Rock Star Gary reflects on…WCW Clash of the Champions XXVI!

Live from Baton Rouge, LA

Airdate: January 27, 1994
Attendance: 3,200 (1,600 paid)

“Mean” Gene Okerlund welcomes us to “Cajun country.” After
receiving word through his earpiece

Okerlund introduces…Bobby “The Brain”
Heenan! Holy legendary hirings, Batman! Heenan was last seen getting thrown out
of an arena on WWF Monday Night RAW on 12/6/93. What a great grab by WCW!
Anyways, Okerlund compares Heenan to Tonya Harding with a “thin ice” joke. Heenan
joins Tony Schiavone at ringside to call the action.

Match 1: Pretty
Wonderful (w/ the Assassin) versus Marcus Alexander Bagwell and Too Cold
Scorpio (w/ Teddy Long)

Highlights:

·        
Tony mentioned that this is a #1 contender’s
match as the victors will face the Nasty Boys on the next episode of WCW Saturday
Night.
·        
Stun gun by Roma on Bagwell. I wonder how “Stunning”
Steve Austin felt about that.
·        
During the commercial break Roma received a
double shoulder block.
·        
Scorpio attempted a superplex on Roma, but
Orndorff interfered.
·        
A pair of top-rope forearms to the back by Roma.
·        
Tony mentioned that Heenan used to manage Orndorff.
·        
The new commissioner of WCW will be named later in the show.
·        
Second-rope elbow drop by Roma.
·        
Orndorff leaped from the top rope only to eat
boot.
·        
Hot tag to Bagwell.
·        
Missile dropkick by Bagwell.
·        
After the Assassin loaded Orndorff’s knee pad Roma
attempted to ram Bagwell’s head into it only to get rammed instead.
·        
Bagwell made the cover and pinned Roma.

 

Rating: **

Summary: Not a
bad opener. Bagwell and Scorpio will face the Nasty Boys for the tag titles on Saturday.

Match 2: Ice Train
versus Ron Simmons

Highlights:

·        
This match was billed as the teacher (Simmons)
versus the student (Ice Train). Check out Simmons’ match (taped 12/13/93, aired
1/15/94)
against Scotty Riggs and the post-match interview.
·        
Excellent powerslam by Ice Train.
·        
After a second powerslam by Ice Train he missed
a shoulder block in the corner.
·        
Simmons rolled him up, hooked the tights, and
stole the victory.

 

Rating: ½*

Summary: While it
was a nice display of power wrestling by Ice Train his inexperience exposed him
here.

Call the hotline after the show to speak directly to “The
Brain!”

In a funny bit US champion “Stunning” Steve Austin is
dressed like Colonel Robert Parker while Parker wears a Hollywood Blonds
t-shirt and trunks. Additionally, in an effort to mock the no longer employed by
WCW Sid, the back of Parker’s t-shirt reads “Col. Parker rules the world.” Austin
uses a thick Southern accent to reveal that he has a manager’s license for
tonight.

Okerlund then introduces the new commissioner of WCW—Nick Bockwinkel.
WCW has now added a touch of class to its leadership.

Match 3 for the WCW
World TV title: Lord Steven Regal (champion w/ Sir William) versus “The
Natural” Dustin Rhodes

Highlights:

·        
Speaking of class, Gordon Solie was the
play-by-play announcer for this match. It reminds me of my days of watching
Championship Wrestling from Florida back in the ‘80s.
·        
Superb European uppercut by Regal.
·        
Gut-wrench suplex by Regal.
·        
Lariat by Rhodes.
·        
As Regal stalls outside the ring three minutes
remain in the time limit according to ring announcer Gary Michael Cappetta.
·        
Some brawling by Rhodes woke up the crowd.
·        
Flying lariat by Rhodes.
·        
Flying dropkick by Rhodes got a 2 count.
·        
Plancha from the ramp into the ring by Rhodes
got another 2 count.
·        
As Rhodes hit the bulldog time ran out on him.
·        
Time-limit draw. Regal remained the champion.

 

Rating: *1/2

Summary: Lots of
mat wrestling here, so your mileage may vary. Regal’s stalling made the draw
all the more obvious. Dustin Rhodes continues to underwhelm me since his feud
with Rick Rude ended.

Okerlund interviews Aaron Neville. His interview is as
exciting as watching paint dry.

Don’t miss SuperBrawl IV on February 20. Its subtitle is “Double
Thundercage Live.”

Match 4 (non-title): The
Nasty Boys (w/ Missy Hyatt) versus Cactus jack and Maxx Payne

Highlights:

·        
Making sure she doesn’t have another wardrobe
malfunction Missy wore a halter top and jeans.
·        
Cappetta introduced Cactus Jack and Maxx Payne,
but they didn’t come through the curtain.
·        
After the commercial break Jack and Payne ran
through the crowd and ambushed the Nasty Boys from behind.
·        
The bell rung and Cactus Jack gave Knobbs a
Cactus clothesline.
·        
After slamming Saggs on the concrete floor
Cactus Jack delivered a Cactus elbow to him.
·        
Awkward cross-body block from Sags to Payne from
the top rope.
·        
Payne applied the Payne-killer to Knobbs, but
Saggs saved.
·        
Outside the ring Saggs demolished Payne with a
plastic chair shot.
·        
With all four men in the ring Cactus Jack gave
both Nasty Boys a Cactus clothesline.
·        
Double-arm DDT on Knobbs by Cactus Jack.
·        
Referee Randy Anderson was distracted by Payne
so Saggs delivered an elbow and placed Knobbs atop Jack.
·        
However, Saggs was unable to leave the ring in a
timely fashion so Payne delivered his own elbow to Knobbs, draped Jack atop
him, and secured the pin!

 

Rating: **1/2

Summary: A
tremendous upset by a unique team. This was a bar room brawl type of match
minus weapons. More matches between these teams should they up the ante could
be quite intriguing.

After the match Missy entered the ring but got kissed by
both Payne and Jack.

Okerlund plugs the hotline. 
Next highlights of the match from WCW Saturday Night (taped 12/13/93,
aired 1/15/94) where
Pillman beat Austin in a non-title match are shown. Before Parker can place the
chicken head on Pillman with Austin’s assistance Dustin Rhodes rescues Pillman.

Match 5 (Loser wears
a chicken suit on WCW Saturday Night): “Flyin’” Brian Pillman versus Colonel
Robert Parker

Highlights:

·        
Pillman came to the ring with chicken from KFC. Schiavone
informed us that Parker’s picture was on the box.
·        
Fantastic dropkick from Pillman.
·        
Pillman nailed Austin on the floor.
·        
After Parker and Austin tried to take a walk
Pillman came after them. Austin charged but received a back drop on the ramp.
·        
The Boss emerged from backstage to even the
odds.
·        
As the Boss attempted to corral Parker from exiting
over the steel railing Austin attacked Pillman in the ring.
·        
Austin gave Pillman the Stun Gun. Take that,
Roma!
·        
Parker attempted a double axe-handle from the
second rope but ate a right hand to the mid-section instead.
·        
After Pillman climbed to the top rope Austin
knocked him down since referee Nick Patrick was detained by the Boss.
·        
The Boss chased Austin back through the curtain.
As Parker begged Austin to return Pillman rolled him up and pinned him.
·        
Parker will wear the chicken suit on WCW Saturday
Night. How clucky for
him!

 

Rating: *

Summary:  This wasn’t a bad comedy match, but it
wasn’t the blow-off match that the Hollywood Blonds deserved either.

Tony shills SuperBrawl IV on PPV. Two cage matches are
scheduled: WCW World Champion Ric Flair will defend his title against former
champion Vader as well as a six-man match.

Match 6 (Elimination
tag team match): WCW World Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and Sting versus WCW
International World Champion “Ravishing” Rick Rude and Vader (w/ Harley Race)

Highlights:

·        
Bockwinkel joined Tony and Bobby on commentary.
The former AWA World champion reunited with his former manager! I’m certain the
commentary will be much more classy and distinguished from this point forward.
·        
Buffer rumbled.
·        
Vader military-pressed Sting then dropped him
throat-first on the top rope.
·        
Vader attempted a second-rope sunset flip but
Sting dropped on top of him instead of going down.
·        
Sting gave Vader a release German suplex. Amazing!
·        
After a commercial break Rude applied the bear
hug to Sting.
·        
After Flair tagged in he hit a double axe-handle
from the top rope to Rude followed by an inverted atomic drop.
·        
Vader tagged in and gave Flair an avalanche.
·        
Vader bomb.
·        
Superplex by Vader.
·        
In an effort to injure the World Champion Vader gave
Flair a top-rope superplex causing Flair to scream in agony.
·        
Vader mounted the top rope again, but Sting
pulled Flair out of harm’s way.
·        
DDT by Rude to Sting.
·        
Outside the ring Vader attempted to use a chair,
but Bockwinkel exercised his power by putting a stop to it.
·        
As Cappetta announced that Flair and Vader have
been eliminated Vader yelled “SHIT!” right in front of the camera. So much for
family-friendly. Oops.
·        
Flair received assistance returning to the dressing
room.
·        
Top rope clothesline by Sting.
·        
After perching on the top rope Rude landed a
forearm to the back.
·        
Rude then bored the crowd with an extended
reverse chinlock.
·        
After copious amounts of time putting the crowd
(and me) to sleep Sting gave Rude the electric chair.
·        
Sting hit knees attempting a splash off the
ropes.
·        
Sting blocked a Rude Awakening then gave one to
Rude.
·        
He then reversed a tombstone and hit one of his
own.
·        
After hitting an incredible top rope splash
Sting pinned Rude.

 

Rating: ***

Summary:  While quite entertaining the match lacked
a certain something. The elimination rule appeared to be
botched/rushed/whatever in an effort to reduce the participant count to two. I
realize this match was set up as a prelude to the cage matches at SuperBrawl,
but it left something to be desired. Another factor in the match was the
absence of Rude’s workrate. It appears that he was just satisfied becoming a
World Champion because he didn’t put forth a ton of effort while being
champion. On the other hand, at least WCW sent the fans home happy.

Conclusion:  Bobby Heenan’s introduction to WCW was the
only historically significant portion of the show. While Clash XXVI attempted
to promote SuperBrawl it only accomplished so much. Conversely the promotion of
the January 29th edition of WCW Saturday Night was tremendously
strong with the offerings of seeing Colonel Parker in a chicken suit,
Bagwell/Scorpio getting another title shot, and a bout between Johnny B. Badd
and Shanghai Pierce where Pierce lost his mask. Unless you’re a die-hard
WCW fan like me take a pass on this show and fast-forward to SuperBrawl IV. See
you soon with its review!

TV Rating: 3.50

For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WCW Starrcade 1993!

Live from Charlotte, NC

Airdate: December 27, 1993

Attendance: 8,000 (7,000 paid)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

The tenth anniversary show opens with a series of photos of
Ric Flair as he grew up. Included are a clipping of a newspaper article of the
plane crash as well as Flair’s victories over Harley Race at Starrcade ’83 and
Ronnie Garvin at Starrcade ’87. Suddenly Vader roars and a sequence of his
squashes permeate the introduction. As an added bonus the aftermath of Vader’s
powerbomb of Cactus Jack is briefly shown.

Tony mentions Vader and Race’s arrival at 2pm and subsequent
workout in the ring. Unlike the punctual WCW World Champion his challenger has
yet to arrive. “Mean” Gene Okerlund is with Flair (and family) at the Flair
household while a chauffeur takes the bags to the limousine. Interestingly, a
very young Ashley (current NXT wrestler Charlotte) and Reid (RIP) hug their
father as disgruntled teenager David broods in the background along with a
worried Beth. After leaving the house, a subdued Flair and Gene discuss the
ramifications of tonight’s main event — if Flair loses he must retire, but if
he wins he becomes WCW World Champion.

Match 1: Marcus
Alexander Bagwell and Too Cold Scorpio (w/ Teddy Long) versus Pretty Wonderful
(w/ the Assassin)

Highlights:

·        
For those unaware Pretty Wonderful is “Pretty”
Paul Roma and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff.
·        
Wait a minute! Wasn’t Paul Roma a face at
Battlebowl? Oh yeah, back on the 12/11/93 episode of WCW Saturday Night (taped
11/30/93) Roma tagged with his Battlebowl partner Erik Watts. Check this
out!
·        
Prior to the match WCW Executive Committee
member Gary Juster presented “The Godfather” Teddy Long with the 1993 Manager
of the Year award. Thanks go out to all of you for calling the hotline!
·        
A brawl between all four men started the match.
Tony mentioned on WCW Saturday Night (taped 12/6/93) that
Orndorff and Roma attacked Bagwell and Scorpio after their match with Pierce
and Slazenger.
·        
Double dropkick sent Roma to the floor.
·        
Excellent tag team synchronicity by Bagwell and
Scorpio.
·        
While Bagwell hooked a sleeper on Orndorff and
referee Nick Patrick was distracted by an intruding Scorpio Roma came off the
top rope with a forearm to the back.
·        
Three consecutive backbreakers from Roma to
Bagwell.
·        
Sweet butterfly suplex followed by an even
sweeter powerslam from Roma.
·        
From the top rope Roma missed a splash leading
to the hot tag to Scorpio.
·        
Scorpio delivered a snap suplex then came off the
top rope to nail Orndorff.
·        
As Scorpio gave Orndorff a standing spinning
heel kick Bagwell and Roma fought on the floor.
·        
The Assassin got on the apron but got decked by
Scorpio.
·        
As Orndorff held Scorpio overhead the Assassin
head-butted him with the loaded mask.
·        
Pretty Wonderful stole the opener.


Rating: **

Summary: Very
formulaic tag match giving the new tag team of Pretty Wonderful a big boost by
beating the former WCW World tag champs. I see bigger things on the horizon for
this team.

Gene and Flair are still in the limo on their way to the
arena. Was there a traffic jam in Charlotte on this night?

Match 2: The
Shockmaster versus Awesome King Kong (w/ King Awesome Kong)

Highlights:

·        
Shockmaster got double-teamed as he entered the
ring.
·        
He then became a Kong sandwich.
·        
Awesome King Kong gave him a splash.
·        
Holy Goodyear blimp, Batman! Shockmaster with a flying body press!
Although he barely left his feet it still counts, right?
·        
After nailing Awesome Kong on the apron
Shockmaster gave King Kong a powerslam and pinned King Kong.

Rating: 1/2*

Summary: A short
Shockmaster match is infinitely better than a long one. Unfortunately for the
900 pound duo the attempted switcheroo trick failed.

Tony mentions that prior to the telecast Terry Taylor
defeated The Equalizer. He and Jesse then discuss The Boss as a replacement for
“The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith in the International World title match
later. In other news, Charlotte’s finest escort the limousine to the arena.

Match 3 for the WCW
World TV title: Lord Steven Regal (champion) versus Ricky “The Dragon”
Steamboat

Highlights:

·        
At the outset of the match Tony and Jesse pondered
the possibility of a time-limit draw due to Regal’s reluctance to lock up with
Steamboat. Foreshadowing, perhaps?
·        
If one cannot enjoy a Regal match solely based
upon his facial expressions, how can one?
·        
Enziguri by Steamboat caused a 360° sell.
·        
After both men head to the floor Sir William
tried to nail Steamboat with the umbrella. Nonetheless it became a chase into
the ring by Steamboat after Sir William.
·        
As Steamboat exited the ring to chase him again Regal
caught him with a standing dropkick.
·        
Butterfly suplex by Steamboat with 45 seconds
remaining in the time limit.
·        
Outside the ring Steamboat rammed Regal and Sir
William’s heads together.
·        
With 15 seconds remaining Steamboat climbed to
the top turnbuckle but misses the flying body press.
·        
As ring announcer Gary Michael Capetta counted
down the final seconds Steamboat delivered a German suplex but could not
successfully secure the pin in time.
·        
Time-limit draw. Regal retained his title.

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  If you enjoy scientific/technical wrestling
then this is your match. Plenty of psychology mixed in with a tiny bit of
high-flying and workrate make this an extremely good match. A finish would have
raised the rating even higher, but Steamboat did his job making Regal look sharp
here.

Tony and Jesse continue to discuss Flair and the retirement
stipulation of the main event.

Match 4: Shanghai
Pierce and Tex Slazenger versus Cactus Jack and Maxx Payne

Highlights:

·        
Can Mick Foley carry the load of four men here?
Let’s find out!
·        
Tony compared Cactus Jack and Tex Slazenger.
It’s no wonder the future Mideon would emulate the future
Mankind in the WWF during the Attitude Era.
·        
Bulldog from Slazenger.
·        
Cactus clothesline to Shanghai Pierce.
·        
Assisted “plancha” by Cactus atop Slazenger. I
believe Sandman swiped that move in ECW.
·        
Payne applied the Payne Killer to Pierce, but
Slazenger saved.
·        
Heel miscommunication led to a Cactus double-arm
DDT on Pierce for the pin.

Rating: *1/2

Summary: Not as
bad as I expected, but yes, Foley can carry quite a load.

Okerlund interviews NASCAR driver Kyle Petty who discusses
his father’s (Richard Petty) retirement.

Match 5 for the US
title (2 out of 3 falls): “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes (champion) versus
“Stunning” Steve Austin (w/ Colonel Parker)

Highlights:

·        
Austin rolled his camera while making his
entrance.
·        
By the way, where is Brian Pillman? Shouldn’t he
be facing Austin? Then again, Austin bloodied Rhodes at Battlebowl, so never
mind.
·        
Ventura made a Rush Limbaugh joke.
·        
Upon the reversal of an Irish whip Rhodes sent
Austin over the steel railing into the crowd.
·        
From the second rope Austin missed a knee drop.
·        
Flip, flop, and fly followed by a lariat from
Rhodes.
·        
Powerslam by Rhodes got a 2 count.
·        
Parker got up on the apron, but Rhodes tossed
Austin directly into him.
·        
In the process Austin went over the top rope
earning him the first fall due to disqualification.
·        
In lieu of the thirty second rest period Rhodes
followed Austin to the floor to hammer on him.
·        
In fact he rammed Austin into the ring post busting him wide open.
·        
An injured Colonel Parker was escorted from
ringside.
·        
To begin the second fall Rhodes went outside the
ring to bring Austin in the hard way.
·        
Double axe handle from the top rope by Rhodes as
the lights flickered.
·        
The ring lights went out forcing them to wrestle
under a spotlight.
·        
Vertical suplex, cross-corner whip, and  a clothesline by Rhodes.
·        
As the lights return Rhodes mounted the second
rope to nail Austin in the head.
·        
All of a sudden Austin took him down, grabbed
the tights, and got the pin.
·        
“Stunning” Steve Austin is the NEW US champion!

Rating: **

Summary: This
match either could have been a bloody brawl or a decent wrestling match;
however, Rhodes’ ire toward Austin wasn’t a factor until the beginning of the
second fall. On top of that both men were capable of using more workrate and
fluidity. Oh, and one more thing, this match only lasted 15:54. For a best two
out of three falls match? That’s criminally short. How will they make up the
PPV time? I’m afraid to find out.

Match 6 for the WCW
International World title: “Ravishing” Rick Rude versus The Boss

Highlights:

·        
Back on 11/30/93 a non-title match between “The
British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith and Rude was filmed, but Smith was fired
before it could air on 12/18. Instead on 12/13 Rude beat Smith by forfeit
causing Ray Traylor the Boss to make his return
to WCW after six years, face Rude in a non-title match, and defeat him.
·        
A police siren signaled the Boss to the ring.
·        
Hooters’ girls have been ring attendants this
evening and gave Rude the thumbs down much to Jesse’s chagrin.
·        
Tremendous elevation via back drop followed by a
backbreaker by the Boss.
·        
While on the floor the Boss suplexed Rude and hung
his legs over the top rope.
·        
Rude mounted the top turnbuckle but ate a right
hand on the way down.
·        
After a Boss miscue Rude sunset flipped over the
top rope and pinned him.

Rating: 1/2*

Summary: Got a
stamp? Rude mailed in another one here. In addition to the legitimacy of the
International World title being questioned the poor quality of Rude’s matches
in 1993 also devalued its championship value. Thus far the WCW International
World title is a joke.

WCW SuperBrawl IV takes place on February 20!

Match 7 for the WCW
World Tag Team titles: The Nasty Boys (champions w/ Missy Hyatt) versus Sting
and Road Warrior Hawk

Highlights:

·        
Oh my God! Missy Hyatt wore a see-through pink
dress. Methinks she wanted to wear less clothing than the Hooters’ girls.
·        
Stalling to start by the Nasty Boys. I don’t
like the feeling I’m getting watching this.
·        
Hawk military pressed Sting then launched him
onto both Nasty Boys.
·        
Enziguri by Hawk.
·        
Sags gave Hawk a chair shot with a plastic
non-folding chair. Ouch!
·        
To add insult to injury Missy slapped Hawk. He must have been a naughty Road Warrior.
·        
Cross arm breaker to Hawk by Sags.
·        
Fujiwara arm bar by Knobbs. It appears that the
Nasty Boys learned something during their short stint in NJPW in November.
·        
Tony: “What’s more painful here? This arm bar or
Missy’s mouth here?”
·        
False tag to Sting not permitted by referee Nick
Patrick.
·        
After Sting got the real tag and cleaned house
the Nasty Boys tried to take a walk.
·        
We’re fifteen minutes in; can we please get a
countout and move on to the main event? No? Dammit!
·        
Alternatively Sting and Hawk continued my misery
by chasing after the nefarious champs.
·        
Sting attempted a top rope splash but hit knees.
·        
Knobbs mounted the second turnbuckle and grazed
Sting on the way down. I believe he was supposed to miss him completely.
·        
In an entirely obvious moment to us but
oblivious to the referee, Knobbs tossed Sting over the top rope. Sting landed
on the apron first, but Patrick ignored it.
·        
Outside the ring Sags made Sting taste the steel
railing. Needs Gulden’s spicy brown mustard.
·        
Not to nitpick but the tag belts sat in the
corner of the champs instead of the timekeeper’s table. C’mon, WCW! You’re
better than that!
·        
Missy whipped Sting with her (ahem) cat o’ nine tails
before Sags clotheslined him.
·        
Just to antagonize me Sags hooked the abdominal
stretch on Sting then switched with Knobbs.
·        
We’re twenty minutes in,  and Sags hurt himself by giving Sting a
pump-handle slam.
·        
Reverse chinlock by Knobbs.
·        
After a vertical suplex Knobbs reapplied the
rear chinlock.
·        
Sags tagged in briefly, but it was obvious he
was in a lot of pain.
·        
Oh Criminy! Knobbs applied the abdominal stretch
AGAIN.
·        
Five minutes remain. Please let this match end.
·        
After a slam Knobbs climbed to the second rope
and delivered a splash.
·        
He tried it a second time, and as if on cue
Sting raised his foot. Oops! Sting forgot the first time.
·        
Nasty Boys with the double-team avalanche on
Sting.
·        
With three minutes remaining Hawk nailed Knobbs
then hammered Sags who caught his leg on the top rope.
·        
FINALLY Hawk tagged in and cleaned house.
·        
Stinger splash, but when Sting tried to apply
the Scorpion Deathlock, Missy jumped up on the apron.
·        
Sting kissed Missy with two minutes left.
·        
He avoided a charging Knobbs (sending Missy to
the floor) and school-boyed him for 2.
·        
In an extremely convoluted manner Sting and Hawk
deliver the Doomsday Device to Knobbs.
·        
Since Sags was too injured to even stand on the
apron Missy was forced to interfere causing the DQ. During that time she
jiggled out of her dress. More on this later.
·        
Out of nowhere the bell rung despite Patrick
doing anything to signal for it.
·        
Sting and Hawk won the match, but the Nasty Boys
retained the titles.

Rating: DUD

Summary: How many
drugs did the Nasty Boys (allegedly) promise Hawk to be in control for this
match? Seriously I realize that the heels normally call a match, but the Nasty
Boys are better brawlers than wrestlers and certainly not ring generals. This
match was too long and had time-limit draw written all over it before that
hasty finish. On the other hand Booking 101 states that a show should not
contain more than one time-limit draw so someone didn’t communicate properly
somewhere.

Speaking of the finish I mentioned that Missy popped out of
her dress. Well, a WCW photographer got a good shot and it ended up on a
bulletin board at CNN Center. When Missy discovered it she pleaded with
Executive Producer Eric Bischoff to remove it and punish those responsible.
After Bischoff’s attempted deflection of the situation Hyatt went over his head
to file her complaint. Without hesitation Bischoff fired her prompting a sexual
discrimination lawsuit against WCW by Hyatt. In December 1996 the suit was settled
out of court.

Call the hotline to talk to Cactus Jack and Maxx Payne after
the show!

Match 8 for the WCW
World Heavyweight title: Vader (champion w/ Harley Race) versus “Nature Boy”
Ric Flair

Highlights:

·        
To no one’s surprise the hometown hero received
an enormous pop upon his entrance and introduction.
·        
Buffer rumbled.
·        
Humongous “Flair” chants from the Queen City
faithful.
·        
Gorilla press slam from Vader sent Flair rolling
to the floor.
·        
Vader followed and made Flair taste the steel railing.
More mustard please.
·        
Having turned the tables Flair avoided a Vader
splash on the steel railing then rammed him head-first into the ring post.
·        
Vader tossed Flair around like a rag doll.
·        
Cross-corner whip by Vader became a Flair flip
to the floor.
·        
Stiff rights followed by a stiff clothesline by
Vader busted Flair’s mouth open.
·        
Flair’s retaliatory chops didn’t faze Vader.
·        
Powerslam by Vader.
·        
Second-rope clothesline by Vader but second-rope
splash missed.
·        
Top rope forearm by Flair yet second one only
grazed Vader.
·        
Third one put Vader down on the mat.
·        
Superplex followed by a running body block by
Vader.
·        
Race kicked and choked Flair on the floor.
·        
Much to the crowd’s delight Flair put Vader down
on the mat after a series of right hands and chops.
·        
After ramming Vader’s left leg into the ring
post, Flair rammed it with Jesse’s plastic chair. OUCH!
·        
After some stiff shots to Vader Flair delivered
a chair shot to the top of the head.
·        
Flair failed to hook a figure-four leg lock.
·        
Vader bomb missed.
·        
Second attempt at the figure four leg lock was
successful, but Vader made it to the ropes.
·        
Moonsault by Vader missed.
·        
Race tried to break up the cover but head-butted
Vader from the top rope instead.
·        
Referee Randy Anderson heaved Race completely
out of the ring. Way to go, Randy!
·        
After a flying forearm and some chops Flair sent
Vader into the ropes only to eat another running body block. Vader grabbed his
left leg though.
·        
Like a shark smelling blood in the water Flair
grabbed the weakened left leg in a single leg takedown and pinned Vader.
·        
We have a new WCW World Heavyweight Champion!
·        
For the eleventh time Flair is the man! Woo!

 Rating: ****1/2

Summary:  Excellent David versus Goliath story told here
by both men. Flair knew he could not outwrestle the larger Vader; hence, he
went toe-to-toe and outlasted him in this tremendously fought battle. Even with
a puzzling finish I thought it was absolutely excellent. If you haven’t seen
this match, check it out.

On another note this match helped to save WCW as Flair was
the placeholder WCW needed after a long and bumpy 1993. To me that adds an
extra  ½*.

After the match the crowd gave Flair an elongated standing
ovation as confetti fell from the rafters.

Eric Bischoff is with an irate Vader with Harley Race. Vader
destroys a locker claiming “I want (the belt) back!”

Flair returns to ringside for a well-deserved curtain call.

Okerlund is in the other locker room with the Flair family.
He tries to interview Flair, but Flair’s mouth is too busted up. Instead he
interviews Sting who congratulates Flair. Ricky Steamboat appears and gives
kudos to Flair.

Conclusion: Consider
this show a major WCW reboot. Since Sid Vicious and Arn Anderson were not
involved two major matches had to be changed. Most of you already know that Sid
was penciled in as WCW World Champion at this show prior to the Blackburn scissors
incident. Incidentally Arn Anderson and Paul Roma were scheduled to have a
break-up angle and feud here as well. Of all the talent within WCW Erik Watts
was chosen to replace Anderson. Additionally Davey Boy Smith’s firing led to
Ray Traylor’s receipt of a title shot here. Since WCW was hung out to dry due
to all of these situations they could only rely on one man to rescue them—Ric Flair.
See you at Clash XXVI!

Buyrate: 0.55

For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WCW Battlebowl 1993!

Live from Pensacola, FL

Airdate: November 20, 1993

Attendance: 7,000 (3,000 paid)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Jesse “The Body” Ventura
This year’s event marks the third Battlebowl. In previous years Battlebowl occurred at Starrcade. While hyping the event Jesse mentions that the winner receives a Battlebowl ring. Both the heel and face locker rooms are shown via split-screen. Recounting Battlebowl history Tony notes that Sting won the first event and is here tonight while the Great Muta who won the second one isn’t here. Remember these marquee names when the names get pulled. Oh, (though unmentioned on camera) Sid Vicious and Arn Anderson are still suspended due to the hotel room altercation. Hopefully that should clear up some of the names drawn in the Lethal Lottery.

