got, one that they couldn’t get in WCW due to politics. (Turns out that politics were just as much of a factor in the WWF.)  Anyway, in the Survivor Series 95 rant, I commented that the Bret v. Diesel match there was Diesel’s second-best ever, and that he had a better one with Michaels. Many have e-mailed to ask what that one was, and herein lies the answer.  (Mystery!  Intrigue!)  Free 4 All match: 1-2-3 Kid v. Wildman Marc Mero. This is Marc’s PPV debut after jumping from WCW due to squabbling with Eric Bischoff and working most of the internet in the process. Hey, Marc, guess who’s laughing at who now? (Also, your ex-wife is doing very well for herself.)  Karate showboating from the Kid to start. Quick sequence puts Mero in control with a flying headscissors that sends the Kid to the floor. Mero follows with a tope suicida. Slingshot legdrop gets two. Reverse rollup gets two. He goes aerial and gets crotched, then HHH (Mero’s first feud) makes an appearance. Kid hits some vicious kicks to take over as HHH stalks Sable. Mero escapes and goes to confront Hunter, and gets nailed by the Kid from behind. The ref tosses HHH, and Mero mounts the comeback. HHH runs in for the lame DQ at 7:20 of what was looking to be a great match. *** (Future) DX beatdown follows on Mero.  (Kid was practically out the door, between injuries and his friends leaving, at this point as well and they were STILL protecting him!)  – Opening match: The British Bulldog & Owen Hart v. Jake Roberts & Ahmed Johnson. Johnson was getting into Goldberg territory of overness at this point, although his work was stiff and sloppy, a dangerous combination. (On the bright side, he never punched through a car window.)  Bulldog had the issue with Ahmed over arm-wrestling (gotta love the mid-90s WWF) so Bulldog hides on the apron and lets Owen handle things. That goes pretty badly for him, as Ahmed tosses him around like a doll and then Jake nearly gets the DDT. Some cheapshots from Bulldog finally allow him to come in without fear of death. Ahmed plays face-in-peril for a bit, but doesn’t really sell anything and soon tags out to Jake and he gets beat on for a long while. Jake’s mobility is so limited by age and alcohol at this point it’s scary. Not as scary as Heroes of Wrestling, but scary. The match drags on and on. Ahmed gets the hot tag and screams a lot. Jake inexplicably comes back in to finish things, but takes a LOADED TENNIS RACKET OF DOOM to the knee and submits to a lame kneebar at 13:43. Just way too long. ¾*  (And this was supposed to be a singles match with Bulldog v. Jake and was advertised as such all the way until the show started, and was changed because Bulldog injured his knee in Germany.  Can you imagine how bad THAT would have ended up?  And then Bulldog was supposed to challenge for the title at the next PPV.  The booking was just on another planet of ridiculous at this point.)  Intercontinental title match: Goldust v. Ultimate Warrior. You know how some matches are so bad that they’re good? Well, this is so bad that it’s just BAD. Goldust has a knee injury, so the “match” is literally him walking around the ring and stalling for FIFTEEN MINUTES to waste time. Finally he gets counted out to put us out of our misery. That’s all, folks. -***** How hard would it have been to say “Goldust is injured, so Warrior is fighting [x]”?  (And again, they were well aware of his knee injury for two weeks before this and still chose to advertise the match right up until the day of the show.  They even did hotline updates where they ADMITTED that Goldust had a knee injury but lied and said he was cleared to wrestle at the PPV!)  Vader v. Razor Ramon. (Another super-weird booking decision, with Ramon off TV for weeks leading up to this.)  This was Graceful Job-Out #1 on the night, as Razor was wooed by WCW a few months before this. Ramon bumps around for Vader to start, as Vader basically squashes him. Ramon punches a lot to come back. Three clotheslines put Vader on the floor. Vader stalls. Cornette’s help allows Vader to continue his destruction of Ramon. Vaderbomb gets two. Ramon gets a vertical suplex to come back. Powerslam as Vader is coming off the 2nd rope gets two. Bulldog gets two. He tries the Razor’s Edge, but his ribs give out and he collapses. Vader goes for the moonsault, but Ramon brings him down the hard way. Razor’s Edge attempt #2, but Vader backdrops out and sits on him for the pin at 14:47. The selling and psychology were sound enough for a good rating, but the match was REALLY boring. ***  (And why give Ramon all that offense against the new monster is another mystery.  I guess Vince really thought he could talk Razor into staying?)  – WWF tag team title match: The Bodydonnas v. The Godwinns. This was a rematch from the finals of the inaugural “Placeholder champions until Billy Gunn’s injury heals” tournament at Wrestlemania 12. (At least they made it off the pre-show this time.)  Zip gets double-teamed to start as Vince says “scufflin’” about 14 times. What the hell is with him and hillbilly gimmicks, anyway? Are the southern states REALLY so much of a hotbed that he has to tailor entire gimmicks for them? The story here is that Phineas is in love with Sunny. Just give her some crack, Phineas, that’ll bring her around. Highlight of the mostly-comedy match sees HOG pull out an Ocean Cyclone suplex (picture a german suplex, but starting with the opponent face-down on the mat) as the farmers dominate the champs. This whole period for the titles was a trainwreck, as the Bodydonnas were not over and Vince had no desire to help them become so (Cloudy, anyone?) and the Godwinns were, well, the Godwinns. Thank god for the New Rockers to save the tag division in 96. The champs cheat and gain the advantage. Phineas gets all “riled up” (seriously, is this whole gimmick like one big cheapshot at Ted Turner or something?) (Well, duh) and hot tags HOG, but Sunny had conveniently brought a framed, autographed 8×10 of herself to ringside (which probably wasn’t far from the truth at the time) and uses it to distract PIG while the Bodydonnas pull the switcheroo and pin HOG at 7:12. Soo-ey, that sucked… ½* – WWF World title match: Shawn Michaels v. Diesel. This is the ultimate blowoff for their long-simmering feud, as Diesel was leaving for WCW and made it known that he was on one final run of destruction before he left. Shawn was hot off beating Bret Hart at WM12 and needed credibility. This is no-holds-barred. Shawn uses his speed to avoid Diesel, then dropkicks him out and hits a moonsault tope onto him. He steals a boot from Hugo Savinevich and nails Diesel for two. Diesel gets pissed and knocks Shawn onto the railing, then tosses him back in and absolutely wallops him. Shawn sells like he’s dead. Diesel keeps shooting evil glances at Vince. Jumping side slam nearly puts Shawn though the mat, then Diesel undoes his wrist tape…and chokes out Hebner! He steals Earl’s belt and lays in some wicked shots on Shawn, then hangs him from the top rope and ties him there. As Shawn struggles to free himself, Diesel calmly grabs a chair and blasts Shawn. Back in for another solid chairshot. Lord, what a beating. One more, but Shawn ducks and Shawn gets the chair. That proves temporary, as a low blow gets two for Diesel. Diesel absolutely lays into him with forearms, sending him crashing to the floor. Vince keeps yelling at Shawn to “stay down”. Cool spot of the year: Diesel starts a long tradition, powerbombing Shawn through the announce table. He parades around with the title belt while Shawn, who is nearly dead, pulls himself out of the wreckage. Vince, his own microphone dead, does his usual awesome acting job, yelling “Just let it be over!” at Shawn. Shawn crawls to the ring, and finds a fire extinguisher, which he discharges into Diesel’s face. Flying forearm puts him down, and Shawn grabs a chair to even the odds. Two vicious shots follow, but Diesel won’t go down, and in fact hits the big foot to the face right away to KO Shawn. He takes too long, however, and Shawn escapes the powerbomb. Flying elbow sets up Sweet Chin Music, but Diesel calmly grabs his foot and rips his head off with a lariat. What is this, All Japan? He tosses Shawn out again and drops him on the railing, then gets inspired. He heads over to the front row and beats up Maurice Vachon, who is seated ringside, and STEALS HIS ARTIFICIAL LEG. Major, major heel heat for that. Shawn lowblows him, however, and steals the leg. He knocks Diesel cold with a shot from the leg, then waits for him to recover, warms up the band, and superkicks him for the pin to retain at 17:51. He didn’t win the match, he SURVIVED it. What a horrific beating and an AWESOME brawl. ****3/4 Shawn’s “in your FACE!” post-match celebration is amazing acting on his part, too, and it really makes the match.  (This is still the only reason to watch this show, and it’s probably Nash’s best match ever.)  The Bottom Line: Most of the show is pretty worthless, but that brawl is something else and sets the tone for garbage main events to follow for years to come. In the next in my little In Your House series, I’ll look at an even BETTER Shawn brawl from a few months later against Mankind. As it is, I’m still in shock to this day that Shawn won Match of the Year for the Wrestlemania match rather than the Diesel or the Mankind one. As it was, however, this match, rather than the Bret one, was the one that really put Shawn over the top as a credible champion and got him over. I wonder if that pissed Bret off? Recommended only for the main event.

