Wrestling Opinions From A Sleazy Guy 4.27.98
By Sebastian Howard
I’m writing this at 2 am on 4/23/15, which isn’t at all far from my last post. So, I don’t have too much to add to my life persay, other than to mention I hung out with a rich dude, and got a decent drunk going on last night. Zoloft and Alcohol mixed together equal fun!
So now I’m sitting here in my room, getting bitched at by Grandma because the computer chair is “too squeaky for her to go to sleep to,” out of cigarettes, and not feeling even remotely tired at 2 am. I kinda wish I had some speed or something to help make this column go by a bit faster, or fuck, even some caffeine but I’m out of both of these things. I’ve already masturbated tonight, and really don’t have a lot of things I feel like doing… so why not write a wrestling column?
As I mentioned at the end of my last “Sleazy Guy,” I’m going to do a retro, 98 Raw and 98 Nitro review… mostly because current Raw has been boring me so badly it’s become a legitimate chore to watch and review. I also actually have some cool news items… well sort of news items, to go over from 98 along with the reviews. So let’s Search and Destroy baby…
Random Media I’ve Consumed in the Last Two Days!!!!
I’ve been reading Tom Wolfe’s “Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,” and Wolfe’s writing fits perfectly with guys like Hunter S Thompson, and Norman Mailer. I’m not that familiar with Wolfe’s work (other than a few short stories here and there) and I’m mostly checking him out because of Hyatte’s Two Week Book Club deal that he used to do… and also the book’s cover looked pretty cool, and the name makes it too interesting to pass up. I’m only fifty pages in so far, but it seems to be about Wolfe hanging out with hippies, and writing about the evolution of Ken Kasey, and whether or not his speech on “Graduating from Acid,” is legitimate or forced upon him by the courts so he could get out of jail early. The book also explores the origins of LSD, and is entirely biased… this book will make you want to do acid like crazy. Fuck, if I had more money I’d do acid tomorrow…
I just rewatched Blade Runner for the first time in a while, and I picked up on the fact that HARRISON FORD IS A FUCKING ROBOT IN THE MOVIE!!!! While doing a bit of research on the subject, I found an interview with the Scriptwriter, who was being a real dick to people asking the question of whether or not Ford was a robot. He basically said he hated that question, and didn’t think it was relevant to the film. Maybe in the original cut he’s right, but in the Final Cut, or the Directors Cut THERE ARE LARGE PARTS OF THE FILM DEDICATED TO THAT QUESTION!!!! Ford having dreams about a Unicorn, the origami animals being left around, and the fact that six robots got out, and only five are accounted for. Ridley Scott, the guy who pretty much made perfect movies for the entirety of his career (Alien>Aliens any day of the week) said that these things were intentionally put there for the whole reason of suggesting that Ford was in fact, a robot. Scott actually admits in interviews that Ford is a robot in the movie, and says in the sequel he plans on making, that it will be a big part of the movie. So how in the fuck is the screenwriter going to be such a dickhead as to say one of the biggest, and most explored parts of the film (in the Final Cut at least) isn’t relevant to the movie… especially when the sequel, if its ever going to be made, is going to be largely based on the fact!? Snobby ass fuckers…
Wrestling News that Nobody Remembers!!!
I have all of the 1999 Torch’s on my computer from Xtreme Wrestling Torrents, unfortunately there’s no 1998 Torch’s as those would’ve been especially helpful to this column as I could’ve done the news in “real time,” instead I’m just going to crib from The Biggest 50 Stories of 1998. I might go back, in another column, and go over the Awards and such if I’m in the right mood. Here’s some of the major stories:
- 1998 Record Year for Business
Now this is a rather obvious one, but one that’s looked over in hindsight. 98 was probably the only year were WCW and the WWF had really good business at the same time (at least, during the Monday Night Wars.) In 99 the WWF started KILLING WCW, and the WWF just got bigger and badder while WCW turned into the complete Hell that was Nitro in 2000-01. https://wcwin2000.wordpress.com/ Now obviously the business itself, the WWF got bigger but I don’t think there was a better year for both companies than 1998 (97 Nitro was killing Raw, and Raw didn’t even start winning the ratings war until the Vince/Austin/Dude Love segment).
- RAW OVERTAKES MONDAY WAR
It may be the most infamous and ironic quotes of all–time—Eric Bischoff saying during a TVinterview early in 1998 that Tuesday afternoons when Monday night ratings arrive aren’t fun anymore because Nitro was beating Raw so handily. Within weeks Raw began closing the gap.
On Apr. 13, Raw beat Nitro for the first time by a
4.6 to 4.3 margin. They exchanged wins back and
forth for months before Raw took over the ratings
battle in the fourth quarter of the year. –Torch
Obviously a lot of people like to talk about how Eric’s over confidence and laziness killed him, and when Raw started rebounding he was too late to do anything about it. While that’s slightly true, it was honestly the politics that completely killed of Nitro. Having to watch those old shows… it gets so ridiculous. Sting, who was in probably the best feud of the 90s, with Hulk Hogan, finally won the title… so he gets to hold it for two months (and has some, admittedly pretty cool matches with Nash) AND THEN LOSES THE TITLE TO RANDY SAVAGE WHO WAS FUCKING INJURED!!! So of course since Savage was injured, instead of say, giving Sting a rematch or having a tournament, or putting over someone new, Savage jobs to Hulk Hogan one day after winning the championship. The problem with WCW and Nitro is that it became so damn stagnant, and the crusiers were never made out to have any importance, other than having quality matches. Guys like Jericho and Eddie had to do all the legwork themselves, while Hogan and Nash, and Eric Bischoff got ridiculous amounts of air time.