An excited “Mean” Gene Okerlund and Fifi rotate the tumbler in order to pull out the first batch of names. Cactus Jack’s name is called first. Were they trying to find best-selling authors or hardcore legends here? Anyways, WCW World champion Vader gets called next. Kole (Booker T) from Harlem Heat is named as the third participant; however, Kane (Stevie Ray) takes his place. The fourth name called is Native American Charlie Norris. See what I mean yet?
Match 1: Vader and Cactus Jack (w/ Harley Race) versus Charlie Norris and Kane (Harlem Heat)
Highlights:
· Before the match began Vader and Cactus Jack brawled on the ramp.
· Kane joined Vader in the melee.
· An unwilling Vader hit Harley Race to protest his participation though Race convinced Vader to compete.
· Reluctantly Cactus Jack tagged in Vader.
· He gave Norris a short-arm clothesline, a slam, and then a Vader bomb.
· Somersault plancha from Jack from the apron to the floor.
· Clothesline from Kane to Cactus Jack prompted Vader to enter the ring to brawl with Kane.
· Big foot from Norris knocked Cactus Jack out of the ring.
· Kane then made Cactus Jack taste the steel railing. Needs Miracle Whip.
· Double-arm DDT from Cactus Jack on Kane.
· Series of chops from Norris until Vader bulldozed him down.
· Vader splash off the ropes.
· Powerbomb from Vader but he lost his balance. I guess he misjudged Norris’ weight.
· Nevertheless Vader pinned Norris.
Rating: *
Summary: The concept of having Vader and Cactus on the same team was the only interesting aspect of this match. Vader and Cactus Jack move on to the battle royal.
After the match Vader appears to have hurt himself with that powerbomb.
Shenanigans between Okerlund and Fifi are teased as the next names are drawn. Paul Roma’s name is called first. Yikes! His partner will be Erik Watts. He’s still employed? Oh brother. Regardless, their first opponent is Johnny B. Badd. That’s three guys from the face locker room at this point. The last name drawn is Brian Knobbs from the Nasty Boys. I sense a train wreck with this group.
Match 2: Brian Knobbs and Johnny B. Badd (w/ Missy Hyatt) versus Erik Watts and “Pretty” Paul Roma
Highlights:
· Perhaps Missy will get involved against Watts since they used to be an item.
· According to Tony on the episode of WCW Saturday Night that aired prior to the PPV (taped 10/6/93) Arn Anderson was double-teamed by “Stunning” Steve Austin and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff before being rescued eventually by Roma. Afterwards Anderson was none too pleased with his fellow Horseman.
· Slam and a dropkick from Roma prior to tagging in Watts.
· Watts then nailed Knobbs with a knee lift and a dropkick.
· Top rope double sledge to the shoulder by Roma.
· Anderson slam by Roma. Who said he didn’t learn anything from being a Horseman?
· Funny bit as Missy turned her back on the match when Watts was tagged in.
· Sweet powerslam from Roma. No count due to Missy’s distraction of referee Nick Patrick.
· Badd didn’t agree with Knobbs’ heel trip of Roma off the ropes.
· Missy berated Badd for not capitalizing on the downed Roma outside the ring.
· Knobbs tried the assisted abdominal stretch with Badd, but Johnny would not comply.
· Knobbs ate boot after trying a second-rope splash.
· Enziguri from Roma.
· Flying body press from Watts, but Knobbs used momentum (and the tights) to roll through and pin Watts.
Rating: **
Summary: Fascinating dynamic with respect to the match flow because when Badd was tagged in a wrestling match occurred; on the other hand, when Knobbs was tagged in it was a brawl.
Back to Okerlund and Fifi who appear to be having a private conversation. For the next match the first participant is the Shockmaster. NO! Dammit! The second name called is Paul Orndorff. Fifi is getting quite cozy with Gene so much so that Gene makes a remark. Their first opponent will be Ricky Steamboat while the second opponent will be WCW World TV champion Lord Steven Regal.
Match 3: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Lord Steven Regal (w/ Sir William) versus the Shockmaster and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Highlights:
· Regal’s facial expression of disgust at the onset was undeniably great.
· Steamboat skinned the cat then headscissored Orndorff over the top rope.
· Next they brawled on the floor.
· After tags were made on both sides Regal continued to be disgusted having touched Steamboat.
· Shockmaster touched Regal’s hair causing his Lordship to become quite miffed. Must not be his day.
· Flying body press by Regal countered into a slam by Shockmaster.
· Regal craftily countered a full-nelson and celebrated with a cartwheel.
· Stungun from Orndorff to Steamboat.
· Sidewalk slam by Orndorff.
· Shockmaster forced the tag between Steamboat and Regal then missed an avalanche.
· Regal attempted to use the umbrella, but Steamboat stopped him.
· Jockeying for the umbrella Regal knocked Steamboat into the ropes. Consequently Steamboat’s momentum caused the umbrella to hit Regal.
· While Steamboat chased Sir William outside the ring with the umbrella Shockmaster splashed Regal for the pin.
Rating: **
Summary: The bickering between tag partners in this match made for quite the entertaining bout. The ironic twist at the end told a good story as well.
After the match Steamboat griped with Regal. Perhaps he promised his Battlebowl ring to Bonnie.
Don’t miss Starrcade on Monday, December 27! Tony details the highlights from the inaugural Starrcade back in 1983. Meanwhile at the Starrcade press conference while standing next to a dapper Vader (including head gear) Okerlund refers to Starrcade as “the premiere event for (WCW).” He then mentions all of the cities that bid for the venue slot. Ultimately Okerlund announces that Starrcade will emanate from (the Independence Arena in) Charlotte, NC.
As Okerlund hypes Vader as the current WCW champion, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair interrupts the proceedings by presenting a contract to face Vader at Starrcade. Vader asks what Flair brings to the table. Flair offers his ten world titles. Vader counters with his ten titles across four continents. Flair counters with a retirement stipulation should he lose the match. Vader lists all of the wrestlers he has either injured or put out to pasture then accepts the match.
As an aside here Starrcade was supposed to feature the break-up of the Masters of the Powerbomb. Nonetheless, due to the hotel altercation between Sid Vicious and Arn Anderson in England both wrestlers were suspended. This situation caused not only the World title match (and subsequent plans for the title) to be altered but also cancelled the Anderson-Roma match.
When we return live to the arena Okerlund and Fifi are having another intimate moment. In fact Gene holds up a pair of handcuffs. How naughty! No wonder this show is rated TV-14. The first participant in our next match is Awesome Kong. Sadly he’s not so awesome. His partner will be the Equalizer. Ugh! My stomach hurts. On the opposite side of the ring will be Dustin Rhodes and King Kong. Will Fay Wray be far behind? Let’s hope “The Natural” can perform a miracle here.
Match 4: “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes and King Kong versus the Equalizer and Awesome Kong
Highlights:
· Three dropkicks from Rhodes couldn’t take Awesome Kong off his feet, but a rollup received a 2 count.
· Rhodes tagged in King Kong to face his partner.
· To say that a match between the Kongs is the polar opposite of a match between the Rockers in 1993 would be an accurate statement.
· Immediately King Kong tagged out avoiding the confrontation with Awesome Kong.
· Since three of the four men in this match are heels the crowd is noticeably VERY quiet.
· Flying shoulder block from the Equalizer knocked King Kong to the canvas, but he missed the leg drop.
· Bionic elbow got a 2 count.
· Pandemonium ensued with all four men in the ring. In turn Awesome gave his own partner a Kong sandwich in the corner but knocked himself silly.
· Immediately Rhodes hit the bulldog on Awesome Kong and gained the victory.
Rating: DUD
Summary: Nope, Rhodes is merely mortal as this match truly sucked. Yuck! I believe the crowd reaction when Rhodes pinned Awesome Kong was for the fact that the match was over rather than anything else.
Methinks Gene is sweating as he stands next to Fifi. The first participant in the next match is Sting. That woke up the crowd! His partner will be Jerry Sags of the Nasty Boys. The next name called is Ron Simmons while his partner will be…Keith Cole? Seriously, an enhancement talent gets a PPV match? Talk about random.
Match 5: Ron Simmons and Keith Cole versus Jerry Sags (w/ Missy Hyatt) and Sting
Highlights:
· Holy incredible mullets, Batman! That is one heck of a hairstyle on Keith Cole. Take a flat top and give it a long tail.
· After former WCW World champion Simmons brought the workrate to the match Cole tagged in and bored the crowd with some arm bars. In response the crowd chanted “We Want Sting!” Sags teased the crowd with a couple of false tags just to be a dick.
· Although after Sags had some trouble with his opponents Sting was finally tagged in.
· Having some fun with Simmons’ neon green tights Jesse changed Ron’s allegiance from Florida State to Notre Dame. I wonder if that means anything.
· Sting shook Cole’s head. Cole’s response was praising Sting’s similar hairstyle.
· Sting countered a hip toss with a backslide.
· Sweet powerslam from Simmons.
· Catapult clothesline on the bottom rope by Simmons.
· After Cole exposed his inexperience Sting took control.
· Stinger splash.
· Sags blindly tagged in, dropped the elbow from the top rope, and pinned Cole.
Rating: ***
Summary: Aside from Cole’s inexperience (who else was going to eat the pin here?) this match brought some athleticism to the ring. Even though this show was in his home state Simmons teased a heel turn and received the appropriate crowd response.
After the match Simmons is disgusted with Cole. In fact he’s so disgruntled that he delivered the Dominator to him cementing his heel turn.
As the camera returns to Gene and Fifi they are shown dancing quite closely. Our next participant is “Stunning” Steve Austin. His partner is “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Considering these two were on opposite teams in a match for Clash XXII earlier in the year their pairing ought to be exciting. Moving along, their opponents will be Maxx Payne and Too Cold Scorpio. Is the outcome too obvious here or what?
Match 6: “Nature Boy”Ric Flair and “Stunning” Steve Austin (w/ Colonel Parker) versus Too Cold Scorpio and Maxx Payne
Highlights:
· Austin was still sporting his Hollywood Blonds jacket and trunks. Also he was the only heel in this match.
· Standing choke from Payne then he dropped Austin on his back.
· Flair and Scorpio took it to the mat ending with a backslide from Scorpio for 2.
· Standing moonsault from Scorpio.
· Austin walked into a superkick from Scorpio.
· Superplex from Austin.
· Belly-to-back suplex from Flair only got 2 thanks to a save by Payne.
· Rope-assisted abdominal stretch from Austin broken by Flair.
· After an argument with Austin Flair gave Scorpio a delayed vertical suplex.
· Top rope forearm from Austin. Again Payne made the save.
· Out of nowhere Scorpio hit the spinning heel kick.
· After no-selling Flair’s chops Payne went on the attack.
· Unfortunately he missed a running knee in the corner prompting Flair to slap on the figure four leg lock for the submission victory.
Rating: ***1/2
Summary: Even with Payne involved the workrate was very strong in this match. On the other hand Payne as a face doesn’t sell too well.
Upon their re-emergence on camera Gene takes a moment to “tie (his) shoe” and inauspiciously tries to look up Fifi’s evening gown. Subtle, Gene. The next name called is WCW International World Champion “Ravishing” Rick Rude. His partner will be Shanghai Pierce. For those unfamiliar that is Henry Godwinn with a mask. Their opponents are Marcus Alexander Bagwell and Tex Slazenger (aka Phineas Godwinn). To say one of these men is not like the others would be an understatement.
Match 7: Marcus Alexander Bagwell and Tex Slazenger versus Shanghai Pierce and “Ravishing” Rick Rude
Highlights:
· Rude showed off his physique then his strength with an unassisted vertical suplex on Bagwell.
· He then tagged in Pierce to face Slazenger, but again he tagged out to avoid wrestling his partner.
· Splash from Bagwell got a 2 count.
· To illustrate how boring this match is, Tony asked Jesse about his Thanksgiving plans.
· Vertical suplex with a float-over by Bagwell.
· As Bagwell tried to bounce off the ropes Rude supplied the low bridge sending Bagwell to the floor.
· Jesse’s Thanksgiving response became a cheap shot at Vince McMahon regarding his indictment.
· Rude with a delayed vertical…nope, make that a gourdbuster.
· Pierce hit a knee drop from the second rope.
· To bore the crowd even further Rude applied a bear hug.
· False tag led to a double-team on Bagwell. Not the Showtime variety.
· Big boot off the ropes by Pierce followed by a sit-out powerbomb. I’m as shocked as you are.
· Slazenger made the save kicking Pierce in the back.
· Tex tagged in and the future Godwinns brawled with one another. It resembled a brawl you’d see at the local watering hole.
· As Pierce set up Slazenger for a sunset flip Rude tagged in and gave Slazenger the Rude Awakening for the pin.
Rating: *
Summary: Thank goodness it’s over. That match was a cure for insomnia. Rude’s involvement along with the sit-out powerbomb rises this one from the dead.
After the match Slazenger and Pierce beat up Bagwell then reunite. Aww.
As we return to the tumbler Fifi is suspiciously on her knees while Gene has an enormous grin on his face. And you wonder why Missy Hyatt sued this company for sexual harassment? The next participant will be Road Warrior Hawk. If his partner doesn’t have a stash of either downers or hormones I don’t like his chances. Hawk’s partner will be…Rip Rogers? Seriously? Yikes! Their opponents will be Davey Boy Smith and Kole of Harlem Heat. In actuality it was either going to be Kole or Kent Cole as nobody else was left in either dressing room.
Match 8: “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith and Kole (Harlem Heat) versus Road Warrior Hawk and Rip Rogers
Highlights:
· Rip Rogers was so excited to be a part of Battlebowl that Hawk destroyed him on the ramp prior to their entrance to the ring.
· Not surprisingly DBS kicked the downed Rogers as he made his way to the ring.
· Kole stopped to check on Rogers then stomped him. And you thought Regal had a bad night?
· Spinaroonie from Kole.
· We’re five minutes in, and Rogers had not yet checked into his corner.
· Sidewalk slam from Kole.
· As Rogers got on the apron he got nailed by Kole.
· After Kole hit a forearm smash off the top rope he hammered Rogers again on the apron.
· Backbreaker from Kole, but a second-rope elbow missed.
· Hawk then brought Rogers into the ring, pressed him overhead, and tossed him onto Kole for the pin!
Rating: *
Summary: Well, there’s your comedy match for the evening. Kole was definitely game here. Notwithstanding DBS was not even a factor in this match. In fact this was his last WCW PPV appearance until 1998.
Okerlund loses his composure after hearing Fifi thank him for their Battlebowl experience together. Profoundly Gene remarks on the possibility of the Nasty Boys’ working together to win Battlebowl.
Match 9: Battlebowl Battle Royal
Highlights:
· In lieu of Michael Buffer a strange voice located nowhere near the arena (Thanks WWE!) listed the names involved: Vader, Cactus Jack, Brian Knobbs, Johnny B. Badd, The Shockmaster, Paul Orndorff, King Kong, Dustin Rhodes, Sting, Jerry Sags, Ric Flair, Steve Austin, Rick Rude, Shanghai Pierce, Road Warrior Hawk, and last but certainly not least Rip Rogers.
· Rip Rogers staggered to the ring.
· Once inside he tangled with Badd probably for the title of the most flamboyant outfit.
· Shortly thereafter Badd eliminated him.
· Cactus Jack low-bridged Pierce over the top to eliminate him.
· A preview of Over the Edge ’98 occurred as Austin and Cactus Jack brawled in the corner.
· Flair and Austin fought on the floor yet still remained active in the match.
· Orndorff eliminated Badd.
· Jesse questioned why Hawk would save Flair from elimination. My guess would be that he was ensuring Flair would be buying rounds at the Marriott later on.
· Vader blocked a superplex attempt by Cactus Jack then eliminated him.
· All of a sudden Orndorff exited unceremoniously thanks to Dustin Rhodes.
· Shockmaster eliminated King Kong, but both Nasty Boys get rid of him.
· Vader press slammed Sting onto the ramp though Sting was not eliminated.
· Austin tried a double sledge from the second rope but got caught in the midsection by Rhodes.
· Tony mentioned Austin’s challenge for the US title from WCW Saturday Night.
· Vader and Flair have a mini-battle to hype their match next month.
· Austin tossed Rhodes through the ropes to the floor then rammed his head into the ring post.
· Dustin was busted open.
· Rhodes backdropped Knobbs over the top rope eliminating him.
· He then lifted Sags to throw him out, but Austin assisted both of them over the top rope.
· Hawk eliminated Rude then was eliminated by Vader.
· The final four stood as Sting, Vader, Flair, and Austin.
· Sting gave Austin a vertical suplex.
· Vader missed an avalanche.
· Race dragged Flair onto the ramp signaling a brawl between the two.
· After Flair gave Race a vertical suplex Vader elbowed Flair on the right leg.
· Vader then splashed Flair on the ramp.
· Meanwhile in the ring Sting attempted to give Austin the Scorpion Deathlock but came to Flair’s aid instead.
· All four men were on the ramp.
· Flair was checked out by the trainer and placed on a stretcher.
· Flair was deemed “unable to continue” according to ring announcer Gary Michael Capetta.
· Will Flair make it to Starrcade?
· Vader and Austin double-military press Sting back into the ring.
· Both Austin and Vader mount the top rope, but Austin ate boot on the way down.
· Sting then caught Vader with a powerslam.
· Much to the crowd’s delight Sting rallied successfully.
· Vader and Austin pinball Sting with right hands.
· While Austin held the legs Vader splashed Sting twice.
· After wasting some time Vader missed the third splash.
· Once again Sting rallied igniting the crowd.
· Vader bomb, but Vader held his back due to the earlier powerbomb.
· Austin missed a top rope splash.
· Sting sent Austin over the top rope to the ramp then Vader clotheslined Sting to the ramp.
· Austin went to the floor thus being eliminated via Sting.
· We’re down to Vader and Sting.
· Clothesline and splash by Vader.
· Coming off the ropes Sting knocked Vader down then accidentally head-butted him low.
· Sting placed Vader in a fireman’s carry onto the top turnbuckle.
· He then attempted the Stinger splash but missed and went over the top rope to the floor.
· Vader won.
Rating: ***
Summary: As a preview to Starrcade this match served its purpose. Once the match evolved into a four man match the excitement started. The stretcher job by Flair keeps the audience in suspense for the title match scheduled for Starrcade. Additionally Vader’s injury was a nice bit of continuity from the opening tag match.
Afterwards Vader yells at the camera above Tony and Jesse.
Conclusion: Though enjoyable at times, as a PPV, this show was meaningless. It would have been much better served as a Clash because its main purpose was to sell Starrcade to the paying customer. Since the show has zero historical significance I would only recommend it to tag team enthusiasts and WCW fanatics; otherwise, skip it and let’s go to Starrcade!
Buyrate: 0.27 (Buh-bye Battlebowl!)
For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WCW Clash of the Champions XXV

Live from St. Petersburg, FL

Airdate: November 10, 1993

Attendance: 6,000 (1,700 paid)

WCW newcomer “Mean” Gene Okerlund welcomes us to the show.
Call the hotline to vote for the manager of year:

1.       Sir
William (Lord Steven Regal)
2.       Missy
Hyatt (Nasty Boys)
3.       Harley
Race (Vader)
4.       Teddy
Long (Marcus Alexander Bagwell & Too Cold Scorpio)

Gene throws it over to our hosts Tony Schiavone and Jesse
“The Body” Ventura.

Match 1 for the WCW
International World title: “Ravishing” Rick Rude (champion) versus Road Warrior
Hawk

Highlights:

·        
Early in the match Hawk no-sold a head shot to
the turnbuckle then gave Rude some of his own medicine. Deca, perhaps?
·        
Vertical suplex from Hawk got a 2 count.
·        
Backbreaker from Rude allowed him to head to the
top rope, but when he leaped he ate a pair of boots to the face.
·        
Clothesline from Hawk sent Rude over the top
rope to the floor.
·        
They kept fighting on the outside until referee
Randy Anderson counted them both out.

 

Rating: *

Summary: Obviously
Rude retains his title. What was the point of that match? Since Hawk had no
credibility as a singles wrestler it was obvious he wasn’t going to take this
one, but the DCOR finish is just obnoxiously terrible. Let’s hope the next
match has a better outcome.

Match 2: The
Equalizer versus the Shockmaster

Highlights:

·        
Oh no! Can I watch the last match again instead
of this dreck?
·        
Heel shenanigans from the Equalizer dominated
the early portion of the match.
·        
Belly-to-back suplex from Equalizer got a 2
count.
·        
Shockmaster no-sold a clothesline.
·        
Bearhug slam from Shockmaster secured the pin.
·        
Thank God it was short.

 

Rating: DUD

Summary: Friends
of Dusty, or in the case family, get a slot on the big shows. In spite of
Jesse’s making fun of him on commentary the Shockmaster continues to win. Thus
far this show isn’t looking good.

Okerlund interviews Colonel Rob Parker. Parker states that
he dropped Sid Vicious as a client and obtained the services of…”Stunning”
Steve Austin. Meanwhile he claims that he also has a restraining order against
Sid so he won’t be here tonight. Considering Sid may have still been recovering
from the stab wounds and under suspension from WCW he wouldn’t be able to make
even a token appearance. More later on this situation.

Match 3 for the World
Television title: Lord Steven Regal (champion w/ Sir William) versus Johnny B.
Badd

Highlights:

·        
Back on July 9 during the infamous Disney
tapings (broadcast 11/6/93) Regal defeated Badd by nefarious means. Therefore,
Tony referred to this match as a “return bout.”
·        
Badd brought the workrate and matched Regal hold
for hold early in the match.
·        
Jesse took Badd’s attire to task. Make-up and
garter belts, seriously Marc?
·        
Badd missed a flying body press and clotheslined
himself on the top rope.
·        
Ya gotta love those European uppercuts from
Regal!
·        
According to Tony “The British Bulldog” Davey
Boy Smith issued a challenge to “Ravishing” Rick Rude for the WCW International
World title.
·        
Badd knocked Regal cold with a left hand
prompting Sir William to get on the apron to complain.
·        
As Badd attempted the pin Sir William placed
Regal’s boot on the bottom rope.
·        
As Badd was distracted Regal snapped out of it,
rolled Badd up, and got the pin with a handful of tights.

 

Rating: ***

Summary: Since
this match went at Badd’s pace rather than Regal’s I enjoyed this match much
more than I expected. I can only hope that this match is the only one with a
distraction finish.

Match 4: “Flyin’”
Brian Pillman versus “Stunning” Steve Austin (w/ Colonel Rob Parker)

Highlights:

·        
Ahem. May I have your attention please? Let us
all please observe a moment of silence and mourn the loss of one of the best
tag teams ever in WCW—the Hollywood Blonds.
·        
·        
Thank you.
·        
On the October 30 episode of WCW Saturday Night
Colonel Parker informed Pillman that Austin was his new client. After Parker
insulted Pillman for being injured Brian attacked Parker. Subsequently Austin
ambushed Pillman. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6yBuyOYbnM)
·        
Pillman, already in the ring and wearing his
Blond jacket, attacked Austin as he entered the ring.
·        
After Parker jumped on the apron Pillman chased
him around the ring. Austin, lying in wait, clotheslined Pillman as he made his
way toward the near side of the ring.
·        
Upon the reversal of an Irish whip Pillman made
Austin taste the steel. Needs horseradish.
·        
Flying headscissors from Pillman.
·        
Austin attempted a piledriver on the ramp, but
Pillman countered with a back drop.
·        
After climbing to the top rope Pillman leaped
but ate boot on the way down.
·        
Austin then tossed Pillman into the steel
railing. More horseradish please!
·        
Slingshot body press from Pillman from the apron
onto Austin got a 2 count.
·        
Austin then pressed Pillman into a modified
stungun.
·        
Ventura badmouthed Sid on commentary.
·        
Single leg crab by Austin with some assistance
from the ropes.
·        
Flying back elbow to the head from the second
rope by Pillman.
·        
Slowly Austin made his way to the top rope, but
Pillman caught him thus crotching Austin.
·        
Superplex by Pillman countered by Austin into a
gourdbuster.
·        
As Austin leaped from the top rope Pillman
dropkicked him.
·        
Austin tried another piledriver, but Pillman
countered into a huracanrana.
·        
Slingshot by Pillman countered into a powerslam
by Austin.
·        
DDT by Pillman.
·        
Crucifix by Pillman countered into a Samoan drop
by Austin.
·        
Austin missed a splash from the top rope.
·        
Oklahoma roll by Pillman got a 2 count.
·        
Austin missed the stungun leaving Pillman on the
apron.
·        
Pillman tried another slingshot maneuver, but
Parker caught his ankle.
·        
Austin rolled him up for the pin.

 

Rating: ****1/2

Summary: Wow! I
could watch these guys wrestle each other all night. Had the match been longer (7:44)
it could have reached five stars. These two should have had a rematch at
Starrcade.

After the match Pillman knocks Austin to the floor and
corners Parker. Much to his chagrin Parker escaped without a scratch.

Okerlund is in the WCW Battlebowl Control Center. Forty
names of the top WCW competitors are thrown into a “hopper.” Thirty-two names
are selected at random for eight tag team matches. Afterwards each winning team
competes singularly in an over-the-top-rope battle royal to determine the
winner. To entice our desire to buy the PPV Paul Orndorff cuts a promo followed
by 1991 Battlebowl winner Sting.

Match 5 for the US
title: “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes (champion w/ “The American Dream” Dusty
Rhodes) versus “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff (w/ the Assassin)

Highlights:

·        
Dusty’s not even wrestling and he’s already
“funky like a monkey.”
·        
The crowd chanted “Dusty!”
·        
Each competitor initially worked on his
opponent’s arm.
·        
Belly-to-back suplex from Orndorff set up the
shaky elbow drop.
·        
Backslide from Rhodes got a 2 count.
·        
Cross-corner whip from Orndorff followed by a
clothesline.
·        
Cross-corner whip from Rhodes set up the
bulldog, but Orndorff ducked.
·        
Rhodes countered an Orndorff piledriver attempt.
·        
Orndorff missed the knee drop from the top rope.
·        
Rhodes then hooked the inside cradle for the
pin.

 

Rating: **

Summary:  Very pedestrian match between these two
wrestlers. The “seconds” didn’t even get involved in the match.

After the match Orndorff clotheslines Rhodes to the floor.
Then the Assassin rams Dustin into the ring post. To retaliate, Dusty gives the
Assassin a bionic elbow much to the crowd’s delight. He then tosses the
Assassin into the ring, hits two more bionic elbows, and threatens to unmask
him. Unfortunately for Dusty, Orndorff nails him preventing said unmasking. As
Orndorff held Dusty the Assassin wallops Rhodes with the US title belt. Orndorff
attempts to piledrive Dusty, but Dustin comes off the ropes with a clothesline
scattering the ruthless duo to the floor. The post-match stuff was 10x better
than the match!

Okerlund promises us an update on the “British Bulldog’s”
challenge for Rude’s title. Call the hotline! Starrcade is scheduled for
Monday, December 27.

Match 6 for the World
tag team titles: The Nasty Boys (champions w/ Missy Hyatt) versus Sting and
“The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith

Highlights:

·        
Ring announcer Gary Michael Cappetta referred to
Missy Hyatt as the “nastiest lady in WCW.” Did he know this firsthand?
·        
Just like Missy liked it the action was hot and
heavy at the outset with Sting dominating Knobbs in the ring and DBS
manhandling Sags on the ramp.
·        
In the meantime Rick Rude crawled on the floor adjacent
to the ramp in order to sneak attack DBS. He then gave DBS a Rude Awakening . Immediately
Road Warrior Hawk chased him back to the dressing room.
·        
Sting checked on DBS and carried him back to the
ring?
·        
The bell rung and Sting took on the Nasty Boys
by himself.
·        
Tony mentioned Rude’s use of a “foreign” object.
Jesse questioned how Rude imported it. Funny stuff.
·        
While Knobbs occupied Patrick’s attention Sags
tossed Sting over the top rope. Since Patrick didn’t see it a disqualification
could not be rendered.
·        
As Knobbs held Sting in a bear hug DBS sprung to
life and egged him on in the corner.
·        
Sting countered the bear hug into an overhead
belly-to-belly suplex.
·        
He then countered a rear chinlock into an
electric chair.
·        
Hot tag to DBS.
·        
A pair of powerslams on the Nasty Boys followed
by a pair of dropkicks.
·        
600lbs of clotheslines and DDTs from DBS.
·        
DBS pressed Sting overhead then tossed him onto
both Nasty Boys.
·        
Powerslam from DBS received no count due to
referee Nick Patrick’s directing traffic.
·        
Sags mounted the top turnbuckle and clobbered DBS.
Knobbs made the cover and the Nasty Boys retained their titles.

 

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  Typical Nasty Boys match with a pair of quality
opponents. Almost all of the excitement in the match happened after the hot
tag. Although a match between DBS and Rude was filmed on 11/30 for WCW Saturday
Night for the 12/18/93 airing the match would not be shown. In turn DBS was also
scheduled to face Rude at Starrcade but he was fired beforehand.

Match 7 for the WCW
World title: Vader (champion w/ Harley Race) versus “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (w/
Fifi)

Highlights:

·        
Back in the dressing room Colonel Parker spoke
with Flair. Parker stated that Austin will challenge the winner of this match.
He’s quite confident that Austin could defeat Flair. Flair’s rebuttal was a
right cross to the jaw.
·        
Buffer rumbled.
·        
Joined in progress after commercial Flair had
Race set up for the figure four leg lock in the center of the ring.
·        
As Flair applied the hold to Race Vader splashed
Flair.
·        
Short-arm clothesline from Vader.
·        
Gorilla press slam from Vader.
·        
Vader bomb hit but no cover.
·        
Flair chopped Vader down like a cherry tree.
·        
Flair Flip to the floor.
·        
Race made Flair taste the steel. Dammit! Where’s
that horseradish?
·        
Vader jumped from the apron towards Flair but
ate the steel railing.
·        
Flair drops the forearm from the top turnbuckle
to the floor.
·        
Second rope elbow drop from Vader missed.
·        
Flair slapped on the figure four.
·        
As Vader reached the ropes Race raked Flair’s
eyes.
·        
Vertical suplex and a splash earned Vader a 2
count.
·        
Vader mounted the second turnbuckle again but
got powerslammed for 2.
·        
Flair sprinted to the top rope and nailed Vader
with another forearm.
·        
Flair flip over the buckle landed him on his
feet. Thereafter he mounted the turnbuckle and hit another forearm shot.
·        
Ref bump.
·        
Flair jumped from the top turnbuckle again but
got caught by Vader.
·        
He then gave Flair a superplex.
·        
Vader positioned Flair for the moonsault but missed
it.
·        
Referee Randy Anderson counted three! We have a
new champion!
·        
Cappetta announced that Anderson disqualified
Vader. WTF?
·        
Jesse explained that Anderson DQ’d him because
he ran into him. LAME!

 

Rating: ****

Summary: Incredible
match with a horrible ending. Flair got robbed! Thanks Dusty for that god-awful
finish. Hopefully a rematch will be signed. The good news is the crowd was
eager or better yet thirsty for a title change.

After the match Colonel Parker and “Stunning” Steve Austin
hit the ring to ambush Flair. Vader and Austin try to double-team Flair, but
Dustin Rhodes and the Shockmaster come to Flair’s rescue. As the crowd chants
“Whoomp, there it is” Okerlund enters the ring. Flair interrupts and challenges
Vader and Austin to a tag match with him and Sid on WCW Saturday Night (taped
10/11/93
). This match marked the last Sid appearance in WCW until the Great
American Bash in 1999.

Conclusion: The
Blonds’ match and the main event make this show a must-see. WCW may have been
drawing flies at this point in wrestling history, but their product wasn’t the
reason behind it. If there was only one thing I would have changed I’d have
gotten rid of these finishes. See you at Battlebowl!

For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WCW Halloween Havoc 1993

So after reading your suggestions and making the Mello Yello move from 1993 WWF to 1993 WCW I offer a hopefully more readable review of one of WCW’s delicious bites from 1993.

Live from New Orleans, LA

Airdate: October 24, 1993

Attendance: 6,000

Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

The opening sequence begins with children trick-or-treating.
“Dracula” wants to pick the next house much to his friends’ dismay. He points
toward a mansion behind a steel gate. At the same time a man’s hand is shown
awaiting his visitors. Upon their entrance the steel gate closes behind them
frightening the other children.  “Dracula” continues onward and rings the
doorbell which rings as a high-pitch squeal. Obviously they’re taken aback by
that.

The door opens and Tony Schiavone answers. He offers the
children some cookies. “Dracula” obnoxiously tells Tony that he wants to see
something scary. He offers them a bloody Sid with a pair of scissors! Oh wait,
that happened AFTER this show in England. Alternatively he offers “Spin the
Wheel, Make the Deal” for the Vader-Cactus Jack main event. Still dissatisfied
“Dracula” asks for something even scarier. Tony calls his wager, peels back his
mask, and transforms into a hideous monster. The children try to escape, but
the door is locked. Suddenly the door opens and the wheel appears.

With the exception of Tony’s horrendous acting this wasn’t
that bad. It was actually pretty good according to WCW’s mini-movie standards.

Inside the arena Eric Bischoff welcomes us to the show
dressed as General George Custer. Tony disguises himself as “Jesse Ventura” as
Jesse wears an old doctor’s costume complete with mask. He informs Tony that he
is “Bourbon Street’s #1 gynecologist.” He even pulls the thermometer trick on
him. This show is off to an ominous start.

