Retro Express – Bad Blood 2003

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Once upon a time, WWE used to be pretty big on building up interesting storylines for their wrestlers. From the opening act to the main-eventers, everyone involved in the show had a reason for being there. On Bad Blood, as amazing as it is, everyone on this show had a reason for being there. Everyone from Theodore Long at ringside for the opening match to Mick Foley as the special referee in the main-event. As simple as this show was put together, did the storyline work pay off with RAW’s first brand-exclusive US pay-per-view of 2003?

 

WWE Bad Blood 2003

Date: June 15th 2003

Brand: RAW

City: Houston, Texas

Attendance: 10,000

 

The Dudley Boyz vs Christopher Nowinski and Rodney Mack w/Teddy Long

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As mentioned earlier, this was a heavy storyline time for WWE. Every little program on Monday Night RAW in 2003 did its best to tell a storyline, including this simple tag team match with the Dudleyz facing Rodney Mack and Christopher Nowinski. Teaming up the Harvard graduate Nowinski with the new up-and-comer Rodney Mack, combined with the black supremacy advocate Teddy Long as their manager, was a bizarre combination to say the least. However, at least they got something. Not that I’d want to do an angle like this or anything, as I wouldn’t, but at least it gave the audience a reason to take notice once they got on television.

They did a backstage segment on Heat where Teddy Long pestered D-Von Dudley, questioning why his brother Bubba always told D-Von the get the tables. At least there was more to this match than just throwing two tag teams together. Giving D-Von an angle going into this match at least gets fans interested in him. Rodney Mack was also undefeated going into this event.

Mack and D-Von began angry lock-up before the match even began. We got early “we want tables” chant. Mack had a seriously hard time selling for the Dudleyz. The Dudleyz started off well and Bubba was a great babyface but then the distraction came from Teddy. Teddy was on the apron distracting Bubba and Bubba began waiting for Mack to jump him. He waits and waits and waits until Mack came in to throw a horrible clothesline.

We got a “Harvard sucks” chant directed at Nowinski. Mack hit a pretty decent spinebuster. Bubba got the hot tag, which included the big man hitting a top rope crossbody onto Nowinski! Keep in mind, this was not the slimmest guy in the world! A big man flying like that is very much a joy to see!

Nowinski, who was wearing a metal face protector worth $30,000 according to Jim Ross, tried to use it to no avail. Mack went for the “Black Out” submission but it was countered. The Dudleyz hit the “Wassup” while Teddy was yelling on the apron. Bubba told D-Von to the table but Teddy got in his way, tying into the segment from earlier. Mack attacked D-Von from behind while Nowinski hit Bubba with the metal mask and pinned him.

This was a slightly-below average tag team match with Mack being rather sloppy while the Dudleyz tried their best to get a good match out of him. Nowinski seemed to just be there. In terms of promoting new talent, the right team won. In terms of who the better workers were however, the wrong team won.

Match Rating: *1/2

 

Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler talked about the Redneck Triathlon scheduled between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Eric Bischoff. The Redneck Triathlon would consist of three rounds, with the first round being a burping contest and the second round being a “pie-eating” contest. Jerry was excited for the pie-eating contest. Now, I remembered the beginning and the end of this Redneck Triathlon. The pie-eating contest was what I couldn’t remember and it did strike me as odd regarding Jerry’s comment about the pie-eating contest. In hindsight, I should have known what that pie-ating contest was ACTUALLY about. More on that later.

We began with the burping contest, with JR claiming to have once won a burping contest in the eight grade. Both gladiators were stood with Terri Runnels doing the introductions while Stone Cold drank beer. Terri went over the rules as Stone Cold did starfish jumps, which is the perfect way to prepare for a burping contest. There would be three rounds of burps, with the loudest combined burps winning the contest. Bischoff went first and delivered a weak burp. This was probably the only legitimate burp in the whole thing. Then it was Austin’s turn. Some may have been upset that the majority of the burps were all sound effects pipped in by the production group and it that it was not a legitimate burping contest. However, this burp was delivered so well that you just couldn’t not laugh at it. Jim Ross’ and Jerry Lawler’s laugh after Austin “unleashed” this burp was great! This was exceptional delivery by production and by Stone Cold’s expressions.

Austin demanded another beer as Eric did his second burp. It was a decent attempt by Eric but Terri was disgusted.  Austin had a pretty weak second burp, which the Texas crowd loved. Eric was also disgusted by this and then delivered his third burp, which was slightly above average. Austin got the last laugh as he unloaded with a long final burp, with the later part of it sounding like a toilet was being flushed!

Austin won and then delivered a post-contest promo, congratulating Eric on being a good competitor and himself for winning such a competition. His UFC-like promo was actually pretty funny! Eric told Austin to see a doctor and that was that. Austin was 1-0 up in the Redneck Triathlon.

Moments like this really made me love the Austin and Bischoff co-general manager deal, with Eric almost coming off as likeable as he was involved in these funny angles with Austin. The crowd loved this burping contest as did I.

 

Test vs Scott Steiner for the managerial services of Stacy Keibler

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A lot of you reading this might not believe your eyes but Scott Steiner is probably one of my favourite wrestlers of all time. This guy was just one-of-a-kind in terms of his in-ring style, his promos and just the character as a whole. I ALWAYS paid attention whenever this guy was around.

In WWE around this time though, he hadn’t had the greatest of starts since his return at Survivor Series 2002. His program with Triple H, including a truly devastatingly bad World title match at Royal Rumble 2003, had seen Steiner’s stock drop significantly. Now he’d been put with Test and Stacy Keibler, as the two vied for the affection of the lovely Stacy.

This match was by FAR not one of the greatest technically gifted matches I’ve ever seen. I can’t even consider this a good match as far as the in-ring side of things is concerned. As far as the entertainment however, this match was in a league of its own and mostly because of Steiner.

One of the other highlights of this match was Stacy Keibler, who looked amazing on this particular show. Stacy tried to get in the ring but her “ex” Test yanked her off the apron to berate her. As amazing as it sounds, the spot that followed was one of the highlights of the entire pay-per-view and it was the mother of all botches! Scott got onto the apron as he had to save this love interest, who was in peril at the hands of the bad guy. This was Mario saving Princess Peach from Bowser. Mario would jump in and save the day. Scott Steiner ALSO decided to jump in and save the day! He leaped off the apron but didn’t have his balance right, so he slipped and plummeted down. He landed on the floor but at least he had the instinct to put his hands up for the double axe handle that had obviously been the original spot. He drops down, hits Test in the knee and Test slips as if he slipped turning around in the shower. This was one of the all-time great botches in the history of wrestling and it was actually a lot more entertaining than if he had just successfully pulled off this double axe handle!

So Scott Steiner beat up Test and when they got into the ring to start the match, Test begged off Steiner. Now, there have been many babyfaces that have fallen for this obvious trap set by the heels to lure him into trouble. These spots make the heroes seem like such fools. Scott Steiner was not like that as instead of backing off, Steiner said “Nah. Fuck You!” and beat up Test some more! Not that I’d encourage wrestlers to swear as they’re on the rampage but I laughed so hard at this. I’m just amazed that my DVD didn’t censor this moment as Steiner unloaded with swearing throughout this match. Steiner wasn’t having any of Test’s shenanigans.

Steiner did some press-ups and began yelling at the referee. Test used Stacy as a human shield to gain the advantage. Test then threw Steiner into the steps. I know a lot of people had mixed opinions about Test as a performer, who sadly passed away in 2007. All I’ll say is that he was effective in making people hate him! That’s a key part to be a good villain, having an unlikeabillity factor that even “great” in-ring work can’t get around. The douche level of Test’s character was high as he mocked Steiner and yelled “wait until tonight” at Stacy as he blew her a kiss. The fans chanted “you suck” as Test got the heat. Test did a sleeper hold as the fans rallied behind Steiner with “lets go Steiner” chants. Jim Ross had a very nice line about Stacy when he said that her heart was as beautiful as her face. He was… damn on point.

Steiner damn near killed Test when Test came off the top rope and Steiner caught him by the waist, and dropped him over his shoulder which I think was meant to be a belly-to-belly suplex. I like Steiner but Test must have been fearing for his well-being when Steiner caught him by the waist! Jim Ross called this a Northern Light suplex turned into a slam. Steiner ran wild. Test bounced off the rope and it appear that he was going up to take a back drop but he leaped up, and Steiner caught him in a powerbomb position. Steiner simply threw him over his shoulder and continued to run wild. This was NOT the best night for Steiner in terms of his in-ring wrestling.

Steiner kicked out of a Full Nelson Slam. Test missed a big boot but Scott hit a sloppy reverse DDT. This got a near fall and Steiner’s reaction was to simply yell “HUH?” at the top of his lungs! That was very funny. Steiner hit a pumphandle slam for a near fall. Test undid the turnbuckle when Stacy popped up on the apron. Test grabbed Stacy and said some very non-PG and not nice things about Stacy, calling her names. Stacy slapped him and Steiner almost bumped into Stacy. Test hit a big boot out of nowhere which I honestly thought was the finish! Steiner kicked out. Test grabbed the chair and pushed Stacy away with it. Test went to hit Steiner with the chair and instead hit the ropes, bouncing the chair back to hit his own head. Steiner hit the flatliner and won the managerial services of Stacy. Stacy was happy and leaped onto Steiner in celebration. Stacy got off Steiner and then began selling her backside, implying that Test’s chair push was a lot more mighty than we realised.

This was an entertaining match to watch but not by any means a good one! We had some very noticeable botches from Steiner but the heat was there for this match. Test was a good heel. The match picked up with the finish and the bully Test was in the end overcome as the two babyfaces stood up against him. Even Stacy was being brave as Test eventually let his cockiness get the best out of him and paid for it. This was fine, simple story-telling.

Match Rating: **

 

Bischoff and Stone Cold talked backstage. Stone Cold described burping as being an “art form” in Texas, which was a great line. Eric vowed to win the pie-eating contest. Eric said he did some research and invited Austin to meet some ladies, that were set to take part in the pie-eating. By taking part, I don’t mean actually eating real bakery. Apparently, THEY were the pie. In case you were wondering, this show was NOT PG in the slightest.