Meanwhile, the WWF was pushing new exciting things, and pushing the envelope like crazy. The late 90s WWF was a completely different animal of the product today… or even the product of 2000, or 2001. The pure amount of sleaze, sex, and violence was absolutely ridiculous… but in a good way. Raw absolutely refused to be subtle… about anything (not counting the character development in some cases, Austin/McMahon was a lot more subtle and logical than the cartoony story it became in 99). WWF at the time just appealed to a younger audience, and it was just a more exciting product than what WCW was putting out. Why watch Hogan win the title for the 155th time when Steve Austin was fucking shit up, and Sable was pulling out her tits? Raw was edgy, and trashy, and so very ECW, without becoming totally unfocused and all over the place like Nitro in 2000 under Russo’s control. It had the appeal of, “Even if you don’t like what we’re showing… don’t you want to watch it anyway? Just to know what everyone’s talking about? C’mon, y’know you want to..” And I think what pisses people off about Raw today, is how safe and lame the atmosphere has become… especially if they have memories of how good, and how edgy wrestling COULD and CAN STILL be!
Not to totally discredit Nitro, as a lot of people do when talking about the period. Nitro still had a lot of cool things going for it, Nash was extremely fun to watch because he could pull shoot promos out of nowhere, and was the best big man on the show. Jericho was great in his role of narccistic, insane guy who is so good at wrestling that he can get away with it (though Schivaone’s commentary on Jericho’s matches comes across as overly obnoxious, as he buries Jericho whenever he’s on screen). Eddie Gurrerro is hilarious, Raven was dark and hadn’t had his character turned into “spoiled rich boy,” that Nash wrote him as in 99, and Page was over as fuck and putting on great matches. Oh, and there was this guy named Goldberg who had just won the US Championship…
Another thing that Nitro had up on Raw is that Nitro would have pure wrestling. Raw in 98 felt almost completely void of actual wrestling content, and focused more on brawling and storylines (which is VERY Vince Russo). Raw’s undercard and midcard for the most part was pretty bad except for a couple exceptions like Trips, Owen, D-Lo, and The Rock. Nitro had a very strong undercard and midcard compared to Raw’s, and Nitro could reasonably fit three hours worth of content into one show, whereas I’m not sure if Raw could’ve pulled that off back in 98.
The reason why Raw is better than Nitro in the end, is because Raw doesn’t leave the same depressing taste in your mouth as Nitro. Nitro ends with the old guys holding the strap, the same old shit you’ve seen a million times, and everyone you like stuck in meaningless, seven minute midcard matches. Raw on the other hand leaves you excited for the next week, and optimistic about the product. And y’know, the weird thing about today is… Raw in 2015 is a lot more like Nitro in 1998 than anyone would care to admit.
- STEVE AUSTIN BECOMES TOP STAR AS MICHAELS’S CAREER ENDS
Wrestlemania 14 is what launched the Attitude Era, and as much as I love Shawn, he wasn’t drawing at all when he was on top. Michaels wrestling was top notch, and a lot better than what was being put on by WCW at the time, but his character seemed somewhat one dimensional, and out of tune with the times. Austin on the other hand, was in the right place at the right time, and ended up connecting with the fans so well, and was pretty good in the ring. Without Austin, WCW would’ve won the Monday Night Wars which makes this story, completely deserving of its number 3 slot… in retrospect this could be considered the number one top story of 1998.
- TYSON, LENO, MALONE, RODMAN
APPEAR ON WRESTLING PPVS
I’ve always kind of thought the Tyson/Austin/Shawn storyline was a bit overrated, as the whole angle was supposed to be that Tyson was teasing fighting Austin, and it never ended up happening. I understand that it brought a lot of media attention, and the angle itself was well done, but I still think it’s a tad overrated, and really, Tyson didn’t do anything to distinct himself other than being Mike Tyson.
Rodman, Malone, and Leno are all horrible, horrible memories that I’m sure you don’t need me to bring up. I just want to mention that Hogan giving the ok to make Leno look good, was absolutely ridiculous and a disgrace to the already sleazy politics of wrestling. At least Malone and Rodman were athletes… the whole Leno thing was just embarrassing, and a big black eye on the business. AND THE MATCH WENT ON FOR WAYYYY TOOO LONG!!!
- VINCE MCMAHON BECOMES WWF’S
TOP HEEL CHARACTER
People were praising this in 1998, and for good reason. It wasn’t just Austin who won the Wars, it was Austin/McMahon. The original feud between them was very well done, a lot more subtle (at least in comparison to what happened later) and made both characters three dimensional. Vince, of course went overboard with his heel character, and by 99 he had won the WWE Championship, in 2001 he was having a feud with Shane over the FATE OF WCW, in 2002 he was having thirty minute hardcore matches with Flair… the list goes on and on. Vince got so used to abusing his power that it led to the whole horrible Stephanie thing. So as much as we like the Attitude Era, Stephanie would never have been pushed down our throats in the way she has been if it didn’t happen.
- BRET HART SABOTAGED BY WCW
It was the second biggest story in wrestling in
1997—the WWF’s top star for the previous
several years jumped to WCW. It should have
assured WCW of another year of ratings victories
and a number of guaranteed huge buyrates. There
was a long list of surefire money–drawing
opponents for Bret, including Hogan, Sting, and
Goldberg. WCW began with Ric Flair. Without
Hogan on the card, they headlined the February
PPV and drew a buyrate that rivaled Hogan’s
recent PPV matches. Having become a threat to
Hogan, Hogan managed to sabotage Bret for the
rest of the year. The PPV headlined by Hogan vs.
