a guest May 21st, 2019 93 Never
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- While people debate over Scott Steiner or Booker T as WCW champion, the reality still is that WCW has far more pressing issues than who is given the belt, because it has no hot programs, and can't be deluded into listening to decibel pops from tiny crowds into thinking any of its wrestlers are actually over.
- Steiner's title win over Booker T, relatively clean with a Steiner recliner, topped the 11/27 Mayhem PPV show from the U.S. Cellular Arena in Milwaukee. It was largely a subpar card, with a small and generally unresponsive crowd being burned out by too many matches and issues that make little sense and that don't capture anyone's imagination. Some injuries didn't help, and it also doesn't help when the wrestlers who put on the best match, have been portrayed so negatively on television being booked as squash guys, that when they do show their talents, the public simply sees it as filler.
- The bottom line numbers were that there were about 3,800 fans in the building, of which 2,871 paid $84,296 and another $16,305 in merchandise.
- Besides direction, the company needs an infusion of new talent. Since there is considered something of a hiring freeze, that's likely not going to happen. Not only new talent, but they need new talent being pushed to the top of the card. Even if the new talent isn't ready. They already blew it with Mike Awesome and Lance Storm, who no doubt fell victim to the classic WCW booking of dwelling on their shortcomings and why they can't headline instead of their dwelling on their talents and giving them a chance to headline and see if it'll work before cutting their booking legs almost immediately. WCW has a chance to put together an angle to shake things up, if it does it correctly, and it is the ECW invasion angle, just under another name. Granted, decibel level of heat is often overrated, but on TV last week, the hottest issue was the Battledome guys against the WCW guys, simply because they were outsiders and it appeared to freshen up a stale product. The problem with that angle is there is no way to make it mean money or sustain it. An ECW invasion is hardly a savior angle. Bottom line is that most of the WCW fans won't even know who most of the guys coming in are, or will care right off the bat except for the hardcore fans, but as the Battledome angle showed, if it's presented as something that isn't supposed to happen and kept realistic, that is still excitement to the show. It's up to the booking to put them over and make them care, and that's by being put over established stars. Anyway, it's not going to happen because you don't make million dollar guys really put over guys working for $1,000 per night, although that's what would be needed to get anyone over at this point. People will shoot holes in it rather than try it. And jealousy will prevent them allowing it to be pushed to its optimum anyway. But they do have a window of opportunity, not to turn the company around, but at least to do something fresh that will be of minor interest, and there is nothing they can do with the NBT's that will qualify as either.
- The show opened with the fakest looking throng of kids, all converging on Booker T for autographs. Steiner then showed up and refused to sign in. Ric Flair did a promo (taped before they went on the air) promising people a great show. In other time period, that may have worked, but this crowd was standoffish from the start and didn't believe Flair. Then again, when you promise a great match involving Goldberg vs. Luger, your credibility probably is going to be questioned.
- 1. Mike Sanders pinned Kwee Wee (Alan Funk) in 7:50. All the NBT's came to ringside and were interfering freely, including a cool move where Mark Jindrak & Shawn O'Haire did their double biel on Kwee Wee over the top rope and into a powerslam. This brought out Meng, along with Paisley coming back out with a Meng wig. If they spent more time at the booking meetings trying to come up with long-term scenarios and less on ideas like Paisley coming out with a Meng wig that nobody laughs at, they'd be a whole lot better off. Flair came out and told everyone except Paisley that they had to leave. From this point on, the two had a pretty decent match. They did a unique spot where Kwee Wee did a running sunset flip into the ring and to the floor, but before the move was over, Sanders reversed it on the floor into a huracanrana. Kwee Wee attacked Sanders with Paisley's Meng wig to set up Paisley doing a handspring elbow. Right after that, Sanders got the pin with his 3.0, a form of a neckbreaker, the suddenness of which, coming with the face having a 2-on-1 advantage and still losing, which defies any logic, made Kwee Wee look like another in the long line of impotent babyfaces not worthy of the crowd getting any emotional involvement in. **
- Disqo said he had a back injury and asked Kronik to take his place. He and Wright only had enough money to buy 7:30 of Kronik's time. They warned him at 7:31 of the match, they were history.
