RF Video Shoot Interview with Eric Bischoff, Disc Two

Disc Two runs for One Hour and fifty three minutes long

To Read the Disc One recap, click on the link below:

http://www.rspwfaq.net/2014/12/rf-video-shoot-interview-with-eric.html

He said that Hogan was the one who suggested bringing in the Ultimate Warrior to WCW. Bischoff said that Hogan wanted a high-profile guy to work with so he went out at signed Warrior. When asked about the rumor of Hogan bringing in Warrior just to get his win back from WrestleMania VI, Bischoff said that it is a bullshit rumor. Bischoff is then asked about the Warrior saying how if he knew his time in WCW was going to be that bad he would have never signed and Bischoff laughs and says that he respects Warrior and does not want to say anything negative but to go back and look how he made his debut and how it was the longest and most painful live in-ring segment he has ever done in his life and that while originally written to go from 7-10 minutes long, it ended up lasting 25 minutes. Shortly after that Warrior tore his bicep. Bischoff said that Warrior was similar to Savage in that they were both passionate and intense, as well as way out there.

When asked if he regrets telling Tony Schiavone to announce that Mick Foley was going to be winning the title on RAW, Bischoff said he does and I retrospect it was one of the dumbest things he ever did.

On Goldberg, Bischoff said that he knew pretty early on that he could be a star but also said he was very green and had him work short matches. Once the crowd started to go crazy for him, they had to make sure he was wrestling in longer matches. When asked why they gave Goldberg a larger contract in 1999 when he was already under a deal, Bischoff said that he did that so he wouldn’t get held up by him.

Bischoff said that it was Hogan’s idea to drop the title to Goldberg on Nitro in Atlanta as it was in his hometown and make a great TV moment.

He then said that Goldberg is a friend but very intense and difficult to deal with and had a short fuse as well. Bischoff said that he had too many people telling him what to do and it became too much.

When asked if the “Finger Poke of Doom” was a terrible idea, Bischoff said it was and the fact that the question was even asked shows it was a terrible idea. He had no specific memories of that night either.

About Bret Hart coming into the company, Bischoff said that they “danced” a few times prior to him signing but nothing came of it at the time. He then said that he never would have brought Bret on WCW TV with the WWF Title as this was after the lawsuit against the WWF regarding the nWo and became a lot smarter with copyright laws and corporate would have never allowed it to happen either.

On the Montreal incident, Bischoff said he was not surprised that it happened.  He remembers watching and after it happened, Rick Rude called him up and was livid, telling him that he was coming back to WCW. He then said if he was in Vince’s shoes and everything played out the way he thought it did then he would have done the same thing.

Regarding Bret coming to WCW and not being used to his full potential, Bischoff said that Bret was really devastated after what happened in the WWF and once Owen died, he became a shell of himself due to the trauma of the incident. He then said that he did not have the best ideas for him but at the same time Bret was depressed and not “in the game” as he would show up a half-hour before the show started and didn’t really want to do what they wrote for him.

Bischoff talks about the guys who challenged him about creative decisions and said that Savage was probably the most challenging. He also said that he would let the guys add stuff into their programs and characters.

He is now asked about the Sting vs. Hulk Hogan match from Starrcade 1997. Bischoff said that Sting was going through some “issues” at that time. He did not want to bring them up, saying it is best for him to talk about that. Bischoff then said that Sting had a whole year to prepare for his big moment and they would quickly see him and he had on the coat and makeup so they had no idea what his physique looked like. Right before the show, Bischoff said that he came in pale and with a poorer physique. He also added how he was a lot less passionate too. Hogan told Bischoff that he couldn’t believe Sting didn’t bother going to the gym or getting a tan for this big moment. Bischoff said that from his perspective, he felt there was something missing and that it was just bad timing in Sting’s life.

On the fast count in the match, Bischoff said that he cannot remember who was at fault and did not then, either but noted it became a huge deal.

About Scott Hall, Bischoff said they tried hard to help maintain his sobriety by sending him to rehab multiple times then talks about when he was sober, he had one of the best minds in the business. When he was under the influence, Hall was unbearable.

Feinstein asks him about whether or not he allowed partying in the locker room, Bischoff said that some of the guys had beers in the locker room and he did permit it but not everyone did that either. However, Bischoff said that in retrospect it was a bad idea.

Bischoff is asked about the celebrities that appeared in WCW. He said that both Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone were worth it and when he first started negotiating with them it was before the Bulls and Jazz met in the finals. He said that Jay Leno was worth it as it got WCW a lot of mainstream press then says that a lot of wresting purists might not like that but he had to appeal to advertisers and corporate sponsors as well as the consumer side. When asked about David Arquette, said it was Russo’s idea and it “probably” devalued the belt but while it was a bad idea in retrospect, no one who has not come up with a bad idea has ever tried to come up with a good idea. On Kiss, Bischoff said that the original plan was in conjunction with the Fiesta Bowl that the PPV ended at the stroke of midnight with Kiss playing at one end of the field and the ring at the other with the three count of the main event happening at the stroke of midnight. He said that the idea was scrapped when no one wanted to travel that day. He said that Master P and the No Limit Soldiers came in although he doesn’t know how it got pitched. He did think Curt Hennig’s West Texas Redneck’s stuff was funny but looking back bringing in the rappers was not worth it.

Kevin Nash became booker as Bischoff said he was burned out and had not come up with a good idea for a long time. He also said that corporately was kicking his ass and they were a mess and he became fed up.

He speaks about Kevin Sullivan as a booker and said that he was one-dimensional and dark and that did not fit in with the commercial product. He did put over Sullivan for being great at finishes and how that he really understood how to draw heat but struggled to build everything up to get to that point.

Bischoff is asked about Thunder and how he said that he should have stood up and said no to that idea. He talks about how they were at capacity with their current show schedule and Thunder made it worse.

When asked how they did not get any revenue stream with Thunder, Bischoff added that they did not get any revenue stream from any of the shows as they were not licensing them to their own network, just producing them for the network.

Bischoff talks about the Time Warner/AOL merger. At first he thought it was great but several months later someone told him that overtime the culture will change and that Turner will become more like Time Warner and not the other way around. He then tells us that WCW got lumped into a non-specific category within the company and so when they started to make money other people wanted to take the revenues and build up their own divisions, plus some people did not want wrestling in the company. In 1999, he was told that they were cutting his budget, after telling him he had to do Thunder and figure out the budget himself by cutting stuff across the board so they can allocate their funds elsewhere. Bischoff said this was when Nash came in and he had a lot of conflict with the corporate offices. He said that a lot of Time Warner executives were either embarrassed by wrestling or wanted the money allocated to it for other projects.

He talks about how he talked with NBC to do some live specials after Leno did WCW and NBC as scrambling for programming when the NBA went on strike. He said he planned to have Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra get divorced on TV but it never came to fruition.

On D-X invading WCW with the tank, Bischoff said that he was shocked at first then pissed off at himself afterwards as he did not think of something to do with them and wanted to let them into the building.

When he challenged Vince McMahon he never thought he would show up but after he did, Savage and Hogan told him that Vince would show up and kick his ass.

Bischoff is asked about the day he was removed from power. He said that it happened on September 10th, 1999. The night before he was in his office and fed up then thought back to August 1998 when he saw the writing on the wall and should have quit. He talked to someone who he thought was a friend and said that he was done and pissed off. When he got home, he thought he should suck it up and stop being a bitch. The next day he got the call from Harvey Schiller that he had to be in his office at 9am and knew something was up as that never happened. When he got there, Schiller told him he had to go home. Bischoff said he had a PPV but Schiller told him that he did not and to go home and get rest then they would talk later. When he got home, he flew his plane to Wyoming at went fishing as it finally sunk in that he was out. He said now he understands but back then, there were so many pieces involved that he did not know exactly why it happened.

About Bill Busch replacing him, Bischoff said that it was “comical.” He also felt the same way when they brought in Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara as part of creative.

He did say that Guerrero, Benoit, Malenko, and Saturn leaving for the WWF shocked him and was an indication of how bad things got in WCW.

When they called him to come back he had a lot of emotions going on, including a little bit of “I told you so” as he knew there were things no one else could do when he left.

Bischoff said that he wanted to like Russo and calls him a charming guy and can be very persuasive but doesn’t feel that he understands the wrestling business. At the beginning he said they worked together well but as time went on he could not trust Russo and it manifested in July 2000 at Bash at the Beach.  He got in late from his father’s funeral and wanted to delay the production meeting until he got there but when he arrived, the meeting was already underway. Bischoff said that the deal was that they both had to agree on the idea and if they could not Brad Siegel was the “tiebreaker.” And Hogan had creative control at the time as well. His idea was that Hogan was going to quit and leave with the belt then they would recreate a new champion, who would be a heel, then at Halloween Havoc Hogan would come back and face the champion. When they landed in Tampa for the show, their phones were blowing up with people calling them because Russo went into business for himself, which was not part of the script whatsoever. Siegel had agreed with Bischoff and Hogan’s plan at the time. When asked, Bischoff said that Hogan was right at suing Russo and he would have as well if possible.

On the locker room vibe when he came back compared to when he left, Bischoff said that it gotten worse as there was more stress and insecurity as the company was declining.

When he found out that Jamie Kellner cancelled all wrestling programs on Turner Broadcasting, he was in Hawaii with his wife and kids and got a call that it was all over as the deal he had in place to purchase WCW was off the table as the distribution deal they put together that was worth $67 million was now worth about $0.85. He said if Ted Turner was able to maintain power none of this would have happened.

Bischoff said that he had spoke with Fox previously but did the deal with Turner and when that fell through, he tried to reach out to Fox again but that did not work. He said without a TV slot it wasn’t worth anything to anyone except for Vince McMahon.

Feinstein then asks Bischoff about several rumors floating around at the time of plans he had for a revamped WCW. He did have conversations with Joey Styles and Don Callis about being the announcers. He said that he never had any definite plans of bringing back Hogan or Nash to the show but probably would have. He did say there was plans to have the TV tapings in Las Vegas.

After WCW, he thought he was done in the wrestling business and never anticipated he would work for Vince McMahon.

Bischoff said he was never attached to the Mat Rats production. He went and saw one taping and thought it was cool but the company fell apart before he could get them any deal or sorts.