Eric wanted first dibs on eating the “pie” and Austin allowed this, as long as he decided what pie Eric was going to eat first. I can’t have been the only one that could see where this was going, and I’d never seen this pie-eating contest before.

 

Christian (c) vs Booker T for the Intercontinental Championship

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Picture this in your head. RAW had just recently reinstated the Intercontinental Championship that they inexplicably retired at No Mercy 2002. Christian won the title in a battle royal. Christian made his first defense of the title in a promising match between himself and Booker T, who happened to be from Houston, Texas where the Bad Blood pay-per-view was being held. You had all the potential in the world to make these two actual top stars on the red brand. The fans were going nuts for Booker T in one of the most heated moments in the entire show. This could have been something really special. Not like in the level of Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat from WrestleMania III but a memorable match that’ll be remembered through the ages. Well, spoiler alert, but that didn’t happen.

On a show which included MANY non-wrestling segments featuring Stone Cold and Bischoff, Booker and Christian got SEVEN MINUTES of wrestling which resulted in an incredibly rushed match between these two great workers. Lawler did have a great back-handed compliment when he claimed that “there’s a lot of suckas in Houston.” Jerry Lawler in 2003 had some of the best crack in all of WWE in 2003! With that said, Lawler was pretty bad for the large majority for this match on commentary which we’ll get to. Jim Ross claimed that Christian leaving as the champion would be a miracle, which I think probably did Christian more harm than good.

The match started off very well, as these two worked well together. Christian sold one particular back drop from Booker very well as he was thrown HIGH into the air. Lawler was hardly paying attention to any of this as he constantly made jokes about Booker’s previously convictions. Booker T was once a criminal and Lawler mentioned this ALL THE TIME while on commentary during this time. It’s not like if Jim Ross mentioned it and praised Booker for overcoming it. No, Lawler made joke after joke during this match. Did NOT make Booker come off well either.

Christian tried winning by putting his feet on the ropes. JR completely ignored Christian hitting Booker with the Book End, in Booker’s hometown. Booker hit an axe kick on the ropes. Booker hit a top rope dropkick and followed it up with a spinaroonie. Booker went for the Scissors Kick but Christian ran away and took the title with him. I was initially pretty upset at this as this would have been a match that ended in a count out in the challenger’s hometown. Then the referee Jack Doan got a microphone and told Christian that if he didn’t get back in the ring, he’d forfeit the title. This announcement got a big reaction but when I think about it, how did Jack Doan have the right to make this call that Christian would lose the title if he walked out? He’s not like an on-screen authority figure or anything.

So WWE teased the count out finish but the referee put a stop to that. The fans got excited at the thought of seeing a clear winner in this match. Instead, Christian runs into the ring and runs right back out. Booker chases him around the ring and they get back into the “squared circle” of WWE. Christian then grabbed the belt and hit Booker in the face, causing a disqualification.

The fans were irate with this finish, chanting “bullshit” and these chants were pretty much justified. They teased a count-out finish only for it to end in seven minutes via disqualification. THIS was a let down.

Match Rating: **1/4

 

We had an advertisement for Jim Ross’ cook book, which I’ve got to get a hold of one of these days! Kevin Nash was taping up his wrists as he was set to challenge Triple H for the World title in a Hell In A Cell match.

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Jerry Lawler was in the ring for the pie-eating contest. He brought out Eric and commended him for his selection of “pie” for this event. Austin came out to a BIG POP in Texas. Austin reminded Eric that he would select Eric’s pie as agreed to earlier. Austin talked about Eric being into “mature women” which further solidified that I knew what was coming. Austin questioned Eric’s ability to please a woman with Eric insisting that he would be fine. Austin called Bischoff “Eric Jerk-Off” which the crowd popped for. Austin complimented Eric’s choice of women but Austin said that Eric would not be having any of their “pie” as he brought his choice for Eric. It was revealed to be Mae Young, who was accompanied by  Fabulous Moolah. Eric had a disgusted face which almost looked like he was about to sneeze. Austin just smiled with an awesome grin on his face.

Jerry protested this decision as he claimed it was supposed to be a pie-eating contest and not “cheesecake” that would be eaten. Disgusting, Jerry. Mae stuck her tongue out and Eric insisted that Mae put her tongue back in her mouth and called her a nasty old hag. Pretty mean words from Easy E. Eric refused to eat the pie but Austin called him a chicken. Mae tried to grope Eric but he told her to get her hand off his ass. Austin called Eric a piss-ant and demanded that Lawler declare him the winner. Eric cut him off and decided to go through with it. As shocking as it was, the fans started chanting “eat the pie” to which Eric responded by kissing her. Eric thought this was enough but Austin told him that this was a pie-eating contest. Mae low-blowed Eric and she was instructed to make Eric eat the pie. Mae gave Eric the stinkface while wearing a thong. Jim Ross called this as if he’d just watched Mankind being thrown off the Hell in a Cell. Austin was laughing, with Eric being furious and demanding that Austin goes next. Austin gave Mae Young the stunner, with Mae selling this possibly even worse than when Vince McMahon sold the first stunner that Austin gave him in 1997. Austin forfeited this contest and demanded beer. It was 1-1 in the redneck triathlon.

The times certainly have changed in the “tastes” of wrestling fans! This was a NUTTY angle but I guess nothing else could be expected considering that this was an angle involving Mae Young who, god bless her soul, was willing to do ANYTHING to entertain the fans. She probably loved doing this kind of stuff and the fans seemed to love it to a degree, especially when they chanted “eat the pie” at her. Mae was an entertainer to say the least!

As for the rest of it, it’s funny how Eric won the contest but Austin still seemed like the real winner of that contest in the end. Eric won but Austin still found a way to outsmart Eric Bischoff. The fans loved it and I guess that’s all that matters.

 

We got a vignette for Gail Kim, who would be debuting soon. As a matter of fact, she actually won the Women’s Championship in her debut a few weeks later. I hope I do get to review more of Gail Kim’s matches in the near future of this Retro Express as she was a great female worker.

Jonathan Coachman interviewed La Resistance, who were Rene Dupree and Sylvain Grenier at this time. They were challenging Kane and Rob Van Dam for the World Tag Team Championship next. Sylvain said that this was a big night and that he hated Texas. They buried then-US President George W Bush, which got a lot of boos in Texas. They dedicated the match to then-French President Jacques Chirac. This is actually amazing when you think about the political situation for the likes of US and the UK in 2016. It was amazing that the countrymen of the US and the French actually liked the people that ran their country at the time. Meanwhile, the US currently have a president-elect that they apparently don’t want in the White House anymore. It’s amazing.

 

Kane (c) and Rob Van Dam (c) vs “La Resistance” Sylvain Grainer and Rene Dupree for the World Tag Team Championship

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As far as putting the new heel tag team over, this was NOT the way to do it. La Resistance came out and Jim Ross called them jackasses, which was actually pretty funny. La Resistance got some serious heat. There were some seriously angry fans in the front row. Funnily enough, they showed the graphic for the old World Tag Team title design from the Attitude Era but the champions came out with the new belts that had been around since 2002! As I watched this DVD, I was rather annoyed at WWE for editing out the original theme songs that RVD and Kane came out too. Kane actually had been coming out to “Slow Chemical” from Finger Eleven at that time, which is one of my favourite wrestling theme songs of all time, so seeing that not make the DVD very much upset me.

RVD and Kane beat up La Resistance, with the storyline going in being that the champions were not on the same page. RVD did a great springbroad crossbody as he took over early. La Resistance turned the tide for a bit by planting RVD with a DDT. Kane got the hot tag and ran SERIOUSLY wild on the two french men. I mean Kane was DESTROYING these men all on his own as his partner had been beaten up by these two. Kane was having to contend with the heels on his own while RVD simply WATCHED from the apron. He eventually got the tag while Kane was still getting the better of these two heels. He’s doing fine on his own and then RVD got in. As Kane is battling these men on the outside, RVD goes for a dive and hits Kane accidentally when there was no need for him to go for the dive at all. RVD was attacked and hit the Double Flapjack for the pin as La Resistance won the World Tag Team titles.

The booking of this match caused steam to come from my ears. The whole angle was that Kane and RVD were having issues but here in this match, Kane was completely doing fine on his own while RVD cost them the match by getting involved when Kane was coping fine. The fact was Kane could have beaten these men by himself and he would have retained the title. How could La Resistance possibly have been taking seriously at this point? I guess La Resistance are remembered nowadays so I guess they became somewhat of a memorable tag team. However, this match was pretty lame and pretty perplexing.

Match Rating: *1/2

 

Goldberg vs Chris Jericho

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A common trope of mine is immediately looking up Dave Meltzer’s rating for the match I just saw during a Retro Express. Mine and Meltzer’s ratings are usually right in-line but for this match, I noticed that he gave this match three and a half stars out of a max total of five. Maybe it’s a mistake to watch old matches with modern eyes but I have NO IDEA what type of match he was watching. In case you were wondering what made me un-optimistic about the actual Goldberg/Brock Lesnar match for Survivor Series this year, THIS was the match.

I know these two had heat with each other around this time but even so, the wrestlers with the biggest heat with each other can usually put together some really good matches. Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart had some sublime matches back in the day. This Goldberg/Jericho match was NOT sublime.

Goldberg went for a lock-up and it was one of those lock-ups from a women’s match, that sees both wrestlers tumble out of the ring. Goldberg hit a World’s Strongest Slam as the fans chanted Y2J. Goldberg dominated early on, even gorilla pressing Jericho onto the ropes. Goldberg went for a spear through the wall but Jericho moved out of the way as Goldberg drove himself through the barricade. This actually played into the storyline going in, which Jericho claimed that he’d win the match by making Goldberg angry and sloppy. This was actually pretty good story-telling.

