The SmarK Retro Repost – Sin


– Live from Indianapolis, IN

– Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Scott Hudson

– Opening match, Cruiserweight title: Chavo Guerrero, Jr. v. Shane Helms. Chavo works a headlock to start, but Shane gets an armbar. Chavo makes the ropes. Again, he makes the ropes again. Shane works an armdrag, but gets popped. He hits a flying headscissors, and blocks a hiptoss with a gutbuster that misses and puts Chavo’s head on Shane’s knee. Chavo dumps Shane. This crowd is seriously pumped, and they’re desperately trying to get into this match. Brawl outside, and back in where Shane gets a rollup for two. Sunset flip gets two. Chavo reverses a piledriver into a whiplash slam and goes low, then dumps Shane again. Back in, he gets two. Dropkick gets two. Hit the chinlock. Shane comes back with an atomic drop and a neckbreaker, that sets up a double-KO spot. The crowd eats that one up. Like I always say, the double-KO spot is a guaranteed winner for keeping the crowd into things. You can add that one to my Ten Rules of Wrestling: Always book a double-KO spot in the opening match. Slugfest, and Shane gets a straightjacket suplex for two. Shane hits the Sugarsmack. Can’t get enough of that move. It gets two. Chavo dumps Shane and follows with a plancha. Back in, Shane reverses a suplex and dumps Chavo, and hits a plancha of his own. I’d say Shane wins that contest. Back in, Shane sunset flips him for two. Samoan drop gets two. Inverted diamond cutter gets two. Second try is reversed, and Chavo goes for the tornado DDT, which is blocked by another Diamond Cutter attempt, but Chavo reverses that into a brainbuster for the pin to retain. Darn good opener. ***1/2

– Big Vito v. Reno. Johnny Hugger, who was at Vito’s side during the pre-match promo and is instructed to “come on, Johnny” by Vito, mysteriously disappears on the way to the ring. No biggie, but they’ve really gotta stop these dumb errors. Reno gets a quick lariat for two. Brawl outside. Back in, Vito takes over with a superplex. Enzuigiri and backdrop suplex follow, but a blind charge misses. Brawl outside again. Reno takes over and stomps him in the corner back in the ring. Lariat gets two. Vito gets the mafia kick and a clothesline to come back. Flying elbow gets two. Reno goes for the Roll of the Dice, but Vito reverses to a suplex for two. Reno gets a capture suplex and they slug it out. Suplex reversal fever leads to the Roll of the Dice for the pin for Reno. Quite a decent little brawl. **1/2

– The Yung Dragons v. Knoble & Karagias. Kaz & Evan start, and Kaz hits an Ocean Cyclone suplex and the hicks bail. Double quebrada follows. AWESOME. Back in, Kaz drop toeholds Evan into the corner. Double-team slam on Kaz gets two. Evan gets a powerslam for two. Drop toehold / dropkick combo from K&K gets two. Knoble hits a flying elbow for two. Kaz takes a swing at Evan and gets dropped by Knoble. Evan hits a press-slam into a spinebuster for two. Evan blows a moonsault, but Knoble prevents the hot tag. Kaz hicks him in the head, hot tag Jung Jang. He’s a house of fire. Knoble gets the advantage, but Jung gets a top rope powerbomb for two. Evan hits a 450 splash for two. Wow. Kaz gets a slingshot DDT for two. Double wow. Knoble tombstones Jang for two. Jang hits a rolling slam, but a senton misses. He manages an inside cradle for the pin on Knoble, however. Super, super hot match, probably Evan Karagias’ best ever. ****

– The Cat v. Mike Sanders. This is for the Commisionership, Miss Jones, and possibly possession of the Magic Slippers. Sanders chokes him out to start. More choking. Cat gets a shoulderblock and Sanders bails. Footrace, and of course Sanders jumps the Cat on the way in. Cat comes back with his kicks and the Infuriating Enemy Pummel. Another cheapshot puts Cat down. Big kick gets two for Sanders. Cat dances and drops an elbow. Sanders tosses the Cat, but Miss Jones prevents a chairshot. Back in but wait, here comes the Thrillers. But wait again, here comes Kronik to fight them off, having apparently been given a bigger payoff by the Cat then Sanders gave them. Big kick finishes for the Cat, crowd pops huge. Entertaining crap. **1/4

