Fwd: Extreme Rising vs. TNA

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Begin forwarded message:

From: JOHN F CORRIGAN <[email protected]>
Date: November 19, 2013 9:21:27 AM CST
To: Scott Keith <[email protected]>
Subject: Extreme Rising vs. TNA

Hey Scott,

Extreme Rising owner Steve O’Neill revealed the changes within the company over the past year, specifics on the TV deal, and how competitive he views TNA.

http://temple-news.com/arts/2013/11/18/corrigan-extreme-rising-returns-philly/

Thanks!
John Corrigan

Set All Time Record for Most Hits on The Temple News’ Website
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Pro-Wrestling Columnist for The Temple News

Extreme Rising in Pittsburgh review

Each segment/match will be graded with either a positive
(+), a negative (-), or a neutral (N).
Robbie Mireno opens the show to a decent crowd on hand at
the Golden Dome in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Crowd are all over the poor sod,
as you can imagine. A few geniuses in the crowd remind me that he’s “not Joey
Styles!”. Ok… Mireno turns on the crowd and calls them pussies, which brings
out the pussy fiend that is, a slim, Joel Gertner. He thanks the crowd before
doing his usual spiel.

It’s worth noting that the sound levels were appalling for
the most part, so I apologise if I claim there were crickets for a match when
in actuality there was a little noise. The commentary is loud and the in-ring
action is quiet..
Jay Bradley Vs. Christian York
Your standard cruiser style opening ends with York taking down
Jay with a dropkick. A clunky spot ends in an exchange of chops and Bradley
taking over with his harder hitting offence. At first glance he’s a young
Blackjack Bradshaw.. Bradley drops a knee over the back of York’s head from the
second rope. Nice move, but the crowd aren’t so impressed. It’s sometimes
difficult to gauge with the ECW crowd (I’ll just call them that..) – they’ll
give new guys a hard time, but they’ll also shit over a move if it doesn’t look
as finesse as it should. York starts hulking up while Jay turns his chest red
with repeated chops, but to no avail. Jay’s offence is largely WWE style
(punch, kick, choke, resthold). Speaking of which, resthold time. They look to
be struggling with the smaller than usual size of the ring. It looks about
16×16, maybe even 14×14. York goes for the Kobashi plex, but Jay counters. York
then hits his cannonball in the corner. Double foot stomp gets a 2. A really
sloppy/contrived spot ends with the Lariat from Bradley for the win.
WINNER – Jay Bradley
VERDICT – They just couldn’t seem to get to grips with the
small ring. I expected more from York.
Papadon Vs. Stevie Richards (Extreme Rising World Title
tournament – First Round)
Gertner sums Stevie up pretty well: “I havn’t seen Stevie in
5 months. He looks 5 months younger..”.
I thought he looked great in his WWECW run (which, I’ll be
reviewing weekly soon. Cheap plug). Richards gets the better of the opening
exchange as Papadon retreats. Papadon bills himself as the ‘Greek God’, so you
can get a bit of a picture as to what this guy’s like. Papadon snapmares
Richards over and kicks him in the back, but Stevie no sells as Papa taunts.
Exchange of strikes, Stevie goes for the Stevie Kick, but once again Papa
retreats. Papa gets heat from the crowd and you could see him fitting in to the
original ECW as a Simon Diamond kinda character. A chinlock provides false hope
for Stevie fans as Papa drops him with a side suplex for 2. Papadon goes for a
Superplex but Stevie counters. Papa fires back with a European uppercut to take
him down. 2 count only. A chinlock/head vice transforms to a side suplex once
again from Papa. He then misses a big splash from the top. Comeback time from
Stevie. Sidewalk slam and Stevie’s feeling it. Papa tries to retreat but Stevie
grabs him by the trunks, revealing a ‘full moon in Greece tonight’ (thanks,
Joel). Stevie bomb gets reversed in to an Alabama slam. Papa tunes up the band
for a Stevie kick. Blocked, Stevie goes for one of his own, blocked once again!
Sequence ends with a Complete Shot, in to a triangle choke for the win for
Stevie!
WINNER – Stevie Richards
VERDICT – A simple but well worked match. Flowed well, they
coped with the small ring, and both guys came out looking good. No problems
here. Crowd was in to it, too.
