Random Network Reviews: WCW Mayhem 1999
November 21st, 1999 | Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Attendance: 13,839
It should come as no surprise, but the WCW Championship situation was a complete mess at this point in 1999. Sting assaulted a referee and was stripped of the belt. There was also some confusion involving Goldberg so JJ Dillon decided to set up a 32 person tournament to determine a new champion. I say person because Madusa entered, lost in the first round, somehow made it to the next round and lost again. Classic WCW. This is the inaugural Mayhem Pay-Per-View, named after a WCW game from the time period. The Semi-Finals and Finals take place here. It was also the first ever WCW PPV to take place in Canada.
A video package kicks off the show, showing clips of the 32 person tournament. It looks like it was the most ridiculously booked thing ever. For the sake of notes, Bret Hart beat Billy Kidman, Chris Benoit beat Scott Hall, Sting beat Lex Luger and Jeff Jarrett beat Buff Bagwell to set up the final four. Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan handle commentary. As usual with WCW, they spend way too much time discussing the card instead of getting to the action.
WCW World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semi-Finals
Chris Benoit vs. Jeff Jarrett
Jeff Jarrett is in his “Chosen One” era. Benoit’s theme sounds like ass, I miss his mid-90’s WCW theme. I reviewed a ladder match between the two at the following month’s PPV that was pretty damn good. Within minutes, Benoit does a superplex and lands right on the back of his head as always. It’s a bit hard to watch, all things considered. Jarrett takes over on offense and does the stuff he’s become known for. He applies a sleeper to wear down the crowd favorite. Benoit turns it around but eats a jawbreaker. The crowd pops big for Benoit’s triple Germans, though it only gets a near fall. Jarrett’s buddies, Creative Control, stroll to ringside. Oh, is it time already for Russo booking to ruin a solid match? Benoit goes on a hot streak and again, the crowd loves it. He nails the diving headbutt but stays long enough on the pin for Creative Control to pull him off. SHENANIGANS! One distracts the ref while the other attacks Benoit. Dustin Rhodes, fresh off of “Seven”, comes in through the crowd and breaks up Jarrett’s pin. He brawls with one of the suits outside and Benoit uses Jarrett’s guitar on him to advance.
Winner: Chris Benoit in 9:27
That was going very well before all of the bullshit. A clean win for Benoit would have gone over great with the crowd and been good for him. Jarrett didn’t need the protection here. ***
Jeff Jarrett and Creative Control beat up Benoit after the match. Jarrett was busted open. They continue on backstage where they attack Disco Inferno. I mean, I don’t think anyone was really upset about that.
WCW Cruiserweight Championship
Disco Inferno (c) w/ Tony Marinara vs. Evan Karagias w/ Madusa
Madusa looks ridiculous. Like, the absolute fakest Barbie doll attempt ever. Disco Inferno struggles to come out thanks to the beating. Evan meets him in the aisle to start and they head to the ring. He does stuff but the crowd doesn’t really care. Not even on a nice springboard move as they get “boring” chants instead. Disco makes sure to flirt with Madusa a bit. Apparently, there’s a storyline where Disco would possibly “die” if he lost the belt because he owed money to the mafia. Tony Marinara is on commentary and is the biggest stereotype ever. He would have fit in perfectly on Jersey Shore. Karagias catches Disco with a dropkick off of an apron axe handle attempt on the outside. Tons of boring chants from the crowd now. Mariana gets up and hits on Madusa, but Disco wipes him out with a chair by mistake. Karagias nails a springboard cross body to win the gold. Oh, and there was also $25,000 on the line too.
Winner and New WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Evan Karagias in 7:58
Almost no redeeming qualities. The crowd didn’t care, the angle was bad, the work was boring and they had zero chemistry. The Cruiserweight Title was in a really bad spot here. ¼*
There was an angle in the back with Jeff Jarrett, Creative Control and the “Powers That Be”, which was just Vince Russo as an off-screen voice that ran stuff. He wasn’t happy with Jarrett and told him he had until the end of the night to prove himself. That was followed by a much better Norman Smiley interview, where he got scared of sounds in the background before the upcoming match. Screaming Norman was the best.
WCW Hardcore Championship
Brian Knobbs w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Screamin’ Norman Smiley
It is clear that Smiley is one of the most popular acts in WCW and he adds to it with a Maples Leafs jersey. He takes an early beating, screaming throughout almost all of it. He catches a trash can from Hart and hits Knobs. BIG WIGGLE! FIVE STAR MATCH! Knobbs gets back in control as they move to the backstage area. I still don’t get why Knobbs was being used at this time. The brawling in the back is so basic. The only thing saving it was Hart throwing random objects at Norman and Norman’s screaming. They fight into the elevator and Hart opens it up. He instantly attacks with a trash can, nailing Knobbs by mistake. Normal covers and becomes the first champion in history.
