Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Thursday, 14 November 2019

PPV REVIEW: WWF Royal Rumble 2000

WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2000 - Event poster
January 23, 2000
Madison Square Garden, New York

It's interesting that while 1999 was among one of the financially successful in the World Wrestling Federation's history, it was also, from a creative standpoint, one of its absolute dirt worst.

We've just covered every WWF and WCW PPV from 1999 here on Retro Pro Wrestling and believe me when I tell you, there were times when shows from both companies were so bad that your reviewer seriously considered abandoning this blog altogether.

Still, here we are.

A new year had dawned in the World Wrestling Federation, and as the company marched headlong into a brand new millennium, there came a new sense of hope that things could get better.

With that in mind, let's head to Madison Square Garden for the Royal Rumble 2000 to see whether they actually did or not.





No remorse

WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2000 - Jim Ross & Jerry 'The King' Lawler called the action
Our show tonight began with a fantastic promo video for the upcoming Cactus Jack vs. Triple H street fight. Splicing together footage of the two at their most violent and sadistic (including shots of Cactus competing in the IWA King of Death Match 1995 tournament) with a captivating voiceover in which both men talked about how good they were and how much they were going to destroy the other, this was a great way to get you hyped up for the show.

From there, we panned the New York City faithful as Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler welcomed us to the show. The iconic Attitude Era duo talked up not only tonight's main event but also the Rumble match itself before sending us down to our opening contest.

Kurt Angle vs. Tazz

WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2000 - Tazz debuted against Kurt Angle
Heading to the ring first, Kurt Angle took to the microphone and proved why everybody says he was such a natural at pro wrestling by cutting a very entertaining heel promo that really got the crowd fired up.

Angle then made out like the man he'd be facing tonight was supposed to be a surprise by addressing his "unnamed opponent." However, at that moment, the crowd immediately began chanting "We want Tazz!"

Eventually, the former ECW star himself appeared and went to war with Angle in a short, explosive opening bout.

Trading suplexes galore, the two ensured that the WWF's first PPV of the new millennium got underway in terrific fashion with a hugely enjoyable performance that saw Angle pass out to the Tazzmission, suffering his first WWF loss.
Your Winner: Tazz

His job done, the victor simply marched off backstage as Angle sold the devastating effects of the Tazmission by being stretchered off and given an oxygen mask.

It was a brilliant way to get the newcomer over which makes it all the more of a shame that they never really did much with him.

The Hardys are Ready for Action

WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2000 - Michael Cole interviewed The Hardy Boyz w/ Terri
Out in the back, Michael Cole interviewed Terri Runnels and The Hardy Boyz about Matt & Jeff's upcoming tables match with The Dudley Boyz.

Terri was just telling Cole how they were going to go out and kick ass when Jeff interrupted, letting her know that it was too dangerous for her to be out there.

For his part, Matt told Cole that even though The Dudleys were 'the masters of putting people through tables' (as if it were a specialist skill), he and Jeff were going to win the match or die trying.

Bless 'em, the Hardys really didn't have much charisma here. This whole promo was seriously cringe-worthy, but at least the two would get better over the next two decades.

Tables Match
The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy)

WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2000 - Jeff Hardy prepares to dive at Madison Square Garden
Having dropped the whole stuttering gimmick, Bubba Ray Dudley joined his brother D-Von Dudley in getting some early heel heat by talking smack about some New York baseball star.

Being British and having no interest in sports outside of pro wrestling, your writer never has any idea what's going on when wrestlers use the local sports team for heat. What I do know, however, is that this the exact same tactic that Kurt Angle used in the first match, making The Dudleyz' tactic a little repetitive.

The match itself, however, was highly original, at least for the time.

Both teams traded some pretty innovative offence, building the match into a captivating stunt-fest in which you had to put both of your opponents through the wood in order to win.

Bubba Ray and Matt Hardy were both planted through tables, after which the match developed to a jaw-dropping finish in which Jeff Hardy hit a Swanton bomb off the balcony crashing through two tables with D-Von sandwiched in between them.

