Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: The Revolution

The Revolution – WCW, 1999

History
It was Monday Nitro on July 19, 1999. Chris Benoit and Perry Saturn had been tagging together and were even former tag team champions. Dean Malenko had been allying himself with them as well. This night started off like any other – Benoit and Saturn were tagging together to take on Curt Hennig and Barry Windham of the West Texas Rednecks. After a match that saw significant interference from the other Rednecks, Saturn finally managed to lock the Crippler Crossface onto Hennig. This prompted the other Rednecks to run in, which resulted in a DQ win for Benoit and Saturn. Malenko ran down to try and help his buddies, but the three were still no match for the Rednecks. Then Shane Douglas, making his WCW return, came out and cleared the ring. Douglas then got a microphone and talked about how Malenko, Benoit, and Saturn were all being held down. Douglas promised that things were about to change.

On Thunder, things were still pretty much the same as Malenko lost to Flair thanks to Diamond Dallas Page’s interference. Saturn and Benoit had come out to help keep Flair from running to the back, but Bigelow and Kanyon came out and attacked them.

On Nitro, Douglas got an interview. He talked about how he trusted Malenko, Saturn, and Benoit, and then promised to cut out a cancer on WCW that was named Ric Flair.

Instead of Flair, Douglas got Scott Putski. Douglas disposed of Putski easily.

Next on the card Benoit then took on David Flair for Flair’s US title. Benoit lost, not only with the help of Page’s Jersey Triad, but also due to the fact that Charles “Lil’ Naitch” Robinson was the referee. Douglas, Malenko, and Saturn then ran in and cleared the ring of Flair’s buddies.

The main event of Thunder saw Saturn, Benoit, and Malenko taking on Flair, DDP, and Kanyon. Flair finally got the pin after Asya slipped him a WCW International Object, which he clocked Benoit with. After the match, Douglas came in to promise that he and the others were going to take back WCW and that he had their backs. Nice sentiments, Shane, but couldn’t have made it out a few minutes earlier – you know, to help them win or something?

Things finally started turning around on Nitro. The show opened with Kanyon and Bigelow taking on Harlem Heat. When Page tried to interfere, Benoit stopped him, allowing Harlem Heat to take the win. Benoit then challenged Page to a match later in the night.

Later, Douglas and Malenko (whose stable was now being called the Revolution) took on Hugh Morrus and Jerry Flynn. The Revolution won the match, and then Malenko stole a hardcore trophy.

Next up Saturn took on Bobby Duncum Jr. Saturn immediately put away Duncum, and then challenged Curt Hennig. Hennig obliged and Saturn won after the Windhams ran in, causing a DQ. Malenko and Douglas ran in to help rescue Saturn.

In the Revolution’s final match of the night, Benoit took on Page. Benoit pinned Page for the win, then got hit by a Diamond Cutter as David Flair taunted him with the US title. The favor was returned on Thunder when Page put Benoit away – this time by grabbing the belt and using it as Benoit went for the diving headbutt.

On Nitro, the Revolution was meeting with Dusty Rhodes (who had just been named head of the WCW Championship Committee, according to Tony Schiavone). David Flair wandered by and started taunting them, so Benoit slapped the Crossface on Flair. Dusty then said that he would defend the US title against Benoit later in the night.

Benoit came out to face Flair. Right away it looked like Flair had the advantage, as Charles Robinson was getting ready to referee. Nick Patrick ran out and sent Robinson to the back and the playing field was level. David tried to run, but ran into the Revolution. Malenko and Saturn each grabbed an arm and returned David to the match. Benoit got the pin and was immediately attacked by Page, who was then swarmed by the Revolution. Benoit promised Page a no DQ title shot at Road Wild.

Thunder saw Shane Douglas and Dean Malenko taking on Barry Windham and Bobby Duncum Jr. in a tag match. Douglas won, and then the Rednecks swarmed them. Saturn came out to help, but he was also overwhelmed and wound up hogtied for his troubles.

That brought us to Road Wild. It started with Malenko, Saturn, and Douglas taking on the Rednecks, who were represented by Hennig, Duncum, and Barry Windham. The match soon broke down and in the chaos Saturn was able to drill Duncum with the Death Valley Driver.

