The Netcop Rant for Halloween Havoc 1999 (Speaking of awesome scary stuff, BATMAN #13 this week. Holy S--- Scott Snyder has made Joker one terrifying son of a bitch again. I bow to his comic writing greatness.) Warning: The following rant contains sarcasm of a damaging nature and may expose the hypocrisy of WCW shills. Readers with WCW leanings may wish to ask their parents before having the Vince Russo era exposed for the farce that it is. (I called that one early and often.) Live from Las Vegas, NV, which seems fitting for the first Russo show, somehow. Your hosts are Tony and Bobby, sitting at ringside instead of in the back. Opening match, Cruiserweight title: Disco Inferno v. Lash LeRoux. DI gets a quick start to control. Lash comes back with some basic stuff and they brawl out of the ring. Back in and Lash hits a sloppy rana from the top for two. Back-and-forth with more bush league stuff for a bit. Disco gets the swinging neckbreaker for two, and the jumping piledriver also gets two. I miss the Macarena Driver, personally. (Is WWE gonna have people doing a Gangnam Style thing soon? Because I’ve never even seen the original video and even I’m tired of hearing about it.) Lash hits a sloppy pumphandle powerbomb for two. Whiplash, but Disco escapes and hits the Chartbuster for the pin. This was indyish as you can get, but probably the best that could have been expected. ** (Eh, Lash always tried hard, but he was always way out of his league.) Earlier in the day, Benoit and Malenko tell Saturn & Douglas to shove the Revolution up their ass. “Ass” total so far: 1. I smell a screwjob to mess up Benoit’s career again. PLEASE prove me wrong, WCW. WCW World tag title: The First Family v. Harlem Heat v. Kidman & Konnan. They had announced that Rey Rey (which is apparently his new official name) was injured, and so the Filthy Animals were stripped of the titles. Kidman and K-Dong still wear the belts to the ring, acting like babyfaces, even though the storyline has them as heels. (That whole sentence sums up Russo in a nutshell.) Just non-stop weapons shots here, none of them very good. The Heat & Knobbs fight backstage, ala RAW. Stevie Ray hits Knobbs with a mummy and gets the pin there, while in the ring (which the camera totally misses) Kidman pins Hugh Morrus a couple of minutes later as the Heat comes back out (there was two referees). They act all controversial and stuff, but the Heat’s pinfall clearly came well before the Animals’ did. Heat gets the titles for the 10th time. This was utter junk. 1/2* Sports Entertainment Segment: DDP & Kimberly are out to insult the crowd. Crowd chants “You suck” and DDP replies “I can’t suck, I’m not from Vegas”. More spanking innuendoes stemming from Nitro result, plus some masturbation innuendoes towards Flair, all of which leads to DDP issuing a challenge for a strap match tonight. Hey, changing the stips on the fly, where have I seen that before? Oh, yeah, the WWF. “Ass” count: 3. Eddy Guerrero, who apparently stole Flair’s Rolex, plays heel and challenges Saturn for the next match. Dammit, pick a side and stick to it with the Filthy Animals. Eddy Guerrero v. Saturn. Eddy works the knee and they brawl on the floor. Eddy takes a nasty bump on the stairs (called a “bump” by Tony – wow.) and Saturn works on the arm, back in the ring. Crowd is just ENTHRALLED with this, let me tell you. A couple of suplexes, and now Saturn goes for the knee. Crowd goes for the nacho stands. Eddy comes back with a brainbuster, but the frog splash misses. Eddy goes to the top and Saturn crotches him and superplexes him. Eddy reverses out of a Splash Mountain attempt (you DARE try that on Eddy?!?), and Flair runs in with a crowbar for the Sports Entertainment Finish ™. Yeah, advance those storylines, Russo! We don’t need those stupid pinfalls, that’s so 80s! Kidman & Torrie try for the save and get beaten and kissed, in that order. Dull match. ** Backstage, Goldberg is hammering on Sid. Blood is seen. Atta boy, Sid! And now, it’s another Sports Entertainment Moment as Buff comes out for an interview. On a PPV. Jarrett attacks, Lex Luger makes the save. Que? “Ass” count: 4. I’d be neglectful in not mentioning Luger’s pathetic missed guitar shot, as he nails Buff by mistake but doesn’t catch him with the flat of the guitar, so it doesn’t break. D’Oh. Backstage, it’s more Sports Entertainment as Eddy calls in the troops on his cell phone. Wonder who he stole that from… Berlyn v. Brad Armstrong. Total squash. I mean, no offense for Brad, until Berlyn tries the neckbreaker and BA reverses the legsweep for the pin! WHA?!? Jesus, if you’re gonna squash Brad, squash him, and if you want to give him the win, at least give me the decent match I know they can pull out. But this s--- was ridiculous. 