Bret never took place. Bret dropped below Scott
Steiner on the roster–depth chart.
As much as I don’t like Charlie Reneke, he pointed out in an Eric Bischoff interview that Eric was full of shit, and that he should’ve utilized Hart a lot better than he did. Bret Hart as the big babyface running through the NWO and feuding with Hogan could’ve revitalized the company at a time when WCW needed it the most. But Hogan was too much of a bitch and vetoed it. It actually makes sense from a certain standpoint, as Hogan was the most popular wrestler EVER, and it really wouldn’t affect him if WCW crumbled because he could always jump to the WWF…. And beat Triple H to become champion EVEN AFTER WWF MADE FUN OF WCW FOR FOUR YEARS ABOUT HOW THEY WERE FUCKING AROUND WITH OLD PEOPLE IN THE MAIN EVENT!!!!
- MANKIND TAKES TWO BUMPS OFF
TOP OF CAGE
This is the bump that everyone kind of takes for granted these days, I’m sure it was badass and edgy in 1998, but we’ve seen the spot so many goddamn times that it really doesn’t mean anything anymore. The match itself was rated as the best match of 1998, which is completely ridiculous today, as most everyone agrees that the match was pretty much Foley and Taker stumbling around, and Taker trying to not completely kill Foley. Cool at the time, but in retrospect, overrated.
- BISCHOFF FIRES FLAIR FROM WCW
If you were to do a Top 50 Stories of 1998 today, this one wouldn’t even make the list. Just another ridiculous abuse of power, as Eric fired Flair for not complying and then realized that he fired RIC FUCKING FLAIR and rehired him. NO ONE even mentions this story anymore… fuck the 1991 firing of Flair is considered a much bigger deal. It’s more of a Did You Know thing than a top story.
- JESSE VENTURA WINS GOVERNOR
ELECTION IN MINNESOTA
Again, a story that no one really cares about today. The only reason this is relevant to me is because on one of Jello Biafra’s Spoken Words, one where he was being especially pretentious he made the comment of, “You people made a pro wrestler governor? A PRO WRESTLER!??” Get it guys? Because wrestlers are dumb, and can’t do normal things… I guess. Fuck Jello Biafra, GAUNTNMO SCHOOL SUCKS ASS!!!!
- ECW EXPANDS, BUT FALLS INTO
ECW was not good in 1998, and it’s not even really a top story… more like something thrown in there because ECW needed to be put in the top ten.
Alright, that’s all I’m going over for the Top 50, next retro column I might go through ten more of them, might not.
Thoughts with Attitude!!!!
Raw 4.27.98 ERRR wrong date, 6.01.98
Alright, the guy who uploaded these 98 torrents has gotten each episode correctly in order and everything, problem is he actually fucked up with the 4.27.98 edition and put the 6.1.98 edition instead. And the 6.1.98 file is a duplicate, so I guess we’re gonna jump ahead two months and check out what’s going on. It bothers me that we have to jump ahead but I’m not JUST reviewing Nitro, dammit!
So this is the Raw after Austin retained the WWF title against Dude Love (again), the match involved Vince as the special guest Ref, but Foley ko’d Vince on accident, and Austin stunned Foley, and used Vince’s limp hand to count the pin. The show starts off with a pretty funny video package of Vince going over the main event, but in a completely biased way. Vince narrates the package, and makes it seem like he’s the valiant hero, and that Austin was a sick bastard who won the title in a sleazy way. Pretty funny, because that’s exactly how Vince’s character would see it, and he IS the owner of the company, so it makes sense that they’d make stuff like that.
SLEAZE SLEAZE TOO MUCH SLEAZE AND NOT ENOUGH TIME CAN’T YOU FEEL THE SLEAZE IN YOUR EYE!!!! GOD DAMN RAW IS SLEAZY AS FUCK!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, and we’re in Chicago so the crowds going to be really fucking hot. If I look hard enough I might even find a young CM Punk in the crowd….
Foley comes out NOT in the Dude Love outfit, just in slacks and a normal shirt. Foley’s pretty pissed, as he admits that Austin kicked his ass last night. Foley teases a face turn, saying he’s been listening to the wrong people, and wants to make an apology… and then calls Vince out to the ring. Foley can play such a great suck up… Foley asks Vince for forgiveness, but says he’s going to take some time off . Vince looks SO pissed, and tells Foley he’s a miserable excuse for a WWF Superstar, and tells him to get down on his knees. ON YOUR KNEES SON!!!!!! Foley says he won’t do it because HIS KIDS ARE WATCHING DAMMIT. Vince tells Foley he’s already an embarrassment to his kids so it doesn’t matter. This is some pretty brutal shit… Foley teases attacking Vince and the crowd POPS LIKE CRAZY!!! Vince goads Foley into hitting him… shit is getting INTENSE!!!
Vince reminds Foley of all his financial obligations while still goading him to hit him with the chair… God damn, this angle is so good. Vince then says that the reason he hasn’t fired Austin is because Austin makes him money… while Foley just makes him sick. THIS ANGLE IS SO GODDAMN REALISTIC AND WELL DONE!!!! Vince then fires Foley, AND DANCES AROUND HIM TO HIS OWN MUSIC!!! That whole opening segment was brilliant, realistic, and made Foley a lot more sympathetic, three dimensional character than he has been throughout his WWF career up ‘till that point.