Later Benoit took on Page. After fighting off attacks by the other Triad members, Benoit was finally able to put Page away. To celebrate, Malenko, Saturn, and Douglas came out.
Why they couldn’t have made it down earlier, I don’t know. Maybe they were all in the bathroom.

Nitro saw Benoit retaining his title against Disco Inferno. After that, Saturn defeated Bam Bam Bigelow with Douglas’s help. Benoit and Malenko then ran down to run off the Triad.

On Thunder, Douglas easily disposed of Al Greene. The Revolution then made their way out and Saturn wound up getting a TV title shot against Rick Steiner. He also recited the group’s motto – “Out with evolution, in with revolution.”

Saturn’s match against Steiner ended with Saturn getting the win – by DQ. Sid, who was racking up “wins” in his role as the Millennium Man, ran in and pushed Saturn into a Steiner belly-to-belly from the top rope. Benoit ran in to make the save, and then challenged Steiner and Sid to a tag match against himself and Saturn.

The next Nitro saw Brian Knobbs, Hugh Morrus, and the Barbarian taking on Douglas, Saturn, and Malenko. The match was going well until Rick Steiner interfered and left Saturn easy prey for Knobbs. Benoit came out of the back and offered Steiner a US title shot.

That match happened later in the night. The match was going well for Benoit until Steiner pulled the ref in the way of the diving headbutt. Steiner then slid out of the ring and grabbed the US title, which brought Saturn out. Then Sid ran in and chokeslammed Saturn. After Sid and Steiner powerbombed Saturn, Benoit fought his way to his feet and ran them off. He then repeated his challenge for the tag match on Thunder.

Thunder started off well for the Revolution. Douglas and Malenko easily disposed of Disorderly Conduct (Mean Mike and Tough Tom). Then Benoit and Saturn took on Steiner and Sid. Sid got the pin after powerbombing Saturn. Just for kicks, he then powerbombed Benoit, which brought out Malenko and Douglas for the save.

On Nitro, the Revolution kicked into PPV promotion mode. Saturn challenged Steiner to a match for the TV title at Fall Brawl, and Benoit laid out on open challenge to his US title.

Douglas and Malenko then took on Hugh Morrus and Brian Knobbs. The match came to an end when all four men started brawling outside and were counted out.

Benoit then defended his US title against Jerry Flynn. Benoit easily took control and had just headed to the top rope for the diving headbutt when Jimmy Hart called out the rest of the First Family. That brought the Revolution out, and we had another brawl. After the First Family was cleared out, Benoit took advantage of the opportunity to challenge Sid.

Thunder opened with Shane Douglas taking on Dave Taylor. With Malenko’s help to counter Steven (now William) Regal’s interference, Douglas won easily. Then Chris Adams ran in and clocked Douglas with Regal’s British flag. That brought out Benoit, who evened the odds. Then the First Family ran in, only to get run off by the Revolution. Douglas then grabbed a mic and ranted about how the Revolution didn’t know what they were dealing with.

The Revolution got an interview with Mean Gene later. Benoit hyped up his match at Fall Brawl against Sid, then Saturn warned Sid that the hunter could become the hunter.

In the main event, Saturn took on Sid. Saturn had just gotten the advantage when Rick Steiner came out and attacked, giving Saturn the DQ win. Then Malenko came out, grabbed the TV title, and leveled Steiner with it. Benoit and Douglas then made their way out as Saturn clotheslined Sid out of the ring.

On Nitro, the Revolution was entered in a twelve-man battle royale. The rules were weird, so hang with me. The first four are eliminated. The next six would fight each other one on one. The last two would fight each other for a world title shot the next week. The winners wound up being Benoit and Malenko.

Douglas was the first to have a singles match as he took on Kendall Windham. Douglas wound up winning after Stevie Ray nailed Windham with the blackjack. The night continued in a positive note as Saturn defeated Hugh Morrus.

Benoit and Malenko were putting on an excellent match when Sid wandered out and tried to powerbomb Benoit, only to have Malenko stop him. To make up for it, Sid powerbombed Malenko. Benoit jumped at Sid, eventually running him out of the ring and back to the back.