He talks about how wrestling used to be the ultimate unscripted program but does not know how to describe it today.

Bischoff goes into all of his outside projects from reality shows to his brewing his own beer and this goes on for about ten minutes.

On going to the WWE, he was shocked when Vince called. He said that he was never contacted to come in during the invasion angle and thinks that was a mistake. They had a good conversation and when Vince asked him if there was anything he wouldn’t do, Bischoff said that he was not willing to move up to Connecticut.

As the RAW GM, Bischoff said that he had a blast and thanks Vince for allowing him to do some fun things on air. He said that he was excited to have the chance to do something positive and move on past the Monday Night War stuff.

He says that the reactions on peoples faces when he walked backstage were incredible as they were all shocked.

When comparing the production between WCW to WWE, Bischoff said that WWE was a machine and there was no weak link from the television side of the product.

Bischoff said that he got along with Kevin Dunn professionally but not much beyond that. He said that he never felt lingering hostility from the McMahon’s and made to feel like a part of the family at that time. He did say that Stephanie could have had a little bit of tension under the surface as she is really close to her dad but he might be wrong about that.

On the night when Ric Flair went after him backstage, Bischoff said that he was talking with his wife and a real estate broker when Flair and Arn Anderson came into the room. Flair was sweating and fired up then yelled at him to get up. He had no idea what was going on as they went out for beers a week prior and had no problems since but Flair was so mad that he bit his own lip to the point that it bled then started to punch him but said they were not hard so he hung up the phone and told Flair he was not going to fight him and after that people came in and got Flair out. He said that they have talked and hung out multiple times since but never brought it up and when asked, Bischoff said that Flair never apologized.

He loved working with Steve Austin and talked about the skits they did where he was finding Austin at the orders of Vince. Bischoff then said it was easy due to all of the built-in heat and everyone wanting to see Austin kick his ass. He said it was amazing to work with him.

Feinstein asks him about several wrestlers. He calls John Cena a very talented guy. He said that Chris Jericho is also talented but very emotional as well. He did put him over as a class act to work with. He didn’t really know Shawn Michaels or Randy Orton all that much but liked them both. When asked, Bischoff said that there were never any plans for Michaels to jump over to WCW.

When asked about the Chris Benoit tragedy, Bischoff said that it was hard to believe. When asked what he thought happened he said that people have things going on in their lives and its unfair to speculate.

Bischoff said that he was written out of the storyline in 2005 as it ran it’s course and it was a long time for a non-wrestler to be in that role. He did say it was his idea to be tossed into the garbage and suggested that Vince McMahon do it himself.

He talks about how the flew in a Hollywood makeup artist to come in when he did Billy and Chuck’s wedding. Bischoff said it was awesome and that he was in makeup at 2pm that day and no one could tell who he was and that he channeled Jim Barnett with that character. He said that he faked out Brad Rhiengans by messing around with his kids then walking off as he had no clue who he was until when he ripped off the mask.

If the WWE offered him a chance to return he would for the right story.

He decided to write a book on his career after the WWE asked him too and never even thought he had enough of a career to fill a book until a ghostwriter spoke with him.

Bischoff does not believe that any other wrestling company can compete with the WWE due to the fact that there is no one else with the experience, knowledge, and vision combined with a network that is behind you. He said the conditions will never be the same.

On the WWE Network, Bischoff said that he does not know enough about the streaming market but thinks it is a phenomenal idea and made a great move due to their vast library of content.

To start a new promotion today would take $100 million dollars and ten years of patience to wait for it to pay off.

He would like to be remembered in wrestling as someone who was innovative. When asked, he said that he gets frustrated over the “narrative” about him in WCW but does not take it personally.

Thoughts: Overall, I thought this was a very good interview. Bischoff was open and willing to talk throughout. I also enjoyed him shedding light on just how messy the corporate side of everything was at the time as it really made things messy. Bischoff did constantly talk about wanting to put an end to all of the “narratives” that others have said about WCW and it was interesting to hear.

I came away from this interview liking Bischoff as a person. He was able to admit when he was at fault and took the high road more often than not here. I believe that he was unable to talk about TNA here due to legal reasons but I am not quite sure.

I recommend this interview to everyone who wanted to know about WCW.

You can purchase this at RF Video. They are having a 30% off sale at the moment as well, making it a good time to buy this if you want.

http://www.rfvideo.com/ericbischoffshootinterview.aspx

And just to let everyone know, I will be taking the next two weeks off from shoot interview recaps due to the Holidays

RF Video Shoot Interview with Eric Bischoff, Disc One

This was released in 2014

The Interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein

Disc One runs at two hours and thirty four minutes long

He talked about where he grew up just outside of Detroit, which he said was near “8 Mile.” He said it was a tough place to live but before it declined even further. He watched “Big Time Wrestling” as a kid and remembered The Sheik, Dick the Bruiser, and Bobo Brazil. Bischoff talked about moving a lot as a kid and seeing multiple territories as a result. He said that he never thought about being in the wrestling business as a kid.

Bischoff is asked about his career before wrestling as he says he had a profession that began with almost every letter of the alphabet. Before wrestling, he was a manager at a food processing company and even managed a karate school, even fighting at times. He said he had some fights on ESPN too but it did not pay the bills.

He actually met Sonny Onoo before he got into wrestling. They met on the karate tournament circuit as Bischoff said he was a great kickboxer and one of the best in the country in kata. One night, they were at a bar talking about their childhoods then came up with the concept for the “Ninja Star Wars” game. Bischoff ended up calling the AWA and got a meeting with Verne to try to get advertising. Bischoff said that the pitched went great and made a deal where he would everything and Verne do the promotion and split that 50/50. Bischoff said that was his first time doing a business like that and it wasn’t that successful but it was a learning experience and as a result, Verne gave him a job handling the AWA syndication. Bischoff had no experience in that but said that said he did sales before and just used the experience he had to sell. This was in 1987.

On Verne Gagne, he said that they were friends at that time and would go hunting together and spent Christmas together as well. Bischoff calls Verne the most stubborn person he knew and didn’t realize until the end that his ideas were not working. Bischoff also blamed the government in Minnesota for instituting imminent domain and taking part of his land, only offering him 25% of what it was worth.

He tells the story of how he got to become an interviewer. Larry Nelson got popped for a DUI and could not make it to TV that morning. Bischoff said that once a month Verne would fly everyone in to do promos in various markets and after Larry never came, Greg suggested to Verne that he (Bischoff) do them as he was good looking and was the only one who wore a tie. Bischoff said that he was uncomfortable and he did horrible.

About his friendship with DDP, Bischoff said that he found DDP loud and obnoxious at first. After a show they were at a corporate event and he said something to DDP, who said something back. Bischoff then saw him leaving in the parking lot and went after him but he left. Bischoff then went back inside and a had a drink and when he left he saw DDP again but they decided to let it go and the next day they talked and became friends.

He talks auditioning for the WWF in 1990. Bischoff talked about how he was in the AWA at the end and was going weeks without getting paid and when he did they were partial checks and that his house was foreclosed on and his car was getting repossessed and asked Verne if he could take the audition. He said that he did not get the job and remembers Kevin Dunn talking into his earpiece while he was in front of the green screen about stuff that had nothing to do with the mock interview he was conducting.

Bischoff got hired by WCW after sending an audition tape. At the time he had no money and struggled to feed his family. He got flown down to the Omni once a month for two days and made $85,000.

He was and still is friends with Teddy Long and recalls that on Friday’s they would go down to Casa Gallardo, a Mexican restaurant in Atlanta, to eat nachos and drink $3 margaritas.

On Jim Ross, Bischoff talks about how Jim Herd brought him in to keep JR and Tony Schiavone to “keep them miserable.” Bischoff said because of that, JR was not very personable at all but even still remained supportive. He said that Schiavone was quiet and a hard worker but also not very nurturing either. He puts them both over as being hard workers.

He had minimal interaction with the talent at the beginning of his WCW stint. Even still, he did not like Lex Luger from the first day he met him.

On the announcing differences between AWA and WCW, he said that Verne would yell at you and tell you what to do at times while in WCW there were barely any constraints at all and just tell you that you did a good job.

When asked why WCW was so mismanaged in the early 90’s, Bischoff said that you have in keep in mind that when Ted Turner bought them out from Crockett they were a bankrupt company that was already terribly mismanaged. Then he talks about how they tried to fix it with those same people at that time.

Bischoff talks about how when he got to WCW no one but Turner in the corporate offices wanted wrestling on the network, thus WCW never got all that much in terms of support.

Bischoff talks about some of the guys in charge. He said Kip Frey was a deer in headlights and did not know anything about the wrestling business. He then said that Bill Watts was a bully who wanted to bring things back to the 70’s to make up for low ratings. He then said the talent started to work more conservatively as Watts made it more dangerous by taking away the mats on the floor. He said that Watts would do stuff like bring a gun to the Omni and put it on his desk to show that he is a tough guy. Bischoff said that Watts always had to prove that he was tough and feels that people who act like that are usually “pussies” and just overcompensating. He said that the Executive Committee was looking for any excuse to get rid of wrestling at the time and that Watts was basically doing just that for them. Bischoff then said that he heard through Bill Shaw that they wanted to get away from the old-school wrestling mentality and hire an executive.

On how he became the Executive Producer, Bischoff said that he had a grasp on how to run events and the television side, although not an expert, and knew the business from the wrestling side and decided to throw is name in the hat for the job, saying the worst that could happen was that he would not get the job. When asked, Bischoff said that Jim Ross got unfairly linked to Watts, who they wanted gone. Bischoff said that WCW picked him as he had a newer approach and saw what was wrong with the current product at that time. He said that Ross was miserable there and not just because he got the Executive job but said that he has talked to him and they are friends today.

He said that they needed better production values but before that they needed more fans in the building as if there is no one there to see the show, there is no point of improving your production values.  He said that he believed by co-branding with Disney studios it would help change the perception of WCW with advertisers, sponsors, and the PPV company. The alternative to that was to continue booking TV tapings in arenas that fans were not coming too. He said that they always papering the house shows and said they would do that in a city of three times in a row then charge them to come to the 4th show and of course no one bought tickets. Bischoff said that it was actually more expensive to run the shows there but necessary to build the brand as wrestling fans are brand loyal.