Kevin Kelly is interviewing Droz…. Which is the picture definition of irrelevance. The Road Warriors get involved in the interview, and Sunny comes with them AND SHE LOOKS SO HOT AND SLUTTY IN THAT LIL COSTUME!!! God damn… I want to have some SUNNY DAYS!!!
The interview was being held outside, and the DOA comes and starts brawling with The Road Warriors and Droz. Basically, it’s a trashy, badly choreographed version of Mad Max 2. It’s a Chicago Street Fight because they’re IN CHICAGO!!! If Punk was in the arena, this is when he’d go out to get some Pepsi… and maybe fuck Maria too. This is an incredibly dull street fight, but it looks like its going to end soon as it’s just Droz and one of the random biker dudes. And then THE FUCKING UNDERTAKER comes out for no reason, and beats the shit out of both of them. Well that was… pointless.
Gotta sit through the main of Over The Edge at some point, Austin was on a roll from 96-98 and could NOT have bad main event matches. I think Austin’s last REALLY good match was 2001 with Trips, in the Three Stages of Hell… my God, Trips was so fucking good in 2000-01.
Val Penis comes out, and I swear to God, Val looks like Triple H in the future. Venis talks about his penis, and soccer moms act really horny. Huge sign that says “Val Venis Penetrates Chicago.” That shit would NEVER be allowed on Raw now…
1st Match: Val Venis vs Mexican Jobber
Venis puts Jobber in a Camel Clutch, and humps him at the same time. WRESTLING ISN’T GAY DAMMIT!!!! Y’know in Smackdown vs Raw 2007 the worst thing that can happen to you is getting hit by Viscera’s finisher, which is to hump you to death, with his four hundred pounds. Jobber actually gets some offense in with some WCW cruiser stuff, and hits dropkicks, and ranas, but gets caught in a Samoan slam, and Venis hits the legdrop off the top for the win. It’s pretty crazy how over Venis was, especially considering that he was only two months into his career at this point. The Undertaker comes out, and we cut to commercial. You, YES YOU can buy your very own Steve Austin, Don’t Trust Anybody T-Shirt. Pretty funny glitch as the guy who recorded this switched over to Nitro for a couple seconds.
Taker’s mad because Vince has been holding Austin down, and Taker’s an equal employment rights guy… or something. Taker said that he was making the WWF safe so Vince could put his hand picked wrestlers as champion. Taker gets quasi shoot as he gets pissed that Vince never let Taker carry the company, even after Taker stayed when guys like Nash and Hall left to Nitro. This has to be one of the most interesting Taker promos of all time, as Taker mentions that he never lost his smile (I swear to God) even after Vince let Paul Bearer have a bunch of air time to talk shit about Taker’s family FOR RATINGS!!! This is such a weird, half shoot storyline… and it mixes the storylines and the real life politics together really well.
Taker demands that he gets a title shot against Austin, and Vince comes out. Shits about to go down… Vince says he appreciates what’s Taker done for him… but what has Taker done for Vince lately? Vince goads Taker, and asks him if his mom’s a whore which almost leads to Taker killing Vince. Vince makes a 1# contenders match for later tonight, and it’s between Taker and Kane. Vince has just gone insane, and does NOT give a fuck. I mean, he just literally talked shit to THE FUCKING UNDERTAKER… TO HIS FACE!!! The stress of having Austin as champion is driving Vince insane, and it’s leading to really well done character development.
DX supersoak Sable. The set looked like a porno stage… I was half expecting DX to rape gangbang Sable.
I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT WE’RE GOING TO SEE SABLE POWERBOMB MARC MERO!!! God dammit, Mero is one dumb motherfucker for letting that happen.
2nd Match: Marc Mero vs Steve Blackman KOTR Qualifying match
See what I’m saying about the WWF mid-card sucking? Mero says Sable is home, barefoot making sandwiches… FOR BROCK LESNAR!!!!! Mero introduces Jacyln, who looks mighty fine (for a black chick) which leads to JR making a bunch of lame Bill Clinton jokes.
Steve Blackman kicks the shit out of Mero, so Mero goes out to get some chocolate lovin’. JR acts like Mero is the biggest asshole for running Sable off… BRO, do you know how obnoxious Sable would get? I’d be looking for other bitches right away, Jesus…
Cole asks if Sable is available… SO THAT’S WHY BROCK F5’D COLE!!! Jaclyn distracts Earl, and Mero hits a low blow, and Samoan Drop. Mero goes to the top and hits a pretty cool 450 splash for the win.
Decent match, with a basic story. Mero could’ve been more over in the midcard for a longer period of time, but doing shit like letting Sable powerbomb him really ruined his cred. Mero grabs Jaclyn’s ass, and JR freaks out about it on commentary. Jesus Christ JR, it’s the 90s, not the 50s!
Austin was on some Chicago Talk Show and Vince called in, and they have a pretty funny bit were Vince tries to act completely shoot throughout the whole thing.
Really cool promo video for Edge, where he’s hanging around sleazy New York streets, and beating up hobos and shit.
DX is coming out, and I have to say, the DX music video is probably the best entrance the WWF/E has ever had. It’s so damn desensitizing, and really makes DX seem different, and cool.
Trips does the AREEEEE YOUUUUUUUU READYYYYYYY and the Chicago crowd eats it up.
3rd Match: Trips, Pac, and Doggy Dog vs Rock, D Lo, and Owen Elimination Tag
It’s really crazy just how many people used to go to these 1998 shows, the Chicago arena is SOLD THE FUCK OUT and it looks completely croweded. Pretty cool.
