Showing posts with label WCW PPV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WCW PPV. Show all posts

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Top Ten Things: October PPV Matches

Welcome to another Halloween-themed (but not really) Top Ten Things, here at  Instead of this column relating to Halloween and all things scary, instead it's October-centric.  Specifically I'll be counting down the top ten October PPV wrestling matches.

While pro wrestling's autumn season (falling as it does between the SummerSlam peak and the beginning of The Road to WrestleMania) has been pretty consistently known for B-level PPVs, shoddy writing, and rather stale characters, many of the October PPVs over the years have produced some excellent matches.  Here now are the ten greatest October PPV matches of all time.

10. Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio - Halloween Havoc 10.26.97

Quite possibly the greatest WCW Cruiserweight match of all time, Guerrero vs. Mysterio was voted WCW's Match of the Year and it's not hard to see why.  The action was breathtaking and impossibly fast.  Both men were in peak form and easily upstaged the rest of the WCW roster.  Mysterio won the Cruiserweight Title with a stunning top rope hurricanrana. 

9. Rock vs. Chris Jericho - No Mercy 10.21.01

This was the match that elevated Chris Jericho to a main eventer.  For the previous two years he had struggled to rise past upper-midcard status, but on this night he bested The Rock for the WCW Title in a spectacular 24-minute war, turning heel in the process.  Sadly the company hotshotted the belt back to The Rock only two weeks later, but this match proved Jericho could hang with the WWF's top stars and deliver a classic main event.

8. Steve Austin vs. Kurt Angle vs. Rob Van Dam - No Mercy 10.21.01

No Mercy 2001 featured two amazing Title bouts.  After the Rock-Jericho classic came the WWF Title match, as heel Champion Steve Austin defended against archenemy Kurt Angle and white-hot tweener Rob Van Dam.  The bout was a whirlwind of intense brawling, virtuosic grappling, and daredevil highspots.  Austin narrowly retained and added to his succession of fantastic 2001 PPV matches.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

We Are At War: WCW Great American Bash 1998

I wish I had been as Gonzo as Savage was here watching this show.
[This is from the historic Nitro when EVERYONE was plastered, 6/8/98]

WCW Great American Bash, June 14th,1998

Booker T vs. Chris Benoit, the winner faces Fit Finlay for the TV Championship later tonight

This was apparently the final match in a Best of Seven series, and they showed a video package before the match detailing how we got to this point which included a fuck finish, on Thunder, that was scratched from the record books on Booker's request [Thunder Recap Count= 1]. We're getting deep into WCW stupid, now. It was a good opener, both men were very good and deserved better even at that point. Benoit in particular was really hot with the crowd. They were into every chop and german suplex, so of course he lost to a missile dropkick from the top rope.

Meltzer Rating: ***1/2
It was fun, but I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it like Benoit/Finlay last month.

Kanyon vs Saturn

Another really fun match, almost like all the quality on these WCW shows are skewed to the undercard. Month after month, I keep wondering why Saturn never got beyond the mid-card in either WCW or WWE. Kanyon himself wasn't bad, much larger than I remember him being as well. They took it to each other the whole match, busting out a lot of moves that are commonplace in today's Indy scene and NXT. Kanyon especially was the prototype to the standard Indy wrestler stereotype of today, sans dives.
Then the Bullshit happened. Oh God, the Bullshit.
So the match is coming along fine, until Mortis showed up. Mortis, being Kanyon's old gimmick, proceeded to throw Saturn from the floor back into the ring. Then, a second (or third?) Mortis appeared, and the two...Morti?...began to brawl. In the process, we almost missed Kanyon winning with I think was a second rope Samoan drop? After the match, one of the MK ripoffs unmasked to show himself as Raven, who laid Kanyon out and berate Saturn. Saturn, in turn, rushed Raven and proceeded to murder the Flock that came in around him. Hopefully we get Saturn and Raven next month. I really like Saturn on these PPVs

Meltzer Rating: **1/2
Again, like the last match this was an above average affair. I wouldn't have gone out of my way for it, but I'm not upset that I watched it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

We Are At War: WCW Slamboree (1998)

Fucking got that right.

WCW/nWo Slamboree, May 17th, 1998
Tenay, Schiavone, and Heenan are trying really hard to explain everything we're going to see. props to them, cause even secondhand, I know how wacky this show has been in the past few months.