Winner and New WCW Hardcore Champion: Screamin’ Norman Smiley in 7:27
Like pretty much all WCW Hardcore Title matches, this was mostly just two dudes using various weapons for the sake of it. However, Jimmy Hart and Norman Smiley made this enjoyable with their antics. **
They run through about four backstage segments. The only thing that really matters is that Perry Saturn showed off his weird gimmick here, making a joke about the dinosaurs never going extinct.
The Filthy Animals (Billy Kidman, Eddie Guerrero and Torrie Wilson) vs. The Revolution (Asya, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn) w/ Shane Douglas
These guys try right off the bat. Kidman and Eddie are flying around while the crowd chants for “Torrie”. A fan with face paint or a mask pokes Malenko with a Canadian flag and one security guard tries to stop it. Torrie and Asya do some ugly stuff. Eddie checks on a hurt Torrie as Kidman goes to help. Eddie shoves him away without seeing who it was, leading to Kidman getting eliminated. There was tension there because Kidman thought Torrie and Eddie might have had a thing. They get into a shoving match before Kidman leaves. Asya does a goddamn stalling vertical suplex on Eddie. Eddie fights back and gets rid of Malenko shortly after. He then Frog Splashes Asya to send her packing. Saturn is now alone against Eddie and Torrie. Saturn hits a DVD on Eddie and I swear the referee counts to almost four but it’s a near fall. Go figure. Their back and forth is really good and Saturn makes Eddie tap to the Rings of Saturn. Saturn grabs Torrie so she low blows him for two. Douglas gets on the apron to distract the referee, so Saturn hits Torrie with a low blow to win.
Winners: The Revolution in 10:55
Really? The heels couldn’t even beat Torrie cleanly? Other than that finish, I thought this was a solid match involving mostly good workers. Even though most of them were checked out by this point with the company, them at their laziest is still pretty good. **¾
Loser Hangs Up Their Boots Match
Buff Bagwell vs. Curt Hennig
So we can’t just call it a “Retirement Match” WCW? Anyway, before this match, Jeff Jarrett attacked Buff Bagwell in the back. He and Creative Control show up and beat up Hennig as well. Buff runs out with a 2×4 to run them off. Hennig attacks from behind to officially start the match. Wait, Hennig is a heel? Why did he get attacked? The fans start a “perfect” chant while Hennig beats Buff up outside. Hennig dominates and the crowd is firmly behind him. Then Hennig applies a sleeper and we get boring chants. CANADA IS BIZARRO WORLD! They continue on without any heat from the crowd. Buff hits the Blockbuster from out of nowhere, taunts, and gets the three.
Winner: Buff Bagwell 7:46
If this was really the end of Hennig’s career, this would have been a horrible way to go out. He didn’t care at this point and Buff was never good. They nearly killed the crowd and did nothing of interest. Plus, the Jarrett stuff at the start was dumb. ½*
The fans do give Curt Hennig a standing ovation.
WCW World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semi-Finals
Bret Hart vs. Sting
Why is this in the middle of the show? Why not right after the first Semi-Final match? Also, Bret Hart’s WCW theme is hot garbage. He showed up in a Gretzky jersey, which Heenan hilariously mispronounces. Sting is wearing a shirt as if he’s out of shape or something. They play this very evenly early as neither man gains a clear advantage. That is, until Sting goes after Bret’s messed up leg. The match gets a bit hardcore when Sting tries a splash through the announce table, but misses. When back in the ring, Sting holds the referee and they both get taken out by a Hart double axe handle. I have no clue if it was intention. Lex Luger and Elizabeth stroll out to boos, though the fans cheer when Luger hits Sting. Bret takes out Luger, probably because of how awful Luger is at everything. The ref gets up and calls for the bell. Somehow, he disqualifies Sting. The drama never gets time to grow as Bret wants a restart and the official instantly agrees. The restart doesn’t last long and Sting locks in the Scorpion Death Lock. Bret manages to reverse it and, considering Luger’s assault with the bat on Sting’s leg, Sting taps.
Winner: Bret Hart in 9:27
I wanted to like this more. Considering the men involved, it should have been really good. Instead, we got both guys seemingly phoning it in and a pointless run in by Luger. Pretty typical WCW stuff. **¼
Berlyn w/ The Wall vs. Vampiro
Remember when WCW took everything cool away from Alex Wright and made him Berlyn? Oklahoma and Dr. Death show up, purely so Oklahoma can shout “VAM-PYRO” on commentary. Berlyn hits the referee and ends up fighting one of the Misfits outside, while Vampiro brawls with the Wall. Commentary calls both Vampiro and the Wall “Berlyn” at times. Berlyn yells at the Wall, causing him to walk out. No drama or anything. Just a rushed moment. Oklahoma makes bad jokes and terribly impersonates Jim Ross. Vampiro nearly kills Berlyn on a horrible superplex. He then hits the Nail in the Coffin and uses the chain on a camel clutch to defeat Berlyn.