Trips with punches right away to D Lo. D Lo comes back but eats a knee from Trips… and Doggy Dog’s in. Dogg does the shakey elbow, but eats a sick spinebuster from D Lo. D Lo goes for the tag, but Dogg tags in Mr. Ass. Gunn hits a pretty sick piledriver and D Lo is eliminated. Poor D-Lo…
Rock in and he takes out Dogg with a Rock Bottom. Gunn in, and its 2-2 now. Trips and Rock are in… which the WWF fans will get used to seeing those two in the ring with each other in the coming years… Owen and Gunn in, and Gunn goes for a Stinger Splash but eats the turnbuckle, and Owen takes out Gunn with a spin kick. Now it’s just Trips against Rock and Owen. Chyna comes out and we cut to commercial…
Will Trips win? Can he bury two people at the same time in 1998?
Owen hits a nice gut wrench suplex, and Rocky’s in. Rock does the Crotch Chop to Chyna and Chyna looks turned on… gross. Trips tries to come back but eats an elbow from Rock. Rock hits the People’s Elbow to a mixed reaction from the Chicago crowd. Rock goes for the Rock Bottom but Trips reverses into a Pedigree to eliminate Rocky. That was pretty sweet… but I mean, if Trips actually beats Owen and Rocky by himself… that would be pretty fucking ridiculous. Owen hits an enzguri but before the match could actually end, Shamrock comes out and throws Owen around like a rag doll. The Nation comes back out… and Dan “Freddy Mercury” Servern come out, and take out the Nation.
The match and story were really well done, though it could’ve been better with a little more breathing room, and pacing, the reason I wasn’t making too many comments throughout the match was because it was so quick paced that I couldn’t take a breather to come up with any jokes or commentary. Lightening quick match, but I liked the story and the crowd loved it. Trips is pissed at Shamrock for costing him the match, and him and Shamrock brawl for a bit…
God dammit, Jeff Jarrett is coming out. Jeff Jarrett is almost so lame he’s cool… which I’m hoping was what he was going for… because if Jarrett was trying to go for a cool Country badass he completely failed. AND THEN THE GODDAMN GODWINS COME OUT IN SUITS!!!! What the fuck is happening??? Am I having a bad acid flashback, I mean holy shit?
4th Match: Farooq vs Double J
Y’know, if they were going to make Jeff Jarrett the NWA Champion, and give him a shitload of air time, WHY DON’T THEY EVER LET JEFF LOOK GOOD!!??? Whenever Jeff is wrestling a big guy he gets his ass kicked, and barely wins the match by cheating. I find it pretty funny that back in 98 Jarrett was considered a really good wrestler… like on the level of Shawn Michaels, because he TOTALLY wasn’t. Jarrett was OK and he could have good matches, but besides the match he had with Michaels at In Your House I can’t think of any matches involving Jarrett that have really blown me away.
Godwins distract the Ref, and Jarrett kos Simmons with a belt to win, in a very cliché’ predictable ending.
5th Match: Taka Michnoku © vs Funaki for the Light Heavyweight Title in one of those random, really good matches that don’t mean anything
Goddamn, I think I need some caffeine or something to continue doing this. Cigarettes are making me lazy af.
Alright, now I am PISSED, went over to my Aunt’s house, had come Coffee and helped out my lil cousin with his homework. After smoking some of the weed scraps from around Codi’s room (my cousin who’s a year younger than me) I found some cool PS2 games, Ultimate Spiderman and Tomb Raider. So I’m pretty excited to play Ultimate Spiderman AND OF COURSE THE FUCKING GAME FREEZES AFTER I BEAT SHOCKER!!! So I’ve washed it with toothpaste, water, anything that would make the fucking thing work, and now it won’t even load. Some serious bullshit. There’s nothing worse that you can do to a guy then tease him (and that’s why Sarah Bailey is going straight to Hell!!!) and its put me in a pretty bad mood. Goddamit, I wanted to play that game…
Well let’s get back to Wrasslin’ dammit! For some goddamn reason Taka has come out with JBL, which is the weirdest team up ever. The other dude from Kai and Tai tries to get involved so Taka takes them both out with a moonsault. Al Snow comes out of nowhere, in a really stereotypical Japanese hat and shirt. He’s also hanging out with the Asian camera dudes. Funaki hits a brain buster but misses an elbow off the top. Taka hits a dropkick BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY THE SECURITY IS TAKING AL SNOW OUT OF THE ARENA!!! Oh, and Taka won with a brain buster. They really had nothing for Bradshaw at this point… teaming him up with Taka is one of those weird things you do in GM Mode when you don’t have anything else…
Paul Bearer’s really confident that Kane will win the main event tonight… even though Kane lost to Taker twice in a row. Al Snow is pissed off at head.
6th Match: The World’s Sexiest Black Man, Mark Henry vs Terry Funk in a KOTR Qualifying Match
God dammit, I HATE watching Terry Funk. It’s so pathetic watching him, he can’t do much of anything and is in terrible shape. Kinda like Pat Patterson amirite (well he can do SOMETHING with the boys backstage if you know what I mean)?
God damn, I’ve written five thousand words already… this is going to be lengthy. Mix this with the 3,000 I did for this week’s Raw and this one busy Beaver week for me. AND I have to do stuff for the comic section later this week too…
Funk hits Henry with a chair, and doesn’t get DQ’d. Funk actually does a pretty sweet moonsault off the apron. So is that where Shawn got it from? Is Terry Funk one of Shawn’s influences? At least Shawn didn’t stay as long as Funk did and become completely pathetic.
