–Jim Ross and Vince McMahon are covering the action, which is still coming from South Padre Island, Texas. McMahon is replacing Todd Pettengill because Pettengill is on vacation.
–Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are still in Corpus Christi, Texas.
–A limousine pulls into the backstage area and Pamela Anderson walks out. She goes to her locker room as WWF wrestlers, led by Dink of all people, hoot and holler. What? You expected respectful manners out of a group of wrestlers?
As a side note, when you have been watching tons of television tapings from Liberty, New York in a high school gym for weeks on end it really makes you appreciate the bigger venue that this show is in and it makes everything seem more important.
–Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are on the mic and they are live from Tampa, Florida. What is hilarious about the opening is that Vince tries to introduce the Spanish announce team and Hugo Savinovich just stays seated with his back to the camera.
–Todd Pettengill is live from Tampa, Florida from the location of the Royal Rumble. Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon are in the booth calling the taped matches which are still from Liberty, New York. As long as it gets Todd out of the booth it is fine with me.
–Boyz 2 Men sing “America the Beautiful” to kick off the show. They receive a Cena-like mixed reaction.
–Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
–A video package recaps the tensions building between the Rock and Paul Wight, whose nickname has been changed to “The Big Show” instead of the “The Big Nasty.” We are also reminded that the Undertaker is going after Vince McMahon.
–Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from San Jose, California.
–WWF Champion The Rock opens the show and he tells Steve Austin that he will prove his status as “The Great One” at WrestleMania. He demands that Vince McMahon come out and prove to him that the Big Show is not working with Austin. McMahon complies and says that “Dwayne” needs a reality check for being ungrateful for all that McMahon has given him. He says that three generations of his family have looked after the Rock’s ancestors and that Paul Wight is not as quick to understand the existing agreement. Wight comes out and demands to know what McMahon is talking about, threatening he and the Rock. McMahon does not kindly to that, leading Wight to manhandle him into a corner to get his point across. McMahon collects himself and books the Rock and Wight to team up to face Mankind and Steve Austin, thereby making this a preview of WrestleMania. The Rock and Wight shake hands to end the segment at McMahon’s behest.
–A video package chronicles Steve Austin attacking the Rock on Sunday Night Heat and Paul Wight not trying to save the Rock from the assault.
–Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are calling the action and they are live from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
–A video package recaps the Undertaker’s recent threats against Vince McMahon, culminating in the Undertaker burning a teddy bear at the end of last week’s RAW.
–Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are doing commentary and they are live from Cleveland, Ohio.
–The Corporation comes out and Vince McMahon discusses how the audience does not understand his capacity to love. He fires Kane for losing the inferno match to the Undertaker last week and has orderlies come down to send Kane to the insane asylum. However, Chyna comes to Kane’s aid and they fight them off. Chyna tells McMahon that she can control Kane and asks for Kane to be booked against Steve Austin, with Kane’s job on the line. McMahon counters by also putting Chyna’s job on the line. Mankind then joins the festivities and volunteers to referee the Steve Austin-Kane match to prove himself worthy of refereeing the title match at WrestleMania XV. McMahon agrees on the condition that Mankind is able to defeat the Undertaker on tonight’s show (this is later clarified in the broadcast to mean that McMahon will consider Mankind for the role at WrestleMania based on how the match goes). The Undertaker’s voice then comes on via the loudspeakers and he says that he has already told McMahon what he is going to take from him.
–A video package recaps the Rock winning the WWF title in a ladder match against Mankind on last week’s show.
–Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are taped from Chattanooga, Tennessee.
–Vince McMahon comes out to hype tonight’s Inferno Match between the Undertaker and Kane. He welcomes Paul Wight to the ring, who is booked to be the guest referee at WrestleMania. Cole is trying to get Wight over as “The Big Nasty,” so I guess it is good that “The Big Show” name was chosen instead. WWF Champion The Rock also comes out, quickly getting into a verbal confrontation with Wight, telling him to “Know his role.” McMahon’s efforts at playing peacemaker get nowhere until Mankind marches onto the stage and volunteers to referee the WrestleMania main event, as well as referee a Rock-Wight encounter tonight. Wight then proceeds to challenge the Rock to a match, which the Rock gladly accepts and he says he will put the WWF title on the line too.
