Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1999 WWE as told by Sean Morley

This runs at just under one hour and forty-five minutes long.

I am referring to Morley by his character, Val Venis, as he has the same first name as the interviewer, thus making it easier.

JANUARY

Shawn Michaels announces his retirement on January 12th at the advice of doctors after undergoing surgery to repair herniated discs. Sean asks Val how the locker room reacted to his retirement. Val said he was disappointed, as he wanted to work with him, but did not pay attention to everyone’s reaction. When asked, he said the injury was legit. He did state that some were happy and others didn’t care all that much.
At the Royal Rumble, Rock defeated Mankind in a “I Quit” match. Parts of the match were filmed for the documentary “Beyond the Mat.” Val said that he saw pieces of the documentary and thought it was decent, although he never saw the whole thing. He then adds that the locker room consensus was mixed towards the film. When asked about the chair shots, Val said back then, he thought you shouldn’t be in the business if you couldn’t take one but looking back now, he realizes that it is stupid. He then compares it to the UFC and how fighters constantly get punched in the chin. In regards to Mick Foley putting his body on the line, he said he was concerned for him and that was what led to his early retirement.
Val is asked about Vince McMahon winning the Royal Rumble. He said it was fun to watch, especially when it came to bumping. He didn’t care that Vince put himself over, saying that the crowd responded well and Vince knows what the crowd wants to see.
On January 26th, Mankind defeats The Rock for the Heavyweight Championship in an empty arena match in the Tucson Convention Center that aired on MTV during halftime of Super Bowl XXXIII. Val is asked about the popularity that the WWF was seeing at the time. Val said that they rode on the wave of popularity caused by the Rock and Steve Austin.
Val is asked who came up with his feud against Ken Shamrock, when he learned that his sister starred in one of Val’s films. “Saving Ryan’s Privates.” Val said that it was Vince Russo’s idea. When asked what it was like pairing with Ryan Shamrock, he said that it was entertaining. He is asked about the rumor of a proposed incest angle that was nixed by Ken. Val never heard about that and said that he would be turned off by that as well.
FEBRUARY
On February 5th, Bob Backlund announces that he will run for the Connecticut First District Congressional Seat. When asked if he thought Bob was crazy, he said that anyone that would work out nonstop for two hours every night in his hotel room. In regards to Backlund as a politician, Val said that he would be the same as any other, if Republican he would give money to the military industrial complex and if a Democrat, he would give it to friends running safety net projects then talks about how we are all getting plundered.
Val is asked about the WWE acquiring the Big Show. He calls him a great athlete and said he was fun to work.
At the “In Your House: St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” PPV, Val defeated Ken Shamrock for the Intercontinental Title. When asked if he felt that it was an important achievement, Val said yes and lists the guys who have held the title before him and how the best workers in the company were in contention for the belt. He said he found out he was winning by Pat Patterson, four hours before the show. Val then said all of the writers were kept on their toes and storylines were changed at the drop of the dime. Val said that the belts changing hands too frequently does devalue the belt a little bit.
MARCH
Jim Ross returns to TV after a three month absence due to his Bells Palsy. Val said that he rarely ever dealt with JR but felt that he was a huge asset to the company and that he and Lawler were a great commentary team. He said that they were cordial but also never had anything in common as JR liked football and he was into politics. When asked about any animosity between JR and Michael Cole, Val said that he believes that Cole thinks he is better than JR, which Val disagrees with.
Val lost the IC Title to Road Dogg on the March 15th episode of RAW. He said it was disappointing, especially since there was no follow up storyline. He said that he was told then he was dropping the belt and they did not have a follow up plan. He liked the Road Dogg and had no problem at all dropping the belt to him.
He is now asked about Jerry Lawler getting arrested on March 16th at the Memphis Airport after running over the foot of the airport officer who gave him a ticket. Val said that he vaguely remembers this but does not recall Lawler ever having a temper. Val then says that he should of backed up and drove over the officer’s other foot because he gets paid through tax dollars, which Val calls “the theft of our money.”
Val is asked about WrestleMania and the week leading up to the event. He said it is nonstop appearances all week long and that you can feel the buildup too. He said that he keeps himself in check by stopping and taking a deep breath. He wrestled in a four-way match and Val said when you get more than one opponent in the ring, the match becomes a little more difficult. He is then asked if the match is booked more closely during WrestleMania and Val said that several people are involved and it is hard to screw up as you are in the zone and you have been rehearsing everything the whole time.
Next, he is asked about HHH and Chyna attacking X-Pac then aligning with the corporation. Val said that he is good friends with X-Pac then jokes that he has “burnt a lot of brain cells with him” in the past. He says they have a lot of good memories together.
When it comes to the boxing match between Butterbean and Bart Gunn, Val said that it is tough for a wrestler to box, when he has been wrestling his whole life. He recalls that Butterbean was respectful and nice but in the locker room after he won, Butterbean thought that he would get a full-time job in the WWF as a result.