Winner: Vampiro in 4:57
At no point did both guys have the chain on at the same time. That was bad enough, but the angle and wrestling in this were spectacularly shit. Vampiro could be the absolute worst at times. -***
Dr. Death enters the ring and takes out everyone because, who know. Scott Hall is apparently both the TV and US Champion. He is the TV Champion because Rick Steiner couldn’t compete. Somehow they just gifted him the belt. What the fuck WCW? More backstage stuff as Curt Hennig does a somber walk out of the arena, though he’d be back in wrestling within months.
Lex Luger w/ Elizabeth vs. Meng
Luger shows up with a hard neck brace and hopes that it will help him avoid the Tongan Death Grip. Meng kicks his ass early, but Luger isn’t in the mood to sell anything. The crowd chants boring as they do a whole bunch of nothing. Elizabeth TOTALLY telegraphs a spot where she mistakenly sprays something in Luger’s eyes. She runs away after this, probably so she doesn’t have to watch this garbage anymore. Meng removes the neck brace and wins with the Tongan Death Grip.
Winner: Meng in 5:23
There were so many things wrong with things wrong with this. From Luger’s selling to Meng seemingly not caring to the terrible Elizabeth spot, this was dreadful. -**
WCW Television and United States Championships
Scott Hall (c) vs. Booker T
Scott Hall issued an open challenge for both titles, which Booker answered. Booker was one of the only guys that put in effort in these days of WCW. Scott Hall couldn’t give less of a fuck. After Hall stalls for a while, Booker starts to get on the offensive. Of course, we can’t have that so Jeff Jarrett and Creative Control show up again. The crowd doesn’t react to this as they’re probably numb by this point. Booker takes out Creative Control and gets on the turnbuckle to talk smack to Jarrett. Hall easily hooks him for the Outsider’s Edge and retains.
Winner and Still WCW Television and United States Champion: Scott Hall in 6:04
Like I said, Hall phoned this in big time. Add in the stupid Creative Control stuff once again and it killed a dying match. It was still better than the last two matches though. ½*
David Flair vs. Kimberly Page
Tony Schiavone actually say this is a marquee matchup. You should see the buildup to this match. Kimberly falsely seduced David to her hotel room, DDP kissed David, David beat him up with a crowbar and stalked Kimberly, Kimberly ran him over with a car and that’s not even all of it. Oh well, at least Kimberly looks pretty nice. She kicks him low but David has a cup. He hits the referee and Kimberly begs. She stops him from hurting her by seemingly offering to blow him in the ring. Instead, she steals the cup and hits him with it. She beats him up but when he turns it around, Kanyon shows up to make the save. David hits him low with the crowbar and DDP is out to hit a Diamond Cutter. Arn Anderson is now out and stops DDP from beating up his friend’s son. DDP and Kimberly leave, only for David to beat up Arn. So the match never started and all of this was overdone and shitty.
I Quit Match
Goldberg vs. Sid Vicious
Right off the bat, Goldberg slams Sid. The crowd chants “Goldberg sucks”, instantly killing any of the heat that this match needed. They start to chant for Sid so Schiavone acknowledges it, but mentions that they’re also chanting for Goldberg, which they aren’t. Sid hits two Chokeslams to see if Goldberg will quit. Obviously, that doesn’t work. The fans boo Goldberg’s rally, which sees him lay into Sid’s body with punches. He then applies a cobra clutch and Sid passes out.
Winner: Goldberg in 5:30
Look, I wasn’t trying to only write a little bit. I wanted to write more but nothing really happened and the match was so short. It as a basic match between the two and didn’t even feature an actual quit. ¼*
WCW World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Finals
Bret Hart vs. Chris Benoit
Okay, this should deliver. They get the big fight intros as we see them walking through the back. We get some really good chain wrestling to start. Both guys go for their finishers but they get countered, so they shake hands. During the match, something incredible happens. Remember Malenko getting attacked by a fan in paint earlier? Well that fan is back and guess what? IT’S DEAN MALENKO! HOW THE FUCK? DID HE TIME TRAVEL? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS! He attacks Benoit but gets taken away by security. With that out of the way, they go on to have some great back and forth again. Benoit hits the diving head butt but the Outsiders come out. Hall lays out the referee while Nash gets a chair. Goldberg is out too now because fuck having an actual wrestling match in the main event. Bret beats up Hall outside before Goldberg helps send the Outsiders back. Back to the good wrestling as Bret breaks a figure four by grabbing the ropes. Bret goes up and nails his great superplex. He has the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM interrupted and Benoit goes for the rolling Germans. Bret blocks the third and the Crossface before slapping on the Sharpshooter. Benoit taps out and a big pyro celebration commences.
Winner and New WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Bret Hart in 17:44
You know, that had the potential to be on the level, if not better, than their Owen Hart tribute match earlier in the year. Instead, it was ripped to shreds by overbooking and interference. It’s so frustrating because this had 1999 MOTY potential. This ended up just being good instead of great. ***¼
Bret’s kids and some family members enter the ring. Bret hugs Benoit before enjoying his celebration. Bobby Heenan says this might have been the best match he’s ever seen, confirming that he was drunk throughout this show.