That, my friends, was a really good match.
Your Winners: The Hardy Boyz

Out in the back, a groggy and confused Kurt Angle was seen getting checked over by EMTs. As out of it as he might have been, Angle still had the wherewithal to claim that he was still technically undefeated since Tazz had choked him out.

Miss Rumble 2000 Contest
WWF Women's Champion The Kat vs. Ivory vs. Terri Runnels vs. Jacqueline vs. Barbara Bush vs. Luna Vachon vs. Mae Young

WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2000 - The King is stunned at Mae Young wanting to get naked
With Jerry Lawler on compere duties, a group of sexy young women in their twenties and thirties sauntered to ringside to judged by a panel of old men (and one old woman) which included legends Sgt. Slaughter, Tony Garea, The Fabulous Moolah, Johnny V and Classy Freddie Blassie, the latter of whom received a huge ovation from the New York crowd. Joining them on the panel was Conan O'Brien co-host Andy Richter, who was also somehow qualified for the gig.

One by one, the ladies took turns to reveal their bathing suits, with prudish heel Ivory reluctant to do so but still looking remarkably hot anyway.

Terri and Jacqueline also looked particularly stunning, while Barbara Bush was naturally a thing of beauty too. The Kat, however, wore a bathing suit made out of bubble wrap which was supposed to be sexy but which actually made her look like she was wearing a diaper and was all kinds of odd.

Luna Vachon refused to participate at all, which was just as well as they needed the extra time for Mae Young. Young arrived on the scene as a last-minute surprise and claimed that everybody wanted to see her puppies, much to the shock and horror of just about everyone.

She then began to strip to her bathing suit and strut around the place, which was pretty funny until she literally exposed her bare breasts to Madison Square Garden at which point, the joke had clearly been pushed too far. With the producers doing their best to censor the saggy boobs, Mark Henry came in to protect her modesty.

Finally, Young was declared the winner, bringing to an end a segment that started off sexy, got funny, and ended with more cringe than that earlier Hardy Boyz promo.
Your Winner: Mae Young

Cutting across to the company's new 'entertainment complex' WWF New York, newcomer The Coach made his WWF PPV debut getting mobbed by a bunch of rabid fans while saying nothing of note other than letting us know that WWF New York existed.

Chris Jericho is not a Gentleman

WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2000 - Co-intercontinental Champions Chris Jericho & Chyna
Meanwhile, back in the arena, co-Intercontinental Champions Chris Jericho and Chyna were seen arguing over which one of them got to wear the belt to the ring for their upcoming match.

Chyna, whose theme song literally started with the words "don't treat me like a woman," claimed that Jericho should be chivalrous and let her wear it.

"Chivalrous?" exclaimed Jericho. "What do you think this is, the middle ages?"

Before the argument could get any more heated, Dave Hebner came and snatched the title from them, claiming he'd be the one to take it to ringside.

Amusingly, Jericho first referred Dave as Earl before correcting himself.

Triple Threat match for the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
Co-WWF Intercontinental Champion Chyna vs. Co-WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho vs. Hardcore Holly

Though you might question why Hardcore Holly needed to be involved in this one, it was nonetheless a solid mid-card triple threat match that entertained from bell-to-bell.

Prior to the match, Chris Jericho took to the microphone to promise that the celebration after he won would be the biggest thing ever. He then proceeded to deliver a perfectly acceptable performance against Chyna and Holly before making good on his word and picking up the three thanks to an Asai Moonsault.
Your Winner and New Undisputed Intercontinental Champion: Chris Jericho

I say 'true to his word,' his post-match celebration was really nothing special.

Finally...The Rock has come back to New York City

WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2000 - Michael Cole interviews The Rock
Out in the back, Michael Cole asked The Rock if there were any superstars he was worried about facing in tonight's Royal Rumble match.

Hilariously, The Great One told us that he had his concerns about Crash Holly and Headbanger Mosh, but that if he could get past them, he might have a chance of winning.

Cole, of course, was thinking that The Rock might have a bigger problem with The Big Show, to which Rocky responded by sending Cole away to fix himself a glass of Shut Up Juice then laying the verbal smackdown on Paul Wight.