BTW, Vince has came out for commentary, and is going to stay out there until the main event. Henry plants Funk with a powerbomb, and hits him with a splash for the win. Decent Funk match actually.
Oh snaps, Austin’s coming out with a cup of beer…. And the glass breaks. Vince is PISSED on commentary. I’m trying to tell if Austin is buzzed or not… Austin gets on commentary, and picks on Vince a little bit. Y’know, Austin on commentary NEVER adds anything to the match, he just stays in character and acts really tough, and puts over whoever’s in the ring. It’s still entertaining but it’s Shawn or Punk on commentary.
Main Event: Kane vs Undertaker for the 1 # Contendership for the WWF World Heavyweight Title
We got nine minutes left in the show so I’m assuming we’re getting a bullshit finish. Taker with a Stinger Splash to start, and he goes to the outside, and hits Paul with some rights. The smoke from Kane’s pyro is pretty thick, and probably makes it harder to breathe, and wrestle but since its Taker/Kane, it actually makes for a cool visual. Kane hits a chokeslam, and throws Taker to the outside. Back in the ring, and Taker starts no selling some punches, but Kane cuts that off by ramming him into the corner. Austin on commentary tells Vince he’s not worthy of kissing his ass… pretty humorous commentary.
I think that the Kane/Taker matches work a lot better when they’re forced to do only the important stuff, and tell the story quickly, because those twenty minute matches between them drag on wayyyy too long. Taker keeps on trying to come back, but Kane cuts him off. Kane fucks up on an elbow drop, and Taker and Kane trade punches…. C’mon Chicago, where’s your boo/yay shit? I mean, I know it’s only 98 but that’s no excuse dammit. Taker channels Bret with the Five Moves of Doom but only gets two. Eral gets ko’d, and Taker hits Kane with the Tombstone and has the match won…. BUT BY GOD ITS MANKIND!!!!
Foley comes out and puts Taker in the Mandible Claw, and Vince looks shocked… but extremely happy. Taker punches Foley off…. But runs into a Tombstone from Kane. Kane gets the victory and is the number one contender. I like that Kane won mostly because it allows for more hype to go into Taker/Austin, and Austin/Kane feels important enough to not seem like filler. Foley and Taker brawl up the ramp to end the show….
Final Thoughts: What I really liked about this show was that it was still interesting, edgy, and compulsively watchable WITHOUT having Austin really involved in anything. The Taker/Mankind feud makes sense simply because Foley needs his damn job back, and he comes across as a compelling, sympathetic heel… and Taker is PISSED that he didn’t get his title opportunity. Kane/Austin, again, is a great way to build up anticipation for Taker/Austin, and Kane is such a threat to the title that it doesn’t feel like complete filler. What’s great about the WWF in this time period though is all the different ways it could’ve gone from this point.
Kane, Taker, Austin, and Foley all would’ve been great ways to spin the title in different directions, but instead at KOTR 98 they actually pushed The Rock up the card, and gave him a title. And that’s why the WWF was great at this time period, instead of just banking on a couple of great, over superstars, and then waiting for their heat to die down before they created new ones… they were making new stars WHILE those established ones were still over. It also adds a good element of unpredictability to the WWF that WWE is sorely lacking now, as this card makes Rock seem like a midcard heel at best, and then they elevated him to the uppercard in under a month. Just great booking and great character development all around. Not to mention that Vince was at his absolute best here just going completely insane due to Austin still having the championship, and Taker’s quasi-shoot promo being another highlight on a show full of them. Honestly, I’ve heard a lot of people talk about the realistic nature of the late 90s shows, but I’ve always brushed them off because on its face value the WWF still looked as cartoony and ridiculous as ever, but just with more grit and sleaze. However, now that I’m exploring the characters and their motivations more everything does come across as more realistic, and character based. All of these characters… except maybe Kane have good motivations for what they’re doing and that’s what makes these shows all the more compelling.
The Nitro girls are on and it reminds me of something Hyatte posted, so I’ll just crib from him.
Remember the Nitro Girls? Of course you do.
Remember those Nitro Girls “In-Depth” pieces that Nitro ran that focused on one girl each time, and all of them were portrayed as rocket scientists (or cancer researchers, or engineers who were building rockets to send cancer patients to outer space or some such), with the basic gist being that they were all highly intelligent, Scott Keith level-geniuses who, once this Nitro thing wrapped out they would go feed starving children, cloth the lepers, and get back to that rocket/cancer/build/cure/send to space thing? Remember that? Of course you do. Ever wondered what happened to them?
Well, a reader recently caught five of them on that TV show (the one I PRAY none of you watch) called Thirty Seconds To Fame where they had 30 seconds to get famous… to impress the judges and get a deal or something.
They called themselves “D-5” I believe (I lost the e-mail) short for “Diva 5”. I am pretty sure “Chae” was in it… but the reader swears they ALL were Nitro Girls.
I just can’t believe these girls got together and said, “Damn, all those years on Nitro and we never broke into mainstream… if only we had thirty more seconds to prove ourselves… heyyy, wait a second…”
You know… now that I think of it, I really CAN believe that exact conversation occurred.
You know (2)… all I need is thirty seconds to flame someone on national TV and I’ll be HUGE. I KNOW I would!!
*End Hyatte quote
I just find that rather amusing, but what Hyatte completely neglected to mention is that Michael’s wife is one of the ex Nitro Girls so there’s at least two semi important Nitro Girls in the whole thing.
