– Before we start, let me explain a bit on this World Wrestling All-stars promotion, for those smart ones who either politely forgot about it, or never knew about it. Either one is explainable, but this is my job. So we’re 2001, post-ECW/WCW, and this was a promotion that came out of Australia, owned by Andrew McManus, who signed non-WWE signed wrestlers, even Randy Savage. The product basically flopped in short order, and the WWE went on to sign Scott Steiner and Nathan Jones, while a lot of the others went to a more successful promotion, TNA.
The NeelDown: WWA The Inception
– From Sydney, Australia
– Hosts are Jeremy Borash & Jerry Lawler
– Commissioner Bret Hart comes out to start with the WWA title. Remember there is a tournament tonight to crown the vacant championship. He talks about how this is his first time to great Down Under, ect. He said he’s not just some token GM, and says in WWF and WCW no one beat him. So he looks at Goldberg, Austin, Benoit, and “piece of shit” Vince McMahon and not one of them beat the Hitman. So whoever wins the WWA belt tonight, “takes his belt.” That really made no sense at all, but this is a first show type dealio, so whatever.
Juventud Guererra v. Psicosis – WWA Cruiserweight Championship
Juventud takes him down with a tornado DDT quickly then takes him to the floor and drops him with a ladder. Oh, I guess this is a ladder match for the title. The lack of advertising for it kind of threw me off. I feel maybe that will be a trend tonight and in the future. Juventud continues working him over with the ladder and bridges it on the top rope. He tries a rana but Psicosis sunset flips out of it then tosses him into the bridged ladder. Psicosis hangs him to dry on the top rope then climbs up the ladder and legdrops him off. He tries climbing after that but Juventud slingshots and dropkicks the ladder over. Juventud gets another ladder, but has it dropkicked into him. Juventud gets a SLOPPY dive from the top of the ladder, where kind of slips off and barely makes contact, and then the ladder teeters over onto the ref. Funny spot. Juvy sunset flip powerbombs him off of the ladder, and then follows with a 450 splash and then climbs up and unlatches the belt, and that’s all she wrote. Well there were no big spots really, but it was a good opener and thankfully didn’t run overboard. ***
Winner: Juventud Guererra
– The Starrettes dance on the mini-stage.
– Big Australian star (yeah, right) Nathan Jones has arrived, and greeted by Lenny Lane and Lodi.
Konan v. Road Dog – Dog Collar
This is the first WWA title tournament match. I guess WWF laid the legal Smackdown on RD, because he is now single-g. I guess that means I must resist from the Street Puppyy jokes. Oh well, there are always 1999 tapes to review. Konan jumps him on the mic entrance to start and mocks DX. Such originality. Konan hangs him over the ropes with the chain then brings him back in and gets a rolling clothesline. He makes it to three posts, but Dog, man it feels odd typing that, takes him down. Konan attacks again though, but gets cocky and gets knocked down. He makes it to two corners before being stopped of momentum. Konan unlatches his chain and wacks RD with a CROWBAR OF DEATH. So you can just take off your chain and use weapons? Nice officiating rules here. He tries using the crowbar AGAIN, but gets caught. Oh, now they say he gets DQ’ed if he does it again. Smart choice. RD wraps him up in the chain and taps all of the corners to advance in the tournament. It was pretty quick and to the point, even though the finish was kind of quick and slopped together. 3/4*
Winner: Road Dog
Devon Storm v. Norman Smiley – Hardcore Match
Smiley comes out in an Australian basketball outfit with a ball. Storm gets a quick crossbody inside and things spill outside where Smiley boots a can lid into his face. Storm skins the cat and splashes a chair into him, followed by a moonsault. Storm tries charging with a kendo stick but gets backdropped. Smiley attempts to dance, but gets wacked repeatedly with the stick. He charges to do a suicide dive, but Smiley throws a chair at him and pulls out a table. The crowd throws some water on him. Classy Sydney Superdome folks. Back in Smiley gets the Big Wiggle then tries to suplex him through the table, but Storm does a nice counter and suplexes him into the ring instead. Smiley gets a DESPERATION TRASH CAN but Storm comes off the apron and dropkicks it, then rolls Smiley onto the table and splashes him through. Smiley through some various objects at him then masks him with the can and wacks him with a chair a few times. He tries a Big Wiggle on the stage but Storm promptly mule kicks him. However, Smiley comes back with the dangerous atomic drop and beats on him with the cane. They brawl backstage, which was expected, and Storm shoves him into a rolling trash dumpster, and shoves it into a crate where Disco Inferno was sitting and talking on his cell phone. Smiley goes some hilarious terrifying primal screams when being pushed in the trash. Now we’re back to the side stage and Storm keeps dropping the railing on him for some more screaming. Storm stacks some tables on the stage and sets Smiley on top of them, then adds some club shots too, for surplus good measure. He then climbs up the supporting walls to the titantron and splashes Storm through both tables, which looks like one of the tower breaking through tower sequences. Storm however seems to have injured his ribs badly, so Smiley just covers him and gets the pin. Really fun mid-card hardcore match, a nice fun breath of fresh air so far. ***1/4
Winner: Norman Smiley
– We get a look at the updated tournament bracket, and apparently Juvi-Psicosis was one of the tournament matches too, but Juvi has been injured and can’t continue. Uh … so it’s ladder, for the cruiserweight title, and also a tournament match for the WWA World title? And why did they not advertise it as that, and even said Dog-Konan was the first of the tournament matches? I think this was just a cheap way to say that they had a third match.