–A series of narrated photographs recaps last night’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre pay-per-view.
–Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from Birmingham, Alabama.
–Commissioner Shawn Michaels comes out and welcomes out the participants in the WrestleMania main event: WWF Champion Mankind and Steve Austin. Before anything can be said between them, Vince McMahon interrupts, wearing a neck brace and selling his beating from Austin the previous night. McMahon claims to be a broken man and that he wants a fresh start with Austin on the condition that Austin apologizes. Austin does apologize, but only for beating McMahon more than he intended. McMahon tells Michaels that people deserve a WWF title rematch between Mankind and the Rock because their match last night ended in a draw so he needs to do his job and book it for tonight. Mankind says he needs a week to recover, bringing out the Rock, who continues to goad Michaels into booking a title match for this evening. Mankind decides to take on the Rock after all and to make sure that there is a winner Michaels announces that tonight’s title match will be a ladder match. After that, McMahon welcomes out Paul Wight, who he says will be the special guest referee of the title match at WrestleMania. Austin simply flips him off from the ring to end the segment.
Saturday Night’s Main Event gets recapped. Sadly it’s one of the ones from 2006.
Big Show and Great Khali teamed up to beat up The Undertaker so Undi’s making an appearance tonight against Show. Well the show’s only an hour-long so if he does that promo about leaving him in the desert the match will only twenty seconds.
-Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are taped from Beaumont, Texas. This is the go home show for the Royal Rumble.
–Cole is in the ring to interview Steve Austin, but Austin just turns it into a single man segment as he rips the microphone out of Cole’s hands. This is just a generic “build promo” for the Rumble, with Austin recapping a month’s worth of storylines about how he will be the first entrant, Vince McMahon will be the second entrant, and that all twenty-nine men will want to throw him out so that they can receive $100,000 from Vince.
It has been a long time since the World Was Watching appeared here on the Blog. That was partly due to some career moves on my part and just a general lack of time. That is solved for the time being, though, so we will head back into 1999. The last recap ended – somewhat fittingly – with Mankind’s upset title victory over the Rock. The Road Dogg also defended his Hardcore title against Al Snow out in the snow on the last show and the tasteless Terri Runnels pregnancy angle began with D-Lo Brown. Needless to say, 1999 will be a combination of some memorable moments and some really wacky Russo booking.
–Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from Houston, Texas.
months absence, I have returned so that the Blog can finish up looking back at
1998 when the World Wrestling Federation finally turned the tide against World
Championship Wrestling. When we left off,
the Rock was tearing it up as the newly crowned corporate heel champion, but he
has Mankind in hot pursuit of the title that he thought was in the bag at
Survivor Series. Steve Austin was still
feuding with the Undertaker, something that segments of the audience are
growing tired of, and the New Age Outlaws teased joining the Corporation before
realigning with D-Generation X. The
Corporation still has Commissioner Shawn Michaels in their pocket, though. And Debra McMichael, newly arrived from WCW,
has reunited with Jeff Jarrett, ignoring the fact that he called her a “dumb
blonde” when he returned to the company in 1997.
Rock shows up at Planet Hollywood in Vancouver, British Columbia. He promises that future pay-per-views will be
named after him and tells us to enjoy the action. The Rock getting a pay-per-view named after
him fit nicely into existing storylines as it constituted a reward for going
Jerry “the King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from Vancouver,
British Columbia, Canada. Ross is absent
due to his mother’s recent passing. The
opening is where Cole says that there is two tons of dirt near the grave and
the tombstone weighs “in excess of three thousand pounds,” thereby serving as
great fodder for recappers of the future.