APRIL




On April 20th, Rick Rude died of a heart attack. Val said he has lost a lot of friends due to prescription drugs abuse and that in the minds of those that abuse them, they never see that they can die from that. When asked if it is noticeable in the locker room, Val said sometimes it is but other guys can abuse everything and somehow manage to stay alive. Val then talks about how the WWE is currently doing everything within their power to prevent the abuse from happening and talks about how prescription drugs are the most abused drug in high schools.

The Rock turned face on the April 26th edition of RAW after Shane McMahon fired him from the corporation. When asked about the qualities that made the Rock such an effective face, Val said that the Rock is one of the best ever on the mic and also puts over his intelligence and wit.

MAY

On May 10th episode of RAW, Commissioner Shawn Michaels awards Debra the Women’s Title after losing an Evening Gown match to Sable, who quit the company shortly after this happened. Val said Sable was a good champion during her brief run. When asked why she was so despised, Val said he heard the stories of her attitude problem but that he always got along with her and used to travel with her and Marc Mero.

Val is asked about going back to England. He said that he wrestled there before going to the WWE and said that he heard the eruption from fans while at the airport when heading to the baggage claim. Val is asked if anything happened during the flight but he said the ribbing usually occurs on the plane ride back. He also said that when he travels overseas, he would travel but at this time, he was partying hard and would go out to the bars with A-Train and Test.

They now talk about the death of Owen Hart that occured at the “Over the Edge” PPV. Val said that he was the next match and behind the Gorilla position warming up. Bruce Prichard was near him then got up and yelled for the EMT’s and that someone fell. He didnt know that it was Owen until after a minute. Jeff Jarrett was doing a pre-match promo and had no idea that Owen fell. Val said that they wheeled Owen backstage and the EMT’s were doing heart compressions and his eyes were open but said you could tell that there was nobody home. After that, he headed out for his match and said he went out and looked at how high up he was and thought to himself that there was no way he was going to survive that. Val said that he started to calm himself down with deep breaths. Jeff then came out and did not know what had happened and after the match, they went backstage and found out that Owen had passed away and Val said that Jarrett broke down. Val said that he was pretty much the only person who knew that he was not going to survive, because he was covered by the time he was wheeled past everyone else. Val said that believed that Owen would have wanted the show to go on and puts over Owen for being a good guy. He tells a story while in St. Louis, several wrestlers were waiting to check into the Marriott. A bunch of kids come over for autographs and Val signs them. Then, a guy with a stack of photos asks Val to sign them for him and he said no, because he knew the guy was just going to go sell them. When Val gets to his room, he gets a call from that guy who said he better come down and sign his pictures, liked he promised. Val hung up and the guy called again and said that he better sign his pictures and that he is a big guy and won’t be able to get buy him. So, Val goes down to the lobby and sees Owen and Jarrett sitting on stools at the bar and Owen tells Val that the guy went around the corner. Val went looking for him but was unsuccessful so he went back to his room and it took him an hour and a half to calm down. Six months later, Val was in Canada and just about to film “Off the Record” when Edge asks him about the guy in St. Louis and tells him that Owen was pretending to be the guy on the phone. Apparently, Owen called Edge and told him to tell this to Val right before he went on the air. Val said he was seething

Next, is the RAW tribute show to Owen. He said that they day felt slow and that everyone was quiet and still in shock. He then said that a sheet was passed around for guys to sign up if they felt like working that night. Val is then asked about the problems between Owen and Steve Austin but said he never heard Steve speak about Owen after his death.

JUNE




Val is asked about the lawsuit filed by Sable. He said that being a Libertarian, he is against frivolous lawsuits and said that it was frivolous.

He said that he never had a problem losing to Chyna. He thought that it was something different. He was sure that there were some objections from guys losing against women but said if done right, can be entertaining and make sense.

They bring up Martha Hart’s wrongful death lawsuit. Val said that it was not a frivolous lawsuit but that people die daily in accidents and that the company that made the harness should be sued if it was faulty.

AUGUST




The WWE files for an initial offering of public stock, changing the name from “Titan Sports” to “World Wrestling Federation Enertainment.” Val said there was initial excitement but it dropped down to $9.00 and guys were getting worried. Val confirmed that there was a meeting with talent and that they were told they could buy IPO’s at a discounted price. Val said it took him a few years to break even but points out that Bradshaw sold after a few days when the prices rose from $17 to $34. He puts Bradshaw over for knowing the stock market.

Chris Jericho made his debut on the August 9th edition of RAW. Val said that he didnt know Jericho that well before his debut. He said that the locker room was accepting of him. Val also said that before the WWE, he had a tryout match with WCW and said that the locker room environment was bad and clickish before stating that Jericho told him that if he had an offer for the WWE, that he should go there. Val puts over the WWE locker room for being much better.

