Welcome back to another Dream Matches column! Here, we get one of the most famous bad matches in wrestling history, as WCW sends out terrible rookies Sid Vicious & Bryan Clark on a major national television show! Who can lead the match? NOBODY, as it turns out! And then they bring out a BIG AXE!!
Then we get the bizarre SmackDown! match where Triple-H has to take on Kai En Tai & the Brooklyn Brawler to earn a match against Chris Jericho on the next RAW- it’s semi-famous for the ending, which is kind of a one-time-only thing. Then “The Best of Roadblock” continues as he takes on Diamond Dallas Page in a throwaway match, and we visit PCO during his SECOND run in WCW as he fights Big Vito. And we finalize everything with the FIRST EVER match between the Undertaker and Kane!!! Except it’s in WCW with a green-ass rookie “Unabom” Glen Jacobs an an invading WWF purple-gloved Taker. But it still counts!
See, if you can’t use the weapon without legitimately killing your opponent… maybe don’t have it be a weapon the guy carries to the ring, you know?
SID VICIOUS vs. THE NIGHTSTALKER (w/ Ox Baker):
(WCW Clash of the Champions, 11/20/1990)
* This one went on to some infamy- not just a bad match, but an IMPOSSIBLY bad match. And no wonder- Bryan Clark barely has a year into the business at this point, and should in no way be on TV as anything but a jobber. Still, you gotta love the spectacle of these two GIANTS out there- Sid is only a little taller than Clark. Sid is in a big red singlet here, while Clark is in long tights and CLEAN-SHAVEN- both are very odd looks for guys I’m used to seeing in other gear. Like, Clark maintained facial hair for the entirety of his career.
Test of strength leads to kicks from both, Stalker awkwardly coming off the ropes for a “shouldertackle”, then Sid fakely leaps right into a bearhug. Nightstalker reapplies it as they’re seemingly lost ALREADY, having a lil’ chat in there, and Sid punches him in the corner until Stalker comes back with “knees” to the ribs and works the arm. But Sid comes back with punches, only to take more “knees” until Stalker just leans against him with his hands on Sid’s Latissimus dorsi. The Big Cat (Mr. Hughes, pre-obesity) comes down as Sid hits a big backdrop suplex. Sid gets distracted and punches Big Cat down, but Nightstalker then grabs the phoniest looking prop weapon in history- a big double-bladed medieval battle-axe, and takes a “swing” with it, hitting the turnbuckles as Jim Ross calls it a “club-like thing” on commentary. The ref has to leap out of the way and doesn’t bother to disqualify anyone (in a company where throwing someone OVER THE TOP is a DQ, you’re allowed to commit attempted murder by D&D weapon?), and Sid grabs the weapon and shoves Nightstalker over with it, scoring the pin at (3:30).
Okay, y’know how I mock the “Power Plant Basics” in matches, and how all the guys trained there did the same shit to start their matches? All “lockup to whip off the ropes to duck to leapfrog to armdrag”? Well there’s a reason why rookies are trained to do that, and it’s because of stuff like this- two big palookas who have no idea how to call a match and thus get stuck in there looking stupid because nobody knows what they’re supposed to do next. Nightstalker was in no place to be in there, as all he could do was these really slow lifting knees to the upper ribcage area, looking super-fake. And speaking of fake, how about that “battle-axe” which is swung like it weighs nothing, and then Sid doesn’t even use it like a weapon, just sorta pushing Nightstalker over for the pin. Yeah, I remember the weapon now that I think about it.
Rating: DUD (I mean, at least it was short. Meltzer gave this -**** and it’s hard to argue that it brutally exposed the business, but I’d take “funny and short” over “long and boring”)
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. ROADBLOCK:
(WCW Saturday Night, Dec. 20th 1997)
* So DDP is in the midst of his huge Rocket Push, going from an unover heel loser into a pissed-off, badass babyface with a finisher that can hit from anywhere. Hard to believe at this point he was one of the more hated wrestlers online, owing to his friendship with Bischoff being a huge part of the reason for him being so protected and pushed. What a difference 30 years can make. Roadblock is in all-black here, while DDP is in acid-washed blue jeans and… this is gonna shock you- tape wrapped around part of his torso.