Jericho tried to get at Goldberg but referee Charles Robinson stopped him. I’m not sure why he did this as it wasn’t like the doctors came out to check on Goldberg. Jericho drove Goldberg into the ringpost. Goldberg was bleeding and his arm had been hurt from the spear, which Jericho took advantage of. Goldberg was working with one arm, actually selling the injury. Now, Goldberg rarely had to take the heat in many of his WCW matches. The idea was that Goldberg would destroy the opponent, hit his finishers and beat him early. In WWE however, he was not booked in this manner. He had to sell for Jericho so he tried to work with one arm. While he did this, his ring-work with one arm was pretty bad. If in doubt, DON’T HAVE GOLDBERG SELL.

Jericho locked on a Fujiwara Armbar. Jericho was caught off the top with a high knee. The fans started booing. Goldberg was not able to pull off working with one arm, struggling with an one armed hip toss. “Goldberg sucks” chants began to roar from the crowd. Jericho hit a dropkick and Goldberg waffled to the ground. We got more boos. Jericho hit the lionsault on the face of Goldberg for a near fall. Jericho went for a Lionsault and Goldberg was supposed to catch him but it went ALL WRONG. Goldberg hit the spear and we got even LOUDER “Goldberg sucks” chants. Goldberg went for the jackhammer but Jericho caught Charles Robinson in the eyes and hit a low-blow on Goldberg. This got a lot of cheers and big Y2J chants. Keep in mind that Goldberg was supposed to be the face and Jericho was supposed to be the heel!

Jericho tried the Walls of Jericho but Goldberg powered out, hit the spear and jackhammer, and won the match. And to put a cherry on top, Goldberg slid outside of the ring and got in the face of a fan that booed him throughout the match. A wonderful way to put over Goldberg as a babyface.

To be fair, Goldberg did actually get cheers when he won the match and Jericho tried ALL that he could but even he could not get a good match out of this man. Jericho’s on my list of greatest workers of all time as he had a reputation, in my mind, of being able to have a good match with everyone he wrestled. I remember him having a good match with Ryback at Money In The Bank 2013 for crying out loud! Ryback was mocked as being a “copy” of Goldberg, yet Goldberg couldn’t even have a good match with Jericho. This will be hard to hear for a lot of fans but Goldberg had a HORRIBLE night here.

Match Rating: *1/2

 

They showed a pig pen and Lawler questioned whether Jim Ross had brought his relatives along to the show. Terri was with Austin and Eric again. They spun the wheel for the third round and it landed on “sing-off” which Austin was upset about. Austin asked Terri if she thought that Steve was any good. She said no. Eric vowed to beat Austin in front of these rednecks.

 

Shawn Michaels vs Ric Flair

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This was probably tied with the main-event as far as the best match for the show, with these two legends going out. Despite that, I was still a little bit let down. This was certainly not at the level of their WrestleMania 24 match but I did expect something special and I really didn’t get it to be honest.

Shawn got a HUGE reaction from the Texas crowd. The two legends messed with each other with taunts but that came to an end when Shawn slapped Ric and mocked him. There was some nice mat wrestling between the two. There was a very old school feel to this match. Shawn slapped Ric and Ric came close to doing the Flair Flop but was able to keep himself up with one foot! Michaels dove onto Ric. Remember when Steiner was able to see through Test’s attempts at begging him off? Well Ric tried to beg Shawn off in this match… and it worked. I can at least accept the possibility of Shawn being conflicted as he was wrestling his idol that he respected, and not to mention that Ric is older and more experienced than Shawn so FINE.

HBK and Flair chopped the hell out of each other. Flair did the chop block. Flair worked on the legs and locked on the Figure Four Leg Lock, that Shawn was able to get the ropes for to break it up. Flair shoved referee Earl Hebner but Earl shoved back. The second time on this show where a referee stepped over his boundaries when calling a match, three if you count Charles Robinson holding off Jericho when he shouldn’t have. Ric got cocky and Shawn made him pay with an enziguri. Flair went up to the top and of course, Shawn threw him off the top turnbuckle.

There was a great exchange when Shawn went for the Super Kick but Flair countered it into the figure four leg lock. Shawn countered this into a small package and then locked on his own figure four. This was some solid professional wrestling right here. Flair poked HBK and they traded roll-ups. HBK hit a superplex and it looked like Shawn struggled to get Flair up for this superplex. HBK got a table and set it up. Flair teased suplexing Shawn through the table but Shawn got out and ended up laying Flair onto this table.

NOW, I personally was taken out of the match a little when they brought out the table. Firstly, it’s supposed to be a regular singles match. Since when are TABLES allowed in a normal match? Yes, Shawn didn’t HIT Flair with this table but he still tried to “cheat” by using a weapon to his advantage. That, to me, should be DQ but Earl let this happen. Secondly, I was very much into the regular singles match and the old-school wrestling behind all of this. Instead, when Shawn introduced the table, it just seemed so out of place to me. I just don’t think this was the time for a spot like this.

Shawn super-kicked the interfering Randy Orton and then jumped off the top and onto Ric, going through the table. Flair bled from the back. Flair was able to take the ref out by low-blowing Earl and Shawn at the same time. HBK fired back and dropped the elbow. Shawn superkicked Flair, Orton hit Shawn with the chair and RIC FLAIR PINNED SHAWN MICHAELS.

Maybe I’m in the small minority here but the table spot just completely took me out of this match. It was a great match up until that point but to me, it just negated the point of the match which was just to see who was better. Instead, Orton and the table got involved and it just became another shenanigan-filled match on RAW. I wanted a clear-cut winner and instead I got this. I think a few fans that were in that building felt a little cheated out of this finish. It was nice to see Flair get the victory over Shawn though.

Match Rating: ***1/4

 

The time had come for the sing off. Eric came out to literally NO REACTION as we’d seen him more than anyone on this show, so the fans were kind of uncaring when he came out. Eric said he’d sing his own theme song but he instead lip-synced his own theme song which I thoroughly enjoyed, as did he based on the way he “sung” this! Austin cut in and called him out on his lip-sync. They went back-and-forth on this like they were kids arguing about the smallest things. Austin told Eric that he sucked and ordered him to do it again. Eric sung badly and Austin called him pathetic. Austin suggested they re-spin the wheel and it came up with “Pig Pen Fun” which involved the pig pen from earlier on. Austin said that whoever threw their opponent into the pig pen would be the winner. Austin deputised the crowd to stop Eric from leaving. Someone threw Eric back in from the crowd.

Austin beat up Eric, stomped a mudhole and hit a Stone Cold Stunner. Eric actually sold this pretty well, with his selling of it probably being around 5000% better than Mae Young selling it earlier on in the night. Austin took Eric to the stage and threw him off it, with Eric landing in the safest way possible. Austin was declared the winner by Lilian Garcia as he drank some beer. Jim Ross had an awesome line in which he claimed that “those pigs may need counselling being so close to Eric Bischoff!” That was a serious contender for line of the night. Austin celebrated for about 30 hours but the fans didn’t seem to mind.

The fans loved all this and to be fair, I enjoyed a lot of the moments from this Redneck Triathlon. However, this went on way too long for me to care at the end. The burping contest was good and Austin had some brilliant banter but in the end, it was way too long. The ending made me feel as if this were a house show, which I don’t think was the purpose. This did not feel like it should have been on pay-per-view and it does rather upset me at how long this went, considering that Booker and Christian only went seven minutes.

 

Triple H (c) vs Kevin Nash in a Hell in a Cell match for the World Heavyweight Championship with Mick Foley as the special guest referee

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I have to say something about the video package they did for this match. They had the video package where they recapped the rivalry and did an amazing job at selling you on the idea that this type of match was important, rare and dangerous. The music, which was Headstrong by Trapt, fit right in as HHH, Foley and Nash beat the hell out of each other during a RAW segment and it was wonderful stuff. The video packages back in the “ruthless aggression era” used to be quality stuff.

I actually went through a phase with a mate of mine where he used to rave at me everyday about this song, and actually serenaded me with it everyday! And you know what… I had no problem with this. If you’ve never heard of Headstrong by Trapt, PLEASE go and listen to it. It’s fantastic stuff.

The special referee Mick Foley actually got the biggest reaction out of everyone, which should tell you how much the fans cared about Triple H and Kevin Nash. Triple H tried to poke the bear that is Mick Foley but Nash clobbered him. Nash smashed HHH’s with elbows. Nash slowly beat up HHH by driving him into the ringpost and the cell wall, as well as the corner of the cell. The fans cared little for Nash at this point. Nash threw HHH into the steel steps. Nash tried throwing the steps at HHH but thank got that Hunter ran out of the way as that would have been bad news.

In a pretty creative spot, Nash went for a Jackknife Powerbomb but Triple H used the cell itself to get out of it. HHH got out a toolbox and smashed Nash in the knee and the head with a hammer. Foley took the hammer from Triple H and pushed him down. Foley challenged HHH but HHH backed off. HHH grated Nash’s head with the cell wall. After a struggle, HHH wedged a screwdriver into Nash’s head. Foley yelled at Triple H. Triple H grabbed a bat wrapped in barbed wire and hit Nash in the gut. Nash fired back with punches and smashed Hunter in the head with the bat which got a big reaction. HHH was busted open. Nash wedged the bat into the turnbuckle and did a snake eyes onto it for a near fall.  There was a “big lazy” sign in the front row.

HHH smashed a wooden create over Nash. Triple H grabbed a sledgehammer but Foley tried to wrestle it away which got some boos. It made sense why, as it seemed for all the world at this point that Foley was screwing HHH in a no disqualification match. HHH attacked Foley which got some cheers. Nash did the drop toe hold spot onto the steel steps which felt slowly done. This got a near fall. Triple H hit Nash and Foley with a chair. Foley was bleeding as he whipped out Mr Socko. He locked on the Mandible Claw, with Triple H responding by kicking Foley below the belt. Nash accidentally hit Foley and HHH with the steel steps somehow. Nash went for the cover but Foley was out.

Nash tried to revive Foley. Foley was on the apron when HHH knocked Nash into Foley, who bounce back first into the cell wall. A very risky spot if you ask me. HHH went for the pedigree but Nash catapulted HHH into the barbed wire bat still stuck in the top turnbuckle. Nash hit the jackknife, Foley made the count but HHH kicked out. This was actually a GREAT near fall. I think a lot of people in that crowd thought that was the finish.