- 2. Shannon Moore & Shane Helms won a three-way over Evan Karagias (Evan Kavagias) & Jamie Knoble (James Howard) and Kaz Hayashi & Yun Yang in 10:53. Total show stealer. Hayashi and Helms in particular looked great. Helms used his X-plex, a cross-armed german suplex debuted in the 80s by Lioness Asuka. Match had no heat, but what are you going to do. They did a multi-dive sequence, Moore with a flip dive, Karagias with a springboard plancha, Hayashi with a spin dive, Jang with a flip dive and Knoble did something that could best be described as a corkscrew quebrada. Leia Meow finished with a plancha onto everyone. Knoble brought out a ladder, but they didn't do a lot of with it. Helms went off Yang's shoulders with a splash onto Hayashi. They did a double pin spot that was messed up since Moore didn't kick out in time but the ref held up on the count, which resulted in a lot of boos. Helms pinned Yang after a double-team move with Moore in an airplane spin position. ***1/2
- 3. Mancow (Muller?) pinned Jimmy Hart in 1:38. Have no idea why this was on PPV. Hart came out claiming the old broken ankle trick and then attacked Mancow with the cast. All of Mancow's guys hit the ring. In the first match, Flair had decreed no outside interference but the announcers explained this match was non-sanctioned. Three Count came out and made a babyface-like save for Hart. Mancow got the cast and hit Hart with it for the pin. DUD
- 4. Crowbar (Chris Ford) retained the hardcore title in a three-way over Reno (Rick Cornell) and Big Vito (Vito LoGrasso) in 7:50. Crowbar was at less than 100% as they said he pulled an abdominal muscle in the Thunder match. They used all the objects and brawled backstage. Match had no heat. Vito's sister, Maria, returned, now just called Marie. She was yelling at Reno. They've now established that Reno used to date her. While this was going on, Crowbar hit Reno with a chair for the pin backstage. *
- 5. Rey Misterio Jr. (Oscar Gutierrez) & Billy Kidman (Peter Gruner) won a strange match over Alex Wright & Kronik (Brian Adams & Bryan Clark) in 7:46. Very little heat. Kronik didn't sell much for Misterio Jr. & Kidman, but didn't embarrass them as badly as they did on Thunder. Konnan was supposed to be in this match, but didn't arrive in time for the show since his mother suffered a stroke the previous afternoon. This would have only made it sillier as the face team at the end would have a three-on-one advantage. This was handled very clumsily on television, as rather than tell the truth, they acted as if Konnan was going to arrive (which was probably the truth as they knew it at the time as he flew out and was expected to make it) but that he'd been partying too much the night before. It just tells the fans that if the wrestlers don't care enough to show up for the matches you pay $30 to see, why should you care enough to pay money to see them. The truth would have been understandable to everyone, except with the company's credibility problem, maybe they figured nobody would believe the story, and given all the things wrestlers tell management, maybe they didn't believe the story either. Kronik was supposed to walk out at 7:30, but instead left at the 6:11 mark. Nobody complained about it. Kidman pinned Wright after Misterio Jr. came off the top with a legdrop to the groin. *1/4
- 6. Cat (Ernest Miller) pinned Shane Douglas (Troy Martin) in 8:00. Stevie Ray made fun of Douglas' pre-match promo getting no crowd reaction, which, while true, isn't something you'd want to do on camera. Cat, in an interview, said he'd leave the country and kissed Douglas' ass in the ring on his knees if he lost. Usually I'd say that guaranteed the result, but being WCW and the fact nobody believes the stips (which was never referred to again), you couldn't tell. Ms. Jones again hit Douglas with a pretty good high kick. Cat attacked Mark Madden. This wasn't planned ahead of time but Cat totally worked with Madden, not hurting him at all. It was another of those backstage jokes for the boys, which actually was more entertaining than watching Cat wrestle anyway. Douglas kicked out of the feliner. Torrie Wilson attacked Jones, who didn't sell for her and made Wilson look bad. Douglas used a shot with a foreign object but Cat made the ropes. Jones gave Cat a magic red shoe, and he kicked Douglas for the pin after Wilson tried to throw the chain in, but threw too high. *1/4
- They did a spoof on the "Blood Runs Cold" promo when Eric Bischoff brought in Glacier. The announcers all made fun of it, since they are reintroducing Ray Lloyd as a bumbling superhero character.
