wrestling / Video Reviews

Down With The Brown: The Worst Nitro Ever (11.29.99)

September 14, 2004 | Posted by Sydney Brown

First a schill from a fellow reader: I received an E-mail asking me to plug a $5 wrestling tape sale. Seems his lady is making him get rid of all his tapes. So his loss is your gain. David can be reached at:
[email protected]

His loss can be your gain. And for his sake, I hope it all works out for him.

And briefly, because I got a lot of article today, do yourself a favor and check out a film called “Shattered Glass,” the true story of journalist Stephen Glass who made up numerous stories in his days working at The New Republic and how he got caught. Excellent film in the “All the President’s Men” vein.

On to today’s review:

I have this huge box of tapes in my home. Damn near 100 tapes that are unlabelled, and most of them contain wrestling programs. Most of them forgettable Raws, but occasionally I come across a gem, and I’ll be reviewing those periodically over the next few months or so.

Back in the day, my friend and I would watch and take notes over Raw and Nitro. I was more of a Raw fan, he a Nitro person. So odds were good that one of us would miss something or the other. For the only time I can ever remember, he called me at the end of this episode and told me “You have GOT to see the replay. It may have been the worst show I’ve ever seen.”

And I did. This episode was so bad, I literally took it to work to show my co-workers how horrible Nitro was. None of them were wrestling fans, but all of them agreed. It was hideous.

Now, before I go any further, in the pantheon of WCW shows, I am fully aware that there are more horrible moments on Nitro (the fingerpoke, the Steiner-Chucky feud, ANY appearance of Master P), but to me, THIS episode completely captured how clueless the bookers were, how inept the wrestlers were, and how painfully obvious it was that this company was being run with NOBODY in control. I don’t believe a single segment was fully thought out or prepared.

(By the way, as a special bonus, there happened to be that week’s episode of ECW on TNN which serves as an example of what led to their demise too. So, I’m in a good mood, I’ll look at that also.)

Here we go:

Monday Nitro: November 29, 1999.

-Okay, I’m gonna start with a confession, because I never knew when the replays started, I missed the first twenty minutes of the show. So what’s missing is:

-Creative Control over Buff Bagwell and Booker T
-Fit Finlay beating up Brian Knobs
-Juventud Guerrera over Jushin Liger (Okay, I’m sure that was probably a very good match.)

The Revolution Interview

-These were a group of “rebels” led by Shane Douglas. This incarnation features Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, and Asya. The four take their turns running down America and running down WCW and announce that “they’re taking over.” Cue the music and here comes “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan in his janitor’s outfit (In an inspired storyline, Duggan would find the TV title in a trash can, despite being dumped in a can six months prior, and Duggan decided he’d start defending it.)

Duggan has had enough and he offers to shove his 2×4 “where the sun don’t shine.” Eagle-eyed viewers will notice that when Duggan holds the 2×4, it collapses in his hand. And it’s quickly obvious that the piece of wood is nothing more than a piece of foam.

And the comedy begins. Saturn charges Duggan, and Duggan hits Perry with the 2×4 which promptly BENDS across Saturn’s back. So that when Duggan holds the 2×4 up, the thing is bent at a 45 degree angle. Duggan runs to the ring, desperately trying to straighten the board out but to no avail. (Well, RUN may be a bit much. He trots to the ring.) Duggan proceeds to beat up everybody with his big piece of foam which bends more and more. And to add to the embarrassment, Malenko grabs the board and the two fight over it, with the 2×4 twisting all over the place. Malenko wins the tug of war and blasts him with the stick which Duggan takes about a second before he realizes it hit him. All four men beat up Duggan with the foam before inserting a huge American flag in Jim’s rectal region. Chris Benoit makes the save and like an idiot grabs the foam as a weapon as the heels run.

No self-respecting wrestling fan could have watched that segment and do anything but laugh at all parties involved. I consider it one of the most poorly executed angles in WCW history.

The Outsiders are WALKING!

WCW had a niche of taking a thing like just walking to the ring and beating it to death. The WWF at least didn’t have EVERY guy do the walking from the dressing room bit.

Vince Russo wants to talk to Roddy Piper. Or at least his hand does. It’s the ultra succesful, Russo’s disembodied voice bit.

