The SmarK 24/7 Runt for WCW Mayhem 99

This isn’t a rant, but I was just watching WCW Mayhem 99 on 24/7 tonight so I could get a DVD copy of it, and it really strikes me again watching it 8 years later:

a) What a wasted opportunity for WCW this was.

b) What a shitty booker Vince Russo was.

This was only a few months into his reign of terror as booker, and already you’ve got MULTIPLE versions of man v. woman matches up and down the card, including a mixed tag match, Kimberly v. David Flair, and Midnight beating up men to protect Booker T. People “retire” and return the next night on Nitro, you’ve got people seemingly turning face and heel constantly. Not to mention some truly cringe-worthy, god-awful matches like Disco Inferno v. Evan Karagias for the CW title in a feud meant to set up Disco’s gambling addiction (and BOY does that one look f*cking hilarious in hindsight!) and Medusa winning the CW title from Karagias later on. Not to mention Berlyn v. Vampiro in a chain match that turns into a tag match with The Wall & Berlyn v. Vampiro & Jerry Only and competes for worst match of the night on a show with David Flair v. Kimberly AND Torrie Wilson wrestling. Probably the worst offender and most bothersome to me, however, was Ed Ferrera’s insulting and stupid Oklahoma gimmick, which was double-edged bad: It wasn’t funny, and it was incredibly mean-spirited, which is a bad combination. I can at least understand if you’re poking fun at someone for being over the hill or a self-parody, but listening to Ferrera treat Jim Ross like he wasn’t worth the dirt on his boots made me sick to my stomach back then and still does, especially since Ferrera ended up a spectacular failure at everything he tried, and Ross was just inducted in the Hall of Fame. There’s gentle parody and then there’s being an asshole, and that gimmick crossed the line. Ferrera has since apologized for the whole thing and blamed Russo, but as if the booking didn’t leave a bad enough taste in your mouth as it is.

Anyway, this show was supposed to be Russo’s WCW version of Survivor Series 98, and it ended up being his swan song as PPV booker, which was easy to understand given what a car wreck the show was.

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