Triple H crawled for the sledgehammer and instead of pushing away the sledgehammer that he can see or grabbing it himself, Nash simply grabs Triple H by the hair. HHH made him pay with a sledgehammer shot to the head. HHH hit the pedigree and that was that.

The first part of this match was very much boring. Nash beating him up forever got no heat it seems but it picked up a little in the second half. The thing that was weird to me was that Nash and Foley both tried to screw Triple H, and Triple H is supposed to be the heel. In the end, the right man won. Judging on the crowd reactions, a Nash title run would not have gotten a great amount of interest from the RAW audience.

I thought this was a good match considering it’s a long match involving Kevin Nash and I personally thought this was the best match on the show.

Match Rating: ***1/3

 

This was definitely a memorable pay-per-view to say the least. Every match seemed to stand out to me, for many different reasons. I felt that the booking for a lot of these matches were really flat, although the main-event ended up being much better than I thought it was going to be. There were a lot of disappointing matches that struggled for time due to the Redneck Triathlon which took up way too much time. The Texas crowd loved this one for whatever the reason was but I can’t say that I’m too keen to watch it again.

Retro Express – Survivor Series 2005

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How’s it going everybody? Thomas Robinson here with a look back at Survivor Series 2005. I bought the DVD for this recently and I decided to give it a review. For me, this was an exciting time for the WWE because I was hugely invested into the SmackDown! vs RAW storylinem which was a big part of this pay-per-view. At the same time, the WWE was still saddened by the recent death of beloved wrestler Eddie Guerrero. Eddie was scheduled to be in the main event but was replaced by Randy Orton. The Survivor Series match was the main focus but there were other things to look out for as well. There was the Last Man Standing match between Triple H and Ric Flair and there was also a WWE Championship match between John Cena and Kurt Angle, with Angle’s new manager Davari as the special referee. I watched it in full and here’s my FULL review of how good I thought the show was.

 

WWE Survivor Series

Date: November 27th 2005

Brand: RAW and SmackDown!

City: Detroit, Michigan

Attendance: 15,000

Pay-Per-View buys: 400,000

 

Booker T vs Chris Benoit in Match One of the Best Of Seven Series for the Undisputed United States Championship

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This match was basically your average Booker T/Benoit match and it really was nothing special. Maybe that’s a bit harsh as this was not a bad match but Benoit and Booker were wrestling each other OVER AND OVER again at this time. Hell the two wrestled on the SmackDown! before this, to set up this match. The announcers even plugged Match Two, which would take place two days later!

Because of that and the fact that this was the first of seven matches, it really wasn’t supposed to be that big of a match. The matches would intensify as they’d go further into the series. This was kind of treated like your average TV match. There was not a lot of heat from the crowd, which is understandable as there wasn’t a lot on the line as this point in the series.

It was slow-paced which I was fine with, as it fit the purpose of the match. This match featured a lot of submissions which makes sense with the story of the series. They spent ages working on parts of the body in order to weaken their opponent for the next match in the series, which is fine.

It’s amazing how differently the matches are put together in WWE nowadays, when you watch this match back. It’s the small things like Chris Benoit fighting to avoid a simple move like a neckbreaker which added to the match. Another aspect of the match that I liked was the use of continuity, when it comes to the storyline. This series was put together after Benoit and Booker pinned each other at the same time with a roll-up. This match featured a lot of roll-ups and small packages, and even had one in the finish.

Benoit went for the three German suplexes but Booker countered after the first one. Benoit went for it again and was able to hit three, which got the crowd buzzing. Sharmell got involved to initially stop Benoit from hitting the diving headbutt. Booker won with a Oklahoma roll-up, with Sharmell holding his feet on the ropes. It was an OK match with little crowd reaction until the finish. Out of everything they could have went with as the opener, this one made the most sense.

Match Rating: **3/4

Eric Bischoff was throwing punches backstage, ahead of his match against Teddy Long. Vince McMahon showed up to wish him luck. Eric vowed that he would beat Teddy Long, RAW would beat SmackDown! in the Survivor Series match and Kurt Angle would beat John Cena to win the WWE Title. Eric said that he was going to screw Cena, which lead to John Cena showing up to make a joke about Eric screwing guys. Vince then proceeded to ask Cena the following question… “What’s good in the hood?” Amazingly, that WASN’T Vince McMahon’s most shocking line from this segment. I won’t repeat what he said next but I will say that it’s astonishing what Vince McMahon can get away with saying on pay-per-view. All I’ll say is that after Vince said this, Booker T appeared saying “Tell me he didn’t just say that.”

Trish Stratus (c) vs Melina for the Women’s Championship

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This was RAW’s Trish against SmackDown!’s Melina. SmackDown!’s Tazz and RAW’s Joey Styles were doing commentary. It was so great to see a shot of Tazz and Joey on commentary with both of them laughing. It’s funny because they had so much fun burying each other and their shows on commentary!

This storyline started after MNM abducted Trish and Melina challenged her to a match. In the match, Trish did a big dive to all of MNM and it looked like she hit her head on the barricade. Trish went for the hurricanrana but Melina forgot to catch her for it. Melina did a kick where it looked like she kicked her arm. MNM went for the Snapshot on Trish but the referee saw it and threw them out. Melina hit an awful spear on Trish. Melina was supposed to go for the clothesline while Trish arched her back but Melina was too late to do it. There was a botchy finish where Trish went for the top rope bulldog and got the pin. Either Trish jumped too far or Melina was just in the wrong position. It could have been both their faults but it did not come off well.

This was a below average women’s match, to put it nicely. Melina wasn’t really that good around this time as she was just starting up as a wrestler. With SmackDown! not having a women’s division, Melina didn’t have a lot of experience under her belt going into this. Trish tried her hardest to get a good match out of her. I can’t criticise this match too much as Trish did try hard and there wasn’t a lot you were going to be able to do with this. The match itself was an interesting concept, as SmackDown! didn’t have a women’s division and this was an inter-promotional title match. However, in execution, it wasn’t too great.

Match Rating: *1/2

 

Triple H vs Ric Flair in a Last Man Standing match

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Triple H attacked Flair during his entrance. It’s weird seeing Flair get beat up while he was still in his robe! Always styling and profiling!

Flair turned things around with a kendo stick. They went into the crowd. Flair took a lot of bumps on the floor which looked pretty nasty. This also included a spinebuster onto the floor which Flair should not have been taking on the outside!

Triple H used the screwdriver on Flair’s head as Flair was bleeding like crazy. Whatever you think about Triple H, he was a tremendous heel. They showed a shot of Triple H with a sinister smile on his face and it just suited his role in the match. Triple H got on the mic and told Flair to stay down before he put him down. Flair responded by grabbing Triple H in the “family jewels.” Triple H went for a pedigree but Flair countered and put Triple H through the Spanish announce table.

Flair bit Triple H in the face and on the leg. There was a bit of clever in-ring psychology where Flair worked on Triple H’s legs which would obviously prevent Triple H for being able to stand on his feet. This may seem very small but there’s so many last man standing matches nowadays where the men involved would just hit big move after another big move until someone wins. This match saw Ric cleverly working on one of Triple H’s weak points, which meant something with regards to the stipulation of the match. Not to mention that it plays into the storyline of Triple H and Flair, as Flair obviously knew about Triple H’s quadriceps injury from before and how badly it effected “The Game.”

Flair locked on the figure four leg lock and grabbed the ropes. My feeling during this was that the referee should have started the count as Triple H’s shoulders were on the mat. Triple H made a comeback and hit THREE PEDIGREES but Flair got up each time. This infuriated Triple H who hit Flair with the sledgehammer to win the match. This gets a thumbs up. A really good last man standing match which was different in its layout. There was a genuine feeling that Triple H was going to really hurt Flair with a lot of the stuff that he did, which added to the match. I liked it. I’ve seen better Last Man Standing matches but this was great in its own way.

Match Rating: ***3/4

 

Randy Orton tried to do a team meeting with Team SmackDown!, with Batista not there. Batista had been chokeslammed through the announce table by Kane and the Big Show. Batista interrupted and there was a whole deal about who should be a leader. JBL was very loud and very awesome during this segment when coming to the support of both these men!

Edge and Lita came out. They were not booked for the show. Edge was the Money In The Bank briefcase holder at this time. Edge announced that he would be introducing the “Cutting Edge” talk show. Edge said he was going to ask the questions that nobody else would. Interestingly, there was a sign in the crowd which said “CM Punk is the next Shawn Michaels.” I actually think Punk had just been signed to the company at the time as part of its developmental territory. It’s interesting when looking back in hindsight, because Punk actually teamed with Michaels at the next year’s Survivor Series. As noted by Punk, Punk got much bigger reactions than Shawn or Triple H at that Survivor Series!

Edge ripped Detroit and ripped the Detroit Lions. Dmitri Young was in the crowd, who was playing baseball for the Detroit Tigers I believe. Edge ripped on Young. He called him fat and NFL players “over-paid” and “steroid-users.” He made me laugh when he called him “Young Mark Henry.” Also funny in hindsight as Mark Henry soon returned on SmackDown! shortly after this. Dmitri responded by calling out Edge on never winning the WWE title. Another ironic moment as shortly after this, Edge won the WWE title at New Years Revolution.

 

John Cena (c) vs Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship with Davari as the special guest referee

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The fans’ “You Suck” chants were censored. This came after a segment on RAW where Kurt got annoyed at the fans for the chant. It was an incredible segment where Kurt just completely snapped over these chants he had endured for years.

The match saw Davari constantly fast-counting John Cena. At least this made it very clear early on that Davari was attempting to screw John Cena. Motivation established right off the bat. Perfect.

Kurt worked on the legs. Davari kept Cena off of Angle. This was a very split crowd, with the fans being 50/50. This was probably not great to hear considering that Cena was the one that had the disadvantage. The crowds were approving of Davari attempting to screw Cena! This proved to be true when Cena went for a suplex and the cover, but Davari didn’t make the count and he was mostly cheered!