+
They do the handshake tease spot. Papa tries to draw him in
to a shortarm clothesline, but Stevie’s too wise, ducks, and hits a Stevie
kick.
Luke Hawx Vs. Perry Saturn (Extreme Rising World Title
tournament – First Round)
Hawx is another guy you could see making it in the original
ECW. Seems to be the most buzz about him out of the new guys. Saturn doesn’t
look as large as he did at the last show. Hawx jaw-jacks as Saturn enters
through the crowd. Whatever he’s saying is drawing some heat, hard to make out.
Either Saturn’s fucked, or he’s selling the promo by leaning all over the
ropes. It’s touch and go.. Saturn has enough and duffs him up. HUGE T-Bone
suplex gets the crowd going. Neckbreaker off the ropes by Saturn and he locks
in a resthold. Not good at 40 seconds in.. Saturn then drops a knee to the
balls. Saturn looks pretty lost. Spinkick from the ropes sends Saturn down and
allows Hawx to take control (probably a relief). Resthold from Hawx. Saturn can’t
be in a great way these days. False comeback ends with a huge dropkick by Hawx.
Kimura Lock by Hawx, but Saturn tries to slam his way out but fails and falls
back down. Nice idea. Hawx completely botches his outside to inside moonsault
and misses Saturn entirely. “You f’d up” – he really did. Overhead belly to
belly hits hard by Saturn, followed by a perfect Sitout spinebuster. Hawx
regains some momentum with a Regal cutter (remember that?). Saturn quickly
comes back with a DVD, but Hawx hooks him in a triangle hold-esque submission
for the tapout, much to the dismay of the crowd.
WINNER – Luke Hawx
VERDICT – This match never really got going. Probably should
have been shorter considering Saturn’s fatigue. Saturn can still hit a nice
suplex, but he seems to have lost his flow and pacing. Let’s hope that comes
back over time. The tapout finish was far too quick. As soon as the hold was
locked in, Saturn tapped.
Blue Balls (Meanie & Balls) Vs. Da Lost Boys AKA 2 Local
Jobbers
One of ‘Da Lost Boys’ is a small Oompa Loompa looking fella
with a mic, and a shirt with either Arnie or Del Rio on (or neither – cut me
some slack, I’m British). The other has long bright pink hair. Oompa pours a
trashcan full of broken glass on to the mat for a pop. They want a Tapei
deathmatch. Da Lost Boys cover their fists in broken glass in preparation.
Balls agrees and calls for some tape. A hilarious “Where’s the glue? Where’s
the tape?!” chant breaks out. Things take too long and the Lost Boys attack the
two from behind. Not much luck, though, as it ends with the Balls punches.
Shattered dreams by Balls on Oompa. Balls begins piercing Oompa with a shard of
glass, but no blood by the looks of things. Huge sitout powerbomb by Meanie on
Pinky. Headbutt with broken glass by Balls on Oompa – that looked harsh! It’s
now chair time.. BANG. And BANG. Both men taken out with stiff shots that now
looks crazy in the day and age of PG wrestling, and receives our first faecal chant
of the evening. Balls stacks the two up, and Meanie comes off the ropes with a
FAT MAN SPLASH (thanks Scott!) for the win!
WINNERS – Blue Balls
VERDICT – Just your generic ECW garbage style match. Kept
short and sweet (much alike Da Lost Boys), so it was fine. And it popped the
crowd, so it did its job. A ‘positive’ seems too strong for this, though, so it’s
getting a neutral.
N
‘The Neon Ninja’ Façade Vs. Bestia 666
Never seen Façade but it’s a cool gimmick. He tags fan’s
signs on his entrance. Quite a cool idea. Get the impression it would have been
a lot more over 10 years ago, but still. Bestia takes him down quickly in to a
half boston, but Façade quickly reaches the ropes. ECW lucha spot/stand-off
receives a good reaction from the crowd, and it was well done, too. The two
shake hands but Bestia takes Façade down to the mat. Springboard backflip
armdrag by Façade, quickly in to a headstand headscissors out of the corner. Action
spills to the outside with a plancha tease by Façade, but it’s Bestia that ends
up scoring with a Hurricanrana off the apron! Bestia slowly pulls out a table
and Façade clocks him. Bestia cuts off a Façade comeback with an awesome cradle
bomb, then brings in a chair. Façade spinkicks it out of his hands, though. Façade
sends him back to the outside and follows him out with an awesome double step sommersault
springboard plancha! Big ‘ECW’ chant. Façade sets up an open chair in the ring and
looks for a triple jump, but Bestia cuts him off. Façade walks the top rope but
Bestia launches the chair at him in a cool spot. Bestia then nails him with a ‘Sky
twister press’ as the crowd chant ‘This is awesome!’. Bestia brings in the table.