2015 Scott Sez: Slamboree 96

(It was pointed out to me that I skipped this show and went right to the Nitro the night after.  So here we go.  Also, this show was dogshit and thus I’m never watching it again, but I’ll probably at the very least rewatch Bash 96 to get a fresh look for the Scott Sez repost.)  The SmarK Retro Rant for WCW Slamboree 96 – Into the home stretch of WCW PPVs now, as we wrap things up with Slamboree ’96 (which I didn’t order back in the day and have only watched once since then) and then finish off with Road Wild ’99 (which I watched live, but was very drunk while doing so). And then that’ll be every WCW PPV ever, in the bag.  (We are at least now approaching the point when I met my longtime circle of friends in Edmonton in late summer of 1996 and learned about the wondrous creation that was that the black box imported from Mexico, which meant I didn’t have to order PPVs anymore.)  (…allegedly.)    – Live from Baton Rouge, LA – Your hosts are Tony, Bobby & Dusty. – This of course is the last, and worst, iteration of Dusty Rhodes’ original “Battlebowl” idea, with “random” drawings forcing people to team up, with winners advancing until there’s 8 people left for a battle royale to crown the “Lord of the Ring”.  (Now, at the point I was writing this, would Lord of the Rings jokes have been a hilarious and topical thing?  Because I’m surprised I didn’t go for the low-hanging fruit in some form if so.)  – Opening match: Road Warrior Animal & Booker T v. Road Warrior Hawk & Lex Luger. Let’s see if Booker can carry three guys at once. (Spoiler:  Fuck no.)  Oddly enough, Hawk & Animal have different variants on the same “Iron Man” ripoff. (So apparently when they did the graphics on Nitro a few weeks before this where they were the “Roadwarriors” as all one word, it might have been some weird legal dodge because WWF ended up with the rights to the Road Warriors name after their initial stint there.  If so, that’s would be all kinds of fucked up.)  Luger was in full babyface mode at this point, in preparation for the impending nWo invasion. (More specifically, Giant chokeslammed him through a table on Nitro leading up to this, which was the babyface turn once and for all.)  Animal starts with Luger and they do the dramatic lockup in the corner, before Luger stomps away. Powerslam, but he doesn’t cover. Animal works him over in the other corner, and gets his own powerslam. Luger gets a suplex, which is no-sold, and Booker comes in to work on Luger’s arm. Charge hits boot, and Luger gets a clothesline out of the corner to take over again. Okay, we’ve obviously mastered the punching and kicking, let’s move into the 20th century now. Booker misses an elbow but recovers with a Spinarooni and sidekicks Luger. That gets two. It’s funny – WCW marketed Booker as a viable contender while ignoring the marketing possibilities of the Spinarooni, while the WWE markets his catchphrases while ignoring the viability of him as a contender. That pretty much sums up their differences in a nutshell. (Guess this was written pre-2003.)  Axe kick gets two. Partners Hawk & Luger get into a fight, which leads to a pier-six brawl, and Luger runs away from the fight. It’s a double-countout at 6:55, which eliminates both teams from the tournament. That is so incredibly stupid that it can only have come from WCW. Horrible match, filled with bad wrestling. DUD – The Public Enemy v. Kevin Sullivan & Chris Benoit. This match really stretches the bounds of credibility as far as random drawings go. (This whole show really stretches the bounds of credibility as far as “wrestling PPV” goes.)  I mean, at least back in the early 90s the teams were suitably bizarre and thus seemed random. Benoit starts with Rocco Rock and gets pounded, and Rock hits him with a headscissors. That turns into a shoving match and stalling follows. Rocco gets a rana as Dusty and Bobby have a funny discussion about what would happen if they were partners. A second rana is reversed into a powerbomb by Benoit. He pounds away and brings Sullivan in, which turns the match into a brawl. That’s smart, because 3 out of the 4 guys aren’t good for much else. Sullivan pounds on Rocco with a chair, but gets put on a table. Benoit cuts off a dive by Rocco with a clothesline, but gets suplexed out of the ring. Sullivan and Johnny Grunge keep fighting on the floor, but Sullivan and Benoit both end up on the table, and the Public Enemy dive onto it, putting Benoit through when Kevin moves. Back in, Rocco gets the pin on Benoit at 4:44. This could have been SO much more if they had booked it like one of the crazy brawls both teams were known for. 1/2*  (OK, I confess to being really confused as this point.  Benoit and Sullivan didn’t interact at ALL on Nitro around this time, but by Bash 96 they’re engaging in a giant blood feud?  When did Sullivan transition from Pillman to Benoit as far as the feud went and where did that happen?)  – Sgt. Craig Pittman & Scott Steiner v. Rick Steiner & The Booty Man. I’ve had nightmares involving these four guys wrestling each other. I mean, seriously, Rick Steiner and BRUTUS BEEFCAKE? Is that someone’s idea of a sick joke? (That’s Hulk’s idea of DRAWING MONEY, brother.)  Kimberly is playing Brutus’ “booty babe” as a result of DDP jobbing to him at Uncensored. So there’s at least one (or two) things to watch here. (I was referring to her boobies.)  Pittman and Booty start, and do a ridiculously bad mat- wrestling sequence. Pittman headbutts him low to end that charade, and Scott Steiner, who was not yet the Big Bad Booty Daddy and thus couldn’t really be confused with The Booty Man at that point, comes in with a butterfly powerbomb for two. For some reason he tags Pittman back in, as Booty tags out to Rick. Pittman pounds on Rick, who cheerfully no-sells everything and powerslams him. Pittman gets a german suplex, but Rick comes back with a Steinerline and Pittman decides that cowardice is the better part of valor and tags out to Scott. This actually gets the crowd going, and Scott takes Rick down with a fireman’s carry. Rick responds with a side headlock, but Scott goes behind to control on the mat. They do some mat-wrestling, and Scott gets a side suplex, but Rick gets a Steinerline. Scott suckers Rick into checking on him, and cradles for two. Scott gets a full-nelson, but Rick reverses to a german suplex and goes up. Scott follows and superplexes him, but Rick tags out to Booty to end the awesome. So we get Booty v. Pittman again and Pittman works on the arm, into the cross- armlock. Booty tags Steiner to escape the hold (which isn’t actually legal), and Rick suplexes Pittman for the pin at 8:21. Oh man, that stuff with the Steiners fighting in the middle was shaping up to be one of the best matches of the year given some time and a proper match. The rest was junk, so it evened out. **3/4 I briefly considered giving it another 1/4* in celebration of Kimberly leaving her bra in the dressing room, but then we’ve already seen her naked anyway. – Lord Steven Regal & Squire Dave Taylor v. Hacksaw Duggan & VK Wallstreet. Amazingly, it’s another combination of archenemies facing regular tag team partners. Oddly enough, Mike Rotundo was playing a Wallstreet spoof of Vince McMahon 4 years before the WWF went public. (And now he and his sons all work for Vince.  Life is funny.)  