Okay, it’s pretty much standard knowledge amongst those of us who have been watching wrestling for many, many years that the worst wrestling pay-per-view ever was the infamous “drunk Jake” Heroes of Wrestling show. To save you hunting it down and subjecting yourself to what is really a f*ckin’ awful surrealist view of a wrasslin’ PPV, please, go here and read this great commentary on the show.
Well, HoW happened in 1999, when the world was a much simpler place (no Facebook! No Twitter! 4chan was the only online trolls to worry about, not the PotUSA!), Cher’s ‘Believe’ was the biggest selling single of the year, Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Menace was the top-grossing film, and we all thought that the Y2k bug was going to end civilisation as we know it, so who cared? Further, as mentioned in the above linked article, 1999 was not a good year for wrestling anywhere, so, now, 20 yrs later, it’s almost forgiveable.
But I got into a discussion with a younger wrestling fan, one who has never seen Heroes of Wrestling. I told him about it being so shit that just the mention of it can bring Scott Keith out in hives, but that didn’t do it.
He told me the worst PPV he had ever seen was Awesome Wrestling Entertainment’s Night of Legends. How the hell did this one slip by my notice? Hmm? Well, I had to admit, I’d never heard of it, so that conversation ended. A week later he told me he’d seen HoW (apparently it’s on YouTube, the whole thing), and so, in revenge, he sent me a copy of this show.
Bastard! But I guess it serves me right for introducing him to HoW.
Our commentators are Chris Cruise (?), Larry Zbyszko and “Dirty” Dutch Mantell. They put over the reasons for 2 matches happening.
Match 1: No DQ match: Tommy Dreamer v Terry Funk
Well, I like that the first match starts 2:20 in. It looks like a decent-sized crowd and the production values are not too shabby. Funk literally limps to the ring. Having watched Beyond The Mat again recently, a documentary made in 1999 (that year again?!) where Funk talks about getting out of the business… this is so sad it hurts. The bell rings and Terry gets the microphone. The crowd “what?”s his
speech rambling and then Terry hits Tommy with the mic, and the brawl starts from there. This is a “hardcore” match that looks like it was recorded at 45 but played back at 33⅓ (I’m old – deal with it). The moves were so slowly done. Running was clearly optional. Funk pulls out the bullshit JYD crawling head-butts. They use chairs… plastic ones like you’d see in a 1980’s high school. Tommy sells a plastic chair shot to the leg like it was a gunshot. Well done, Thomas! Chris Cruise seems to know his stuff. Dreamer gets a small package out of nowhere to win after 6 minutes or so of “action” (term used advisedly) to get the win. Funk beats up the ref, Dreamer tries to talk to him, Terry leaves… “He may go back and ask when he’s on,” Larry says, and he is so very right. Unfortunately.
An alleged chair alleged shot
Wow, this was not a good way to start the show.
Oh, now we get slow-mo recap highlights. Slo-mo! Could it get any slower?
Chris Graham is interviewing Jamin Olivencia. Graham is the worst backstage interviewer ever. I mean EVER. And he was interviewing some-one who apparently knows one thing – his name. He said all the freakin’ time. Why do I think my mate was correct about this show?
Bill Apter interviews Sonjay Dutt. I’ve met Sonjay; he’s not the most pleasant wrestler I’ve ever met, and this interview was dull. “Gee-ed up from the feet up.” He would have been in TNA at this time, I’m sure; now I know why he got limited mic time on Impact.
Match 2: Jamin Olivencia v Sonjay Dutt
Jamin abuses the ring announcer to get a better introduction. Cheap heel heat, but it works. Apparently “Bollywood” is now pronounce “Bowl-ee-wood”. Jamin insists on saying his name. A lot. A real f*ckin’ lot. His mummy would be so proud! He is one of those character over ability wrestlers. Dutt needs a good opponent to get a good match. He didn’t have one, he didn’t get one. This looked like a low level TNA-Impact X-Division match, between a trainee from Taz’s dojo and a guy who was being punished for looking at Dixie Carter wrong. (People do remember her, right? She’s not just the punch-line to a bizarre trivia question?) Dutt tries to pull out some moves and he manages to make it look like a wrestling match. JO is not good. His selling and taking is dodgy, his bumping is dodgy and his move delivery is dodgier. Sonjay tried so very hard to get this match into watchable territory, I will give him that, but he was fighting a losing battle with the sack of suck that was JO, and a ref that kept getting in his way. End comes when JO knocks the ref around, uses the distraction to kick Sonjay in the balls, and hits the “O Drop” (which we missed because the camera was focused on the ref (bush league!)), and gets the cheap pin after 10 looong minutes. So close to a wrestling match.
A not very sexual in any way pin attempt by JO
We recap a contact signing between Kevin Nash and The Rock’n’Roll Express. Morton delivers a weird promo about the feud between him and Nash being online. Huh?