Finally, The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment wrapped up this awesome promo by guaran-damn-teeing that he would win tonight's Royal Rumble and go on to become our new WWF Champion at Wrestlemania 16.

Though it should go without saying, this was amazing stuff from The People's Champion.

We got two words for ya...

Prior to our final undercard match of the evening, we were reminded that The Acolytes had earned a tag team title shot tonight by winning a battle royal back at Armageddon 1999.

Farooq and Bradshaw had then spent the rest of the past few weeks feuding with Road Dogg and Billy Gunn, with both teams beating the heck out of each other on multiple occasions, and if you weren't down with that, Farooq had two words for ya...

...Ass Kicking.

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg Jesse James & Bad Ass Billy Gunn) vs. The Acolytes (Farooq & Bradshaw)

WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2000 - The New Age Outlaws faced The Acolytes for the Tag Team TitlesThis was the worst match on the card, but that's not to say that it was actually bad.

It was a short and sweet affair in which The Acolytes used their brute power to just absolutely demolish the New Age Outlaws.

A minute or two in, Farooq looked to get the win on Road Dogg, only for Billy Gunn to yank the referee out of the ring, only for Bradshaw to charge at him, knocking both Gunn and the referee flying.

That presented an opportunity for X-Pac to run in, and in the resulting confusion, Billy was able to hit Bradshaw with a Fame Asser for the fall.
Your Winners and Still WWF Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws

Up next, we got another look back at the intense rivalry between Triple H and Cactus Jack.

Street Fight for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Triple H (w/ Stephanie McMahon) vs. Cactus Jack

WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2000 -  Cactus Jack and Triple H went to war
We'd seen Hunter and Mick Foley have enjoyable matches before, such as their brawl at Canadian Stampede: In Your House 16, their cage match at Summerslam 1997 and, to a lesser extent, their opening bout at One Night Only 1997 in England.

Yet none of those matches could hold a candle to the sheer brutality of this no-holds-barred street fight.

Though it may not be quite as memorable as Foley's show-stealing performance against The Rock at Royal Rumble 1999, this was still nonetheless a fantastic title match that got better and better the longer it went.

Despite a slow start, both champ and challenger worked hard to turn this into a violent, bloody massacre of a match. They used fists, they used steel chairs, they used 2x4s wrapped in barbed wire and they absolutely destroyed not only each other but everything in their path.

Google usually gives me grief for posting shots of wrestlers sporting the crimson mask, so here's a link to the shot of a bloody and broken Triple H.

Yet The Game wasn't the only one to take a beating. In a callback to the aforementioned Mankind/Rock I Quit match, Cactus Jack had his hands handcuffed behind his back and had the crap kicked out of him all the way to the entrance way.

Undeterred, Jack begged for more, but before Hunter could strike, The Rock arrived and smashed his old nemesis with a steel chair, after which a New York City cop unhandcuffed the challenger.

The two then brawled back to the ring where Foley took a vicious back body drop and a pedigree onto some thumbtacks to end the match.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: Triple H


All told, including entrances, that whole match lasted over half an hour and you know what? I enjoyed every minute of it.

Afterwards, a battered and bloody champion was stretchered off while the defeated Cactus, being the Hardcore Legend that he was, simply got up and dragged Triple H back for another ass whooping.

To be honest, one of the best parts of the post-match antics was seeing JR & King at their announce table, which had been destroyed and was covered in the spilt blood of Triple H.

Talk about a warzone.

A Word with the CEO

Prior to our main event, we went back to WWF New York where Jonathan Coachman tried to interview a sour-faced Linda McMahon about her daughter Stephanie's nefarious heel turn.

Linda refused to comment on Steph's actions but promised that things would be handled 'The McMahon Way' from there on in.