Match 1: The
Shockmaster, Ice Train, and Charlie Norris versus Harlem Heat and the Equalizer

Highlights:

·        
For those who are unfamiliar the members of Harlem
Heat used to be named Kane and Kole instead of Booker T (Kole) and Stevie Ray
(Kane).
·        
Additionally Charlie Norris was WCW’s awful
version of the Native American stereotype in response to Tatanka in the WWF.
·        
Tony informed us that Too Cold Scorpio and
Marcus Alexander Bagwell won the tag team titles “last night.” Considering the schedule
for the infamous Disney tapings in July this acted as a swerve to smart fans
back in 1993.
·        
Meanwhile in the early portion of the match Ice
Train popped the crowd with his power maneuvers.
·        
In an effort to continue to humiliate the Shockmaster
gimmick Jesse buried him on commentary.
·        
Tony stated that “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
will substitute for the injured Yoshi Kwan later in the show.
·        
The crowd chanted Tag Team’s “Whoomp There It
Is.”
·        
Booker T, er, I mean Kole really showed that
he’s the cream of the crop in this match.
·        
Shockmaster applied the bear hug on Kole and
slammed him for the pin.

 

Rating: ½*

Summary: This
match was the drizzling shits. At least Booker T looked good in spite of his eating
the pin.

After the match Shockmaster and the Equalizer “brawl” in the
ring. I’m sure this entertained the 300 or so fans that occupied the average
attendance at house shows during this time.

Bischoff interviews the second referee for the Rude- Flair
match–Terry Taylor. He’s going to call it “right down the middle.”

Match 2: Ricky “The
Dragon” Steamboat versus “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff (w/ the Assassin)

Highlights:

·        
The Assassin was Joe Hamilton, father to WCW
referee Nick Patrick.
·        
Not so ironically Patrick was the referee for this
bout.
·        
Steamboat sold everything like death, even a
slam on the ramp.
·        
He attempted a cross-body block from the ramp
into the ring, but Orndorff evaded him.
·        
While Orndorff worked on Steamboat’s back Ricky
concentrated on working on Paul’s arm.
·        
Outside the ring Orndorff launched Steamboat
over the steel railing.
·        
Top rope elbow to Steamboat’s head from
Orndorff.
·        
After Steamboat tossed him onto the ramp he
delivered a chop to the head from the top rope.
·        
Running atomic drop by Steamboat sent Orndorff
over the top rope back into the ring.
·        
Steamboat gave Orndorff a flying body press from
the top rope, but the Assassin occupied the referee’s attention nullifying the
pin attempt.
·        
Aggressively Steamboat pushed Patrick out of the
way but went over the top rope when Orndorff lowered it.
·        
The Assassin loaded the mask and head butted
Steamboat in the back of the head knocking him out.
·        
Orndorff won by countout.

 

Rating: ***

Summary: Countout
finish aside this match was a hard fought battle with some good work rate. I
truly enjoy Steamboat’s thirst for a pin attempt several times during a match
as it gives a sense of realism.

Tony and Jesse discuss the Big Gold Belt and WCW’s upcoming
European tour. I bet Arn Anderson and Sid Vicious regret going on that tour.
According to Tony the WCW International Board of Directors recognize Rude’s
title as a World title.

Let me add something here: Back in July WCW taped months of
matches for their Worldwide syndicated program basically giving away the
results of title changes to the members of the audience. The NWA got wind of
this and was none too pleased with the complete breach of kayfabe surrounding
their prestigious title. Consequently WCW withdrew from the NWA on September 1,
1993. Furthermore, the breach of kayfabe was exposed in an article in the
Charlotte Business Journal according to the history of WWE website hence
notifying its readers of the result of a match at an upcoming PPV event. Yikes!

Why WCW decided to keep the Big Gold Belt and recognize it
as a World title is beyond comprehension. After all once they decided to leave
the NWA, Vader’s status as the WCW champion should have skyrocketed. On the
contrary they have two World titles confusing the audience and devaluing the
WCW title altogether.

Match 3 for the World
Television title: Lord Steven Regal (champion w/ Sir William) versus “The
British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith

Highlights:

·        
Michael Buffer performed the introductions and
calls it the “Battle of Britain.”
·        
To DBS’ credit he was able to go counter for
counter against the wily Regal here.
·        
DBS applied a Mexican surfboard to Regal.
·        
Rolling senton by Regal.
·        
European uppercut/high knee combination by
Regal.
·        
DBS gave Regal a clothesline and a vertical
suplex.
·        
Upon his attempt at a powerslam Regal’s feet
knocked Sir William off the apron.
·        
DBS hit the powerslam, but Regal kicked out at
2.
·        
In the final seconds DBS gave Regal a
piledriver, but time ran out before referee Randy Anderson could count the
pinfall.
·        
Time-limit draw.

 

Rating: ***

Summary:  Obviously Regal was the ring general here
based upon the numerous submission and mat-based styles contained within the
match. In spite of the close call draw for the TV title DBS had been drawing
recently as a WCW World title contender. In fact, on the WCW European tour DBS
performed in the main event for the WCW title against Vader numerous times.

Time to spin the wheel! Vader
spins it and it lands on…                      

Steel cage match? No.

Barbed wire match? Nope.

Coal Miner’s Glove match? Nah uh,
not this year.

Texas Death match? Yes!

Match 4 for the US
title: “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes (champion) versus “Stunning” Steve Austin

Highlights:

·        
Extremely prolific sign at ringside claimed
“Stunning” Steve Austin as the wrestler of the 90s. If only WCW had listened.
·        
Continuing the introductions to title matches only
Buffer did the honors.
·        
At 261 pounds he was “The Natural.” Since he’s
currently 232 pounds can we refer to him as “The Natural Light?”
·        
In lieu of a buzz or crew cut Austin wore the
high and tight hairstyle here. 2 years later he wouldn’t have enough hair to do
so.
·        
Cross-corner whip by Austin followed by a blind
charge; however, Rhodes evaded him, and Austin tumbled over the top turnbuckle
to the floor “injuring” his knee.
·        
Rhodes seized the opportunity when Austin
re-entered the ring.
·        
As Rhodes went for the bulldog Austin caught him
and crotched him on the top rope.
·        
After a double leg pickup Austin pinned Rhodes
with his feet on the ropes, but referee Nick Patrick instructed Rhodes to
continue the match.
·        
Thinking he had the victory Austin went to the
announcer’s table to get the belt but got rolled up for the pin.

 

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  Without question I have to deduct a
half-point for that finish. Although Austin getting pinned was the right finish,
a lame distraction finish wasn’t the right decision. Perhaps Austin can find
something down the road to get an edge against Dustin. Stay tuned!

After the match Austin decimates Rhodes with a belt shot to
the head busting him open. Now both men have a reason to face each other in the
coming weeks.

WCW Battlebowl 1993 will be on November 20! Its rant has
already been scheduled.

Match 5 for the WCW
World Tag Team titles: Marcus Alexander Bagwell & Too Cold Scorpio
(champions w/ Teddy Long) versus The Nasty Boys (w/ Missy Hyatt)

Highlights:

·        
Back on October 9 Bagwell and Scorpio upset the
champs in a non-title bout on WCW Saturday Night (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCamUmKLVCs).
The rematch was set for October 23 where they scored another upset and won the
titles (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa7nHegv8LY).
·        
Buffer announced Missy Hyatt as the Nasty Boys’
escort. Insert your own joke here.
·        
Before the match Bagwell planted Hyatt with a
liplock. Tastes like mackerel, or so I’ve heard.
·        
Tag Team back again! “Whoomp, there it is!”
·        
Nasty Boys missed a double boot then Bagwell
dropkicked them. They missed again and Scorpio gave both men a flying body press.
·        
Plancha by Scorpio with the assist of Bagwell.
·        
Bagwell took a long drop to the floor courtesy
of a Nasty Boys’ double-team.
·        
Long jumped on the apron wearing a black bandana
with a white X.
·        
Meanwhile Saggs held Bagwell so that Missy could
slap the taste out of his mouth.
·        
False tag so referee Randy Anderson escorted
Scorpio out.
·        
Nasty Boys missed their patented slingshot
avalanche.
·        
Hot tag to Scorpio led to a leg lariat to
Knobbs.
·        
A Scorpio dropkick put Knobbs down then a leg
lariat put Saggs down.
·        
Moonsault by Scorpio.
·        
Missy got on the apron, but Long tried to pull
her down.
·        
Saggs knocked Long off the apron, but Bagwell
rammed Missy and Saggs’ heads together.
·        
Scorpio hit the 450 splash, but Saggs nailed
Scorpio with a boot.
·        
Knobbs made the cover, and we have new
champions!

 

Rating: ***

Summary:  Unfortunately the end result was a given
because the taping schedule would not be denied. Regardless, to say that
Scorpio and Bagwell carried the Nasty Boys here should go without saying.

Bischoff interviews Sid with Colonel Rob Parker. Sid refers
to himself as “Psycho Sid.” Truer words were never spoken two nights later.

Match 6: Sid Vicious
(w/ Colonel Rob Parker) versus Sting

Highlights:

·        
This match determined who the franchise of WCW
was.
·        
After Sting clotheslined Sid on the apron he
suplexed him back in the hard way.
·        
They brawled into the crowd. Wait! Was this 1993
or 1999?
·        
Back in the ring Sting gave Sid a top rope
clothesline.
·        
After the Colonel distracted Sting Sid
chokeslams him.
·        
As Sid occupied the referee the Colonel choked
Sting with his handkerchief.
·        
Funny bit where Sid not only picked up a
CUSHIONED chair but also hit Sting with the cushion!
·        
Sid used the steel railing to clothesline him.
·        
Powerslam by Sid followed by a bear hug.
·        
Sting rang his bell but got caught with a boot
to the midsection.
·        
Sid with a second bear hug.
·        
Sting rang his bell again, caught the foot this
time, and layed in a beating.
·        
Stinger splash!
·        
A second Stinger splash!
·        
The Colonel got nailed off the apron.
·        
Mistakenly the Colonel grabbed Sid’s foot rather
than Sting’s.
·        
Sid pointed out the error and lifted him onto
the apron.
·        
Sting rolled Sid up for the pin.

 

Rating: **1/2

Summary: Nothing
spectacular, but is there dissention between the Colonel and Sid?

After the match Sid begrudgingly forgives the Colonel.

Back in the locker room Vader boxes Harley Race’s hands.
Meanwhile Cactus Jack meditates with his bag and yells out “You can’t hurt
Cactus Jack!”

Match 7 for the WCW
International World title: “Ravishing” Rick Rude (champion) versus “Nature Boy”
Ric Flair (w/ Fifi)

Highlights:

·        
The crowd erupted when the “Nature Boy” and Fifi
make their way to the ring.
·        
Buffer rumbled.
·        
Second referee Taylor was positioned on the
floor.
·        
Rude climbed the top turnbuckle and missed the
knee drop.
·        
Flair with the knee crusher followed by the figure
four! YES!
·        
Tag Team back again! “Whoomp There it is!”
·        
Rude grabbed the ropes to break the hold.
·        
Flair grabbed the ankle and rammed the knee into
the post.
·        
Taylor did nothing to stop it, so Jesse
complained about it.
·        
After Rude tossed Flair between the ropes to the
floor Flair re-entered via sunset flip.
·        
Rude dropped to his knees and held the ropes.
Taylor put a stop to it immediately.
·        
Flair’s high cross body sent both men to the
floor. Rude got the worst of it.
·        
Flair went to work on Rude outside the ring. Again
Taylor did a piss poor job of stopping him so Jesse ranted and raved about it
some more. Funny stuff.
·        
Flair with a forearm from the top rope to the
floor! Wow!
·        
Again Flair tried the forearm from the top rope,
but Rude caught him in the midsection.
·        
Rude tried to nail Flair with a chair, but
Taylor stole it from him.
·        
Rude made Flair taste the steel. Needs Tabasco.
·        
Rude with a backbreaker then taunted Fifi.
·        
Rude hit the forearm from the top rope but hurt
his knee further.
·        
Flair flip in the corner caught the cameraman
and a clothesline from Rude.
·        
Sleeperhold by Flair.
·        
Rude again climbed to the top rope but jumped
over Flair.
·        
Flair hit the Rude Awakening!
·        
Backslide by Flair got a 2 count.
·        
Flair came off the top rope but ate boot.
·        
Double reversal on a cross-corner whip knocked
Randy Anderson out of the ring.
·        
Rude clothesline received no count; hence,
Taylor entered the ring.
·        
Flair knocked Rude into Taylor.
·        
Rude pulled out the brass knuckles, but Flair
ducked and delivered a belly-to-back suplex.
·        
The knuckles fell off Rude’s hand, and Flair
retrieved it despite a crew member’s interference.
·        
Flair knocked Rude silly with the brass
knuckles.
·        
Taylor counted 2, but Anderson stopped the count
and raised Rude’s hand.
·        
Flair lost by disqualification.

 

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  Excellent match! It was way too soon for
Rude to lose the belt. He and Flair had good chemistry and told a great story.

After the match Flair grabs the title belt and holds it
high. In the meantime Rude goes after Fifi. He carries her down the ramp until
Flair catches him from behind to rescue her. Flair tries to slap the figure
four on Rude on the ramp, but the referees stop him.

Tony and Jesse discuss the rules of the Texas Death match:

1.       No
disqualification
2.       Falls
don’t count. That means a pinfall does not decide the match.
3.       30
second rest period between falls.
4.       Falls
occur anywhere in the building.
5.       Match
continues until one man can’t get to his feet before the 10 count.

Match 8 Texas Death:
Big Van Vader (w/ Harley Race) versus Cactus Jack

Highlights:

·        
Back on April 17 Cactus Jack upset Vader by
countout. Vader asked for a rematch for the following week. During the match
Vader powerbombed Jack on the concrete knocking him out of action until
September (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VN0kM0aKJk).
·        
A series of vignettes were filmed by WCW
searching for Cactus Jack. To say that they were terrible theater is an insult
to the term theater. Amnesia and a little bag were used as plot devices, but
the story was utter tripe. Hopefully this match delivers to cover for it.
·        
Jack jumped Vader on the ramp to begin the
match.
·        
As Vader punched Jack he removed the head gear.
·        
One punch too many hit post.
·        
Jack used a chair.
·        
Moments later, Jack received a camera from a fan
and nailed Vader with it.
·        
Unprotected chair shot to the head by Jack.
·        
Vicious clothesline by Vader.
·        
Tony informed us that the WCW title was not on
the line.
·        
Jack is busted open.
·        
Jack with a belly-to-back suplex on the ramp.
·        
Race lumbered over with a chair, but Jack caught
him.
·        
Protected chair shot from Jack.
·        
Chair to the back by Jack in the graveyard.
·        
They rolled into the grave marked for Vader.
·        
Jack emerged and his eye looked grotesque.
·        
Soon after Vader emerged and was busted wide
open as well.
·        
Running clothesline put Vader down for 3.
·        
30 second rest period.
·        
As Vader made it to his feet Jack hit him with…a
cactus!
·        
Vader fell to the floor, and Jack hit him with
an elbow drop for another 3 count.
·        
30 second rest period and Vader made it to his
feet.
·        
Jack threw a wooden table into the ring.
·        
Cross-corner whip by Vader reversed by Jack into
the table. Only got a 2 count.
·        
In a loud and sick thump Jack with a sunset flip
from the apron to the floor.
·        
Vader nailed him with the legs of a cushioned
chair.
·        
Race was shown with a taser. So that’s where
Scott Hall got it!
·        
After a slam Vader climbed to the top
turnbuckle, HIT THE MOONSAULT, and pinned Jack.
·        
After the rest period Vader threw Jack onto the
ramp.
·        
Jack jumped on Vader’s back, but Vader fell back
with a very loud SPLAT! Ouch!
·        
Vader with a semi-protected chair shot followed
by a DDT onto the chair.
·        
Trainers checked on Jack, but Vader chased them
off.
·        
After clearing debris Vader pinned Jack.
·        
During the 30 second rest period Race grabbed
the taser.
·        
Jack then DDTs Vader on the chair.
·        
Both men were down. As Jack rose to his feet
Race shocked him with the taser!
·        
Vader got up before the count of 10 and was
declared the winner.

 

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  This match serves as an excellent precursor
to what ECW became in the mid- to late-90s. Even though it was a great bloody
brawl what was the point of Vader’s victory here? Jack had been hospitalized,
put through the ringer with the WCW mini-movies, and then lost the blow-off match?

After the match Jack grabs Race and DDTs him on the chair on
the ramp. Small victory for Jack there.

Conclusion:  Minus the opener
each match hovered around 3 stars. To me that’s a great show. The main event
made Cactus into a star. Unfortunately it would take another five years before
anyone put the World title on him, but that’s neither here nor there. Flair
made Rude look great in the semi-main event. Rude’s definitely world champion
caliber in spite of the “title” he held here. Sid’s loss meant more here than
Sting’s victory due to the scissors incident in Blackburn, England two days
afterward. The Nasty Boys’ victory had to happen. There was no other way around
it due to the taping cycle. Austin made Rhodes look good in their match and
hopefully subsequent matches. Bulldog would get opportunities against both
Vader and Regal while on tour in Europe so the time-limit draw didn’t hurt him.
The match between Steamboat and Orndorff was a house show dream match. It’s a crying
shame that WCW was barely drawing flies at their shows in 1993. I blame the
promotion of the events rather than the talent as I lived in the Southeast
during this time and didn’t hear much if any local promotion of WCW.

Anyways, find three hours and
watch this spectacle. I’m hoping the Clash and Battlebowl, which are next on my
plate, are this good.
For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

Rock Star Gary reflects on…King of the Ring 1993

Live from Dayton, OH

Airdate:  June 13,
1993

Attendance:  6,500

Vince McMahon welcomes us to the King of the Ring and gives
us the tournament bracket:

Quarterfinal #1:  Bret
Hart vs. Razor Ramon

Quarterfinal #2:  Mr.
Perfect vs. Mr. Hughes

Quarterfinal #3:  Bam
Bam Bigelow vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

Quarterfinal #4:  Tatanka
vs. Lex Luger

Jim Ross, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Bobby “The Brain”
Heenan represent the broadcast team. Ross mentions the WWF title match between
Hulk Hogan and Yokozuna, and Savage places his support firmly behind Hulk Hogan.
Next they discuss the Intercontinental title match between Shawn Michaels and
Crush.

Match 1 for the KOTR
Quarterfinal: Bret “Hitman” Hart versus Razor Ramon

 

Highlights:
 



·        
The fans chanted “1-2-3” at Razor due to his
loss to The Kid on RAW back on May 17.

·        
Ross explained the time limits for each round.
Quarterfinal matches have fifteen minutes; Semifinal matches have thirty; The
Final match has sixty.

·        
Bret gave Ramon an arm drag and worked on the
arm.

·        
Hip toss by Ramon countered. Hip toss by Bret
countered. Ramon clothesline.

·        
Elbow drop by Ramon missed.

·        
Bret continued to work on the arm.

·        
Thumb to the eye by Razor.

·        
Elbow off the ropes earned Razor a 2 count.

·        
Bret countered a chinlock into a hammerlock.

·        
Back elbow by Razor broke the hold.

·        
Cross-corner whip by Razor countered by Bret.

·        
Blind charge got Bret a knee to the face.

·        
Razor then tossed him shoulder-first into the
ring post.

·        
The Hulk Hogan impersonator was shown at
ringside.

·        
Ramon worked on Bret outside of the ring.

·        
The fans tried to irk Ramon with the “1-2-3”
chant.

·        
Back in the ring Ramon gave Bret a fallaway slam
for another 2 count.

·        
Ramon followed up with a running powerslam! Wow!
Hadn’t seen him do that before.

·        
Two elbow drops by Ramon were followed by a
sidewalk slam.

·        
Three missed elbow drops changed the momentum
back in Bret’s favor.

·        
Bret worked on Ramon in the corner then gave him
an inverted atomic drop.

·        
A Bret clothesline collected a 2 count.

·        
Off an Irish whip Bret hit Ramon in the gut.

·        
He then followed with a side Russian leg sweep for
another 2 count.

·        
Next Bret delivered a backbreaker. Another 2
count.

·        
Second rope elbow smash. Another 2 count.

·        
Head butt by Bret.

·        
Missed haymaker by Ramon turned into a rollup by
Bret for 2.

·        
Bulldog attempt by Bret sent him sternum-first
into the turnbuckle.

·        
Ramon signaled for the finish.

·        
Ramon set up for the Razor’s Edge, but Bret
escaped at the apex of the maneuver.

·        
Bret then attempted to hook a back slide, flipped
off the top turnbuckle, hooked the inside cradle, and almost got the pin! Wow,
that was close.

·        
As Bret argued with the referee Ramon
clotheslined him.

·        
Ramon placed Bret on the top turnbuckle and
attempted to give him a belly-to-back suplex.

·        
However, Bret countered by landing atop Ramon
and pinned him!

·        
Bret Hart advanced to the semifinals.

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  Seemingly at every turn Bret outsmarted and outwrestled
Ramon. While Ramon brought power to the match Bret had his wrestling boots
on and countered Ramon quite often.

We look back at Superstars from over the weekend where Mr.
Hughes and Giant Gonzalez manhandle the Undertaker and Paul Bearer.  Harvey Wippleman steals the urn and gives it
to Mr. Hughes. Hughes then wallops UT in the back with it. Continuing the
assault he lays out both UT and Bearer with the urn as his new prized
possession.

Match 2 for the KOTR
Quarterfinal: Mr. Perfect versus Mr. Hughes (w/ Harvey Wippleman)

Highlights:

·        
Before the match Perfect tossed his towel at Mr.
Hughes. It landed PERFECTLY on his shoulder. Excellent!
·        
As much as I enjoy Heenan’s commentary his use
of the “Brain Scan” with the telestrator was awful.
·        
Ross mentioned Hughes’ attitude issues back in
his football days at Kansas State.
·        
Perfect caught Hughes with an arm drag as Hughes
ran the ropes.
·        
A rope sequence culminated with a Perfect
dropkick sending Hughes to the ropes.
·        
Right hand by Hughes knocked Perfect over the
top rope to the floor!
·        
Head butt by Hughes sent a groggy Perfect to the
ropes.
·        
Neck vice by Hughes.
·        
As Perfect came off the ropes he ate a big boot and
a clothesline from Hughes.
·        
Snap mare and neck vice by Hughes.
·        
Perfect pulled himself up by Hughes’ tie.
·        
Cross-corner whip oversold marvelously by
Perfect.
·        
During the match Bret was interviewed and asked
about opponent preference.
·        
Vicious cross-corner whip by Hughes.
·        
As Bret chose Perfect for his preference for an
opponent Hughes blows a suplex off the ropes.
·        
Hughes choked Perfect on the ropes, missed the
running guillotine, received a chop, and then a hip toss.
·        
Backdrop, snap mare, and the rolling neck snap from
Perfect.
·        
Perfect worked him over in the corner until
Hughes grabbed the urn and NAILED him with it!
·        
Referee Earl Hebner disqualified Hughes.
·        
Mr. Perfect advanced in the tournament to meet
Bret Hart.

Rating: *

Summary:  This has to be one of Perfect’s worst matches
completely due to the ineptitude of Mr. Hughes.

Mean Gene interviews Mr. Fuji and Yokozuna. Gene reminds
them of the disastrous finish to WrestleMania IX. I concur, Gene.

Match 3 for the KOTR
Quarterfinal: Bam Bam Bigelow versus “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

Highlights:

·        
Duggan ducked a clothesline off the ropes and
delivered three of his own to knock the big man down.
·        
Cross-corner whip by Duggan reversed by Bigelow.
·        
Blind charge netted nothing for BBB.
·        
Duggan tried to slam him, but Bigelow head butted
him instead.
·        
Duggan injured his ribs on the whip so BBB gave
him an Irish whip into a bear hug.
·        
He broke the bear hug with forearms.
·        
Bigelow with a snap mare but missed the head
butt off the ropes.
·        
Again Duggan tried to slam Bigelow, but BBB fell
on top of him for a 2 count.
·        
Bigelow reapplied the bear hug.
·        
Duggan bit BBB’s head to break free.
·        
Bigelow gave him an Irish whip, but Duggan
reversed it.
·        
Duggan ducked too early so BBB attempted to kick
him in the midsection.
·        
However, Duggan moved so Bigelow fell down.
·        
This time Duggan successfully slammed BBB.
·        
With injured ribs Duggan took his three-point
stance, charged, but hit the turnbuckle as Bigelow slipped away.
·        
Taking quick advantage BBB mounted the top
turnbuckle, hit the diving head butt, and got the pin.
·        
Bigelow advanced in the tournament.

Rating: **

Summary:  This was the pure definition of a  1993 RAW main event.

Terry Taylor interviews the Smoking Gunns and the Steiner
brothers. Both teams are excited for the eight man tag team match.

Match 4 for the KOTR
Quarterfinal: “The Narcissist” Lex Luger versus Tatanka

Highlights:

·        
Savage mentioned Tatanka’s undefeated streak
while Heenan acknowledged Luger’s. Could either competitor suffer their first
defeat in the WWF tonight?
·        
As Luger posed, the referees asked him to wear a
pad over his steel-reinforced forearm to neutralize it.
·        
Luger refused so the referees confer with ring
announcer Howard Finkel.
·        
He announced that Luger must wear the elbow pad
or be eliminated from the tournament.
·        
As an outraged Luger leaned over the top rope in
disbelief, the surgical scar from the steel plate insertion was extremely
evident.
·        
Reluctantly Luger wore the elbow pad.
·        
Tatanka sprinted to the ring; however, Luger
attacked him immediately and tossed him over the top rope to complete his
posing ritual.
·        
Tatanka re-entered the ring and pushed the
mirror on top of Luger.
·        
Four chops by Tatanka sent Luger over the top
rope to the floor.
·        
Following Luger to the floor Tatanka slammed him.
·        
Cross-corner whip by Luger reversed by Tatanka
into a back drop.
·        
Running clothesline by Tatanka got a 2 count.
·        
During the match Bigelow was interviewed about
opponent preference.
·        
Without question BBB wished to face “the Indian”
and then win the tournament.
·        
Luger gave Tatanka an Irish whip but ate a cross
body block for a 2 count.
·        
Tatanka worked on Luger’s arm.
·        
Both men countered standing hammerlocks.
·        
A back elbow off the break gave the advantage to
Luger.
·        
After an Irish whip Luger buried the knee in the
midsection.
·        
An elbow smash got another 2 count for Luger.
·        
After pushing Tatanka in the corner Luger gave
him three shoulder blocks.
·        
Backbreaker and elbow drop earned Luger a 2
count.
·        
Jumping elbow drop by Luger hit getting another
2 count.
·        
Luger argued the count, so Tatanka schoolboyed
him for a 2 count.
·        
Brief comeback by Tatanka with punches and
chops.
·        
Snap mare and a reverse chinlock contributed to
Luger’s methodical pace. (© Jim Ross)
·        
Tatanka tried to make another comeback but ate a
clothesline.
·        
Elbow to the sternum earned Luger another 2
count.
·        
An attempted slam became an inside cradle for
Tatanka for 2.
·        
Irish whip by Luger segued into a sunset flip by
Tatanka.
·        
Ross noted that only 4 minutes remain in the
match.
·        
Luger berated the crowd then rammed Tatanka’s
head into the top turnbuckle.
·        
Cue Tatanka’s normal comeback as a couple of
chops put Luger down.
·        
An Irish whip by Tatanka led to a third chop and
a 2 count. 3 minutes remain.
·        
Another Irish whip and Tatanka gave him a
powerslam for another 2 count.
·        
After a slam Tatanka headed to the top
turnbuckle.
·        
Chop to the head earned another 2 count.
·        
After mounting the top turnbuckle Tatanka dove
but missed the high cross body as Luger ducked.
·        
2 minutes remain.
·        
Irish whip by Luger set up a running clothesline
and another 2 count.
·        
90 seconds remain.
·        
Another Irish whip by Luger set up the powerslam
and another 2 count.
·        
One minute left.
·        
A third Irish whip led to a back drop and a vertical
suplex by Luger.
·        
30 seconds remain as Luger got another 2 count.
·        
Backbreaker got another 2 count, and the bell
rings to end the match.
·        
Finkel announced a time-limit draw eliminating
both competitors.
·        
Consequently he revealed that Bigelow received a
bye to the finals.
·        
Luger requested the microphone and wanted five
more minutes.
·        
The crowd cheered more for that than they did
for anything else during the match.
·        
Thereafter Luger removed the elbow pad and laid
Tatanka out cold.

Rating: **

Summary:  In good conscience I cannot rate this match
any higher. Luger’s S-L-O-W pace not only telegraphed the time-limit draw a
mile away but also made the match rather boring. The pin attempts at the end
made the match somewhat entertaining, but it didn’t gel as well as it could
have. In addition it wasn’t Finkel who was announcing the time left in the
match. It was Ross; therefore, the live crowd more than likely had no idea what
happened when the bell rang. Both men maintain their undefeated streaks in the
WWF.

Mean Gene interviews both Mr. Perfect and Bret Hart. Gene
insinuates from Bret’s preference that Perfect is an easier opponent.
Immediately Mr. Perfect takes offense. They bicker over whose dad beat the
other. Bret brings up the match from Summerslam ’91 where he beat Mr. Perfect
for the Intercontinental title. Perfect fakes out Bret on a handshake. After
Bret leaves Perfect cuts a promo on Bret stating “all you Canadians are alike.”
Yikes! I’m not Canadian, but I’m offended.