The Neon Ninja sits Bestia on the top turnbuckle and goes for a move through
the table, but Bestia pushes him off. Façade somehow manages to backflip out of
it and over the table! Façade rejoins him back on the top, but it’s Bestia that
wins it with the Spanish Fly through a table!
WINNER – Bestia 666
VERDICT – Match of the night so far, and the closest to
resembling a traditional ECW match I’d say. Both guys looked good, and they
have to use Façade again..
+
FBI (Guido & Mamaluke) Vs. BLKOUT (Ruckus & Jeez)
BLKOUT attack FBI from behind and double team Mamaluke. The
brawl spills to the outside where Mamaluke comes off the top with a massive
sommersault plancha! Signiture FBI double elbow gets a 2. Frequent tags from
FBI keep Jeez at bay. Mamaluke hits about 20 elbows to the arm in what could
become a fun trademark. Jeez catches a break and tags in Ruckus, who hits the
Razzle Dazzle for 2. It’s now BLKOUT with the frequent tags. Crowd chant for
Jeez to pull his pants up, so he does the opposite and takes them off! Funny.
BLKOUT would have definitely been prime New Jack bait back in the day. Mamaluke
swings and completely misses in a funny FBI spot. His fortunes eventually
change when he hits a dropkick on an airborne Jeez for the hot-tag. A sloppy
spot ends in Mamaluke hooking in a scissored chancery, but Jeez comes off the
top with a stomp to the face as Ruckus rolls through for the victory.
WINNERS – BLKOUT
VERDICT – Nice start, nice ending (well, apart from how they
got in to the spot..) but went to sleep in the middle a little.
N
BLKOUT cuss down the crowd, as Natural Born Killa hits. It’s
New Jack time! FBI assist in taking Jeez over to a nearby balcony and placing
him on a table. Jack runs off the balcony with a 187, but the table doesn’t
break! Crowd chant ‘ECW!’, but this isn’t enough for Jack. He heads back up the
balcony and this time hits a textbook (yes, really) elbow drop off it,
successfully breaking the table this time! He then gets back in the ring and
does the usual New Jack promo that should always be about 5 minutes shorter
than it actually was. Then, in the strangest moment of the night, New Jack
brings in a little kid from the crowd to taunt with him. Some sort of
extreme/PG compromise? Fun moment.
Out comes Raven who cuts a heel promo on the extreme
audience on how you can’t recreate the old days, and how they don’t understand
the ingredients that made up ECW. Pretty funny. He leaves, but Stevie cuts him
off and backs him in to the ring once again. Richards says they’re going to
have a loser leaves Extreme Rising match, but it’ll be tonight.
Raven Vs. Stevie Richards (Loser leaves ER match)
Raven backs Stevie in to the corner and rains punches. Out
come ‘the new Flock’ and attack Richards, as Raven scarpers. Richards takes the
mic and tells the crowd they’ll never see Raven again..
WINNER – No contest
VERDICT – Not sure what that was, really. Just a little
confusing. Guess it could lead to a rematch next show, perhaps.
Devon Storm Vs. Sabu (Extreme Rising World Title tournament –
First Round)
These two go back as far as 1995.. Should be a good bout.
Storm starts off with the upper hand and keeps on top of Sabu with strikes and
stomps. Sabu with a nice springboard leg lariat and near fall. Camel Clutch.
Storm with the strikes to takeover once again, and leans Sabu’s head against
the ring post and drives his boot in to his face – nice variation. Air Sabu
across the guardrail gets another ‘ECW!’ chant, and rightly so! Sabu over and
out with the sommersault slingshot. It’s amazing he can still do this stuff..
Harsh as hell sommersault legdrop in to the ring gets another close fall. But
it’s Storm who definitively has control. Sabu fights back with a head of steam,
but Storm nails him with a  variation on
the ‘Sky High’, but with a side sitout. Storm ups the ante with a chair slid in
to the ring. Not only that, he breaks up part of the guardrail and sets it up
between some chairs.. uh oh! Air Sabu in the corner misses. Northern Lights
suplex with a chair on Sabu’s back gets a very close fall, and a big reaction!