2000 Royal Rumble Match
Featuring: The Rock, Big Show, D'Lo Brown, Grandmaster Sexay, Scotty 2 Hotty, Edge, Christian, Val Venis, Big Boss Man, Chris Jericho, Chyna, X-Pac, Kane, The Godfather, Rikishi, Bob Backlund and more

WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2000 -  The Rock won the Rumble match
And so the Royal Rumble match got underway with a somewhat uninspired effort between entrants 1 & 2, D'Lo Brown and Grandmaster Sexay. Entrant number three was The Rock's worse nightmare, Headbanger Mosh, who sported some rather interested fur cones on his chest. That was the most interesting thing that happened for a few minutes until Rikishi came in at the number five spot (Christian was number four).

The big man cleaned house, eliminating everyone in the ring and even taking out his Too Cool buddies Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty Too Hotty, though not without the obligatory dance break.

'Kishi stayed on a roll, further eliminating Steve Blackman and Viscera before Big Boss Man and Test arrived, at which point the match settled into a fairly basic yet still pretty entertaining Rumble.

Other highlights included:

  • Bob Backlund appearing as a surprise entrant
  • Mean Street Posse running into attack Farooq and later Bradshaw for seemingly no reason
  • Kai En Tai hilariously making multiple run-ins, only to be immediately thrown over the top. At one point, Taka Michinoku got injured, so Funaki continued to do run-ins on his own for the rest of the match, it was pretty funny.

In the end, it all came down to X-Pac, Kane, Big Show and The Rock. X-Pac got eliminated but the referee didn't see it, so he was able to come back and hang out for a while before taking Kane out of the mix. Naturally, 'Pac was the next man to go, leaving the predictable showdown between Rock and Big Show.

After an enjoyable bit of back-and-forth, both men toppled over the top, but Rock was able to hold on while Big Show crashed to the outside.

Not the best Rumble match in history then, but still decent enough.
Your Winner: The Rock

Afterwards, The Rock took to the microphone to declare that he was on his way to Wrestlemania, only for The Big Show to return and beat him up. The two had an intense staredown and trash-talked each other as Royal Rumble 2000 went off the air.





While the actual Rumble match may not have been the greatest in history, it's fair to say that this was the most fun I've had writing a Retro Pro Wrestling review for a long time.

After the long, hard slog of crash-course TV and sub-par matches that was 1999, Royal Rumble 2000 made for a refreshing change.

There really wasn't a bad match on the card and, overall, this one was a lot of fun from start to finish.

One I do recommend checking out.




For more Royal Rumble reviews see:

Thursday, 7 November 2019

PPV REVIEW: WCW Starrcade 1999

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Event poster
December 19, 1999
MCI Center in Washington, D.C.

For years, World Championship Wrestling had touted Starrcade as their flagship event. It was the place where feuds that had been raging throughout the calendar year would come to an end, where old grudges were settled and new stars were born.

Then the 1997 Sting/Hogan event happened and, well, Starrcade was never quite the same again.

Still, at least on this cold, December night a few days before New Year's Eve, World Championship Wrestling could rightly lay claim to promoting the last ever pro wrestling pay per view of the entire millennium.

While that may not be enough to give Starrcade 1999 the same gravitas and prestige of earlier events, it does at least go some way to making it a marginally important note in the turbulent history of WCW.

On that note, let's head to Washington, D.C for the last Starrcade before the turn of the century.





Strap yourself in for this one

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan called the action
Before the show got underway, Scott Hudson talked us through all of the matches on tonight's card.

To be honest with you, the first time I saw this opening video, I turned the show-off and couldn't face coming back to write this review for several weeks.

Honestly, it looks dreadful, but we've come this far in our journey through the Monday Night Wars that I'm determined to see this through, no matter how painful it might be.

After that video, we got a second video looking at the two biggest feuds going into the show - Kevin Nash vs. Sid Vicious and Bret 'The Hitman' Hart vs. Goldberg for the title.

Tony Schiavone then welcomed us to the 17th annual Starrcade and introduced his colleagues, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan and Scott Hudson. Quite why we had to have Hudson instead of the awesome Mike Tenay is anyone's guess, but there you go.

Thankfully, the new WCW bosses had done away with having the announcers spend ages talking about the show before we got any action. Instead, we got straight down to our first match of the evening.