On Thunder, Benoit, Saturn, and Douglas took on Regal, Taylor, and Adams in a six-man tag match. With the rest of the teams fighting on the floor, Benoit took advantage of the chance to slap the crossface on Adams, drawing the submission and a Revolution win.

Later in the night, Malenko took on Rick Steiner for the TV title. It was sort of pointless, since Malenko had stolen the title, but oh well. It took less than two minutes for Sid to come out, grab Malenko, and chokeslam him. That brought out the rest of the Revolution, who eventually ran Sid and Steiner back to the locker room.

That brought us to Fall Brawl. Douglas and Malenko started the night by taking on Hugh Morrus and Brian Knobbs in a no-DQ tag match. Morrus was eventually able to hit the No Laughing Matter on Malenko for the win.

Next up Saturn took on Rick Steiner for the TV title. Steiner was eventually able to hit a top rope clothesline to retain the TV title.

Sid and Benoit was the Revolution’s last entry and capped off a perfect night for the Revolution’s opponents. A powerbomb ended the match and put the US title on Sid.

Nitro opened with Benoit and Malenko one on one to determine the number one contender, with Douglas and Saturn at ringside to prevent any interference. The match ended when Malenko hit a move from the top rope but Benoit landed on top for the win.

Benoit later came out and said that Sid had tapped out the night before. Benoit then demanded his title match with Sting. That brought out Rick Steiner, who gave Benoit a title shot – a TV title shot. Benoit made the most of it, rolling up Steiner for the win and the title. Steiner attacked Benoit until Malenko showed up for the save. Steiner decided to keep taking out his aggression on referee Mickey Jay.

Next up Saturn took on Eddie Guerrero, in a match that brought out not only the Revolution, but also the Filthy Animals. Despite both stables being out there, there was remarkably no interference. Saturn finally managed to get the win in this hard-fought match, then both stables faced off in the middle of the ring.

Hurricane Floyd caused the cancellation of Thunder, so we pick up with the next week’s Nitro when Benoit got his title match against Sting. It took Lex Luger with a baseball bat to put Benoit down. Then Ric Flair ran in to attack Luger. Then DDP ran in to attack Flair. Then Hulk Hogan ran down to attack all the bad guys.

Later, Saturn took on Eddie in a rematch from the previous week. Finally Saturn went over the top and the Revolution started the brawl. As Saturn climbed back into the ring, Douglas clocked Eddie with a chain and left him for Saturn. Saturn took the pin, but it was obvious he wasn’t happy about how it had happened.

On Thunder, Saturn was taking on Chavo Guerrero. Saturn was overcoming Eddie’s interference, but when an accidental low blow was added in as well, Chavo wound up with the win.

The next week’s Nitro was off to a good start as Benoit retained the TV title in a match against the Cat. Dean Malenko then lost a match to Rey Mysterio Jr., but showed remarkable sportsmanship by shaking hands after it was over.

Then Saturn took on Konnan. It didn’t take long for Chavo’s stable (Psychosis, Silver King, and Juventud) to come out and attack Konnan. Then the Animals came out and attacked them. While this was going on, Saturn and Eddie were fighting – until Douglas pulled Saturn out of the ring, which caused another argument.

Thunder finally saw the confrontation. Saturn accused Douglas of violating the Revolution’s code by using the chain. Douglas apologized, and everything was fine again.

Nitro opened with Malenko taking on Rey Mysterio. Douglas once again got ready to use the chain and Saturn grabbed it away from him. Saturn got ready to hit Douglas with it and instead popped Mysterio. They both laughed as Malenko locked in the Cloverleaf. However, Malenko saw the replay on the Turnertron and wasn’t happy with what had happened.

Benoit later had an incredible match with Bret Hart in a tribute to Owen. The match is on the Chris Benoit DVD, and shows what happens when two incredible athletes are allowed to show what they can do.

Thunder opened with Malenko taking on Blitzkrieg. Blitzkrieg fell victim to the Texas Cloverleaf and Malenko had an interference-free win.

Brian Knobbs was Benoit’s challenger for the night. Finally Jimmy Hart climbed into the ring with the megaphone, only to accidentally hit Knobbs with it. Benoit hit the headbutt and that one was over.