Pretty good pace to start, as Roadblock shoves DDP back, but goes into the corner and DDP hits a swinging neckbreaker. He throws shots, but Roadblock powers him down and slugs away. Elbowdrop gets two- he gets rolled up while bitching about the count to the ref, but comes back with a bearhug while Rick Rude comes out, representing the nWo. They do the “arm-drop” while the crowd chants for DDP in classic babyface 101, and he of course punches his way free, thrashing about. They actually do a funny “fight into a sunset flip” move, REALLY working for it, and DDP dodges when Roadblock tries the sit-out counter. More big punches and RB is just FLAILING on the selling, acting like DDP is the hugest threat ever, going down to a clothesline. The pancake sets up the Diamond Cutter, but he gets distracted by Rude and RB smashes him again. Roadblock puts DDP over his shoulder, but he slides back into inverted DDT position, swinging it into the Diamond Cutter! That gets the pin at (3:49), with the “knee to the chest” dominant pin.
DDP is an interesting wrestler to watch- there’s hardly a man I hated more at this point in time (my email address used to literally be ddp_hater, no lie), with his weird white trash vibe and his flailing around with an idiotic look on his face, but damn if he isn’t good at working the crowds with his comebacks, even in BS Saturday Night matches like this one. And like, his stuff is scrappy and fight-y in a way that makes it come off as more “legit” than a lot of wrestlers’ stuff, which has a tendency to be too “smooth”. Though it’s hilarious watching flabby DDP throw punches at this 6’7″ 375-lb. dude who’s just flailing all over the place like DDP is just too much for him- it ignores the huge size difference between the two.
Rating: *1/2 (lol four minutes to beat a monster like Roadblock- that will never not be funny. Okay short match, I guess)
Carl in his second WCW run.
CARL “THE RAVE” OULETTE vs. BIG VITO:
(WCW Thunder, Kamloops BC, July 16th 2000)
* Wait… huh? Ouelett was in WCW at this point? Apparently he & Jacques Rougeau were added to Lance Storm’s anti-American stable during WCW’s Canadian tour, but Jacques left right away, and Carl stuck around for a couple weeks until work visa issues left him having to stay in Canada. His gear is IMPOSSIBLY bad here, featuring baggy red parachute pants (like 0.5 High Energy) and a tight white muscleshirt. Vito was doing a midcard thing in WCW at the time, having been stolen away from ECW, but his run was pretty non-essential. Huh, he was in WWE for three years when I wasn’t looking, too. With his beret & music, I’m guessing it’s a “Mobbed up guy” gimmick. He’s in a black singlet with Italian flag colors on it.
Vito turns his back and gets his ass kicked by Oulette’s power stuff, but avoids a Quebec Jam and comes back with ’80s stuff and a Savage-style Flying Elbowdrop for two. But Oulette just reverses a whip to a powerslam for two, then hits a side suplex & flying splash for the same. But now VITO reverses a whip and hits a back suplex and headbutt off Bret’s Rope for two. Oulette hits a Northern Lights suplex (no bridge) and they get into a chopfest, neither guy doing a lick of selling- Oulette boots him a couple times, but Vito reverses a whip and hits a kick into a turning Implant DDT for the win (3:46).
Match was just “filler”- both guys hit some decent-looking offense, but it was super-weird because they both had that “all the big moves” style and just kinda… popped up after pins and did their own moves without selling. It made the commentary silly, as Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay & Stevie Ray were all “No WAY he kicks out after this one!” to all the top-rope moves and then of course the guy’s very next thing is an effortless comeback. Also Oulette & Vito more or less mirroring each other’s moves (whip-reverse to suplex to top-rope move), then Vito reversing ANOTHER whip for the finish in less than four minutes is pretty poor planning. But that’s just overthinking 4-minute filler bouts on Thunder, I suppose.
In any case, Vito’s immediately attacked by Reno (a super-roided guy in black pants), but manages a side kick after some Irish whips. Reno hits him with a double-arm suplex and Roll The Dice (that spinning inverted DDT that everyone in the indies was doing for a while). He grabs a chair, but Kidman’s in and starts fighting RENO as I begin to suspect that Oulette is dead, given he hasn’t moved in two minutes. Kid Krusher (Unprettier/Killswitch). Chuck Palumbo, Sean O’Haire, Mike Sanders AND Mark Jindrak come out as this is ridiculously a microcosm of 2000 Russo WCW- six people running in after a meaningless midcard match? Oh wait- it’s ten- the Filthy Animals are out now, followed by Lance Storm, Mike Awesome and a bunch of random dudes as this is now self-parody. At least Oulette is now standing!