Disco Inferno & Lash LeRoux vs. Johnny The Bull & Big Vito (w/ Tony Marinara)

WCW Starrcade 1999 - The Mamalukes faced Disco Inferno and Lash Leroux
Though the show may have looked terrible on paper, this opening contest proved to actually be not half bad.

Johnny The Bull and Big Vito hadn't yet been christened The Mamalukes yet, but still looked pretty impressive in their debut PPV match.

If you don't remember them, they were a couple of goons from a stereotypical New York Italian crime family.

They also had a manager who was only called Tony Marinara because apparently just flat-out calling him Tony Spaghetti Sauce would have been too obvious.

That aside, they worked well with Disco Inferno and Lash LeRoux to put on a reasonably entertaining contest with a somewhat silly finish.

Beaten into a daze, Disco didn't bother to look behind him when he felt another wrestler approach him and instinctively hit the Last Dance (Stone Cold Stunner) on them, only to reveal that he'd actually hit his own partner.

Big Vito planted LeRoux into the mat, and this one was over.
Your Winners: Big Vito & Johnny The Bull

Post-match, The Mamalukes did their best Undertaker impression by knocking Disco out with ethanol then stuffing him into a body bag, only to carry him backstage and immediately let him out of it again so that they could stuff him into the trunk of a limo and drive away.

Good old' WCW.

The Crippler Issues an Open Challenge

Cutting back to the announce team, Tony Schiavone told us that tonight's scheduled ladder match for the United States title between champion Scott Hall and challenger Chris Benoit would not be taking place due to Hall suffering a knee injury.

Not only would it not be taking place, but Hall had been stripped of the title and Benoit had been awarded it due to forfeit.

The Crippler's music then hit and he marched down to ringside.

"Chris Benoit is not scheduled to come out right now," said Tony, as if we were supposed to believe that it was an absolute total coincidence that he'd arrived at the same time they were talking about him.

Taking to the mic, the new US champion declared that titles should be earned, not given and that as far as he was concerned, the title was vacant.

However, he knew we'd all come to Washington to see a ladder match, and thus he issued an open challenge to anyone in the back to face him in one for the title later.

Credit where it's due, this was actually one of Benoit's better promos where he actually showcased some personality.

World Championship Wrestling World Cruiserweight Championship
WCW Cruiserweight Champion Evan Karagious (w/ Spice) vs. Madusa

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Madusa beat Evan Karagious for the Cruiserweight title
Last month at Mayhem 1999, Madusa and Evan Karagious were a hot couple, but they had apparently split up after Karagious won the cruiserweight title and started shacking up with former Nitro Girl Spice.

Here, they went at it for the cruiserweight championship in what was a sloppy horror show of a match.

I mean, honestly, it was atrocious.

The worst pro wrestling matches are always those that look fake, and this one looked as fake as Madusa's breasts.

After a few minutes of terrible garbage, Spice turned on Evan by hitting him with the weakest low-blow in history, allowing Madusa to hit a bridging German and pick up the win.
Your Winner and NEW WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Madusa

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Screamin' Norman Smiley
Out in the back, WCW Hardcore Champion Norman Smiley refuted Mean Gene Okerlund's accusation that he was afraid of upcoming challenger Meng.

Screamin' Norman then screamed like a startled little girl at something off camera which Mean Gene told us was the TV producer counting him down.

It sounds dumb, but it was at least kinda funny.

"I think I soiled myself. Did I?" asked Smiley as he turned around. Ever the sport, Gene checked out Norman's rump and confirmed that yes, he had.

World Championship Wrestling Hardcore Championship
WCW Hardcore Champion Screamin' Norman Smiley vs. Meng

Late 90s hardcore matches were always fun, but here you had the added comedy value of Screamin' Norman running around and screaming his head off, desperately trying to get away from Meng.

It wasn't 'good' in the traditional sense of a pro wrestling match, but it sure did make this writer laugh.

Towards the finish, the champion screamed as he dived over a table and hid while Fit Finlay and Brian Knobs beat up on Meng for seemingly no reason.

