The SmarK Retro Repost – I-Generation Wrestling

(original posted 12/2/2000)

– Yeah, like you guys should be shocked that I’d blow $24.95 for a PPV featuring Dennis Rodman v. Curt Hennig as the main event after paying money for Heroes of Wrestling last year. I’m nothing if not consistent in my foolishness.

– Taped from Sydney, Australia.

– Your hosts are Ted Dibiase and Vince Mancini (?). What, was Chris Cruise busy washing his hair or something?

– First off, the production values are pretty decent as compared to say, Heroes of Wrestling or ECW. The arena is shot so as not to look bad (about 8 or so thousand people it looks like) and the set is vaguely reminiscent of 1997 Nitro.

– We start with an interview. ON A PAY PER VIEW. It’s a one-shot deal, guys, get to the action (or lack thereof). He runs down Dennis Rodman and establishes that he’s the World champion and the babyface. Yeah, Dennis Rodman playing the heel, there’s a shock.

– “World” tag team title match: The Public Enema v. The Road Warriors. A word before we start on the belts used here: They look more like boxing titles, and are completely outclassed by the fans sitting in the front row with J-Mar replica WCW title belts. When a WCW-endorsed product is showing you up, you’ve got a problem. I’m saddened to see the Warriors feuding with Rocco. Dave Meltzer noted on his show tonight that he missed the PPV because a good friend of his gave birth – from the looks of things, it may have been Hawk. Stalling to start, then Hawk does his usual stuff in new ULTRA SLO-MO! I promise not to bitch about the Undertaker anymore after seeing Hawk doing his patented flying shoulderblock and barely clearing 6 inches of air. Much like a first date, contact is teased but never delivered. Rocco goes upstairs and gets slammed off. Hawk powerslams Rocco (which is a slight misnomer, in that there’s no “power” or “slamming” involved in this case) for two. Rocco wields a chair like Arthur swinging Excalibur and takes Animal out with it to take over. Okay, so I’m bored and embellishing, sue me. Animal plays geezer-in-peril for a bit. The announcers spend the match mocking Public Enemy’s weight. Yeah, that’ll get ‘em over. Hot tag Hawk, who pulls himself out of his barcalounger long enough to botch a pair of neckbreakers and nearly kill Johnny and Rocco. Oh, this is a table match, if it matters. Rocco puts Hawk through a table, but misses a second try. Alleged brawl in the ring where Animal spears both Public Enemy through a table for the win and the titles. Sorry, let me rephrase that finish so as to properly explain what the viewer saw: Animal lopes towards both guys at half-speed and kind of brushes Johnny, who in turn falls backwards and kind of brushes Rocco, who in turn dramatically throws himself backwards into a table. Much like Edmonton’s weather this time of year, it’s sub-zero all the way for the ratings. -***

– The “I-Generation Dancers” come out and, well, dance. Okay, they’re attractive girls, but is there a point here?

– The Barbarian v. Brute Force. Brute is the latest incarnation of Brutus Beefcake as he valiently struggles to copy his most successful gimmick instead of finding something original. On the other hand, considering some of his choices of gimmicks in WCW, maybe he should stick with Brute Force. Mr. Force beats Barbarian down with some vicious broomhandle shots as the announcers talk about Barbarian’s genetically hard head. Oh god, are we STILL on that stuff? Some lowblows turn the tide. Stomp, stomp. Brawl outside, where they hit each other with a garbage can. Vince Mancini notes that it’s gonna leave a mark. Yeah, on the can. Back in, a 2×4 gets involved as Vince asks Ted if he’s ever been in a hardcore match. Yes he was, and not only were they awesome, but they were awesome matches against JIM DUGGAN. Think on that one for a while. Beefcake comes back with some lowblows. It’s apropos for the match because I feel like I’m getting punched in the nuts just watching it. The Stone Cold Apocolyptic Last Dancing Stunner gets two. DDT gets two. Wow, two actual moves in a row. And the Barbarian KICKED OUT? HE’S SUPERHUMAN! A piledriver of sorts gets two. Man, is Johnny Ace booking this? Barbarian stops the tide of near-falls with the KICK OF FEAR for the pin. -*1/2 Well, we’re moving upwards, at least.