Fit Finlay vs. Chris Benoit for the World Television Title
This match was as good as you would think a match between these two would be, which has a high ceiling of potential. The crowd was amazingly awake for this match, and the opening minutes were a spectacle of technical wrestling and striking from both men. But, as Finlay is inclined to do, turned to the roughneck breaking down of Chris both outside of the ring and in.  Benoit got momentum back, and tried a suicide dive to the ring. Finlay decided to crank him in the head with a steel chair to counter it, and I screamed. This was Not a Disqualification. Booker T came out to distract Benoit, which let Finlay take advantage, but not the fall. This came shortly after the distraction with a Tombstone.

Meltzer Rating: ***1/4
A really good match, not that I doubted it would be. But as it went longer, it slowed down and the crowd started to die. Still would recommend it to people who want to watch a good match.

Brian Adams (w/Vincent) vs Lex Luger
Lex Luger looks like hes made of tanned bacon. If the match had ended with zero offense from Adams it would have been better, Luger's opening offense had the crowd crazy. But I guess there had to be heat. Torture Rack is over.

Meltzer Rating: 1/2*
This was okay. Always wish Crush had gotten over.

Perry Saturn cuts a very good, intense promo.

Cruiserweight Number 1 Contendership Battle Royal
Chris Jericho was always a charismatic bastard. He managed to introduce everyone to the ring with some slandering bullshit. It was awesome. Literally every man under 220 in WCW was in this match...besides the important ones (Eddie, Rey Mysterio, Dragon, etc. Though I don't know where Rey is honestly...). Dean Malenko, under a mask and full body suit, won the match and unmasked, getting the biggest and most sustained reaction of the night.

Chris Jericho vs Dean Malenko for the WCW Cruiserweight Title
Malenko took 75% of the match, ignoring most of his technical arsenal in favor of just beating Jericho down. Because Malenko understood that sometimes, you have to change what you do in the ring to portray the story you're trying to tell properly. The top rope gutbuster from Malenko is still great and scary. Dean eventually got the submission with the Cloverleaf, and the crowd went wild.

Meltzer Rating: ***1/4
It was a very good match that may have had the most build of anything on the card. It's amazing what a little forethought can do for your match.

Diamond Dallas Page vs Raven, Bowery Death Cage Match
It's the battle of the Nirvana covers. If you're asking what a Bowery Death Cage Match is, it's the child of a Last Man Standing and a Hell in a Cell match that was raised by ECW. The two had a very good, well paced fight. It wasn't an ECW weapons match, but a good brawl that had weapons involved. Both DDP and Raven tried their best, but the fans in the arena couldn't see shit, so there was no reaction. Flock got involved, Flock got Diamond Cutter'd, eventually Raven ate one as well.
DDP answered the 10 count when Raven couldn't.

Meltzer Rating: **1/2
Pretty fun to watch. Kanyon came into the ring and delivered the chair shot of all death on Raven. The crowd did not react

They showed a security officer looking for McMahon, DX and Steve Austin with black and white pictures of them all for reference. Because, for some reason, they wanted to convince us that someone didn't know what Steve Austin or Vince McMahon looked like

Eddie Guerrero (w/Chavo Guerrero) vs Ultimo Dragon
There is certainly a part of me that wished this match took place somewhere, anywhere, else. The crowd was not nearly as into the match as I would've been for these two, who had a great match. Dragon was arguably in his prime here, and Eddie was always on throughout his career. Much like the opening match, this one was certainly as good as you would expect it to be. Technical prowess, flying, and good storytelling all went into this one, that ended with a brainbuster and a Frog Splash from Guerrero.

Meltzer Rating: ***1/4
This and the Television Title match are the two big matches worth watching on this show.

Goldberg vs. Saturn for the WCW United States Title
The commentators bragged about how "WCW has a finger on the pulse of what WCW fans want". Ill let that one sink in for you. I learned in this match that Saturday Night WCW was still a thing at this time. So WCW fans were expected to follow at least 6 hours of wrestling per week, which is even a lot to expect from a single company today. Saturn was a very unique stirker and personality, and how he never got bigger than he was is a mystery to me. I'm not talking a lot about the match, because you've seen one Goldberg match than you've seen most of them. Actually I lie, because this match was very back and forth, Saturn got a lot of offense on Goldberg before he activated Green powers. This was actually a fun match to watch.