While the Nitro Girls are dancing Alex Wright comes out and starts dancing, and the Nitro Girls get pissed that he’s out doing them and leave…
Big Sexy Nash comes out with Savage, who is fresh off losing the WHC one fucking day into having it… I really like Savage’s shirt, the art on it is very dark, and it has Savage locked up in a cage looking insane. Fuck all those lame 80s Savage shirts, sell more of those! Nash does his usual survey asking them about their shopping habits, and what they’re favorite food products are. Nash talks about Hall, and Warren Zevon, which means he probably got pretty fucked up over the weekend… Could you imagine having to wrestle hung over? That shit would be so obnoxious… The crowd would not be doing any favors for your headache.. Nash talks some shit to Bret Hart for hitting him with some championship, making this officially 1995. Savage cuts a promo but all I can focus on is how sexy Nash looks in those jeans…
Konnan is the new member of Wolfpac, not because he’s important or anyone cares but because Konnan and Nash had become friends backstage so Nash gave him a big push. They had a falling out a year later, and Konnan’s career went down the tubes… The moral of the story is, don’t piss of Kevin Nash or he will LITERALLY bury you. Nash makes Trips look subtle in comparison. Konann says a bunch of nonsense and we cut to a break…
Juvi Juice talks about how Mexican he is. Juvi says he’ll never say he quits… except that he DID quit against Chris Jericho. That’s how he won the fucking title!
1st Match: Chris Jericho © vs Chavo Gurrerro w/ Uncle Eddie for the Cruiserweight Championship
Jericho comes out with a Dean Malenko picture, and welcomes us to MONDAY NIGHT JERICHO! Oh, AND HE’S WEARING JUVY’S MASK AS A NECKLACE!!! Jericho is God!!!!! Jericho gets some major heel heat, as the entire crowd chants Jericho sucks. Jericho does an interview with the poster of Malenko. “Sorry guys, he’s a little bit nervous. He’s more talkative than usual! I’m dedicating this match to you Dean, you lil trooper.” HOW DO YOU NOT LOVE CHRIS JERICHO!!!???
Jericho plants Chavo with a hot shot, and Jericho is wearing a Monday Night Jericho shirt while beating the shit out of Chavo. Jericho was so fucking awesome in 98… They actually reference that Jericho and Eddie were tag partners which is pretty cool as I figured that WCW just wasn’t going to mention it again. Jericho puts Chavo in the Walls and wins, but Eddie’s pissed because during the match Jericho bumped into Eddie. It was Chavo’s fault though, and Eddie listens to Jericho. This is pretty funny as Jericho hides behind Eddie, while Eddie slaps Chavo around. I kind of just want the rest of Nitro to be Jericho acting ridiculous… this will probably be the best part of the show.
Buff Bagwell got injured but its 1998 so no one cares. There’s actually a pretty funny Nitro party were they have commentators that look like Tony Schivaone and Tenay, and have their own Nitro girls… and they’re having a WCW look a like contest. The Buff Bagwell guys wins…
Hogan and Eric Bischoff fuck each other on screen.
Okay, so basically that Nitro was only fifteen minutes due to the NBA Finals so Nitro continued the show the next day on 4.28.98. So maybe we’ll get to see Jericho’s sexy ass twice!
1st Match: Disco Inferno vs Chris Benoit in a Disco is REALLY going to be dead match
Benoit beats the living shit out of Disco BECAUSE HE CAN DAMMIT!
Emmmm, Mnm’s cookie ice cream…
We get a header telling us Babylon 5 will not be on tonight because of Nitro. What the fuck is Babylon 5?
Disco comes back with a neckbreaker, and an elbow off the top into an exciting chinlock. The commentators talk about if Disco will ever become as important as Roddy Piper… no he won’t, but he never became as embarrassing or obnoxious either. And Disco has better workrate. Disco misses an elbow… and my God, Benoit’s mullet is getting ridiculous. Benoit hits a release German and Benoit’s going up. Benoit hits the headbutt of the top but only gets two, so he goes into the crossface AND DISCO IS DEAD BABY!!!!!
Okay match, but Disco looked like too much of a jobber for it to really be good.
Highlight video for Chris Jericho, which is pretty funny. “I can’t cover up this face. YOU LIKE ME, YOU REALLY, REALLY LIKE ME!!!” Chris Jericho is God!!!!!
Jericho comes out to Dean Malenko’s music, and holy shit Jericho from 2010 is in the house! Jericho acts like Dean doing that weird arm thing and looking awkward.
1st Match (on the Tuesday Show): Jericho vs Psychosis
The Ref yells at Jericho for not taking off the belt, and Jericho begs off like a lil bitch. I can see what Jericho was talking about in his book, that his character was too cartoony for the gritty, badass WWF. Begging down from a Ref makes you look like a bitch Chris…
The commentators bury the fuck out of Jericho, saying they don’t understand why people would be Jerichoholics. Larry says it’s because they can’t spell NWO. What a fucking idiotic tool….
Jericho slaps around Psychosis but tries for a Stinger Splash but eats the turnbuckle and flies to the outside! Psychosis with a suicide dive for a cool visual. Psychosis tries bringing Jericho back in, but Jericho hits a German, but goes for the Lionsault but Psychosis kicks the rope out from under him. Psychosis hits a legdrop off the top, but only gets a two count, and the crowd is PISSED that Psychosis didn’t win. Psychosis goes for a rana off the top, but Jericho reverses into the Lionsault for the win.