– So Bret gives word that a battle royale will be replaced as a quarterfinal in the tournament, and anyone who has worked for WWA is allowed in. Simple enough.
Quater-final Battle Royale
Buff Bagwell answers first, followed by Disco Inferno. They go at it, then Stevie Ray makes his entrant. He boxes them both down, then Smiley and Storm both enter. I guess their injuries weren’t too painfully bad. Jerry Lawler decides that since it’s anyone in the WWA, he can join, so he does. He makes Borash join too, but he quickly gets dumped over by Stevie Ray. Slick Johnson and the other ref are in too. Devon Storm takes over announcing, so I guess he’s done. One of the interview divas decides to enter and pound on King, but then climbs over to eliminate herself. Slick goes out. So now everyone remaining tries charging at Stevie Ray. They send Smiley and Inferno but they both get pounded. The Bananas in Pajamas join us, and Stevie Ray finally gets dumped. King gives Smiley the Big Wiggle, so Smiley tries to eliminate him, but Bagwell dumps them both out and now we’re down to Bagwell and Inferno, which is who we anticlimactically started with. Bagwell gets a double-arm DDT but Inferno gets a running neckbreaker and the Disco Elbow. The Fruits however turn on Inferno and come in and dump him. But then Bagwell dumps his helpers and is the winner. Obviously, with refs, chicks, and bananas, this was more of a joke match, but Bagwell does meet the winner of Jarrett/Jones. Fun comedic match. **
Winner: Buff Bagwell
Jeff Jarrett v. Nathan Jones – Guitar on a Pole
Obviously this is another quarterfinal. Jarrett plays mega-heel to put Jones over as the huge, ginormous, 7 foot bald Australian hero maniac. And, shockingly as it sounds, yes, the WWF did pass on the guy. Jarrett slugs on him in the corners to start but runs into a twirling slam that kind of flopped. Jarrett chokes him in the ropes and gets the knee guillotine, then tries a double axe handle but Jones catches him by the throat. Jarrett kicks out of it, but runs right into a sidewalk slam for two. Jones clotheslines him to the floor and pounds on him out there, then drops him over the announce booth, which is now Borash and Nathan’s manager. I guess King called it quits after the battle royale. Jones gets a Kane-esque flying clothesline then tries grabbing the acoustic six-string, but Jarrett low blows him and gets it himself, then goes to El Kabong him but the manager sneaks in, so he gets blasted with it instead. You should think Jones would sneak attack here and get the win, but instead he just turns around and gets Stroked so Jarrett advances in the big … upset. The booking seems odd here since Jones was promoted as the huge hometown hero giant and got defeated, but that’s loophole Jarrett for you. **
Winner: Jeff Jarrett
– Oh, there’s King. He comes out and brings the Fruits out to find out why they turned on Inferno. Lenny and Lodi come out with various signs such as “Being Down Under Blows” and “I Hate Australian.” King says now we have four fruits in the ring. Bret Hart makes his way out and makes the Bananas exit. He makes Lawler return to the announce table for the rest of the night. Then he makes RD come out and face Lenny and Lodi.