Angle locked on the Ankle lock and Cena got the ropes. Davari kicked Cena off the ropes to more cheers. Cena slapped Davari to try and get Davari to disqualify him but Kurt stopped him from doing so as Kurt wouldn’t have won the title if he DQd him. Davari was knocked to the outside.

A new referee came out but Angle’s cover on Cena was kicked out. There were some big “Cena Sucks” chants at this point. Cena’s comeback at this time was a shoulder barge, two clotheslines THEN a sit-out powerbomb. Cena hit the five knuckle shuffle which Coach referred to as the “Five Knuckle Waffle.”

The new referee was taken out. Angle hit the low blow and the Angle Slam but Cena kicked out. My question at this point was why didn’t the referee DQ Angle as he was coming down to the ring? I see this all the time but the new referees that come out during these matches always seem to ignore everything else that previously happened in the match. It was amazing.

Angle missed the moonsault which saw Cena roll towards the turnbuckle, so Angle wouldn’t hit him. Angle took out another referee. Angle tried to revive Davari but SmackDown! referee Charles Robinson came out. Cena took out Davari and then hit the FU on Angle for the win. This was a very TNA-like main event finish which got to the finish in an incredibly complicating way. Did we need to see Kurt taking out all those referees during this match? I was not a fan of the finish. The match was fine but the wrong man won this one. I always thought that Kurt should have won the title during this period as he was tremendous.

Match Rating: **3/4

 

Eric Bischoff vs Teddy Long

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When Jonathan Coachman and Michael Cole on commentary were one of the better aspects of the match, you knew you were in for something special!

There was two referees, one from RAW and one from SmackDown! This was a repeat from Taboo Tuesday, where there was RAW and SmackDown! referees for the tag team match that started the show.

I’m truly amazed that this match made it on a pay-per-view. This match was so bad. This wasn’t even a match. I guarantee you that if I went up to two people on the street and told them to re-enact what happened this match, they would have been able to do it much better than Eric and Teddy Long. The match got “boring” chants. Eric kept trying to attack Teddy but Teddy got out of the way of these attacks and started dancing. This went on for about a few minutes. Eric then got the advantage and did one of the worst looking sleeperholds I’ve ever seen. Teddy took his shoe out and hit Eric. The Boogeyman came out and attacked Eric with the pump-handle slam. Teddy Long pinned Bischoff.

This was SO awful that it’s not even funny. The funny thing is that Eric was supposed to be the heel in this match but to me, he came off as the babyface. Teddy kept trying to run away from Eric. Teddy had somebody in his corner that did distractions. Teddy used a weapon. Someone interfered on behalf of Teddy. What logic is this for a wrestling match?

Someone looked at Teddy Long and Eric Bischoff and thought that they needed to be in a pay-per-view match for SURVIVOR SERIES!

Match Rating: 1/4*

 

By the way, the man in Teddy’s corner was in fact Palmer Cannon. He was the representative of the “network” for SmackDown! that introduced the minis division. I did a bit of research and it turns out that Palmer was trained by Killer Kowalski! He got his first “big break” with Chaotic Wrestling, where he was called “Big League” Brian Black! He in fact won a 28-man royal rumble to win the New England Championship. He won the world title before vacating the championship when he signed with WWE.

It actually gets better as he debuted a German character for “All-Star Wrestling Association” called Otto Von Schwartz. Apparently, this was his idea. He actually had some kind of German heritage and used this for his character. With this character, he feuded with Greg “The Hammer” Valentine!

He was with WWE for about a year or so until he asked for his release. He was actually supposed to feud with the debuting Miz! He never wrestled a match while on SmackDown! He actually went into MMA a few years later and also wrestled Larry Zbyskzo in 2010!

An eventful career for Palmer Cannon. The man trained by Killer Kowalski that never wrestled on SmackDown! but wrestled Greg Valentine and Larry Zbyskzo on the independent scene and even took part in MMA. Quite a career!

 

Batista, Bobby Lashley, Rey Mysterio, JBL and Randy Orton vs Shawn Michaels, Chris Masters, Carlito, Big Show and Kane in a SmackDown! vs RAW Survivor Series elimination match

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This was a pretty great Survivor Series match. In an article for SLTD Wrestling, I actually put this as #3 in my top five Survivor Series matches of all time. I rate this one highly as I really loved the SmackDown! vs RAW storyline. When watching it back, I don’t think it was as great as I thought it was when I last watched it. However, it was still a great match which was definitely a worthy main event.

Randy Orton and Shawn Michaels started off the match. I forgot how well Michaels and Orton used to work together. There was great chemistry between the two of them. The first elimination came when Carlito ran in to get dominated by Bobby Lashley. I couldn’t help but smirk when writing that last sentence! The referee attended to Carlito when Kane chokeslammed Lashley. Shawn Michaels made the cover and got the pin. I remember listening to Michael Cole on the next few episodes of SmackDown! raving about how great a performance Lashley put on during this match! HE WAS THE FIRST MAN ELIMINATED!

Kane and Rey Mysterio had a strange exchange afterwards. Batista got the hot tag and ran wild. Batista pinned Kane with the Spinebuster. Big Show hit the chokeslam but Batista kicked out. It took a double chokeslam from Big Show and Kane to eliminate Batista. Big Show was then put over to an insane degree when he was eliminated. It took two Clotheslines from Hell, a 619, a RKO and a senton to pin the Big Show. They made it so that each move barely effected the big man!

Michaels took a hard fallaway slam on the outside which took him out of the match for a while. There was a cool spot where Rey tried a springboard moonsault but Carlito caught him. JBL made a blind tag to Mysterio and after Carlito dropped Rey for his finisher, JBL blasted Carlito with the Clothesline From Hell for the pin. That was very well executed. Thumbs up for that one.

Rey Mysterio pinned Chris Masters with the 619 which lead to a three-on-one advantage for SmackDown! It was Mysterio, JBL and Orton against Michaels, who had just been taken out with a fallaway slam. There was an awesome spot where Rey hit the 619 on Shawn. Rey went to “drop the dime” when Shawn super-kicked Rey in mid-air! It was not as great as when Shawn did it to Shelton Benjamin on RAW in 2005 but this was a great spot!

Michaels then eliminated JBL which resulted in the final two being Michaels and Orton, which is exactly how the match started. JBL went to hit Michaels with the chair but Shawn took him out with the Sweet Chin Music. Randy took advantage and hit the RKO to win the match for SmackDown!

The SmackDown! roster came out to celebrate with Randy. Undertaker’s gong went off and we saw a flaming casket on the stage. Undertaker came out of it and headed to the ring. Undertaker took out all of the roster and Randy headed to the back.

This was a really good main event to the show. I thought there was a great dynamic between RAW and SmackDown! When it was down to Shawn on his own against three members of SmackDown!, you wanted to root for Shawn. It was funny because RAW was led by a heel general manager which made RAW seem like the heels!

Match Rating: ***1/2

 

Overall, I think it was an OK show that was mostly saved by the main event and the Last Man Standing match. There was Benoit/Booker and Cena/Angle, which were both fine I guess. There was a number of questionable booking decisions like having Eric Bischoff vs Teddy Long on the show at all. However, there was a satisfying end to the biggest storyline in the company which did help. Even though there wasn’t much to the PPV other than the Survivor Series match and Triple H vs Ric Flair, I don’t really think it mattered at the end of the day. This gets a thumbs up.

Wrestling Flashback – January 4th 1999: RAW IS WAR vs Nitro

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To say that this was the day that the wrestling world turned upside down would be an understatement. The Monday Night Wars, that had been going back and forth for years, had its winner seemingly decided on this day as both the WWF and WCW put on two huge shows together in an effort to win the ratings battle.

In one corner, we had the WWF. Mankind had been feuding with the “Corporate Champion” The Rock and this lead to a no disqualification title match taking place in the main event of Monday Night RAW after Mankind threatened to break Vince’s son Shane’s arm. This was a taped show but the anticipation was building.

In the other corner, we had WCW. Kevin Nash shocked the world at Starrcade by ending the undefeated streak of Goldberg and winning the WCW World title. Eight days later, the Wolfpack leader would defend the title against Goldberg in a rematch at Goldberg’s hometown in Atlanta. These two would collide LIVE on WCW Monday Nitro. Indeed, history would be made tonight.

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January 4th 1999 would see RAW and Nitro go head to head once again as WCW looked to regain the lead as the top dogs of professional wrestling. Eric Bischoff pulled out all of the big guns. Nitro was live and up against a pre-taped RAW. He knew the results and he knew he had to counter-book. He had to bring it tonight and he thought he had the perfect main event with a huge development in the long storyline between the two nWos and Goldberg. With what he was about to put on, there was no way he could lose to something like Mick Foley fighting for the championship right?

Mick Foley actually was a former WCW wrestler but was never really the top man in the company. Why would he? He made his name as a sucker for pain. He took risks that no man should ever take, including getting launched off the top of the “Hell in a Cell.” There was no chance in hell of this guy being a ratings draw right?

He went over the plan for the night with everyone. A number of top stars were notorious for backstage politicking, and the finish to this match showed the type of pull one Hollywood Hogan had as WCW’s top star.

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Bischoff let WCW announcer Tony Schiavone know what happened on Monday Night RAW. It’d become a new feature on Nitro for Tony to reveal the results of these pre-tapings for RAW which would theoretically make sure that the viewers wouldn’t change the channel to find out what happened on RAW.

Bischoff thought this would turn the tide. He thought that this whole night could get Nitro back on form as they went back to basics and to the one force that made wrestling fans tune in…

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On Nitro, Goldberg’s title rematch was in jeopardy as he was arrested by the Atlanta police. This was a rematch from Starrcade of all events and it looks like those plans were changing. Kevin Nash suspected that nWo Hollywood leader Hollywood Hogan was responsible.

This lead to the main event of the WCW World Title match being changed to Kevin Nash defending the WCW Title againsy Hollywood Hogan. Meanwhile on RAW, they are setting up the Mankind/Rock main event.