Match 5 for the KOTR
Semifinal: Bret “Hitman” Hart versus Mr. Perfect

Highlights:

·        
Perfect tossed the towel behind his back to
referee Earl Hebner PERFECTLY.
·        
Bret’s fingers were taped from his previous
match. Possible finger dislocation was speculated.
·        
Both wrestlers are faces. Who do the fans in
attendance root for?
·        
Bret won a tie-up with a standing headlock.
·        
A rope sequence culminated with a Bret hip toss.
·        
Side headlock takeover by Bret countered into a
headscissors by Perfect.
·        
Bret escaped and reapplied the side headlock.
·        
Perfect took Bret to the corner and chopped him
on the break.
·        
Cross-corner whip by Perfect reversed into a
Hart body slam.
·        
Upon landing on the mat Perfect kicked Bret in
the face.
·        
Perfect got the slam this time, but Bret kicked
him in the face.
·        
Side headlock by Bret.
·        
Perfect shot Bret off the ropes, but Bret
countered with a crucifix for 2.
·        
Bret reapplied the side headlock.
·        
Once again Perfect shot Bret off the ropes, but
Bret hit the cross body for another 2 count.
·        
Perfect’s kick out sent Bret outside the ring.
·        
On the apron Bret gave him a shoulder block then
sunset flips into the ring for another 2 count.
·        
Yet again Bret grabbed a side headlock frustrating
Perfect.
·        
Perfect took him to the ropes to break then delivered
a knee and a stomp to the gut.
·        
Savage acknowledged Perfect’s “salty past.”
·        
Impressive standing dropkick by Perfect sent
Bret out of the ring.
·        
Perfect held the ropes open for Bret.
Sportsmanship!
·        
Whoops. Scratch that as Perfect kicked Bret just
before he got into the ring.
·        
He then rammed Bret’s head into the top
turnbuckle.
·        
Chop by Perfect followed by forearms to the back
of the neck.
·        
Knee lift by Perfect got a 2 count.
·        
A kick to the ribs sent Bret outside the ring
again.
·        
Perfect followed and chopped him on the floor.
·        
He then rammed his head into the apron and
re-entered the ring.
·        
Bret got back up on the apron, but Perfect sent
him flying off into the barricade.
·        
Bret writhed in pain holding his knee.
·        
Perfect punched Bret on the apron, brought him
back inside, and delivered a knee to the chin.
·        
 A punch
put a weary Bret to the canvas.
·        
Perfect mounted the top turnbuckle and delivered
a missile dropkick for a 2 count.
·        
Bret put his leg on the bottom rope to stop the
count, so Perfect grabbed both legs and got another 2 count.
·        
Chop in the corner followed by a cross-corner
whip sending Bret sternum-first to the opposite turnbuckle earning Perfect
another 2 count.
·        
Another punch put Bret back on the canvas as
Perfect mounted the top turnbuckle again.
·        
However, Bret caught him with a punch to the
gut, followed him to the top, and gave him a superplex.
·        
That earned Bret a 2 count.
·        
Bret kicked at Perfect’s knee twice then took
him down.
·        
Figure-four leg lock by Bret.
·        
Ultimately Perfect grabbed the bottom rope to
escape.
·        
Single leg takedown by Bret into a knee bar.
·        
Perfect broke the hold by dropping his free leg
across Bret’s face.
·        
Wearily both men got to their feet.
·        
Perfect rammed Bret’s head into the top
turnbuckle.
·        
Two handfuls of hair allowed Perfect to toss
Bret across the ring.
·        
Perfect Irish whipped Bret and applied a
sleeper.
·        
Bret got to the ropes to break the hold.
·        
After delivering another chop Perfect reapplied
the sleeper.
·        
Slyly Perfect used the bottom rope for leverage.
·        
Bret broke the hold by getting to his feet and
ramming Perfect’s head into the top turnbuckle.
·        
To put things in perspective Ross pontificated
about a time-limit draw causing Bam Bam Bigelow to win the tournament
automatically.
·        

European uppercut by Bret.
·        
Bret rammed Perfect’s head into the turnbuckle
and returned the favor earlier by Perfect in tossing him across the ring while
having two handfuls of hair.
·        
Inadvertently Perfect crotched himself on the
ring post.
·        
Inverted atomic drop and side Russian leg sweep
gets a 2 count for Bret.
·        
Standing leg drop, backbreaker, and Bret headed
to the corner for the elbow smash from the second rope.
·        
Cover got 2 as Perfect exited out the back door.
·        
As Bret tried to lock the Sharpshooter Perfect
grabbed Bret’s injured fingers.
·        
He then stomped on Bret’s hand.
·        
Perfect tried to give Bret the Perfectplex, but
Bret blocked it.
·        
Instead Bret suplexed Perfect over the top rope
sending both men to the floor.
·        
Savage alluded to a possible double countout
causing Bigelow’s tournament victory.
·        
Perfect returned to the ring first as Bret
limped back into the ring.
·        
Perfect hooked an inside cradle for 2, but Bret
countered for 3!
·        
A frustrated Perfect rolled out of the ring realizing
that Bret was goldbricking.
·        
He returned to the ring and shakes Bret’s hand
while exchanging words of respect undoubtedly.
·        
Bret advanced to the finals to face Bigelow.

Rating: ****

Summary:  Excellent fast-paced wrestling match!
Perfect’s unique counter to the Sharpshooter was a great nod to their previous
match at Summerslam where Perfect submitted. Considering he was a face
Perfect’s “saltiness” during the match added flavor to a face versus face
matchup. Additionally Bret’s feigning injury proved wisely for him and costly
for his opponent. On Bret’s DVD Bret mentions the catapult into the barricade
spot. He said the crate “almost blew my knee out…almost broke my leg.” He
refers to the match as “the best match we (Perfect & Bret) ever had.”

Mean Gene interviews the five-time WWF champion Hulk Hogan
with manager Jimmy Hart. In the beginning Hulk points to the airbrushed design
of his face on Jimmy’s jacket then flexes his triceps. Very patriotic if not
jingoistic promo.

Match 6 for the WWF
championship: Hulk Hogan (champion w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji)

Highlights:         

·        
In order to not insult the paying customer
Yokozuna was billed from “the Polynesian islands” rather than Japan since it’s
quite obvious that he’s not Japanese.
·        
Ross noted the presence of photographers at
ringside.
·        
Yokozuna was now billed at 550 pounds. Holy hold
the mayo, Batman!
·        
Meanwhile Hulk Hogan “trimmed down” according to
Heenan. <cough>steroid trials<cough>
·        
In stark contrast to McMahon’s commentary during
this period in time Ross’ commentary contained historical snippets such as
Hulk’s first WWF title victory in 1984.
·        
The fans chanted “Hogan.”
·        
Hmmm…shouldn’t this be the main event? Or is the
King of the Ring title more important than the WWF title? Something smells
fishy here.
·        
Yoko got the early advantage with a chop, back
rake, and a head butt.
·        
Clubbing forearm put Hogan down.
·        
Yokozuna slammed him.
·        
He then worked over Hogan in the corner.
·        
Cross-corner whip put Hogan on the canvas again.
·        
Another cross-corner whip placed Hogan in the
opposite corner, but Yokozuna missed the avalanche.
·        
Hogan landed some punches then mounted the
corner for more punches.
·        
Cross-corner whip by Hogan followed by a
clothesline.
·        
Hogan failed to slam Yokozuna.
·        
Irish whip by Yokozuna but he missed a
clothesline.
·        
Hogan returned fire with punches.
·        
An eye rake and a kick to the gut by Hogan.
·        
Again Hogan failed to slam Yokozuna.
·        
Irish whip by Yokozuna but again he missed the
clothesline and then an elbow.
·        
Hogan hit the clothesline off the ropes
staggering the big man.
·        
Another running clothesline staggered him
further.
·        
A third attempt became a Yokozuna clothesline
putting Hogan down again.
·        
Running splash missed.
·        
Hogan came off the ropes but was knocked down
attempting a shoulder block.
·        
Yokozuna applied a bear hug.
·        
Crowd chanted “U-S-A.”
·        
As Hogan faded the arm went down once…twice…but
not three times!
·        
A series of punches to the head broke the hold.
·        
Off the ropes Hogan ate a Yokozuna back elbow.
·        
Belly-to-belly suplex by Yokozuna.
·        
Huge kick out at 2 by Hogan. Now it’s Hulk-up
time!
·        
Irish whip by Hogan led to the big boot, but
Yokozuna didn’t go down.
·        
Another whip, another big boot, but again
Yokozuna stayed vertical.
·        
A third whip and big boot finally sent Yokozuna down
to the canvas.
·        
Leg drop by Hogan ONLY GOT 2!
·        
As Mr. Fuji jumped on the apron Hogan nailed
him.
·        
Hogan signaled for the slam, but a photographer (Harvey
Wippleman in disguise) got up on the apron.
·        
As Hogan confronted the photographer the camera
exploded in his face.
·        
Clothesline and leg drop by Yokozuna put Hogan
down for the pin!
·        
We have a NEW champion!
·        
Hogan got up holding his right eye.
·        
Yokozuna knocked him back down then he and Fuji
dragged him to the corner.
·        
Yokozuna hit the Banzai drop.
·        
Ross exclaims “Yokozuna has squashed
Hulkamania!”
·        
Heenan proclaims “Hulkamania is dead!”
·        
Jimmy Hart helped Hogan out of the ring.
·        
As Pat Patterson and Dave Hebner assisted Hogan
down the aisle, Heenan buried Hogan on commentary.
·        
Back in the ring Mr. Fuji and Yokozuna posed
with the championship belt.

Rating:  *

Summary:  This match would mark the last Hulk Hogan
live appearance on WWF TV until 2002 when Hogan appeared at No Way Out in
February. For all intents and purposes Hogan’s days as the all-American hero in
the WWF are over. Good riddance. He shouldn’t have held the title in 1993 to
begin with. Have fun making Thunder in Paradise, Hulkster!

Terry Taylor interviews Mr. Perfect. Perfect is obviously perturbed
over his loss to Bret Hart.

Mean Gene interviews the Intercontinental champion Shawn
Michaels and his new bodyguard. Shawn BURIES
Hogan calling him a “dinosaur.” This predates his geriatric burial at
Summerslam by twelve years! Gene then asks for the name of Shawn’s bodyguard.
Shawn tells the whole world that his bodyguard’s name is Diesel. I’m not sure
if being named after a type of gasoline is a step above Vinnie Vegas, but let’s
see how it plays out.

Match 7: The Steiners
and the Smoking Gunns versus Money, Inc. and the Headshrinkers

Highlights:         

·        
Unfortunately these guys had the unenviable task
of following that mess.
·        
As the Gunns joined the Steiners in the ring
they shot their cap guns.
·        
Scott Steiner and Ted DiBiase started the match.
·        
DiBiase took Scott down with an arm drag.
·        
Single leg takedown into a waist lock by Scott.
·        
Rope sequence culminated with a Scott dropkick.
·        
Steinerline knocked DiBiase over the top rope to
the floor.
·        
Rick hit him and threw him back into the ring.
·        
Another Steinerline put DiBiase out of the ring
again.
·        
Again Rick hit him and threw him back in.
·        
DiBiase took a powder to regroup. Fatu tagged
in.
·        
As Steiner grabbed Fatu’s arm Bart Gunn tagged
in.
·        
Fatu avoided a drop toe hold but ate a dropkick.
·        
Bart then got the drop toe hold and applied an
arm bar.
·        
Fatu Irish whipped Bart who grabbed Fatu’s head
and rammed it into the mat.
·        
Obviously having not done his homework Gunn ate
a savate kick.
·        
Samu tagged in, and the Headshrinkers
double-clotheslined Bart.
·        
Diving head butt off the ropes by Samu. IRS
tagged in.
·        
He gave Bart an elbow off the ropes as Ross
noted IRS’ three tag team title reigns with three different partners (i.e. Barry
Windham, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, and DiBiase)
·        
Leg drop to the abdomen by IRS. DiBiase tagged
back in.
·        
Whip by DiBiase and he delivered a back elbow.
·        
Vertical suplex by DiBiase.
·        
Samu tagged back in then chopped and head butted
Bart.
·        
Fatu tagged in and the Headshrinkers gave Bart a
back drop.
·        
Head butt to the abdomen by Samu earned Fatu a 2
count.
·        
Backbreaker by Fatu.
·        
IRS tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and
leveled Bart with a right hand.
·        
Meanwhile Ross promised us an update on Hulk
Hogan.
·        
Leg drop by IRS got a 2 count.
·        
Sunset flip by Bart got a 2 count.
·        
Whip off the ropes and both men clotheslined
each other.
·        
DiBiase and Billy Gunn tagged in.
·        
Cross-corner whip turned into a back drop
followed by two clotheslines by Billy.
·        
Stun-gun by DiBiase.
·        
DiBiase hooked the Million Dollar Dream but released
it after referee Danny Davis raised Billy’s arm only once.
·        
Oozing of swagger DiBiase believed he had Billy right
where he wanted him.
·        
He tried to slam Billy but was hooked into an
inside cradle for the pin!
·        
All eight men entered the ring and a melee ensued.
·        
Scott LAUNCHED IRS out of the ring.
·        
The faces prevailed as the heels headed for
higher ground.

Rating: **

Summary: Standard
tag-team formula stuff here. I would have loved to have seen Scott give someone
the Steiner Screwdriver here.  Considering
DiBiase’ pin here it telegraphed the end of Money, Inc.’s title reign.  Subsequently they lost the titles the next
night at a house show.

Mean Gene interviews NEW
WWF champion
Yokozuna along with Mr. Fuji. 
WWF President Jack Tunney congratulates the new champion. Mr. Fuji
unintentionally quotes the chorus to Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m Goin’ Down” while
commenting on the Hulkster.

Match 8 for the WWF
Intercontinental championship: “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels (w/ Diesel)
versus Crush

Highlights:         

·        
Prior to the match Ross informed us that Hogan
suffered neither permanent damage to his vision nor broken ribs.
·        
Back on May 17 Shawn Michaels lost the
Intercontinental title to Marty Jannetty.
·        
However, on June 6 with the help of the debuting
Diesel Michaels regained the title.
·        
Crush won the initial tie-up with a standing
headlock.
·        
After Shawn threw Crush off into the ropes he was
mauled by a Crush shoulder block knocking him completely out of the ring.
·        
Crush won another lock-up with a standing
headlock.
·        
Knowing he couldn’t win a wristlock battle he
forwent it and hit Crush in the ribs.
·        
A rope sequence culminated with a left by Shawn.
·        
Shawn won the next lock-up and worked on Crush’s
arm.
·        
Another rope sequence almost ended via a Shawn
super kick, but he missed.
·        
Instead Crush delivered a dropkick. Wow!
·        
A second dropkick sent Shawn over the top rope
to the floor.
·        
Single leg takedown by Shawn, but Crush kicked
him away.
·        
Two single leg takedowns by Crush followed by an
arm drag.
·        
As Crush gave Shawn a military press and a tilt-a-whirl
backbreaker Savage believed Crush can slam Yokozuna. They might have to try
that perhaps on a national holiday aboard a battleship.
·        
As Crush signaled for the Kona Clutch Diesel
dragged Shawn out of the ring.
·        
Crush followed Shawn to the floor only to be outsmarted
by the speed of Michaels who chop blocked him.
·        
Behind the referee’s back Diesel rammed Crush’s
head into the ring post.
·        
Shawn met Crush on the outside and rammed the
back of Crush’s head five times into the ring post. OUCH!
·        
Shawn physically picked Crush up off the floor
and tossed him back in the ring.
·        
He dragged Crush to the middle of the ring for
the seemingly obvious pin.
·        
But Crush kicked out at 2!
·        
Five stomps kept Crush down as Shawn mounted the
top turnbuckle.
·        
Shawn hit the double axe handle to the back of
the neck.
·        
He continued to work on the back of the neck and
applied a front face lock.
·        
Crush broke the hold by throwing Shawn off.
·        
Shawn reapplied the hold, but Crush sent him
into orbit.
·        
Third front face lock by Shawn.
·        
Immediately Crush picked him up and draped him
across the top rope and out to the floor.
·        
Shawn re-entered the ring via the top rope, but
upon leaping his head was rammed into the canvas.
·        
Irish whip by Crush led to a back drop, cross-corner
whip, and a backbreaker for a 2 count.
·        
Another Irish whip by Crush led to the big boot,
and a standing leg drop got another 2 count.
·        
Clothesline over the top rope by Crush.
·        
Two Doinks marched to the ring smoking cigars.
·        
As they distracted Crush Shawn delivered the
super kick to the back of the head earning the victory by pinfall.
·        
The Doinks high-tailed it backstage, and Crush
immediately charged after them.

Rating: ***

Summary:  Aside from the bad finish Shawn’s selling
along with Crush’s moveset made this match very entertaining. I’m glad we didn’t
get the Crush/Doink rematch here because it would have been a lot worse.

Mean Gene interviews Bam Bam Bigelow. He’s “fresh as a
daisy” and fired up!

Match 9 for the KOTR
Final: Bret “Hitman” Hart versus Bam Bam Bigelow

Highlights:         

·        
As much as I admire Bigelow for his wrestling
ability, the WWF music they gave him reminds me of the Flintstones’ character.
Maybe they should have had Luna dress like Pebbles. By the way where is she?
·        
Ross stated that the time between BBB’s matches was
an hour and 20 minutes.
·        
Thus, while Bigelow was fresh Bret favored his
leg along with some possibly dislocated fingers.
·        
BBB charged Bret, missed, and landed face-first
to the turnbuckle.
·        
Irish whip by Bigelow led to an attempted
military press.
·        
Instead Bret used his own momentum to knock BBB
down and received a 2 count.
·        
Bigelow whipped Bret off the ropes and gave him
a shoulder block.
·        
Military press by BBB.
·        
He vaulted Bret over the top rope to the floor.
·        
He then followed him and tossed him back in.
·        
Two head butts to the lower back by Bigelow.
·        
Hard cross-corner whip by BBB sent Bret back
first to the opposite turnbuckle and then to the canvas.
·        
Off the ropes Bigelow gave him a jumping head
butt to the shoulder.
·        
Two count broken by Bret’s foot on the ropes.
·        
BBB hooked that leg and got another 2 count.
·        
Bigelow continued to work on Bret’s back.
·        
Fantastic belly-to-back suplex by BBB.
·        
Brief Bret comeback thwarted by Bigelow.
·        
Another cross-corner whip further weakened
Bret’s back.
·        
Head butt knocked Bret down.
·        
Diving head butt off the ropes by BBB.
·        
Irish whip by Bigelow followed by a bear hug.
·        
Neck vice broke the hold; however, BBB gave him
another belly-to-back suplex.
·        
Mean Gene oversaw the match from the coronation
stage.
·        
Bigelow again tossed Bret out of the ring and
followed him.
·        
He tried to whip Bret but was reversed and sent
into the barricade.
·        
Bret made BBB taste the steel. Probably needed
ketchup.
·        
Elbow from the apron to the floor by Bret.
·        
Bret dove from the apron to the floor but got
caught.
·        
Bigelow rammed Bret back-first into the ring
post.
·        
He took Bret to the entryway and slammed him on
the unpadded floor.
·        
Luna Vachon came down the aisle and popped (i.e.
lightly tapped) Bret on the back with a chair behind the referee Joey Marella’s
back.
·        
She scampered back to the dressing room.
·        
BBB joined Bret on the floor and tosses him back
in.
·        
Slam put Bret down on the mat.
·        
Bigelow climbed to the top rope, hit the diving
head butt, and got the pin?
·        
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Bret got screwed again!
·        
Wait a minute…I don’t recall BBB winning the
King of the Ring.
·        
Hold the phone! Referee Earl Hebner came out to
notify Marella of the chicanery perpetrated by Luna.
·        
Finkel announced that the referee reversed the
decision, but Hebner stopped him in mid-sentence.
·        
Hebner informed Finkel that he wanted the match
to continue.
·        
As soon as Finkel made the announcement Bigelow
furthered his weakening of Bret’s back.
·        
Yet another cross-corner whip zapped some strength
from Bret’s back.
·        
Another Irish whip by BBB set up a second bear
hug.
·        
Bret tried to break but Bigelow put him in the
backbreaker a la Superstar Billy Graham.
·        
Bret escaped and gave BBB a belly-to-back suplex
of his own.
·        
Up first Bigelow came off the ropes but missed
the senton.
·        
Fourth cross-corner whip into another
backbreaker.
·        
Bret raked the eyes and hooked the sleeper while
riding BBB’s back.
·        
Bigelow tossed him overhead to break the hold.
·        
Running dropkick by Bret sent BBB into the ropes
and almost over.
·        
Bret then tossed him over the top rope.
·        
Plancha by Bret.
·        
After a series of punches Bret tossed Bigelow
back into the ring.
·        
Second rope clothesline by Bret got a 2 count.
·        
Side Russian leg sweep and second rope bulldog
by Bret.
·        
Attempted Sharpshooter but BBB kicked him away.
·        
Bret came off the ropes back into a third bear
hug.
·        
He then ate some Bigelow tattoo to break the
hold. Tasted like chicken.
·        
Attempted belly-to-back suplex by Bret countered
into a 2 count for BBB.
·        
Fifth cross-corner whip by Bigelow, but a blind
charge got boots to the face.
·        
Bret mounted the second rope again, hooked the
victory roll, and wins!
·        
Bret Hart became the King of the Ring!
·        
Savage entered the ring to congratulate him.
 
Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  Great big man-little man match-up. Since it
was Bret’s third match but only Bigelow’s second I can understand Bigelow’s
getting the majority of the offense here. Though repetitive the psychology of
working the back worked well for the Bammer. Certainly this is one of the
highlights of Bret’s career along with his World title reigns.

Tony Garea leads Bret to the coronation stage. Mean Gene
places the royal robe on Bret and hands him the scepter. Gene then bestows the
crown upon Bret’s head. But before Bret can say a word Jerry “The King” Lawler
interrupts the proceedings.  He refers to
Bret as “the pretender to my throne.” 
Lawler offers him the title of “Prince” if he will honor him by kissing
Jerry’s feet.

Bret retorts by insulting Jerry’s integrity due to his lack
of entry into the tournament. He then refers to Lawler as the “burger king.” As
Bret chants “burger king” to incite the crowd Lawler nails Bret in the head and
then the back with the scepter.

Afterwards Lawler stomps on the crown and throws the throne
onto Bret’s back. OUCH! He then jabs Bret In the ribs with the remainder of the
scepter. Next he chokes Bret with it then tosses the robe off the stage.  Lastly he drops the stool into Bret’s
midsection.

Grabbing the microphone Lawler tells the befallen Bret to
kiss his feet. He then kicks Bret in the face sending him off the stage.

Conclusion:  Yokozuna may be the WWF champion, but
Bret Hart cemented himself here as the true workhorse/top dog of the promotion.
While not having the WWF title in his grasp Bret received a nice pat on the
back here from the WWF along with earning a long-time rival in Lawler. We’ll
see where this goes.

Additionally it should be noted that despite the title match
being Hogan’s final televised match in the WWF (until 2002) he worked the house
show circuit. His last appearance for the WWF was on August 6 in Sheffield,
England. He defeated Yokozuna by disqualification.

I would be remiss if I didn’t proclaim that I truly enjoyed
this show more than WrestleMania IX. If the combination of three great Bret
matches and a good Shawn match is your cup of tea seek it out and enjoy!

For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

RF Video Shoot Interview with Gary Hart

This was filmed in 2007

It runs for two hours and thirty-three minutes

The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein

Hart said he became a fan when he went to visit his uncle in Southern Illinois and saw wrestling there. His favorite wrestler was Rip Hawk and Hart said that fifteen years later, he went on to become his manager. 

He said that he got into the business by accident. Hart was a competitive swimmer and saw someone named Billy Gills, who ended up breaking him into the business in 1960.
Hart said that training was brutal as a lot of guys in their 40’s and 50’s would come in and stretch them out during training. He did say that the psychology was the hardest part, specifically laying out the match. He said that by working with a lot of old-timers when he started, it helped him out a lot in that aspect.
When asked about his first matches, he says that he barely remembers and can only recall his second match when he went fifteen minutes with a guy named Tiger Malloy.
As far as which territories he wrestled in, Hart says he was in Chicago first then went on to Detroit, where he met George the Animal Steele, who wrestled under a mask as “The Student.” Hart says that was the first guy he managed that he helped get to a national level. He says that he was in the business for three years at the time and Steele was just starting out so Hart said he made Steele is “guinea pig.”
Hart is asked why he switched from a wrestler to a manager and he said that he was a “ham-and-egger” and could have made a decent career but thought he had an eye for talent and thought he would be a much better manager.
After leaving Detroit, he briefly wrestled in Amarillo but hated it as he was use to Chicago’s nightlife and called it a culture shock then went over to Dallas. Hart said that he grew up a street kid in Chicago and mentions that multiple times throughout the interview, implying that made him act the way he did when he felt that he was getting fucked over. 
Hart said that he was able to deal well with others and never afraid to get fired or have someone say no, which made him good in his role.
When asked, Hart said he gave himself the “Playboy” name. He started off as “Hurricane” first when he worked in Chicago then switched to “Playboy” when he went to Detroit.
He now talks about the Sheik and how he lived at his house and was a father-figure towards him. He said that the experience he gained from him was invaluable, even if he didn’t make much money with him. When asked, Hart said that the Sheik was very protective of his image and would not talk to anyone in public unless he had a relationship with them. He said that the Sheik matches against Mark Lewin would sell out and draw the money in the territory, along with Bobo Brazil.
Hart said that he didn’t patent his style after anyone and did not want to be the center of attention like Jimmy Hart, Jim Cornette, or Bobby Heenan but said that he knew by sitting in the corner they could focus on the talent and still see him there and hate him too. Hart also said that it is not a bad thing to be a manager like the guys he mentioned above.
He then discusses how he went to Amarillo. He was in Detroit when “The Student” left to wrestle in Pittsburgh and went on to become George Steele and wanted to go somewhere else so the Sheik made a call to Dory Funk Sr. and he went to Amarillo.
Hart said that Dory Funk Sr. was a rough but fair guy. He also calls him the first guy who paid him what he deserved. He then said that the trips were long and the buildings did not have any air conditioning.
When asked how he met Terry Funk, Hart said he was in a match with Dory Funk Jr. At the time, he would use the eye claw. He had Dory in the move and heard the crowd roaring as Terry Funk ran to the ring and tried to hop over the top rope but his foot got caught and he fell and Dory told Hart that was his brother, Terry.
He first met Fritz Von Erich in Detroit. Fritz was a heel in Detroit but when he came back, he was a fan favorite. Hart said that Fritz told him that one day he was going to run his own territory and would want him to work there. Later on, Fritz called him and said he was trying to win the book from Paul Boesch in Houston.
Hart said that he was the booker, match-maker, and TV producer for Fritz but they were never friends as the only thing they had in common was their love for wrestling. They worked well together but outside of the ring, their were completely different.
He tells a story of how he slapped Paul Boesch across the face after he was stiffed on a payout then told by Boesch that if he was an actual wrestler, then maybe he would have gotten paid better. Hart then had to speak with Fritz, who was pissed, then Hart snapped back at him about how he tried to screw over Boesch for the book and is now trying to yell at him for slapping Boesch and Hart said they could both go fuck themselves and left.
Hart is asked if he was really given the name “Gay” Gary Hart when in Amarillo and he said that he was but didn’t feel it was right to degrade homosexuals by acting flaymboyant.
He went back to Detroit after being in Dallas. Hart then talked about how Fritz was sending messages to Killer Karl and Billy Red Lyons for Hart to call him. Hart did and said that he called Fritz and worked out a deal for him to get more money and he went back. When asked, Hart said that Fritz had respect for him by not rolling over and taking a lesser deal and knew that Fritz respected him a lot as a talent.
Now, Hart is asked about how he ended up managing The Spoiler. Hart said that he met him for the first time in Amarillo when he was on his way out. He was wrestling as Don Jardine at the time. When Hart returned to Dallas, Fritz asked him if he would like to manage Jardine and Hart said that he did and they put a mask on him and he became “The Spoiler.” Hart said that Jardine had been fucked over a lot before he went to work for Fritz and after being with Hart for a while, Jardine learned to trust him. Hart then adds while he has made a lot of wrestlers over his career, The Spoiler made him. When asked if The Spoiler could have been the World Champion, Hart said he could have but promoters were scared of him because The Spoiler would have no problem smacking them around if he was stiffed on payouts.
Now, Hart talks about touring Australia with The Spoiler for Jim Barnett. He recalls Ivan Koloff was there and only knew one Russian word and in Australia, the population was diverse and they would swear at him in Russian and didn’t say anything back. Despite that, he managed to get over.
Hart is asked about Ivan Koloff having a drinking problem and he tells a story of how he, Swede Hanson, and Rip Hawk all got shitfaced before getting on a plane to Sydney. They landed and sobered up a little bit then they decided to go out and get shitfaced again. Koloff came over to where Hart was staying and they heard a thud from his room, where Koloff passed out, and when he opened the door, Koloff was gone. He saw Koloff the next day at the stadium and said that he snuck out and met Hawk and Hanson again at a bar.
When asked, Hart said that the promotional wars were very dirty and that guys from other places would slash your tires in the parking lot as your show was going on.
Hart loves Bill Watts but says that his reputation as a bully was warranted. He tells a story about Ox Baker, who was a big, awkward guy that drew a lot of money. Hart says that as long as you can make people buy a ticket, you can surround them with talent to make them look better. After a few days of having bad matches, Watts told Baker that he was the worst worker he has ever met in his life. Baker asked Hart if he was that bad and Hart said no and that Watts couldn’t work either. A few days later when Watts ran him down again, Baker replied back he was a terrible worker and when Watts asked him how he knew that, Baker said that Gary Hart told him. Hart then said that Watts’ face turned bright red and he looked like he was going to snap but he stopped and laughed before leaving the locker.
Rob asks Hart about Jerry Jarrett and how he said he was a thief. Hart calls Jarrett a “bum” and a “piece of shit.” He then tells a story of how he was in the Carolinas working for the Crockett’s. Jim Barnett called Hart and wanted him for the final Australian tour. He promised the Crockett’s to help out the guys that worked for the Fuller’s, who were buying into the company. Brute Bernard and himself were the only ones that helped out and they left. Barnett called him and he went down to Atlanta. Watts was the booker but was having problems with Fred Ward, who Hart said looked down at wrestlers and treated them like shit, so Watts left and was replaced by Jarrett. And after Hart helped out his guys in Australia, Jarrett came in and told Hart if he did not do what he said, he was going to straighten him out. After that, Hart slapped him around a bit and as a result, he was fired.
Hart then went to Florida after being fired from Atlanta. He talks about Eddie Graham and how he would give shitty payouts. Hart tells a story after they drew a $50,000 house in 1974, the main event got 1% of the house. When asked if he agreed about Graham being the best guy at finishes in the business, Hart said that he knew how to manipulate wrestlers and he used a lot of ref bumps. Hart says he was a great man in wrestling but wasn’t the best. He did not know why he committed suicide and said Mike Graham was a wonderful person.
Now, Hart talks about Dusty Rhodes. He said that he never saw someone who could sell out arena’s like him and said that in Florida, he sold out 16 weeks in a row, running the same towns each week. He mentions how he was with The Spoiler in Dallas when they first discovered Dusty. He was reading a poetry book and wearing a pair of glasses. Hart said that Dusty had natural charisma and could draw people too him. He said that people bash Dusty but he made a lot of guys a lot of money as the booker for the NWA when they had nothing coming into the territory. Hart says that there would never be a Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, or Rock if not for Dusty, who created pandemonium in wrestling.
Hart is asked about the plane crash in 1974. He said he was sitting in the back next to Bobby Shane listening to his walkman when he plane crash. They were getting ready to fly into Sarasota and they got caught in a storm cloud and broke out and had to circle over the bay to land and as they started to circle, they flew into the ocean. Hart said that right before they crashed into the water, Austin Idol yelled to pop out his seatbelt and Hart did that just in time. He then said the next thing he knew, he was floating on top of the water and realized he had survived. He saw a light and started to swim and saw Austin Idol, who was panicking. Hart said he calmed in down a bit and pulled him to shore. He then heard Buddy Colt, the pilot, screaming and found him and was able to pull him back to shore. Hart said at that point, he was getting really weak and had lost his right eye, fractured his clavicle and sternum, broken vertebrae and wrist and received 180 stitches when it was all said and done. It was low tide and he was able to reach the ladder after crawling on Buddy’s back and saw someone and they called the police. He went to the dock and dropped a boat then sat under a tree and waited for the ambulance to come. Bobby Shane was killed in the crash.
After that, he went to Atlanta and became the booker. He paired up Bob Orton & Dick Slater and paired up Mark Lewin vs. Adbullah the Butcher and brought in guys from all over due to his connections and said because he was not a domineering guy and wanted to get guys to trust him that he had the right idea. However, he got fired after Eddie Graham, Buddy Fuller, and Fred Ward all wanted him out and Barnett had to let him go, because those were his partners.
Hart then took the book from Red Bastein and was in World Class from 1976-1982. When asked if he trained the Von Erich boys, he said that he trained David, Kevin, and Kerry. He also said that he was the one who pushed him.
He is then asked if David was the most talented of his brothers and Hart said it is tough to say. He said that Kevin was good looking and high flying and David was the better technical wrestler. Hart then said that Kerry had some qualities of his brothers but was the typical dumb jock, which Hart said he doesn’t mean any disrespect and that he loved Kerry.
Hart talks some more about the Von Erich boys and said that despite the fact people think they only got over because their father pushed them, most people did not want to work with them because they were the promoter’s kids and it ended up being a detriment. He said a lot of guys did not want to come in to put over Fritz’s sons. Hart said that he picked in the right guys to bring in for them to face.
When asked if Fritz gets a bad reputation for how he treated his sons, Hart said that he does. He tells a story from 1966, when the boys were very young and in the locker room. They called him “Uncle Gary” as they did not have any uncles and they would tell Hart that they were going to grow up and wrestle him one day. He said that his dad never wanted them to be in wrestling as they were all playing sports throughout high school in college.
When asked about which Von Erich picked up training the easiest, he said that David did in the technical aspect and that Kevin did as far as carrying himself in the ring. Hart said that the boys were respectful and that they never, ever used the fact that their dad was the promoter to talk down to the rest of the locker room. Hart says that they were nice, respectful kids.
Hart is asked about the drug problems that the Von Erich’s had. He said it was overblown but that there main problem was prescription drugs and they kept having doctors give them prescriptions. Hart said he did approach Fritz but he was in complete denial. Hart himself said that he constantly smoked marijuana but would do so at home. Hart said when he was there, he never saw the Von Erich’s no-show any dates.
On the subject of drug use, Hart said that when he produced TV his rule was that if you came in high, you did not work. He said that the Von Erich’s knew if he saw them high, he would send them home.
He now talks about the evolution of the television show. He then said that Mickey Grant had six cameras and wanted to film at the Sportatorium. Hart said that Fritz struggled to understand how television would better the product and puts over Grant for his ideas, such as camera close-ups, then finishes by saying how he believes the TV shows revolutionized the business.
On the subject of the Fabulous Freebirds, Hart said that he brought them in as faces with the plan to turn them heel. It was Christmas and Kerry Von Erich was facing Ric Flair in a cage match. Hart said at the time, he would use troubleshooting referee’s and the Von Erich’s would get screwed over. He then let the fans vote on who would be the referee and they chose Michael Hayes. During the match, Hayes and Von Erich had an argument and as Hayes left, Von Erich went over in an attempt to patch things up but Flair attacked Kerry from behind with a bat and Kerry went into Michael then as Kerry went near the door, Terry Gordy slammed the cage off of his head and the feud was born.
Hart is asked about The Great Kabuki and said that he was a humble guy. Hart said he was looking for a Japanese guy for a long time and found him and really put over his matches with Jimmy Valiant.
When asked about the downfall of the promotion, Hart said when Gino Hernandez died and David Von Erich accidentally overdosed then Chris Adams went to prison for headbutting a pilot, the promotion could not recover as they were presented as family entertainment at the time.
Hart said that Gino Hernandez was like a son to him but he was a tortured soul. He said that he did overdose (there are still questions today regarding his death) and that he had a tremendous cocaine habit.
He ended up leaving Dallas as he was getting underpaid and said that they drew $250,000 on Christmas weekend and Fritz fucked him over on payoffs and he left. He said that Fritz tried to get him to return and said that he declined, saying he was happy in the Carolinas with the guys he was managing. Fritz then called again and asked him if he wanted to come in and help turn Chris Adams heel. He said that he agreed and spent a few days with Adams and said he did great business there.

