The Netcop Retro Rant for Halloween Havoc 1993. – Amazingly, I actually got LETTERS OF SUPPORT for reviewing Havoc 92. As in, people wrote to me to express their sympathies for me watching the show again. Who says that wrestling fans aren’t a caring bunch? – Live from New Orleans, Louisiana, home of my hero Emeril Lagasse. (I miss Emeril. Watching his show after work used to be a great way to unwind. Guy Fieri is great and all on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, but Emeril was like the Hulk Hogan of wacky cooking show hosts.) – Your hosts are Tony Schiavone (dressed as Jesse Ventura) and Jesse Ventura (dressed as a gynecologist). Too funny. – Hey, save your sympathies for the OPENING MATCH! – Opening match: Harlem Heat & The Equalizer v. Shockmaster, Ice Train & Charlie Norris. What is this, “Gang Up on Netcop Day”? (Every day is Gang Up on Netcop Day!) Sure, take five of the STUPIDEST gimmicks in wrestling (the mildly racist original form of Harlem Heat, the big dumb blond guy, Uncle Fred, the big black guy who thinks he’s a train and the fat native guy) and put them on five of the worst wrestlers in the promotion, then put them ALL IN THE SAME MATCH. (To be fair, I don’t think Ice Train actually thought of himself as a train in human form, but more of a metaphorical train.) Is this the Village People or a six-man match? Shoot me now. Thankfully, someone with half a brain books Kole (Booker T) to wrestle the majority of the match, but sadly he’s gotta wrestle SOMEONE, and at this point it’s beyond his powers to carry five stiffs in the same match. The match isn’t worthy of my recapping, as the Shitmaster bearhugs a Heat member and pins him at 8:56 of hell. Just AWFUL. -** – Eric Bischoff interviews Terry Taylor, currently a babyface, who will be the special second ref in the Rude-Flair match tonight. – Paul Orndorff (w/ The FatAssassin) v. Ricky Steamboat. Paul blindsides him to start, but Steamer gets a rollup for two. Steamboat bails and they fight onto the rampway. Long stretch of nothing as both guys wait, then Steamboat suddenly dives in over the top, which Orndorff simply sidesteps. Steamboat goes to work on the arm, however. This goes on for a while. No wonder they were calling him the “armdragon” at this point. They fight on the floor some more, allowing Paul the chance to stall. Steamboat breaks it up and goes back to the arm. He goes nuts with chops and they fight on the floor AGAIN. Orndorff gets the better of it and we’re back in the ring for an elbow off the top that gets two. They do an ugly pin reversal for some twos. Steamboat makes the big comeback, but gets caught and nearly piledriven. He reverses out and they do another sequence, with this one leading to a catapult into the corner for Orndorff, and a two count for Steamboat. Flying bodypress, but the Assassin distracts Nick Patrick with a father-and-son talk (bet you didn’t know that one…), then loads up the MASK OF DEATH with an international object and headbutts Steamer, giving Orndorff the countout win at 18:32. Way too long for that lame-o ending, especially since Orndorff got shunted into the tag division soon after. *1/2 (God, that whole Orndorff push, leading to the Orndorff/Roma/Assassin push…you just have to shake your head and say “Holy fuckballs, it’s WCW” sometimes.) – Tony introduces us to the ridiculous “International Board of Governors” rationalization for calling the worthless former NWA title a “World title”. Whatever. (Why not just call it the International title? What kind of a dumbass promotion has two World titles at the same time, anyway?) – World TV title: Lord Steven Regal v. The British Bulldog. Regal is reluctant to touch DBS, because he’s been rolling around in dog-doo and all. Oh, wait, that’s 6 years later, sorry. Nice little psych-out job from Smith to start. They go into a headlock reversal sequence that gives the Bulldog the advantage, much to Regal’s chagrin. NO ONE has better facial mannerisms than Regal. It’s like reading a book when you’re watching him. Davey gets a bow-and-arrow, something you don’t see too often. Sir William’s interference allows Regal to take over. Senton gets two. Regal with some nice forearm to knee combos. Good stuff there. Regal works the arm for a while, keeping him grounded and stretching him. Not in the shoot sense of the word, of course. DBS fights out with one minute left in the time limit (actually, 1:30, but I can forgive them being off by 30 seconds) and cuts loose. Powerslam gets two, and he doesn’t seem to know what to do next. So he piledrives Regal, but the time limit runs out at 2. Hey, if the shot counts in basketball after the buzzer, and the play counts in football after the time expires, why should a pinfall be stopped by the bell? Of course, in hockey the puck has to cross the line before the buzzer, but that’s still 2-to-1 against wrestling’s interpretation. Anyway, solid match, if a little dull. **1/2 – We spin the wheel and make the deal for tonight’s main event, and the obviously fixed wheel lands on Texas Death. At least they didn’t pick “Coal Miner’s Glove” again. – US heavyweight title: Dustin Rhodes v. Steve Austin. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell how you drastically different these guys’ careers got after this, but I’ll reiterate, just because I like humiliating the unholy offspring of Dusty Rhodes. My own theory is that Dustin *has* to be the child of a union between Dusty and a demoness, because nothing human could possibly want to procreate with him. Anyway, Austin was still 1/2 of the Hollywood Blonds at this point, and went on to become the biggest star in wrestling history. Dustin was an undeserving US champion, and went on to play a comme-ci comme ca movie buff, S&M fetishist, moralizing preacher, mother-figure to Blue Meanie, and most recently a Black Scorpion ripoff. (Don’t forget potential child molester as Seven!) Much like his fellow Knight of Nepotism, Erik Watts, Rhodes got what he deserved in the end. (Man, I just REALLY hated Dustin Rhodes at this point. Dustin, if you’re reading this, we’re cool now, man, really. I’m moved on, so should you.) But back to the match. Austin runs like a coward to start, and when they lock up the match never really clicks for a while. In fact, nothing worth noting happens for the first five minutes. Austin misses a blind charge and ends up on the floor, hitting his knee in the process, which allows Dustin to go after it for a while. Austin kicks him low, then tricks him into trying a leverage move, which allows Austin to use the momentum to hit a pump splash on Dustin. Really nice spot. Dustin comes back, but Austin reverses the bulldog and crotches him on the top. Rhodes gets a couple of fluke pinfall attempts, then Austin pins Rhodes with his feet on the ropes, to win the title! However, Nick Patrick suddenly decides he saw it after all, and tells them to continue. Austin is rightly pissed, which allows Rhodes to schoolboy him for the pin at 14:21. Really boring match. * – World tag titles: 2 Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell v. The Nasty Boys. The pretty boys won the titles the night before on WCWSN (although it was taped weeks prior). Bagwell shows his non-existent dancing skillz before the match, thus giving white guys the world over a bad name. Bagwell then kisses Missy, and she acts like SHE got the raw deal there. If I was Bagwell, I’d ditch the match and check into my nearest clinic right then. (Missy and the Nasty Boys was another bizarre pairing that never made any sense, other than the obvious disease and smell factors.) The champs double team the Nasties to start. The Nasties bail and stall, so Scorpio follows with a slingshot pescado with help from Bagwell. Scorpio gets a quick pin attempt on Knobbs. Bagwell gets a couple more. Scorpio with some sloppy defense to keep Sags grounded. Yeah, cuz that Sags aerial attack is KILLER if you let him start flying. The Nasties double-team Bagwell to take over, however. Not much of note happens, much like this whole show. If the Nasties would move as fast they do from the buffet back to their table, the match might be decent, but they don’t, and it ain’t. We get a false tag to Scorpio, and the real one soon follows. Moonsault press gets two, and then all hell breaks loose, with both Missy and Teddy Long getting involved. Scorpio hits the 450 on Knobbs in the confusion, but Sags retaliates by taking off his boot and hitting Scorpio in the head with it for the pin and their second title at 14:19. What a waste of sperm the Nasties are. 1/2* – Sting v. Sid Vicious. This is allegedly to see who the franchise of WCW is, although I have another theory which I’ll share after the match. Sting hits a bunch of stuff and Sid shrugs it off, and they go brawling into the crowd. Rob Parker grabs Sting’s leg, allowing Sid to chokeslam him. The next 8 minutes are pretty painful and boring at the same time, to the point where I actually have to STOP THE TAPE, go walk around for an hour or so to get the lost brain cells back, then finish watching. I thought of my theory during that walk, by the way. Parker’s interference backfires and allows Sting to pin Sid at 10:33. This would lead to Sid’s face turn that almost made him WCW World champion if not for nearly killing Arn Anderson with a pair of scissors. -* – Okay, so here’s my theory on Sid: He has these terrible matches on purpose. Since it’s not humanly possible for one person to be that useless, I figure that it must be deliberate, and maybe even some sort of sick artform in Sid’s mind. Some have Dadaism, we get Sidism. He’s painting a picture with his terrible wrestling, giving a profound and painful lecture on the current state of wrestling, whereby he’s saying “Any promotion that would push ME is severely messed up”. It’s sad and beautiful at the same time that someone would