Duggan and Regal start and we get a posedown-slash-stallfest. I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to guess who does what. Regal gets a cheapshot, but Duggan hiptosses him. Clotheslines send Regal running to the corner, and tags abound. Taylor and Regal work over Wallstreet’s arm, but he fights back with forearms. Duggan and Wallstreet can’t get the teamwork going, however, and Regal takes advantage with a beatdown on Duggan in the corner. Duggan & Regal collide, but Wallstreet won’t take the tag. Duggan makes his own comeback, including nailing his own partner, and uses the ATHLETIC TAPE OF DOOM on Taylor for the pin at 3:49. Short and bad. (Just like both of Rotundo’s kids, AM I RIGHT?)  1/4* – Dirty Dick Slater & Earl Robert Eaton v. Alex Wright & Disco Inferno. Disco ducks away from Slater to start, in order to save the hair. Dancing follows. Slater chops away, prompting Disco to tag out. Eaton slugs away on Wright, but he fires back and gets a hiptoss and bad headscissors. Leg lariat gets two. Slater comes in with a neckbreaker, but Wright escapes a piledriver and Disco cleans house. Was that supposed to be the hot tag? It’s breaking loose in Tulsa and Wright dumps Eaton, but Slater nails Disco with his boot and gets the pin at 2:56. Yeah, okay. DUD  (Disco was really a non-entity on Nitro at this point, as the last I’ve seen of him was getting squashed by the Booty Man.  It really wasn’t until the two and three hour versions of the show that guys like him started getting any kind of TV time.)  – DDP & Barbarian v. Meng & Hugh Morrus. This show gets better and better. Speaking of Hugh, I was watching bits and pieces of Confidential, and listening to him yelling at kids about how they’ll never make it in the WWE was kinda surreal. I mean, this is HUGH FREAKIN MORRUS telling someone that THEY don’t have what it takes to make it. (Huh.  Now there’s an oddly coincidental comment on my part.)  All they need now is HHH to come out and tell the kids that they don’t know how to work. (They do have that, it’s called NXT.  That’s what he’s been telling Hideo Itami, in fact.)  DDP grabs a headlock on Morrus to start, but gets dumped. Hugh follows with a pescado and misses by a mile. Back in, Page gets a lariat for two and brings the Barbarian in. This leads to the showdown of the Faces of Fear, as Meng starts pounding with chops. Barbarian overpowers him in turn and elbows away, but neither guy sells anything. Barbarian finally gets a back kick to drop Meng, and he presses Page onto him. Meng comes back with a headbutt and Morrus comes in and goes up right away. Flying elbow gets one. He changes his mind and goes up again, but DDP crotches him and Barbarian gets a belly-to-belly superplex for two. That looked pretty bad. Meng comes back in for some double-teaming and Morrus heads up for the moonsault, which gets two. It’s BONZO GONZO and DDP eats a superkick from Meng while Barbarian hits Morrus with the KICK OF FEAR, and since DDP is in the ropes, Barbarian’s pin counts and they win at 5:16. Who booked this shit? (Kevin Sullivan.)  They tried, but the universal suck force bound them together too tightly. 1/2* – Big Bubba & Stevie Ray v. Scott Norton & Ice Train. Kill me now. It’s like someone wanted to book Fire & Ice v. Harlem Heat, but decided to replace Booker T to ensure the worst match humanly possible. Why? Who would be cruel and inhuman enough to book such a match? (Kevin Sullivan.)  Norton pounds on Stevie, but charges and hits boot. Stevie clotheslines him and brings Bubba in, as Norton does an astounding amount of selling for an astoundingly bad run of offense. Spinebuster gets two. Norton gives Bubba the worst faceplant ever seen on TV, and Juice Train gets a buttsplash for two. Clothesline and both guys are out, as even Tony is riffing on the excessive number of clotheslines in the match. When TONY SCHIAVONE thinks you’re lame, you’ve got trouble. Norton comes back in and hammers on Stevie, but Bubba collides with his own partner and Norton pins him at 3:28. And thank god it’s over. DUD – Eddy Guerrero & Arn Anderson v. Ric Flair & Randy Savage. If there’s any justice they’ll give this a decent amount of time. Arn attacks Savage while waiting for Flair to make his entrance, and Flair adds some punishment on his own partner until Eddy (still a babyface) makes the save. Flair chops away, but Eddy wants to bring it! Liz & Nancy quietly make their way to ringside. Eddy backdrops Flair and dropkicks him a couple of times, but Flair goes to the eye, and then nails Savage for fun. I guess that was a tag. Arn comes in and beats on Savage, with Flair’s blessing, but Macho fights back. Arn keeps pounding in the corner, but eats boot. He gets the spinebuster for two, however. Flair tags back in, beats on his own partner some more, but Eddy pokes him in the eye and chops away. This is wild. Another dropkick sets up a tornado DDT, and Savage comes in and goes after Flair again, while Arn turns on his own partner and DDTs him. Flair gets the pin on Eddy at 4:05. Oh man, that match was amazingly fun stuff and it’s tragic that they cut it off at 4 minutes. ** Liz and the Horsemen give Savage some more abuse on the floor afterwards. – We review the winners and set up the next round of matches (determined by another “random” drawing, with one team getting a bye due to the double countout. Mean Gene and some Hooters girl select a team at random for the bye – Fire & Ice. The rest of the matches are drawn from there. – WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko v. Brad Armstrong. Tony talking about the “lengthy double-elimination tournament” for the belt (in reality: One match between Shinjiro Ohtani and Chris Benoit) is slightly bizarre given that even in 1996 it was easy to look this stuff up on the ‘net. Also Dean is apparently a youngster. (In all fairness he looks exactly the same today.)  They do some mat-wrestling to start and Brad gets an enzuigiri. They fight over a hiptoss and neither gets it, but Brad armdrags him and Dean bails. Back in, Dean dropkicks the knee and wraps it around the post, going to work on it. He uses an Indian deathlock and gets a backdrop suplex. Brad reverses a fireman’s carry into a sunset flip for two, but Dean goes back to the knee and keeps him down. Stump- puller (now there’s a move you don’t see everyday) and Dean goes back to the knee. He grabs a kneebar, but Brad makes the ropes. Pump splash hits foot, and Brad makes the comeback. Charge hits boot, but he gets a powerslam and goes up for a missile dropkick. He puts Malenko into a Texas Cloverleaf, but Dean makes the ropes. Brad gets dumped, but goes up again until he gets caught by Dean and hit with an Atomic Gutbuster for the pin at 8:25. Crowd didn’t care about any of this, and you can thank Rey Mysterio Jr. for completely salvaging this division from the scrap heap. Match didn’t really work, either. **  (And then Brad was on Nitro the next night doing a meaningless job to DDP anyway.)  – Dick Slater & Robert Eaton v. Hacksaw Duggan & VK Wallstreet. (Yes, two of these people are going to the FINALS.)  Slater hammers on Wallstreet to start while Duggan takes Eaton. Duggan and Wallstreet want to go, but Duggan calls for peace…and Wallstreet turns on him and dumps him. Slater gets a legsweep on VK for two. Elbow and the Slater-Eaton team work him over in the corner, but he comes back on Eaton. Eaton bails and Duggan beats on him outside, and back in Wallstreet gets the abdominal stretch, but Duggan refuses to help out by grabbing his hand. What a wuss. Duggan tags himself back in and pounds everything that moves, and gets two on Slater. We hit the chinlock. Slater & Duggan collide and tags abound. Duggan & Wallstreet disagree and Eaton rolls up Wallstreet for the pin at 4:04. Well, at least it was short. 