Road Dog v. Lenny v. Lodi – Semifinal
L&L attack to start but they fall into the … position drop. Lenny tries a pin but Lodi breaks it up. Dog tries punching them off but falls victim to a double team neckbreaker. This time Lodi breaks up the pin. They do the “slam the opponent’s face into Lenny’s crotch who is perched on top” spot, but again they get confused on who to pin. Might as well just set up a turn. Finally L&L shove each other and Lenny crucifixes Lodi but it only gets two. Lodi rolls up Lenny for two. Lenny’s moonsault Lodi, and they just happen to land into the 34th sexual position of the match, so Road Dog drops a knee on them and gets the pin to advance to the finals. Match was a glorified joke, really, not a semifinal, with the tag team turn and RD sneaking in for the win. 1/2*
Winner: Road Dog
Jeff Jarrett v. Buff Bagwell – Semifinal
This is of course the second semifinal. Bagwell gets to choose the stipulation for the match, and his clue is that it has to do with puppies. So it’s a lumberjack match with the Starettes with whips. Bagwell takes him down to start but Jarrett escapes the spankings. Bagwell continues working him over and gets a dropkick sending Jarrett to the floor where he gets chased and whipped. Jarrett wants Slick to ban them from ringside or something. Jarrett tosses Bagwell, but instead Lolita and the girls gently come to Buff’s aid and help him get back in the ring. He comes back in and Jarrett crotches him with the ropes, but quickly gets clotheslined to the floor for more half-assed whips. Bagwell does one himself but Slick yanks it away, so the girls go after Slick. Anyway, back inside, Bagwell gets a blockbuster for the pin, but one of the girls counted it, so Slick waves it off, and Jarrett sneaks in and Strokes Bagwell for the pin and he advances to the final. Well, much like the last semifinal and the battle royale, this was more of a comedy match, with the stipulation. *
Winner: Jeff Jarrett
Vampire Warrior v. Luna Vachon
Vampire Warrior, as if you couldn’t tell, is Gangrel, and Luna is his wife, but they are having relationship problems or something. It’s actually marketed as a “Black Wedding” match. Anyway, they go back and fourth and Luna gets a low blow, then wacks him with a piece of cardboard or something. Anyway, Gangrel DDTs her for the pin. Bad. -*
Winner: Vampire Warrior
– Disco Inferno comes out to tell us how he got screwed out of the battle royale. The B’s in PJ’s come out and send Inferno into the cage. Disco fights them off though and tosses them off the top. Disco then sings some KC & the Sunshine Band, for good measure, but gets called a “certified jackass” by Borash.
Jeff Jarrett v. Road Dog – WWA Championship cage match
They take turns going at each other in the corner so start and RD clotheslines him down and does the shuffling punches. Drop of the knee gets two. He tries a charge but Jarrett tosses him into the cage a few times, then stops to strut and taunt. What a combination. Dog returns the favor so Jarrett tries climbing. Dog follows and they slug it out on top. Jarrett wards him off and makes it to the floor, but remember it’s only pinfall or submission rules. Jarrett clocks him with the ring bell but RD doesn’t sell it well and returns the favor, busting JJ open. Lawler wonders how Bret, who is guest commentating, can condone the usage of the bell, and he doesn’t really have an answer. Such is kayfabe, King. Anyway, Jarrett locks in the sleeper back inside, as I guess the door now magically came open, as they had to climb over to get out previously. Jarrett has a pretty good crimson mask going now. Road Dog gets out and locks in his own, but it doesn’t last long. Both guys are down, and JJ makes a cover for two. Jarrett runs into a big boot but dodges a clothesline that hits the ref. Jarrett goes out and gets the acoustic equalizer of death, then smashes it over RD’s head and locks in the Sharpshooter and Dog taps, but Bret won’t condone someone stealing his move. Dog shoves Jarrett into the ref so he’s down again, and then stupidly tries the Sharpshooter himself, as if that does anything, because Bret won’t ring the bell. Bret decides to walk with the belt, but Road Dog runs up and steals it from him. However, Jarrett is waiting, and he ducks the belt shot and Strokes RD onto the belt for the pin and the title. With Jarrett’s big blade job and RD stealing the title, it almost looks like JJ should be getting a face pop. Afterwards Bret locks Jarrett in the Sharpshooter, for good measure, and I guess the crowd is supposed to go home happy. Decent match, with some clever booking and some great perfuse bleeding by Jarrett. ***
Winner: Jeff Jarrett
End of show.