How many wrestlers bounced around this much without ever actually getting noticed? Carl Ouelett hit the WWF, WCW, TNA and more but largely peaked as “the Quebecer who wasn’t Jacques Rougeau”, y’know?
Prepare for another “Wait, that happened?” type of Dream Matches column, as I bring you not only the time Carl “Jean Pierre Lafitte/PCO” Oulett joined TNA’s X Division for a couple months with his “Beamspam All the Power Moves” style, but two of the most infamous “Wait, wasn’t that guy supposed to debut sometime?” examples in WWF history, as we get ultra-rare TV matches by both German bodybuilder Brakus (on RAW, no less!), and KEY, the coke-dealer identity of Vic Grimes when he was gonna be in the WWF until they changed their minds a week later. Yes, Key actually made a TV match!
Also we get a rare bit of crossover of eras in WCW, as the American Males take on Juventud Guerrera & Psychosis on WCW Saturday Night!
So yes, PCO was in the X Division for a short time as as quickie challenger, and he’s here in a Battle Royal against Low Ki, Christopher Daniels, Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt, Johnny Storm & Chad Collyer!
All of these matches are available on YouTube.
X DIVISION TITLE SHOT BATTLE ROYAL:
(Winnter gets X Title shot; #2 vs. #5 & #3 vs. #4 next week for qualifying matches)
CHRISTOPHER DANIELS, LOW-KI, X, SHARK BOY, CHRIS SABIN, SONJAY DUTT, JOHNNY STORM & CHAD COLLYER:
(NWA TNA, Nov. 5th 2003)
* This is a run I always read about at the time, as a mysterious stocky guy runs in to TNA’s X-Division, simply named “X”, and got a bit of attention by reviewers right away for his “Beamspams all the big moves” style, and then is suddenly gone after two months. It’s actually Carl Ouellet in a goofy “X” mask with a tiny black singlet with Tazz’s tattoo on the crotch. The rest of the guys alternate between big “Super Workrate” stars (Ki, Daniels), mid-level guys (Sabin, one of those “would be more well-thought-of if there weren’t five better workers in the company at the time” guys) and jobbers (Shark Boy, Storm, Collyer). I’ve never even heard of Storm, nor seen Collyer before. Everyone here but Shark Boy & Daniels is in black, lol. Oh, 2000s wrestling.
X makes a good showing of himself by powering guys around and no-selling (he has at least 30 lbs. on anyone here), while Low Ki does his goofy-ass “huff and puff” face and 619s Sabin and kicks him a bunch, but Sabin hits a spinning backbreaker (the early 2000s, if you recall, were big on spinning moves). Right away I notice guys alternating which two are doing stuff in the ring center- everyone else around them just does the “Lazy Lean” (if you’ve watched a Rumble, you know it). Collyer hits Daniels with belly-to-belly and German suplexes, then Dutt hits a spinning DDT (see? spinning!) to Storm, who hits him with a Wonder Whirl (full nelson lift to a Michinoku Driver) and climbs- Daniels meets him up there but Shark Boy hits a sunset powerbomb on Daniels. Shark Boy tries an inverted DDT out of the corner, but Storm hits a super rana and Shark Boy just leaps onto the shoulders of X, who hits an FU, then powerbombs Storm out of a rana and tosses him, then Shark Boy! Dutt’s dropkicks are no-sold and he’s caught in an Exploder to the buckles, then press-slammed into the other two. Yup, X is getting a push.
Collyer’s on the apron after an Idiot Charge, but smacks Low Ki when he uses Daniels as a springboard, only to get caught in a Hart Attack-style slingshot kick by the two in the ring and catapulted to the floor by Daniels. X takes an enzuigiri from Daniels but catches him with the Low-Down when he charges in. Sabin gets clobbered, but X misses Ki, only to catch him in mid-Cartwheel Kick and hit a buckle bomb! Lariat & DDT follow and X keeps doing an “X” with his arms, spamming the taunt like an amateur. He climbs up, but Daniels catches him and tries to pull him off- Ki leaps in with that Cartwheel Kick, and Daniels completes the Iconoclasm, and Sabin adds the Frog Splash from the other corner! Cool bit, there. But they try the same Hart Attack move on Sabin and he avoids it, hitting both guys with enzuigiris, and a spinning (SEE?!) Rock Bottom-to-backbreaker on Daniels. Everyone sells for a while after that, giving the match some breathing room, then Daniels tries to dump both guys, betraying Ki, and gets clobbered for it, Ki failing the Ki Krusher but hitting a spinning Dragon Sleeper Bodylock… but Sabin sneaks in and dumps both guys! X, now having had a healthy cardio break, steamrolls Sabin over, beats on him outside, and brings in a chair- HUGE Package Piledriver onto the chair! Sabin’s dumped over like a sack of crap at (10:25)- X gets the Title Shot!