Meltzer Rating: 3/4*
I came out of this match liking both men more for it. Goldberg was getting better at having longer matches, and Saturn got in what he could. I think *3/4 is pretty unfair.

Eric Bischoff stroked his ego for 5 minutes on PPV, coming out to "fight" Vince McMahon and "winning" by countout. They took time throughout the show to build up if Vince was coming (we knew he wasn't via lawsuit). Fuck this all.

Bret Hart vs. Randy Savage, Special Referee Roddy Piper
What do I say about this match? Bret has often said that he lost the passion for wrestling when he jumped to WCW, and you can tell that here. He seems very hollow when he's going through the motions here. What should've been a great match, a classic almost, felt plodding and long. Savage himself seemed to be going through the motions, and the crowd really couldn't care less about the fight. They went hither and yon at one point for a brief spot, that went practically nowhere. The two tried to work a main event level match, but with the fans so not into it, and indeed the wrestlers not really caring like they seem to not here, there was no hope for a match. This match, that Roddy promised wouldn't end in a DQ, ended when he disqualified Randy.

Meltzer Rating: **1/2
I should have liked this match, I should have LOVED this match but I didn't. It actually makes me mad.

The Outsiders (w/Dusty Rhodes) vs Sting and The Giant for the WCW Tag Titles
Scott Hall had to be drunk here. This survey gimmick is ridiculous. But I don't need to go into that. Instead, lets take a minute to appreciate Dusty's holy hell, ugly jacket.

Scott moved like he was drunk, The Giant and Kevin Nash plodded, and Sting looked like he wished he were anywhere else. This was a boring match that set up to Hall and Dusty turning on Nash, keeping the inside war between the nWo fueled. The people reacted appropriately. Nash was alright, I think, and Giant was better than he is now at mid 40s and hurting.

Meltzer Rating: DUD

 This show was great until the last two matches. The card was stacked, and awesome, and full of talent. But a pair of matches with a lack of passion sunk my attitude over all. And that's a shame, because there was a crop of men working really hard to give the people something to enjoy. I want to hope it gets better from here, but I know better.

(All Ratings taken from the May25th issue of the Wrestling Observer)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

We Are At War: WCW Spring Stampede 1998

19 Years ago, the Monday Night Wars raged on. I was 4 years old when the WWF broke the ratings dominance WCW, 7 when WCW folded forever. The Attitude Era is remembered as such a mythical time, of tremendous TV and great PPVs. Revisionist history tells us that WCW was a sinking ship from around the split of the nWo and before, and that the WWF started their almighty comeback with Austin's title reign that started at Wrestlemania 14.

Conveniently, both of these happened in the spring of 1998, where I'm gonna pick up in the timeline. I'm not going to be reviewing the weekly Raw and Nitro shows, because I seriously don't have the time or patience for that shit. Instead, I'm going to pick up their slack, and cover the PPVs as they come down the pike. There's gonna be good, there's gonna be bad. May Macho Man have mercy on my soul.

Spring Stampede, April 19th 1998
 6 Days ago, WWF beat WCW in the ratings war for the first time in 84 weeks. 20 minute Hogan promos dominate the program's pime time, and an undercard struggle for attention by putting on great matches that go ignored by the people in power. That is the stage set for April in 1998.
The opening package focused entirely on the nWo, only a passing mention of Sting, the World Champion. The Wolfpac split is coming soon, and Nash and Hogan's interactions in the video say as much. There's a smattering of nWo shirts in the crowd, like Bullet Club shirts are in crowds today.

Schiavone, Tenay and Heenan are our commentary booth. They're generally unoffensive, and I generally like all three of them. Heenan does a good job on color, with Mike and Tony doing good play by play.

Goldberg vs. Saturn
Goldberg was ridiculously popular. The crowd went wild when his music came on. He was labeled as 73-0, and the Number One contender for the United States Title. Almost immediately, he almost kills Saturn with a Pumphandle Fallaway. He certainly had an explosive style that was entertaining as hell. Not to take away from Perry Saturn, who had a very unique and fun to watch style. Goldberg threw Saturn around like a cruiserweight, the rest of the Flock interfered. Goldberg murdered Kidman with a spear. Golberg stood through the Rings of Saturn, and hit a Jackhammer from a Fireman's Carry. Goldberg was stupid strong, and stupid awesome. A really fun opener.

Meltzer's Rating:*1/2
It was short, and smokey, but it was fun regardless.