- 7. Bam Bam Bigelow (Scott Bigelow) pinned Sgt. Awall (Jerry Tuite) in 5:41. Earlier in the show, Bigelow attacked Mike Awesome as a storyline reason because Awesome couldn't wrestle due to a shoulder injury, believed to be a AC joint tear. Awesome did want to work the show but it was felt it would be better for him not to. Dead match. Bigelow got the pin using the Greetings, but Awall's head never even came close to contact. Bigelow then collapsed, doing a spoof on the Paul Orndorff deal from the Fall Brawl PPV. Nobody, and I mean nobody, bought that Bigelow was really injured even though they tried to sell it as serious. DUD
- 8. General Rection (Bill DeMott) regained the U.S. title from Lance Storm (Lance Evers) in 6:25. Storm was working with a tear around his ribs, and was supposed to stay out of action for at least two weeks. He aggravated the injury taking a powerslam. The match was disappointing for these two. Nothing wrong with it, but it was hurt due to the lack of crowd heat. Bigelow, on a stretcher in a neck brace, suddenly recovered to attack Rection before the match and give Storm the early edge. Storm worked on Rection's knee most of the way. Lots of heat on Major Gunns, who is legit unhappy about being in the heel role so she really doesn't work it. First time Rection went up for the moonsault, Gunns scooped his leg and he was crotched. He came back later with a moonsault to get the pin and the title. *3/4
- 9. Jeff Jarrett pinned Buff Bagwell (Marcus Bagwell) in 11:10. Before the match, Bagwell got the master plan to destroy Jarrett's guitar. This was technically the second best match on the show, but hurt because there was no heat. Jarrett in particular did a great job of carrying the match, and they went back-and-forth with good moves and near falls. Bagwell used a double arm DDT but missed a blockbuster. Bagwell hit a swinging DDT for a near fall. After a ref bump, Bagwell did a DDT onto a chair, well actually badly missing the chair, for a near fall. Jarrett rolled through on a crossbody for another near fall. Bagwell used a reverse DDT for a near fall. After all this, Jarrett went under the ring to get the guitar and used it, with debris flying everywhere somehow unbeknownst to the ref, to get the pin. **3/4
- 10. Kevin Nash & Diamond Dallas Page (Page Falkinburg) won the WCW tag titles from Shawn Stasiak (Shawn Stepich) & Chuck Palumbo in 14:55. Fans chanted loudly for Scott Hall. To get around the nobody at ringside, the NBT's all came out as security after telling Doug Dillenger to go home. Flair and Dillenger came out to boot them out. Sanders got to stay because he had a managers license. This proceeded to stall out 6:00 before the match got started. Pretty quickly, Stasiak gave DDP a DDT and they worked on him. Page totally carried the match, selling and making comebacks to keep people into it. The hot tag spot was kind of messed up, but Nash gave Palumbo & Stasiak high kicks. Stevie Ray continued to mysteriously put over Palumbo in his commentary. Speaking of him, in doing a three-hour PPV, you really get it hammered home about the commentary on these shows. Nash power bombed Stasiak while DDP gave Palumbo the diamond cutter. Sanders broke up the pin, but then DDP gave Sanders a diamond cutter and Nash covered Stasiak again and that power bomb knocks them out forever as the title changed hands. Fans popped as good as they were going to on this night for the switch. **1/4
- 11. Bill Goldberg pinned Lex Luger (Larry Pfohl) in 5:53. Really bad. They've got the streak up to 20 wins somehow. When he came into the ring on Nitro the next night it was 25. So he went from 14 to 25 with just one win. I think he now gets wins every night WCW doesn't present wrestling shows, and wins on PPV count as five bonus wins. I think they've been playing Scrabble or something. If you notice, nobody believes the steak, cares about the streak or brings the banners regarding the streak like they did the first time. Reason? Because the first time, people thought the number was legit and as soon as after 100, they started making up numbers, nobody cared. This was scary because this probably had the least heat of any Goldberg match ever. He got a polite reaction coming out, but nothing once the bell sounded. Luger stinks, so that doesn't exactly help matters. Goldberg speared both Mickey Jay and Luger, then gave Luger a jackhammer, and ref Marcus Johnson ran in to count the fall. DUD
- 12. Steiner (Scott Rechsteiner) won the WCW title from Booker T (Booker Huffman) in 13:10 in a cage match with a straight jacket. Fans seemed to like Steiner more than Booker. At the beginning of the match, Booker was looking for something under the ring. No heat. T used a missile dropkick for a near fall. Steiner seemed to get tired. Booker looked good in the ring but Steiner was not at his usual level. He looks way too big and it affects his moving badly. Booker got the straight jacket on Steiner and hit him with two chair shots to the head. Steiner then ripped his way out of it in a total babyface spot. Steiner made a comeback and put Booker in the recliner, but Booker made the ropes. Booker came back with his uranage, but covered too slow and Steiner kicked out. Steiner made a comeback, hitting Booker with a chair, gave him a fullnelson drop and put him in the recliner. They did the deal where Booker passed out in pain, rather than submitted, and ref Charles Robinson signalled for the bell and the title change, which naturally got a face pop. Steiner, after winning the title, destroyed both of Booker's knees with chair shots. WCW sure knows how to kill babyfaces when the same move (chair shot) that the heel overcomes, the face can't overcome. Stevie Ray tried to save face for his brother claiming it was a heel ref signalling for the bell too soon, which made no sense since Booker sold it as if he was done. **
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