Rick Garrison is here to observe the next match. Who? What? He was interested in Perry Saturn? I is so confused.
Oh f*ck, Chris Graham again. He’s with CW Anderson. Anderson’s promo is not too bad. “…you can go back to that bridge you been livin’ under fer the past 9 years.” Cheap shot, though.
Apter with Perry Saturn, and “one of the greatest sports comebacks in history.” We drag up Saturn’s low points of his recent life. Cool. Real cool. “CW Anderson, who knows, you might whip my ass, but you’re gonna have to.” is Saturn’s parting shot. Oooo… kay.
Match 3: CW Anderson v Perry Saturn
Oh, Garrison is AWE president. I think he’s being set up to be the heel president because we’ve never seen that before in wrestling. Saturn apparently hasn’t wrestled for 9 years, but he looks in better shape than Anderson. Well, this is actually a wrestling match. Ref gets in the way again. Christ, you have one job! Saturn does a tope and gets chaired in the head. JO – watch Saturn and learn how to sell. Anderson works the arm. Look, it’s not the greatest, but I have seen a lot worse. Would not be out of place on mid-90s Raw. The commentators talk about anything but the match. Morons. Saturn wins after 10 minutes with a sunset flip.
Greco-Roman chair shot to the head
Chris Graham with Mohammad Akbar (from “Persia”). Stereotyped, clichéd foreign heel gimmick, with added arrogance. He uses the word “demagogued” in a way it was never intended to be used. And he’s another man who insists on saying his own name. He’s using the AWE as a platform to rectify crimes against his people. Well… how’s that going for ya? Not a good promo.
Apter is with “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. His promos haven’t changed in 35 years. I thought I’d missed his insane promos. Still, he’s not too bad; some modern-day WWE
wrestlers superstars could actually learn something from him. Sad as that is to say. “Ho-oooooh!”
Match 4: Mohammad Akbar v “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Akbar first in, and they give him a mic. Dear f*cking God – why? And he tells everyone his name. What is it with name-telling? He is interrupted by Duggan, who gets the cheap pop with a flag. Larry’s insults on Duggan would go over the tops of 95% of the audience, but they are pretty funny. Duggan‘s promo might not have changed, but neither has his in-ring work. Dull match filled with punches and the basic wrestling moves you learn in your first 6 months of training. Akbar is not the best wrestler. Bleh match. After 5 minutes of… stuff… Hey, can you call the ending? Bet you can if you’ve ever seen a Duggan match. That’s right, blocks a head ram to the corner, back elbow, punch, three-point stance, clothesline, pin.
Clothesline. That’s all. Clothesline.
Akbar whinges backstage. Duggan replies by saying, “Blah,” a dozen times, then leads a “USA!” chant.
Graham is with Alex Silva. Silva is… useless. His mic-work is crap. His character is… a character? He pokes his tongue out. A lot. Shit.
Apter is with Fit Finlay. Apter sounds like a drunk uncle. Finlay delivers the best promo of the night, following all the rules a decent promo has.
Match 5: Alex Silva (with Tammy Sytch) v
Fit Dave Finlay
Sunny is not looking brilliant here, though the longer hair suits her more. Silva has the mic and he’s… God. Sunny on the mic is, as usual, fine. Finlay is called “Fit” but all the graphics say “Dave”. Okay, the match. 20 minutes long. 20 minutes! Fit, sure, let him go for it. But this Silva guy… the future of wrestling? Well, let’s see where he is now… Nowhere. Cool. The future. The match? Do you like locks (head, chin, leg, etc.)? How about stalling? Then this is your match. So dull. Larry is clearly getting pissed off on commentary and trying so hard to be professional. I’ll bet he could see the shit on the wall starting to trickle down. Tammy gets involved. Of course. So dull. Finlay has a sore leg. At the end, Tammy grabs Finlay’s leg, he is distracted, Silva with a low blow, roll-up, pin. How shit.
The most exciting thing in the match – Sunny.
Backstage and Silva has a bloodied nose and says stuff. Oh, for the love of…
Now Finlay talks, and he threatens Silva. Short, sharp, shiny and to the point. Good. Except it involves Silva. Bad.
Match 6: Special Attraction Match: Abo Shango v Short Sleeve Sampson
SSS is a midget wrestler (what is the PC term nowadays? Less-heighted wrestler?), and he delivers a poem in the ring (I’ll bet he thinks he was rapping), and gets the crowd involved. Shango is a “normal” sized wrestler. And his name and look would get you arrested in Australia (I wish I was making that up, but it’s true – you would be hauled before the courts for less. Nasty little Fascist Theocracy that I live in.) This feels very rehearsed. Not a great match. Not even close. And how in the hell is this a “special attraction”? Is it because a person who Australian rugby players would toss across a bar is fighting a guy who most Australians think lives in the Outback? That’d be special, but catering to an Australian demographic is probably incredibly niche. The match? Trust me, you don’t want to know. Let’s just say they gave these two schmucks 8 minutes, and the end came when Shango’s powder was kicked back into his own face and then SSS hit a top rope frog splash. Oh, and at one point SSS did Scotty 2 Hotty’s worm (called the “inch worm”). I hate that move with a f*cking passion.