1/2* – The Public Enemy v. Ric Flair & Randy Savage. Liz throws out Savage’s alimony money into the crowd, so Randy charges out and attacks Flair during his entrance. Security pulls them apart to prevent anything interesting from happening, and TPE wins by forfeit. GIMME A BREAK. – DDP & Barbarian v. Rick Steiner & The Booty Man. I can’t imagine this show getting much worse, so there’s always that on the bright side. Just call me Positively Netcop. (Well don’t really call me Netcop because I don’t wanna get sued.)  We’re really rushing through now, so this should be short and painless. DDP pounds on Booty to start, but gets dumped. Tony actually stops to give a logical explanation for DDP’s reinstatement following his retirement match: Since Johnny B Badd left the promotion and thus the match with Booty Man wasn’t for the TV title, DDP was under no obligation to put anything up, either. Okay then. Steiner comes in and pounds Page, but gets dropped on the top rope. Barbarian uses the power of the foot on Rick, but gets caught with a backdrop suplex. Sloppy belly-to-belly gets two, but Barbarian no-sells and powerbombs Rick, for two. Booty accidentally ties up the referee’s attention, allowing the heels to work Steiner over in the corner. Barbarian gets a clothesline, but Rick hotshots him and makes the “hot” tag to Booty Man. High Knee of Death gets two. Rollup is broken up by Page, and Barbarian GETS THE PIN at 5:05?!? From an ELBOW? Geez, is Brutus suffering from that brittle bone disease like Mr. Glass or something? (Cocaine is a hell of a drug.)  DUD – US title match: Konnan v. Jushin Liger. Liger is sporting the EVIL BLACK TIGHTS tonight, but the pink boots sort of ruin the effect. Konnan only has one “N” in his name at this point. Konnan takes him down with a reverse bow-and-arrow to start, but Liger escapes. They do the wristlock reversal spot and lots of RVD-ish flipping results. Liger gets a senton and Konnan bails, which allows Liger to follow with a pescado. Back in, brainbuster gets two. Liger goes into a cross-armlock, but Konnan reverses to a Regal Stretch. Liger goes to a half-crab while the crowd snoozes. They exchange palm strikes and Liger gets the Koppo kick, and they head up. Liger gets a superplex and goes back up with a flying splash that gets two. Dropkick puts Konnan out, and Liger follows with a plancha, but Konnan catches him with a kick on the way down. Back in, Liger gets a fisherman’s buster for two. Konnan gets a whiplash slam for two. Liger reverses a powerbomb into a sunset flip for two. Cradle gets two. Ligerbomb gets two. Liger goes up and lands on Konnan’s foot, which sets up Splash Mountain for the pin at 9:30. Crowd was getting into it by the end. *** – Flair and Arn Anderson are doing an interview, but Steve MacMichael interrupts and challenges them to a match for the next PPV. Kevin Greene comes out as Mongo’s partner. – Battlebowl finals: Scott Norton, Ice Train, Dick Slater, Robert Eaton, DDP, Barbarian, Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge. This is just a plain old battle royale, with the winner getting a title shot at the Giant. Let me repeat that: The winner of THIS match, with THESE guys, was supposed to get a shot at the champion on PPV. This is why WCW was in so much trouble before the nWo. Usual kick and punch stuff with absolutely no storyline to the match. Page gets booted out by Barbarian, clearly eliminated, but the ref misses it (even though the camera shows it all). Gotta love WCW. More kicking and punching as guys randomly switch dance partners with no rhyme or reason. They should have done a Survivor Series elimination match or something to settle this. Rocco charges Barbarian and gets backdropped out. Slater hits Eaton with his boot and eliminates him. Slater follows him out via unseen elimination, and brawls with Eaton back to the dressing room. DDP dumps Norton, leaving four men. Ice Train powerslams everyone and forms an alliance with Barbarian, then turns on him. DDP Diamond Cuts everyone, and pins Grunge, and Train. Um, WHAT? Barbarian kicks out, however. This is retarded. What is this, the AWA World title battle royale? Where’s Tom Zenk? (Good question.  Did we ever figure out what the hell happened to Zenk that caused him to disappear off the face of the earth?  Jail?)  Barbarian clotheslines Page for two. He charges and Page gets two in the corner. Page charges and Barbarian gets two. Tombstone piledriver (which looked like it nearly killed DDP) gets two. That was almost an OwenDriver. Sleeper is stopped by DDP going low, but Barbarian gets a powerbomb for two. Barbarian goes up, but misses the flying headbutt, and the Diamond Cutter ends it at 9:36. And the crowd goes apathetic. ** DDP didn’t get his promised title match until more than two years following, at Halloween Havoc ’98, and even then he had to win WarGames to earn that. – WCW World title: The Giant v. Sting. We’ve got like 10 minutes of airtime left here, so this should be quick. Those who give me that garbage about Big Show not being able to move faster and be thinner than he is now should watch his stuff from 1996, when he still sucked, but sucked in such a way that you could at least watch his matches without being embarrassed by it. This would be the point when Sting started growing his hair out, for whoever asked me a couple of weeks ago. Sting tries a bodyblock to start, but bounces off harmlessly. He keeps hammering on Giant and tries a sleeper, but gets shoved down. Seriously, Giant is MAYBE 400 pounds here. Maybe. If he got down to that size again and stayed there, I’d have no problem with him in the main events. (Keep in mind this was written something like 14 years ago, and now Show is still stinking up main events.)  Sting keeps bouncing off Giant, and bails. Back in, Sting tries an enzuigiri, but that gets no-sold. Giant charges and Sting tries a slam, but Giant falls on him for two. Giant elbow and he simply walks on him to set up another elbow. Back elbow puts Sting down again and Giant works him over in the corner. Headbutt low and Giant chokes away. Another elbow and we head to a bodyscissors. That’s a pretty smart move, actually. Giant uses the ropes for good measure. That goes on for a while. Giant tosses him and sends him hurling down the aisle, but Luger prevents a chokeslam through the table by holding Jimmy Hart on the table. A REAL man would sacrifice his manager for the greater good. You think Ric Flair would have blinked twice before throwing JJ Dillon out there as a diversion? Giant misses a dropkick and the ref is bumped by mistake, as Sting makes the comeback and gets the Stinger Splash. He keeps hitting them, and Giant keeps not selling them. Giant finally goes down as Luger has Jimmy Hart tied up, but there’s no ref. Sting makes the fatal error of going after Hart with another splash, misses, and then recovers with a flying splash for two. Ref is bumped again on the kickout, so Sting hits him with another splash and gets the Scorpion Deathlock. Luger “accidentally” hits Sting with the megaphone, chokeslam, goodbye at 10:40. Surprisingly good, given that they kept it around 10 minutes to compensate for Giant’s weaknesses. ***  (And then there was no followup on that megaphone deal the next night.  Because WCW.)  The Bottom Line: Well, when the nicest things I can muster up about a show are that some of the matches are “surprisingly good” and “entertaining despite all the other crap” and “they tried hard but still sucked”, you know there’s not going to be much worth watching here. Not the worst show ever, but one of the weirdest in terms of booking, and certainly not one that you’d wanna watch more than once. Strong recommendation to avoid.