After Finlay laid out Meng with a lead pipe, Smiley returned and pinned him to retain the title.
Your Winner and Still WCW Hardcore Champion: Norman Smiley

WCW Starrcade 1999 - David Flair received a new crowbarPost-match, Meng slapped the Tongan Death Grip on referee Nick Patrick.

Elsewhere in the arena, David Flair had a shiny new crowbar delivered to him in a gift-wrapped box.

Meanwhile, that dumb Oklahoma gimmick got his boy, Dr Death Steve Williams all fired up, only to be kidnapped by The Misfits.

Prior to the next match, we got a video package looking back at the time Hacksaw Jim Duggan returned from legitimately beating cancer, only to be saddled with a dumb gimmick where he was WCW's janitor. That somehow led to a feud with The Revolution and to tonight's contest:

The Revolution vs. Duggan and three mystery opponents. If Duggan won, the Revolution had to do Duggan's janitorial work, but if The Revolution won, Duggan had to denounce the USA...even though I'm pretty sure all of The Revolution were Americans too.

Prior to the bell, Duggan gave a brief interview to Mike "I should be on commentary" Tenay but said nothing of note.

The Revolution (Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, Shane Douglas and Asya) vs. Jim Duggan and The Varsity Club (Mike Rotunda, Kevin Sullivan and Rick Steiner) w/ Leia Meow

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Jim Duggan teamed w/ The Varsity Club to face The Revolution
If you like terrible wrestling, Starrcade 1999 is the show for you.

Duggan announced The Varsity Club as his partners to the delight and excitement of absolutely no one (not even The Varsity Club). He then proceeded to trade the slowest fists in the universe with Saturn and Dean Malenko while Shane Douglas -who was supposed to be a participant in the match- did commentary.

Duggan wouldn't tag in Mike Rotunda. He wouldn't tag in Rick Steiner and he wouldn't tag in Kevin Sullivan, who hadn't competed on a WCW PPV since his retirement match with Chris Benoit at Bash at the Beach 1997.

This apparently pissed off The Varsity Club, who eventually stormed the ring and beat up all of The Revolution and Duggan himself.

Eventually, they left, and Aysa pinned Duggan to pick up the win.

This was garbage.
Your Winners: The Revolution

Post-match, Douglas got on the microphone and berated a fallen Hacksaw, reminding him that he'd have to denounce the USA on the following evening's Nitro.

Oklahoma is Locked Up

Out in the back, Mean Gene Okerlund stood by with The Misfits, who had Oklahoma locked in a cage. Jerry Only told Okerlund that this was to ensure Oklahoma didn't run away if Vampiro beat Steve Williams because if Williams lost, Vampiro would get five minutes alone with the Jim Ross impersonator.

Vampiro (w/ The Misfits) vs. Dr Death Steve Williams (w/ Oklahoma)

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Vampiro faced Dr Death Steve Williams
I have a feeling that by the end of this review, the letters on my keyboard that spell the word GARBAGE will have worn down because that's exactly what this was.

The Misfits wheeled out Oklahoma in his cage and Vampiro lept off the top of it onto Dr Death on the outside. That was just about the most exciting thing that happened in the whole match, and even calling it exciting is something of a stretch.

In the ring, Vampiro and Dr Death went back and forth in an uninspired contest before Williams put his hands on referee Charles Robison, leading to the DQ.
Your Winner via disqualification: Vampiro

This meant that Vamp got five minutes alone with Oklahoma, but half of those five minutes were spent with Williams beating up Vampiro some more and then being escorted out of the ring by a million security men, all of whom forgot to let Oki out of the cage.

Eventually, Doug Dillinger set him free and he attacked Vampiro, only for Vamp and The Misfits to eventually gain the upper hand.

Eventually, Vamp drilled Oki with Nail in the Coffin and ordered Lil Naitch to make the three count. Looking confused as if to say "but this isn't actually a match," Robinson acquiesced anyway and counted the fall.
Your Winner: Vampiro

Honestly, I'm bored just writing that.

The tension in the Air

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Curt Hennig, La Parka, Vincent and Creative Control
Remember back at Mayhem when Curt Hennig lost a retirement match? Well, this was pro wrestling, so obviously he was back competing again tonight, just a few weeks later.