Chavo Guerrero hawks Amway and interviews Jerry Flynn. More brilliance from WCW as they took one of their most talented guys and made him an interviewer. Though I can’t say too much since it took the WWE about two years to figure out the talents of Chavo.

(And BTW, Chavo Classic getting himself fired ranks as one of the stupidest decisions I’ve ever seen. I’ll give Chavo props for not wanting to be a comedy wrestler, but there are better ways to deal with it then just walking out on your boss. Chavo gained more notoriety in six months than in the past DECADE. He had a freakin’ DREAM job. Help get your kid over, unexpectedly get YOURSELF over, and all for minimal wrestling effort, up until the title reign anyway. And he just threw it all away.)

Match #1

Scott Hall vs. Sid Vicious

Sid Vicious is the Juwan Howard of wrestling. You’d think he’d help whatever company he’s in, but they always seem to do better as soon as he’s gone. Sid controls with a boot to the face. In fact, the only moves he does involves sticking his foot somewhere. Hall takes over with an eyerake and he hits a fallaway slam on Sid. And Hall looks blown up already. He goes for the Outsider Edge but Sid reverses it into a chokeslam. Hall knocks out the ref in record time and Sid hits a patented “God-awful chokeslam.” He powerbombs Hall, and Nash tries to interfere so Sid beats him up too. Jeff Jarrett runs out and hits Sid with a guitar and Hall pins Sid. Goldberg comes out and spears Jarrett. 1/4*.

Roddy Piper is assigned to referee a women’s mud match.

Paisley gets in a food fight with a Nitro girl. The best part is when the Nitro girl insults Paisley and her mic hasn’t been turned on and Paisley asks “What did you say?” to try to fix the problem but the other girl doesn’t catch on and she replies “You heard me.” Probably the first food fight ever that shows no food coming even close to the facial area.

Steve Williams and Oklahoma are WALKING!

(For that minority that doesn’t know, Ed Ferarra was a writer along with Vince Russo who jumped ship to the WCW in 1999. Ferarra had done a bit on RAW where he imitated Ross’s delivery and his Bell’s Palsy which had caused half his face to freeze. It was a tasteless display, but at least it had ended with Ed getting demolished by Steve Williams. Ross had bent over backwards to get Dr. Death a job in the WWF, but after Steve got his ass kicked in the shootfight Brawl for All, there wasn’t much of a job for him. Vince gave him another shot in early 1999, but the fans wanted nothing to do with him, so he was fired. So when WCW asked Ed to bring his Jim Ross parody back, Ed brought Steve Williams with him. I’ll admit, the first time he did it, it was funny. But when it kept coming back week after week after week, it got old REAL fast. And seeing as the fans actually, you know, had RESPECT for Jim Ross, it just didn’t work. Of course, that didn’t stop WCW from putting the Cruiserweight Title on him, despite his being an overweight sack of sh!t. But I digress.)

Oklahoma had gotten involved in a feud with Vampiro, and I’ll be damned if I can remember why. But Vampiro’s buddies, The Misfits got involved and we get a great wrestler vs. musician match.

Match #2

Steve Williams vs. Jerry Only (Steel Cage)

God, why? Okay, the gimmick here is that the cage is to be chained shut so nobody gets in and nobody gets out. Oklahoma comes out with his new BBQ sauce. Williams attacks and in what may be a first, the two men blow not one, but TWO Irish whips. They can’t even master a simple “I throw you against the rope and you bounce off it” routine. Williams hits a powerslam. He throws Only into the corner, blindcharges, and Jerry hits a pretty damn good bodypress off the top rope. Williams decides to stop selling everything and accidentally kicks Jerry in the crotch. He goes for a splash in the corner, but Jerry gets scared and sorta moves out of the way and Williams can’t decide what he’s supposed to do now. He dedicates a move to Oklahoma, then performs the absolute worst Beel throw in wrestling history.

The Misfits attack Oklahoma and they pour BBQ sauce on him while Williams hits the Oklahoma Stampede on Jerry. Williams walks over to the door and tries to make the save. (Remember, the door is chained shut.) Except, somebody forgot to lock the door, and it flies open, and Williams quickly shuts it and buries his face in his arms in embarrassment. And you can literally hear Schiavonne’s frustration as he’s at a complete loss for words. The camera pans away so we don’t see anything else. Williams throws Only into the cage door which flies open AGAIN and Only escapes. THEN the Misfits remember to lock the cage door which they promptly do. Mercifully, the segment ends. -**. You know what’s pathetic? Jerry Only came off as a better wrestler than Steve Williams did here. There was a REASON Steve Williams got canned by the WWE.