2014 Scott Sez: WWF RAW 03.26.01

The SK RAW Rant for March 26, 2001 surreal adj 1: characterized by fantastic imagery and incongruous juxtapositions; “a great concourse of phantasmagoric shadows”- J.C.Powys; “the incongruous imagery in surreal art and literature”; ” [syn: phantasmagoric, phantasmagorical, surrealistic] 2: resembling a dream; “night invested the lake with a dreamlike quality”; “as irrational and surreal as a dream” [syn: dreamlike] 3: vince mcmahon on wcw nitro – Live from the Twilight Zone, Ohio. – Your hosts are Jim “Rod Serling” Ross and Paul Heyman (Niceshot)  (Well that’s a tad dated now. ) – Am I stoked for tonight? Does a pope shit in the woods? All that stuff about the WWF’s overall staleness? Forget it, THE SHIT IS ON.  (Yeah, for now.  Wait until they fuck it up and then I have to do a million blog threads about it.)  – We open with Vince gloating about (what else) buying WCW. And there’s a split screen, Nitro and RAW. HOLY SHIT, 2 minutes in and I’m marking out already. He begins by sealing Jeff Jarrett’s fate, declaring him “G-double-O-double-N-double-E” Well, I’m not sure what goonnee is, but it sure SOUNDS bad.  (13 years in and he’s STILL holding that grudge.)  – Opening interview: Kurt Angle spills the Big News: He doesn’t have an opponent for Wrestlemania! That truly IS the biggest story of the year. Even worse, the Gobbledygooker has an opponent. Benoit (drawing a noticeable pop) comes out to remedy that, because he’s annoyed with Angle and just generally thinks he’s the better man with the better submission hold. (Man, you REALLY don’t want to get Benoit mad.)  See, now THAT’S good old fashioned match-making. I’m the better man, no I am, oh yeah, yeah, PROVE IT. Anyway, Angle says he’ll NEVER tap to the Crossface, so of course they hook it up and that’s exactly what happens. Edge & Christian charge the ring for the save and punk out Benoit, thus completing the babyface turn for Benoit. Great opening segment. – Meanwhile, Vince watches Totally Buffed on TV, while establishing that HHH isn’t here, or in wrestling speak, “He’s here”.  (And then Buff Bagwell ended up changing the course of history a few weeks later.)  – Tazz v. Val Venis. This is a lumberjack match with the APA and RTC serving as lumberjacks. Val gets a spinebuster and RTC pounds Tazz, but he gets the Tazzmission on Venis. Steviekick sets up the Money Shot, which misses. Northern Lights suplex finishes for Tazz. Lasted maybe 30 seconds. DUD Just WM hype. – Meanwhile, Vince and William Regal mock Animal. (And then gave him a job and the tag titles four years later.)  – Doink the Clown cavorts in the audience to hype the Gimmick Battle Royale. And dear god, is that Mike Kirscher in the upper corner of that graphic? Did his welfare benefits run out already?  (Let’s not mock the dead.  Oh, wait, it turned out he was alive, right?  Fuck him then.  YOU SUCK, KIRSCHNER!)  – William Regal, with an announcement relating to W.C….Fields, wants a warmup match, So he calls out the Holly family, and gets Crash and Molly. Crash assumes he’s the one, but Regal goes after Molly… – William Regal v. Molly Holly. Goes about 2 seconds before Doink the Clown reappears to make the save, and is revealed as Chris Jericho. Moving right along… – Meanwhile, Vince notices Dustin Rhodes on Nitro and relates the story about his aborted try at breast implants to Trish, then realizes who he’s talking to and sheepishly moves on. I can’t even believe I’m typing some of this stuff. This one segment just violated about four layers of kayfabe in one shot.  (And then Goldust got another job a year later and then again today.)  – Meanwhile, Team E/C/K (Edge / Christian / Kurt) welcomes Rhyno to the fold. So it’s Team R/E/C/K now, I guess?  (Yup.)  – Wrestlemania promo, thus once again wedging “My Way” in my head. Then we head back to Smackdown for the Most Boring Interview Ever with Rock & Austin. – And now, History. With a capital “H”. Vince, simulcast on TNT, comes out to gloat about the purchase of WCW. Paul Heyman, ever the good employee, compares Vince to Alexander the Great. Ye gods. Vince brags about how Time-Warner was literally begging him to take the troubled promotion off their hands, and in fact he’s more than happy to do so…provided Ted Turner comes to Wrestlemania to personally hand him the contract to sign. No bitterness there. He also takes full credit for winning the war, of course, although he admits that the wrestlers may have had a small part in it. He segues to Shane and hyping the big match, then goes back to WCW, specifically his options for the company. He can bury them and put it on the backburner, or he could rebuild it. So then this segment goes completely beyond the pale as Vince starts gauging fan reaction to some of the top WCW “stars”. Hulk Hogan gets a tepid reaction. (Back within a year and World champion again.)  Lex Luger is soundly rejected. (Never brought back again.)  Buff Bagwell gets a pop so shockingly big from the teeny-bopper set that it may have saved his job. (Which it did.)  Booker T gets a good face pop. (Hall of Famer!) Scott Steiner gets MAD pops, and again that may save his job. (Sure, until he botched it himself a year later.)  Then, in the most amazing moment I’ve seen in months, the crowd, with no prompting or cue, starts LOUDLY chanting for Goldberg. (Ryback must have been there.)  So Vince adds Sting to the list (BIG pop), and Goldberg, whose name alone nearly brings the house down. Okay, they’ve GOTTA get him now. (Sure, two years later after he didn’t really mean anything.)  In the end, Vince decides that WCW isn’t worth it, and he’ll just line them all up and hit ‘em with a good old “You’re FIIRRRRRREEED” for fun. Oh, and WCW is dead and buried, thank you and good night. BUT WAIT. Shane joins us…from NITRO?!? Oh my lord. Shane reveals that HE is in fact the new owner of WCW, having signed that contract himself earlier in the day, and Vince can essentially go to hell because he’ll bring WCW back up himself. Oh my lord. If they don’t fuck this up, and I don’t see why they would, this is gonna be the BIGGEST money-drawing angle in history, I swear to god.  (Oh, 2001 Scott, so naive to the ways of the world…)  – Meanwhile, Vince yells at his lawyer. Smart man. – Is there even any point in finishing the show after that segment? – The Hardy Boyz & Chris Benoit v. Team E/C/K. Big brawl to start, Matt & Edge go in the ring. Hardyz work Edge over and a double-suplex gets two. Jeff heads to the floor the hard way and gets punked out. Angle stomps a mudhole and gets a backdrop suplex. Benoit gets the hot tag (at 1:00?) and cleans house, but Angle cheapshots him. Angle takes Poetry in Motion, however, and Benoit hits the Crossface. Edge & Christian save, but Christian takes the move and taps. Rhyno comes in and destroys both Matt and Lita. As long as he doesn’t wrestle, he might get over. Match was too short to be anything. ½*  (Rhyno did OK for himself, all things considered.)  – Test v. X-Pac. Welcome to the long dark tea-time of the soul. Special ref: Eddy Guerrero. We actually just saw this exact thing last month, except with Jericho reffing between X-Pac and Eddy, but it’s the hard sell for Wrestlemania, so what can ya do? Test gets a tilt-a-whirl slam, but Eddy won’t count. Test crotches himself, and gets kicked in the head. Lightning legdrop gets one. Test’s press-slam attempt is stopped by Eddy, and X-Pac falls on him for two. X-Pac’s leg lariat gets two. He hits the kick combo in the corner, but Test catches him going for the broncobuster and slams him. Eddy won’t count. X-Pac grabs the belt and goes up, but gets nailed and Melted-down on the way down. A second ref comes in, but Eddy gives him what-for. Albert sneaks in, Baldobombs Test, and X-Pac gets the win. These guys were just sleepwalking through, and the severe overbooking didn’t help. ¼* – MICK’S BACK! He shills a new book (“Foley is Good”), hits the cheap pop, and invites himself to Wrestlemania. Vince comes out, understandly vexed about that, but then the continuity-o-meter goes through the roof as we hit a tape from Dec. 2000, with Mick (one day before getting fired as commish) signs a gigantic stack of papers with Linda, in one of the coolest deus ex machina devices I’ve seen in a long time. He reveals the first document signed: A contract giving him the right to referee any match he wants at Wrestlemania. So of course he picks the Family Feud match, and basically notes that Vince’s life is gonna get a whole lot more difficult now. As if his night wasn’t bad enough already… – Chris Jericho v. Big Show. This is Jericho’s punishment for the Doink thing. Jericho dives onto him but gets posted. Into the ring, Show walks on him and misses a pump splash. Bulldog is deflected by Show, but Jericho escapes the Final Cut. Both guys hit the floor, but Show presses him back in. Kane comes out to brawl, as do Raven and Regal. Regal hits the neckbreaker on Jericho to break up a pin attempt after the Lionsault on Show, and Show gets AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH THE CHOKESLAM!, for the pin. Would it have KILLED them to job Big Show here? DUD Needless overbooked. – The Rock & Steve Austin v. Undertaker & Kane. Kane hammers Rock, but gets forearmed. Kane kills him with a lariat. Big foot and Kane chokes him out. Taker pounds him in the corner, as the crowd seems pretty subdued. Rock fights back, but UT gets the flying clothesline for two. Kane comes in again, but walks into a spinebuster and Rock gets the hot tag to Austin. He cleans house but gets dropped by Taker. Kane & Rock fight outside as Austin hits the Thesz Press on Taker. He gets nailed again, but fights out of the tombstone. UT shoves him into Rock, however, and chokeslams him. HHH runs in, chairshots UT, and Austin gets the pin. That ending’s really stupid on a lot of levels, like “Why do Austin & Rock need HHH’s help to beat UT & Kane” and “Who really cares who wins this match anyway, so why is UT so pissed off” and so on. Match was real bad with no heat, too, thus ending our streak of super hot main events. ½* Austin drinks some (de-alcoholized) beer, but Rock sneaks up and goes KICK WHAM STUNNER on Austin! (Oh yeah, I forgot about the “no booze allowed” era for Austin after the unpleasantness with Debra.)  Wow, pretty soon this guy will have stolen EVERY finisher in the WWF. Seems pretty heelish to me. The Bottom Line: It’s really too bad this was a Wrestlemania hype show, because had it occurred AFTER the big show and we had been treated to, say, a single decent match, it could easily be the most awesome RAW ever thanks to the Vince segment. However, it didn’t, so it’s not, and more’s the shame. At any rate, Wrestlemania is now set, with 11 matches looking like this: – Rock v. Austin for the WWF title – TLC II: Dudleyz v. Hardyz v. Edge & Christian. – Jericho v. Regal for the I-C title – Test v. Guerrero for the Euro title. – HHH v. Undertaker – Benoit v. Angle – Big Show v. Raven v. Kane for the Hardcore title – Ivory v. Chyna for the Women’s title – APA & Tazz v. RTC – Vince v. Shane in a street fight – The Gimmick Battle Royale. If the four big workrate matches (Rock/Austin, TLC, Jericho/Regal and Benoit/Angle) are given 15 minutes or more each, they should all easily hit ****+ and elevate this show to Best PPV Ever without breaking a sweat. However, if they DON’T and they try to do a three-hour PPV with a one-hour post-game…it could get ugly. That’s why I declared last week that this show could go either way. Still, hope springs eternal.  (Wrestlemania ended up OK, I’d say.)  As always, tune in the day after Wrestlemania for the PPV rant, and until next week, BUY THE BOOK.