About being second behind the WWF, Bischoff said that they were so far behind them that if it was a horse race they would have shot them for being so far behind. Bischoff said that he wanted  fans to like WCW as much as other wrestling companies.

On switching to a monthly PPV model, Bischoff said that they had to in order to make a profit. He was also not surprised when WWF swtiched to that as he said they did it because WCW had success.

Bischoff is asked about getting Turner to spend money on talents like Bobby Heenan, Gene Okerlund, and Hulk Hogan. He first goes on about people want to tell a narrative about Turner having an open checkbook and that he used him like an ATM but the truth was that WCW was losing $10 million a year and Turner had not made a profit in any year since taking over. Bischoff said that he first cut costs and the first thing was to stop house shows as they lost money every time they went out of the door and Bob Dhue, WCW Vice President, wanted to do more house shows and Bischoff said how the fuck does that make any sense so he decided to stop all of the house shows until they built up their TV shows. Talent was pissed and dubbed him “Evil Eric” as that cost them money. Bischoff said that the people who wanted WCW to go away within Turner weren’t as angry when they were starting to break even. At that time, he went to Turner and Bill Shaw wanting to sign Hogan. After that went over well, they gave him more money to sign Okerlund and Heenan then they started to get more viewers, better PPV numbers, and started to run house shows again with more fans coming to the arena. When asked, Bischoff said that he never felt that Hogan was leveraging him during the process.

He also said that Ric Flair was critical of Hogan coming into WCW. Hogan trusted working with Flair according to Bischoff as he knew he could make him look good. Bischoff said that deep down inside he feels that Hogan is an honest and generous guy but at times can be very insecure.

Bischoff puts over Hogan for helping the WCW brand as he got them known as more than a regional Southern product. He said that while some of the crowds did not react favorably towards Hogan, he was phenomenal from the business side.

About Randy Savage coming into WCW, Bischoff said that Hogan called him up and wanted Savage in WCW. Bischoff said at that time they were profitable for the first time in WCW history. He then said not only was Savage coming to WCW but so was the “Slim Jim” sponsorship so as a result he basically got Savage for free. Bischoff liked Savage but said that he was very eccentric and insecure.

He is asked about Steve Austin. Bischoff said that he had a chip on his shoulder as the focus of WCW was on Hogan. Bischoff said that at the time he let him go and would do it today as well as it was the right move then. Bischoff then talks about how the Stone Cold character would have never emerged in WCW and he needed to leave the company to find his stride.

Bischoff is asked about several behind-the-scenes guys. He got along with Zane Bresloff and said he could milk as much as he could from the individual markets. He didn’t care for Gary Jester and said he was like a “potted plant.” He liked Craig Leathers (director) and put him over for always being able to work under pressure. He liked Harvey Schiller and said he was a great buffer for the corporate side. Bischoff likes Dusty Rhodes a lot but also said that his ego problems with Flair got to be too much. Bischoff said that he relied a lot upon Kevin Sullivan at the beginning but that they have different ideas. He said “no comment” when asked about Sharon Sidello (Head of the PPV Division, also rumored to have played Fifi the Maid on the “Flair for the Gold” segments but that was played by Wendy Barlow). He said that DDP was instrumental in bringing in Hall and Nash and acted as a liaison of sorts with the talent.

He is asked about the meeting that led to Nitro starting. He said that he was pitching an idea to Turner to work out a TV deal in China, who asked him what did they have to do to be competitive with the WWF. Bischoff said that WWF was in primetime while they were on 6pm on Saturday night. Turner then said to give WCW two hours on Monday night and Bischoff said that everyone’s jaw dropped when it was announced.

Bischoff’s first move was that he locked himself in a room and thought of how he was going to make this work. He said that if he failed, it was over as all of the hard work would be going down the toilet. He then said that he had to become different in order to beat the WWF, not to copy them.

His concerns about going head-to-head were how to beat them by doing the opposite of what they were doing, like aiming at the 18-34 demographic instead of kids and going live instead of being taped. Bischoff said he came up with this after writing down a list of everything the WWF was doing.

On why he kept himself on the air as a broadcaster, Bischoff said he was decent at it but also knew what he needed to sell.

When asked why he hired Steve McMichael as an announcer to break up the monotony and to have a crazy character.

Bischoff never saw the appeal of bringing Luger back to WCW and had no idea of how to use him and never trusted him, either. Sting persuaded Bischoff to hire him back so he called Luger and gave him a $125,000/ 3 month contract but when he came back he was a different person and it ended up working out. He talks about his surprise return was instrumental in setting the tone for Nitro and how anything could happen live.

About getting negative feedback for giving away RAW results live on air, Bischoff said that both management and talent did not like that and thought it was stupid.

Rob asks him point blank about Vince McMahon’s comments about Bischoff trying to hurt the WWF instead of helping his own product. Bischoff said that was false and puts over Vince for when he worked there but says that is Vince’s perspective as to what was going on and that his people were telling him that. Bischoff does state he was trying to be #1 but it was all about appealing to the audience and getting them to shift their viewing habits.

He also calls out the comments about stealing talent from the WWE and the narrative they are trying to portray. Bischoff calls it hypocritical seeing they did that in the 80’s. He also said that the company still holds resentment towards him for that.

Bischoff wanted Nitro to go on early so he could give away results in order to create controversy.

About the ratings, he would get occasional calls from Turner and his guys giving him brief congratulations.

On the “Monday Night War” Bischoff said that the fans did not get into that until the WWF acknowledge WCW on air. He also said that Turner thought the Billionaire Ted sketches were funny.

He is then asked about Nitro going to air sometimes while the show was still being written. Bischoff said that it happened sometimes then brings up a “Business Week” article about Vince who said that he writes RAW that way today. Bischoff said that sometimes people come up with better ideas and that you make a change if that is the case.

When asked about bringing in Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and Dean Malenko, Bischoff said that most of the guys looked and wrestled the same so in order to stand out you had to be different. He saw these guys from working in Japan and knew they did stuff the heavyweights could not do so he wanted them to be the “human car crash” part of the show.

About Benoit, Bischoff said he was very intense and quiet. He felt that Eddie was very cautious of people and at the time was wondering if he made the right decision in leaving Japan. He then said that Malenko was quiet and professional.

Rob asks him about moving a TV taping and if it was intentionally trying to screw over ECW in Philadelphia. Bischoff said that he does not recall but also said that at the time he was doing a lot of “aggressive shit.”

On WWE resurrecting the ECW brand in 2005, Bischoff said he never understood why that happened. He then said looking back, ECW was a show that got low TV ratings and did small PPV buyrates but had a passionate fanbase. From a business perspective, it was awful, but never understood how the WWE would bring back the passion they had into a sterile environment.

Regarding the “One Night Stand” PPVBischoff said that he never understood the ECW product but had heat with their fanbase and ended up having a blast on the show. He said he loved the heat he had on the show. While working with the Dudley’s, he suggested that they threw him in the garbage at the finish as the crowd would love it and they did.

Bischoff said that the nWo idea was the culmination of the realism in wrestling that he saw in Japan. He said that the real motivator of the angle was that both Hall & Nash were getting revenge from being mistreated in WCW then leaving for the WWF, only to come back to WCW to seek revenge on the company. He did realize that he had something great in this angle. He also added that he knew he was going to have a 3rd member but did not know exactly who would fill the role at first. Later on he did confirm that if Hogan refused to turn heel, they were going to go with Sting as the 3rd member.

About today’s wrestling, Bischoff said that the current audience has been saturated with reality and that the animated, 80’s style of programming will not work.

Back to Hogan turning heel, Bischoff said that he wanted Hogan to turn six months before he did but Hogan refused. Bischoff recalled that he was at Hogan’s home and pitched an idea but Hogan said that he had to pick up his kids and that he would never understand his character without walking in his boots. Months later while on the set of “Santa With Muscles,” Hogan called up Bischoff and wanted him to come on the set. Hogan had been watching Nitro and told Bischoff that he should be the third guy in the nWo. Bischoff also said that Hogan knew the crowd reaction he was getting at the end of his face run was horrible but was not willing to risk his character until they had a great idea. When asked, he does not believe the nWo would have taken off if Sting was the one who turned heel because it would have been as shocking. Bischoff said there will probably never be a moment like that in wrestling again.

He talks about the night of the “Bash at the Beach” show. Bischoff said that he kept Sting around that night as the background plan because he was not fully convinced Hogan would show up as he was volatile at the time. Sullivan ended up staying with Hogan in order to keep him calm.

When asked if it was a mistake to put him in the nWo, Bischoff said that does not recall who came up with the idea. He knew he had heat and didnt think it was a giant leap for him to be put in the role.

He thinks that the Vince McMahon character was heavily influenced by what he was doing, citing that Vince went from suits to dressing in jackets.

Bischoff said that his outlook on life never changed but had more pressure as WCW got successful. He said he could have come across as arrogant but in reality was just extremely busy.

On not allowing Flair to take time off to see his son wrestle, Bischoff said that it was a game of chicken between the two as Flair basically told Bischoff to give him what he wants or else. Bischoff said that he did not want to give him the time off because he would have to do it for everyone. Bischoff said that he did not feel good about the situation but had to set a precedent.

When asked, he said that all of his major stars were not happy and it was impossible to keep them all pleased and said the pressure and difficulties of dealing with these strong personalities might have made him seem arrogant to others.

Bischoff is asked whether or not DDP’s success was important to WCW. He first talks about how he loves him but that DDP’s success was not that important to WCW. He said it was important to him and after a while it was beneficial to WCW but there was a whole roster of guys that got over huge and he was floundering for a while. He also said it was not fair for those to say that the only reason he got over was due to him being a friend.

On whether or not the lucahdores were disrespected, Bischoff said that from there perspective sure but that their roles on the show were to provide the “car crash” aspect again and said they made more money than ever. When the show got more popular, they demanded more money and wanted to be in the main events.

About Rey Mysterio, Bischoff said that he was an incredible performer but the American audience does not have the same appreciation for the mask than the Mexican audience and figured since he was a good looking guy the fans would then react more to him when he was selling. Bischoff said that he understands where Mysterio was coming from today and did not mean to disrespect him by removing his mask and notes that was not his intention at all.