He calls the program with Kevin Von Erich and Adams one of the stiffest programs ever. He said they had great matches together. After that ended, Gino Hernandez returned to team with Adams against Kevin & Kerry for another long feud that drew a lot of money.

Hart said that he loved working with the Freebirds. He says that Michael Hayes was a capable guy in the ring and doesnt get enough credit. He didnt mind working with Abdullah but said that he had a problem with losing.

When asked about Bruiser Brody, he said that Brody never trusted anyone due to being lied to by multiple promoters and think they got along because Hart was honest with them. He then talks about being able to work with guys who were known as being difficult because he was honest and would use them to the best of their abilities. When asked about Brody’s reputation of being difficult as told by Bobby Heenan and Nick Bockwinkle, Hart said that they would all flip out and get pissed if they were shorted on payoffs or asked to make someone else look good at their expense too but the difference is that Brody would beat the shit out of you.

He shoots down the story of KerryVon Erich allegedly throwing a saw blade at a cat, stating Kerry would never do that as he loved animals.

Hart said that he was not the type of manager for the WWF as they someone with a personality of Lou Albano or Bobby Heenan. Hart then said that the talent he managed knew that he would go to the office to get them what they wanted and if it failed, they would both go elsewhere. Hart admits to being very difficult and said there was hell to pay if he did not get his way, also making him a bad fit for the WWF. He said once he managed The Spoiler in Dallas, he had nothing but success.

He is asked about his last WCW run. At the time, Hart was in Dallas and said he was frustrated with Ken Mantell, who was the booker, because he did not like his ideas so he left. Once the Crockett’s sold to Turner, Al Perez left and they asked him if he could create another Great Kabuki character. They had Keiji Mutoh in mind and Hart said he wanted him to be different than Kabuki and said he wanted to make him the opposite and they made him the Great Muta.

Hart said that Al Perez was the greatest athlete he had ever managed. Rob tells Hart that they did a shoot with Al a few years ago then asks how he ended up disappearing from the business. Hart said that he lobbied for him to work with Ric Flair and the first night they were supposed to wrestle, Kevin Sullivan came to him and said Perez was going to shoot on Flair and take the belt. Hart then asked Perez if this was true and he said it was, because he thought he was the better wrestle and could shoot on him and take the belt, thus getting a bigger contract. Hart said he could not do this with him as he knew the Crocketts and told Sullivan it was indeed true and they came up with the idea that since Hart was not there in Perez’s corner, they could not have the match and after that, Perez was done. Hart said he hated to see that but he had a responsibility to the office and promotion and was the one who went to the office and pitched the idea.

When asked if he saw the tension behind the scenes between Flair and Rhodes, Hart said it was overblown and they had nothing to be upset about as they were making a ton of money.

He said when Dusty left WCW, there was no one else with experience to run the company and that is why it struggled.

Hart said he came up with the J-Tex corporation and it ended up clicking. He wanted to have a corporation-type of stable.

When asked about Sting, Hart said that he was a “selfish, egotistical bastard” and thought that wrestling owed him something and had no respect for the guys that helped put him over. He then says if you have seen one Sting match, you have seen them all. Hart said they developed the super hero persona that children and women loved and when he went to the crow Sting, the fans never wanted to see that.

Hart said that he liked Lex Luger a little more than Sting but called him a loner and that he also did not have respect for the business.

Rob tells Hart about Flair being instrumental in killing the Funk/Flair program. Hart disagreed and said that it was the committee who wanted to get back to the “Four Horseman,” which Hart called “older than his grandmother’s tits” and no one wanted to see that again.

When asked about putting the bag over Flair’s head on TBS, he said the phones lit up at TBS and he took most of the heat and said it was his idea .

Hart said that he was not involved in the booking during 1989, saying it was the committee. He only helped structure the matches of his guys.

He is asked about some of the other people that were there. Hart said that Heyman tried to overshadow the wrestlers he managed but thought he was okay. Regarding Buzz Sawyer, he said that he was terrific but when he was on drugs, he was impossible to deal with.

On how he left WCW, he had an incident at a show in Baltimore with some fans and Hart ended up slapping them. Gary Jester, the promoter of the building, kicked the guys out then they threatened to sue. Hart said that Jim Herd wanted him to go to court and admit that it was “fake” but Hart said that he was not going to do that and told Herd to “kiss his ass” and “go to hell” then quit and went back to Texas.

After WCW, Hart said that he stayed home with his family and said that while he loved wrestling, he hated the travel and said the locker rooms started to feel like prisons and while driving on the highway, he would see homes that had their lights on inside and wondered why he was not with his family. He then said while the people would just see that small glimpse of them on TV, they had no idea what they had to do in order to get to that point. He felt that he was missing his children as they grew up and wanted to be with them instead of calling his family from a hotel room.

Hart is asked how he wound up in MLW with Court Bauer. He was called if he wanted to be a part of the 15th anniversary of the “I Quit” match. From there, he became friends with Bauer and encouraged him to send his resume to the WWE. Hart said he helped teach Bauer how to conduct himself in the office setting and said he was the last guy he helped in the business. He then talks about independent promotions today and said he need to focus on a smaller amount of guys instead of the “bigger is better” mentality, noting that it is a more affordable way to run a company.

He talks about guys today in the independent scene who all look alike and use the same highspots and calls it boring. He then talks about the WWE and likes John Cena and Randy Orton and others who are very good but today there are fewer elite guys.

When asked about his favorite guys to manage, Hart listed off several like The Spoiler, Al Perez, and Gino Hernandez. He never hated anyone he managed and makes a point of saying how you do not want to go the extra mile for a guy that you hate. Rob asks him about the Ultimate Warrior, who Hart managed when he was called the Dingo Warrior, and Hart said that he was a wonderful guy who was always nice and respectful towards him.

If he was managing today, Hart said he could manage guys like HHH, Batista, and Orton. He talks about people ragging on HHH for marrying Vince’s daughter but said he is a tremendous performer. Hart said Batista is limited but reminds him of Road Warrior Hawk.

Hart talks about Vader, who he said had a problem dealing with people and was generally unhappy. Hart thinks he could have helped him and a guy like Sid Vicious as they were constantly having people in their ears talking them up and telling them what to do.

Rob asks him about the Missing Link and if he had a problem with him. Hart said that he did. When he was in World Class, Ken Mantell came back to the company. Hart was the matchmaker and while he was in the dressing room, Link came from behind and hit him in the back of the head. Hart thought nothing of it because he said wrestlers did all sorts of crazy shit. Link then hit him in the temple and knocked him off of the bench. Hart said that Link went over to pick him up but Hart reached in his pocket for his straight-edge razor, which he carried for protection, and started to cut Link, who Hart said ended up running away screaming like a bitch. Hart believes that Mantell put Link up to the attack.

He talks about wrestlers today and how the promoters control guys as there is nowhere else to go to make money and you can either stay with the WWE or go home.

When asked if he is surprised that Flair is still on TV today, Hart said that is sad. He follows that up by saying there is a life after wrestling and you do not have to continue to be your character and talks about how some guys can only identify themselves as their character. He feels bad for people like that. He does credit Flair for not cheating the fans out in his matches but still hates to see him out there and thinks it is time to hang it up when you reach your late 40’s.

Hart says that the guys to write the “dirt sheets” try to represent themselves as legitimate reporters but said that not one of them has called him to ask about the Von Erich’s or even himself. He mentions how someone was sandbagging Muta, stating he needed a job, and kept on writing that. He calls them “gossip columnists” and not legitimate news people.

When asked about playing ribs, Hart said he did not like them and said they are disruptive and embarrassing.

He says that independent workers today do not know how to work a match from beginning to end as they do not know how to make the crowd part of the match. He says that you cant go on the top rope and say look at me and expect the crowd to care. Hart said the art of involving the crowd into the match is lost and that is why wrestling is suffering.

Hart says that he does not blame Chris Benoit’s death on steroids but the media jumped on it, like they do with other things, and calls them the “biggest bunch of whores” ever invented. He says they can care less about what kind of slander they bring. He said blaming Vince for Benoit is like blaming him for the death’s of the Von Erich’s, Gino Hernandez, and Chris Adams.

He says that he has no regrets at all about his career and talks about how he grew up on the streets of Chicago with little education and got involved in wrestling and got to travel the world and make a lot of money.

Hart closes by thanking the fans, stating that if not for them, they would not be able to do what they did. Hart then said he enjoyed the interview.

Final Thoughts: I liked this interview a lot. Sure, Hart came across a bit arrogant but so have a lot of others that had far less talent or have accomplished a lot less. Throughout the interview, he provided a ton of insight abut what he did and displayed a lot of knowledge about the business, making excellent points throughout. Hart also gave off a relaxed vibe her and not once seemed bitter and as he mentioned, he left the business because he wanted to stay home with his family, not because he could not find a way out. He did a lot of wonderful things in his career, especially in World Class.

The part that really stood out for me was when he recalled what happened in the plane crash. It was amazing what he was able to do and it was chilling to hear the events that occurred. To save lives in a situation like that is amazing and I give him all of the credit in the world to be able to stay calm and think the way he did.

Hart was not afraid to hold back and that was refreshing too. He admits that he was not into getting fucked up or pulling pranks so do not expect to hear a lot of that here. Hart came across as a no-nonsense type of guy in a big way. He also showed a lot of affection towards the Von Erich boys and really seemed to genuinely care for them. I do recommend this interview, especially if you are a fan of World Class, but be warned, the beginning is about territories in Chicago and Detroit from the early 1960’s that most people are not that familiar with.

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WrestleMania IX!

Live from Las Vegas, NV                                                                                                        

Airdate:  April 4,
1993

Attendance:  16,891

Gorilla Monsoon welcomes us to Caesar’s Palace for
WrestleMania IX. In case you’re not aware, this is the first WrestleMania to
take place outdoors. Another fifteen years would pass by before WrestleMania was
truly outdoors again. Monsoon introduces the newest member of the WWF broadcast
team—Jim Ross! Yes, folks, he’s wearing a toga in his debut! With the weight of
trying to make WCW look good off his shoulders Ross seems very happy to be
here! Subsequently he presents our ring announcer “Finkus Maximus” for the
introductions.

“Cleopatra” makes her entrance riding atop an elephant. Unfortunately,
she’s NOT in a see-through toga as promised by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. That’s
two years in a row that Heenan promised a naked woman at WrestleMania and
failed to deliver. Is he a broadcast journalist, a used car salesman, or a
politician? “Julius Caesar” accompanies her as the WWF goes full throttle with
the Ancient Roman theme incorporating a llama, an ostrich, along with the
aforementioned elephant. “Macho Man” Randy Savage is introduced next being
carried out on a sedan with the “vestal virgins.” Not to be outdone Heenan
arrives on a camel albeit seated backwards.

Match 1 for the
Intercontinental title: “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels (champion) versus
Tatanka

Highlights:         

·        
Luna Vachon, making her WWF debut, seconded
Shawn Michaels to the ring. Sensational Sherri was in Tatanka’s corner just to
annoy Shawn.

·        
In order to earn his title shot Tatanka defeated
Shawn in both a non-title match as well as a six-man tag match.

·        
Tatanka turned an overhand wristlock into a nice
bridge.

·        
Shawn’s excellent selling led to a verbal
confrontation between Luna and Sherri on the floor.

·        
Botched sunset flip from the top rope by
Michaels could have been caused by Tatanka being out of position.

·        
Good psychology used by Tatanka to work on the
shoulder as Ross and Heenan described HBK’s prior injury.

·        
The move not yet named “Sweet Chin Music” hit
Tatanka as he came off the top rope.

·        
Again Sherri prevented any shenanigans by Luna
outside the ring.

·        
Excellent flying clothesline from the apron to
the floor by HBK.

·        
Swinging neckbreaker got a long 2 count.

·        
HBK blew a victory roll for another 2 count.

·        
He tried another victory roll, but Tatanka
countered with Splash Mountain.

·        
Three rope-assisted double-axehandles cued
Tatanka’s comeback.

·        
Chops o’plenty on HBK.

·        
High crossbody from the top rope should have
pinned HBK but only got 2.

·        
Catapult into the post got another close 2
count.

·        
Papoose To Go blocked by HBK into a rollup for
2.

·        
Tatanka reversed a high crossbody into a
powerslam for 2.

·        
Crowd chanted for Sherri.

·        
Dive from the apron to the floor by HBK missed.

·        
HBK pulls the referee out of the ring.

·       
Tatanka hit the Papoose To Go, but the referee
counted HBK out instead.

 Rating: ***

Summary:  In spite of Tatanka’s being out of position a
couple of times these guys did a great job of teasing a title change while not
ruining Tatanka’s existing undefeated streak. Regrettably the match had its
slow spots and a bad finish or I would have rated it higher. Decent opener.

After the match Luna attacks Sherri with a clothesline and a
slam before Tatanka runs her off.

“Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews The Steiner Brothers. Rick
and Scott cut a promo on the Headshrinkers. Interesting note about the
interview was Gene’s awareness of Michigan’s involvement in the 1993 Final
Four. Non-juiced Steiners actually look somewhat normal.

Match 1: The Steiner
Brothers versus the Headshrinkers (with Afa)

Highlights:         

·        
It took merely a second or two after the opening
bell for Ross to call this match a “slobberknocker.”

·        
Heenan makes fun of Ross for the term “smash
mouth.”

·        
Fatu and Scott started the match for their
respective team.

·        
Steiner-line off the ropes by Scott gave him a
quick advantage.

·        
After both Steiners got tossed out of the ring
they mounted the top turnbuckle and nailed the Headshrinkers with
Steiner-lines.

·        
Afa rammed both Headshrinkers’ heads together to
wake them up.

·        
**THIS
JUST IN**
Luna attacked Sensational Sherri at the first aid station.
Details to follow.

·        
Rick and Samu tagged in.

·        
After Rick rammed Samu’s head into the ringpost,
Scott tagged in.

·        
He delivered a butterfly suplex to Samu followed
by a dropkick to Fatu.

·        
A botched stungun sends Scott completely out of
the ring. That looked sick!

·        
Behind referee Bill Alfonso’s back Afa whacked
Scott in the back.

·        
Fatu split Scott in two with a backbreaker then
gave him a headbutt from the second rope.

·        
Spinning kick from Samu put Scott down on the
mat.

·        
While Rick and Fatu distract Alfonso Samu rammed
Scott’s head into the ringpost.

·        
Scott caught Fatu ducking early and sent him
face-first to the mat only to receive a crescent kick to the face for his
troubles.

·        
Excellent standing dropkick by Samu.

·        
Headshrinkers gave Scott Demolition
Decapitation.

·        
Double clothesline spot knocked both Fatu and
Scott down.

·        
Samu missed a diving headbutt from the top rope.

·        
Hot tag and Rick cleaned house with Steiner-lines.

·        
Rick shows off his intellect by trying the double
noggin-knocker spot on the Samoan duo, but it fails miserably. Both Headshrinkers
give him a headbutt in exchange.

·        
Double Stroke (face-first Russian legsweep) put
Rick down.

·        
Oh my God! What appeared to be a Doomsday Device
by the Headshrinkers turned into a powerslam by Rick! Incredible!

·        
Heenan’s jabs at Ross with the Oklahoma jokes
are hysterical (e.g. indoor plumbing).

·        
Scott tagged in and gave Fatu an overhead
belly-to-belly suplex only to get nailed by a kick from Samu.

·        
Upon a reversal of an Irish whip Scott delivered
the Frankensteiner to Samu for the pin! However, It didn’t look as crisp as it
should have.

Rating: ***

Summary:  With the lack of dead spots this tag
match was really exciting. The Headshrinkers sold really well for the Steiners’
high-impact offense. Hopefully Scott starts using the Steiner Screwdriver as a
finisher because his ability to give his opponent a huracanrana was waning
here.

“Mean” Gene interviews Doink who has “desecrated” the statue
of Julius Caesar with clown makeup. They show the attack by Doink with the
prosthetic arm upon Crush.

Match 3: Crush versus
Doink the Clown

Highlights:

·        
Savage’s commentary is firmly behind Crush. He
must owe him money.

·        
Crush chased Doink around the ring and slammed
him on the outside.  In fact the majority
of the beginning of the match was spent outside the ring.

·        
Crush dominated with a hangman’s neckbreaker.

·        
Neck snap via the top rope by Crush.

·        
Vicious backbreaker by Crush.

·        
Doink turned the tables by snapping Crush’s neck
on the top rope then nailing him with a sledge from the top rope.

·        
Doink went to the top rope twice and delivered a
couple of fists.

·        
Piledriver by Doink.

·        
A Doink slam led to a foot to the face by Crush
as Doink jumped from the top rope.

·        
An attempted crossbody block by Doink was
countered into a Crush powerslam.

·        
Crush then clotheslined Doink over the top rope.

·        
Doink tried to escape under the ring to no
avail.

·        
Back in the ring Crush gave Doink a military
press and signaled for the Kona Clutch.

·        
He applied it, but Doink got to the ropes. Referee
Joey Marella was knocked down in the process.

·        
Again Doink tried to escape under the ring only
to be caught by Crush.

·        
Wow! Back in the ring Crush gave Doink a Savate
kick!

·        
Crush applied the Kona Clutch again, but Marella
was still down.

·        
A second Doink appeared behind Crush and waffled
him with a prosthetic arm.

·        
The two Doinks double-teamed Crush with the
prosthetic arm.

·        
Next they performed the mirror illusion trick.
Amazing!

·        
While the second Doink hid under the ring the
original Doink covered Crush for the pin.

·        
Referee Bill Alfonso ran to the ring and
notified Marella of the Doink shenanigans, but the second Doink could not be
located. Brilliant!

Rating: **

Summary:  Doink’s aerial ability, psychology, and
shenanigans overwhelmed Crush’s power display. It would not surprise me if
Crush underwent a character change as he appeared misguided against the wily
clown. 

Todd Pettengill is in the stands and finds a Japanese
photographer who cannot confirm there were two Doinks. Wacky? Yes! Politically
incorrect? You betcha!

Match 4: Razor Ramon
versus Bob Backlund

Highlights:

·        
**THIS
JUST IN**
According to Ross Sherri is pretty shaken up, but order has been
restored within the first aid area.

·        
Backlund’s offer of a hand shake received a
toothpick to the face in return.

·        
Despite Ramon being a heel the crowd chanted
“Razor!”

·        
Using his quickness Backlund tripped Razor
twice.

·        
Heenan noted Backlund’s long hiatus. Savage
stated he was training during that time. Heenan refuted by saying he was the “paper
boy in Mayberry.” HA!

·        
Savage reported that Bret “Hitman” Hart was
knocked unconscious by “The Narcissist” Lex Luger at the WrestleMania brunch.

·        
Razor dominated Backlund with punches and kicks
until Backlund reversed a cross-corner whip and gave Razor a pair of hip
tosses.

·        
Sadly he missed a dropkick, but a running
forearm put Razor down on the mat.

·        
Butterfly suplex by Backlund

·        
LONG atomic drop by Backlund, but Razor escapes
to the apron.

·        
Razor came in the hard way.

·        
Out of nowhere Razor applies an inside cradle
and got the pin!

Rating: *1/2

Summary:  While Backlund was not overmatched by the
size and strength of Razor his offense was extremely outdated. Razor’s win with
an inside cradle acted like an insult to the 43 year old Backlund.  An atomic drop just wasn’t a devastating
maneuver in 1993. In spite of owning the Rumble longevity record at the time more
character development by Backlund would be necessary for him to become relevant
again.

“Mean” Gene interviews the WWF tag team champions Money,
Inc. They recap the briefcase smash to Beefcake’s face that caused “Mouth of
the South” Jimmy Hart to change his allegiance to the MegaManiacs. That and
being Hogan’s real-life manager helped too. “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase is
confident his team will succeed. IRS mentions Hogan’s “accident.”

Match 5 for the WWF
tag team titles:  Money, Inc. (champions)
versus the MegaManiacs (with Jimmy Hart)

Highlights:

·        
To show that money was no object to the Million
Dollar Man, IRS’ Halliburton briefcase is golden rather than silver.

·        
Holy crap! I had totally forgotten about Hogan’s
black eye! Fact or fiction? You make the call!

·        
DiBiase and IRS attack immediately.

·        
Our heroes (cough, cough) tossed each man over
the top rope shortly thereafter.

·        
The T-shirt got ripped! The ear got cupped! The
people stood and cheered! I grabbed the Pepto.

·        
After a lengthy regroup session we start proper
with Beefcake and IRS.

·        
IRS put Beefcake on the defensive then tagged
out to DiBiase.

·        
Money, Inc. tried to double-team Beefcake, but
DiBiase’s double-sledge to the mask backfired!

·        
Noggins get knocked, and Beefcake tried to
hammer DiBiase’s head into the top turnbuckle.

·        
It’s blocked, and DiBiase tried to ram Beefcake’s
face without any luck due to the mask.

·        
A ram of DiBiase’s head to Hulk’s boot preceded
a tag to the Hulkster.

·        
After Hulk rapped DiBiase’s head about 18 times
he hit a running clothesline.

·        
Beefcake tagged in, and the MegaManiacs gave
DiBiase the double boot to the face.

·        
After an atomic stomp and slam Beefcake tagged
Hulk back in. Hulk came off the second rope with a double sledge.

·        
Upon bouncing like a pinball between Hogan and
Beefcake DiBiase got clotheslined over the top rope.

·        
IRS came in, got pinballed, poked in the eye,
and thrown over the top rope.

·        
Hogan mugged to the crowd again, and they praised
his efforts.

·        
Money, Inc. took a walk expecting the countout
and to keep the belts.

·        
Referee Earl Hebner informed Finkel that if the
champs didn’t return to the ring by the count of ten they not only lose the
match but the titles too! Money, Inc. became irate!

·        
Expectedly they hurried back to the ring.

·        
DiBiase and Hogan start proper again. DiBiase got
the advantage, and IRS choked Hogan with the tag rope behind Hebner’s back.

·        
Heel chicanery kept Hogan subdued.

·        
As DiBiase hooked the Million Dollar Dream the
fans chanted “Hogan” to ensure he didn’t go to sleep. Good luck! Hogan’s
painkillers might just have done that!

·        
By committing an embarrassing gaffe “Macho Man”
mistook rafters for columns then corrected himself during Hogan’s comeback.

·        
Behind Hebner’s back Beefcake slapped DiBiase in
the sleeper.

·        
Order was restored and both DiBiase and Hogan
were down.

·        
Hogan sat up at nine and made the tag to
Beefcake.

·        
High knee from Beefcake to IRS.  Atomic drop sent DiBiase over the top rope.

·        
DiBiase nailed Beefcake coming off the ropes
with the briefcase.

·        
Next he tried to do away with Beefcake’s mask
causing Heenan to make a hockey joke.

·        
The mask was removed and placed atop the briefcase.
Sympathetically Ross got seriously worried for Beefcake’s well-being.

·        
The champs tried to double-team Beefcake, but he
ducked then delivered a double clothesline off the ropes instead.

·        
Beefcake locked the sleeper on IRS.

·        
Hogan came in and distracted Hebner. In the
meantime DiBiase blasted Beefcake in the back knocking him, IRS, and Hebner to
the mat.

·        
Tags were made on both sides despite the referee
being down.

·        
Hogan gave the big boot to DiBiase.

·        
IRS tried to nail Hogan with Beefcake’s mask but
received a low blow.

·        
Hogan hit both members of Money Inc. with the
mask.

·        
Both men covered for the pin. Jimmy Hart crawled
into the ring to wake up Hebner.

·        
In a cute bit Hart reversed his jacket to reveal
referee stripes and counted the double pin.

·        
Belts were grabbed and held overhead. Do we have
new champions?

·        
Referee Danny Davis sprinted to ringside,
checked on Hebner, and raised the arms of Money, Inc.

·        
The champs won by disqualification.

·        
The MegaManiacs intimidated Davis until Money
Inc. nailed them with the belts.

·        
However, the belt shots got no-sold, and the
champs high-tailed it out of the ring.

·        
Hart talked the MegaManiacs out of rearranging
Davis’ facial features.

·        
Alternatively Hart tossed Davis over the top
rope himself!

·        
Wait, Hogan didn’t win the tag belts here?
Something smells fishy.

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  My Spidey-sense is tingling. Hogan
doesn’t usually walk out of WrestleMania with a loss even by DQ. There must be
more to this story.

After the match, the MegaManiacs do the double strut. Hogan
poses to the appreciative crowd. Ross believes the crowd noise could be heard
in Reno. Now THAT’S hyperbole! Hogan finds the golden briefcase. Beefcake
unlocks it, and a brick is found inside amongst papers and money. Now the crowd
erupts in anticipation of receiving the money! And the MegaManiacs deliver!

Pettengill interviews Natalie Cole. She’s having a blast!
CEO of Caesar’s Palace Dan Reichartz is also interviewed.

“Mean” Gene interviews Mr. Perfect. They discuss Luger’s
suspicious forearm and the cheap shot dealt to Bret Hart during brunch. He then
bungles Luger’s gimmick. Hey! That’s not perfect!

Match 6: “The
Narcissist” Lex Luger versus Mr. Perfect

Highlights:         

·        
Luger came to the ring with not one, not two,
not three, but FOUR lovely ladies in scantily clad golden bikinis. <cat whistle>

·        
I guess you can’t say Luger didn’t win ANY gold
in the WWF.

·        
Luger posed as the mirrors shot off pyro.

·        
Perfect whipped Luger off the ropes and hit him
in the gut.

·        
He quickly followed with a kneelift.

·        
Rope sequence culminated with a Perfect running
dropkick.

·        
After another rope sequence Perfect grabbed
Luger’s foot. He proceeded to damage Luger’s left knee.

·        
While working on the knee he applied a spinning
toe hold.

·        
A chop by Perfect to Luger’s chest echoed
throughout the outdoor arena.

·        
A cross-corner whip was reversed by Luger, and
Perfect hit his back HARD.

·        
Another cross-corner whip by Luger caused more
damage.

·        
Backbreaker.

·        
A brief Perfect comeback was halted when Luger
raised his knees on a blind charge.

·        
Having studied how he lost to Flair at Starrcade
’88, Luger grabbed Perfect’s legs and put his feet on the ropes. Unlike that
match, referee Joey Marella caught him before counting the pin.

·        
Wasting no time Luger whipped him off the ropes
and gave him a powerslam.

·        
Another whip off the ropes led to a Perfect sunset
flip for 2.

·        
Perfect locked on the sleeper, but Luger broke
the hold by backing into the corner further aggravating Perfect’s injured back.

·        
Yet another Irish whip from Luger segued into an
inside cradle by Perfect for 2.

·        
Luger took a chest-first bump off a cross-corner
whip then received a catapult to the turnbuckle.

·        
Perfect nailed Luger with the Axe then whipped
him off the ropes to give him another for 2.

·        
He mounted the turnbuckle to hit Luger in the
head; however, Luger picked him up for a running inverted atomic drop.

·        
He missed, and Perfect delivered a clothesline.

·        
A third Axe hit the mark for another 2 count.

·        
Missile dropkick from Perfect got another 2
count due to Luger’s foot on the bottom rope.

·        
They fight for a backslide, and Luger pinned him
despite Perfect’s legs being in the ropes. Perfect was robbed!

Rating:  ***

Summary:  Luger’s psychology of working Perfect’s historically
bad back along with Perfect’s well-timed comebacks made this match very good. I
was surprised to see Perfect execute a missile dropkick as I hadn’t seen him
perform it prior to my seeing this show.

After the match Luger hammers Perfect with the loaded
forearm knocking him unconscious. Luger places a foot atop him and poses. After
a short while Perfect gets to his feet and makes his way back to the dressing
room. The camera follows him backstage, and he finds Luger talking with Shawn
Michaels. Perfect nails Luger into a storage area, but Michaels attacks Perfect
from behind. Referees and agents break up the melee.

Meanwhile as Savage and Heenan have a heated discussion back
at the announce table Monsoon previews the next two matches.

Match 7: The
Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) versus Giant Gonzalez (with Harvey Wippleman)

Highlights:

·        
At 7’6” Giant Gonzalez remains the tallest
professional wrestler to date. Unfortunately muscle tone did not correlate with
his height; hence, he wore a ludicrous body suit to the ring.