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Before the main events happened, Tony Schiavone was ready to reveal the results for that night’s edition for RAW IS WAR and who walked out of that WWF title match as the champion. Tony said:

“Fans, if you’re even thinking about changing the channel to our competition, fans, do not. We understand that Mick Foley, who wrestled here one time as Cactus Jack, is going to win their world title. Ha! That’s gonna put some butts in the seats.”

Don’t worry folks. We got you covered. You don’t need to watch that old taped show now. You don’t need to watch Mick Foley win the WWF title. Stick around for WCW Monday Nitro as we’ve got a WCW title match later tonight LIVE.

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Bischoff truly believed that this was HIS night. Then all of a sudden, Bischoff got very quiet on commentary. After Tony revealed what was going to happen on the other show, 600,000+ people changed the channels from the live edition of Nitro to this pre-taped edition of RAW.

The WCW fans couldn’t believe what they had heard. Is this true? Did Mick Foley really win the WWF title? I have to go watch RAW to see.

Rather than stick around for Kevin Nash’s WCW title defense, these fans tuned into RAW as the stage was set for Mankind vs The Rock.

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Mankind had in fact won the title in what will forever go down as one of the most important title changes in WWF/E history. Vince McMahon looked devasted in this segment. He watched on as Mankind had beaten his handpicked champion in this angle that was taped a few days before. Wherever Vince was watching this on the day it aired, there’s no doubt that he was watching the ratings come in with a huge smile on his face.

The same can’t be said for Eric Bischoff. He must have been dejected as he heard about what happened. However, the show must go on as the fans would no doubt come back for the WCW World title match.

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For those that did, they watched on as this Atlanta crowd was ready for a fight. It didn’t feature Goldberg but it did feature Nash and Hogan. This confrontation had been building for months. Nash pushed Hogan to hype up the Hulkster. Hogan was ready to go. He was about to throw a punch when suddenly, he stopped. The clenched fist turned into a pointing motion. He fingerpoked Kevin Nash who fell down in a comical fashion. Hogan made the cover and a new champion was crowned.

It was all a ruse! The Wolfpack and nWo Hollywood were working together! What a shocker! Goldberg got screwed! The fans were irate. The nWo, the stable which had led WCW to the top of the wrestling world, was back in full swing.

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Sadly, the ratings didn’t result in the return to status quo for WCW. Up until Tony’s announcement, WCW had managed to take the lead in that week’s battle with RAW. At the end of the night though, RAW won by 5.7 to 5.0.

Never again would Nitro beat RAW in the ratings. It was not the end of the Monday Night Wars but WCW should have prayed that it was. Not only were they only able to crack a 5.0 rating just a few times afterwards, RAW’s audience began to DOUBLE Nitro’s during the year 2000.

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When I think of WCW, I think of a company that had the potential to blitz the WWF with the backing of Ted Turner. Sadly, this night only proved the theory that the key to WCW’s failures came from within.

EXTREME WARFARE REVENGE: WCW 1998 PART 32 – SPRING STAMPEDE 2001

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Previously on EWR WCW…

We had a Nitro special, where we held WCW Nitro Roulette! Six feuds ended with the stipulations of the matches determined by a roulette wheel. We actually did use an online roulette wheel generator to help with this so it was all legitimate! Chris Jericho retained the WCW title in a hardcore match, Sting beat Raven in a first blood match, Scott Steiner beat Randy Savage in a Texas Death match, AJ Styles beat Booker T with Ric Flair as the special guest referee, the Diamond Enforcers retained the tag titles in a ladder match and Eddie Guerrero and Roddy Piper won a tag team steel cage match.

With Ric Flair now back in the storylines, things are going to get interesting. I’ve had the heel regime running things for a while. Ric’s still under contract with WCW so I want to insert him back into the picture because he’s popular. Obviously, he’s not running the show any more so he’s just going to make a few brief appearances for now on. We’ll see as time goes on.

In the storyline, Ric is not under contract and Eric has banned him from Nitro. Meanwhile, Eric’s focus now is to put all the titles on his most preferred wrestlers. Scott Steiner is the WCW TV Champion, which Eric is fine with. However, he wants Steiner and Booker to challenge for the WCW Tag Team titles on this PPV. The Diamond Enforcers have been the top dogs in the division for a while and Eric feels that it’s time for a change.

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Pre-Show – “Cool School” Silvio Maldini, Buff Bagwell and Jesus Castillo def. Rey Mysterio, Ultimo Dragon and Kidman

I really don’t know where I’m going with this Cool School stable! I just saw these three weren’t doing much and I figured, why not put them in a group together. It doesn’t hurt to at least try because a lot of wrestlers in this universe have gotten over as part of a group. Buff and Silvio are actually in the 80s in terms of overness so they’re fine. Jesus is the one I’m really hoping to elevate. Anyway, these three beat the three cruiserweights Rey, Ultimo and Kidman. Kidman’s rising in popularity as of late and Rey and Dragon were both established cruiserweights. Not a bad pre-show. These six can rest easy knowing that despite their lack overness compared to the main-eventers, they didn’t receive the worst rating on this show! By the way if anyone has a better name than Cool School, leave a comment below.

Match 1 – “Exile Exterminators” Shane Helms and Lodi def. Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy in a hardcore match

To anyone that was wondering what happened in the Exile Exterminators’ WCW Tag Title match. It took place after Nitro Roulette and they lost due to interference by Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy. Lodi and Shane had previously beaten the crap out of RVD and Jeff on a Nitro and this was their revenge. This all lead to a hardcore tag team match at Spring Stampede. These four actually had the joint best match in the show and it was the opener! A solid effort. The finish was that there was some opponent miscommunication which lead to Shane and Lodi winning. Jeff and RVD argued after the match which may lead to a WCW Cruiserweight title somewhere down the road.

Match 2 – La Parka def. Yoshihiro Tajiri

I am SO happy with this match. This was the second joint best match on the show and it featured Tajiri and La Parka! Both these men have gotten really over in the last few months and I’ve put them in a feud together. A HUGE improvement on the Parka vs Sasuke feud which barely got any of them over. This is doing wonders for both men. Parka got the win but Tajiri refused a handshake.

Match 3 – Sting (c) def. Rowdy Roddy Piper via DQ to retain the WCW International Championship

It’s actually funny. In the game, more than two years have passed since my first PPV. In all of that time, I’ve not thought about doing this feud. Piper vs Sting has a unique dynamic to it so it’s cool that I’ve got a chance to do it. It’s a bit more of a brawl than a wrestling match. Piper got himself DQ’d by hitting Sting with his own baseball bat. He bloodied him, spat on the championship belt and threw it down.

Match 4 – Bret Hart and The Giant def. Hollywood Hogan and Dean Malenko in a steel cage match

Boy did this not go the way I planned! This tag team feud was really put in place to get The Giant and Dean Malenko over. Bret and Hogan have faced each other over and over so I decided that at least more people should benefit from being a part of a feud between them. I’ve had Dean and Giant in a few past feuds in WCW before so I decided to throw them into the mix. The Giant and Bret got the victory. It was the worst match on the show but at least The Giant got over a great deal. It’s been hard for him to really get over but now he’s getting there!

Match 5 – Randy Savage def. Raven

This is a match which I have been looking forward to. The Exiles storyline has been a pretty good one. Raven and Savage both formed the Exiles group at Superbrawl 1999 and the group dominated. Raven had been WCW World Champion twice as well as a WCW International Champion. In 2000 however, Savage got injured. When Savage returned, he returned as a face and tried to help Team Flair in the winner takes all match. Savage also left the Exiles in the process. After losing the International title to Sting, Raven finally “deals” with Savage’s desertion and the two fight here at Spring Stampede two years after the group first formed. Savage got the win and went to shake Raven’s hand. Raven initially shook hands with Savage but then dropped him with the Evenflow DDT. 91%. A great rating for this match and I’m happy to announce that this feud is far from over.

Match 6 – Booker T and Scott Steiner def. Diamond Dallas Page (c) and Arn Anderson (c) to win the WCW Tag Team Championship

This was really just done to give Bischoff a lot more power with regards to this new power struggle. Scott Steiner was initially the only heel with title gold in a company run by a heel. Surely the heels should dominate right? Steiner and Booker win the tag titles to gain Eric some power. 92%. A great rating for this tag team title match.

Interview (7) – Eddie Guerrero cuts a promo on WCW Champion Chris Jericho

Eddie talks about the main event match, which is Jericho vs Eddie vs Curt Hennig vs AJ Styles for the WCW World title. Eddie vowed to win the title as a thank you to Eric Bischoff for giving him this opportunity. 100% rating so I think it got the job done!

Match 7 (8) – Chris Jericho (c) def. Eddie Guerrero, AJ Styles and Curt Hennig in a fatal four way match to retain the WCW Championship

91% is a great rating for the main event, particularly a fatal four way match. Jericho got the win. I’m not sure how long I’m going to have Jericho hold onto the title but he’s still the most over person in the company. There’s no reason to take the title of him just yet.

VERY happy with this PPV. One of the strongest PPVs in the history of this series. Eddie’s 100% interview segment obviously helped a great deal but there were just a lot of great matches that exceeded my expectations. La Parka vs Tajiri did a tremendous job in particular. Great things going forward for WCW!

TNA Bound For Glory 2015 Review – Prologue

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I’m going to tell everybody a story which begins all the way in 2006. In 2006, I was a wrestling fan that had started watching WWE programming just a few years earlier. However, this was a year in which I was really starting to lose interest in WWE. There were a lot of failed storylines and projects that was slowly sucking the enjoyment from watching RAW, SmackDown! and ECW. RAW was particular dominated by John Cena and the reunited DX, SmackDown! was ruled by King Booker, the “Animal” Batista and the underdog champion Rey Mysterio, and ECW was ruled by the Big Show. It was a very testing time to being a WWE fan. Have no fear though. On the Wrestling Channel in the UK, they were starting to show episodes of a wrestling show called TNA IMPACT.