Storm then drops Sabu over the guardrail – no hands down nonsense from Sabu!
Storm then lays Sabu out on the guardrail/chairs setup, and planchas him
through it in a crazy bump! Sabu fights back once again and hits an awesome
springboard top rope hurricanrana! “You’ve still got it!” chant the crowd, and I’d
have to agree. Air Sabu connects this time. Arabian Facebuster gets a nearfall.
Sabu decides to get serious and instead do it through a table, and only gets a
2! Triple jump moonsault attempt ends with Sabu getting tripped in to the
chair. Double reverse DDT in to the open chair then gets the win for Devon
Storm, much to the chagrin of the ECW crowd.
WINNER – Devon Storm
VERDICT – Your crazy hardcore battle that made ECW what it
was in the 90’s. Good stuff here from the two, and it’s surprising they can
still compete at this level using the same style. If you’re after psychology,
move on. In fact, don’t bother with this show.. Or probably this review.. Sabu
gets a deserved standing ovation.
+
Rhino Vs. Homicide (Extreme Rising World Title tournament –
First Round)
This was meant to be Jerry Lynn Vs. Homicide, but Lynn had
to pull out through injury, unfortunately. Shame. Homicide claims ‘Mr. JL is
scared’, referring to his very short-lived WCW gimmick. I actually have a broken
dartboard signed by Jerry as ‘Mr. JL’. True story. It’s worth noting at this
point that Terry Funk was trying to persuade WWE to sign Homicide to WWECW when
it was relaunched.. Would have been interesting to see how that’d panned out. Rhino
looks fantastic, and overpowers Homicide to kick things off, but Homicide
headscissors Rhino to the outside and follows it up with a cannonball through
the ropes! Rhino takes a page out of Homicide’s book and planchas him! Rhino
looks for a top rope piledriver but Homicide pushes him off the top to the
outside. He teases another dive but flips the crowd off and drops a double axe
instead. Perfect ECW heat there. Back in the ring and Homicide slows Rhino down
with a chinlock as the crowd rally behind the monster, but it’s a false
comeback much to Homicide’s delight. Exchange of blows brings out the ‘YEAH/BOO’s.
Rhino goes for a TKO, Homicide counters in to a cutter, but Rhino reverses that
in to a side belly to belly! He looks for the Gore, but Homicide finally nails
him with the cutter. 2 count only! Gringo Killer attempt is reversed in to a
very sudden Gore by Rhino for the win.
WINNER – Rhino
VERDICT – No problems here at all. Homicide knows how to
work the ECW crowd, and Rhino was looking good. Nice back and fourth match that
didn’t lean too heavily on the hardcore style and thus offered something a
little different.
+
Matt Hardy w/ Reby Sky Vs. ‘The Franchise’ Shane Douglas
Douglas does a Douglas promo talking about how they ain’t
layin’ down for anybody, and that includes Vince and ‘bimbo Dixie’. Always set
your sights high, I guess.. Both guys look in better shape than they have done.
A modest technical exchange opens things. Reby Sky is hot as hell and is nearly
falling out of her top. Worth a mention. Douglas changes the flow with a shortarm
clothesline. Douglas throws Hardy to the outside, but Hardy quickly hooks
Douglas’ leg and drags him out with him. Douglas sent in to the guardrail. Any
time anyone hits the guardrails it sounds like they’ve being shot, which, I
guess is a positive. The action goes in to the crowd now. They move over to the
concession stand as Hardy drops a trashcan over Douglas. The Franchise then
dunks Hardy in to a trashcan full of ice and beverages and begins mopping up
the spilled liquid! Back in the ring and Hardy goes for a Twist of Fate, but
Douglas reverses in to an unsuccessful Pittsburgh Plunge attempt. Douglas is
now busted open (first bit of colour of the night, surprisingly). Meanwhile,
Reby runs backstage and drags a ladder down, and the crowd approve. Hardy bats
Douglas a few times with the huge ladder. Hardy then ascends the ladder, but
Douglas tips it sideways sending Hardy throat first on to the top rope. Ref
gets a load of grief for removing the ladder. Hardy then hits the Raven-esque
droptoe hold in to an open chair. Reby then hands Hardy a table. I love this
woman.. Hardy sets up Douglas on the table, but here comes Luke Hawx who pushes
him off the top to the floor! This is where Hardy really lands badly and an
ambulance was called soon after.. The run-ins begin as Saturn, Homicide, and
Balls follow. It looks like they’re going for a ‘New Blood’ (no, not you Russo)
angle here. Enter Sandman hits! Here comes a fat Sandman in a weird white
jumper! He enters and canes the new blood, but Homicide had managed to avoid
the drunken onslaught. As Sandman leaves, Homicide re-enters the ring and
batters a bloody Franchise. The crowd now realise Hardy’s legit injured and the
place is pretty quiet, understandably. Sandman comes back to the ring and he
and Homicide face-off. Saturn re-enters, spins Homicide round and nails him.