·        
At this point the Undertaker (UT) was only 2-0
at WrestleMania.

·        
The Undertaker rode a chariot with a vulture
atop a perch to the ring.

·        
Gonzalez towered over the 6’10” Undertaker.

·        
He hammered UT with forearms, but they were
no-sold.

·        
A brief flurry by UT led to a choke by Gonzalez.

·        
While being choked UT mounted the second
turnbuckle and applied a choke of his own.

·        
Gonzalez broke with a low blow.

·        
A standing wristlock by UT segued into a
ropewalk.

·        
After UT intimidated referee Bill Alfonso he
walked into a boot.

·        
Gonzalez then clotheslined UT and tossed UT
across the ring like a rag doll.

·        
LONG headlock by Gonzalez.

·        
Bearer tried to raise UT by invoking the power
of the urn.

·        
UT elbowed out but was sent outside the ring.

·        
Gonzalez rammed UT’s head into the ring steps
then whipped him into them.

·        
The power of the urn encouraged UT to his feet
and back into the ring.

·        
UT received a headbutt but sat up.

·        
A second headbutt put UT down, but he sat back
up again.

·        
UT came back with punches and kicks to the ribs.

·        
Gonzalez’ “selling” took him to one knee.

·        
Wippleman got on the apron.

·        
As UT grabbed him Wippleman tossed a rag to
Gonzalez.

·        
Bearer got on the apron and ate a headbutt from
Gonzalez.

·        
Gonzalez then smothered UT with the rag.

·        
The announcers claimed the rag was soaked with
chloroform.

·        
Alfonso called for the bell disqualifying
Gonzalez.

Rating:  DUD

Summary:  If you’re a fan of slow, plodding big man
matches this one’s for you; otherwise, avoid at all costs. RIP Jorge Gonzalez.
This was his ONLY WrestleMania appearance.

After the match agents and referees try to help the
Undertaker. A stretcher is brought to the ring. Gonzalez then chokeslams
Alfonso. It’s no wonder why Alfonso banned the move in ECW. Immediately the
unconscious Undertaker is stretchered to the backstage area. Hoping for their
hero to put an end to this nefarious behavior the crowd chants for Hogan. Will
he make a second appearance?

Suddenly the gong tolls again, and the Undertaker re-emerges
from backstage. Upon re-entering the ring UT takes Gonzalez off his feet with
three running clotheslines. As Bearer restrains UT, Gonzalez heads for higher
ground. Methinks this feud isn’t over. Sorry, folks.

“Mean” Gene recaps Yokozuna’s rise to the #1 contender position
which includes destroying “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan with two Banzai drops. A third and
fourth Banzai drop onto an American flag covered Duggan isn’t provided however.
The contract signing for the WWF title match is then shown. Next, and who’da
thunk it?, Gene brings in Hulk Hogan to discuss the WWF title match. Hogan basically
tells Bret Hart to watch his back. Truer words have never been spoken. He even
goes the extra mile challenging either Bret or “the Jap, brother” for the next
title shot. Way to turn t the clock back to 1945, Hulkster!

Pettengill gets more air time and scares the bejeezus out of
a young fan. What a role model. He then interviews two guys in togas from
Southern California. Apparently the togas are from Motel 6. They must’ve left
more than the light on for ‘em.

Match 8 for the WWF
title: Bret “Hitman” Hart versus Yokozuna (with Mr. Fuji)

Highlights:         

·        
In a bit of foreshadowing Heenan ominously stated
that the minute Yokozuna walked through the curtain the clouds began to cast
over the skies of Caesar’s Palace.

·        
Bret got off to a good start with a running
dropkick.

·        
Next he tried a go-behind but couldn’t wrap his
arms around Yoko’s girth.

·        
Yokozuna shoulderblock knocks Hart out of the
ring.

·        
Yoko tried to keep Bret outside the ring by
kicking him; however, Bret grabbed the foot and tripped the big man.

·        
Springboard splash by Bret.

·        
While Yoko’s leg was tied in the ropes Bret
delivered a second rope elbow smash.

·        
Referee Earl Hebner untied Yoko.

·        
Bret tried to clothesline him twice but couldn’t
knock him down.

·        
A third try was countered by a Yoko clothesline.

·        
Slam and legdrop by Yoko.

·        
Nerve hold by Yoko.

·        
Cross-corner whip by Yoko, but blind charge hits
knees.

·        
Botched bulldog by Bret got a 2 count.

·        
Crescent kick by Yoko.

·        
Snapmare led to another nerve hold by Yoko.

·        
Another cross-corner whip by Yoko, but the
avalanche missed.

·        
Second rope bulldog by Bret. Much crisper this
time. Got a 2 count, but Yoko kicked out with authority!

·        
Second rope elbow smash by Bret. Another 2
count.

·        
Second rope clothesline by Bret. Yoko staggered.

·        
Running clothesline knocked the big man down.

·        
Bret mounted the turnbuckle and nailed Yoko five
times before Yoko grabbed his legs.

·        
Yoko couldn’t drop him because Bret had a firm
grip on the top turnbuckle cover. He ripped it off!

·        
Yoko tried to ram Bret’s head into the exposed
turnbuckle, but Yoko hit it instead.

·        
Bret locked on the Sharpshooter.

·        
As Hebner checked for the submission Fuji threw
salt into Bret’s eyes blinding him.

·        
Yoko immediately made the cover and won the
title!

Rating: **

Summary:  Wow! A heel wins the title in the main
event! Ballsy booking indeed! Somehow I don’t remember the show ending this way.

After the match Hogan enters the ring to protest. As he
checks on Hart Mr. Fuji challenges Hogan to face Yokozuna right now. My Spidey-sense
is tingling again! Hogan helps Hart leave the ring. Mr. Fuji sweetens the deal
by putting the title on the line. Alarm bells have started to ring for me!

Bret waves Hogan toward the ring. He must smell a huge
Summerslam payout. Hogan enters the ring, and Yoko attacks immediately. Yoko
holds Hogan’s arms, and Mr. Fuji tosses the salt. He misses Hogan and nails
Yoko instead. Hogan dispatches Fuji then gives Yoko the Axe Bomber. He drops
the leg, gets the pin, and wins the WWF title for the 5th time!

To quote John McEnroe, ARE YOU SERIOUS? Yep. “Real American”
is playing and the crowd becomes unglued! Hogan poses and the fireworks go off!

Conclusion:  As a longtime wrestling fan I understood
how important Hulk Hogan was to the WWF in the 80s. After all he was a hero to
millions just not to me. I neither was,
am, nor ever will be a Hulkamaniac
. But by 1992 Hogan “retired” by calling it
quits after WrestleMania VIII. All of a sudden ten months elapse, and he un-retires
then wins the belt back at the following WrestleMania? Even when he’s not
advertised as facing the champion prior to the event? Whose crazy idea was
that? Hogan’s, I’m certain. Oh, and supposedly Bret was in favor of it so he
could face Hogan at Summerslam. Hogan pulled the wool over his eyes too and
dropped the belt to Yoko at the King of the Ring PPV. Bret may have been
officially screwed in 1997, but in 1993 he was screwed for the first time in my
honest opinion. The Yoko-Hogan nonsense didn’t need to be there because the
tickets had already been sold and the PPV was ordered before any of the fans
knew Hogan would be achieving the WWF title again.

The underdog story as it related to Bret made all the sense
from a storyline perspective. They just didn’t pull the trigger. As for the
rest of the card there were neither any **** nor ***** matches, so this
WrestleMania while entertaining was subpar at best.

As far as the commentary is concerned I think Ross passed
his first test in the WWF. While his exchanges with Heenan were not as smooth
as Heenan/Monsoon they didn’t take away from the event. Considering the
reaction Savage received upon his introduction I firmly believe he should have
had a much more active role in the show as a competitor. The outdoor atmosphere
of the event also was a nice touch.

With that being said, is it the worst WrestleMania ever? You
decide!
For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

Rock Star Gary reflects on…The Ultimate Warrior

Since many
of you already know the history behind the legendary Warrior I will not repeat
any of it. Nor will I write one of my LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG diatribes that I
have been known to publish here. Instead I will give my personal recollection
of the Ultimate Warrior’s impact upon my wrestling fandom.

Back in 1986
as I watched three hours of syndicated pro wrestling shows on Saturday mornings
I stumbled upon a new character on World Class Championship Wrestling. Since I
had no access to Mid-South back then I had no idea who this guy was. Indeed it
was the Dingo Warrior.
 
What the
fuck is a Dingo Warrior? My young brain couldn’t understand it, but he had the
same build as “The Modern Day Warrior” Kerry Von Erich so I thought he was cool.
Then he jumped ship to the WWF.
In the WWF
back in 1987 I never saw the Dingo Warrior appear, but soon thereafter he was
renamed the Ultimate Warrior with the absolute JUICIEST music ever! Out of
nowhere this dude with tassels on his arms and unique face paint SPRINTS to the
ring, continues to run around it, jumps on the apron, and shakes the ropes
maniacally! I was hooked from the beginning.
 
 
His squash
matches against guys like Jose Luis Rivera, Steve Lombardi, and Terry Gibbs
were worth watching because he absolutely DESTROYED these guys with high-impact
moves. While in no way did he compare to “Nature Boy” Ric Flair when it came to
wrestling acumen, the Ultimate Warrior ENTERTAINED me regardless!
The next
thing I discovered was that the Honkytonk Man stupidly challenged ANYBODY for
his title at Summerslam ’88. Again, out of nowhere, the Ultimate Warrior
exploded from the back and pinned the cocky champion 1…2…3 for the Intercontinental
title! The wrestler for whom I marked out ferociously became a champion. Woohoo!
 
Life
intervened and my wrestling fandom took a backseat for a while. The next thing
I recall was the Ultimate Warrior challenged Hulk Hogan title for title at WrestleMania
VI. Incredibly he won, although I wouldn’t find out about it until I rented the
VHS tape much later.
Quite some time passed, and my next opportunity to see the Ultimate Warrior was at
WrestleMania XII. I watched him squish Hunter Hearst Helmsley like a bug and
enjoyed it tremendously! However, since the WWF was focusing on a “New
Generation” in 1996 the Ultimate Warrior looked lost in the shuffle and
disappeared on me again.
 
The next
thing I knew about our beloved hero was his WCW debut in Hartford, CT on Nitro
in September 1998. While one could see that the ONLY reason he was in WCW was
so that Hogan could finally beat him, his arrival was still HUGE news to me.
When I
attended the Nitro in Chicago shortly after Warrior’s WCW debut I tried my
hardest to understand exactly what he was trying to convey. One Warrior Nation
was not embraced by the WCW minions much to my dismay. When Warrior finally “wrestled”
Hogan at Halloween Havoc ’98 I was excited for the rematch.
 
Then it
happened. While I knew neither guy was a wrestling technician I didn’t know
neither knew how to actually CARRY a match. The Las Vegas crowd, as well as I,
completely SHAT all over the match until my PPV feed died. Immediately I
purchased the event again while the colossal destruction of a main event
continued. Warrior was cooked, finished, fini, done, and kaput as far as
wrestling in the main event ever again was concerned.
In spite of
all that, I made my journey through wrestling history and caught up with some
other Warrior highlights (e.g. Rick Rude, Papa Shango, WrestleMania VIII). I
believed that while he was not a great WRESTLER, thus vilified by smarks
everywhere online, he ENTERTAINED me and became a legend in my wrestling fandom.
 
While
watching the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony I noticed a lot of LONG speeches.
Lita’s speech seemed never-ending. Mr. T’s diatribe about religion and his
mother, while noteworthy, was long-winded. When it came time for the induction
of the Ultimate Warrior I was worried. Would they cut him off too? What would
he say? While most legends tell fascinating road stories or claim so-and-so was
his road buddy I knew the Ultimate Warrior wouldn’t do anything like that.
In lieu of
giving accolades to those who had previously received them he gave credit to
the Steve Lombardis and the Terry Gibbs as well as the Jimmy Mirandas whom the
WWE Universe never sees. I saw how displeased he was over the Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior
DVD and felt sympathy for him. While his speech was also long I felt like he
knew he didn’t have much time left in the spotlight. Little did I know, it wasn’t
just the spotlight.
 
Being the
rabid smark that I am now I made it a point to DVR the RAW after WrestleMania.
After all, new stories are told and monumental moments tend to happen on this
particular show. Since I don’t watch the show regularly but only follow it
online I read the reviews and was eager to watch it. Last night I watched the
show and enjoyed it thoroughly. I only skipped a couple parts, but I wasn’t
going to skip Warrior’s segment.
The music
ERUPTED throughout the arena. The wrestler whom I idolized in my younger years
WALKED up to and into the ring. Wearing one of his customary robes and,
inevitably, a Warrior mask, he gave us a very heartfelt promo. I had no idea
that he would be taken away from us soon thereafter.
 
Today I pay
tribute to the Ultimate Warrior. He was a legend in OUR sport and will remain
so indefinitely.
For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

The WWE Network as Rock Star Gary sees it

If I was the programming director of the WWE Network here are a few ideas I would implement:

1. Reality and female programming opposite sporting events
      a. Trish Stratus feature
      b. Kevin Nash/Scott Hall/Sean Waltman tour the WWE Performance Center
 2. Tuesday Night RAW (1993 – present)
 3. Thursday Night Nitro (1995-2001)
 4. Saturday morning territory shows (Superstars, Challenge, WCCW, CWF, Mid-Atlantic)
 5. Saturday 6pm World Championship Wrestling
 6. Where Are They Now?
 7. Third Shift ECW marathons
 8. WCW Up All Night
 9. Legends Roundtable (previous and new content)
 10. Features from previous DVD releases minus matches

 What else would you implement? How can WWE promote its current product without RAW and Smackdown since they are on USA and Sci-Fi respectively? What would it take for the WWE Network to succeed?

For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.

Rock Star Gary repost: WWF RAW IS OWEN

As promised here is the subsequent RAW after Over the Edge. Once again my opinions have not changed; however, some editing has taken place. Enjoy! RIP Owen Hart 1965-1999.
Live from St. Louis, MO
Airdate: May 24, 1999
Hosted by Jim Ross (JR) and Jerry “the King” Lawler

 

JR opens the show by pointing out that all the WWF Superstars are by the curtain and on the entrance ramp to pay tribute to the late Owen Hart. Vince, Linda, and Stephanie McMahon are shown prominently in the front. Crowd chants for Owen. Howard Finkel asks the audience to rise and join the WWF Superstars “to pay our respects to Owen Hart” for a ceremonial 10 bell salute. Tears run down the face of Mark Henry. Jarrett is also shown weeping. Finkel then directs everyone to watch the Titantron for a video tribute to Owen.
Vince McMahon narrates footage that truly depicts Owen Hart as a special performer and person who will be missed greatly by everyone.
JR then introduces us to “one of the most unique broadcasts ever in the genre of sports entertainment here tonight”. The show will be a 2-hour tribute to the life of Owen Hart. Along with 10 unique match-ups there will be sentiments shown between the matches of the WWF Superstars and how Owen impacted their lives and careers.
Mick Foley offers his sentiments to his friend Owen. He states that Owen was his son Dewey’s favorite wrestler. The “Nugget” chant was loved by Mick’s children. Mick mentions that Owen talked about his family quite often.
Bradshaw then discusses Owen’s penchant for being “cheap on the road”. Bradshaw also notes the reason he did that was because he wanted to retire early and spend time with his family.
Match 1: Jeff Jarrett (w/ Debra) versus Test
Before Jarrett’s opponent can be introduced he lets us know that Owen never was a “nugget”. Test makes his way out and the contest starts right away. Jarrett drops his leg over the back of Test’s neck across the ropes then struts. To the corner Test hits boot on a blind charge but then Jarrett walks right into boot to the face. Test lifts Jarrett into a fireman’s carry and drops him face-first. Sidewalk slam puts Jarrett on the mat. Debra walks up the steel steps wearing a pink dress suit. The crowd begins to chant for “puppies”. Test then slams Jarrett and heads to the top rope. Unfortunately for him he jumps directly into a boot from Jarrett. Shoulder-first DDT by Jarrett takes Test down. In retaliation Test delivers a clothesline and then a powerbomb for a near fall. Debra is now up on the apron. She opens her top to reveal a sexy white bra to distract Test. Test falls for it and gets slapped. Jarrett then delivers the Stroke. Instead of going for the pin he puts Test in the sharpshooter in memory of Owen. Test taps out!
Owen’s sharpshooter was an excellent gesture by Jarrett here. Test shows a lot of promise in this match. Jarrett, Test, and Debra all wore armbands in memory of Owen.
Mark Henry recites a poem he wrote for Owen. He states that when Owen died it felt like “hands around my throat”. His poem supposedly was titled “Burn When You Cry.”
Droz offers his thoughts. He believes that Owen lifts people’s spirits either at his own or someone else’s expense with his practical jokes. While Henry’s tone was very somber Droz’s tone is upbeat because he’ll always remember Owen as a “great guy.”
Match 2 for the WWF tag team titles: X-Pac and Kane (champions) versus The Brood
X-Pac wears the armband here as does Edge. JR compares The Brood to the Freebirds as a trio acting as an interchangeable tag team. Edge and X-Pac start off. Similar to last night JR notes that all the competitors in the match are in their 20s. It really was a dig at WCW for showcasing wrestlers in their 40s such as Piper and Flair. Shoulderblock by Edge leads to a spinning heel kick to put X-Pac down. Fast-paced action by both athletes sends Edge to the canvas after he receives a heel kick. X-Pac celebrates with a crotch chop as Gangrel tags in. Kane also tags in but gets double-DDTed by The Brood. He no-sells and gives a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to Edge and a high back bodydrop to Gangrel. Christian comes in and receives a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for his troubles. X-Pac tags in and lands a series of kicks to Edge in his corner. However, he gets knocked to the outside where Gangrel and Christian double-team him. They throw him back in. Edge misses a blind corner splash and receives an enziguri to send him into the middle of next week. Tags are made by both teams. Kane hits Gangrel with a flying clothesline from the top rope! He then boots Edge and Gangrel in the face. Clothesline to Edge leads to X-Pac’s Bronco Buster! In the meantime Kane chokeslams Gangrel. Kane then lifts X-Pac up and splashes Gangrel for the pin!
While the finish was their own the heel kicks and enziguri were nice nods to Owen. The tandem double-team finish was entertaining as well.
HHH and Chyna take their turns to discuss Owen. Chyna remembers Owen for making people laugh. HHH appears to be very heartbroken. He states: “In a business where you often see the worst..in people’s personalites we’re like a family…Owen was always one that was at his best.” HHH tells us at the Royal Rumble Owen was the only guy tough enough to schoolboy and backslide him and not allow him to get free. Owen will always have a place in HHH’s heart and be his friend. He loves and will never forget Owen.
Dave Hebner joins us and tells us that Owen always wanted to make sure everyone had a great day. Owen was a caring and giving man to others. According to Dave as a gag “He’d (Owen) tie my shoes together when I went down for the count.”
Match 3: The Hardy Boyz (with Michael Hayes) versus Taka Michinoku and Sho Funaki
I’ll try my best to keep up with this since it’s definitely going to be fast-paced. All four competitors along with Michael Hayes are wearing the Owen black armband. Matt starts the match off with a suplex to Funaki. After a missed clothesline Matt receives a flying forearm. Taka tags in and delivers a spinebuster to Matt. Funaki holds Matt in a camel clutch while Taka dropkicks Matt directly in the face! A tornado DDT is telegraphed by Taka. Jeff tags in and hits a senton to Taka on the floor! The Hardyz then deliver a Whisper in the Wind to Taka. A double-team maneuver lands Taka on his face. Jeff then misses a corkscrew moonsault off the top. Taka applies the Michinoku Driver to Jeff. Both teams tag out. Funaki hits each Hardy with a dropkick. Clothesline by Matt sends both men outside. Hayes grabs Funaki and whips him into a Jeff Hardy dropkick! Taka also seeks some frequent flyer miles and leaps from the top rope onto everyone! Funaki and Matt re-enter the ring. Matt delivers the Twist of Fate to Funaki for the pin!
The Hardy Boyz were definitely on the upswing of their careers here. If only they could keep their heads on straight.
Bruce Pritchard gives us his thoughts on Owen. He refers to Owen as a “great practical joker and a tremendous performer in the ring.”
Dustin Runnels credits Owen as a great family man. He relates a funny story about Harley Race. Owen put an entire bottle of hot sauce in Harley’s chili when he wasn’t looking. Harley got so mad that he broke out his stun gun for Owen.
Match 4: Hardcore Holly versus Ken Shamrock
Add Holly to the list of wrestlers wearing an Owen armband. Shamrock and Holly start off with some mat wrestling which leads to a sweet Northern Lights suplex from Shamrock! He hits a heel kick and then a huracanrana to Holly! Shamrock immediately takes him down and applies the anklelock. Holly taps out!
Very quick match. Shamrock showcased himself well here.
Faarooq says that he’ll miss Owen a lot. Test relates a story about the boys in Chicago a few months ago doing a double-shot . The first show was cancelled due to bad weather so the guys had to wait at the hotel to find out if they had to work the second show. Test receives a phone call from the local promoter. By the end of the call the promoter says “he’ll tell them that Test said to cancel the show”. Test didn’t find out about it until this morning that it was Owen who had called him. Great prank. Horrible timing on the discovery however.
Match 5: “Mr. Ass” versus Mankind
Chalk up Billy Gunn as an armband wearer. Billy incites the crowd by saying: “If you’re not down with Owen Hart, I got two words for ya!” The crowd obliges with the normal response. JR relates a story where Owen stole his hat before a TV taping. Crowd chants for Foley. After some fists are exchanged Mankind backdrops Gunn and clotheslines him out of the ring. Mankind follows him and introduces Gunn’s face to the steel steps. Back in the ring Gunn dropkicks Mankind on the knee. He works the knee on the ropes then clips Mankind. Next he grabs a chair from ringside, but in the ring Mankind preps Mr. Socko. Gunn gets on the apron and is forced to eat Mr. Socko. Gunn gets counted out! Mick then gives a “Whoo!” for Owen after the match.
While the slow burn for “Mr. Ass” continues the star of the match really was Mick.
Jeff Jarrett mentions that in this business there are a lot of acquaintances but very few friends. On the verge of tears he calls Owen his friend. When he thinks of Owen he thinks of integrity. He calls Owen a “man’s man.” Owen made coming to work fun for Jeff.
In a feature taped earlier today at an undetermined outdoor location Michael Cole talks about the matchup between The Rock and HHH at Over The Edge last night. After some highlights Cole discusses the WWF title match. Highlights of that match are then shown. Considering there was no replay to sell showing highlights of the two main matches including the finishes was a kind gesture to the WWF audience.
Edge offers his feelings on Owen. He refers to Owen as the “leader of a Canadian mafia” when it came to the boys. He felt honored that he wrestled Owen in his last match in Chicago.
Match 6: D’Lo Brown and Sexual Chocolate Mark Henry (w/ Ivory) versus The Acolytes
Everyone in the match, including Ivory, wears the Owen armband. Faarooq and Henry start off. To try to take Henry off his feet Faarooq tries a standing shoulderblock, leg kicks, and then a running shoulderblock. He charges Henry but gets caught with a powerslam. D’Lo tags in but immediately gets a jawbreaker. Bradshaw tags in and works over D’Lo with kicks, right hands, and chops along with a corner clothesline. He tosses D’Lo to the outside where Faarooq introduces D’Lo to the steel steps face-first. Back in Bradshaw delivers a Russian legsweep. Faarooq tags in, but D’Lo takes over to give Faarooq his patented standing legdrop. Farooq gives D’Lo the DDT. After a tag Bradshaw levels D’Lo with a running shoulderblock. Another tag-in by Faarooq but D’Lo delivers a heel kick to him. Tags are exchanged on both sides. Henry takes over with a shoulderblock and two clotheslines! Double team shoulderblock by the Acolytes puts Henry down again. However, D’Lo got the blind tag. The Acolytes then double-team D’Lo with a belly-to-back suplex neckbreaker combo. Henry makes the save. In a unique twist heel miscommunication by the Acolytes leads to a rollup by D’Lo on Bradshaw for the pin!
Upset victory here, but Faarooq and Bradshaw truly carried this match.
Pat Patterson thanks Owen for being a great person. Hardcore Holly relates that in Mobile, AL Owen kindly put Holly over in a match.
Match 7: Road Dogg versus WWF Intercontinental Champion The Godfather (w/ ho’s)
Road Dogg enters the ring wearing the Owen armband and welcomes the crowd with his catchphrases and his spiel that the crowd knows well. According to Road Dogg “You know who I am. It ain’t about me. It’s about the King of Harts this evening.” Godfather brings out some of St. Louis’ “finest.” Godfather hits his catchphrases to the crowd’s approval. JR reveals an embarassing pool prank that Owen pulled on him on the WWF Wrestle Vessel. Godfather grabs the mic and offers Road Dogg to join him and the ho’s to “light it up all night long”. Crowd voices their approval. Road Dogg replies “Why don’t you and I go burn one and tell some Owen stories?” They leave the ring simultaneously after that.
Paul Bearer in his normal non-high-pitched voice wishes farewell to Owen. X-Pac calls Owen “the funniest guy I’ve ever met.” He then offers a prayer to his wife and 2 children.
Match 8: WWF Hardcore Champion Al Snow (w/ Head) versus HHH (w/ Chyna)
Considering what HHH did to the Rock last night I wouldn’t want to be Al Snow this evening. Both men and Chyna wear the armband. They hit the ropes and Snow gives HHH a spinning heel kick. He knocks HHH out of the ring then executes a baseball slide. Back in the ring Snow flips over HHH but gets a high knee for his troubles. HHH works him over and when Snow gets close to the ropes Chyna wallops him! HHH delivers a vertical suplex and drops the knee to the forehead. Snow gets whipped to the turnbuckle, applies the brakes, and clotheslines HHH. Snow then headbutts HHH while holding his arms. HHH flops face-first. Even JR has to give the nod to Flair on that one although not by name. Snow then backdrops HHH coming off the ropes. After a body slam Snow mounts the top turnbuckle but misses the moonsault. A Pedigree finishes Al’s night.
While Snow was over with the crowd HHH continues his push although less violently than last night.
Road Dogg is having a tough time expressing himself but offers his prayers to Owen’s family. Gerald Brisco empathizes with Owen as the younger brother of a superstar. He thanks Owen for being a consummate professional and all the great memories.
Match 9: Big Show versus Goldust (w/ Blue Meanie)
A svelte Big Show (w/ ponytail and armband) leaps over the top rope. Goldust pushes Blue Meanie (also with an armband) into Big Show. Meanie tries to make a dent in the giant to no avail. Big Show attempts to give Meanie the showstopper but Goldust lowblows him. Double team clothesline misses and Big Show launches himself to clothesline both Meanie and Goldust. He then hoists Goldust high in the air and gives him the showstopper! Meanie gets one of his own as well! Big Show covers both men for the pin!
Boiled squash with a side of fried squash, anyone? Physically Big Show looked really good as well as agile.
Debra states that “the world has lost a really great person.” Owen “touched my life and brightened my day.” She begins to blubber and expresses denial about Owen. She felt honored to work with him.
Shane McMahon relates a story about pulling a prank on Owen in Chicago with Bret. They tackle him after he’s already gone to sleep. Subsequently Bret’s boots are missing in the morning while Shane’s stuff ends up in the shower. He wishes Godspeed to his family.
Match 10: Val Venis versus The Rock
Val joins the list of Owen armband wearers. The Rock gets a big pop upon his entrance. The Rock sports another cast on his left arm. “Finally The Rock has come back to St. Louis!” After a brief mention of Owen the Rock hits his catchphrases with the crowd completing his sentence. “Owen, this is your night. And, damn it, you know The Rock loved you like no other.” He dedicates The People’s Elbow to Owen. Val starts working on the arm; however, Rock delivers the Rock Bottom in an instant thereafter. The People’s Elbow gets the pin!
Very short match proving that The Rock truly was a superstar.
Also wearing an armband JR gives his farewell to Owen stating he wishes he “could be as good a man as him so that I can see him again someday.” Even I choked up on that one. Lawler then mentions holding Owen’s head last night and learns to “never leave home without telling the people you love what you think of them.” JR is truly choked up.
The glass breaks and here comes Stone Cold Steve Austin! The crowd ERUPTS! Steve receives a couple of Steveweisers from ringside. A picture of Owen is on the Titantron stating “In Memory of Owen Hart 1965-1999.” Austin toasts and salutes Owen with his beer. Purposefully he leaves a cold one for Owen in the center of the ring.
Well, if people thought the WWF was heartless last night for continuing the show they got a whole lot of heart from the WWF tonight. Overall 23 WWF Superstars including managers and valets wore the Owen armband. This was truly an epic night in remembrance of Owen. Ten matches with no DQs in an era where DQs were the norm was a breath of fresh air. But it was all in Owen’s honor. Although this show is extremely sad in its tone I would recommend it to each and every wrestling fan that hasn’t seen it. Show biz isn’t always pretty, but when a man like Owen Hart touches all the people around him like this you must be thankful and remember him always. Grab your loved ones and a box of tissues and enjoy this one, folks. You won’t regret it.
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Rock Star Gary repost: WWF Over The Edge 1999

On the 14th anniversary of Owen Hart’s death I present to you my first rant. The opinions have not been altered but I made some modifications to punctuation. I hope you enjoy it! RIP Owen Hart 1965-1999.
WWF Over the Edge 1999
Live from Kansas City, MO (attendance: 18, 244)
Airdate: May 23, 1999
Hosted by Jim Ross (JR) and Jerry “the King” Lawler
 