– Penalty Box match: Lance Storm, Mike Awesome & Elix Skipper v. Rey Mysterio, Kidman & Konnan. Jim Duggan is YOUR special ref. For those of you who weren’t around to see World Class in the 80s and see this same gimmick done to death with the Von Erichs, the idea here is that there’s two “penalty boxes” outside the ring, and when someone breaks a rule, they go to that box, giving the other team an advantage for a minute or however long it is. Storm and Rey start, and Storm crotches Rey on the top rope. Elix comes in illegally and goes to the box. Awesome brushes Duggan arguing the point, and he’s gone too. Storm gets beat on 3-on-1, and Rey gets a senton for two. Storm comes back with a rana on Kidman. Skipper in, but he gets suplexed. Awesome cheats and goes to the box, as does Storm. You know, putting the heels there all the time totally defeats the purpose of the match. The idea is to have the heels dupe the referee into putting the FACES there, and then beat on the remaining face 3-on-1 to build sympathy. Konnan hooks a Mr. Salty on Elix Skipper (oddly, I was just introduced to that move by the ECW Path of Destruction DVD yesterday when Jericho does it in the 4-way TV title match), but Storm and Awesome are freed. Skipper gets a headscissors on Konnan, but he gets DDT’d for two. Skipper with the missile dropkick and Awesome comes in with a backbreaker on Konnan for two. Outside, the chicks get all PMS’y with each other, and Kidman and Rey go to the box for double-teaming. Catfight outside sends both women to the box. Skipper gets a legdrop and hits the chinlock. Konnan comes back with a facejam and hot tag Kidman. Powerbomb on Storm gets two. Big brawl outside, bunch of people go to the box. Storm and Rey seem to be left. Guillotine legdrop on Storm gets two. Kidman comes back with a tomikaze for two. Awesome comes back from the box, KILLS Rey with a powerbomb, and Storm applies the Canadian Maple Leaf to Kidman for the submission. The booking of that match was completely contrary to every rule of wrestling and was a total mess to boot. **1/2

– Hardcore title match: Terry Funk v. THE MONSTER MENG v. Crowbar. That afro is just outta control. Doesn’t Indiana have some sort of law against hairstyles that big? Funk drags Daffney out of the crowd, and Crowbar attacks him from behind. Funny bit as he continues hanging onto her hair while taking the shots. They head backstage and into the women’s bathroom. OKAY, the spot is DEAD, deal with it bookers of the world. Meng joins in. Usual stuff follows. Meng gets buried under five tables, and Funk & Crowbar fight back into the arena. Crowbar puts Funk on the table and comes off the bleachers to put him through it, but the camera is off looking at the ring crew repairing the ring. No, really. Thankfully they show a replay a bit later. Meng breaks up the pin and battles Crowbar to the stage. Meng superkicks him down the ramp. Funk discovers that one of the sections of railing is conveniently doubled up, so he sets up the spare piece and puts Crowbar through it, as it bends cleanly in two. Gee, just a LITTLE fake there. Crowbar and Funk head into the ring, where Crowbar goes after Funk’s knee with a chair. Figure-four, but Meng comes off the top (!) with a splash onto Crowbar. A piledriver gets two. Meng splashes Funk for two. Funk and Crowbar team up to batter Meng with chairs, and Crowbar covers for two. Funk DDTs Meng for two. Crowbar turns on Funk and chairs him, but Meng applies the TONGAN DEATH GRIP OF DOOM for the pin and the title. That’s actually his first singles title, believe it or not. The opening was typical crap, but the match got pretty good once they made it back to the arena. ***