Sandman then delivers his trademark cane shot! Douglas picks up Homicide, and powerbombs
him through a ringside table.
Douglas picks up the mic and puts Hardy over as being the
new face of the company as the show goes off the air.
WINNER – No contest
VERDICT – I liked this bout. It was a nice hybrid of
traditional wrestling, brawling, hardcore, and the ECW main event run-ins. I
wouldn’t object to seeing Douglas compete again, and it definitely looks as
though Hardy’s sticking around, which is a good sign. Also glad to hear he’s ok
after what looked a very awkward fall.
+
OVERALL – This was overall a decent show. I was encouraged
by the new blood that Douglas has bought in. But at the end of the day, it just
depends on whether you were a fan of the original product or not, as this won’t
change any opinions. Saying that, if you’re tired with the current WWE product,
it might just be enough of an alternative to get some sort of enjoyment out of
it. The potential’s definitely there, but it’s going to take a bit of time for
the characters to develop.
+
—-
Follow Dan Selby @FNBODYSLAMS

August Leftovers–WCW New Blood Rising 2000

The SK Rant for WCW New Blood Rising 2000 (Oh Christ, THIS show.)  – Live from Vancouver, BC – Your hosts are Tony, Mark and Scott. Opening match: Three Count v. The Jung Dragons. WCW always does this — they know they have at least one hot match, so they put it first and thus guarantee it gets forgotten by the fourth or fifth match. I’ve never understand that reasoning. Tank Abbott has a shirt with nipple-holes cut out, for those of you who are into that sort of thing. (Yes, that used to be a thing in WCW – Tank Abbott mentoring Three Count.)  Three Count bolts for the ladders right away and bring one in. Shane (Future star Hurricane Helms)gets backdropped into the ladder by Yang, who then gets crotched on it. Shane hits a lame splash on Jamiesan (Future star Jamie Noble / James Gibson), and then the Dragons get piled on a ladder and splashed. Nice spot as we get stereo Doomsday Devices. Yang climbs and gets pushed off. Jamiesan hits a bodypress off the ladder, onto Three Count on the floor. Cool. More spots follow, too many to note here. Dragons hit spinkicks on Three Count, but Evan powerslams Kaz on the ladder. Nasty spot as Shane catapults the ladder into the Dragons via the top rope. Dragons hit double splashes on Shane from the ladders, and Jamiesan grabs the gold record…which is then taken by Tank. I guess that counts as Three Count getting the first part? Dragons sandwich Shane in the ladder and Jamie legdrops him from the top. Ouch. Tony vainly tries to explain the logic of the potential finish, but it’s a lost cause. Kaz & Shannon race up the ladders, but Tank pushes both of them over (?), and Evan climbs up and gets the recording contract for the win at 11:32. I don’t quite get the logic of having that finish, but retarded booking and blown spots aside, there was more than enough high energy and suicidal stuff to entertain me here as they die for my pleasure. ***1/2  (These poor guys were stuck in such a holding pattern for the last few months of WCW’s life.  If I gave a crap about any of them at the time it would have been sad.)  – The Cat puts the Filthy Animals into the tag title mess as special referees. Because THAT’S what it needs to make it better — more participants. – The Great Muta v. The Cat. Kick, kick, kick. Tigress wanders out. More kicking. Outside, more kicking. Muta spits mist, but Tigress hits Muta with a chair and Cat gets two. More kicking. Nice to see both guys showing off their moveset. A big kick from the Cat finishes at 6:48. Thrilling. DUD  (Although Ernest Miller nearly saved his career with the Commissioner gig at the end, he was still awful in the ring.)  – Judy Bagwell on a Pole: Positively Kanyon v. Buff Bagwell. (Yes, when we joke about the Judy Bagwell on a Pole match, it’s a REAL THING and not just a running joke.  Kanyon was doing his impression of DDP as a motivational speaker at this point, and amazingly did not catapult himself to the main event as a result.  Remember, Vince Russo LOVES people doing imitations of other people.)  Judy’s actually on a forklift. (I now think of the special Judy-Buff relationship whenever I watch Hoyt and his mom on True Blood.)  