Rob asks him about an incident when he reportedly threw coffee at Eddie Guerrero. Bischoff said that he did not throw it at him but he threw it on the ground and some of it landed on Guerrero. He doesnt remember the specifics but they were arguing and he got pissed off and threw it on the ground. He said that Guerrero could be forceful at times.

Final Thoughts: Good stuff so far. Bischoff has been open and seemingly honest here. He does not have an agenda but does want to shed the truth on the “narratives” that have been going on about him during his WCW run. Beyond that, he was willing to expand on his answers and kept a calm demeanor throughout the whole disc.

So far, I recommend Disc One and will have the Disc Two review up tomorrow at noon.

Eric Bischoff – January 2001 interview

**WARNING – The following topic is NOT about Daniel Bryan. Please be warned.**

Hey guys,

Found this cool interview with EZ E back from 2001. For any of you anoraks out there (would there REALLY be any wrestling anoraks in a place like this?), you’d understand the significance of this date.

Eric was in the process of buying out WCW with the assistance of Fusient Media Ventures. He planned on closing WCW for a short period, then re-opening with a PPV known as ‘The Big Bang – The Creation of the New WCW’.

A lot of ground is covered, and Eric seems fairly confident (can you believe that?) at this stage. He gives a bit of insight as to some of his views on how business should be conducted from then on, and takes questions from both the hosts, and callers.
I’ve been painting my living room all day and this has definitely helped timed pass.

It also raises some interesting topics/questions:

*What were your thoughts at the time when you heard all of this news? What were your expectations, and were you willing to give WCW another shot?
*How do you think they would have done?
*Who would you have based the company around? Who do you think Eric would have based the company around?

Bane bischoff

Hey there.i don't know why this randomly popped into my head weeks after the fact, but yeah. There was that episode of impact where hogan and sting get kidnapped and taken to a&8s tree fort or whatever, they're sitting there talking to voice modulated leader dude in person, shouldn't his voice have come through clear as day? That mask isn't big enough to have any sort of reamplification device in it. Is leader dude a robot? And yeah, dude was also babbling 3 ft away from joseph parks for a few weeks….


There is so much wrong with that angle.  Yeah, that's one of the most ridiculously egregious examples.  I'm getting annoyed that apparently we're only ever gonna get one unmasking a MONTH at this rate, maybe less.  Devon's not the leader, and because it's TNA there's another three levels of leadership that have yet to be revealed.  It reminds me of the last couple of seasons of True Blood, where every time you THINK we've progressed as far up the vampire chain of command as we can go, they find ANOTHER shadowy figure who's actually been running the heel side all along.  And True Blood is awesome, so normally I don't even have a problem with that sort of goofy nonsense.  But really, they should have just said "OK, it was Devon" and moved on.  

Lockdown 2012

Lockdown 2012
Date: April 15, 2012
Location: Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tazz

This is the second biggest show of the year for TNA as every match is inside a cage. The double main event is Roode vs. Storm for the title and Lethal Lockdown with Team Bischoff vs. Team Garrett in a match that no one really wants to see, even the big TNA fans. We also have Angle vs. Hardy in what should likely be Angle’s great match that he always has here. Let’s get to it.

Young/ODB vs. Rosita/Sarita has been added to the show.

The opening video is of Storm getting in a truck and saying that it ends tonight with Roode.

The regular opening video is a history of Beer Money and how they had a lot of success but they were never friends. This has a lot of audio clips from the showdown on Thursday which is a good thing.

Team Garrett has a meeting. Garrett wants to go first to earn his team’s respect. Great. MORE Garrett. The team agrees.

Lethal Lockdown

Team Eric: Eric Bischoff, Gunner, Bully Ray, Kazarian, Christopher Daniels
Team Garrett: Garrett Bischoff, AJ Styles, Mr. Anderson, Rob Van Dam, Austin Aries

I was worried this would close the show so this is a nice surprise. This is TNA’s WarGames match and if Garrett’s team loses, he’s out of TNA. If Eric’s team loses, he’s out and can’t use his name in wrestling again. Three minute opening period then two minutes for each one after that and Team Eric has the advantage. Gunner and Garrett start of course and it’s power vs. speed.

Garrett tries to avoid the power but after a missile dropkick, Gunner takes over by running him down. Into the corner and Gunner hits a running knee to the head. No pins or submissions until all ten are in remember. He rams Garrett into the steel and Bully Ray is out next for a two minute advantage. Gunner holds him for a running boot to the chest. This is pure dominance for about 90 seconds until Austin Aries is in fourth. The fans were cheering his name so they’re giving the people what they want.

Aries EXPLODES on Ray in the corner and gets in some shots on Gunner as well. At about a minute in he runs into a boot and Ray takes over. Garrett stays in the corner where he belongs as Aries, the actually good wrestler, does the work. A missile dropkick puts Ray down and Kazarian, with a nearly shaved head, is in next. The fans chant that he looks stupid and it’s a three on one beatdown of Garrett. Gunner chokes Aries as Kaz fires off kicks to the ribs of Garrett.

AJ evens things up as this is in classic WarGames formula already. Kaz tries to meet him coming in but AJ slams the door on his head. Pele takes Gunner down but Ray runs him over. Sweet dropkick takes Ray down and everyone pairs off. Here’s Daniels for another advantage. It’s 4-3 at the moment and Daniels gives Team Eric the big advantage. Ray pulls off his belt and Garrett takes a whipping.

Anderson is the fourth guy for his team so there’s just Eric and RVD to go. It’s the heel beatdown again but AJ manages a nice suplex on Ray. Now back to your regularly scheduled beatdown with thirty seconds to go before Eric comes in. Here’s Eric in business casual attire. He holds Garrett for a big chop from Ray and Gunner gets in one as well. Eric and Daniels talk trash as the clock counts down.

Here’s Van Dam and he cleans house. There hasn’t been a lot of that in this match so far. There hasn’t been much to commentate on because it’s been 17 minutes of punching and kicking so far. That’s what these matches usually are so it’s not a shock, but it’s still not that interesting. Eric hides in the corner and here come the weapons. The match basically resets here as everyone gets a weapon and Team Garrett takes over.

Daniels takes a bunch of weapon shots and Aries stomps away on Ray. Eric gets dragged in by AJ and Austin and the beating commences. Van Dam loads up the Five Star but Gunner crotches him. Ray lawn darts Aries into the cage but Anderson comes back with a swinging neckbreaker to Daniels. Kaz gets the spotlight now as he beats up everyone before focusing on AJ.

Kaz monkey bars across the top of the cage but AJ follows him and kicks him down. He drops an elbow down on Kazarian and RVD hits the Five Star. Ray takes Van Dam down but picks up a chair. YOU DON’T PICK UP A CHAIR IN A ROB VAN DAM MATCH! Van Daminator puts him down but Daniels pops up to take Van Dam out. Daniels goes after Garrett but Garrett hits his falling Diamond Cutter.

He covers Daniels but Eric grabs a kendo stick to pound away on him. Eric insults his own wife by calling Garrett an SOB and beats Garrett half to death. The fans want blood. Eric is the only one up at the moment. Garrett pops up and guitars Eric for the pin at 26:04 to get rid of Eric for I’d say three months or so. That was completely out of nowhere.

Rating: C-. This was probably the worst Lethal Lockdown I can ever remember. There was A LOT of punching and kicking and no big spot at all. Also the whole thing here was supposed to be about Garrett’s big comeback but really all he did was pop up after a bunch of kendo stick shots, hit Eric once and pin him. Naturally that probably means more TV time for Garrett because that’s what the fans are screaming for in Eric’s ears, but that’s life in TNA. Getting this out of the way first was a good idea though.

Tag Titles: Motorcity Machineguns vs. Magnus/Samoa Joe

The Guns have generic music to start but their regular theme starts during their walk to the ring. Methinks that was a glitch. You can win by pin, submission or escape for the rest of the matches. Magnus and Shelley start things off. Things speed way up to start and Magnus gets a clothesline for two. Sabin gets a blind tag and a pair of kicks get two. Off to Joe who is too fat for Sabin to run over.

A crucifix into a sunset flip doesn’t really work either so let’s try a dropkick. That at least slows Joe down and it’s off to Shelley. Back to Magnus who gets caught in a pinball series of punches. Magnus comes back and manages a fallaway slam to throw Sabin into Shelley in a cool spot. Back to Joe who pounds Sabin down to give us a face in peril. I think he’s in peril to another face but you get the idea.

The champions double team Sabin to keep him in the ring including a big boot to set up a backsplash for two. Magnus hooks a chinlock but Chris comes back with a jawbreaker to get out. A spinning spinebuster puts Sabin right back down and it’s off to Joe again. Snap suplex gets two. Sabin grabs a tornado DDT while climbing up Magnus and is able to make the tag. Shelley comes in but even that doesn’t wake this crowd up.

Sliced Bread is broken up but Sabin powerbombs Joe out of the corner. Magnus is knocked off the top and a top rope double stomp gets two for Shelley. A move I think called the elevated Hero’s Welcome gets two on Magnus. Skull and Bones is broken up and Sabin is caught in the Clutch. Sliced Bread hits Magnus and Joe has to break up the choke to make the save. The champions’ finisher misses so Sabin hooks up a rear naked choke on Joe. Magnus hits a kind of Michinoku Driver on Shelley and Joe runs out of the corner, dropping Sabin on Shelley. The snapmare/elbow gets the pin on Shelley at 11:19.

Rating: B-. This started really slow but once they stopped the tagging it got a lot more exciting. I definitely agree with the champions retaining here as there’s nothing for the Guns to do in this division anymore. Having them as something like Beer Money for the last year they were together would be a much better spot for them which is something they could do now.

Robbie E says he’ll get the TV Title back. Why didn’t this go after Lethal Lockdown to save the crowd a bit?

TV Title: D-Von vs. Robbie E

D-Von rams Robbie into bigger Rob to start. Robbie takes him down and stomps a lot, followed by a middle rope forearm for two. Time for the chinlock for a bit before Robbie goes to the top rope (yes rope, not corner), only to get crotched. D-Von comes back with a shoulder block and Miz’s Reality Check. Corner splash sets up the spinebuster to retain at 3:26.