Mark Henry (w/PMS) defeat Supply & Demand (w/The Hos) when Henry pins Venis
after a splash at 5:58:
Demand tag team of Val Venis and the Godfather since the tag division was
relatively weak at this point in the company’s history (and would remain so
until the summer of 1999). The “Pretty
Mean Sisters” faction of Terri Runnels and Jacqueline align themselves with
D-Lo and Henry at this show, although the reasons for it are not
explained. D-Lo draws a lot of heat,
with the crowd showering him with “D-Lo sucks!” chants on several occasions. The hos and PMS get into a predictable confrontation
on the floor, creating a distraction that allows Jacqueline to pull Venis’s
tights down and produce the finish. This
was standard RAW fare that was made better by the hot crowd. Rating: **¼
attacking the Rock earlier in the day when he was being interviewed by Michael
Cole in a skybox. The Rock’s ribs are
allegedly hurt, but he is willing to fight against doctor’s orders so that he
can keep the title.
beat Kurrgan & Golga (w/Giant Silva & Luna Vachon) when Mosh pins Golga
after the Stage Dive at 6:52:
cutting her hair on a recent episode of RAW, which is not the appropriate use
of that word. That does not keep him
from continuing to use it, though. These
two teams had been feuding on RAW, with the Headbangers turning on the Oddities
and then getting the Insane Clown Posse to defect to their side. The Oddities were seemingly okay with this
defection, though, because they are still using the ICP’s engineered theme music. If this was booked as a three minute match it
would be acceptable, but it just keeps dragging as the Headbangers can only do
so much with their opponents. The ending
is botched, with Golga taking forever to run the ropes and ending up too far
away to take the Stage Dive. Rating:
Shane McMahon, and the stooges huddle to discuss how they help the Rock defend
the title tonight. Patterson suggests
getting hockey equipment and ambushing Mankind.
Brisco just offers to get Mr. McMahon some coffee, a humorous connection
back to a few months ago when the stooges abandoned McMahon and left him at the
mercy of Steve Austin.
Owen Hart via count out at 10:28:
beloved Canadian. Cole tells us that
Owen has “perfected” the Sharpshooter, which makes sense when you compare his
Sharpshooter with the Rock’s version. I
await him telling us that Owen was the “architect” of the Hart family. This is a bit of a weird bout as both men
trade offense throughout without really building to the proper transitions and
then Owen gets sent chest-first into an exposed turnbuckle and barely sells it. Blackman gets booed out of the building after
locking Owen into the Sharpshooter, but he gets out and then heads to the
locker room to lose. Talk about a finish
wiping out ten minutes of hard work. Rating:
wanders around backstage looking for Mankind.
He finds the boiler room, which has a “Mankind’s office” sign on the
door that McMahon rips off in disgust.
He tentatively walks in to negotiate with the Rock’s opponent for the
the J.O.B. Squad (w/Head) when Christian pins Scorpio after the Impaler at 9:08:
look that was all the rage in the late 1990s among jaded youth, but it would
have had more popularity with the Twilight
craze that swept the nation a decade later.
As another aside, how many stables in wrestling history have had the
hired help go on to have better careers than the leader? Snow might be over, but the crowd is not
buying into this J.O.B. Squad concept, sitting on their hands for much of this
despite all six guys doing their best to get a reaction. Cole and Lawler are also disinterested,
debating the merits of Paul McCartney music and Cole insisting that he listens
to “the new stuff.” After what feels
like an eternity we get to the ending sequence, which has a few cool spots such
as Edge launching off of Gangrel to plancha Al Snow and Bob Holly, but a spot
fest a good match does not make. Rating:
McMahon continue to negotiate backstage, although we cannot hear what they are
Match: Goldust beats “Double J” Jeff
Jarrett (w/Debra McMichael) via reverse decision at 8:03:
Goldust wins then Debra must strip, but if Jarrett wins Goldust has to
strip. Knowing Vince, I am surprised
they did not do a swerve, have Goldust lose clean, and then strip to tick of
GLAAD. The stipulation helps give a dull
match some heat and after Goldust hits Shattered Dreams, Debra smashes Goldust
with a guitar behind the referee’s back.
Somehow the broken bits of guitar in the ring do not bother the referee
as Jarrett hits the Stroke to seemingly win.