Brawl to start. Back in, Buff does some punching. Kanyon hits a russian legsweep off the second rope for two. He snips off a turnbuckle for some reason. A whiplash powerbomb gets two. Kanyon uses a cobra clutch for some inexplicable reason to waste some time as Buff sells it like a resthold and gives Russo another excuse to work in the sleeper arm-test spot. Buff escapes and comes back with a hotshot for two. Kanyon Kutter gets two…and David Arquette makes his triumphant return. Good god. Buff comes back…and Arquette of course turns on him, because it IS Russo booking this show. Buff takes both guys out with a Blockbuster and gets the pin at 6:46. (Vince Russo booking:  This guy’s gonna run in, but people would expect him to screw his enemy over, so we’ll swerve them and have him turn on his friend instead, but then people would expect THAT to end the match, so we’ll SWERVE THEM AGAIN and have the guy who got screwed over win anyway!) One or two Kanyon spots saves it from DUD, but not by much. 1/2* – WCW World tag title match: Kronic v. O’Haire & Jindrak v. Perfect Event v. MIA. Disco Inferno is the in-ring ref and the other Animals are lurking around ringside. He slow counts everyone throughout the match. Epic Palumbo v. Adams match to start. Hey, shouldn’t Brian Adams be a massive babyface here? (I recall that one going completely over everyone’s head at the time for some reason.)  Hugh Morrus plays bad-pun-in-peril for a while. A long while, in fact, as the crowd completely goes bored out of their mind with yet another sleeper spot and some horribly mistimed stuff from everyone involved. There’s just nothing happening. Finally, Kronik gets in and the match breaks down six ways from Sunday, as they try High Times on Palumbo, but now Vampiro and Muta add ANOTHER team to the match and run in. (Why was Muta getting such a huge push at this point?)  Kronik still pounds Palumbo, but Disco won’t count. So now Chavo Jr. adds ANOTHER run-in to the match and steals the ref shirt, counting the pin for Kronik himself (and thus screwing over his own team) at 12:23. I think Kronik has actually gotten WORSE since getting this big push. You’d think that WCW would have looked at the horrible clusterfuck that was Thunder and realized that this was gonna blow goats, but I guess that’s why I’m not in charge. DUD  (Vince Russo actually booking matches was such an unmitigated disaster that I’m frankly shocked most days that they didn’t just shut down the promotion and call it a day in July.)  – Strap match: Shane Douglas v. Kidman. This is standard pinfall rules, thus negating the entire point of having a stipulation. (WCW, ladies and gentlemen!)  Brawling outside to start. Back in, Kidman does some whipping, as does Shane. Kidman gets a rana and a pair of dropkicks. Rydien bomb gets two. More strappin’. Bulldog gets two. Torrie takes a swing at Kidman with her shoe, but hits Shane instead (what a shock) and Kidman gets two. Shane hotshots Kidman for two. Pittsburgh Plunge gets two. Kidman hits his version of the Tomikaze for the pin at 8:22. I hope Tommy Rogers is getting royalties for all the versions of that move floating around. (I think Christian pretty much has that one all to himself now.)  Match was your typical Nitro mess with a couple more minutes added on. *1/2 Douglas tries to hang Kidman after the loss, Vito makes the save, and Reno attacks Vito. Man, we don’t get that Reno-Vito blowoff tonight? Bummer. (Is anyone else losing their mind just READING about all the bullshit packed into this show?  Just me?)  – Meanwhile, Jarrett does a good job of punking Booker out as he leaves his car. – ROTC match: Major Gunns v. Miss Hancock. Catfight starts, then they go into a HORRIBLE wrestling match, and Hancock rips off Gunn’s shirt for two. I don’t know which is stupider — Pinfalls in a stripping match or ripping off someone’s shirt and getting a near fall. Gunns gets an X-Factor and tears off Hancock’s shorts for two. Gunns gets a sunset flip for two. I apologize if my using actual wrestling move names to describe the “action” is misleading you into thinking that what they were doing is resembling wrestling, but it’s the closest equivalent I could think of on short notice. Please, ladies, head to the mud now because this isn’t working. Brawl outside, and Gunns is left in her bikini bottoms. Into the mudpit, where Hancock suffers “stomach pains” and gets pinned by Gunns at 6:43. Um, wasn’t the point to strip your opponent? Whatever. Hancock keeps clutching her stomach, and I get a sinking feeling where this angle is going (ie, Terri Runnels and D-Lo 1999) and I don’t like it one bit. –*** (I guess that’s what you call an aborted angle.)  