Val talks about Jesse Ventura appearing as a special guest referee at SummerSlam. Val said that he is against Jesse for attempting to unionize, because he is anti-union.

On August 24th, the first “Smackdown” taping is held. When asked, Val said that his did not mean an extra paycheck, as they would have been working a show besides another TV taping.

Val is asked about Shawn Michaels appearing on the August 26th edition of “Byte This” when he badmouthed Steve Austin for not putting over HHH at SummerSlam, leading to Shawn Michaels getting sent home by Vince. Val that said it is all up to Vince whether or not he should have been sent home.

SEPTEMBER




He is asked about the skit in which Venis saw Big Show in the bathroom stall and joked about him being called the Big Show. Val said that Bruce Prichard came up with the idea for that.

Val is asked if there was too much of Vince during 1999. Val said that he believed that Vince wanted to be part of the biggest era of pro wrestling ever and thought it was entertaining to see him in the ring. He said that if Ted Turner had that same passion, he would probably still be in business today.

Val is asked about the Kennel from Hell match between Al Snow and the Big Boss Man. He tells a story about during the storyline when Boss Man stole Al’s dog Pepper. Al was backstage doing a pretape with Russo and heard Al say “it’s Val’s” and when asked, they both said it was nothing. Several hours later, he heard the promo on-air while cooling down backstage and saw a phone number flash on the screen and didn’t think nothing of it at all. A minute later, his cell phone rings and someone called him stating that he found Pepper. Val just thought that it was someone messing with him but the phone rings again and it was a little girl talking to him and he looked around and the whole locker room starting to laugh. He powered his phone off and was driving home with Test and A-Train. He then said that in the car, he would pick up the phone and tell the people that called they won $10,000 due to being the 1,000th person to call Pepper and would turn the phone over to A-Train, who would ask them questions. Val said he changed his number the next day.

OCTOBER




On October 3rd, Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara jumped ship to WCW. He believes that Vince took them leaving personally, stating that he believed that Vince put a lot of stock into Russo. He then puts over Russo for being able to fit the entire card into meaningful storylines. He said that Vince made sure that Russo did not push the envelope too far. Val is then asked how much of the success should be applied to Ferrara and Russo in terms of how hot the company was at that time. Val thinks 40%, stating that the Rock and Austin were so hot at that time. Val also claims that at one point, Crash Holly was a bigger star than Goldberg, due to Russo’s writing. That is one of the most laughable claims I have ever heard.

Next, he is asked about Droz getting paralyzed in a match with D’Lo Brown. Val said that D’Lo broke down backstage after the match. He also said that it was hard to say who was at fault and that the locker room did not blame D’Lo for the incident.

He talks about Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young. He tells a story about Mae when before she went out to give Eric Bischoff a Bronco Buster, she was backstage with him and called his name. Shen then showed him a bunch of sardines that she had stuffed in her pants as a rib on Bischoff.

Jeff Jarrett returns to WCW a day before wrestling on a WWE PPV. Val said that Vince didnt show his anger but that Jarrett did burn his bridges with the WWE.

On October 21st, Mick Foley’s “Have a Nice Day” autobiography is released. Val said that he read bits and pieces of it and is not into “storybooks,” just books about politics. He puts over Foley for being a talented writer and says he gets along with him but doesnt like the fact that he is a democrat.

NOVEMBER




Val is asked about Kurt Angle, who made his debut at the Survivor Series. He said that Angle was open to learning pro wrestling and had the attitude and commitment to make it to the top. He also said he could work the crowd and would get blown away while watching him perform. However, some of his psychology would bother him, bringing up an example of after getting frog-splashed by Eddie Guerrero, shortly after that he put him in an ankle lock and how that is the stuff that would drive him nuts if he were an agent.

DECEMBER 




On December 2nd, Smackdown was changed from TV-14 to TV-PG. Val said that Vince was worried about losing the advertisers due to the Parents Television Council. He said that he hated being in the Right to Censor, stating that he hated the uniform. He also said that when Russo left, there was no one behind the character and if he had an idea, they told him they were not going in that envelope-pushing direction.

Val is asked if she saw he chemistry between Stephanie and HHH at this time. He said he did not but there were a lot of rumors going around at the time.

Final Thoughts: This is the worst of the WWE Timeline installments. Val, who was a questionable choice to begin with due to not being involved in the main storylines, offered little insight into this year. He told a few good stories but seemed to be more interested into discussing his political beliefs rather than the subject at hand. He came across as an asshole when talking about the parking attendant that got his foot run over by Lawler. He also either didn’t know or just didn’t care to discuss much of the gossip and rumors at this time. I wonder if he was trying to get re-hired by the way he came across at times. Don’t waste your money on this DVD.