The SmarK Retro Repost – Mayhem 1999


What, did you think I’d actually let Sean steal my thunder for trashing this show? Dream on, fanboy. Props to the guy who had a sign in the front, much appreciated. Next time use a bigger sign and darker color, though.

– Newsflash: Someone with too much time on their hands has started a rumor that I missed Mayhem because I was donating a kidney to my brother (who of course is on dialysis according to the story). 10 points for style, minus several million for accuracy.

– Live from Toronto, Ontario, the Center of the Universe. Just ask someone from there.

– Your hosts are Tony & Bobby.

– Opening match: Jeff Jarrett v. Chris Benoit. I was gonna do a PTB Count for the show, but the final tally ends up being 11, so it’s not worth the trouble to use it as ammo in the Bottom Line. My roommate, who of course is the sole human being on earth who cares about this stuff, points out the basic structure of Jeff Jarrett’s music is Cactus Jack’s “Mr. Bang Bang” rewritten. Big pop for Benoit, duh. Quick tornado DDT gets two. Pretty amazing heat for Benoit and for the match in general here. Sueprplex gets two. Baseball slide misses and they fight on the floor, resulting in Benoit taking the X-Pac bump to the post and hurting his Powers That Be. Jarrett gets a powerslam for two. Pinning sequence leads to a Jarrett clothesline for two. A sleeper sequence drags things down a bit, then Benoit hits the rolling suplexes. Cue the run-in, as Creative Control comes down and Benoit bumps out of the ring. Jarrett gets a flying bodypress, reversed for two. Backdrop suplex -> swandive gets two. “Patrick” jumps Benoit, Dustin comes out of the audience and attacks him, Jarrett runs into “Gerald”, Benoit gets the guitar, and gets the pin at 9:27. Could’ve done without the amateur-night finish, great match otherwise. ***3/4

– Cruiserweight title: Disco Inferno v. Evan Karagias. Does Vince Russo have a vendetta to destroy the light heavyweight title in BOTH promotions or something? Madusa has the Skank-o-Meter turned up to 11 tonight. Might as well just change her name to “Missy Hyatt”. And you thought Team Savage was the biggest waste of Madusa possible. Disco is selling an injury that resulted from being jumped by Jeff Jarrett pre-match. Tony Marinara (also known as “Doogie Howser’s best friend”) is out with Disco. I’m joking about the Doogie thing, please don’t e-mail me. Tony does commentary, and sports the worst Italian accent since Joey Tribbiani. Evan looks nervous as hell out there, allowing Disco to carry the offense. Disco basically squashes him before Evan comes back with that would normally be token jobber offense, if this wasn’t supposed to be a competitive match (ha!). Crowd shows their appreciation for this, ahem, fine match by starting one of the loudest “boring” chants I’ve ever heard. Tony goes to hit on Madusa, Evan chases, Disco chases him, but misses a chairshot and hits Tony by accident. He’s so distracted that Evan is able to hit a springboard bodyblock (SICK BOY LIVES!) and get the pin and the title at 7:58. Oh, god, just bury the title now so we don’t have to suffer through the rumored Madusa v. Evan match at Starrcade for it. ½*

– Hardcore title: Norman Smiley v. Brian Knobbs. Smiley has full goalie gear, although he’s wearing Tie Domi’s jersey instead of Curtis Joseph’s. I don’t know if they’re going for irony or inspiration by having him wear a goon’s jersey, actually, or if it was just ignorance all around and they picked one at random. Big face pop for Smiley. We play “I hit you, you hit me” for a while. Knobs pulls off Norman’s goalie pads. The sign appears in the front row around this time. They fight to the dressing room for the “We’re not copying RAW, honest” segment. Some really weak weapons shots follow, like milk and cardboard boxes. Ooo, that’ll leave a mark. Cute spot as they fight into an elevator, and Jimmy Hart hits the button to re-open it, but nails Knobs with the trash can by mistake, giving Norman the pin and the title at 7:27. This was pretty much a foregone conclusion anyway. Idiotic but fun. Third match in a row to end with blown interference, however. Call it *

– Six-person tag: Saturn, Dean Malenko & Asya v. Kidman, Eddy Guerrero & Torrie Wilson. Dean & Eddy start, and completely waste the potential of that matchup by fighting outside, setting up the trainwreck spot about a minute in. Asya & Torrie scrap for a bit. This match is just a total mess. Dean rolls up Kidman for the pin at 3:02. Eddy & Kidman get into a shoving match over that, drawing big “Eddy” chants. Smart crowd. Eddy gets triple-teamed, but snaps off a rana and pins Malenko at 5:05. Saturn superkicks Asya by mistake and Eddy frogsplashes her at 6:28. Eddy & Saturn do a dull sequence, and the DVD gets two. Eddy goes to tag Torrie, but thinks better of it. He tries a bodypress, but Saturn rolls through to the Rings of Saturn at 10:18. So it’s Saturn v. Torrie. She gets two off a low blow, but Saturn retaliates with his own for the pin at 11:17. Okay, can we get a scientific answer: Does that actually hurt women enough to pin them? Because Chyna basically shrugged off Jericho’s at Survivor Series. Match had absolutely no heat, but it wasn’t horrible or anything. *1/2

– Buff Bagwell v. Curt Hennig. Creative Control attacks Hennig, but he still gets the jump on Buff. See, here’s what I don’t get: Hennig is played as a heel all through this “retirement” thing, wrestling faces and thus getting heel heat. Now, even here he’s programmed as a heel, and yet on Nitro it’s supposed to be shocking when he acts like a heel? Brawling to start as the crowd chants “Perfect”. First rule of Canadian fans: If you were over in the WWF, you’re over for life. Crowd proceeds to die as they stink up the joint. Buff suddenly hits the Blockbuster out of nowhere at 8:10 and that’s that. ½* Hennig’s “retirement” of course lasted all of a day, which is a record even for wrestling, I think.