However, Commissioner Shawn Michaels comes out and reverses the
decision. Debra strips out of her
business suit, but before she can go further the Blue Blazer interrupts. What, you really did not think they were
going to go through with this stipulation?
boiler room and seems to be in a good mood.
Championship Match: The New Age Outlaws
(Champions) defeat The Big Bossman & Ken Shamrock (w/Shawn Michaels) when
Billy Gunn pins Ken Shamrock with an inside cradle at 17:06:
people think of the Attitude Era, but I thought it had some appeal since both guys’
styles complemented each other well. If
Ross was on commentary he would say that the heat sequence was “deliberate” as Shamrock
and Bossman grind the match to a snail’s pace so they can beat on the Road
Dogg. In Cole’s third embarrassing error
of the night he refers to the Bossman’s night stick as “a baton.” Based on how the Outlaws feud with the
Corporation was going it seemed like a given that they would lose the tag team
titles here, thereby giving them a program for the early winter of 1999. However, although Michaels trips Gunn when he
tries to suplex Shamrock back into the ring, Gunn reverses the cover and the
Outlaws retain. What really hurt this
match was that during the heat sequence Shamrock and the Bossman never seemed
to have a coherent strategy to work on a body part and they never went for a
cover. Why would you do that when
wrestling the tag team champions? Rating:
the ongoing Rock-Mankind feud.
Shane and the Rock that the contract for the title match will be altered in the
ring and that Mankind just wants witnesses.
for the next match, Vince McMahon steps in the ring and makes fun of a hole in
Mankind’s tights. Mankind says he will
cross out the contract clause that says he gets the title if the Rock cannot
wrestle, but only if McMahon admits that he never heard Mankind submit at the
Survivor Series and do so on his knees.
McMahon refuses to do so, saying that the Rock heard him submit at
Survivor Series and that was good enough for him, so we end up having our
scheduled title match after all…
Match: Mankind beats The Rock (Champion
w/Vince & Shane McMahon) with the Mandible Claw at 13:34:
the ring. There was something about
techno beats that the WWF music team could not get away from during this period
as they also tried to do it with parts of the Rock’s theme and had to abandon
that when it also sounded horrid. They
try to rip off Over the Edge with Vince telling the referee to disqualify Mankind
“for any legitimate reason” after he beats the Rock to a pulp on the arena
floor. The Rock is also good for comedy
here, taking a headset and cutting a promo on Mankind as he smashes his face
into the commentary table, but then keep it on as Mankind makes a
comeback. Vince tries to get the referee
to disqualify Mankind after a low blow, but in a shrewd move that Bret Hart
should have done in Montreal, Mankind decks takes out the referee and the
timekeeper. All of this leads to a new
referee coming in, which makes little sense because the first referee would
have disqualified Mankind at this point for piledriving him, and that produces
some hot near-falls with each man’s signature moves. A Mandible Claw seems to give Mankind the
title, but McMahon announces after the match that since the Rock never
submitted he cannot lose the championship.
Did the WWF give a one night contract to Dusty Rhodes with these
finishes? Fun match once the overbooking
began, but it was not on the same level as their Survivor Series bout. Rating: **¾
Mankind puts both McMahons in the Mandible Claw and beats on the stooges, but
eventually Ken Shamrock and the Big Bossman run in to beat him down.
the Steve Austin-Undertaker feud.
Match: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin defeats
The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) at 21:31:
Rumble per the orders of Vince McMahon.
That is a classic example of the booking getting too cute because it
basically constituted a spoiler since there was no way Austin was not going to
be in the Rumble match. In a Buried
Alive match I always wonder why the wrestlers never stay near the grave. Why go back to the ring, which has more give
to it than concrete and why not use all the shovels and such around the grave
to wear out your opponent? Wrestling
logic I suppose. As Austin has noted in
recent years, the stipulation ruined this bout as he and the Undertaker could
only build drama near the grave and it made the match too much of a choking and
punching encounter. Cole gaffe #4 rears
its ugly head as he refers to “the Royal Rumble tournament” that is on the line
between these two. And for those
wondering why I am being hard on Cole, I have to think of something to keep me
preoccupied with this match which just meanders all around the arena without
any rhyme or reason to it. Eventually, Austin
hits a Stunner to send the Undertaker into the grave and walks off. This allows the Undertaker to get out, but an
explosion out of the grave sends out Kane, who Tombstones the Undertaker back
into the grave and Austin brings out a backhoe.