-Chavo interviews Bret Hart for his match with Meng. Chavo: “How are you going to stop Meng?” Bret: “Well, he loses to everybody. Why should I be any different?”

Well, not really. Actually, Meng had been put over Lex Luger AND Sting in two days which served to bury them more than help Meng, who had done little in his four year tenure in WCW.

Match #3

Bret Hart vs. Meng

Meng no-sells everything and he destroys Bret with kicks and chops. He dominates for damn near five minutes, hitting a piledriver for two. Shoulderbreaker gets two. Bret goes for the five moves of doom, but The Outsiders come to ringside. Scott Hall gets in the ring, and Bret and Meng forget that the ref is supposed to be out so Bret basically just falls into the ref to knock him out. Meng destroys Hall, but Nash knocks him out with a kendo stick. Nash powerbombs Meng and Chris Benoit comes out and beats up both men with the kendo stick. Bret puts the sharpshooter on Meng but Meng was knocked out by that awesome Nash powerbomb and Bret wins. *.

Ryan Shamrock gets a teddy bear. Damn, I forgot what a hottie she was. Or maybe my tastes have just changed.

More catfighting from the Nitro girls.

And Evan Karagis and Madusa make out.

Lex Luger suggests that he put Elizabeth in the wrestling mud match.

Match #4

Chris Benoit vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. Sting

Well, we may break the one star mark here. I’ll be frank. I don’t like Jeff Jarrett. To me, he’s never been a man who could get over on his own, he always needed push after push after push to get anything. Hell, Jarrett showed what a lack of draw he was back in 1995 when his own lackey The Roadie got a better crowd response than he did.

Anyway Jarrett was in the mindsight here of “Why break a guitar over a man’s head when I can break a hundred guitars instead?” And out of curiosity, in all the years he had the guitar, has he ever once played it?

This is first pin wins, btw. Benoit and Sting gang up on Jarrett, but neither man will allow the other to pin Jarrett. So Benoit and Sting turn on each other, allowing Jarrett to attack them both. Jarrett bodypress on Sting gets two. Benoit and Sting join forces again and Benoit chops Jarrett in the corner, but Sting hits the splash on Benoit. Jarrett hits Sting so hard he falls out of the ring. Jarrett tries to end it, but Benoit locks on the crossface. Sting clotheslines Benoit, and Tony screws up the Dustin Rhodes run in by announcing it about two minutes before he even appears.

Elizabeth comes out to distract Sting (or help him, hell, I’m not even sure) Lex Luger comes out and hits Sting with a chair. Meanwhile Jeff Jarrett hits Benoit with a guitar. (I always loved how the heel would hit the face with a LOUD foreign object and the ref STILL didn’t know it.) Jarrett goes for the pin, but NOW Dustin Rhodes emerges to the surprise of no one, since Tony accidentally blurted it out and he hits Jarrett with a ring bell. And Benoit gets the pin. Wow, three run-ins in one match. Sorry, can’t go the full star. Too much of a mess. 3/4*.

-Vito and Johnny the Bull are at a nightclub and they run into the Coors Light twins. And they want to party. They ask Gene Okerlund if he wants to come, but he’s too busy dancing with seven ladies to notice. I’ll give WCW this, at least they were attractive. Okerlund would be dancing with Moolah and Mae Young in the WWE.

-Kevin Nash is WALKING! And he looks angry. Probably because Okerlund is coming off as a bigger chick magnet than he is.

-Ryan Shamrock goes to visit the Maestro, but Crazy David Flair has kidnapped the Maestro and stuffed him into the piano. David Flair is thankful that David Arquette and Vince Russo each got World title reigns. It makes us all forget that David Flair was once given the US title.

Match #5

Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash

It had been over a year since Nash had been the one to end Goldberg’s win streak, and these two were STILL going at it. And Scott Hall was still trying to attack Goldberg in the locker room. Goldberg and Hall brawl all over the backstage area with security doing an excellent job of just standing around watching. Suddenly we cut to Sid Vicious’ locker room for about ten seconds, and now both Outsiders are beating up Goldberg. Tony is kind enough to explain that Hall and Nash locked Sid in his dressing room. I guess Nash must have told Tony that while he was in the ring, since you have NO way of knowing this otherwise. Sid finally breaks the door down (which coincidentally doesn’t have any hinges on it) and he attacks Hall. So Nash and Goldberg brawl back to the ring in the “I grab you so you have to follow me” motion.