Notice how all the worst matches we’ve seen in decades are coming under Russo’s tenure? Just saying. To insult us even more, as Hancock gets carted off in an ambulance (still covered in mud), Tony has the gall to “break character” and insinuate that this is indeed a shoot. Right, SURE it is. (Here comes a historic line on my part!) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The entire crux of the Russo mentality is that “The entire show you are watching is a work, but what you are watching RIGHT NOW is a shoot” and that is repeated for every match. (Thumbs up, cheap pop!)  How can anyone older than 12 actually be expected to believe that Stacy was really pregnant and “had a miscarriage” over a few worked shots to the mid-section? – The Demon v. Sting. (Don’t forget this was a special main event!)  Faster than I can type this sentence, Sting finishes with the usual at 0:53. DUD Vamp and Muta attack, and Kronik saves, and they want a tag title match TONIGHT. I don’t wanna see either Kronik or Muta wrestle twice in one night at this point, does my vote count? – Canadian title match: Lance Storm v. Mike Awesome. Storm has the Goldberg security escort. He appoints a special guest referee (crowd: “Bret! Bret! Bret!”)…Jacques Rougeau (crowd: [silence]). Real smart there, guys. (Didn’t ANYONE slap Russo around and tell him that it’s fucking stupid to tease Bret Hart as the guest referee and then deliver the Mountie instead?  This shit is making me angry all over again and it’s 12 years later!)  Awesome gets a quick double underhook driver to start, and a legdrop gets two. Storm superkick and he tosses Awesome to the post, and gets some Canadian Violence in. Awesome dumps him and they brawl. Back in, Awesome slips on the top rope, but goes for an Awesomebomb, which is reversed to a backslide for two. Ligerbomb from Awesome gets the pin, but Rougeau overrules the ref on the grounds of Canadian Rules, which state a five-count is needed. Storm sunset flip is blocked for three. Awesome gets a Dragon Sleeper for the tap-out, but this is Canadian Rules, so submissions don’t count. Sure, let’s just job the champ two or three times in his home country, why don’t we? Can you imagine Russo having that conversation with Bret in 1997? “Okay, so Shawn’s gonna get a clean pinfall and submission over you in the first five minutes, but it’s Canadian Rules…” and I bet it’d go downhill from there. Storm gets a few four-counts but takes a German suplex and flying shoulderblock for four. Awesome frog splash gets five, but now Canadian Rules state that Texas Death rules are in effect and Storm has to beat a ten-count. I know that Russo is going for the Over the Edge 98 thing here with Dude Love against Steve Austin, but that was a real good match even without the silliness, and this isn’t. Besides, Storm is supposed to a BABYFACE here. Awesome brings a table in, but Storm chairshots him for four. They fight on top, both go through it. Rougeau declares first man up is the winner, then punks out Awesome just to make Storm look completely weak. Storm retains at 11:01, and I bet Meltzer’s gonna get a call from that Awesome mark tomorrow on the show. The match was somewhat less than all that and a bag of chips. Maybe just a bag of chips. **1/4 Bret Hart makes a surprise appearance (Hello dipshits — why not use HIM as the ref?) and we do the All-Canadian Hug. – WCW World tag title match: Kronic v. Vampiro & Muta. The inexplicable Vampiro push continues. Clarke overpowers Vamp for two. Powerbomb gets two. Adams slams Muta for two. He powerslams Vamp for two. Vamp reverses a powerbomb and Adams plays pothead-in-peril as the match completely dies. Hot tag Clarke, Meltdown follows, but he doesn’t take the pin. Ref bump as Kronik hits High Times on both guys, but the friggin’ HARRIS BROTHERS return as you can hear the crowd audibly groan, and punk out Clarke, putting Muta on top for the pin and the titles at 9:06. (Yes, more run-ins and screwjobs.  