Nitro was a momentous occasion. This was the night that Vince Russo and Ed Ferrera jumped from the WWF to lead WCW to ratings dominance. Well, the first time, anyway. All the Revolution did was to have Saturn in a three-way elimination match with Eddie and Chavo Guerrero, which Chavo won.

There was trouble at Halloween Havoc. Saturn met Benoit and Malenko walking into the arena and Malenko told Saturn that he and Douglas could cram the Revolution.

Saturn was taking on Eddie Guerrero in a match that saw the Revolution banned from ringside. Unfortunately, Eddie had stolen Ric Flair’s Rolex earlier in the week and Flair made his way to the ring with a crowbar to get it back. DQ win for Eddie.

Benoit was up next – defending his TV title against Rick Steiner. Benoit had just headed up to the top for a headbutt, when Steiner grabbed a chair and threw it into Benoit’s face. Malenko ran down to the ring and grabbed the chair away, then nailed Benoit with it, giving Steiner an easy win.

The next night on Nitro, it was announced that Sting was being stripped of the world title due to attacking the referee the night before and a tournament was organized. Saturn took on Eddie in the first round, the only Revolution presence tonight. David Flair came out with a crowbar and whacked Eddie in the ribs with it, giving Saturn the win. Saturn didn’t waste any time clearing out as the Animals made their way to the ring.

After that, Benoit made his way to where the Revolution was hiding. Earlier that night, they (and new member Asya) had kidnapped Torrie Wilson. Benoit nailed Malenko with a chair, locked the door, and commenced the beatdown on Malenko.

That led to a last man standing match between Benoit and Malenko. Finally Benoit and Malenko were both down. They both fought to their feet, but Benoit was the only one to beat the count. The Animals then arrived, only to have Shane Douglas order them away from Malenko. Seeing Torrie in danger, the Animals obeyed as the Revolution cleared out.

On Thunder, Malenko and Saturn took on Silver King and El Dandy after telling the Animals that Torrie was safe with Asya. Saturn and Malenko got the win after Malenko nailed El Dandy with a chain and locked in the Cloverleaf.

In the main event, Benoit was taking on Sid. Benoit locked in the Crossface, only to have Saturn and Malenko run in and attack him. Then the Animals ran in and attacked them.

Nitro started off for the Revolution with Douglas challenging Eddy to a match with Torrie’s key on a pole. (Apparently it was the key to the room she was locked in.) Malenko then got a mic and started running down Benoit, only for Benoit to challenge him to up the stakes on their title tournament match. They were now fighting inside a steel cage.

We soon found out what the key was for as the Revolution came out for Saturns’s match against Eddie – Torrie was locked in a cage being driven out to the ring. Despite the Revolution’s attempt to fix the match (by greasing the pole), Eddie was able to jump and grab the key while Torrie choked Saturn from inside the cage.

Benoit was able to win the cage match against Malenko, but that brought out the Revolution to attack Benoit after chaining him to the cage wall. That brought out the Animals to attack. Then David Flair came in with a crowbar, used it to drop the Animals, and freed Benoit. Then Sting came down and retrieved his baseball bat from Konnan.

The Revolution was on a roll on Thunder, as Malenko easily disposed of Van Hammer. Then came the main event – Rick Steiner & Benoit vs. Sid & Saturn. After not being tagged in, Steiner gave up and headed to the back. Benoit had just locked the Crossface on Saturn when Malenko came out of the back and attacked. Which drew out the Filthy Animals, etc.

On Nitro, the Filthy Animals headed out to the ring for an interview. That brought out Malenko, who proposed a tag match: Malenko and Asya vs. Rey and Torrie. Rey accepted, although Malenko had hinted that Rey had a bum knee.

Later in the show, Saturn took on Bret Hart in another world title tournament match. Saturn thought he’d won with a sunset flip, but Hart was able to maneuver and lock on the Sharpshooter for the win.

In Malenko and Asya’s match, they had total control. Asya handcuffed Torrie to the turnbuckle, and then they simply took turns attacking Mysterio. Finally Malenko got the win with the Cloverleaf, and then left Rey laying as EMTs came out to check on him.

On Thunder, Malenko was taking on Curt Hennig. Finally Asya distracted the referee, which gave Shane Douglas a chance to nail Hennig with his cast (apparently he had an injured arm). Malenko went for the pin, only to have Disco Inferno break it up. Asya and Disco got into a scuffle outside. Chris Benoit saw his opportunity and drilled Malenko with the headbutt, giving the win to Hennig.