1/2* (I know Russo really liked Brad and wanted to find a role for him, but Berlyn was still a relatively hot act at that point. Just weirdness.) Flair gives a ranting interview about all the sex he had with Kimberly and all the sex he’s gonna have with Torrie. It’s nice to see SOMEONE who can finally get motivated under this new atmosphere. World TV title match: Chris Benoit v. Rick Steiner. Steiner stalls to start. He runs through his same old, same old. Benoit comes back with a superplex and a plancha. More stalling, and then Rick goes with the greco-roman ballshot to take over. And now to the resting. Oh for god’s sake, you idiot, just let Benoit carry the damn match. Two released german suplexes, with Rick wandering around and nonchalantly taking his time between moves. Benoit comes back with the rolling german suplexes, and the ref gets bumped. Oh, man, I’ve got a bad feeling. Chair gets involved, and Rick nails Benoit with it to block the swandive. Malenko runs in…and turns on Benoit. (It was a SWERVE!) Oh, s---, I KNEW that was gonna happen. Steiner gets the pin and the title, and once again Benoit is the plucky guy who “put up a good fight” and “came THAT close” but never quite gets it done. At least Malenko as a heel is a good thing. * The Total Package v. Bret Hart. I’ve got a bad feeling about this one, too. Lots of brawling for the first minutes, and not much happens as Luger starts working on the knee. Half crab…and BRET TAPS? What the hell was that? Kudos to Bret for selling the knee injury from Nitro, but LUGER? *1/2 Goldberg interview. “Ass” count jumps to 6, an unheard of total for WCW. Sports Entertainment Moment: Madusa (in a bikini) comes out to shill Nitro Perfume. She goes to the table, then tells the announcers that “this is B-------” and dumps the perfume on Bobby. They didn’t apologize for the bad word. (Was this the deal where they were complaining about how bad that perfume smelled as well? Where they were supposed to be shilling it but were just constantly harping on how shitty of a product it was? So much weirdness at that time that didn’t make sense unless you were in on the joke.) WCW World title: Sting v. Hulk Hogan. Hogan’s music plays, no one comes out. Sting comes out, Hogan’s music plays again, no one comes out. Finally he comes out in street clothes, says something to Sting, and does the “pin me, pay me” deal, laying down for the Sting pin. Hah, I called that one before the show started. DUD Big heel heat for Hogan there. I think we all know where this is leading. (To Sting bombing as a heel and tanking ratings even worse than CM Punk currently is? Because yeah, it did. And before you get your panties all in a knot, I think we can agree that Punk is awesome as a heel, but it’s clearly not helping business in the slightest, especially wit a big DVD focusing on him and their flagship video game with him on the cover, and it was probably a huge mistake to even do the turn.) US title match: Sid v. Goldberg. The Outsiders destroy Goldberg before the match. Sid attacks and the brawl is on. Sid is just absolutely bleeding a gusher, approaching 0.8 Muta. Man, he sucks as a wrestler, but his blading is top-notch. Historical note: This is the first non- Hogan, non-Flair, authorized blade on WCW PPV since about 1994. (Until Standards & Practices got wind of it.) Much resting abounds, until the ref just stops the match due to bleeding. Goldberg gets the belt. THAT’S IT?!? Six months of shitty buildup and THAT’S the payoff? 1/4* Sting is back. He wants ANYBODY for the title tonight. Oh, you don’t wanna issue those open challenges, Sting, especially when Russo is booking… Strap match: DDP v. Ric Flair. Brawling into the crowd to start. Now Flair tapes an artery of his own, but not as bad as Sid. Flair gets laid out on the announce table and whipped. Flair beats the tar out of him back in the ring, and the figure-four gets two. Thank god, no “touch all the corners” rule. DDP gets a quick Diamond Cutter, but Flair has his foot on the ropes. Nope, Robinson counts three. Everyone seems very confused, but the decision stands. Weird. That was just out of nowhere. David hits the ring with a crowbar, but Kim takes him out with her Kung Fu Action Boobies ™ and a monster beatdown on the Flair family follows. Pretty nothing brawl with a weird ending. **1/2 And now, another Sports Entertainment Moment, as Flair is brought to the ambulance, and it gets hijacked by the Filthy Animals, who are now heels again. (BURIED IN THE DESERT!) Monday Night RAW, April 1997. I’m just saying… Sting is back. Again. And this time, the one person you DON’T want answering your challenges answers… WCW World title match: Sting v. Goldberg. Welcome to Crash TV, as the guaranteed money-maker feud for Starrcade gets hot-shotted on a PPV likely to do a 0.4 buyrate. With three minutes left in the show, to boot. Sting dominates quickly, but spears Goldberg. Goldie no-sells, but Sting comes back with three Stinger splashes, also no-sold by Goldberg. Spear, jackhammer, see ya. SO WHY PUT HIM OVER SID FOR THE TITLE?!? Oh man, I need a shotgun and a bottle of bourbon after that one. 1/4* (And THEN they just vacated the title anyway so they could do their stupid 64 person monstrosity leading up to the next shitty PPV. Because Russo feels, like I do, that tournaments are awesome. Unless Russo is booking them.) The Bottom Line: Let’s see…Blood, scantily clad women, swearing, sexual innuendo, bad wrestling…hey, it’s RAW! While Tony Schiavone might preach “cutting-edge”, it’s really just WCW playing catch-up to where ECW and the WWF already were in 1997, and as Bart Simpson once said… “We’re supposed to catch up with the other class by going SLOWER? Cuckoo…” Welcome to the Russo era. Peak match: **1/2. I guess wrestlers need not apply. Thumbs down.