2014 Scott sez: Smackdown 06.27.02

The SmarKdown Rant – June 27, 2002

– Taped from Chicago, IL

– Your hosts are MC & Tazz.

– Vince McMahon introduces Kurt Angle and shares in the jubilation of making Hogan tap like a bitch. And then he leaves. Geez, talk about a pointless cameo. Angle finally ditches the wig and takes it like a man, because he’s just so darn happy. So he throws out the dreaded open challenge. He even promises to take it easy. John Cena answers, and Angle isn’t impressed. Cena attacks and we’re off.  

– John Cena v. Kurt Angle. Cena attacks and dumps Angle, and back in he fires away with a pair of clotheslines. Stinger splash gets two. He overpowers Angle again, but falls prey to the Anklelock. He powers out of it, but gets suplexed for his troubles. Angle’s got it under control, but Cena reverses a suplex for two. Angle pounds on him in the corner and gets a vertical suplex for two. To the facelock, but Cena powers out of it. Forearm and he’s on the comeback trail. Spinebuster gets two. Well, he’s a future main eventer already. Angle Slam is reversed to a DDT, which gets two. Angle charges and posts himself, and Cena gets two. Small package gets two. Powerslam gets two. Angle catches a double-chickenwing and rolls him over for the pin at 5:36, however. Well, Cena gave it the old college try. **1/2 (Hopefully they start putting Cena over soon!  Wouldn’t want him to look weak.)  Cena even offers a handshake, but Angle is too cool for that. Cena reminds me of a very young Sting, both facially and in build. Cena wants more, however, but Angle blows him off after thinking it over a couple of times.

– Elsewhere, Cena meets the boys, including Undertaker. This time he gets his handshake. Okay then. (See, there’s your buildup for Wrestlemania 31!) 

– Tag title match: Billy & Chuck v. Hardcore Holly & Val Venis. (What an incredibly random tag team.  And then we later got Billy Gunn and Holly stuck together in a tag team as well.  And why weren’t they known as HARDCORE PORNOGRAPHY?!?)  Well, I guess sticking them in a tag team is one way to find a use for them. There’s even a sort of motif – they’re a Wunza team. In this case, wunza lover, wunza fighter. Holly overpowers Billy to start and gets the DROPKICK OF DOOM. Billy retreats and Chuck comes in, but Val works him over with chops. They exchange high kicks, and Chuck clotheslines Val to take over. Val gets an elbow and the kneedrop for two, however. Holly comes back in and they even do a little double-teaming, but the old cheapshot-from-the-illegal-man trick turns the tide. Why does a move hurt more if the guy isn’t legal? Someone should look into that. I’d be happy to accept any government grants offered. Billy chokes away, but Holly fights back against Chuck and gets a backdrop suplex for the double KO. Hot tag Val, and he’s a a Porn Star Afire! The match is dangerouly close to BONZO GONZO as Val cleans house, but he can’t get the Seaman’s Suplex on Billy thanks to Rico. Holly takes of that problem, but Billy gives Val a Fameasser at 4:20 in the confusion to retain. I have no beef with this and would actually enjoy seeing Holly & Venis continue as a team. They even have the matching purple tights already. **

– Torrie shows off her lingerie to hype the show on Saturday.

– Earlier today, Jamie Noble pimps Nidia to Tajiri. Literally. Poor guy.