So yeah, this was one of those “All Big Moves” matches where they just hit big thing after big thing, particularly with X, who had all the flashy power moves with multiple powerbombs (three variations!), suplexes, and more, just showing off all the shit he could do. As he was getting the shot next, that was fine, but kind of emblematic of his style at this point. The bit with the double-team into the Iconoclasm/Frog Splash was great, though. The early batch of eliminations marked all those dudes as jobbers, but was entertaining, while the second half was a bit more well-booked, though in a match with so few guys, so much prominent “Lazy Lean” stuff was a bit silly- after his big surge, X mostly sat there in that kind of “just killin’ time” stuff. But the match served to put him over, and made Sabin look smart, as well as giving Ki & Daniels something to fight over, so it was a good bit of business all around.
Rating: ***1/4 (good, flashy spotfest with 2003’s best MOVEZ- three powerbombs AND five spinning moves!)
Brakus: he made Vince fire ropes all over Connecticut, but still couldn’t even get a push on TV!
BRAKUS vs. JESUS CASTILLO:
(WWF RAW, July 27th, 1998)
The Deal With Brakus: Brakus is infamous to WWF fans for being one of those guys who the office clearly liked, and he was assumed to debut “any time now” for ages, but the vignettes were only there for a while and his debut so unceremonious that he was gone as soon as he arrived. Naturally, he was picked because of his AMAZING look (he’s a German bodybuilder, and absolutely shredded like an ’80s wrestler), and was reportedly a very nice young man, but he was way too green and this was the wrong era for Vince’s type of wrestler- this was the time for doughy guys like Road Dogg & Godfather to be megastars, so Brakus looked ridiculously out of place. He only got a few shots on television, even after being sent to learn in ECW as a “farm team” kind of deal, but it never worked out- he was just too immobile and the wrong sorta guy. Too bad for him- if this was the “Johnny Ace” era, he’d have gotten a shot, too.
This is shortly after Brakus lost a Brawl-For-All Match to Savio Vega, and now he seeks “revenge” against his Los Boriquas stablemate, Jesus, who is so jobbery here that he actually gets the “in the ring to my left” introduction. His nothing body and blue muscleshirt mark him as a complete loser- at least the other two stables they were fighting had REAL GEAR- the Boriquas just looked like they wandered in off the street.
They lock up, but Brakus immediately shoves Jesus down, then whips him off the ropes for a powerslam. Two elbowdrops hit as the crowd sarcastically chants “Sterrroids!” at him, then Brakus whips Jesus off the ropes again for a clunky Spinebuster… for the win (0:50). Oh man, poor Jesus, haha. So, uh, this ends up being Brakus’s second last match, and the only time he ever had a worked bout on RAW- and his next match was almost a year later! Which makes this whole thing extra-weird- like, why even give him a TV match (a win, no less) if you’re not gonna use him? They HAD to know how bad he was.
Rating: DUD (not even a match- just four moves and we’re done)
Google Image has like five pictures of him like this, lol.
DARREN DROZDOV, PRINCE ALBERT & KEY vs. CODY HAWK, ANTHONY McMURPHY & BRET KEANE:
(WWF Shotgun Saturday Night, Sept. 14th 1998)
The Deal With Vic Grimes: Okay, so Vic was hired at the same time as Erin O’Grady- both were indie guys from All Pro Wrestling with some good word of mouth after their feud, and were expected to be a good part of the WWF undercard/midcard. Erin became Hardcore Holly’s cousin Crash and became a fun part of the show for a few years… but Vic? Vic got this weird angle as Droz’s drug dealer “Key” (“key” is probably a reference to using cocaine via placing the powder on a key/EDIT: or a slang phrase for “kilo” when weighing drugs), and was gone as soon as he arrived- The Godfather (against whom he debuted to feud) got hurt, and Jim Ross has apparently said his cardio was shit and it made guys nervous about wrestling him (and I’ve heard his white shoes- as he couldn’t find white boots- made him too clumsy in the ring), and so Vic was soon gone to ECW for seasoning… and he more or less got stuck there for ages and then became some B.S. indie hardcore guy in the Post-ECW era, and never got another chance. Turns out he was never any good- not that this stopped anyone from becoming a big star in the Attitude Era.