suffer for their art so, indeed martyring themselves for the cause of bring awareness to the essential suckiness that surrounds him. It’s a cry for help, you see. Every time he puts on his idiotic rear chinlock, he’s crying “Stop me before I suck again!” and yet he continues to be pushed. I think the current rambling interviews are just a further sign of his current surrealistic art being taken to yet another, even sicker level. Have you ever heard the shoot interview he did with Rob Feinstein where he basically claimed that his run as WWF champion did houses 5 times larger than Shawn Michaels’ run? I can’t touch that kind of delusional genius. Picasso was a hack — SID is truly the greatest artist of our generation. (I think that much like the great tragedies that have befallen mankind, we search for meaning in the chaos, some sort of greater purpose to justify the pain we must suffer through. Hence, Sid fans.) – Bogus World title match: Rick Rude v. Ric Flair. Fifi the Maid is in Flair’s corner, and as always is hotter than anyone deserves. (C’mon, Flair HAD to be tapping that.) Flair gets the early advantage when Rude is hitting on her, and gets the figure-four in the center of the ring two minutes into the match! Rude makes the ropes. Flair continues working the knee while Jesse bitches about the job Taylor is doing as the outside ref. They fight on the floor, with Flair nailing a forearm from the top. LUCHA FLAIR! He tries it again and Rude nails him. Rude works the back as they’re back in the ring. He nails Flair off the top, but hurts his own knee in the process. It gets two, and then we get a ton of resting. Flair Flip takes out the poor cameraman in the corner. Rude keeps working the back as Tony spews history to fill up the dead air. Rude misses whatever off the top and Flair, ever the cheeky one, hits a Rude Awakening for two. He misses his own move off the top, however. Then the ref gets bumped, so Terry Taylor comes in. He gets bumped right away, too. God, I hate Dusty Rhodes. Rude finds an international object, but Flair steals it and nails Rude with it as Taylor recovers and counts the pin on Rude. But the original ref is up and telling Taylor he saw the object used, and thus DQ’s Flair at 19:45. Again, WAY too long for that stupid Dusty Finish. ** (An actual wrestler taking a ref bump is a STUPID idea. Unless there’s some kind of mental phenomenon whereby wearing a ref’s shirt renders the person frail and prone to blackouts.) – Texas Death Match: Vader v. Cactus Jack. This is the final blowoff for the amnesia angle. Read the 1993 WCW rant if you want to know what *that* was all about. They brawl on the rampway right away, and Vader hits the post by accident. Jack grabs a camera from a fan and bashes Vader with it, then a good ol’ chairshot. Back in the ring, and Vader decides to kill Cactus dead. Jack manages to survive long enough to suplex Vader onto the rampway, then fights off a chair- wielding Race and blasts Vader into the stone age with the chair. OUCH! They fight into the gravesite set up on the stage, and fall into the open grave. When they emerge, Jack is gushing blood from both above and below his eye, and Vader is bleeding from the forehead. What is this, a contest? (Winner: Me.) Jack clotheslines him and pins him. Vader beats the 10-count back up, so Cactus clobbers him with a prop cactus. Vader rolls onto the floor to escape, and Jack follows him down with a Cactus elbow, which gets another pin. Vader beats the 10 count again. And now he’s PISSED. Jack tosses a table into the ring (helpfully set up by Nick Patrick) and Vader gets the wrong end of a whip into it. Back outside the ring, and Jack sunset flips him off the apron and suplexes him on the railing. Vader pulls Jack into the crowd, which allows Cactus to take a SICK bump onto the concrete, then Vader tosses him back over the railing, so Jack takes a SICKER bump that way. What a maniac. Vader nails him with a chair, but keeps the legs stuck out. Ouch. Back in the ring for the Vadersault, which gets the pin, duh. Jack beats the 10 count. Vader pummels him in the corner and they’re back on the ramp. Jack tries a sleeper, and Vader FALLS BACK on him. Jack later said in a shoot interview that it ruptured his kidney, but he didn’t want to quit because then he’d look like a wuss. The trainers check on Jack, but Vader tosses them off and pins Jack. Jack gets up during the 30-second rest period and DDTs Vader on the rampway, but Race pulls out a tazer and zaps him, making him stay down for the 10-count and giving Vader the win at 16:20. Hey, guess which fat cow booked this match? Awful, awful ending to a crazy brawl. ****1/2 (Did this piece of business make it onto one of the 15 Mick Foley DVDs yet? Because it really should have.) The Bottom Line: A really boring and worthless show up to the main event, which is definitely worth seeing. It’s not enough to save the show, however. Not recommended.