We begin the show with a soliloquy from Undertaker professing his ministry of darkness and his mission to take Stone Cold Steve Austin’s most prized possession – the WWF title!
Earlier tonight on Sunday Night Heat Mideon of the Corporate Ministry cracked a steel chair upon Vince McMahon’s ankle on the steel steps!
Match 1 for the WWF tag team titles: X-Pac & Kane (champions) versus D’Lo Brown & Sexual Chocolate Mark Henry (w/ Ivory)
JR right off the bat accentuates the youth in the ring by stating the combatants are in their 20s (Hint, hint WCW). The crowd lets D’Lo know that he sucks. Prior to locking up with D’Lo X-Pac crotch-chops Ivory. D’Lo uses his size to his advantage while X-Pac uses his speed and agility. 5 minutes in and X-Pac unsuccessfully attempts to break out the Bronco Buster on D’Lo. Henry and Kane tag in. After an avalanche Henry press-drops Kane—a move similar to what the Ultimate Warrior used to do to jobbers. Kane proceeds to no-sell and deliver some clotheslines. Kane follows up with an Irish Whip into a dropkick! The dynamic changes when D’Lo is tagged in as he uses agility in his exchange with Kane. After a brief flurry by X-Pac D’Lo feigns a knee injury so that Henry can crotch X-Pac on the ring post. X-Pac gets pressed and hot shot on the barricade by Henry. Back in and D’Lo executes a running powerbomb to X-Pac. Kane, however, breaks up the pin attempt. After both teams exchange tags again Kane slams the 400 pounder and then hits a tilt-a-whirl slam on D’Lo. X-Pac then tries a plancha onto Henry but gets caught and rammed into the ring post back-first. Reverse suplex by Kane. Double-teaming on Kane leads to a near pinfall but with an authoritative kick-out by Kane. That sends D’Lo to the floor! Kane mounts the turnbuckle and dives onto both D’Lo and Henry! Top rope clothesline by Kane. D’Lo makes the save. X-Pac comes in and gives the Bronco Buster to D’Lo. Kane then chokeslams Henry for the 3-count!
Winners and still WWF Tag Team Champions…Kane and X-Pac! Hot match! The crowd was into it. Big man-small man dynamic was used very well while Kane’s talents were showcased.
Michael Cole speculates that due to Vince’s injury he may not be able to serve as the second special guest referee for the title match tonight.
Hardcore Holly is interviewed and cuts a promo about Al Snow. He wants to “peel Al’s head wide open.” Ick.
Match 2 for the WWF Hardcore Championship: Al Snow (champion) (w/ Head) versus Hardcore Holly
Snow also brings a moose head (not the beer) to the ring. After a brief exchange Holly and Snow head outside the ring where Snow meets the railing face-first. Then Holly meets the steel steps on a reversal of an Irish whip. Having grabbed a cookie sheet Holly smacks Snow from the outside coming in and then again for a near fall. In order to cool down Snow’s need for Head Holly grabs the fire extinguisher but can’t get it to work. He finally pulls the pin out of it but Snow hits him with the cookie sheet inadvertently setting off the extinguisher. Snow then grabs the extinguisher and gives Holly a mouthful. Yuck! They take the bout into the crowd all the way to the concession stand. A series of concessions are exchanged almost leading them into the women’s restroom. Funnel cake for everyone! Especially for Holly who is wearing powdered sugar on his face. After a near fall on the concrete they head back to the ring. From the railing Snow executes a leg drop that barely makes contact with Holly’s head. He then throws Holly in the ring, puts him in the corner, and performs an excruciating stomp to the groin! The crowd cringes for that one. Snow grabs a chair from ringside, then goes to the other side of the ring, and pulls out a table! Back in the ring upon setting up the table Snow is on the receiving end of a patented Holly dropkick. The “Hollycaust” (Falcon arrow) gets a 2 count. After jawing with the referee Holly gets caught in the Snow Plow for another near fall. Ballshot #2 to Holly. It’s no wonder why he has such a negative attitude. Snow grabs the Head and gets DDT’d on a chair. Holly sets up the table in the ring only to fall prey to a powerbomb through it! Snow falls forward and gets the pin to retain.
Standard hardcore fare here. Move along.
Michael Cole interviews Pat Patterson and Gerry Brisco. An ambulance has been called supposedly to take Vince to the hospital for his ankle. Patterson swears it’s broken.
And now the moment no one neither expected nor wanted. The promo for the Intercontinental title match is shown. JR states that “we know it’s Owen Hart” referring to the Blue Blazer. Then clips of the Blue Blazer running wild are shown. The Blue Blazer’s words of wisdom to the kids: “Take your vitamins. Say your prayers. And drink your milk!” JR tries to throw it to an earlier interview with Kevin Kelly and the Blue Blazer and states: “We got big problems out here.”
During the interview the Blue Blazer speaks as a superhero calling the Godfather his arch-nemesis. He professes that good will triumph over evil due to his daily intake of vitamins, prayers, and milk.
JR then begins to apologize. He states that the Blue Blazer was supposed to make a “spectacular” entrance and something has gone wrong. He states that the EMTs are now tending to him.
According to JR, “This is not a part of the entertainment here tonight. This is as real as real can be here.” The camera only shows JR and shots of the crowd. “This is not your typical wrestling storyline.” The Blue Blazer was supposed to descend from the ceiling. JR speculates that possibly the harness broke. He then segues into the Nicole Bass/Val Venis versus Jeff Jarrett/Debra mixed tag match.
During the promo the match is described as a love rectangle. Nicole has her eyes on Val while Val has his eyes on Debra. Jarrett defends the honor of Debra by destroying Nicole Bass with his guitar prompting Val to fight Jarrett. Nicole vows to make “chow’ out of Debra’s puppies.
JR brings us out of the promo to note that this is “not part of the show. This is not a wrestling angle.” Again JR notes that the WWF will not sensationalize this by putting it on camera. According to JR Owen Hart has been “terribly injured.” Lawler rejoins JR at the desk and states “No. It doesn’t look good at all.”
Kevin Kelly interviews Jeff Jarrett and Debra. Jeff is noticeably upset. Jarrett wishes Owen well with a very serious tone in his voice. After Jarrett does a promo on Val and Nicole he says: “Owen, you’re in our prayers.” Debra then states “Owen, we love you.”
More on this at the end of the review.
Match 3: Jeff Jarrett and WWF Women’s Champion Debra versus Val Venis and Nicole Bass in a mixed tag match
The first words out of JR’s mouth are “Unfortunately, the show must go on here.” Updates on Owen Hart are promised. JR stresses that Debra is not a trained wrestler yet will compete in this “soap opera-laced confrontation”. JR spews his “bowling shoe ugly” comment in anticipation of this match. Val confuses Kansas with Missouri as the “Show Me State”. JR rallies off Nicole’s stats as 6’3” and about 240 pounds. As a small aside it’s painfully obvious the director is not putting the corner where Owen fell in the shot from the hard camera. At the very beginning of the match the crowd proudly wants “puppies”. Val gets the early advantage and gives Jarrett a butterfly suplex. Interesting to note Teddy Long is the referee for this match. A neckbreaker, right-hand, and DDT to the shoulder is applied by Jarrett. Val catches Jarrett coming off the ropes with a powerslam and a near fall. Another whip into the ropes and Jarrett receives a spinebuster from Venis. Bass is tagged in which brings in Debra. Debra’s outfit not only showcases her lung capacity but also her toned ass. Debra climbs on Bass’ back and gets placed into the corner. Bass misses a blind charge so Debra makes her eat turnbuckle and literally kicks her ass. Jarrett is tagged in and puts Venis in the sleeper. Val reverses into a couple of knee lifts and a Russian legsweep. Val then vehemently swivels his hips in celebration. He then misses a middle rope elbow. Jarrett then executes the Stroke on Venis. Bass breaks up the pin and Jarrett threatens Bass with violence. The referee is distracted by Jarrett and Debra waffles Bass with the guitar. Bass no-sells the weak shot and rips Debra’s shirt off to reveal a black bra. Jarrett threatens to violently educate Bass with the guitar but gets suplexed by Venis. Val then heads to the top rope and hits the Money Shot for the pin. Bass celebrates the victory by planting a big wet one on Val much to his surprise! Val smiles and seems quite impressed.
Definitely this was neither WWF PG content here nor a technical masterpiece by any means.
Backstage Vince McMahon is on a gurney. Cole attempts to interview him and Shane antagonizes Vince while flaunting his referee’s shirt. Vince appears to be unable to work in the main event as he gets loaded into the ambulance.
Send your cable bill to the address on your screen to receive an Undertaker pewter pendant!
Outlaw versus Outlaw is then promoted. Mr. Ass is born and has turned on DX members X-Pac and Road Dogg.
Kevin Kelly interviews Road Dogg. Road Dogg doesn’t hesitate to offer prayers to Owen Hart. 13 years later and I still enjoy Jesse James’ “Oh, you didn’t know” bit. Road Dogg hits his catchphrase then recites his spiel with full crowd participation. Road Dogg wants a piece of Billy Gunn’s ass. I hope he’s hungry.
Kevin Kelly then interviews Billy Gunn. Gunn states that he’s been “carrying you around like a bad case of the clap” with regards to Road Dogg. If I were him I’d seek out a physician.
Match 4: Road Dogg versus “Mr. Ass” Billy Gunn
JR pumps up Billy Gunn on commentary but states “Don’t count out the Marine!” in favor of Road Dogg. Fists are exchanged and once Road Dogg gets the advantage he clotheslines Gunn over the top rope to the floor. Gunn takes a powder while Road Dogg gives chase. As a quick aside it is astonishing how much everyone uses the letters WWF rather than World Wrestling Federation. It’s hard to argue against the World Wildlife Fund with their beef on this matter. While still outside the ring Road Dogg whips Gunn into the steps which he clears. Back in the ring after a brief flurry Gunn sends Road Dogg over the top to the floor. Road Dogg’s face then meets the steel steps and the ring post. Gunn puts Road Dogg back in the ring and applies a standing vertical suplex. Road Dogg attempts to take the advantage but receives a powerslam off the ropes. Legdrop gets a near fall. Gunn continues his offense by applying a neckbreaker. Gunn stalls by jawing with the crowd then grabs a sleeper. Road Dogg might be counting sheep right here. The crowd must also feel the effects of this move because they’re eerily silent as well. Road Dogg’s arm doesn’t go down the third time and he fights out and reverses the sleeper on Gunn. After Gunn escapes Road Dogg increases the intensity of the match and gives Gunn a “shake-rattle-right hand” called by JR. Shakey-shakey kneedrop follows. Gunn rolls outside and nails Road Dogg with the timekeeper’s hammer. Since the referee was too close to the action and didn’t see it the match continues. Lawler tries to sell the move as a hammerlock. After some brawling Gunn gets the quick advantage using his wrist tape for a clothesline. Then he hits the Fame-Asser for the pin with a handful of tights.
Gunn was definitely not over with the crowd as a heel. The crowd only got into it with Road Dogg on offense. This was definitely neither a feud settling match nor a classic.
WWF King of the Ring airs on PPV on June 27.
Michael Cole interviews Shane McMahon. He states that he will be the sole referee and will call it down the middle.
Match 5 Eight man elimination tag match: Corporate Ministry (Bossman, Viscera, and the Acolytes) versus The Union (Mankind, Test, Ken Shamrock, and the Big Show)
This PPV isn’t Survivor Series. What’s this match doing here? On a positive note Big Show leaps over the top rope to enter it. Viscera starts off with Test. Viscera takes the early advantage and catches Test with a modified powerslam. Test gains the advantage and delivers a dropkick to Viscera! Mistakenly Test tries to antagonize the rest of the Ministry and gets caught in a belly-to-belly suplex by Viscera. Bradshaw tags in and applies a Russian legsweep. Test meets boot on a blind charge, but Bradshaw sprints out of the corner and receives a powerslam then a sidewalk slam. Surprisingly Test mounts the top turnbuckle and delivers an elbow! Faarooq makes the save. Shortly thereafter the Clothesline from Hell from Bradshaw finishes off Test. Shamrock comes in and wallops Bradshaw with a kick to the head. Bradshaw gains the advantage and gives Ken a fallaway slam. Shamrock regains control and tries to apply an MMA-style arm-bar submission but Faarooq saves again. Shamrock then gives Bradshaw the huracanrana followed by an anklelock causing Bradshaw to tap out. Faarooq takes immediate control on Shamrock by giving him a powerslam. Viscera tags in and sidewalk slams Shamrock. A botched crucifix by Shamrock leads to a Viscera elbow and a near fall. Faarooq comes back in but gets caught with a high knee. Modified suplex by Shamrock leads to another anklelock. Bossman helps Faarooq reach the ropes but Shamrock won’t let go. The referee gets in Ken’s face and gets belly-to-belly suplexed. Big Show comes in and chokeslams Faarooq which JR calls the “showstopper”. Teddy Long comes in to make the count and Faarooq has been eliminated. Meanwhile Shamrock has been disqualified for not breaking on a five count and referee abuse. Bossman comes in and is rightfully hesitant to hook up with Big Show. Once he does Show powers Bossman completely out of the ring with a tackle. Bossman wants to leave but get unceremoniously thrown back in the ring by Show. Show tosses Bossman across the ring similar to the way that Bam Bam Bigelow would throw Little Spike Dudley. Nash choke in the corner leads to a Bossman field goal. A double team puts Show on the mat. Mankind has yet to get into the match but receives “Mick” chants from the crowd. Show fights out of a chinlock and delivers a big boot. A second showstopper is blocked by Viscera. All 4 men are in the ring and Show slams Viscera! Mankind and Bossman tangle inside the ring while Show and Viscera fight on the outside. Bossman delivers his standard leg across the back of the neck on Mankind. They fight outside the ring as the two giants disappear backstage. Mankind eats the steel steps. Back in the ring Mankind gains control and delivers a double-arm DDT to Bossman. And now it’s time for Mr. Socko! The Union wins!
Long match with some good spots by the big men. Test made a great impression here, but the focus was primarily on Mankind getting the final decision and the win for the Union.
JR brings us back to earlier in the evening. JR states that Owen Hart fell from the ceiling. To quote JR: “I have the unfortunate responsibility to let everyone know that Owen Hart has died. Owen Hart has tragically died from that accident here tonight.” We now take a brief moment of silence.
A promo for Rock-HHH is shown. According to HHH Rock’s fate is in “my hands.”
Kevin Kelly interviews The Rock who is sporting a cast on his left arm. Before Rock can begin his promo Chyna interrupts but only acts as a distraction because HHH hits Rock from behind. Chyna hands HHH a pair of scissors and HHH tries to cut the cast off Rock’s arm. However, Mankind comes out to help the Rock but gets double-teamed then hit with a metal pipe.
Match 6: HHH (with Chyna) versus The Rock
Despite HHH’s belief that The Rock won’t show the Rock answers the bell by making HHH eat his fists a few times. Rock invites HHH to charge him but Rock evades him and sends him over the top. Outside the ring HHH and The Rock brawl around ringside. A clothesline puts HHH down. HHH’s face meets the Spanish announce table and The Rock grabs the headset. The Rock dedicates his next move to his Latino followers and sends HHH over the table into the announcers. That was awesome! HHH regains momentum and slams The Rock’s arm into the English announce table. A second slam of the arm shoots the cast right off! HHH then proceeds to knock The Rock silly with his own cast. They brawl back into the ring and HHH receives a Samoan drop. HHH responds with the high knee. The Rock ends up on the floor and Chyna rams The Rock’s “broken” arm into the English announce table again! She does it a second time and JR is outraged! JR refers to Chyna as a “witch.” Chyna then forearms The Rock to the head. HHH makes The Rock eat more table. HHH tries to clothesline The Rock but The Rock thought the same thing so both men are down. Back in the ring The Rock hammers HHH and delivers the DDT. The Rock drapes his arm over HHH and gets a very near fall. HHH retaliates with an armbar takedown off the ropes. HHH persistently works the arm and even rams the arm into the ring post. Off the ropes and HHH sends The Rock over the top onto his busted arm. The Rock’s arm then meets the steel steps. HHH hammerlocks The Rock and sends him shoulder-first into the ring post. Back in the ring they try to deliver blows to one another; however, since they have fought one another on numerous occasions they know what’s coming. Nice nod to continuity. The Rock attempts the Rock Bottom but HHH blocks it and delivers his own DDT. Chyna grabs a chair to give to HHH, but Earl Hebner steals it away from HHH and tosses it out of the ring. Hebner and HHH exchange each other’s displeasure with that decision. HHH just wallops Hebner! HHH gets promptly disqualified. He brings the chair back in the ring, but The Rock kicks it out of his hands. The Rock grabs the chair and belts HHH right in the head busting him open! Hebner attempts to raise The Rock’s left arm but The Rock felt pain and punches out Hebner! The Rock helps HHH meet the ring post and the steel steps to draw some more blood. The Rock then hammers HHH with JR’s electric fan. Back in the ring The Rock works over HHH while Chyna brings in a chair. The Rock stops her with a kick to her gut. He raises the chair and HHH pushes The Rock right into Chyna knocking her completely out of the ring! However, The Rock grabs HHH and gives him the Rock Bottom much to the crowd’s delight! And now The Rock wants to deliver the People’s Elbow. But first The Rock places the chair on HHH’s face. As The Rock glides across the ring to attempt it Chyna grabs his foot. The Rock loses his cool and grabs Chyna by the hair to pull her up on the apron. HHH then levels The Rock with a chair to the left arm! Another chairshot to the arm by HHH! Another chairshot! And another! Here comes Mankind with the aforementioned metal pipe to put a stop to this!
WWF Main Event Style was definitely showcased in this match. While the Cerebral Assassin had not yet surfaced HHH was sowing the seeds here for his upcoming push. I found the post-match shenanigans much more entertaining than the match. These guys would have better matches down the road.
A promo for the main event is shown including the infamous “Where to, Stephanie?” quote by Undertaker. Stephanie is shown tied to Undertaker’s symbol. Stone Cold comes to her rescue. Shane McMahon betrays his own family for the sake of the Ministry. While Shane appoints himself as the special guest referee Commissioner Shawn Michaels also appoints Vince McMahon as special guest referee. In one segment Undertaker is tied to his own symbol while in another segment Austin is tied to the symbol high in the air. Undertaker wants Austin’s title and the respect as the lord of darkness.
Match 7 for the WWF Championship: Stone Cold Steve Austin (champion) versus Undertaker (with Paul Bearer)
Shane makes his entrance; however, Pat Patterson also comes out to the ring sporting a referee’s shirt. I must admit that Undertaker’s Corporate Ministry music is extremely cool. Undertaker takes exception to Pat Patterson’s presence in this match and emphatically chokeslams him! Austin’s music hits and the crowd EXPLODES! A brawl ensues in the ring until Austin is dumped out. Crowd loudly chants for Austin. Undertaker tries his best to keep Austin out of the ring but receives a hangman’s neckbreaker on the top rope. Austin delivers a clothesline via the top rope! Austin proceeds to stomp a mudhole and walk it dry. He then gives a non-verbal suggestion to Shane when his warnings go unnoticed. He flips him off again and Shane pulls Austin away. According to JR Austin cannot touch Shane or he will lose the WWF title! Due to Shane’s interference Undertaker gets his own mudhole but chokes Austin to a very slow 5-count from Shane. Undertaker then proceeds to work on Austin’s left leg. Just for clarification purposes by this point in Austin’s career he only wore a knee brace on his left knee. So Undertaker working on the left leg makes for some great psychology. Austin breaks with a series of leg drops to Undertaker’s head. Austin opens up a can and then goes to work on Undertaker’s left leg. At one point in the corner Austin kicks Undertaker’s leg to where it gets tied up in the ropes as Undertaker falls to the mat. OUCH! Shane assists Undertaker before he rips his knee apart. They brawl outside the ring and Undertaker’s knee meets the steel steps. They’re quite popular tonight! Austin takes Undertaker back in the ring and continues to work on the leg. Paul Bearer attempts to interfere on behalf of Undertaker and eats a fist from Austin! Undertaker overtakes Austin and throws him into the crowd. Quite the paradox there. The crowd once again shows its support for the Rattlesnake. Back to ringside and the Undertaker chokes Austin with a video cable. Austin meets those popular steel steps. Undertaker then pushes the top step off, takes the bottom steps and kicks them into Austin’s leg! They fight back into the ring where Undertaker attempts to tombstone Stone Cold but he slips out the back and clotheslines Undertaker out of the ring. Undertaker attempts to pull Austin under the bottom rope by the leg but Austin kicks him onto the announce table then rams his head into it. Austin manhandles Undertaker and throws him back in the ring. Austin goes for the Thesz press but gets caught and spinebustered! Austin tries to crawl outside the ring only to be met by Paul Bearer’s shoe twice! They brawl all the way to the entrance where Undertaker punches out the makeshift wall of glass! Austin has him meet another part of the glass with his head. Once again they brawl for a while outside but upon re-entry the crowd is eerily silent. Undertaker controls with a choke but Austin turns the tide with a low blow. Austin then drops the middle rope elbow. Pin appears to be academic and Shane is in position. He counts 1, 2, but doesn’t count 3. While Austin berates Shane Paul Bearer tosses a chair into the ring. Undertaker grabs the chair but gets caught with a kick to the gut. Austin then whips Undertaker directly into Shane and brains the Undertaker with the chair! Austin goes for the pin but Shane is out. Gerry Brisco runs into the ring but can only count to 2 before Undertaker kicks out. Undertaker seizes control and then punches Brisco out! With no referee the crowd chants for HBK. Undertaker hits a flying clothesline. To add more intrigue Vince McMahon hobbles to ringside. Austin attempts a Stunner but gets countered. Each man knocks each other down with a clothesline. Vince counts to 7 when both men get up to continue brawling. Austin then hits the Stone Cold Stunner! Vince goes to make the count and is interrupted at 2 by Shane! Vince tries to get in Shane’s face and pushes him down. Austin spins Vince around and Shane pushes Vince directly into Austin. Undertaker then gets on top of Austin where Shane fast counts the pin! Undertaker has won the WWF title! Austin puts the boots to Undertaker. The Corporate Ministry hits the ring. Austin gives the Stunner to the Bossman and then to Mideon! The Acolytes try to hit the ring but Austin commandeers a chair to keep them back. Austin has been screwed out of the WWF title by Shane McMahon!
Wow! Drama, psychology, and a ballsy ending make for a really good match. While some would say that Shane screwing Austin was a foregone conclusion the storytelling still entertained me.
Overall, in spite of what occurred during the first hour of the show I felt this show delivered strongly from an entertainment perspective. While WWF Main Event Style took some but not all of the psychology out of the matches I enjoyed this show for what it brought to the table wrestling-wise.
However, it cannot be ignored that a long-time player on the WWF roster lost his life during this show. Owen Hart did not deserve to die this way. While I applaud both WCW and WWF for trying to push the envelope to generate interest and income losing Owen Hart this way was a major eye-opener to everyone. I hope Owen Hart is resting in peace while his family misses him every single day. Whereas some wrestlers lost their lives due to illicit or prescription drugs Owen Hart’s death was an accident that wasn’t supposed to happen to such a well-respected member of the WWF locker room.
Should the show have been stopped? If so, at what point should it be stopped? Do you stop it right after the accident? Or do you stop it after JR makes his necessary announcement? Or do you stop it at all? Over 18,000 witnessed the event live in KC that evening. The buyrate for the show was a tremendous 1.24. Could you imagine how many refunds and/or lawsuits the WWF would have to endure if they had stopped the show? WCW overran their 3-hour timeslot just 7 months prior to this show and was forced to fork over serious money in refunds alone. I’m sure the WWF knew already it would be dealing with serious negative publicity from this accident. And they did. The negative publicity from having to stop the show on Sunday and possibly completing the remainder of the show in a different town on Tuesday doesn’t make the company look good in my eyes. For the most part the WWF works in a democratic environment within a capitalistic society. The right decision was to keep doing business and handle the publicity at a later time.

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Rock Star Gary Reviews RAW is Owen

WWF RAW IS OWEN By Rock Star Gary Live from St. Louis, MO Airdate: May 24, 1999 Hosted by Jim Ross (JR) and Jerry “the King” Lawler JR opens the show by pointing out that all the WWF Superstars are by the curtain and on the entrance ramp to pay tribute to the late Owen Hart. Vince, Linda, and Stephanie McMahon are shown prominently in the front. Crowd chants for Owen. Howard Finkel asks the audience to rise and join the WWF Superstars “to pay our respects to Owen Hart” for a ceremonial 10 bell salute. Tears run down the face of Mark Henry. Jarrett is also shown weeping. Finkel then directs everyone to watch the Titantron for a video tribute to Owen. Vince McMahon narrates footage that truly depicts Owen Hart as a special performer and person who will be missed greatly by everyone. JR then introduces us to “one of the most unique broadcasts ever in the genre of sports entertainment here tonight”. The show will be a 2-hour tribute to the life of Owen Hart. Along with 10 unique match-ups there will be sentiments shown between the matches of the WWF Superstars and how Owen impacted their lives and careers. Mick Foley offers his sentiments to his friend Owen. He states that Owen was his son Dewey’s favorite wrestler. The “Nugget” chant was loved by Mick’s children. Mick mentions that Owen talked about his family quite often. Bradshaw then discusses Owen’s penchant for being “cheap on the road”. Bradshaw also notes the reason he did that was because he wanted to retire early and spend time with his family. Match 1: Jeff Jarrett (w/ Debra) versus Test Before Jarrett’s opponent can be introduced he lets us know that Owen never was a “nugget”. Test makes his way out and the contest starts right away. Jarrett drops his leg over the back of Test’s neck across the ropes then struts. To the corner Test hits boot on a blind charge but then Jarrett walks right into boot to the face. Test lifts Jarrett into a fireman’s carry and drops him face-first. Sidewalk slam puts Jarrett on the mat. Debra walks up the steel steps wearing a pink dress suit. The crowd begins to chant for “puppies”. Test then slams Jarrett and heads to the top rope. Unfortunately for him he jumps directly into a boot from Jarrett. Shoulder-first DDT by Jarrett takes Test down. In retaliation Test delivers a clothesline and then a powerbomb for a near fall. Debra is now up on the apron. She opens her top to reveal a sexy white bra to distract Test. Test falls for it and gets slapped. Jarrett then delivers the Stroke. Instead of going for the pin he puts Test in the sharpshooter in memory of Owen. Test taps out! Owen’s sharpshooter was an excellent gesture by Jarrett here. Test shows a lot of promise in this match. Jarrett, Test, and Debra all wore armbands in memory of Owen. Mark Henry recites a poem he wrote for Owen. He states that when Owen died it felt like “hands around my throat”. His poem supposedly was titled “Burn When You Cry”. Droz offers his thoughts. He believes that Owen lifts people’s spirits either at his own or someone else’s expense with his practical jokes. While Henry’s tone was very somber Droz’s tone is upbeat because he’ll always remember Owen as a “great guy”. Match 2 for the WWF tag team titles: X-Pac and Kane (champions) versus The Brood X-Pac wears the armband here as does Edge. JR compares The Brood to the Freebirds as a trio acting as a tag team only. Edge and X-Pac start off. Similar to last night JR notes that all the competitors in the match are in their 20s. It really was a dig at WCW for showcasing wrestlers in their 40s such as Piper and Flair. Shoulderblock by Edge leads to a spinning heel kick to put X-Pac down. Fast-paced action by both athletes sends Edge to the canvas after he receives a heel kick. X-Pac celebrates with a crotch chop and tags in Gangrel. Kane tags in but gets double-DDTed by The Brood. He no-sells and gives a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to Edge and a high back bodydrop to Gangrel. Christian comes in and receives a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for his troubles. X-Pac tags in and lands a series of kicks to Edge in his corner. However, he gets knocked to the outside where Gangrel and Christian double-team him. They throw him back in. Edge misses a blind corner splash and receives an enziguri to send him into the middle of next week. Tags are made by both teams. Kane hits Gangrel with a flying clothesline from the top rope! He then boots Edge and Gangrel to the face. Clothesline to Edge leads to X-Pac’s Bronco Buster! In the meantime Kane chokeslams Gangrel. Kane then lifts X-Pac up and splashes Gangrel for the pin! While the finish was their own the heel kicks and enziguri were nice nods to Owen. The tandem double-team finish was entertaining as well. HHH and Chyna take their turns to discuss Owen. Chyna remembers Owen for making people laugh. HHH appears to be very heartbroken. He states: “In a business where you often see the worst..in people’s personalites we’re like a family…Owen was always one that was at his best.” HHH tells us at the Royal Rumble Owen was the only guy tough enough to schoolboy and backslide him and not allow him to get free. Owen will always have a place in HHH’s heart and be his friend. He loves and will never forget Owen. Dave Hebner joins us and tells us that Owen always wanted to make sure everyone had a great day. Owen was a caring and giving man to others. According to Dave as a gag “He’d (Owen) tie my shoes together when I went down for the count.” Match 3: The Hardy Boyz (with Michael Hayes) versus Taka Michinoku and Sho Funaki I’ll try my best to keep up with this since it’s definitely going to be fast-paced. All four competitors are wearing the Owen black armband as well as Michael Hayes. Matt starts the match off with a suplex to Funaki. After a missed clothesline Matt receives a flying forearm. Taka tags in. He delivers a spinebuster to Matt. Funaki holds Matt in a camel clutch while Taka dropkicks Matt directly in the face! A tornado DDT is telegraphed by Taka. Jeff tags in and hits a senton to Taka on the floor! The Hardyz then deliver a Whisper in the Wind to Taka. A double-team maneuver lands Taka on his face. Jeff then misses a corkscrew moonsault off the top. Taka applies the Michinoku Driver to Jeff. Both teams tag out. Funaki hits each Hardy with a dropkick. Clothesline by Matt sends both men outside. Hayes grabs Funaki and whips him into a Jeff Hardy dropkick! Taka also seeks some frequent flyer miles and leaps from the top rope onto everyone! Funaki and Matt re-enter the ring. Matt delivers the Twist of Fate to Funaki for the pin! The Hardy Boyz were definitely on the upswing of their careers here. If only they could keep their heads on straight. Bruce Pritchard gives us his thoughts on Owen. He refers to Owen as a “great practical joker and a tremendous performer in the ring.” Dustin Runnels credits Owen as a great family man. He relates a funny story about Harley Race. Owen put an entire bottle of hot sauce in Harley’s chili when he wasn’t looking. Harley gets so mad that he broke out his stun gun for Owen. Match 4: Hardcore Holly versus Ken Shamrock Add Holly to the list of wrestlers wearing an Owen armband. Shamrock and Holly start off with some mat wrestling which leads to a very nice Northern Lights suplex from Shamrock! He hits a heel kick and then a huracanrana to Holly! Shamrock immediately takes him down and applies the anklelock. Holly taps out! Very quick match. Shamrock showcased himself well here. Faarooq says that he’ll miss Owen a lot. Test relates a story about the boys in Chicago a few months ago doing a double-shot . The first show was cancelled due to bad weather so the guys had to wait at the hotel to find out if they had to work the second show. Test receives a phone call from the local promoter. By the end of the call the promoter says “he’ll tell them that Test said to cancel the show”. Test didn’t find out about it until this morning that it was Owen who had called him. Great prank. Horrible timing on the discovery however. Match 5: “Mr. Ass” versus Mankind Chalk up Billy Gunn as an armband wearer. Billy incites the crowd by saying: “If you’re not down with Owen Hart, I got two words for ya!” The crowd obliges with the normal response. JR relates a story where Owen stole his hat before a TV taping. Crowd chants for Foley. After some fists are exchanged Mankind backdrops Gunn and clotheslines him out of the ring. Mankind follows him and introduces Gunn’s face to the steel steps. Back in the ring Gunn dropkicks Mankind on the knee. He works the knee on the ropes then clips Mankind. Next he grabs a chair from ringside, but in the ring Mankind preps Mr. Socko. Gunn gets on the apron and is forced to eat Mr. Socko. Gunn gets counted out! Mick then gives a “Whoo!” for Owen after the match. While the slow burn for “Mr. Ass” continues the star of the match really was Mick. Jeff Jarrett mentions that in this business there are a lot of acquaintances but very few friends. On the verge of tears he calls Owen his friend. When he thinks of Owen he thinks of integrity. He calls Owen a “man’s man”. Owen made coming to work fun for Jeff. In a feature taped earlier today at an undetermined outdoor location Michael Cole talks about the matchup between The Rock and HHH at Over The Edge last night. After some highlights Cole discusses the WWF title match. Highlights of that match are then shown. Considering there was no replay to sell showing highlights of the two main matches including the finishes was a kind gesture to the WWF audience. Edge offers his feelings on Owen. He refers to Owen as the “leader of a Canadian mafia” when it came to the boys. He felt honored that he wrestled Owen in his last match in Chicago. Match 6: D’Lo Brown and Sexual Chocolate Mark Henry (w/ Ivory) versus The Acolytes Everyone in the match, including Ivory, wears the Owen armband. Faarooq and Henry start off. To try to take Henry off his feet Faarooq tries a standing shoulderblock, leg kicks, and then a running shoulderblock. He charges Henry but gets caught with a powerslam. D’Lo tags in but immediately gets a jawbreaker. Bradshaw tags in and works over D’Lo with kicks, right hands, and chops along with a corner clothesline. He tosses D’Lo to the outside where Faarooq introduces D’Lo to the steel steps face-first. Back in Bradshaw delivers a Russian legsweep. Faarooq tags in, but D’Lo takes over to give Faarooq his patented standing legdrop. Farooq gives D’Lo the DDT. After a tag Bradshaw levels D’Lo with a running shoulderblock. Another tag-in by Faarooq but D’Lo delivers a heel kick to him. Tags are exchanged on both sides. Henry takes over with a shoulderblock and two clotheslines! Double team shoulderblock by the Acolytes puts Henry down again. However, D’Lo got the blind tag. The Acolytes then double-team D’Lo with a belly-to-back suplex neckbreaker combo. Henry makes the save. In a unique twist heel miscommunication by the Acolytes leads to a rollup by D’Lo on Bradshaw for the pin! Upset victory here, but Faarooq and Bradshaw truly carried this match. Pat Patterson thanks Owen for being a great person. Hardcore Holly relates that in Mobile, AL Owen kindly put Holly over in a match. Match 7: Road Dogg versus WWF Intercontinental Champion The Godfather (w/ ho’s) Road Dogg enters the ring wearing the Owen armband and welcomes the crowd with his catchphrases and his spiel the crowd knows well. According to Road Dogg “You know who I am. It ain’t about me. It’s about the King of Harts this evening.” Godfather brings out some of St. Louis’ “finest”. Godfather hits his catchphrases to the crowd’s approval. JR reveals an embarassing pool prank that Owen pulled on him on the WWF Wrestle Vessel. Godfather grabs the mic and offers Road Dogg to join him and the ho’s to “light it up all night long”. Crowd voices their approval. Road Dogg replies “Why don’t you and I go burn one and tell some Owen stories?” They leave the ring simultaneously after that. Paul Bearer in his normal non-high-pitched voice wishes farewell to Owen. X-Pac calls Owen “the funniest guy I’ve ever met”. He then offers a prayer to his wife and 2 children. Match 8: WWF Hardcore Champion Al Snow (w/ Head) versus HHH (w/ Chyna) Considering what HHH did to the Rock last night I wouldn’t want to be Al Snow this evening. Both men and Chyna wear the armband. They hit the ropes and Snow gives HHH a spinning heel kick. He knocks HHH out of the ring then executes a baseball slide. Back in the ring Snow flips over HHH but gets a high knee for his troubles. HHH works him over and when Snow gets close to the ropes Chyna wallops him! HHH delivers a vertical suplex and drops the knee to the forehead. Snow gets whipped to the turnbuckle, applies the brakes, and clotheslines HHH. Snow then headbutts HHH while holding his arms. HHH flops face-first. Even JR has to give the nod to Flair on that one although not by name. Snow then backdrops HHH coming off the ropes. After a body slam Snow mounts the top turnbuckle but misses the moonsault. A Pedigree finishes Al’s night. While Snow was over with the crowd HHH continues his push although less violent than last night. Road Dogg is having a tough time expressing himself but offers his prayers to Owen’s family. Gerald Brisco empathizes with Owen as the younger brother of a superstar. He thanks Owen for being a consummate professional and all the great memories. Match 9: Big Show versus Goldust (w/ Blue Meanie) A svelte Big Show (w/ ponytail and armband) leaps over the top rope. Goldust pushes Blue Meanie (also with an armband) into Big Show. Meanie tries to make a dent in the giant to no avail. Big Show attempts to give Meanie the showstopper but Goldust lowblows him. Double team clothesline misses and Big Show launches himself to clothesline both Meanie and Goldust. He then hoists Goldust high in the air and gives him the showstopper! Meanie gets one of his own as well! Big Show covers both men for the pin! Boiled squash with a side of fried squash, anyone? Physically Big Show looked really good as well as agile. Debra states that “the world has lost a really great person”. Owen “touched my life and brightened my day”. She begins to blubber and expresses denial about Owen. She felt honored to work with him. Shane McMahon relates a story about pulling a prank on Owen in Chicago with Bret. They tackle him after he’s already gone to sleep. Subsequently Bret’s boots are missing in the morning while Shane’s stuff ends up in the shower. He wishes Godspeed to his family. Match 10: Val Venis versus The Rock Val joins the list of Owen armband wearers. The Rock gets a big pop upon his entrance. The Rock sports another cast on his left arm. “Finally The Rock has come back to St. Louis!” After a brief mention of Owen the Rock hits his catchphrases with the crowd completing his sentence. “Owen, this is your night. And, damn it, you know The Rock loved you like no other.” He dedicates The People’s Elbow to Owen. Val starts working on the arm; however, Rock delivers the Rock Bottom in an instant thereafter. The People’s Elbow gets the pin! Very short match proving that The Rock truly was a superstar. Also wearing an armband JR gives his farewell to Owen stating he wishes he “could be as good a man as him so that I can see him again someday”. Even I choked up on that one. Lawler then mentions holding Owen’s head last night and learns to “never leave home without telling the people you love what you think of them”. JR is truly choked up. The glass breaks and here comes Stone Cold Steve Austin! The crowd ERUPTS! Steve receives a couple of Steveweisers from ringside. A picture of Owen is on the Titantron stating “In Memory of Owen Hart 1965-1999”. Austin toasts and salutes Owen with his beer. Purposefully he leaves a cold one for Owen in the center of the ring. Well, if people thought the WWF was heartless last night for continuing the show they got a whole lot of heart from the WWF tonight. Overall 23 WWF Superstars including managers and valets wore the Owen armband. This was truly an epic night in remembrance of Owen. Ten matches with no DQs in an era where DQs were the norm was a breath of fresh air. But it was all in Owen’s honor. Although this show is extremely sad in its tone I would recommend it to each and every wrestling fan that hasn’t seen it. Show biz isn’t always pretty, but when a man like Owen Hart touches all the people around him like this you must be thankful and remember him always. Grab your loved ones and a box of tissues and enjoy this one, folks. You won’t regret it.