Rating: D+. I get the idea of filler, but it’s still D-Von Freaking Dudley with a title. I could definitely see Ray having a belt at this point as he’s elevated his game huge, but D-Von is so average it’s unreal. He’s huge and has gotten in great shape, but how many other people would be better with the title? In short, no one because it’s never defended so it doesn’t really matter, which is the much bigger part of the problem.

Robbie T beats down D-Von post match, probably to continue the feud.

Matt Morgan says that he’s in wrestling to make money and win titles. Tonight, it’s about revenge though and the cage is a prison cell.

Knockouts Title: Gail Kim vs. Velvet Sky

No pigeons again and Tazz is upset. Her outfit is different this week as it’s more like a skirt. Madison comes out with Gail. Velvet grabs a fast rollup for two but Gail hits her in the back to take over. Velvet fires off some shots but Gail knocks her back, hitting a missile dropkick for two. More back work in the form of a backbreaker with the bending over the knee by Gail before she moves on to a knee lock, bending it around her own head.

Gail hooks something like a dragon sleeper which is countered by a jawbreaker. She misses a charge in the corner but Velvet is down too. Flying headscissors puts Gail down but she pops up to try and climb out. Velvet follows her up for some knees on the top rope. She looks for In Yo Face but settles for a sunset bomb for two instead. Madison starts yelling at Velvet as Gail tries to escape. Sky notices and tries an O’Connor Roll which is reversed into a rollup by Gail with tights for the pin at 7:27.

Rating: C-. Not the worst match ever but they’re not doing anything to help this already bad crowd. Gail keeps the title here, which I can live with because there was very little build for Velvet, but they need someone to breathe some life into this division. Gail and Madison has been played but it didn’t get mentioned at all here for the most part.

Here’s Flair for some chatting. If anyone can get a crowd fired up it’s him. Flair asks if the people know who he is and insults some fans at ringside for not knowing who he is. I think he’s drunk. He’s ticked off and that’s not good for who he’s ticked off at, and that would be Hogan. Tonight Hogan ended Eric Bischoff’s career and that’s not cool. He insults some fat guy in a yellow t-shirt and here’s Hulk.

Flair talks over Hulk’s music about how Hogan has ticked him off and there’s a good Hogan chant, the first solid crowd reaction in about an hour. Hulk asks if he can get in Flair’s ring and Flair says that’s fine. Ric sounds very drunk. Hulk says if Flair has a grievance, say it now. This is pure filler in case you couldn’t tell. Hogan says Flair asked if people knew who he was. He’s at Lethal Lockdown (is that match still going?) and here at Lockdown, Eric Bischoff is gone and can’t use his name again.

Hogan challenges Flair to a fight right now and that REALLY ticks Flair off. Hulk drills him and makes a funny face at him….and that’s it. Seriously, it was one punch. Flair says come back here and takes his tie off. Hogan leaves and Flair yells at Tenay. This has been going on WAY too long and it’s not accomplishing anything at all. The fans chant Space Mountain and Flair asks if someone wants to ride it….and that’s it.

We recap Crimson vs. Morgan which is pretty much Morgan’s feud with Abyss and Hernandez all over again.

Crimson vs. Matt Morgan

Crimson is now billed as “The Undefeated” on his graphic. Crimson goes for the door very quickly but Morgan keeps pulling him back in. Morgan walks into a clothesline for two as momentum shifts. Crimson rams him into the cage as the crowd is a little more awake now. He chokes Morgan on the ropes and a spinebuster gets two.

Crimson sets for what looked like the spear but walks into the discus lariat. Big boot puts Crimson down and it’s followed by a nice belly to back suplex. Morgan loads up the Carbon Footprint in the corner but gets tangled in the ropes. Crimson tries a quick escape but they wind up fighting on the top rope. Morgan gets crotched and tied up in the rope, allowing Crimson to climb out for the win at 7:26.

Rating: D. You know, if the time is such a problem tonight, maybe you could have this go a few more minutes and have the TV Title go longer than three minutes. It might keep the issues down a bit more. Anyway, this match was really boring as the feud has been put on hold for the last two weeks. This show is bordering on disaster at this point but there are some big matches to come.

We recap Angle vs. Hardy, which is because of Kurt not liking the way Hardy looks and acts, partially because of Angle’s son being a Hardy fan. Angle cheated to win last time at Victory Road.

Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy

Angle said that he and Hardy could match HHH vs. Undertaker here and he’s had a great track record at this show so hopefully he continues that here. Hardy’s paint is black and white here. There’s this, the world title and the Knockout Tag Titles left so the show still has a small chance. Angle’s thigh is taped due to a legit injury. Kurt pounds him in the corner to start but Jeff comes back with the legdrop between the legs.

They’re going very slowly here but it might be a slow build. Jeff whips him into the corner and hits the slingshot dropkick but he’s holding his neck. Jeff seems to be ok though and he pounds Angle down in the corner. Kurt slams him into the cage which had a great sound. Snap suplex gets two. Back into the cage as it’s pretty clear Kurt is nowhere near 100%. It looks like Jeff is busted a bit but you can’t see that well.

Kurt rams him into the cage again and walks around a lot. Oh yeah Jeff is busted. Jeff comes back with a clothesline and both guys are down. Things speed up again and Jeff comes back with some forearms. Whisper in the Wind gets two. Twisting Stunner puts Kurt down and he loads up the Swanton, but Angle runs the corner and hits a GREAT Angle Slam out of the corner for a close two. Kurt goes for the door but Jeff dives for the leg. Angle pounds on his head and goes for the climb over but Jeff pulls him back. Now Jeff goes up and knocks Kurt back, hitting a standing top rope Vader Bomb for two.

Both guys are down again and it’s Hardy up first. He goes for the door but Kurt grabs the ankle and puts on the ankle lock. Jeff counters into the ankle lock on Angle (on the good leg) but Kurt rolls out. Twist of Fate puts Angle down and Jeff goes for the corner. Swanton connects but he goes up again and hits a second one which gets two. Kurt pulls him head first into the cage and the Angle Slam gets two. Hardy counters the Slam into one of his own before going all the way to the top of the cage for a super Swanton for the pin at 14:48.

Rating: B+. While it’s not as good as Kurt’s other matches, this was a HUGE step up over what the rest of this show has been. I don’t ever remember my heart being in my throat for a spot more than that Swanton though as I thought he was going to kill himself. Angle’s injury slowed this a lot but it was still a very good match and a major help that this show needed.

Knockouts Tag Titles: Eric Young/ODB vs. Rosita/Sarita

Eric and ODB have hockey jerseys on. ODB charges in to jump Sarita and Eric doesn’t know what corner to go to. Isn’t this where Eric is billed from? It’s a comedy match of course with Eric thinking he’s referee, which causes ODB to get in trouble. The girls keep trying to seduce Eric as they work over ODB. ODB comes back, spears Sarita and hits the Bam on Rosita for the pin to retain at 4:17.

Rating: D. Was Eric ever legally in? This was a comedy match to bring the crowd down a bit before the main event. There’s not much else to say here other than the girls minus ODB looked good and Eric is still not that funny. This served its purpose well enough though so points for that.

The announcers talk about the main event for awhile.

Roode says tonight is a fight, not a wrestling match. He’s out for blood and they hate each other. Some idiot fan tried an ECW chant during this.

We recap the main event. It’s another excellent package with Roode talking about how he’s the champion and he’ll do anything to win and Storm talking about how it took ten years to get to this moment.

TNA World Title: James Storm vs. Bobby Roode

Storm drives a truck into the arena. He has something resembling the AMW trenchcoat but it’s not quite the same. Storm jumps him on the floor before the bell rings and takes the fight to him. He rams Roode into the cage and drops an elbow from a table. The bell hasn’t rung yet and they have over half an hour. Storm blocks a cage shot and they fight up the entrance. All Storm so far.

Storm swings a chair at the cage but misses, allowing Roode to hit a clothesline to the back of the head to drive Storm’s head into the steel. Roode gets a beer bottle and Storm is busted. The beer is put on the steps as Roode hammers away. Montgomery Gentry and Storm’s wife are here. They go into the cage and there’s the bell. Roode is in full control and rams Storm into the cage again.

Roode yells a lot and the crowd is quiet enough that you can hear most of it. Suplex and knee drop get two. That cut is opening more and more. Storm Hulks Up and wins a slugout but a running elbow takes him right back down. Storm gets a boot up in the corner but Roode takes him down with a big clothesline for two. Roode does the cheese grater spot on the cage and the tape on Storm’s wrists are all covered in blood.

Roode is still shouting in Storm’s face and has Storm’s blood on his face. We cut to Storm’s wife and she looks as interested as parents when their kid isn’t on stage in a third grade school play. Storm comes back with a bunch of punches and clotheslines. Here’s the Eye of the Storm but Roode escapes. A catapult sends Roode into the cage and the Eye of the Storm gets two.

James walks into a spinebuster for two. Roode is busted also. Closing Time (Codebreaker/Backstabber combo) gets two. Now Roode gets the cheese grater treatment. Roode ducks a dive and Storm eats cage, allowing Roode to hook the Crossface. Storm manages to roll to the ropes but both guys are spent. They go to the corner and Storm fights out of a superplex but gets his head rammed into the cage.

Roode climbs on Storm to try to get out and he kicks Storm down to the mat. Storm climbs up and gets Roode dangling on the top of the cage. He’s back in now and they slug it out on the top rope some more. Storm pulls him down and loads up the Last Call but it hits the referee flush on the jaw.

Roode takes him down and has the door wide open but he wants the beer bottle. He busts it over Storm’s head and demands that Hebner come in for the cover but it only gets two. Instead of sprinting out the door, Roode walks into the Last Call but Storm can’t follow up. Storm superkicks Roode out the door, AND HE KEEPS THE TITLE at 17:39.

Rating: B. This company amazes me. If there was EVER, I mean EVER, a more perfect setup than this, I’d love to see it because this was as perfect as you could get and they go the other way. On top of that, they do it TONIGHT, with the crowd being as uninterested as they’ve ever been. The match was great, the ending…..oh dear.

Storm hugs his wife to end the show.