Goldberg beats up Nash and Nash sells it with a “I sure am sleepy” look in his eye. Hall gets the better of Sid and he then hits the ref and Goldberg with a chair. Hall stands around and Bret Hart comes in and destroys both men with a chair. Sid comes back and hits Nash. Spear, Jackhammer, and the ref makes the pin despite the fact that Bret and Sid are standing there interfering. DUD.

Have you been keeping track? 5 matches, 8 run-ins. The only match without one was a freakin’ cage match.

And by the way, Goldberg can bitch all he wants about how badly the WWE treated him. But they have NOTHING on how misused he was once the streak ended.

Match #6

Rhonda Singh vs. Miss Elizabeth (mud match)

Roddy Piper is special guest ref, and the Harris Brothers come out to make sure Piper does his job. Singh is the one-time Bertha Faye. Elizabeth’s music plays, but she refuses to come out. Lex Luger forces her to be in the match but Elizabeth refuses. We cut back, and Rhonda has thrown Piper into the mud. Piper knocks Rhonda in the mud, then rides her and slaps her ass. He pulls the Harris Brothers in too, and Tony laughs like it’s the funniest thing since Oklahoma. Piper puts Rhonda on top of a Harris guy and he counts the pin. So Rhonda wins. We are back in negative star territory. Tony’s so confused that he declares Roddy the winner. Heenan asks how, since he didn’t pin anybody. Tony says that Roddy did.

Meanwhile Johnny the Bull and Vito are cooking dinner in the kind of tiny apartment I lived in when I had no money. The Baldies are kind enough to allow the cameraman stay and tape their date.

-Arn Anderson is WALKING.

-Arn is mad but Russo doesn’t care and he gets thrown out of the office.

-Nitro contest winner Stacy Keibler tells Chavo she’s too good for the Nitro girls. Well, duh.

Match #7

Jerry Flynn vs. The Wall

You know how bad WCW got towards the end? The Wall was treated as a legitimate threat to Hulk Hogan, because there was NOBODY left. Here he takes on Goldberg’s favorite punching bag Jerry Flynn in what appears to be a Boiler Room Brawl. I say appears to be, because there has been no indication until now that it was. And for no reason at all, this match is strobed to give it a filmy look.

Tony explains that this is a “Fight Club” match. Ahhhhhh. Good God, do you realize it’s been FIVE years since Fight Club came out? Punch, punch, punch, rest. Repeat. After about three minutes, the crowd audibly turns on the match, booing both men mercilessly. Of course, watching two lower mid-carders fight on the big screen wouldn’t thrill me either. Funny thing is, the boiler room is pretty large but they never stray more than five feet in any direction.

Finally, Berlyn (Alex Wright) hits Jerry Flynn with a lead pipe and I guess that makes The Wall the winner. 1/10th*.

-Roddy Piper walks around covered in mud, apparently not knowing where the showers are. The crowd turns on Piper too. It’s starting to get ugly here. The Outsiders walk by because they haven’t been in a segment in twenty minutes and Piper destroys both of them. How nice. Goldberg couldn’t beat Hall and Nash by himself but Piper makes it look easy.

-Curt Hennig is WALKING! And Curly Bill is WALKING too!

-Lex Luger promises that he will wrestle Elizabeth in a mud match.

Match #8

Midnight vs. Curt Hennig

Midnight was the female Booker T in a second attempt for WCW to find their own Chyna. Yeesh, Midnight looks like Omarosa on roids. Imagine THAT on a bad day.

Midnight does a kip-up to impress the crowd, but her doing that was like Lita doing a flying headscissors. That’s about all there was. She gets a punch and a snap suplex. And that pisses Hennig off who gets bleeped before chopping the hell out of her. Hennig slams her and the strap comes down. He locks on an abdominal stretch and starts slapping her breasts around.

The lights go out. When they come back on, Stevie Ray is here.
The lights go out. When they come back on, Curly Bill is here.

The lights go out. When they come back on, Arn Anderson is here. He beats up Curly Bill and we go to break.