However, to really top off this awful match, the backhoe takes forever to
dump dirt on the Undertaker and then takes too long to rake the dirt in. Austin soon tires of shoveling dirt and drinks
beer, finally being declared the winner.
but this show was not one of them. As
has been the case for much of the year, the top of the card has to excel to
cover for a deficient midcard and that did not happen here. If anything, the show had lots of oddly
booked finishes with Mankind going over the Rock but not winning the title, the
Outlaws retaining when it may have made more sense to give the titles over to
the Corporation, and Owen Hart losing in a puzzling count out after a
competitive match. The Debra stripping
nonsense, Kane popping out of a grave like Michael Myers, and the overbooking
of the title match was Russo in overdrive.
Yet there were already some danger signs with Russo in the sense that
some of his material was recycling old concepts, such as going back to the Over
the Edge well in the Rock-Mankind match.
Avoid this show on the Network because the memorable moments of December
1998 happened on RAW.
0.78 (+0.34 over previous year)
by Logan Scisco
alternatives to WWF Magazine. We return to WWF Magazine this week, looking at the August 2000 issue. On the cover is someone who Triple H says is
a very unlikely candidate for the Hall of Fame:
remember that the WWF gradually tried to make Chyna sexier for viewers. She started as a serious bodyguard in a role
unlike that of any other woman who came before her (or even since), but then
started wearing makeup and by 2000 the WWF was presenting her as more of a
physically gifted, attractive “diva.”
magazine is no longer Kevin Kelly.
Instead it is a woman named Laura Bryson. By this point the magazine was a shell of its
former self, at least in my eyes, and the pay-per-view recaps will show that.
letter saying that Lita is not a potential legend since she is just attached to
Essa Rios and is not pursuing a singles title.
Of course, that would change down the road and by the time this magazine
was on newsstands, Lita had ditched Rios and joined the Hardy Boyz. A few fans write in how they are fans of
Jacqueline and how awesome she is. And
Rich Coleman writes an angry letter saying that the WWF is in danger of
“turning soft” because babyfaces like Kane just walk off instead of fight. It is probably a safe bet that Rich is no
longer a fan of the product today.
three greatest SummerSlam matches of all-time.
(2) Test-Shane McMahon from SummerSlam 1999, and (3) Big Boss Man-Koko B. Ware
from SummerSlam 1988. Yes, no Ultimate
Warrior-Rick Rude and no Bret Hart-Mr. Perfect.
The company’s unwillingness to reference wrestlers who were still in WCW
killed this list since that meant no Bret, no Hulk Hogan, no Randy Savage, and
no Scott Hall. Evidently, Big
Bossman-Koko was a historic bout because “the contrasting styles of these two
Superstars set the tone for many of the great SummerSlam matches that would
follow.” So next time you enjoy your
favorite SummerSlam match, give proper credit to the Bossman and Koko. Oh, and Frankie too!
the WWF Barber Shop:
some WWF cards that are twenty-two carat gold.
Enjoy seeing Billy Gunn in all his glory, trying to avoid submitting to
the Rock in a headlock! Each card will
cost you $9.95 (plus 95 cents of shipping and handling).
profiling Bull Buchanan.