Overall Rating
: D+. The first half of this show was dreadful, ranking up there with some of the worst shows I’ve ever seen. Angle vs. Hardy breathed life into it and the Knockout Tag was as good as it was going to be. The main event was going strong and then they completely deflate the place (ok it was deflated already) with the ending. This was the perfect place to end Roode’s reign, but instead they swerve us just like at Bound For Glory. I get the idea of a surprise, but there are times where you go with the obvious. This was one of them.

Results
Team Garrett Bischoff b. Team Eric Bischoff – Garrett pinned Eric after a guitar shot
Samoa Joe/Magnus b. Motorcity Machineguns – Middle Rope Elbow to Shelley
D-Von b. Robbie E – Spinebuster
Gail Kim b. Velvet Sky – Rollup with a handful of tights
Crimson b. Matt Morgan – Crimson escaped the cage
Jeff Hardy b. Kurt Angle – Swanton off the top of the cage
ODB/Eric Young b. Sarita/Rosita – The Bam to Rosita
Bobby Roode b. James Storm – Storm superkicked Roode out of the cage

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Impact Wrestling – April 12, 2012

Michael is out tonight so I’m filling in.

Impact Wrestling
Date: April 12, 2012
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Taz

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It’s the go home show for Lockdown and again there aren’t any spoilers for the show tonight. The main idea here will probably be the announcing of the teams for Lethal Lockdown, or the Garrett Bischoff Showcase, whichever you prefer to call it. Other than that we’ll likely get a face to face showdown between Roode and Storm. Let’s get to it.

Tonight is the ODB/Eric Young wedding.

Here’s Eric Bischoff to open the show. I’m still not sure how the stipulation of him never being able to use his own name again works, or why most fans would care about that but it’s something else I guess. He starts talking about Lethal Lockdown and the fans chant that they don’t care. He brings out his team: Bully Ray, Gunner, Kazarian, Christopher Daniels and….there’s no fifth man.

Ray wants to know if the fans know who Eric is. The fans again say that they don’t care. Ray is proud to go to war for Eric, but Eric has made one mistake. That mistake is Garrett. Eric says that tonight there’s a best of three series to determine who has the advantage. Gunner is ready for whomever Garrett’s team brings to the table. Speaking of Garrett here he is. The fans cheer for him so there’s validation for him to be on the show I guess.

He has his own team, comprised of Anderson….and I guess we have to wait for the rest of the best of three series to find out the rest.

Mr. Anderson vs. Gunner

We join the match in progress after a break with Anderson ramming Gunner’s head into the buckle. Anderson misses a charge into the corner and Gunner takes over as they head outside. Gunner tries to ram Anderson into the post but gets sent himself. He goes into the barricade face first a few times as well and they head back inside. Anderson drops him with a clothesline and a few elbows but Gunner comes right back. He’s so intense you know. Gunner grabs a rollup with tights for two. They slug it out and Gunner is sent into the post twice. Anderson chokes him into the corner and won’t let up on it, drawing the DQ at 4:47.

Rating: C. This wasn’t bad as Anderson was showing some fire for the first time in a very long time. He’s not interesting for the most part though and that really hurts him. Anderson is just kind of there for the most part and the same is true for Gunner. Neither guy does anything of note in the ring and it makes most of their matches boring. This was a bit different but not by much.

Young is in a poweder blue tux and glasses when Joseph Park shows up. Park asks Eric about a pre-nup which Eric thinks is a dog. Joseph asks Eric to think and the last thing he remembers is that Abyss was involved with Immortal. Joseph leaves Young a business card in case he needs anything. I like the Park character and it’s nice to see him FINALLY get somewhere with this.

Here are the Guns with no entrance and a title match on Sunday. They talk about how great they are and how Joe/Magnus haven’t teamed together long at all. Here are the champions for the semi-traditional tag team face to face talk. Magnus says he respects them (also traditional) but it’s not about who the best team ever is. It’s about who the best team today is, and the Guns are looking at it. A challenge is laid down to fight right now and the Guns are ready but here’s Mexican America to stop it. Anarquia says they should be in on this and both teams promptly destroy them.

Christopher Daniels vs. Austin Aries

Match #2 in the series for Lethal Lockdown advantage. Well at least it’s not AJ. Aries controls with a headlock to start but Daniels gets one of his own. They feel each other out a bit and Aries is moving better than Daniels here. The crowd has been hot all night too. Daniels charges into an elbow but Aries gets crotched as he goes up. Daniels tries a dive on the floor but Aries slides in and hits that sweet suicide dive of his.

Back in Aries takes him down and hits a handspring elbow drop for two. Sunset flip out of the corner gets the same. They trade some reversals and Aries tries to use tights but gets caught. Release Rock Bottom looks to set up the BME but Aries moves. He heads up and hits a missile dropkick followed by a running dropkick in the corner. The Brainbuster gets the clean pin at 5:32.

Rating: B. I’m not a fan of Daniels about 80% of the time, but this was a really fun match. Having Daniels getting away from AJ almost always proves to make him much more enjoyable, probably because it’s ANYTHING but him vs. AJ, but this was good stuff. Aries was flying out there and having him get the clean pin was a nice plus as he needs to get some wins over the bigger names on the show.

Here’s Hardy to cut a promo as they’re assembling the cage for the wedding. He talks about how Angle cost him the world title and on Sunday it all ends in a steel cage. They’re going to hurt each other….and that’s it. He only talked for about 40 seconds.

We get a promo from last Thursday where Storm rants about Roode disrespecting Montgomery Gentry.

Young is still giving himself a pep talk when Rosita and Sarita come in and hit on him. They want the titles back and imply that once the ring goes on his finger his life ends. They both flash him and Young turns them down.

It’s time for the wedding. Let’s get this over with. Eric comes out and is nervous. Here Comes The Bride plays and there’s no ODB. Oh ok she comes out to her theme music. So Cal Val locks them in the cage and Eric looks nervous. Young’s middle name is Cornelius. The minister isn’t thrilled with how strange this is. He says that the cage is symbolic of the strength and commitment needed for a marriage.

There’s a video of their history together which is set to a bad love song which sounds like something off an SNL parody. A lot of Bronco Busters are included. Eric seems quite proud after the video. The fans chant for ODB who looks nervous. They both have their own vows. Eric’s say he be with her no matter what she does and he’ll allow her to rub his feet whenever she wants because he knows she’s into that. She promises to not take his last name but she will take his ring music. She’ll also slap him when necessary because he’s into that. Apparently Eric gets sex whenever he wants.

The minister asks if there’s an objection and cue….Mexican America. Oh wait just the chicks. Didn’t they get repossessed or something? Sarita talks about flashing Eric in the back and says he can have the best Knockout tag champions ever. Rosita takes off her robe and dances in lingerie. He seems interested and ODB is crying. Sarita does the same sort of dance and ODB says she doesn’t have what they have. She does however have this, and she strips her dress off to reveal lingerie and a small flask of her own.

Eric turns to ODB and says he knows the missing ingredient now. He strips down to his underwear as usual but leaves the cummerbund on. They make the minister strip too. Eric says yes, ODB says yes, and ODB kisses him to the mat. This got nearly 14 minutes, or longer than almost two of the first match and the second match combined.

Flair gives Ray a pep talk.

Roode says he has no problem with the match vs. Storm being personal.

Bully Ray vs. AJ Styles

The respective winning team gets the advantage in Lethal Lockdown on Sunday. Feeling out process to start before AJ speeds things up. Everyone is on the floor to watch this one including Flair. Ray sends him to the apron and a big boot puts AJ on the floor. Ray misses a splash and AJ speeds things up, hitting a clothesline and another in the corner.

Tornado DDT is countered and Ray hits a great Samoan Drop for two. Ray goes up but AJ nips up and hits a rana for two. Styles goes to the ropes but Kaz trips him, starting the big brawl. In the ring AJ hits the Pele for a delayed two. AJ gets distracted and Ray gets his chain. AJ tries the springboard forearm but jumps into the chain for the pin at 6:44.

Rating: C. Pretty fun match here as you would expect from both of these guys. I’ve heard rumors that Ray might be getting a world title reign this year and while I would initially think it’s company suicide, it’s no stupider than Garrett’s push. This was a pretty decent match for the most part with AJ doing his usual high flying and Ray being a decent power brawler. Good stuff.

And here’s Hulk to say that now it’s 5 on 5 and Bischoff has three minutes (commercial) to get his last guy.

Back and Flair wants to be the 5th guy but Eric says no. Eric thinks that Hulk is going to be the other team’s fifth guy so Eric wants to be in there so he can stand over Hulk. Hogan says he won’t he (as in Hogan) won’t be in the match but the fifth man will be…..Rob Van Dam. So to recap, we have a two time world champion, a former world champion, the hottest commodity in the company, and the most decorated man in the history of the company all as foot soldiers for GARRETT BISCHOFF. Also, could this match be any more one sided? Eric’s biggest name is who, Ray? But hey, it makes Garrett look good right?

Video on Roode vs. Storm, narrated by Roode. As usual, this was awesome.

We run down the card for Lockdown. I completely forgot about Morgan vs. Crimson.

Madison Rayne/Gail Kim vs. Mickie James/Velvet Sky

Velvet doesn’t do the pigeons thing and Taz is furious. Madison and Mickie start things off. Mickie tries to escape a wristlock so Maidson kicks her in the face. Off to Gail who walks into a flapjack. Velvet comes in and Gail runs over to tag. Sky isn’t in long and it’s back to Mickie who plays pretty face in peril. Mickie avoids a charge in the corner and it’s hot tag to Velvet. Madison makes the save off a bulldog so Velvet DDTs her. Gail tries to leave but Mickie throws her back in. In Yo Face is broken up but so it Eat Defeat. In Yo Face gets the pin at 3:56.

Rating: C-. Not a good match or anything but this was exactly what it needed to be. Velvet gets the pin on Gail to set up their match on Sunday and Mickie and Madison are there to keep the match from happening early. Now why is that such a complex idea for most other matches to get?

Time for the showdown with Storm and Roode. Storm talks first, talking about how they’ve been down the road together and gone to Japan as Beer Money, all while talking about how cool it would be to be world champion one day, then laughing because it wouldn’t happen. Roode says he isn’t going to pretend Beer Money didn’t exist, because it was a proud moment in his life.