The main event saw Saturn taking on Sid (again). Finally Asya pulled the referee out of the ring and the bell rang signaling a DQ as Sid got ready to powerbomb Malenko. After that, he prepared to powerbomb Asya, only to have Rick Steiner save her.

Nitro had Asya taking on Kimberly Page, with Torrie as the guest referee. It didn’t take long for David Flair, crowbar in hand, to make his way out and attack Asya. Flair then cleared out as the Revolution arrived to provide backup.

That led to a “House of Pain” match between Saturn & Malenko and Eddie Guerrero & Konnan. The rules went like this – it was a cage match but you won by handcuffing your opponents to the cage (arms and legs). The Revolution won, then Douglas and Asya entered the ring to punish the Animals a bit more. Rey hit the ring to help and had his leg shackled to the cage so the Revolution could destroy it.

That brings us to Mayhem, where we had a six-person elimination match: Eddie, Kidman, and Torrie vs. Saturn, Malenko, and Asya. Miscommunication with Eddie led to Kidman getting rolled up by Malenko and pinned. Eddie next pinned Malenko. Eddy then eliminated Asya. Eddie submitted to the Rings of Saturn, leaving Torrie alone. Torrie tried a low blow, but Saturn retaliated with a low blow of his own and rolled her up, securing the win for the Revolution. Their only other appearance was Malenko trying to interfere in Benoit’s title match against Bret Hart.

On Nitro, Saturn easily put away Evan Karagias in a match that is only notable that Buzzkill made his debut on commentary. Saturn later accompanied Asya to the ring, where she defeated Madusa.

Benoit then took on Malenko in a flag match. The rules were to get the opponent’s flag – Benoit had the Canadian, Malenko had the US. Malenko brought a blowtorch out in preparation of winning. Malenko finally grabbed the Canadian flag and a barrel flew into the ring. The Revolution set the barrel up and prepared to burn the Canadian flag and a US flag as well (just to be sure that the crowd booed the right people). Bret Hart ran in for the save and the two stood there waving the two flags as the Revolution scattered.

The Revolution came the next week on Nitro (apparently Thunder was cancelled) and denounced the American flag. They announced that they were forming their own independent nation. Malenko called himself a python, Douglas a rattler, and Asya a boa. Saturn then grabbed the mike and said that he was the most sought after snake in the world – a trouser.

Of course, in WCW if you mess with the US, that only means one thing can happen, so out came Jim Duggan. The Revolution recovered from a 2×4 attack to drop Duggan, then posed while holding the flag over Duggan.

On Thunder, Saturn and Malenko took on Disco Inferno and Lash LeRoux in a tag match. Lash finally got knocked out by Shane’s cast and locked in the Cloverleaf while Saturn kept Disco occupied. Also, Asya took on Midnight and won, then the Revolution beat down Duggan again.

On Thunder, Douglas prepared for Malenko’s match against Booker T by challenging Duggan to a match at Starrcade. It would be a four-on-four match, and if the Revolution won, then Duggan had to renounce his US citizenship. Malenko wound up winning the match with an assist from Douglas’s broken arm.

Asya then took on Duggan. The match quickly turned into a travesty as Douglas attacked Duggan with the US flag, Saturn was over in the corner eating some apple pie, and the others poured mustard and hot dogs onto Duggan. Harlem Heat then ran in for the save.

On Nitro, Duggan had an interview with Gene Okerlund. In it, Duggan revealed that if his team won, it meant that the Revolution had to become janitors for a month. The Revolution went on to defeat Harlem Heat (Booker, Stevie Ray, and Midnight) in a six person match.

Thunder saw Saturn and Asya teaming to take on Duggan and Midnight (with Harlem Heat in their corner). Duggan won by cracking Saturn with his 2×4 behind the referee’s back. The Revolution then retaliated by attacking Duggan.