– Sting v. Bret Hart. Big heel heat for Sting here. Wow, one crowd did what WCW couldn’t: Get Sting over as a heel. Hopefully they’ll have the good sense to play him as a heel. Shoving match gets the crowd going. Bret beats him down, but Sting rakes the eyes and hits a low blow to come back. Boring offensive sequence leads to brawling outside, and the ref gets bumped. Oh, lord. Enough with the ref bumps already. Cue the run-in: Luger comes in with the baseball bat, and hits Sting. Bret nails HIM, and the ref DQ’s Sting at 7:40. Bret doesn’t want it, so we continue. FIVE MOVES OF DOOM! Sting blocks one and gets the Scorpion Deathlock, but Bret reverses to the Sharpshooter for the win at 10:07. Bad match for Bret, par for the course for Sting these days. *1/2 We get a male bonding moment.

– Chain match: Vampiro v. Berlyn. Dr. Death and Oklahoma Ed are out for commentary. I wonder if Ed Ferrera doing a better commentary job than Tony is intentional or not? Berlyn decks the ref before the bell can even ring and a big schmoz erupts. Vampiro fights the Wall, Berlyn gets the idiot punk rocker. There may not be any attempted murder in the WWF, but there’s character homocide of Berlyn going on as we speak. The Wall chokeslams Vampiro, and Berlyn argues with him over that, so the Wall walks. Vamp and the goof double-team Berlyn and a camel clutch finishes it about 4 minutes in. I didn’t bother timing it. DUD Why’d they even bother with this?

– Various people walk and talk and stuff.

– Lex Luger v. Meng. Luger is doing a Memphis sell job, wearing a neck brace to the ring. Bobby notes that “this is gonna be horrible”. Yup. Meng no-sells all, but can’t get the THROAT TICKLE OF DEATH because the collar is in the way. Tony: “It’s worked, Brain, it’s worked!” Truth in advertising, kids. Absolutely brutal match, until Liz maces Lex by accident and Meng rips off the neck brace and ends it at 5:21. Ugh. DUD

– David Flair shines the crowbar. Wait a sec, that sounded more disgusting than I intended

– US/TV title match: Scott Hall v. Booker T. Hall is over huge, because of the WWF Canada Theory. Pretty non-descript match, with the crowd chanting for the Rocky lookalike off and on. Booker makes the comeback, cue the run-in. Creative Control jumps him, Outsider’s Edge finishes it at 6:03. This was only wrestling in the loosest sense of the world. ½*

– David Flair v. Kimberly. I won’t dignify this with a summary, but Kanyon, DDP and Arn Anderson all run in after David threatens her with the crowbar. Next, please.

– I Quit match: Sid v. Goldberg. Crowd boos Goldberg’s entrance, so the audio guys panic and pipe in the chants. Goldberg is not over in Canada, because the WWF’s spin of him being an Austin clone is the accepted line up here. Seriously. Plus Sid is a WWF guy, so he’s over. Fast start for Goldberg, so the fans tell him how much he sucks. He has NO idea how to respond to that. Sid gets a cobra clutch slam and two chokeslams, which pretty much exhausts his moveset. Goldberg gets a cross-armbreaker to soften the shoulder, and a cobra clutch gets the win at 5:33. That was pretty, uh, to the point. I mean, a cross-armbreaker and a cobra clutch, and THAT’S enough to put Sid on the mat face-down for five minutes? Not exactly Austin-Hart of 97, even if that’s what they were trying to copy. ¼* I really don’t see where the whole “Sid is so tough that he passed out” thing comes in there. I mean, if the guy’s such a wuss that a sleeper puts him out after 5 minutes, screw him.

– WCW World title: Bret Hart v. Chris Benoit. Slow start as Bret works the arm. Benoit appears to be bleeding from the eye. Early Sharpshooter -> crossface sequence earns a handshake. Benoit hits the floor and run-in #1 sees Dean Malenko jump out of the crowd and attack him. Bret gets a piledriver for two as Dean is hauled off. They exchange chops and Benoit gets a backdrop suplex for two. Tombstone and swandive gets two, but now it’s run-in #2 as the Outsiders yank the ref out for no discernible reason. Goldberg makes run-in #3 and it’s another ref out as the Outsiders and Goldberg fight to the dressing room. Benoit works the knee as we get a split screen of the match and the other guys yelling at each other in the dressing room. Well, god forbid we miss guys yelling at each other. Figure-four by Benoit, Hart makes the ropes. Bret comes back with a superplex, but the crowd is disinterested by this point. Benoit gets the rolling suplexes and gets an almost-crossface, but Bret counters to the Sharpshooter for the title at 17:43. Eh, the booking was all over the place, the ending had no buildup, the match had no heat, just a disappointing effort for both. Of course, Russo & Ferrera having no confidence in the match getting over, in Canada, without 4 people running in speaks volumes to begin with. *** Sadly, WCW hasn’t hit this level in the main event since April.

The Bottom Line: I really don’t know where all the glowing reviews of this show are coming from. I mean, it had a really hot opener and a pretty decent main event, but there was just nothing of substance to fill the other 2 ½ hours in between. You could probably stretch and say the six-person was okay, but the lows were just too depressing and the highs weren’t high enough to save it. Early buyrates for this show already are disappointing to WCW, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering how piss-poor the promotion for it was.

Thumbs in the middle, leaning down, for Mayhem.