No picture – f*ck ‘em.
We recap Kevin Nash hitting Ricky Morton with a chair. Then we recap the R’n’R Express breaking Marvin Ward’s arm. Who the f*ck is Marvin Ward? The R’n’Rs beat up like a dozen guys. Then the Midnight Express show up. They run the R.n’R off, then they also attack Marvin Ward. The 2 Expresses working together? Their combined age is greater than the history of white settlement in Australia! Then DDP comes to the rescue. And they have the gall to continually ask who’s gonna be the mystery partner? FFS, how f*ckin’ bush league.
Graham with the Express. Morton gets out of there. Gibson said stuff. Now Apter is with Nash. Nash sounds as bored as f*ck. He gives a promo that would have been good with some emotion. Nash makes a pop culture reference by talking about the film The Champ starring Jon Voight. This is dull.
Match 7: The Rock’n’Roll Express v Kevin Nash & DDP
DDP and Gibson start out. Because that’s what everyone wants to see. So, it starts like a normal tag team match, but then this mysterious Marvin Ward comes out with a mic, sounding like every male country singer I’ve heard talk in the past 30 years. He abuses Ricky Morton, and then says DDP & Gibson have been paid and can take the night off.
Match 7b: Ricky Morton v Kevin Nash, anything goes, no DQ
Marvin then tells the ref he’s also got the night off. Special guest referee is Ronnie Garvin. He looks younger than the last time I saw him in the ring! So Nash beats the living snot out of Morton. Ricky Morton plays, well, Ricky Morton, but there’s no-one to tag out to. Garvin is freakin’ slow. Morton blades because it’s Morton. Hell, in a pillow fight between Morton, Flair and Abdullah the Butcher, there’d be enough blood to paint the Empire State Building. Twice. Nash is going through the motions of a match. I think he knows how much this show blows. Nash hits a chokeslam, then grabs a mic. He asks what Morton’s problem is with him. Days Of Our f*cking Lives. Promos in the middle of the match, FFS!! Morton gives a rambling promo in order to call Nash an “asshole”. Nash responds: it’s not about the money. He offers a handshake, then gives a knee, hits the jack knife powerbomb (called a “power slam” by the commentary), gives Morton a double finger, cuts a promo about how it is actually about the money, says he doesn’t care, and that he’s doing fine financially, thank you very much. He then walks away. Garvin then counts him out in a no-DQ match. FFS! 20 minutes of shit all together to finish the show.
Catch the facials on the Rick-meister!
The face only a desperate, sad, lonely mother could love.
And we wrap the show up pretty quickly after that steaming turd.
Hang on, Lita was in the opening credits. Where was she? Ah, f*ck it – she probably saw what was going on and got the hell out of Dodge.
Well, what a terrible stinking pile of horseshit that was. “Awesome” Wrestling Entertainment? Surely people can get their money back based on false advertising. Look, the best match featured a man who hadn’t been in a ring for 9 years and some-one pretending to be an Anderson. We had Funk pissing on his legacy from such a great height it’s now all but drowned in urine. We had Tommy “will wrestle anywhere anytime” Dreamer. We had Jim Duggan. We had the Rock’n’Roll Express, who, judging by how they looked, were named when Bill Haley was still the king of rock’n’roll. We had DDP for 30 seconds. We had Fit Finlay being beaten by Sunny and something she found somewhere (and by somewhere, I mean in TNA). We had a special attraction that was not special nor attractive. We had… No. I’ll stop there. 2 ½ hours of my life I’m never getting back.
So, taking all of that into consideration, was it in fact worse than Heroes of Wrestling? No. No it was not. It lacked alleged wrestlers missing moves, it lacked Rosenbloom botching the names of every single f’n move, it lacked Abdullah blading on camera, and it lacked, most definitively, drunk Jake. However, was it the second worst PPV ever in the history of professional wrestling? I’m going to have to say, as far as I’m concerned, unless they do HoW II: Wrestling Boogaloo, for the moment, yes.
Now, to get my head back into the game and before I feel the need to rinse my eyes out with bleach, the same friend also gave me all 6 Sharknado films. Now, surely even they can’t be as bad as what I just watched.
Tags: abo shango, Alex Silva, AWE, awesome wrestling entertainment, Bill Apter, chris cruise, chris graham, cw anderson, DDP, Dutch Mantell, Fit Finlay, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, jamin olivencia, Kevin Nash, Larry Zbyszko, mohammad akbar, night of legends, perry saturn, PPV, Ricky Morton, rock'n'roll express, ronnie garvin, short sleeve sampson, Sonjay Dutt, Sunny, terry funk, tommy dreamer, worst, wrestling