– WCW World tag titles: The Name Brands v. Chuck Palumbo & Sean O’Hare. Well, at least they picked the two talented NBTs. DDP & Palumbo start, and slug it out. DDP gets the discus lariat and sambo suplex for two. Nash & O’Hare go next. Nash gets the big boot and uses the BIG KNEES OF DOOM. O’Hare superkicks him down, and they beat on him. Nash comes back with the rope straddle and a lariat. DDP comes in with another lariat for two. Palumbo gets a big kick (apparently the “Jungle Kick”, making reference to his first WCWSN gimmick), for two. The Thrillers get a double slingshot suplex for two. Page gets the beats put on him. Page reverses a tombstone for the double KO, and hot tag Nash follows. Big boots for everyone! The other Thrillers run in, along with Lex Luger, who lures DDP into the crowd. Buff Bagwell then runs in, KO’s Nash with a wrench, and the Seanton bomb finishes and we have NEW champions. Nash? Job? What parallel universe did I wake up in? And it only took 6 guys instead of the usual 12 or 13 to make him lay down. Match was nothing. *3/4

– US title / first blood / ladder / chain on a pole match: General Rection v. Shane Douglas. Just a FEW stips for this one. I guess the tuxedos were at the cleaners or something. Slugfest to start, but Rection gains control, and works an armbar. Douglas punches away in the corner, Rection comes back with chops. He hits a flying lariat, but gets crotched when he goes up again. Douglas works on the knee, and goes to a figure-four. Why? Brawl outside, and into the crowd. Zzz. Rection gets crotched on the railing. Douglas uses the ringpost figure-four, except he only half does it. Rection comes back with a press slam and finds a ladder. He grabs the chain, but the ref gets bumped. Douglas finds his OWN chain, however, and cuts Rection with it for the win and the US title. I’ve seen worse. *

– Goldberg & Sarge v. Lex Luger & Buff Bagwell. Buffer’s intro takes FOREVER. Goldberg and Luger start, stalling results. Goldberg hammers Lex. Flying shoulderblock and underhook suplex follow, and Buff comes in. Goldberg no-sells a suplex and presses Bagwell into a powerslam. Sarge comes in with some basic stuff: Slam, suplex, 2nd rope elbow for two. The heels cheat and Sarge plays jobber-in-peril. Luger clothesline gets two. Buff DDT gets two. We hit the chinlock. Yawn. Sarge reverses a Buff suplex, hot tag Goldberg, and they head outside. Quick word of backstory here: Earlier in the night, Ric Flair introduced Goldberg to an “old high school buddy” and his son, and Goldberg signed an autograph for them. They’re at ringside. Luger goes after them, Goldberg chases him off, and the kid maces Goldberg. Good god, what a stupid angle. Goldberg is blind back in the ring, as Luger chairs him down (Flair made it a no-DQ match) and they hit a nice double-team Blockbuster for the pin, and Goldberg is “retired”. Yeah, right. Still, the crowd is absolutely in shock, so it worked on that level, at least. ½*

– WCW World title match: Scott Steiner v. Jeff Jarrett v. Sid Vicious v. The Mystery Man. Flair’s Mystery Man isn’t here yet, so we start without him. Lucky us. Sid fights off both Jarrett & Steiner, hitting a sideslam on Jarrett and pounding Steiner in the corner. Steiner gets the belly to belly for two, however. Jarrett & Steiner double-team him for a bit. Outside, bad brawling follows. Back in, more double-teaming. Sid comes back with a double-suplex, nearly killing Jarrett. Big boot for Jarrett and Steiner, chokeslam on Jarrett gets two. Cobra clutch slam for Steiner, and Jarrett bails. Flair fetches the Mystery Man backstage, and everyone stands around waiting for the music cue. But Sid seems to have broken his leg, so the Mystery Man kicks him in the head and Steiner pins him to retain. And it’s Road Warrior Animal. Yup, Bischoff’s back. So, so bad. DUD I was making jokes the other day with Zen about Bischoff raiding I-Generation Wrestling now that Hogan was coming back. I WASN’T SERIOUS, YOU BASTARDS.

The Bottom Line: Man, I had that “thumbs up” all cocked and loaded during the great first half of the show, filled with effort and clean finishes and entertainment and stuff. Then the second half, filled with old people, bad finishes, dumb swerves, and slow movement took over. Just like the good ol’ days, I guess.

Eh, I’ll give ‘em the benefit of the doubt and go thumbs up for the undercard, but that upper card isn’t gonna help anything.