– Lance Storm v. Mark Henry. An earlier pre-taped segment reveals that Lance is going to beat Henry not just for himself, but for the whole world. If someone like Lance was representing the interests of world peace at the G8 summit, there would be no protests – we could all unite under the banner of kicking the crap out of Mark Henry! (I have of course since come around on ol’ Mark.)  Henry overpowers Storm to start with the dreaded KNUCKLELOCK OF DEATH and chokes him out. Storm goes flying out after a shot, and Henry tosses him back in. Storm comes back with chops, but has to bump around for Mark some more. Storm hits the post, but Henry misses a pump splash and Storm gets a missile dropkick. Stormkick gets the pin at 2:33. Whoa, CLEAN WIN. Kudos. Christian offers more of those kudos on the way by. ½*

– Undertaker comes out for some gabbin’. We establish through some basic logical arguments that he is the champion (he has the belt, he who has the belt is the champion, therefore he is the champion, QED. You kids out there who go into comp sci in university can use that when you start building logic circuits).  (Gah, machine language still gives me a headache.)   He takes credit for injuring HHH’s arm and badmouths the Rock. I have to draw the line there. So anyway, Rock returns July 11, and Undertaker is gonna make him pay. What, he’s gonna force to him to watch the last three Undertaker matches on PPV? Because that Austin match was really a form of cruel and unusual punishment. Kurt Angle interrupts all the Rock-hating and accuses Taker of talking too much. See, that’s irony. Angle wants a title shot next week on Smackdown (building ahead, what a concept), but Undertaker wants some right now. Angle politely declines the beating, but Undertaker accepts that title match regardless. Angle wants to touch the belt. And he even asks nicely. Showing that a little manners goes a long way, Taker lets him, but it’s a SWERVE, and Angle attacks and quickly gets the anklelock before running away. I have a theory on this: They’re hyping a title match for Smackdown against Angle, but first they’re hyping one with Jeff Hardy on RAW. They want to get the title on Angle (supposedly) but a heel-heel switch wouldn’t work without turning Taker face. So perhaps they’re gonna book that fluke title win for Jeff, have him take UT’s place against Angle on Smackdown, and then Angle can manhandle him and win the title. However, this messes up the July 11 Rock return because then Undertaker is stick on RAW and can’t carry through with his threat against Rock. But I wouldn’t be 100% shocked to see a title change on Monday and then again on Thursday.  (What the fuck was I going on about there?  Of course they put the title on Rock at Vengeance and then onto Brock Lesnar from there.) 

– Test v. Rikishi. Test pounds away to start and gets a belly to belly. They slug it out, won by Rikishi, but Test clotheslines him and elbows away in the corner. Test shoves the ref, because he’s a biased American, and slams Rikishi for good measure. That’s CANUCK POWER! Rikishi comes back with a superkick for two, however. A Banzai drop is blocked with a nutshot for two. You should know that Canadian wrestling rules stipulate that low blows are legal. Ref bumped, but because he’s prejudiced against Canadians, he DQs Test for no reason, thus robbing our great country of a glorious victory against America. Storm & Christian hit the ring to defend the honor of Canada and explain the legalities to the ref, but much like Earl Hebner, he’s taken off for the dressing room after screwing Canada and can’t answer to his heinous refereeing job. I DEMAND AN INQUIRY! ¼*

– Elsewhere, Vince was personally upset at seeing Hogan submit at the PPV. He’s all heart. Hogan tries using the FINGERPOKE OF DOOM on Vince, but he’s not the World champion (any more) or Kevin Nash, so it doesn’t work.

– Elsewhere, Test agrees that America sucks. How could I have been so wrong about Test all this time? Maybe he is okay after all.

– Jamie Noble & Tajiri v. Kidman & Hurricane. An astute fan at ringside has a sign saying “Trailer Trash”, presumably referring to Noble & Nidia. Man, where do people think of those witty signs? It must have taken hours to come up with that one. Tajiri attacks Hurricane from behind, and Noble comes in and immediately gets beaten on. Clothesline and Shining Wizard Magazine get two. Noble clotheslines him and the heels try a double-team, but Hurricane bulldogs both and Kidman lends a hand with a double-team on Tajiri. Kidman armdrags him, but walks into a handspring. Noble comes in, but gets powerbombed and Kidman is on the attack, but a cheapshot from outside puts Kidman in a situation tighter than his disturbing tiny pants. Tarantula and kneedrop , but Kidman reverses a tornado DDT into a facejam, hot tag Hurricane. Hurricane slugs away on Noble and sends him facefirst to the floor outside. Tajiri catches him with a superkick for two, however. Blind tag to Kidman and Helms chokeslams Tajiri, and Kidman finishes with the Shooting Star Press at 4:29. They should just forget the cruiserweight designation and let Hurricane & Kidman challenge for the tag titles. It’s Kidman and Hurricane, the dynamic duo! **1/4  (And they both went on to win the tag titles!  Albeit with different partners.) 

– D-Von & Bautista v. Faarooq & Randy Orton. I think they need a better bad-ass name than “Bautista” if they’re gonna dump the Bull Buchanan look for him. (How about…BATISTA!)  Orton controls D-Von and gets a sideslam for two. D-Von dropkicks him and gets the spinning elbow. They head up top, where Orton blocks a superplex and follows him down with a bulldog. Hot tag Faarooq, and that epic brother v. brother feud continues. Powerslam gets two. D-Von DDTs him, however, and heads up for the missed headbutt. Orton comes back in with a bodypress that gets two. Dropkick gets two. Bautista tags himself in and gets a vicious lariat on Orton, and a spinebuster that finishes at 3:18. He needs a better finisher, but all he needs to do is master the sleeper and he’s set for the main event, too. That would be sarcasm, by the way. Match was okay. *1/4  (Well at least he got a better finish.) 

– Hulk Hogan v. Chris Jericho. Hogan’s website is apparently “redandyellow.com” Does that refer to his wardrobe or the colors needed to make up his skin pigment? Jericho attacks from behind (also perfectly legal in Canada, FYI) and hammers away in the corner. Hogan clotheslines him and gets a backdrop, but the elbow misses. Jericho chops away, but gets slugged in the corner. Jericho goes low (legal according to Canadian rules, remember) to take over and gets a backdrop suplex. ARROGANT COVER gets two. He chokes away and gets a DDT for two. Michael Cole notes that Hogan isn’t gonna make any excuses because he “never has before in his career”. Oh man, I could spend HOURS disputing THAT little claim. Do the words “How much was the plastic surgery?” ring any bells? Jericho gets the abdominal stretch (using the ropes to steady himself in case he falls over), but Hogan escapes and slugs back. Jericho posts himself and Hogan makes the big comeback, but Jericho ducks the big boot (I’m amazed no one has thought of that before) and goes for the Walls. Hogan powers out, but falls prey to the bulldog and Lionsault, which get two. Hulkup time and he fights back, and Jericho bails off the big boot and grabs a chair. Chairshot draws a DQ at 6:32, but more importantly puts Hogan out. That’s a fair trade. Hogan seemed strangely motivated here, but then they were basically doing Hogan-Savage from 1986 so he didn’t need much prompting in order to work the match. According to Jericho’s wacky star ratings system, this would be a ***1/2 show-stealing spectacular! (This would be during the period when Jericho was bitching about a match that I apparently under-rated.  So of course I took the high road in response.)  I’d call it *1/2, which is very respectable for Hogan these days. Jericho goes for the Edge Special on Hogan’s arm, but the Y2J countdown hits, and Edge makes his triumphant return and saves his buddy Hogan. Some asskicking results. Hogan doesn’t even hog the spotlight!  (And this set up Edge & Hogan winning the tag belts in a match that I really love, in fact.) 