This ended up with Bret Hart, Jeff Jarrett and Harris Brothers as the nWo Silver, didn’t it?  And all the idiots on RSPW were like OMG THE BAND IS BACK TOGETHER for some reason.)  This is stupid on SO many levels, not the least of which is that we’re gonna have to see Harrissssessssess v. Kronik on the next PPV, and Muta wrestling more. 1/4*  (Oddly, Muta would go on to have a career renaissance in Japan and I’d become a big fan all over again.)  – Kevin Nash v. Scott Steiner v. Goldberg. (Oh fucking kill me now.  I can’t even READ this show review anymore and there’s still this bullshit to get through.)  Tony tries to sell that Goldberg was in a motorcycle accident and won’t be here, just to show how uncooperative he is. Nash gets a big boot on Steiner…and Goldberg runs in with taped ribs. Steiner drops an elbow on him for two. Are they shooting yet? I can’t tell. Steiner gets dumped and Nash & Goldberg go. Slugfest goes Goldberg’s way. Steiner suplexes Nash for two. Crowd gets into the “shoot” with a massive “boring” chant. I think I heard a few “Hogan” ones there, too. Goldberg pushes out of a Poochiebomb attempt and “walks out” on the match, meeting Russo in the aisle and “shooting” on him too, using naughty words. God, this is beyond idiotic. And now Tony is getting all upset, talking about how Nash and Steiner will have to “improvise” a new finish or some nonsense. As if Nash ever “improvised” anything not planned out for him move-by-move in his entire career. Steiner backbreaker gets two. Steiner’s chick comes out and hits some lowblows on Nash. It gets two for Steiner. Steiner tries a sleeper, but Nash breaks and finishes with the big boot and Poochiebomb at 10:49. Was that a shoot? * God help us all, it’s Nash getting ANOTHER title shot at Fall Brawl. I didn’t think it was possible to drop a buyrate much lower, but I guess that theory will be tested in one month.  (Oh, it was possible all right.)  – WCW World title match: Booker T v. Jeff Jarrett. Quick rollup for Booker gets two, and a leg lariat leads to a powerbomb for two. He dumps Jarrett. Brawl on the floor and in for a posting of Jarrett. Missile dropkick misses ugly, and Jarrett works the knee, smashing a chair into it. Boston Crab, which Booker escapes, and gets a rollup for two. Double KO spot. Spinebuster gets two, axe kick follows, but the ref is bumped on the breakdance spot. Oh, joy, a ref bump. Sidekick is blocked with the guitar to the leg, which is a nice spot. Jarrett hooks the figure-four, but Booker makes the ropes. I was actually thinking that they might switch the title for about 0.5 seconds until Tony started declaring that there was going to be a title change. I really wish wrestling announcers would get into the 21st century and realize that fans have picked up on that trick. Jarrett makes the run at Booker with the title belt, but hits the ref instead. Great, TWO ref bumps. He sets up a table, but irony shows her hand again and Jarrett goes through it in a weak bump. Into the ring, another ref comes in but gets bumped on a Jarrett chairshot. Jarrett hits the Stroke on said chair, but no ref. Still another ref comes in and counts two. Booker gets an ugly neckbreaker for two, and the Book-End finishes at 14:31. I thought the company line was that Booker and Jarrett would have a blow-away match to erase the memory of last month’s one? I actually liked the one at Bash at the Beach better than this one, which felt even more rushed and stuck together with chewing gum. **3/4 Fans pelt the ring with garbage after sitting through that PPV.  (I want to pelt my screen with garbage just for reading about it.)  The Bottom Line: Rome is burning while Russo is shooting. I think six months of this is pretty conclusive evidence that a) Reality angles don’t draw money and b) The crowd doesn’t care about them. A good match to start and a decent main event (but reminiscent of Summerslam 93, where the WWF literally promised a ****+ Michaels-Hennig match and couldn’t deliver) but the chances of the Dragons/Three Count feud leading anywhere are nil (Yup.) and Booker’s becoming a lame duck champion after a promising start (Double yup.), much like the entire dying promotion. (Bingo!)Next month: Kevin Nash brushes his teeth, live on PPV! It’s REAL, baby! Thumbs down.