Truth Commission in 1997 before returning a few years later as a partner of the
Big Bossman. He would then be part of
the Right to Censor and had a brief partnership with John Cena before eventually
departing the company. The only
highlight of his run was jobbing to Crash Holly in an upset at the 2000 King of
the Ring. He was also briefly a tag team
champion with the “Goodfather,” but tag team title runs become a blur for me
never find for auction from “SteviE-bay” (in reference to Stevie Richards):
that fills the part of the magazine formerly occupied by Vic Venom’s “The Bite”
in the mid-1990s. It is a debate column
where Aaron Williams and Laura take opposite stands on an issue. The issue this month is Vince McMahon.
person.” The comment about Vince having
an Ivy League education is something that I do not think is actually true, as
Linda earned her degree from East Carolina University and Vince was around her
at the time. Laura defends Vince as “in
tune to the reality of the world we live in,” something that could not be said
of the booking of the company now. She
also refers to Vince as an American hero, thereby explaining Stephanie’s 9/11
reference on Smackdown! in 2001.
edition, had a piece about Chyna. This
one is no different, as she gets attention in an article called “Power Behind
on the magazine, but the story does not really talk about a secret. It recaps her partnerships with D-Generation
X, Kane, and Eddie Guerrero. Evidently
she also had an alliance with the Kat sometime in the Attitude Era, but I do
not recall that at all. In light of
Triple H’s podcast, one thing stands out:
“We [Triple H and Chyna] went our own ways, but that does not rule out
our paths crossing again.” It definitely
seems like Triple H had put the kibosh on any plans to have their paths cross at
a future Hall of Fame ceremony. Still,
though, why tell readers you are going to talk about “Chyna’s Secret” and then
just write an article that merely reiterates what we have heard about Chyna in
magazine pieces in the years up to this point:
she has worked with lots of great superstars and knows their strengths
even added to the list. Poor Jimmy is
portrayed just like Kamala, the Giant Gonzalez, and Yokozuna: he wanted to bury the Undertaker’s soul and
“erase his very being.” And here I
thought that all Snuka wanted to do was win a WrestleMania match in Los
Angeles! This is a pretty blah piece,
just telling educated fans everything they already know about the
Undertaker. And this piece does not even
talk about the Undertaker’s new biker persona!
as writer Mike Fazioli calls him “the king of Hardcore.”
24/7 basis, which led to him being called the “Houdini of Hardcore.” If you ever try to look at the history of
that title it will make your head hurt as the 24/7 rule led to about three to
four title changes on every house show.
We are informed that Crash’s toughness comes from his cousin Hardcore
Holly, who used to beat him up when he would get angry. After all, look what Bob did to Matt
Cappotelli on Tough Enough!
of Roots Genoa that we are bound to come across in a WWF Magazine of this time period
WWF champion even though there are concerns by the WWF promotion and marketing
teams that he might do something big since he is not as charismatic as other
superstars. The article even draws a parallel
about how competing in the WWF is more difficult than the past since Benoit
cannot be like a wrestler “in the old days who could coast defeating perennial
losers in easy televised matches” between big bouts. Our big eerie line from this well-written
piece by Keith Elliot Greenberg: “Most
likely, their [the WWF’s] efforts to convert him into a cut-out media darling
will be unsuccessful…”
WWF. The list is purely kayfabed as
there is no mention of Steve Blackman on this list.
ranking because he is not intimidating enough.
Tazz has to be in the top three due to his gimmick.
by the nick name of “She-Devil” around this time.
although it is okay for men to buy her things.
She also says that she has no interest in pursuing a singles title and
that she considers Bubba Ray a “bully” for putting her through a table. I am concerned that she says Jerry Lawler is
her “kind of guy,” though. Dustin should
have submitted this as evidence in the divorce proceedings for custody!
smaller and smaller, I meant it. Look
what we have been reduced to in the 2000s:
sentences? This is really egregious for
the Iron Man Match between Triple H and the Rock, which gets less than a
entitled “Gettin’ Heat.”
WWF superstar. This month, though, he
attacks himself for stealing other wrestlers personas when he came into the
company. He says that he wishes he
sought out Shawn Michaels for advice and he writes him a letter asking for
guidance. I will bet that Michaels never
column this was the worst. The only
redeeming column was Greenberg’s on Benoit with the rest constituting very
boring, dry reads. The magazine lost a
lot of its creativity without Russo or Kelly at the helm. Next week we will move forward two years and
recap the April 2002 issue of WWF
Magazine, which features the New World Order on the cover.