I was interested, because it featured former WWE stars and even WCW legend Sting. I also noticed these new talents that were so exiting to watch that it was baffling why they weren’t signed with someone like WWE. This was the show I needed to regain my passion for wrestling. TNA was a hit. It was unique, it featured six sided rings and unbelievable talent. For me, this was a nice alternative from the “sports entertainment” of WWE.

TNA spread like wild-fire, even resulting in “TNA” being chanted during episodes of RAW. In a weird case of deja vu from the 1995 King Of The Ring, where ECW chants were bellowed out in Philadelphia, the fans were more interested in chanting the name of a “rival” wrestling company than the actual product in front of them. They might have good reason to do it. After all they chanted this during a miserable, and I mean MISERABLE, “Donald Trump” vs “Rosie O’Donnell” match.

What’s funny about this incident is that TNA and ECW are VERY similar in a lot of other aspects too. They were both innovative companies that brought a unique style of wrestling to the US. However, they both also had their issues that prevented them from reaching their full potential. ECW’s problem was a lack of funds which resulted in talent being stolen from WWF and WCW, which led to the company’s bankruptcy in 2001. The issues for TNA were more than just money…

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While I loved the company when I first started watching it and then for years after, this company was running itself into the ground. TNA initially had a simple but effective product which was really taking off like a rocket. While they signed high-profile wrestlers like Kurt Angle from time to time, the main attraction which really made it different from the WWE was the X-Division. They were the stars. Hell, they were the main-event in a few instances. However, TNA soon seemed to completely neglect what brought them to the dance to make room for… “sports entertainment.”

They had great wrestlers but the powers-that-be of TNA ultimately decided that the only way to beat WWE… was to BE WWE. It was not about being an alternative WRESTLING company. It was about purely booking from an “entertainment” standpoint. Therefore, a lot of product was heavily reliant on angles in order to advance the stories. It was a product heavily reliant on swerves which really didn’t need to be there. The use of storylines in wrestling is fine, as that’s one of the most important aspects of the wrestling business. It’s about telling a story, whether you do it in the ring or in an angle. However, the use of storylines OVER wrestling is what really damaged the product.

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It wasn’t just the decisions of creative that really dented the company. Many decisions by those actually RUNNING the company were very questionable. It’s almost that the company never realised the importance of the younger stars and put all their faith in the likes of Jeff Hardy in order to bring in the ratings. True, it wouldn’t hurt to have a bit of star power in their ranks. However, a BIT would do just fine. In 2010, with Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff coming in, so did dozens of new wrestlers. When I say new, I mean old. Old former WWE, WCW or ECW stars that are now part of the NEW vision of TNA!

Trust me, I’m not knocking those stars that came in. They’re stars for a reason but a lot of these stars served zero purpose in the future of TNA. What sort of contribution were the Nasty Boys supposed to bring to TNA’s future? What was the point in bringing Orlando Jordan to TNA? Why were all the ECW originals hired, other than to set up a ECW reunion show? Just… why?

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Of course, the old dudes were not why I was still watching TNA in 2012 and 2013. During those times, the shows were actually great to watch. In the early days of this blog, TNA reviews were a common feature. The storylines improved following the implosion of Immortal but a new sense of attention to younger stars was finally introduced. Finally, stars like Bobby Roode and James Storm were able to properly develop. Those two produced quite possibly the greatest feud in TNA history. Austin Aries became a star and even became TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Bully Ray had been in wrestling for decades but at least he became a singles star in his own right. They weren’t just dependent on the older main event stars to advance the shows.

The point is, the potential was ALWAYS there for TNA to succeed. We’ll get onto the financial troubles later on but from a creative standpoint, the potential was there. They had all the means to create stars easily that didn’t need to break the bank. However, they didn’t. Not only didn’t they make the stars that they could have, they also broke the bank while they were at it. Which leads me to their financial troubles…

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As mentioned earlier, TNA have splashed a fair amount of cash during their existence. As mentioned earlier, they hired a ton of wrestlers in 2010 believing that the driving force of TNA would be the stars… from TEN YEARS AGO! However, Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff’s plans with these stars was always going to fail. Not only were the stars just going to hold back the younger talent, TNA didn’t have the sufficient financial structure that could allow Bischoff, Hogan and Dixie Carter to just pluck these guys like plucking apples from a tree. According to Vince Russo he frequently warned Eric and Hogan that this was not like the days of WCW, where they could easily sign whoever they wanted. TNA’s financial structure was clearly not as great as they believed it to be.

We compared TNA to ECW, but at least Paul Heyman knew that ECW was not a great position to snap up the true stars of wrestling. He had to develop them, because there was not way that he could snap up the likes of Sting, Steve Austin and The Rock from WCW and the WWF. He was as realistic as possible, because he did not have seemingly unlimited funds like WCW. You know what’s funny, is that TNA was similar to WCW in its mindset with money. They didn’t think money would be an issue but really… it was.

There’s also the foolish decisions made by TNA which they believed would turn the product. We’re not talking about the expensive contracts. We’re talking about decisions like deciding to move TNA to Monday nights and go head-to-head with RAW. They decided to start a “Monday Night War” when they were never in a million years going to beat RAW in the ratings. It’d be like if Malta ever declared war on Germany. They would also never force Vince McMahon to change up his writing in order to beat TNA. The gap was just too big for Vince to care.

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Ultimately, TNA’s failures backstage has lead to the company’s own demise. Quite honestly, this saddens me a lot. Even though I’ve not really watched the product in a few years, I still have a strong connection and appreciation for a lot of things TNA has brought to wrestling. The X-Division, at its prime, was sublime. The likes of Bobby Roode, AJ Styles, James Storm, Samoa Joe and others have provided great match after great match. We even got one of the greatest segments of all time, with Jay Lethal confronting Ric Flair in a woo-off! I’ll have so many fond memories of TNA, which is why it is sad that I might have just watched it’s final ever PPV.

So… did TNA go out with a bang or a whimper? Join me for the TRUE review of TNA Bound For Glory, and whether there were any glorious moments to be had during TNA’s possibly final hurrah!

How I Would Book… The nWo 19th Anniversary Special [2002] [Final Part]

WARNING: Please read the first five parts of this series first if you haven’t already. They will clue you up on the storyline for this particular “How I Would Book…”.

Here it is. The FINAL chapter in this nWo saga. We’ve seen the nWo shake the foundations of the WWE. With Hollywood Hogan at the helm, they’ve gone toe to toe with the WWE’s top stars. Hogan’s beaten the likes of Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H and Shawn Michaels as part of his group’s domination of the company. He currently reigns as RAW’s World Heavyweight Champion while Big Show reigns as SmackDown!’s WWE Championship. Vince McMahon, who had brought in the nWo to “kill” the WWE, suddenly realizes just how dangerous the group has become. They’ve took over RAW and now they’re taking over SmackDown! Vince’s response was to bring back the Undertaker as the 30th entrant in the Royal Rumble to win the match and earn a title shot. The road to Wrestlemania 19 has begun…

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The war between Vince McMahon and Hollywood Hogan is now well and truly under way. Vince McMahon is the owner of the company but Eric Bischoff still holds a considerable amount of power as RAW General Manager and as a leading member of the nWo. Bischoff reveals that the WWE would have to pay him a HUGE amount of money in order to fire him. Even if they did fire him, that wouldn’t stop Bischoff and the nWo from running rough shot over the entire company. They have the two top titles in the WWE. It really has turned into such a power struggle for Vince.

First, Vince has to find someone on the SmackDown! roster to face WWE Champion Big Show at No Way Out. There’s a lot of wrestlers to choose from but Vince feels that he needs to bring a true star back into the fold. He feels that he needs to bring back the “Great One”… The Rock. With a promise of a WWE Championship match at No Way Out, The Rock returns to the WWE as a part of the SmackDown! brand. Upon his return, The Rock’s commitment to the WWE has come into question. When he makes his big return on the SmackDown! before No Way Out, The Rock is back as a cocky Hollywood star. The Rock doesn’t really grasp the importance of his match with Big Show at No Way Out, but The Rock reassures Vince that he’ll get the job done at No Way Out.

Brock Lesnar was screwed out of the WWE Championship at No Way Out. He has a rematch clause, but Brock insists on challenging Hollywood Hogan for the World Heavyweight Championship instead. Eric Bischoff decrees that Brock must beat the Outsiders in a handicap match at No Way Out in order to get his title shot at Wrestlemania. In the World Heavyweight Championship match, Shawn gets his rematch for the title against Hogan in one final encounter at No Way Out.

Brock is able to beat the Outsiders following interference from Triple H, who delivers a cross chop to both Nash and Hall after Brock pins one of them. The Rock challenges the Big Show for the WWE Championship, but the Brahama Bull is not putting any effort in. He’s constantly mocking Big Show and not taking it seriously at all. The Rock hits his finishers but does not pin Big Show and instead just gets on the mic and talks about himself. The commentators can’t believe how foolish The Rock is being and are telling The Rock to just pin him. In the end, The Rock hits a Rock Bottom and goes up to the top. He signals for an elbow drop from the top but is caught in mid-air by Big Show who pins him. The Rock is scratching his head over what’s happened but then just laughs and walks away. Hogan retains the title against Michaels with the Outsiders delivering another beatdown to the Show Stopper. Triple H makes the save, signalling the return of DX as the DX music hits to end the show.

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With No Way Out in the books, here’s all the confirmed Wrestlemania 19 matches so far…

  • Hollywood Hogan (c) vs Brock Lesnar for the World Heavyweight Championship
  • Big Show (c) vs Undertaker for the WWE Championship
  • “D-Generation X” Triple H and Shawn Michaels vs “The Outsiders” Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in a hardcore tag team match (This would be announced on the RAW after No Way Out)

The Rock appears on RAW on the night after No Way Out, claiming that a clause in his contract stated that he could choose which brand he wanted to be on after his match at No Way Out. The Rock claimed that he wanted to be on RAW and demands to be added to the World Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestlemania. He is interrupted by the return of the “Texas Rattlesnake” Stone Cold Steve Austin, who gives him the Stunner.