Man, they couldn’t even book an Arn Anderson run-in right. He comes in just to beat up Virgil?

-The Coors Light twins decide they want to have sex with Johny and Vito, so they go to the bedroom (which oddly is in the same room as the dining room) and the twins tie them up. Gee, I can’t imagine what happens next. The only surprise is who’s going to interfere because I can’t remember who they were feuding with.

To my absolute delight Disco Inferno and Lash LaRoux come in and dump sauce on the Italians. Well, at least La Resistance aren’t doing vignettes with Rosey. Because that’s the equivalent of this waste of time.

-Larry Walker of the Colorado Rockies is in the crowd and he looks really confused.

-Lex Luger comes out with Miss Elizabeth and he throws her in the vat of mud. Elizabeth sits waist deep in the mud and she just sits there looking sad and embarrassed. And I feel embarrassed for her. Luger just looks at her, and to say this segment just feels wrong isn’t saying enough.

A long time ago there was an interview with somebody, I can’t remember who (I want to say Heenan though), but they were a WCW talent and they were complaining about how messed up the company was, and they singled out an incident where Gene Okerlund took a bump. And the guy was furious because his rationale was that there are some people who are off limits. And Okerlund was one of them. He had paid enough dues that there was no reason for anyone to lay a finger on him. I felt the same about Elizabeth. You know why Elizabeth never wrestled a match? Because NOBODY wanted to see her get hurt. Ever. Even when Jake Roberts hit her in that infamous 1991 angle, even HE barely grazed her because he didn’t want to hurt her (or be murdered by Randy Savage later.) Throwing Elizabeth in the mud and thinking that’s what the audience wants to see was so wrong on so many levels. And the fact that she’s obviously in a position she doesn’t want to be in makes it worse. And I know she was unhappy because she can’t act. So I know the emotion is legit.

Sting tries to salvage the whole thing by throwing Lex Luger in the mud. Elizabeth climbs out and takes a spill. So sad.

Match #9

Bret Hart/Chris Benoit vs. Kevin Nash/Scott Hall vs. Sid/Goldberg (Steel Cage)

And to further the schmozz, Roddy Piper is the referee. Piper still has mud all over him. Apparently the showers aren’t working in the back. All six guys punch and kick each other. Benoit chokes out Nash for about a minute. Sid tries to escape which is odd because it’s pinfall only. Sid and Hall hit a Godawful double clothesline. Nash takes a nap in the corner. And Jeff Jarrett adds to the run-in total with a dumpster full of guitars. And to add to the stupidity, Jarrett hits Piper with a guitar, and everybody just stands around while Jarrett hits Goldberg with a guitar, and NOBODY DOES ANYTHING. Jarrett hits Bret Hart with handcuffs and he gets cuffed to the cage. Benoit goes nuts, kills everybody and delivers the only good moment of the night by hitting a top of the cage headbutt on Scott Hall (and thank God he doesn’t roll around for two minutes afterwards.) Piper gets up, counts the pin. Jarrett hits Benoit with a guitar. The heels kill Sid and Goldberg. The End.

Horrible. Horrible. Horrible.

ECW on TNN (12-3-99)

Do you remember how spoiled we all were back in the day? Raw and Nitro on Monday, Thunder on Wednesday, Smackdown on Thursday, ECW on Friday, the recap shows on Saturday, and Heat on Sunday? I’m not sure why Tuesday was such an off night for wrestling, I guess it was so we could recover from Monday night’s overkill. Anyway, pulling out these tapes flashes me back to my early days at my job when I had to work nights, and I’d spend the seven o’clock hour with ECW and a big fat juicy cheddar burger from Earl’s Rib Palace, the greatest hamburger I ever tasted. ECW was a couple months into their cable deal, but the signs of the end were already evident in this show. We’ll get to them as the show progresses.

Part of the problem was that ECW got an hour on Fridays, not a great timeslot, and even worse, Paul Heyman often times had difficulty actually filling the hour with enough matches. So as a result, we were often treated to replays of PPV matches, LONG interviews (Tammy Sytch’s “shoot” comes to mind), and often WEEKS at a time where less than half the show was new material.

Don’t get me wrong, there was often pure gold on the TNN show. Raven’s return, the Tajiri-Super Crazy matches, and the Mike Awesome-Masato Tanaka series come immediately to mind of angles and matches that worked BIG time. But they were just too few and far between.