That brought us to Starrcade. Duggan finally revealed his partners. Apparently he’d been doing some calling from his little black book, because he brought out the Varsity Club – Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda, and Rick Steiner. On the plus side, he also brought out their new manager. Now she was called Leia Meow, but in ECW she was better known as Kimona Wanaleia. Duggan fought off the Revolution, but kept refusing to tag in the Varsity Club. Finally the Club attacked Duggan and left. Douglas then ran from the commentary position, slid into the ring, and pinned Duggan.

A triumphant Revolution came out on Nitro and called out Duggan. Per the terms of their match, they demanded that he renounce his citizenship and tear up the flag. Duggan refused and said he’d lied when he said he would. As Malenko prepared to burn the flag, the Filthy Animals returned and ran in for the save.

Thunder opened with the Animals and Duggan coming out and offering their thoughts about the Revolution. The Revolution responded and laid out a challenge to the Animals. That led to a match later in the night where Kidman, Konnan, and Duggan teamed against Saturn, Malenko, and Asya. Eventually, Rey (on crutches) sneaked into the ring and used the crutches to lowblow Saturn and Malenko. Konnan and Kidman hit stereo sunset flips and the Animals took the win. After the match, the Revolution stole Rey’s crutches and attacked the Animals with them.

On Nitro, the Powers that Be (Russo) had announced a lethal lottery tournament that would run the next two weeks. The Revolution’s first appearance was in a match where Saturn teamed with Konnan against Buzzkill and Mike Rotundo. Malenko finally locked in the Cloverleaf on Buzzkill. While the ref was distracted, Duggan ran down and clocked Malenko with his 2×4, allowing Buzzkill to cover for the win.

Next was the tag match with Saturn and Duggan teaming against Norman Smiley and Asya. Saturn refused to attack Asya, but she had no such reservations. She hit him with a low blow, then a superplex, then tagged in Smiley for the win. After the match, Smiley hugged her and she responded with a belly to belly suplex.

The Revolution didn’t do much of anything for the next week. Finally they returned to the ring on January 10, as we had a three way dance for the tag titles – Saturn & Malenko vs. Konnan & Kidman vs. David Flair & Crowbar (champions). The match ended when Saturn splashed Rey through a table and Flair covered him.

On Thunder, Shane Douglas promised that the Revolution would take down the Filthy Animals that Sunday at Souled Out. One minor problem. Rey, Konnan, and Eddie were all out injured, leaving Kidman. Also, Jeff Jarrett was injured and unable to take part in his “triple threat theater” which had been heavily promoted. Solution? Kidman’s now in the triple threat theater, taking on Malenko, then Saturn, then a mystery partner.

The first match was called “Catch as Catch Can.” You lose by touching the floor, getting pinned, or submitting. The match was over 30 seconds in as Malenko forgot the rules and rolled outside. Kidman advanced.

The second match was a Bunkhouse Brawl against Saturn. It took longer, but Kidman was able to reverse a powerbomb into a bulldog and score the win.

The third match was a cage match where the Wall obliterated Kidman.

And that was the end of the Revolution. That night would be remembered not only for Chris Benoit winning the world title from Sid, but also for Kevin Sullivan taking over the book. It was announced that anyone who wasn’t happy could get a release, and Benoit, Saturn, Malenko, and Eddie Guerrero immediately took advantage and jumped to the WWF.

Analysis
I’ve got to give Russo this – the group really wandered until he came on the scene. They were formed to fight the old stars (an idea that would come back a few months later with the Millionaire’s Club taking on the New Blood), and wound up feuding with the Filthy Animals. After that, the Duggan angle was interested, but injuries again pushed it to the back. I hate to say it, but if the releases hadn’t occurred, I believe that they would have just started wandering again, at least until the writers could come up with something for them.

Where are they now?
Chris Benoit is now on the Smackdown side of the WWE roster split. He has gone on to win the WWE World title at Wrestlemania XX.

Dean Malenko has retired from in-ring competition, and remains with the WWE in a backstage role as a road agent.

Perry Saturn has been covered extensively in other columns. He is still working the indy scene.

Shane Douglas was not released by WCW and returned to work alongside the New Blood in a feud against Ric Flair. When WCW folded, Douglas would go to work for Rob Black’s XPW before making his way to TNA, where he remains today as a backstage interviewer.

I believe that Asya has retired from the ring, and is now married to Dale Torborg (WCW’s Demon).

Next week
A WWF announcer shows his dark side.

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