However there’s another moment that Roode wants to talk about, and that’s when they both entered the BFG Series. They wrestled in the semi-finals and Roode wound up winning the tournament where he lost in the main event of Bound For Glory while Storm didn’t have a match. This is all accompanied by clips of what they’re talking about which helps a lot. Storm says he remembers that, and then the next week he beat the guy that beat Roode in record time.

Roode remembers two weeks later where he beat Storm for the world title. That was also the night he turned heel. Storm says that was the night that Beer Money’s legacy was destroyed. Roode says there was no legacy because they never were friends. They hated each other and only had success because of that hatred. Storm goes off on Roode for selling out and says his superkick foot is getting antsy.

Storm says this is leading to Nashville but Roode says that this isn’t about Nashville or Storm’s redneck wife and kids. Storm takes off the jacket and Roode says this is getting personal. He talks about Storm’s dead brothers and dead father and they go nose to nose…and we’re out of time as they’re still yelling. Solid segment but they threw a lot at us at once.

Overall Rating: C+. This show was pretty good, but as usual with TNA, if you don’t like the main angle they’ve got going on, you don’t have much of a reason to watch the show. When you look at this show, you get about five segments on Lethal Lockdown, one long one on the title match, a decent one on the tag titles, a match about the Knockouts, and that’s about it.

Angle vs. Hardy got 40 seconds and Crimson vs. Morgan was mentioned in the PPV preview and that’s it. There’s a TV Title match which wasn’t mentioned, but I didn’t expect it to be. In short, as always the problem is too much Bischoff. Lockdown should be good though, so that’s a good sign. Hopefully they don’t screw this up like they do everything else.

Results
Gunner b. Mr. Anderson via DQ when Anderson wouldn’t stop choking Gunner
Austin Aries b. Mr. Anderson – Brainbuster
Bully Ray b. AJ Styles – Ray pinned Styles after hitting him with a chain
Velvet Sky/Mickie James b. Madison Rayne/Gail Kim – In Yo Face to Kim

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World War 3 1996

World War 3 1996
Date: November 24, 1996
Location: Norfolk Scope, Norfolk, Virginia
Attendance: 10,314
Commentators: Dusty Rhodes, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Once again we’re going to do the three ring battle royal with the winner getting the title shot just after Starrcade. The entire roster is in that pretty much plus a ton of guys that are never on TV at all. We also have a man vs. woman match and Jericho vs. a referee. Yeah you can really tell how much thought there is in this show. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is just a basic rundown of what’s on the card tonight. The announcers wonder why Bischoff is trying to slow down the contract signing between Hogan and Piper. Something tells me this is going to dominate the conversation tonight.

J-Crown: Ultimo Dragon vs. Rey Mysterio

The J-Crown was a collection of 8 cruiserweight titles from around the world, one of which being the WWF Light Heavyweight Title which was active since the 80s and only defended in Japan and Mexico. Therefore, a WWF Title id being defended here on a WCW PPV. It also gave us this:

Seriously, how sweet does that look? There’s just a pile of championships in the corner. How awesome is that? He has so many belts he just piles them up. Ah apparently Bischoff has already joined the NWO. Good to know. We start off in a mat based match which is kind of odd but it can work. How weird is it to think that Rey would become a two time world champion?

Now they crank it up and get a nice ovation for it. WCW fans could always appreciate good wrestling and this was no exception. Dragon is dominating here which makes sense as he was pushed as a really different kind of cruiserweight that could mix it up incredibly well. Heenan sounds like he’s on speed here as he’s talking so fast. Dragon hits a powerbomb but picks Rey up again and throws him backwards into a hot shot. NICE.

We go WAY old school with a giant swing. Someone really needs to look at Bobby’s monitors. They’re always on the blink. The crowd loves Rey here. Pay no attention to that though. He’s a small guy of Mexican descent. He can’t ever mean anything. This is basically Dragon does a big move and Rey gets up every time. Rey could sell like few others so this is certainly good.

I’ve never gotten the order of the rings at these shows. It seems like they have this obsession with how many rings there are here and there and it never works. There’s no Mike Tenay for this either, which makes the commentary more annoying than helpful. Rey kind of botches some stuff but nothing too bad. A springboard sunset flip gets two for Rey. Good freaking night that man could move back in the day. After they crank it up again, Rey goes for the West Coast Pop but Dragon counters into a slingshot powerbomb to retain the pile of belts. They say Malenko is next.

Rating: B. This was solid again and one more time the cruiserweights set the table for what could be a promising show. Dragon was definitely a different kind of cruiserweight back then as he used more power and leverage stuff rather than high flying and it worked very well. He and Malenko had some very good stuff coming up that we’ll get to soon enough. Quite good match.

There’s a new WCW.com. Remember that this is in 1996 so I wouldn’t expect much. Mark Madden is the commentator person there.

DDP, looking like he more traditionally would, is being recruited by the NWO. Him never saying yes is what made him one of the few heroes in WCW fans’ eyes. He denies being associated with Bischoff other than being his neighbor and says he’ll win the battle royal with a BANG.

Chris Jericho vs. Nick Patrick

Patrick has been an evil referee that has screwed Jericho over a few times and this is revenge time. Jericho has Teddy Long as his manager which didn’t last long. He also has to have one arm behind his back. We hear about Nick Patrick’s wrestling career which also didn’t last long. It’s the left arm here so this should be dominance. Patrick cuts a short promo and we find out why he’s a referee.

Patrick is in a sleeveless shirt and is in the NWO here. He also has a neckbrace. With one arm, Patrick wants a test of strength. That whole wrestling background falls apart pretty quickly here as it’s all Jericho who puts on a clinic with one arm. It’s all Jericho as we go to the floor. Jericho misses a clothesline into the post though and Patrick takes over for a bit. Since his offense does nothing though, we’re kind of just wasting time here. Jericho channels his inner Shawn Michaels for a superkick to end it. This was the first pinfall loss for the NWO on PPV, four months after they debuted.

Rating: D+. Pretty boring but they came up with some fairly creative spots to let Patrick get some offense in. This was just kind of pointless though as there was no challenge at all for Jericho and it just kind of fell flat. It could have been FAR worse though.

Flair comes out for an interview. He’s hurt here so he’s off the card. Even with his arm in a sling the guy looks like a million bucks. On the radio a few months ago one of the hosts said they ran into him in Florida and that Flair could not have looked better, smelled better or have been a nicer guy. That’s always good to hear about guys like Flair who comes off as a prick at times. He talks about a ton of guys and how this is about WCW and not the NWO. He guarantees the NWO will lose and stops to dance in between. That was awesome. Old guys can talk.

Giant vs. Jeff Jarrett

This was supposed to be Flair last month but since he was hurt then too they brought Jarrett in but he couldn’t do a damn thing with Giant. Giant stole the US Title belt from Flair who was champion but had it stripped from him for lack of defenses in 30 days. Jarrett is booed out of the building despite being Flair’s pick to fight Giant. Jarrett has been bragging that he didn’t get chokeslammed last month. Yeah that’s his big claim to fame at the moment.

The crowd is all over Jarrett here and loudly cheering for Giant. We hear about how Hogan got Giant into the NWO by promising him movie parts etc and sure enough Giant was in the movie Jingle All The Way which was in theaters the weekend of this show. Sting is up in the rafters and the show pretty much stops dead because of it. He comes down the steps and it’s hard to tell if he’s the real one or not. Giant misses a Vader Bomb and Jarrett takes him down with a cross body.

That might be the real Sting. He takes Jarrett out while Giant is on the floor. A chokeslam ends it. We’re of course told that Sting is clearly in the NWO now, which wouldn’t be officially answered until about March.

Rating: C-. Much better than their match last month as Jarrett didn’t try to come straight at him here and it looked like he was thinking more. Also Giant sold more of his stuff and it looked a lot better on that front too. This was just a pawn in the huge Sting chess game and on that worked very well, so definitely did its job.

Piper comes out with a contract in his hand. Bobby suggests that Piper is a bigger movie star than Hogan. I’ll leave that for you guys. Bischoff, Vincent and DiBiase come out sans Hogan. The next night Bischoff would say either join us or have your contracts voided which went nowhere but it got Bagwell to join.

Bischoff has power of attorney for Hogan so he can sign for Hogan. In a great bit of continuity, Piper shoves Vincent aside and tells him that he taught Vincent how to fight. Piper trained Vincent (Virgil in case that doesn’t ring a bell) to fight for his first match back in 1991. Piper says he can wear a leather jacket because he’s tough enough to unlike Bischoff. Piper really does come off as a badass here and this really did feel big. The problem was he actually had to wrestle.

Piper more or less says he doesn’t care about a count out or a DQ but just winning and here’s Hogan, Liz, Hall, Nash, Syxx and Giant. Bobby thinks Piper is outnumbered. I wonder if it was the 9-1 odds that made him think that. Hogan gets on the mic and lifts Piper’s skirt, showing the scar Piper has from a hip replacement. Why not just hold a big sign above their heads saying OLD GUYS?

Hogan signs the contract which Piper brought with him. For no apparent reason the match was NON title and when Piper won with a sleeper, he didn’t win the title. To say the fans were pissed would be an understatement. Piper jumps Hogan but gets caught. Hogan gets a chair and hits the weakest chair shot ever to the scar. Good to see the NWO is only taking ten minutes on this segment.

The Amazing French Canadians vs. Harlem Heat

The Canadians are more commonly known as the Quebecers from WWF. They’re managed by Colonel Parker and the Heat by Sherri. If the heat win there’s a match between the managers. Something tells me this isn’t going to be that good. Jacques, who was on New Blood Rising, sings the national anthem of Canada. I say sing loosely. He and Booker start. Please let this go fast.

To my great shock, we talk about Piper and Hogan for the opening of the match. Parker is dressed up as a French Legionnaire now and somehow looks even stupider. He stomps on Booker and the comedy is completely unintentional. This match isn’t particularly terrible bit it’s just boring as hell. It’s been about five minutes since the last thing I typed. There just hasn’t been anything to talk about.

The Canadians get the steps and put them in a corner then get a table and lay it across the top rope. They put more steps on top of that and the non-Mountie Canadian does a front flip off. He completely misses and a Harlem Hangover ends him.