Here we go:

Case in point right off the bat as the show open goes two minutes long. And that’s not a two minute build-up plus the open. I mean the OPEN goes two minutes. Hell, The Simpsons has about the longest show open in history and it never goes more than ninety seconds at worst.

We’re at the ECW arena and our hosts are Joey Styles and Joel Gertner. (Styles was a great announcer until he started thinking he was a great announcer.) And I never understood the cult following of Joel Gertner. He had a great look (the constant neckbrace and the sportscoat with no shirt) but I just never thought he was funny.

You know a great drinking game to play when watching ECW? Whenever there’s a crowd shot and you see a woman, take a drink. I don’t mean a female wrestler, I mean a female IN the crowd. And if they’re at ringside, chug. I mean, good Lord, these crowds are the ones that made Fight Club WAY more popular than it should have been.

And coming to the ring to start things is the very man who may not have killed ECW, but he certainly supplied some bullets, Justin Credible. There’s a right way and a wrong way to push someone. Justin Credible was an average wrestler, average build, poor mic skills, and he got pushed beyond the limits of sanity. The wrestling fans in ECW weren’t stupid, and they weren’t buying a former jobber named PJ Walker who later became the masked Aldo Montoya running roughshod over the entire company. He and Lance Storm made up The Impact Players, and Storm did what he could, I don’t fault him. But Credible beat everybody, with constant interference, constant screwjobs, and he developed “Go Away” heat of the worst kind. Unfortunately, Paul Heyman never seemed to figure that out, and even when the company went bankrupt, he was still on top. (McMahon knew better as he took Credible back to the WWF and promptly humiliated him for about a year before tossing him.) The Players are accompanied by Dawn Marie, and maybe the most useless talent in ECW, Jason. Did Jason do ANYTHING between 1998 and 2001?

The crowd chants “Justin P***y” and Styles responds with “Glad to see your fan club came out tonight” which is more entertaining than anything Justin has to say. He gets interrupted by Chris Candido and Rhino accompanied by Tammy Sytch. I will refrain from making any comments about her and what has become of her. It just makes me too sad. Candido demands to not be bleeped, then gets bleeped one second later. Dawn Marie and Tammy end up catfighting which would be more impressive if that didn’t happen every week.

Steve Corrino threatens to beat up Limp Biskit and he crashes one of their shows. Corrino hates rock and roll.

Match #1

Super Crazy vs. Ikuto Hidaka

And I’m going to plead total ignorance for not knowing who Hidaka is. ECW had a history of bringing in Japanese talent, some of whom got over (Tajiri, Masato Tanaka) and some of whom did not (pretty much everybody else.) BTW, I think I have made it pretty clear that I am a huge Tajiri fan, his 1999-2000 ECW run may have been my favorite run of any guy in ECW. I really wish the WWE would have let him do his thing.

Hidaka has a lean build in the TAKA mode, so either this is going to be a squash or a classic. Which is another beauty of ECW, you never really knew. They almost could afford to have jobbers (Whipwreck aside), so when you see an unknown in the federation, you almost wonder what you’re gonna get. Crazy gets a judo throw to take the advantage. Gertner lets us know what year it is by making a Pokemon reference. Hidaka does some nice acrobatics, but Crazy isn’t impressed, so he chops him in the chest. Crazy gets a KILLER jumping moonsault from the top rope and the two trade two counts and gets the traditional “staredown so the fans can applaud you” routine. Hidaka busts out a cartwheel into a kick to the face then dropkicks a prone Crazy in the face as he lays slouching in the corner. Crazy ends up on the floor, and oh, I am BEGGING for a Space Flying Tiger Drop (Someday I’ll make a 10 biggest markout moments list, and the RAW show where Hakushi busted that out of nowhere on Bret Hart is gonna be on it.) Hidaka just does a baseball slide then somersaults all over the place onto the concrete floor.

Off to break.