Rating: *1/2 (fine enough quickie match- some good moves and no selling before one guy wins)
HANDICAP TORNADO TAG ELIMINATION MATCH:
TRIPLE-H (w/ Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) vs. THE BROOKLYN BRAWLER & KAI EN TAI (Taka Michinoku & Funaki):
(WWF SmackDown, July 2000)
* So the story here is that Stephanie helped Kurt Angle win a match, and as punishment, Commissioner Mick Foley has set up a 3 vs. 1 Handicap Match. If HHH wins, he gets to face Chris Jericho on Monday Night RAW. And so they pick the three most unlikely guys ever- Kai en tai (yes, workers that skilled were at this point being used as examples of bottom-tier “LOL you think THESE guys can beat me?” complete with HHH smirk and Michael Cole being astonished on commentary) and the long-retired Brooklyn Brawler. EVERYONE writes these dinks off. Brawler looks weird wearing all blue- I’m used to his filthy white shirt.
All three guys jump HHH right at the bell, and Funaki reverses a whip with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and the Brawler follows with a swinging neckbreaker for one. Taka adds a missile dropkick for two and Brawler dumps Hunter, but Taka’s Quebrada only hits Funaki. Brawler takes HHH’s knee facecrusher and Taka ends up on his ass outside the ring, then avoids Funaki’s Tornado DDT and pins him with the Pedigree at (2:14). Taka flies off the top and misses and HE takes the Pedigree at (2:29). Lookin’ pretty fake when you see him do the “Kick/Bend Over/Double-Arm” thing in the exact same cadence both times. HHH kicks Brawler’s ass, but Hebner yanks him off by the hair, leading to Hunter rolling him across the ring in a great bump by Earl. He prepares another Pedigree, but in comes Y2J with a facecrusher & Lionsault (in plain view of Earl), and BROOKLYN BRAWLER PINS TRIPLE-H AT (3:20). Great comeuppance there, as Triple-H loses to a guy so lowly that he isn’t even worthy of being an active wrestler at the time. And then of course Hunter gets his heat back, beating the shit out of all three men by himself, bloodying the victorious Brawler so he can’t even get ten seconds of joy out of it, and Pedigreeing him.
Pretty classic squash match, though it’s again a sign of the era that a dude as good as Taka Michinoku was in a “hit 2-3 moves and is then easily pinned after a single reversal” zone (like, at least pretend like it takes effort to beat someone that good, you know?), and only Triple-H could be humiliated in a manner that also made him look like a giant bad-ass who can easily defeat three people fighting him at once.
Rating: 1/2* (perfectly fine stuff but still an utter squash)
Glen “Unabom” Jacobs with Al Snow.
THE UNDERTAKER (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. UNABOM (w/ Al Snow):
* Yes, this is the first-ever match between Undertaker & Kane. Glenn Jacobs was still the tall, blond-haired “Unabom” in SMW, learning the ropes, and Taker’s doing one of his rare independent dates against him. Unabom, in black trunks and long black gloves, is nowhere near as built as he’d later be, and the same height as Taker, back in his “purple gloves & boots” days. Unabom gives a good “I’m nervous about this” impression about him.
Unabom tries to sucker Taker with a shot, but gets eaten alive and takes the Ropewalk. We’re clipped to him managing a brief comeback, Taker sitting up after a vertical suplex. He hits a short clothesline, but misses an elbow and gets clotheslined over the top, landing on his feet on the floor. He necks Unabom over the top rope, but we’re clipped to another Unabom comeback with the ref selling on the floor- Snow adds a shot and gets chased off by Paul Bearer of all people. Taker accidentally elbows the post, gets tossed into a table, and then has his neck draped over the top rope so Unabom can hit a Guillotine Legdrop (!) onto the back of his head from there. Take makes another comeback but gets caught in a truly horrifying powerbomb (“The Unabomb”), as Unabom has it held way too high on the chest so he can’t flip Taker all the way over- so you see him self-correct and stumble around trying to shift their weights so that he doesn’t kill one of the biggest stars in the business right there. Unabom takes forever recovering, then posing and bragging, so of course we get the Sit-Up/Jumping Clothesline/Chokeslam, followed by the Tombstone for the win (6:06 shown).
Pretty basic Taker match when he’s fighting from beneath, but Unabom was no good at this point- a combination of clumsy and basic. Taker got a few comebacks but was always cut off, and god knows what we missed, but Taker wasn’t exactly giving his best effort in this tiny auditorium.
Rating: * (basic nothing bout)