Rating: D-. This didn’t get me interested at all. Why am I watching the Quebecers when it’s almost 1997? This was just garbage and boring as hell on all levels. No one cared about Parker vs. Sherri so they went with it for over a year. At least this is over now.

Sherri beats up Parker for like a minute in their “match.” Parker runs away after a cross body. Not even worth an actual introduction.

WCW needs to stop having their production guys on TV so clearly. It just takes something away from the show. Not sure why but it bothers me.

Piper vs. Hogan is called the match of the century and we get a really bad promo for Starrcade.

Someone else might be coming to WCW. I’m not sure who that was but it likely wasn’t anyone special.

Luger comes in and talks about Sting handing him a baseball bat. Luger thinks he’s NWO but doesn’t want to believe it. He had been getting the semi-Superman push lately so he was one of the favorites in the battle royal but there really wasn’t anyone that was clearly going to win.

Cruiserweight Title: Psicosis vs. Dean Malenko

Malenko was just about perfect at this point and would somehow get better the next year, actually winning best technical wrestler both in 96 and 97 from Meltzer as well as winning the PWI 500 which is fan voted I believe. They were building to Malenko vs. Dragon next month in what would more or less be a throwaway match. We start with a lot of technical stuff as you would expect us to.

Bobby picks Malenko to win the battle royal tonight. I’ll set the over under on him changing at 8.5. They’re doing the three broadcast teams tonight. That’s just going to make my head hurt. Malenko has a leglock on and the fans look at something in the audience. After more decent stuff, Psicosis falls off the top rope and slams his head into the railing. Since he isn’t dead, we can continue.

Dean goes into his finishing sequence but the ropes break the Cloverleaf. He destroys the knee and is completely dominating here. We ignore the over the top thing again and Psicosis hits a top rope flip from the top and hits his head again. Good thing he wears that mask or he’d need to get one to cover up the ugly. Then again I’ve seen him sans mask so maybe he needed it all along.

Dean takes a rana from the top for two as this is kind of pedestrian and the crowd isn’t into it at all really. He gets a SWEET reversal out of a suplex into a small package. That looked great. A tombostone gets two for the champion and then he rolls him up for the pin.

Rating: B-. Decent match but they just felt a bit bored out there. They were kind of off by a step or so and it showed badly. It’s definitely good but there was something holding it back from being really good. The crowd didn’t care at all for some reason which is odd as Malenko was usually very popular. Weird but good.

Tag Titles: Nasty Boys vs. Outsiders vs. Faces of Fear

This is the next to last match on the card so at least we’re almost done. Hall and Nash have the belts and come out first for some reason. The Faces of Fear were good for placeholders and jobbers in this division as they were legit tough so it was completely believable. The Nasty Boys continue to not be much at all. The more famous teams brawl to start before the Faces of Fear are here. Ah here they are.

The Outsiders are both jumped by a tag team and it breaks down into a brawl. Knobbs and Barbarian start us off officially and I already don’t like this match. They keep the Outsiders out as long as they can which is about a minute and a half. Hall comes in and beats up Barbarian. Barbarian needs to get up because THIS IS WCW! The problem is that no one cares about Barbarian so they cheer Hall.

We’re six minutes into this so Dusty says it’s been 15. Basically it’s just a bunch of brawling with no particular rhyme or reason. When I get bored I think in song lyrics. So sue me. I love Nash’s side slam. That this is just downright elegant. Something tells me this is going to go on for a LONG time. No one has any particular advantage but Meng gets a suplex on Hall for two and Jimmy FREAKS. It’s absolutely hilarious how much he yells and screams over it. How much caffeine do you think he has in one day?

The Nasty Boys are ordained as the masters of the Clubber. They just stand back and watch the other four fight which is smart when you think about it. This has been like ten minutes of just random brawling. There’s no flow to this match at all and no one has been in any kind of extended trouble. Meng and Knobbs tag in Hall and Nash at the same time so they have to fight. Hall lays down for Nash but the save is made, extending this torture a bit longer. A Megaphone shot and powerbomb on Knobbs end it.

Rating: F+. This was AWFUL. It runs over 15 minutes, nothing of note happens, there’s no story at all and the ending comes from nowhere. When the Faces of Fear have the best performance in a match, that’s not a good sign in the slightest. And now we get the battle royal. Oh yay.

The teams of announcers are Tenay and Dusty, Larry and Lee Marshall and Tony and Bobby. They all give their take and none of them mean a thing. Dusty picks Luger or Konnan.

World War 3

Arn Anderson, Marcus Bagwell, The Barbarian, Chris Benoit, Big Bubba, Jack Boot, Bunkhouse Buck, Ciclope, Disco Inferno, Jim Duggan, Bobby Eaton, Mike Enos, Galaxy, Joe Gomez, Jimmy Graffiti, Johnny Grunge, Juventud Guerrera, Eddy Guerrero, Scott Hall, Prince Iaukea, Ice Train, Mr. JL, Jeff Jarrett, Chris Jericho, Kenny Kaos, Konnan, Lex Luger, Dean Malenko, Steve McMichael, Meng, Rey Misterio, Jr., Hugh Morrus, Kevin Nash, Scott Norton, Pierre Ouelette, Diamond Dallas Page, La Parka, Sgt. Craig Pittman, Jim Powers, Robbie Rage, Stevie Ray, Lord Steven Regal, The Renegade, Scotty Riggs, Roadblock, Jacques Rougeau, Tony Rumble, Mark Starr, Rick Steiner, Ron Studd, Kevin Sullivan, Syxx, Booker T, David Taylor, the Último Dragón, Villaño IV, Michael Wallstreet, Pez Whatley and Alex Wright.

The list is from Wikipedia so blame them for anything weird in there.

The intros take a few minutes since 60 guys have to come out. While they’re coming out, a few notes: Jimmy Graffiti is Jimmy Del Ray of the Heavenly Bodies, Galaxy is a luchador, Jack Bruce is Buddy Lee Parker and Pez Whatley was a medium deal in 86. Benoit is all beaten up and has black eyes and cuts all over his face. The NWO are all in the same ring. Benoit and Sullivan fight before the match officially starts. The Dungeon and the Horsemen jump in and here we go.

I’m not going to even try to list off everyone eliminated here so if I leave someone out don’t be surprised in the slightest. The camera stays on Benoit and Sullivan for about a minute and a half. Oh great we’re doing the triple screen again and you can’t see anything. I think the Dungeon of Doom and the Horsemen are gone. We’ve looked at the three rings maybe 15 seconds combined and almost three minutes at Benoit vs. Sullivan. The NWO is just standing in the corner and Benoit is slammed on Marshall and Larry’s table.

No one of note is out yet. All of the Dungeon and the Horsemen are out, which is about 9 people. Marshall gets knocked out in the big fight so something has gone right tonight at least. Look up BIG ASS CLUSTERFUCK in the dictionary and you have this match. Tony Rumble, a career jobber, is gone. Once we get down to ten in each ring they’ll break up that ring. La Parka is gone as is Ciclope. Norton is gone and Pez Whatley is too. Expect a lot of that in this match.

The eliminations start picking up a bit as three no names go out in a row. We get rid of the jobbers for the most part here which is good. Joe Gomez is out. All of the announce teams run down the remaining guys and I don’t even bother paying attention. Every big name is still in it. Giant and Roadblock, an incredibly fat guy go at it. Guess who wins. JL is out. We really need to get this down to one ring for the sake of sanity.

Everybody goes after Big Ron Studd with about a dozen splashes but no one actually tries to put him out. Everyone piles on him but we’re told he has to be thrown out of course. Both Canadians and Duggan are out. Eddie eliminates himself with a plancha to Regal. Bagwell is out as we’re getting some bigger names gone. He and Riggs fight on the floor and they would split tomorrow.

Dave Taylor and Wallstreet are gone. There are 9 left in ring 3 so that ring should be broken up. Scott Steiner is out. There are 8 in ring 1 and 9 in ring 2. Juvy is out. We’re merging into ring 2 thank goodness. Wait is Eddie out or not? Yeah he is for no apparent reason. Everyone is in the same ring so they keep it with three cameras. Damn it go to one camera! Jack Boot is out. You can’t see shit and it’s really complicated because getting more than one angle of the same guys is just really confusing.

Luger tries to get Giant out but the power of fat stops him. Malenko is out and so is Craig Pittman and Booker. We’re still on three cameras because WCW is stupid. Disco is finally out. Bunkhouse Buck is gone. I’d love to see how many people are left. Boy what a basic camera shot would do to help that. A bunch of people go out quickly including Dragon. Tony says there are 13 left. Jericho going out gets us to 12 I think. Just to further the stupidity, the bottom camera goes to a single shot.

Ice Train is out. Ok, everyone is in a damn circle and FINALLY we go to one camera, 20 minutes into the damn match. We have Syxx, Hall, Nash, Giant, DDP, Jarrett, Luger, Rey Regal and Eddie left. Eddie was in the final ten last year too I think. Eddie is out and Rey goes after Nash. Giant literally throws Rey out with one hand. Jarrett goes out and we have 7 left. DDP takes us to 6. Regal, Luger, four NWO guys. Make that Luger vs. the NWO.

Giant misses a charge and winds up on the ropes so Luger racks him. Hall goes out. There goes Syxx. Like an idiot he racks Nash and Giant dumps them both to win. Bobby and Tony say it’s the best battle royal ever. Giant would get thrown out of the NWO for asking for a title shot. He would get it at Souled Out, the first NWO PPV. The heels pose to end the show.

Rating: D. This wasn’t very good. The camera work KILLED it in the end. For at least five minutes we were on one ring and you couldn’t see a damn thing at all. These matches were never really very good at all and this was no exception. They’re just big messes the entire time and nothing ever really came of them. When you have so many jobbers it makes you wonder what the point is in having this many. Cut the damn thing down to like 45 or even 40 and this is WAY better. Still though, the NWO winning was just stupid but then again this is WCW so there you go.

Overall Rating: D. This wasn’t very good. There’s some ok stuff on it, but that’s as good as it gets. SO much stuff on here is just boring as hell as the majority of the roster was in the battle royal. Things would pick up a lot in the coming year, but the end of 96 was really pretty week. These shows always sucked though and this was absolutely no exception. Don’t watch this one.