Great match, and had some great stuff I’ve never seen in a Jericho match before. As much as I give shit to the commentators for burying Jericho, I do give credit to Eric Bischoff for having Jericho as Crusierweight Champion, and for giving him as much air time as he did. Jericho was definitely the highlight of the crusier division, and I think Eric knew, and appreciated that. I just don’t think Eric ever wanted Jericho to go over that level…
2nd Match: Barbarian vs Roco Rock
Yeah, I’m not sitting through this one.
I was busy fucking around on Inside Pulse (I so hope that Neville wins the IC Title, because if it happens I will be THE ONLY one who guessed that) and missed a Juvi/Kidman match. The match was only about four minutes so I’m not missing much…
Alex Wright comes out to super boos. Wright is basically the JCVD, modern version of Disco Inferno. God, he has all the heel things checked off. German, check, hates America, check, has a lame gimmick where he dances, check. Security kicks him out for dancing… what is Goldberg going to do without his security around him!???
4th Match: Eddie Guerrero w/ Chavo vs Booker T © for the TV Title
This should be pretty good. It’s so cute seeing Booker happy and excited to wrestle… don’t worry Book, soon you’ll be depressed and jobbing to Trips. Shh shh, it’s going to happen… don’t fight it.
The size difference is pretty ridiculous between Booker and Eddie. Eddie takes Booker down quick and stomps him. Bookers like naw nigga, here’s a shoulderblock. Eddie tries to act like Booker pulled his hair even though the Ref was right there, and completely saw that Booker didn’t even come close to touching his hair. Booker with elbows, but he eats a dropkick to the leg by Eddie. Eddie takes advantage, and hits a suplex into a chinlock. Booker tries to power out but Eddie cuts him off with a clothesline. Its kind of weird to see Eddie dominating Booker, just because of the size difference.
Pretty good match as Eddie uses his speed, and lucha stuff to keep Booker off guard, while also working over Booker’s leg. Chavo pushes Eddie’s legs off the ropes in a pinfall attempt, which distracts Eddie long enough for Booker to hit the kick, and a dropkick off the top for the win.
Hart turned heel last week on Nitro, which is an especially dumb move by Nitro, but it’s of course done on purpose to neuter Hart, and make him another one of Hogan’s buddies. I honestly don’t know why Hart agreed to go along with this… I mean I guess he didn’t want to go back to the WWF (and his style wouldn’t have meshed with the 98 WWF style) but goddamn…
5th Match: Marty Jannety vs Saturn w/ Billy Bitch Kidman
Marty gets jobbed out, but he does hit a superkick so that was kind of cool. I never really liked Saturn, I know he’s a good wrestler but his character never appealed to me… reminds me too much of Rick Steiner.
Page comes out to promote his new show, The Big Bang Theory. It’s about a bunch of nerdy wrestling fans, who are socially awkard, hanging out with one really hot chick. And that one really hot chick is Kimberly. And then Page comes in and beats them all up, and fucks Kimberly on top of the fat, nerdy guys bodies. Or something.. Big Bang Theory jokes aren’t really my thang, fucking hate that show.
GOLDBERG WON THE US CHAMPIONSHIP LAST WEEK, AND ITS SUPER DUPER IMPORTANT!!!!
6th Match: Jerry Flynn vs Goldberg
You have to do more drugs than I do to think I’m going to sit through this…
Main Event (Possibly) Giant Clusterfuck Six Man Tag Match
So Big Show is throwing around Konnan like a rag doll, and puts him in a bear hug. Luger in, but Konnan gets the hot tag to Steiner, and the fans explode. Well no one said Nitro fans had good taste… Luger takes Steiner down with a shoulderblock, and the fans are just eating this up. Steiner catches Luger in a sit out powerbomb, and Steiner IS SO HAPPY to have gotten one move in on Luger. Steiner tags Konnan in again, which is pretty dumb since all Konnan has done in this match is get his ass kicked. Luger comes out of the corner and clotheslines both Konnan and Steiner. Steiner goes for the tag to Adams, but Bryan turns, and leaves. Steiner and Konnan leave the match…. Pretty lame main event.
Bret Hart comes out for his main event interview. Bret fucks up doing his promo so badly, “I’m not going to talk until Hogan’s magic… his song… his magic… his magic tune comes on.” Bret is so fucking awkward on the mic…
Hogan comes out with Eric so they can continue their love fest… God watching this, it really does piss me off that they didn’t pull the trigger on a Hart/Hogan feud, that feud would’ve been GOLD, especially in the promo department. Instead we get Hart telling Hogan that he’s someone he’s looked up to his entire life, and literally brags about how great Hogan is. Jesus Christ… FUCKING WCW POLITICS!!!!! Oh my God, Hart is actually wearing a Hulk Hogan shirt… the level of character destruction here is awful. Savage comes out, and gets beat up by the NWO…
Final Thoughts: Before that god awful promo occurred I was going to say that this Nitro was pretty decent, at least looking at it from the undercard and midcard matches, and the main event fell a little flat, but for the most part it was a decent show. But my God, that promo at the end… that was the worst thing I’ve ever seen. It completely ignored the real life politics, Bret’s motivation, and ruined a perfect, money drawing feud that could’ve been just as big as Sting/Hogan. You can tell the promo was handcrafted by Eric and Hogan, and the heel turn makes no sense on any level. Just an awful, awful way to end the show…
Well since I did two columns this week I’m going to take next week off, and somewhere in between I’ll try getting a Comic Nexus column done. Until then… I hope you have an interesting week.
Tags: Wrestling Opinions from a Sleazy Guy