Rock Star Gary Reviews Over The Edge 99

(Despite one frequent bloggie pondering whether I’d review this show for $100, it’s not actually available on video or DVD and it’s incomplete on YouTube anyway.  Morals are one thing, but I have a family to feed and it’s not a life-defining choice for me anyway. If you guys want to take up a collection for that and the Extreme Reunion show, I’m game as long as someone can find a complete copy. But here’s a compromise of sorts for the moment, as reader Rock Star Gary (of rockstargary.com according to the watermark on the Word file) offered up his review of the show and the next night’s RAW is Owen, which I will post tomorrow.) WWF Over the Edge 1999 By Rock Star Gary Live from Kansas City, MO (attendance: 18, 244) Airdate: May 23, 1999 Hosted by Jim Ross (JR) and Jerry “the King” Lawler We begin the show with a soliloquy from Undertaker professing his ministry of darkness and his mission to take Stone Cold Steve Austin’s most prized possession – the WWF title! Earlier tonight on Sunday Night Heat Mideon of the Corporate Ministry cracked a steel chair upon Vince McMahon’s ankle on the steel steps! Match 1 for the WWF tag team titles: X-Pac & Kane (champions) versus D’Lo Brown & Sexual Chocolate Mark Henry (w/ Ivory) JR right off the bat accentuates the youth in the ring by stating the combatants are in their 20s (Hint, hint WCW). The crowd lets D’Lo know that he sucks. Prior to locking up with D’Lo X-Pac crotch-chops Ivory. D’Lo uses his size to his advantage while X-Pac uses his speed and agility. 5 minutes in and X-Pac unsuccessfully attempts to break out the Bronco Buster on D’Lo. Henry and Kane tag in. After an avalanche Henry press-drops Kane—a move similar to what the Ultimate Warrior used to do to jobbers. Kane proceeds to no-sell and deliver some clotheslines. Kane follows up with an Irish Whip into a dropkick! The dynamic changes when D’Lo is tagged in as he uses agility in his exchange with Kane. After a brief flurry by X-Pac D’Lo feigns a knee injury so that Henry can crotch X-Pac on the ring post. X-Pac gets pressed and hot shot on the barricade by Henry. Back in and D’Lo executes a running powerbomb to X-Pac. Kane, however, breaks up the pin attempt. After both teams exchange tags again Kane slams the 400 pounder and then hits a tilt-a-whirl slam on D’Lo. X-Pac then tries a plancha onto Henry but gets caught and rammed into the ring post back-first. Reverse suplex by Kane. Double-teaming on Kane leads to a near pinfall but with an authoritative kick-out by Kane. That sends D’Lo to the floor! Kane mounts the turnbuckle and dives onto both D’Lo and Henry! Top rope clothesline by Kane. D’Lo makes the save. X-Pac comes in and gives the Bronco Buster to D’Lo. Kane then chokeslams Henry for the 3-count! Winners and still WWF Tag Team Champions…Kane and X-Pac! Hot match! The crowd was into it. Big man-small man dynamic was used very well while Kane’s talents were showcased. Michael Cole speculates that due to Vince’s injury he may not be able to serve as the second special guest referee for the title match tonight. Hardcore Holly is interviewed and cuts a promo about Al Snow. He wants to “peel Al’s head wide open.” Ick. Match 2 for the WWF Hardcore Championship: Al Snow (champion) (w/ Head) versus Hardcore Holly Snow also brings a moose head (not the beer) to the ring. After a brief exchange Holly and Snow head outside the ring where Snow meets the railing face-first. Then Holly meets the steel steps on a reversal of an Irish whip. Having grabbed a cookie sheet Holly smacks Snow from the outside coming in and then again for a near fall. In order to cool down Snow’s need for Head Holly grabs the fire extinguisher but can’t get it to work. He finally pulls the pin out of it but Snow hits him with the cookie sheet inadvertently setting off the extinguisher. Snow then grabs the extinguisher and gives Holly a mouthful. Yuck! They take the bout into the crowd all the way to the concession stand. A series of concessions are exchanged almost leading them into the women’s restroom. Funnel cake for everyone! Especially for Holly who is wearing powdered sugar on his face. After a near fall on the concrete they head back to the ring. From the railing Snow executes a leg drop that barely makes contact with Holly’s head. He then throws Holly in the ring, puts him in the corner, and performs an excruciating stomp to the groin! The crowd cringes for that one. Snow grabs a chair from ringside, then goes to the other side of the ring, and pulls out a table! Back in the ring upon setting up the table Snow is on the receiving end of a patented Holly dropkick. The “Hollycaust” (Falcon arrow) gets a 2 count. After jawing with the referee Holly gets caught in the Snow Plow for another near fall. Ballshot #2 to Holly. It’s no wonder why he has such a negative attitude. Snow grabs the Head and gets DDT’d on a chair. Holly sets up the table in the ring only to fall prey to a powerbomb through it! Snow falls forward and gets the pin to retain. Standard hardcore fare here. Move along. Michael Cole interviews Pat Patterson and Gerry Brisco. An ambulance has been called supposedly to take Vince to the hospital for his ankle. Patterson swears it’s broken. And now the moment no one neither expected nor wanted. The promo for the Intercontinental title match is shown. JR states that “we know it’s Owen Hart” referring to the Blue Blazer. Then clips of the Blue Blazer running wild are shown. The Blue Blazer’s words of wisdom to the kids: “Take your vitamins. Say your prayers. And drink your milk!” JR tries to throw it to an earlier interview with Kevin Kelly and the Blue Blazer and states: “We got big problems out here.” During the interview the Blue Blazer speaks as a superhero calling the Godfather his arch-nemesis. He professes that good will triumph over evil due to his daily intake of vitamins, prayers, and milk. JR then begins to apologize. He states that the Blue Blazer was supposed to make a “spectacular” entrance and something has gone wrong. He states that the EMTs are now tending to him. According to JR, “This is not a part of the entertainment here tonight. This is as real as real can be here.” The camera only shows JR and shots of the crowd. “This is not your typical wrestling storyline.” The Blue Blazer was supposed to descend from the ceiling. JR speculates that possibly the harness broke. He then segues into the Nicole Bass/Val Venis versus Jeff Jarrett/Debra mixed tag match. During the promo the match is described as a love rectangle. Nicole has her eyes on Val while Val has his eyes on Debra. Jarrett defends the honor of Debra by destroying Nicole Bass with his guitar prompting Val to fight Jarrett. Nicole vows to make “chow’ out of Debra’s puppies. JR brings us out of the promo to note that this is “not part of the show. This is not a wrestling angle.” Again JR notes that the WWF will not sensationalize this by putting it on camera. According to JR Owen Hart has been “terribly injured”. Lawler rejoins JR at the desk and states “No. It doesn’t look good at all.” Kevin Kelly interviews Jeff Jarrett and Debra. Jeff is noticeably upset. Jarrett wishes Owen well with a very serious tone in his voice. After Jarrett does a promo on Val and Nicole he says: “Owen, you’re in our prayers.” Debra then states “Owen, we love you.” More on this at the end of the review. Match 3: Jeff Jarrett and WWF Women’s Champion Debra versus Val Venis and Nicole Bass in a mixed tag match The first words out of JR’s mouth are “Unfortunately, the show must go on here.” Updates on Owen Hart are promised. JR stresses that Debra is not a trained wrestler yet will compete in this “soap opera-laced confrontation”. JR spews his “bowling shoe ugly” comment in anticipation of this match. Val confuses Kansas with Missouri as the “Show Me State”. JR rallies off Nicole’s stats as 6’3” and about 240 pounds. As a small aside it’s painfully obvious the director is not putting the corner where Owen fell in the shot from the hard camera. At the very beginning of the match the crowd proudly wants “puppies”. Val gets the early advantage and gives Jarrett a butterfly suplex. Interesting to note Teddy Long is the referee for this match. A neckbreaker, right-hand, and DDT to the shoulder is applied by Jarrett. Val catches Jarrett coming off the ropes with a powerslam and a near fall. Another whip into the ropes and Jarrett receives a spinebuster from Venis. Bass is tagged in which brings in Debra. Debra’s outfit not only showcases her lung capacity but also her toned ass. Debra climbs on Bass’ back and gets placed into the corner. Bass misses a blind charge so Debra makes her eat turnbuckle and literally kicks her ass. Jarrett is tagged in and puts Venis in the sleeper. Val reverses into a couple of knee lifts and a Russian legsweep. Val then vehemently swivels his hips in celebration. He then misses a middle rope elbow. Jarrett then executes the Stroke on Venis. Bass breaks up the pin and Jarrett threatens Bass with violence. The referee is distracted by Jarrett and Debra waffles Bass with the guitar. Bass no-sells the weak shot and rips Debra’s shirt off to reveal a black bra. Jarrett threatens to violently educate Bass with the guitar but gets suplexed by Venis. Val then heads to the top rope and hits the Money Shot for the pin. Bass celebrates the victory by planting a big wet one on Val much to his surprise! Val smiles and seems quite impressed. Definitely this was neither WWF PG content here nor a technical masterpiece by any means. Backstage Vince McMahon is on a gurney. Cole attempts to interview him and Shane antagonizes Vince while flaunting his referee’s shirt. Vince appears to be unable to work in the main event as he gets loaded into the ambulance. Send your cable bill to the address on your screen to receive an Undertaker pewter pendant! Outlaw versus Outlaw is then promoted. Mr. Ass is born and has turned on DX members X-Pac and Road Dogg. Kevin Kelly interviews Road Dogg. Road Dogg doesn’t hesitate to offer prayers to Owen Hart. 13 years later and I still enjoy Jesse James’ “Oh, you didn’t know” bit. Road Dogg hits his catchphrase then recites his spiel with full crowd participation. Road Dogg wants a piece of Billy Gunn’s ass. I hope he’s hungry. Kevin Kelly then interviews Billy Gunn. Gunn states that he’s been “carrying you around like a bad case of the clap” with regards to Road Dogg. If I were him I’d seek out a physician. Match 4: Road Dogg versus “Mr. Ass” Billy Gunn JR pumps up Billy Gunn on commentary but states “Don’t count out the Marine!” in favor of Road Dogg. Fists are exchanged and once Road Dogg gets the advantage he clotheslines Gunn over the top rope to the floor. Gunn takes a powder while Road Dogg gives chase. As a quick aside it is astonishing how much everyone uses the letters WWF rather than World Wrestling Federation. It’s hard to argue against the World Wildlife Fund with their beef on this matter. While still outside the ring Road Dogg whips Gunn into the steps which he clears. Back in the ring after a brief flurry Gunn sends Road Dogg over the top to the floor. Road Dogg’s face then meets the steel steps and the ring post. Gunn puts Road Dogg back in the ring and applies a standing vertical suplex. Road Dogg attempts to take the advantage but receives a powerslam off the ropes. Legdrop gets a near fall. Gunn continues his offense by applying a neckbreaker. Gunn stalls by jawing with the crowd then grabs a sleeper. Road Dogg might be counting sheep right here. The crowd must also feel the effects of this move because they’re eerily silent as well. Road Dogg’s arm doesn’t go down the third time and he fights out and reverses the sleeper on Gunn. After Gunn escapes Road Dogg increases the intensity of the match and gives Gunn a “shake-rattle-right hand” called by JR. Shakey-shakey kneedrop follows. Gunn rolls outside and nails Road Dogg with the timekeeper’s hammer. Since the referee was too close to the action and didn’t see it the match continues. Lawler tries to sell the move as a hammerlock. After some brawling Gunn gets the quick advantage using his wrist tape for a clothesline. Then he hits the Fame-Asser for the pin with a handful of tights. Gunn was definitely not over with the crowd as a heel. The crowd only got into it with Road Dogg on offense. This was definitely not a feud settling match or a classic. WWF King of the Ring airs on PPV on June 27. Michael Cole interviews Shane McMahon. He states that he will be the sole referee and will call it down the middle. Match 5 Eight man elimination tag match: Corporate Ministry (Bossman, Viscera, and the Acolytes) versus The Union (Mankind, Test, Ken Shamrock, and the Big Show) This PPV isn’t Survivor Series. What’s this match doing here? On a positive note Big Show leaps over the top rope to enter it. Viscera starts off with Test. Viscera takes the early advantage and catches Test with a modified powerslam. Test gains the advantage and delivers a dropkick to Viscera! Mistakenly Test tries to antagonize the rest of the Ministry and gets caught in a belly-to-belly suplex by Viscera. Bradshaw tags in and applies a Russian legsweep. Test meets boot on a blind charge, but Bradshaw sprints out of the corner and receives a powerslam then a sidewalk slam. Surprisingly Test mounts the top turnbuckle and delivers an elbow! Faarooq makes the save. Shortly thereafter the Clothesline from Hell from Bradshaw finishes off Test. Shamrock comes in and wallops Bradshaw with a kick to the head. Bradshaw gains the advantage and gives Ken a fallaway slam. Shamrock regains control and tries to apply an MMA-style arm-bar submission but Faarooq saves again. Shamrock then gives Bradshaw the huracanrana followed by an anklelock causing Bradshaw to tap out. Faarooq takes immediate control on Shamrock by giving him a powerslam. Viscera tags in and sidewalk slams Shamrock. A botched crucifix by Shamrock leads to a Viscera elbow and a near fall. Faarooq comes back in but gets caught with a high knee. Modified suplex by Shamrock leads to another anklelock. Bossman helps Faarooq reach the ropes but Shamrock won’t let go. The referee gets in Ken’s face and gets belly-to-belly suplexed. Big Show comes in and chokeslams Faarooq which JR calls the “showstopper”. Teddy Long comes in to make the count and Faarooq has been eliminated. Meanwhile Shamrock has been disqualified for not breaking on a five count and referee abuse. Bossman comes in and is rightfully hesitant to hook up with Big Show. Once he does Show powers Bossman completely out of the ring with a tackle. Bossman wants to leave but get unceremoniously thrown back in the ring by Show. Show tosses Bossman across the ring similar to the way that Bam Bam Bigelow would throw Little Spike Dudley. Nash choke in the corner leads to a Bossman field goal. A double team puts Show on the mat. Mankind has yet to get into the match but receives “Mick” chants from the crowd. Show fights out of a chinlock and delivers a big boot. A second showstopper is blocked by Viscera. All 4 men are in the ring and Show slams Viscera! Mankind and Bossman tangle inside the ring while Show and Viscera fight on the outside. Bossman delivers his standard leg across the back of the neck on Mankind. They fight outside the ring as the two giants disappear backstage. Mankind eats the steel steps. Back in the ring Mankind gains control and delivers a double-arm DDT to Bossman. And now it’s time for Mr. Socko! The Union wins! Long match with some good spots by the big men. Test made a great impression here, but the focus was primarily on Mankind getting the final decision and the win for the Union. Uh-oh! JR brings us back to earlier in the evening. JR states that Owen Hart fell from the ceiling. To quote JR: “I have the unfortunate responsibility to let everyone know that Owen Hart has died. Owen Hart has tragically died from that accident here tonight.” We now take a brief moment of silence. A promo for Rock-HHH is shown. According to HHH Rock’s fate is in “my hands”. Kevin Kelly interviews The Rock who is sporting a cast on his left arm. Before Rock can begin his promo Chyna interrupts but only acts as a distraction because HHH hits Rock from behind. Chyna hands HHH a pair of scissors and HHH tries to cut the cast off Rock’s arm. However, Mankind comes out to help the Rock but gets double-teamed then hit with a metal pipe. Match 6: HHH (with Chyna) versus The Rock Despite HHH’s belief that The Rock won’t show the Rock answers the bell by making HHH eat his fists a few times. Rock invites HHH to charge him but Rock evades him and sends him over the top. Outside the ring HHH and The Rock brawl around ringside. A clothesline puts HHH down. HHH’s face meets the Spanish announce table and The Rock grabs the headset. The Rock dedicates his next move to his Latino followers and sends HHH over the table into the announcers. That was awesome! HHH regains momentum and slams The Rock’s arm into the English announce table. A second slam of the arm shoots the cast right off! HHH then proceeds to knock The Rock silly with his own cast. They brawl back into the ring and HHH receives a Samoan drop. HHH responds with the high knee. The Rock ends up on the floor and Chyna rams The Rock’s “broken” arm into the English announce table again! She does it a second time and JR is outraged! JR refers to Chyna as a “witch”. Chyna then forearms The Rock to the head. HHH makes The Rock eat more table. HHH tries to clothesline The Rock but The Rock thought the same thing so both men are down. Back in the ring The Rock hammers HHH and delivers the DDT. The Rock drapes his arm over HHH and gets a very near fall. HHH retaliates with an armbar takedown off the ropes. HHH persistently works the arm and even rams the arm into the ring post. Off the ropes and HHH sends The Rock over the top onto his busted arm. The Rock’s arm then meets the steel steps. HHH hammerlocks The Rock and sends him shoulder-first into the ring post. Back in the ring they try to deliver blows to one another; however, since they have fought one another on numerous occasions they know what’s coming. Nice nod to continuity. The Rock attempts the Rock Bottom but HHH blocks it and delivers his own DDT. Chyna grabs a chair to give to HHH, but Earl Hebner steals it away from HHH and tosses it out of the ring. Hebner and HHH exchange each other’s displeasure with that decision. HHH just wallops Hebner! HHH gets promptly disqualified. He brings the chair back in the ring, but The Rock kicks it out of his hands. The Rock grabs the chair and belts HHH right in the head busting him open! Hebner attempts to raise The Rock’s left arm but The Rock felt pain and punches out Hebner! The Rock helps HHH meet the ring post and the steel steps to draw some more blood. The Rock then hammers HHH with JR’s electric fan. Back in the ring The Rock works over HHH while Chyna brings in a chair. The Rock stops her with a kick to her gut. He raises the chair and HHH pushes The Rock right into Chyna knocking her completely out of the ring! However, The Rock grabs HHH and gives him the Rock Bottom much to the crowd’s delight! And now The Rock wants to deliver the People’s Elbow. But first The Rock places the chair on HHH’s face. As The Rock glides across the ring to attempt it Chyna grabs his foot. The Rock loses his cool and grabs Chyna by the hair to pull her up on the apron. HHH then levels The Rock with a chair to the left arm! Another chairshot to the arm by HHH! Another chairshot! And another! Here comes Mankind with the aforementioned metal pipe to put a stop to this! WWF Main Event Style was definitely showcased in this match. While the Cerebral Assassin had not yet surfaced HHH was sowing the seeds here for his upcoming push. I found the post-match shenanigans much more entertaining than the match. These guys would have better matches down the road. A promo for the main event is shown including the infamous “Where to, Stephanie?” quote by Undertaker. Stephanie is shown tied to Undertaker’s symbol. Stone Cold comes to her rescue. Shane McMahon betrays his own family for the sake of the Ministry. While Shane appoints himself as the special guest referee Commissioner Shawn Michaels also appoints Vince McMahon as special guest referee. In one segment Undertaker is tied to his own symbol while in another segment Austin is tied to the symbol high in the air. Undertaker wants Austin’s title and the respect as the lord of darkness. Match 7 for the WWF Championship: Stone Cold Steve Austin (champion) versus Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) Shane makes his entrance; however, Pat Patterson also comes out to the ring sporting a referee’s shirt. I must admit that Undertaker’s Corporate Ministry music is extremely cool. Undertaker takes exception to Pat Patterson’s presence in this match and emphatically chokeslams him! Austin’s music hits and the crowd EXPLODES! A brawl ensues in the ring until Austin is dumped out. Crowd loudly chants for Austin. Undertaker tries his best to keep Austin out of the ring but receives a hangman’s neckbreaker on the top rope. Austin delivers a clothesline via the top rope! Austin proceeds to stomp a mudhole and walk it dry. He then gives a non-verbal suggestion to Shane when his warnings go unnoticed. He flips him off again and Shane pulls Austin away. According to JR Austin cannot touch Shane or he will lose the WWF title! Due to Shane’s interference Undertaker gets his own mudhole but chokes Austin to a very slow 5-count from Shane. Undertaker then proceeds to work on Austin’s left leg. Just for clarification purposes by this point in Austin’s career he only wore a knee brace on his left knee. So Undertaker working on the left leg makes for some great psychology. Austin breaks with a series of leg drops to Undertaker’s head. Austin opens up a can and then goes to work on Undertaker’s left leg. At one point in the corner Austin kicks Undertaker’s leg to where it gets tied up in the ropes as Undertaker falls to the mat. OUCH! Shane assists Undertaker before he rips his knee apart. They brawl outside the ring and Undertaker’s knee meets the steel steps. They’re quite popular tonight! Austin takes Undertaker back in the ring and continues to work on the leg. Paul Bearer attempts to interfere on behalf of Undertaker and eats a fist from Austin! Undertaker overtakes Austin and throws him into the crowd. Quite the paradox there. The crowd once again shows its support for the Rattlesnake. Back to ringside and the Undertaker chokes Austin with a video cable. Austin meets those popular steel steps. Undertaker then pushes the top step off, takes the bottom steps and kicks them into Austin’s leg! They fight back into the ring where Undertaker attempts to tombstone Stone Cold but he slips out the back and clotheslines Undertaker out of the ring. Undertaker attempts to pull Austin under the bottom rope by the leg but Austin kicks him onto the announce table then rams his head into it. Austin manhandles Undertaker and throws him back in the ring. Austin goes for the Thesz press but gets caught and spinebustered! Austin tries to crawl outside the ring only to be met by Paul Bearer’s shoe twice! They brawl all the way to the entrance where Undertaker punches out the makeshift wall of glass! Austin has him meet another part of the glass with his head. Once again they brawl for a while outside but upon re-entry the crowd is eerily silent. Undertaker controls with a choke but Austin turns the tide with a low blow. Austin then drops the middle rope elbow. Pin appears to be academic and Shane is in position. He counts 1, 2, but doesn’t count 3. While Austin berates Shane Paul Bearer tosses a chair into the ring. Undertaker grabs the chair but gets caught with a kick to the gut. Austin then whips Undertaker directly into Shane and brains the Undertaker with the chair! Austin goes for the pin but Shane is out. Gerry Brisco runs into the ring but can only count to 2 before Undertaker kicks out. Undertaker seizes control and then punches Brisco out! With no referee the crowd chants for HBK. Undertaker hits a flying clothesline. To add more intrigue Vince McMahon hobbles to ringside. Austin attempts a Stunner but gets countered. Each man knocks each other down with a clothesline. Vince counts to 7 when both men get up to continue brawling. Austin then hits the Stone Cold Stunner! Vince goes to make the count and is interrupted at 2 by Shane! Vince tries to get in Shane’s face and pushes him down. Austin spins Vince around and Shane pushes Vince directly into Austin. Undertaker then gets on top of Austin where Shane fast counts the pin! Undertaker has won the WWF title! Austin puts the boots to Undertaker. The Corporate Ministry hits the ring. Austin gives the Stunner to the Bossman and then to Mideon! The Acolytes try to hit the ring but Austin commandeers a chair to keep them back. Austin has been screwed out of the WWF title by Shane McMahon! Wow! Drama, psychology, and a ballsy ending make for a really good match. While some would say that Shane screwing Austin was a foregone conclusion the storytelling still entertained me. Overall, in spite of what occurred during the first hour of the show I felt this show delivered strongly from an entertainment perspective. While WWF Main Event Style took some but not all of the psychology out of the matches I enjoyed this show for what it brought to the table wrestling-wise. However, it cannot be ignored that a long-time player on the WWF roster lost his life during this show. Owen Hart did not deserve to die this way. While I applaud both WCW and WWF for trying to push the envelope to generate interest and income losing Owen Hart this way was a major eye-opener to everyone. I hope Owen Hart is resting in peace while his family misses him every single day. Whereas some wrestlers lost their lives due to illicit or prescription drugs Owen Hart’s death was an accident that wasn’t supposed to happen to such a well-respected member of the WWF locker room. Should the show have been stopped? If so, at what point should it be stopped? Do you stop it right after the accident? Or do you stop it after JR makes his necessary announcement? Or do you stop it at all? Over 18,000 witnessed the event live in KC that evening. The buyrate for the show was a tremendous 1.24. Could you imagine how many refunds and/or lawsuits the WWF would have to endure if they had stopped the show? WCW overran their 3-hour timeslot just 7 months prior to this show and was forced to fork over serious money in refunds alone. I’m sure the WWF knew already it would be dealing with serious negative publicity from this accident. And they did. The negative publicity from having to stop the show on Sunday and possibly completing the remainder of the show in a different town on Tuesday doesn’t make the company look good in my eyes. For the most part the WWF works in a democratic environment within a capitalistic society. The right decision was to keep doing business and handle the publicity at a later time.

Gary Michael Cappetta Interview Plug

Scott –
Was hoping you could plug the interview we recently did with Gary
Michael Cappetta…thanks so much!
Wrestling fans, in the latest Place to Be Podcast, Scott, Justin &
Graham Cawthon interview the legendary ring announcer Gary Michael
Cappetta. GMC delivers an in depth chat, navigating through his time
with WWF, AWA, JCP, WCW and ROH, including great stories about his
early days in the business, the night Mick Foley lost his ear, his
relationship with Vince McMahon, his final days working for Eric
Bischoff and how he hooked up with Ring of Honor, plus much, much
more.
This is a must listen for all old school wrestling fans, so kick back
and enjoy this trip through time with GMC!
http://placetobe.podbean.com/


Enjoy the plug!