– Hey, it’s the dancing chicks again! Still don’t care.

– Special Women’s Attraction: Brandi Wine v. Sweet Destiny. For those who rag on Stephanie McMahon for being a little pudgy well, here’s your targets RIGHT THERE. Stalling to start. Brandi misses a charge and gets taken down. Brandi cheats to come back and does the typically cliched hair-pulling junk. Destiny gets a cross-body that literally misses by a foot for two. They brawl outside. Back in, more hairpullery. Pinning reversal sequence (oooo, what athleticism) gets a pair of two-counts for both. Brandi’s second, the charmingly named Sugar Daddy (Fred “I’ll do any gimmick not involving The Shockmaster” Ottman) trips up Destiny and gets into a shoving match with Australian boxing legend “Aussie” Joe Martin, whom I’ve never heard of. Of course the boxer takes out the wrestler with one punch. One of these days I’d love to see the wrestler no-sell the punch and just flatten the boxer with a leg kick like Pedro Rizzo did to Dan Severn last month. I think the various MMA events have established by now that good striking is not necessarily an automatic win over wrestling. Destiny gets a suplex for two, but misses a top rope move. She recovers and nearly kills (that’s twice I’ve had to type that phrase tonight) Brandi with a superplex that gets the pin. Makes me wish I got WOW. ¼*

– The dancing chicks return to earn their pay for the evening, doing what looks to be the exact same dance as the first two times.

– International title match: Tatanka v. One Man Gang. Speaking of people desperately clinging to past failed gimmicks in hopes of reviving dead heat, we have these two. Man, for a guy who was only over for the better part of a year in his entire career, Chris Chavis sure clings to that Tatanka gimmick tenaciously, doesn’t he? One Man Gang brings the class level up a notch on the night by noting that the women in the audience should stop throwing their panties at him, or at least wash the brown stains off them first. I did NOT need that image in my head, especially considering the women inhabiting the front row of this show. Gang pounds him down to start, for two. Tatanka comes back with chops. Gang bails, and gets gabage tossed at him. Bottle of water flood the ring. Tatanka is still wearing the tights bearing Pat Patterson’s handprints. Tatanka bodypress gets two. Gang bodypress gets two. Tatanka works the knee. Elbowdrop misses. The above compresses about 10 minutes into three sentences, I should point out. Gang utilizes his Vulcan Nerve Pinch for a while. His version of the Ho Train misses, and Tatanka chops him for two. He comes back and chops Gang for two. The ref gets bumped, thus making me envious that at least one of us gets to spend the match in blissful unconsciousness. Gang gets slammed off the top, and Tatanka hits the FLYING TOMAHAWK CHOP OF HIDEOUS AGONY, but of course no ref is to be found. Gang pulls out a pair of knuckledusters, knocks out our Native American hero, and gets the tainted win. At about 20 minutes, this was beyond “long” and bordering on “cruel and inhumane”. ¼*

– The chicks dance again.

– “World” title: Curt Hennig v. Dennis Rodman. Rodman gives him a stiff shot with the belt and draws blood right away. Hennig bumps over the top and they brawl outside. Hennig puts him through a table and lays in the punishment. Back in for some SHAKY-LEG KICKS OF DOOM. Brawl outside again. Hennig’s doing a good job at hiding Rodman’s woeful deficiencies in just about every area. Rodman headbutts the ref for no good reason. Hennig and Rodman slug it out, then Rodman roughly tosses the referee, drawing a DQ and a lawsuit. Dear god, what a bad finish. ½* for match of the night honors. A pull-apart brawl erupts and a Hennig-Brute Force alliance is teased. SMELL THE BUYRATE!

The Bottom Line: Heroes of Wrestling: The Sequel. I don’t know how Dave Meltzer could give Steve Seiden time on his show the other day without drowning the guy’s incessant hype out with his laughter. Easily the worst PPV of the year, with 5 matches, all bad, and the rest filler.

On the bright side, Curt Hennig looked great and I hope the WWF reconsiders their snubbing of him so far, because god knows the main event needs a fresher face right about now.

Thumbs down (under) for this mess.