Austin cuts a promo the next week on RAW. He says that while he’s been away from the WWE, he watched his own matches back and realized that he wasn’t himself when he was going up against Hollywood Hogan at King of the Ring. He said he wanted vengeance against the nWo but he was not motivated enough to get the job done. That was another part of the reason why he lost to Hogan at the main event. However, he  re-played the match back and one moment stood out. It was the return of The Rock. The Rock came back at King of the Ring with the passion and the desire needed to achieve his goals. Austin talks about how he watched Big Show vs The Rock at No Way Out. Austin talked about how The Rock was pathetic in that match and that The Rock needed to remember just how important wrestling is. He challenges The Rock to a match at Wrestlemania 19. After a few declines, The Rock finally agrees to the match. The Rock states that there’s one thing that he hadn’t done… beat Austin at Wrestlemania 19. He says that he’ll get the job done at Wrestlemania and will be known as the greatest of all time.

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That takes care of Austin and Rock. Now we’ve got to look at one last thing. Eric Bischoff would cut a promo on RAW taking about Vince McMahon. He calls Vince a coward and desperate for bringing back all of his big guns to take on the nWo. He tells Vince that now is the time to man up. Eric tells the story about how he challenged Vince to a fight when he was running WCW but the fight never took place. Eric now challenges Vince to a sanctioned MATCH at Wrestlemania. Eric asks Vince for a tag team match with Eric and a partner of his choosing going up against Vince and a partner of his choosing. If Eric won, he and the nWo would win 100% control of the company. If the nWo lose, they’re done. Bischoff would be fired. All the power they had would be gone and they would disband. Vince accepts. Almost immediately after Vince agrees, Eric introduces his partner… Scott Steiner.

Vince thinks that in order to fight with Bischoff, he has to fight dirty. In order to fight dirty, Vince believes he needs the dirtiest player in the game. Vince believes he needs Ric Flair. There’s still hostilities between Flair and McMahon after THEY battled for control in 2002. Ric says that he doesn’t trust Vince but will fight alongside him because he knows from his time at WCW just how dangerous the nWo are. Ric says he’ll do it with one other added stipulation… if Ric and Vince win, Ric regains control of RAW. Vince agrees and the match is set.

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So the major matches are pretty much set. Other matches on Wrestlemania would includes Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit taking on the Guerreros for the WWE Tag Team Championship from SmackDown! We’d also have Chris Jericho jump to RAW to take part in a fatal four way match for the Intercontinental Championship alongside Kane, Booker T and Rob Van Dam. Let’s just run down the card one last time..

  • Hollywood Hogan (c) vs Brock Lesnar for the World Heavyweight Championship
  • Big Show (c) vs Undertaker for the WWE Championship
  • “D-Generation X” Triple H and Shawn Michaels vs “The Outsiders” Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in a hardcore tag team match
  • Eric Bischoff and Scott Steiner vs Vince McMahon and Ric Flair for 100% control of the WWE
  • The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
  • Eddie Guerrero (c) and Chavo Guerrero (c) vs Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit for the WWE Tag Team Championship
  • Kane (c) vs Rob Van Dam vs Booker T vs Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship

So… WRESTLEMANIA 19!

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Before we get started, I would like to state that Hogan vs Lesnar would be the main event of the show. I’m usually a supporter of the claim that the Rumble winner should always be in the main event. However, I’m sure I’m right in saying that majority of wrestling fans would be more interested in Hogan vs Lesnar than Show vs Undertaker. Hogan vs Lesnar seems like the perfect ending to this storyline. No disrespect to Big Show and Undertaker, but surely they’d understand the importance of finale of the nWo storyline ending the show.

For the WWE Tag Team title match, the Guerreros would retain after Kurt would turn on Chris Benoit. This would spark a feud between Benoit and Angle to take place following Wrestlemania. Chris Jericho would win the Intercontinental Championship. I know this feels a bit of a step down for Jericho, considering he had his classic with Shawn Michaels in real life at the event. However, at least he’s still a champion coming out of Wrestlemania. Him and Shawn could feud later on in 2003 anyway. The Rock would beat Stone Cold Steve Austin, putting an end to one of the greatest feuds of all time. But now, let’s get to the nWo stuff.

DX would beat the Outsiders in their hardcore tag team match. I feel that DX standing tall would be the best way to end the Outsiders’ role in this storyline. The Outsiders would seem to have the advantage when former nWo member X-Pac would get involved to get revenge on the Outsiders, who turned on him at Armageddon. He would hit both Hall and Nash with chairs and depart. Hall and Nash would be throwing up the Kliq signs, begging Shawn and Triple H for forgiveness. However, DX wouldn’t be too forgiving and a super kick and sledgehammer onto Nash would give DX the victory. On RAW the next night, I’d have Triple H turn on Shawn in similar fashion to how he turned on him in real life.

Undertaker would beat Big Show to win the WWE Championship. This would be a great moment for Undertaker and for Big Show too. In title matches at Wrestlemania, Big Show usually just acts as the third wheel. It’s good to actually give him a legitimate one-on-one match between him and Undertaker. Plus, Undertaker’s streak goes on and it’s cool to see him leave Wrestlemania with the title.

Now for the tag team match with Bischoff and Steiner going up against Vince and Ric. I’d like to see a cameo with Rowdy Roddy Piper, since he did make a cameo during Hogan’s match with Vince at Wrestlemania 19 in real life! His appearance could lead to the finish. In the finish, Flair makes Bischoff tap out to the figure four leg lock. The WWE is saved! However, there’s one last match…

Hogan defends the World Title against Brock Lesnar. Hogan cuts a pre-match promo saying what happened to Bischoff doesn’t concern him. The nWo will leave one last dent in the legacy of the WWE, which will haunt Vince McMahon for generations. Hogan guarantees that he will retain the belt and says that Brock Lesnar is nothing to him. However, Brock actually beats Hogan for the title in a passing of the torch. If you want to have the Hogan turn face, simply have him shake Lesnar’s hand after the match.

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And that…. FINALLY wraps up the nWo storyline! I hoped you enjoyed all of that. It was a lot of fun to write and I hope that ending lived up to all of the build!

Have any suggestions for a How I Would Book? Simply tweet me at either @ArmbarExpress or @TomRobinson5199 on Twitter with your suggestions. Do also check out the rest of the content on my blog. I do a lot of other cool fantasy booking blog posts with my playthroughs of fantasy booking game Extreme Warfare Revenge. And there’s all sorts of other wrestling content as well. You never know, you might just like what you see!

If you have a fantasy nWo storyline of your own, tweet me on the @ArmbarExpress Twitter account! I’m interested in hearing other people’s versions of this storyline!

Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo Comment On Bash At The Beach 2000

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A few days ago, a preview of the WWE’s upcoming DVD release “Monday Night War: Know Your Role” was uploaded onto YouTube. What the DVD features is a sit-down interview with Eric Bischoff. Bischoff talks about dealing with Vince Russo and talks about the famous “Bash At The Beach incident” in 2000.

For those of you that don’t know what happened in 2000, let me break it down for you. Vince Russo was a writer for WCW, signing for the company in 1999. Vince had been pushing Jeff Jarrett to a great degree, making him the WCW Champion. He began a storyline involving Jeff and Hollywood Hogan for the title. His plan was for Jeff to beat Hogan at the Bash at the Beach PPV. On the day of the PPV, Hogan activated the “creative control” clause in his contract and refused to lose the match. He believed that Vince had a lack of direction for Hogan’s character following his loss and refused to lose to Jeff. Vince therefore had Jeff lay down for Hogan, resulting in Hogan winning the belt. Hogan cut a “worked shoot” saying that “That’s why this company is in the damn shape it’s in; because of bullshit like this”, which would be the last time Hogan appeared in WCW. Vince would go on to cut a shoot promo on Hogan’s “backstage politicking” and nullified the result of the match. The finish of Jeff laying down and Hogan’s promo was apparently a work but the promo cut by Russo wasn’t. Hogan would go on to sue Russo for defamation of contract but the case got thrown out.

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However, Eric argues in this video that it was actually Vince Russo that went into business for himself that night. Eric said the finish of Hogan going over was already decided between himself, Hogan and Russo. However, on the day, Vince would change the plans which forced Hogan put his foot down, activating his creative control clause. Two ideas were apparently pitched to the head of the network. Vince’s idea of Jeff going over and Eric’s idea of Hogan going over. The president, who “had the deciding vote”, went with Bischoff’s plan. However, Vince would change the plans anyway.

It’s also interesting to note that Bischoff says that Hogan was the only one in WCW to have creative control and that he only ever used it once at Bash of the Beach. It’s interesting because Hogan said the same thing before in interviews. He also said the things Russo booked made Eric look like Steven Spielberg.

Bischoff’s comments can be seen down below…


Vince Russo responded to these claims on his YouTube channel. If you’ve ever seen the stuff Vince writes about his past dealings with WWE, WCW and TNA, he’s very defensive about this work. If you’re as dedicated and passionate as Vince was about his projects, it’s perfectly understandable. It’s hard to see things you’ve put hard work into get torn apart.

However, Vince didn’t take too kindly to Eric’s accusations. He specifically didn’t like Bischoff calling “BS” on Vince’s side of the story. Vince talked about the story at Bash at the Beach itself, in his book “How WCW Killed Vince Russo” and in a number of shoot interviews in the past. However, he now talks about the entire thing again.

Russo says that Eric was talking nonsense and that what happened at Bash at the Beach was part of the original script. Russo argues that if he did go into business for himself, that there would have been some sort of confrontation between Russo, Hogan and Bischoff. He says because there wasn’t a confrontation, it was because everybody was following the script.

Russo argues that if he had gone into business for himself, there would have been some ramifications. Since he “double-crossed” the head of the network, Vince would have probably been fired or been in some other form of trouble. Vince also talks about the legal issues that Eric claims Vince created. Vince also talks about Eric’s accusations of Vince being a bad writer.

Down below was his response to Eric’s comments…

I won’t jump to any sort of conclusion about who I think is right or wrong because frankly, it’s Eric’s word against Vince’s. All I’ll say is that it’s incredible how the Bash at the Beach thing is still being talked about after all of these years. I’m also expecting much more to come out of this story.