And HOLY SHIT KEY MADE A MATCH ON TV! I had no idea! Here he’s allied with Droz & Albert in a ridiculously low-grade heel stable (all three were pretty new, so I can imagine this was a “baby steps” thing to introduce them to fans before they got pushes later). They name-drop him as “Key” here, and he’s in a pretty eye-popping platinum blonde hair/white tights/white shirt get-up that at least seems very distinctive. With his GIANT smile and wiping his thumb along his nose, he does a pretty good “cokehead” riff. These jobbers are amazing- Short Singlet Guy, Long-Haired Generic Mr. Perfect Singlet Guy, and Pasty Black Shirt & Pants Guy.
Droz leapfrogs & powerslams Keane (Short Guy), then picks him up and two and tosses him to his corner. Albert shrugs off the tall McMurphy (Pasty Guy) and hits his pump kick. Albert tags in Key and whips him into McMurphy in the corner, then Key gets on his hands & knees and Albert uses him as a springboard for his OWN avalanche! Okay that’s pretty cool- these are hefty dudes. Key forces a tag to Hawk (Mr. Perfect Singlet) and hits him with punches and a clothesline, elbowdrop & corkscrew legdrop. Inverted Sit-Out Razor’s Edge (Grimes You Up, according to one site, I think) finishes at (2:07). Not a bad squash, all things considered- the jobbers were just eaten alive and Key hit some good stuff. Aaaaaand this ends up being Grimes’s only match that ever made WWF television.
Rating: 1/2* (entertaining quick squash, though each jobber got maybe 30 seconds)
THE AMERICAN MALES (Marcus Alexander Bagwell & Scotty Riggs) vs. JUVENTUD GUERRERA & PSYCHOSIS:
(WCW Saturday Night, Nov. 11th 1996)
* Holy crap, I had no idea! The Luchadores were all still VERY new to WCW at this point, but typically fought each other, not mid-tier Tag teams. This is the perfect kind of “random grab-bag” match I love for these columns. Juvie is in black & yellow with a mask, and Psychosis has a black & red variant of his gear. The Males are in black tights, and juuuuuuust on the cusp of splitting up.
Bagwell starts up a “USA!” chant and they do some Power Plant basics, but Juvie uses his speed to hit a spinkick and chops before leaping into a powerbomb. Riggs eats the buckles on a charge, but wins another Power Plant sequence and Bagwell dropkicks Juvie down, then the Males hit stereo clotheslines to put the luchadores on the floor! The Males lead another chant to kill time, but Psychosis suckers Bagwell and lures him into Juvie’s springboard dropkick. Juvie Driver to Bagwell! But Juvie just pops up and hits an elbow instead of covering- that wasn’t a big move of his yet. Springboard legdrop… misses! Riggs gets the hot tag, but he gets a whip reversed and knocks his partner off the ropes- Bagwell hits the guardrail and a dazed Riggs eats Psychosis’s flying cannonball attack, leading right into Juventud’s Springboard Double-Legdrop! Luchadores win at (5:36)! Losses like this would lead to their Males blowing up at each other at World War III and finally splitting on Nitro, with “Buff” joining the nWo within weeks, completely reinventing himself.
Man, the “Power Plant” was so strong in the Males and you could tell- all “headlock into the ropes, into a whip, into a leapfrog then a dropkick” sequences and shit. But Juvie & Psychosis were just insanely good at this point, and their “all high risk” offense actually works against opponents so much larger than them (Buff has to have sixty pounds on Juvie here). And in 1996, all this springboard stuff was state-of-the-art and insane to see on the #2 TV show.
Rating: **1/2 (quick, fun little bout- mostly the little guys pining off the big ones, but it worked)