The Bottom Line:

See, now THIS is the kind of show I can get into – letting some new guys show their stuff, everyone working hard more or less, Canadians everywhere, using midcard guys in tag teams to shore up the ranks…just tremendous all around.

And Cena’s debut not only made him look like a MAJOR player right away (and mark my words – he’s the next Sting) by working him into the mix with the big boys rather than the losers, but also showcased his stuff in a really good match and made me want to see more of him.

Good show all around.

Scott Sez…

Hey Scott, I doubt you’ll do it but I figured I would ask anyway. A few of us on the blog thought it might be interesting for you to do a “Scott Sez” on the email I sent you from Caliber. To get your side of the issues he’s talking about. Like I said in the comments I did catch him in one lie concerning the email and I was wondering what else he stretched the truth about. Thanks.

You know, the weird thing is that I didn’t even realize most of this was even an issue.  I just thought he was writing for PlaceToBe and I only revoked his posting access once he started bitching on Facebook.  Anyway, here we go…

“Here’s why I quit:
A few years ago when I was just posting on the BoD, I got into an argument with Chad Bryant. Well, he went over to a google newsgroup, created an account under my name and started making posts that said “Look how hard I’m trolling Chad Bryant over on the Blog of Doom”. Well, this pissed Scott off, and he banned me. I said it wasn’t me, and he told me that he trusted Chad, and to be honest, he didn’t like me.
Well, a while goes by and Chad pulls the same shit, so Scott apologies. I ask if I can write for the blog, he says yeah. At the same time, Charlie Reneke started writing. I freely admit, my style was rough in the beginning. Well, we both drew complaints. Scott emails me to tell me he’s letting me go because I got complaints. He says that Charlie got them too, but he brings readers in. So, what’s Charlie do about a month later? Has his melt down and insults everyone. Does Scott even stand up for his fans? Nope.

(My fans can stand up for themselves.) 
So, I come back after a while. At this point, I’d tried to create a msg board for the BoD on two separate occasions. Would Scott back it? Get behind it? Endorse it? Nope. (I wanted an embedded one so I could get ad revenue off it, duh.)  Scott also created that tacky as fuck header that said it was “created by the sci-fi-customizer!” on it. So, I create a brand new header, and give it to him. It’s the one that’s up now. Does he even thank me? Nope. (Several times in fact, publicly.)  Scott didn’t know how to produce ebooks, once I did, he asked me how I did it, so I taught him. (Amazon’s Kindle help forum “taught” me to do it after I Googled it.) 
Last June, I went to see The Dark Knight Rises at a midnight screening. I had some where to be afterward, but I specifically came home to write up a short review, and post it on the BoD so that website would be the first to have a review before ANYONE. Before 411mania, insidepulse, or any of the other wrestling websites that also talked movies. I don’t make myself late so I can help my site, no, I make myself late so I can help SCOTT’S website. Then everyone started being the pricks that they are, because I didn’t enjoy the film that much. Then a few hours, what does Scott do? He posts a review of the movie that some random person emailed him. Does he even mention mine? Thank me? Nope. I also did the same thing for Iron Man 3. (Don’t know what the fuck he’s going on about here.)
I told Scott I could help him with his email over-flow, no problem, and I was even in the middle of creating an FAQ to help him with people asking the same questions, AND a BoD greatest hits page. (Never saw any of those.)  Not to mention the QoTD, which became a lot of people’s favorite feature, and brought a ton of people around every day to check it out, thus upping his ad revenue. (I’ve never shared information on my ad revenue with anyone, ever.  And for the record, it has little to do with which posts get the most visits and more with time of year and whims of the advertisers.)  Do I ever get any tank you? Any “good job” or anything of the matter? Nope. Not once. Really, it’s no big deal, but it shows what kind of character he has. So, the other day, Dougie is being Dougie. I try to have an adult, flat out debate with him, to which he refuses. The next day, in the Die Hard thread, he makes a post where he references the argument we had the day before, the one he refused to have with me. So, I just deleted it. He then signed up as Jesse Baker, went to my website, and spammed me.
I email Scott, and tell him what happened. I ask Scott to ban Dougie for just one day. I mean, I’m his most loyal writer.
(Except for the time he flaked out and quit.  Twice.)  I’ve busted my ass to make the BoD a better place. Would have done anything he’d asked to help out. I’m a very well liked guy around there. Dougie on the other hand, is a piece of shit. He went else where and posed as someone else, which is apparently a big deal to Scott, and all I want is a 24 hour ban.
So, I find out that some views to my website come from some wrestling forum. I go to the thread, and apparently the forum is run by Scottsman. Who we know is one of Scott’s best friends. Who’s in this thread? None other than Dougie. He’s been talking shit about the BoD for YEARS in this thread, posting comments people had made in discussions and making fun of them. I then see that Dougie is posting our discussion and mocking me, which is fine, but then I see the fucking email I sent Scott about him. Scott never emailed me back, but what did he do? He fucking sends Dougie the email I sent Scott, and tells him to “quit antagonizing Caliber” like I’m some fucking petulant child who’s making a big deal out of nothing.
(You were.)  I mean, he sends the guy my email. Why the fuck would he do that? (Because it amused me.)  Here I was, Scott’s most loyal guy, (Except for the time he flaked out and quit.  Twice.)  and he just shits all over my trust by doing this. So, apparently Dougie is a good friend of his. (I think it’s more I’ve grown accustomed to him.) 
That’s why I quit. All of that history. I did a lot for this guy, even though he’s been a prick to me a number of times, and he won’t even ban a guy for 24 hours who’s completely hated? And even sends the guy my email, for which the guy uses to openly mock me? Not to mention how he treats his fans. He doesn’t give a shit about them. He only cares about his ad revenue. Well, he’s not a guy I want to work for anymore. I didn’t bother even telling him I quit, because I know he doesn’t give a shit. (For the record, the blog had by far the biggest numbers in its history in the months AFTER Caliber left.  I’m not saying one had anything to do with the other, however, because I wouldn’t want to sound like a prick.) 

1986 Scott Sez…

Hey Scott, We just created a debate on the WrestleCrap.com daily survey question, and I’m curious as to how you and the BODers respond. Given all the bitching we do about WWE and their sanitized, kid-friendly form of entertainment, the product does seem effective in getting kids to cheer Cena, Santino, Hornswoggle, and the broad bathroom humor. Of course, we all have our childhood guilty pleasures, stuff we couldn’t believe we found entertaining at that age. So the question: if you, Scott, were 8-10 years old today, and you watched WWE as it is now, given your sensibilities at that age, who would your favorite wrestler(s) be? For me, in 1991-93, I cheered for the spot monkey heels, like Perfect and Shawn, so my answer would have to be Dolph.

I always cheered for the badass heels like the Four Horsemen and Randy Savage, so it’s likely that 10 year old Scott would be deeply into CM Punk and Brock Lesnar, although he’d probably be a little scared of Brock.  I’m sure Tyson Kidd would also be high on his list because he’s the local guy (more or less) and a decent analogue for Owen Hart at that age.  On a totally tangential note, I really think there’s something to the Ziggler-Shawn comparison, in that Shawn was supposed to be this breakout star in 1995 and they fucked him over with the Sid turn, which only made people want to see him breakout even more.  I think there’s real potential with a Ziggler babyface turn and chase of the title and I’m kind of thinking they need to screw him out of the title to pull it off.  Because really, where does he fit into plans with the belt right now anyway?  Nowhere.  Although they’ve beat him so much since his one win against John Cena months ago that I don’t even know if putting the belt on him will save it at this point.