We’re back just in time to see Hidaka springboard from the second rope onto Crazy for a tornado DDT, change direction, and spin him the OPPOSITE way. Absolutely AWESOME. The bitch is that moves THAT great never seem to be finishers. Crazy is back up with a powerbomb and moonsault that gets two. Hidaka almost goes for the Tiger Drop but Crazy catches him, Hidaka slips out and hits a hurricarana for two. German suplex gets two and the crowd is buzzing here. But Crazy has had enough as he BURIES him with a powerbomb. One springboard moonsault later and it’s over. Damn good stuff here ***1/4, and let me say, you know, it’s not a crime to push the unknown guy. Vince has this horrible feeling that letting any guy get any kind of offense will butcher his star’s credibility. Offensively speaking, Hidaka dominated the match, but Crazy got the pin, and if anything Hidaka comes out the better. Of course, put a talent like Hidaka on WWE TV and he’ll get squashed by Bradshaw in thirty seconds. Good stuff here.

Corrino is at the concert now, trashing the young girls there for lowering themselves to be at a Limp Biskit show. There’s only one reason that guys trash attractive girls and that’s when they know they won’t sleep with them.

Raven gives us a promo. And here comes another controversial remark from me: Raven’s overrated. And I’m not saying he wasn’t a talent or that I didn’t appreciate him. (If anything I have a DEEP respect for his walking out on WCW back in 1999. If you don’t want to be somewhere, then don’t bitch about it, do something about it.) I just never thought he was as great of a character as some treat him. And yeah, I didn’t really watch his stuff until years later, so it may have been a “you had to be there” kind of thing.

Steve Corino actually gets on stage at the Limp Biskit show and trashes Fred Durst in front of a crowd who probably have no idea who the hell Steve Corino is.

Match #2

Raven vs. The Sandman Guest Ref: Tommy Dreamer

Okay, the angle here is that Raven came back to ECW and won the tag titles with Dreamer in maybe the last great ECW angle (Except for the bizarre “Taz on loan” bit in 2000), so Dreamer and Raven are sorta friends. But Dreamer and Sandman are friends too and Sandman hasn’t forgiven Raven for their brutal feud where Raven brainwashed Sandman’s ex-wife and kid. So Dreamer is trying to play peacemaker with little success. So he gets to ref a match between the two. And you know Heyman tried to book as many Sandman matches for TNN as he could since his entrances go about five minutes. Sandman feeds a beer to “Hat guy” who fails to drink any of it in Steve Austin-style.

Sandman takes early control until Raven suplexes Sandman through a table. Man, hardcore matches seem SO long ago. And Raven got bloodied somewhere in this. Sandman eats a chair but he returns the favor, but he tries to somersault Raven through a table only to bite it instead. Raven locks on a sleeper but Sandman falls back onto a table that barely gets grazed and it smashes to pieces. We’re about four minutes in and Sandman is huffing and puffing. Raven takes shots to Sandman’s crotch. Sandman goes through a third table, and looking back, when you go through THREE tables in a match, maybe you should start concentrating on maybe a different aspect of a match, like, oh, I don’t know, psychology? As I write this, Rhino and Chris Candido do a run-in and destroy everybody, and the crowd is completely apathetic. Run-ins got to be too ridiculous in ECW as EVERY major match seemed to rely heavily on them, often two or three run-ins in the same match. And to prove my point, Sandman’s ex-wife does a run-in and attacks Raven, and again the crowd goes apathetic. But Francine makes it run-in three, and the crowd’s pretty happy to see that. The two females roll around because, well, they have to. Sandman DDT’s Raven and Justin Credible and Lance Storm make it run-in number FOUR as they beat up Dreamer. And now the crowd has completely turned on this match. Raven saves Dreamer from a beating, but gets caned by Credible. Sandman hits a legsweep and gets the pin. Stupid finish. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Ѕ*.

We finish as Corino continues his tirade on Fred Durst until he gets assaulted by New Jack, Axl Rotten and Balls Mahoney who bashes Steve in the face with a chair and then commits what may be the first blading at a rock concert (Though I wouldn’t doubt that happening at a Freebirds gig.)

End of show.

The Super Crazy match was great. The rest of the show was a tad lame, and you could definitely see that Heyman and company were running out of ideas.

So in the long run, I can’t really recommend either show, but as you know, sometimes the train wreck shows are often the best ones. People talk about how Heroes of Wrestling was the worst show of all-time, but I proudly own a copy, because sometimes you just want to see horrible, horrible TV. And if you’re wanting to see WCW deep into the downward spiral, then look no further than this episode.

On a subjective scale though, we’ll go……..

Thumbs down, not recommended, D.

-Sydney Brown


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Sydney Brown

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