Backstage, he was shown standing by with Creative Control, Vincent, and La Parka, wanting to know if The Powers That Be had any instructions for them.

Off-camera, Vince Russo's voice was heard telling Hennig that his mind wasn't in it tonight because he was pre-occupied with something big that was about to go down.

Elsewhere in the arena, Stevie Ray blamed the recent tensions between him and Booker T on the addition of Midnight to the Harlem Heat camp and swore that he wouldn't have his brother's back tonight.

Apparently, the Heat would face Creative Control to determine the number one contenders to the WCW tag team titles.

Creative Control (Ron & Don Harris) & Curt Hennig vs. Harlem Heat (Booker T, Stevie Ray, and Midnight)

Curt Hennig and Creative Control beat Harlem Heat
Stevie Ray no-showed, effectively making this a Booker T & Midnight vs. Creative Control & Curt Hennig handicap match.

The resulting action wasn't bad but, like almost everything else on this show, it wasn't very good either.

Midnight played face-in-peril for what felt like forever. When she finally got the hot tag to a super-over Booker T, Stevie Ray (who had arrived moments earlier) got up on the apron to distract Nick Patrick.

This didn't seem to have much impact, as Patrick still counted Booker's pin attempt, so it wasn't as if they were doing the whole "referee didn't see the tag" schtick.

At that point, Curt Hennig came in and hit Booker with a random International Object and got the win for his team.
Your Winners: Curt Hennig & Harlem Heat

I should point that yes, the number one contenders to the tag team titles were decided in what was -on paper at least- a six-man match.

I'm Gonna Be Your Fat Daddy

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Dustin Rhodes promised to be Jeff Jarrett's fat daddy
Up next, we were reminded of the time that Dustin Rhodes returned to WCW as 'Seven,' immediately denounced the gimmick and entered into a feud with Jeff Jarrett.

This led to Jarrett challenging Rhodes to a Bunkhouse Brawl match, asking "didn't his fat daddy invent the damn thing?"

Rhodes accepted the challenge, beating up on Double J and insisting "I'm gonna be your fat daddy."

It's been five minutes since I watched this video and I still can't stop laughing at that.

Having regained my composure, I continued with the show as Mike Tenay interviewed Dustin. The former (and future) Goldust claimed that WCW firing Dusty was a mistake but that tonight, he would do this for his father's honour.

Before the interview could properly conclude, Jeff Jarrett attacked and this one was on.

Bunkhouse Brawl
Dustin Rhodes vs. Jeff Jarrett

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Dustin Rhodes is Jeff Jarrett's big fat daddy
Finally, we got something we could enjoy here; an entertaining brawl between two pros who knew what they were doing.

After beating each other with wheelbarrows, planks of wood and bull ropes, the two took to the ring where referee Billy Silverman tried to stop Dustin from giving Jarrett a good whipping.

Not to be stopped, Rhodes simply duct taped Silverman to the ropes and slapped an extra piece of tape over his mouth for good measure.

Not long after, Curt Hennig came down and set Silverman free as Double J slapped a sleeper hold on his opponent.

From there, we basically got an unadvertised handicap match as Rhodes tried his best to fight off the attack of both Jarrett and Hennig.

He almost managed it too until the fight went back out to the entrance way. There, Jarrett lept off the ladder intended for our upcoming US title match and smashed Dustin with a guitar shot for the three count.
Your Winner: Jeff Jarrett

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Diamond Dallas Pae
Up next, we got a look at the rivalry between Diamond Dallas Page and David Flair before going backstage where Mean Gene was standing by with DDP.

Page promised Mean Gene that he couldn't wait to get his hands on Flair and, more importantly, that the couldn't wait to get his hands on Flair's crowbar that he could then beat up Nature Boy Jr. with.

This was, as you might expect, pretty compelling stuff from Page.

Crowbar on a Pole Match
Diamond Dallas Page vs. David Flair

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Daffney debuted to help David Flair
You can insert your own obvious joke about Vince Russo loving 'Things on Poles' matches here.

Surprisingly, this wasn't actually that bad. I mean, it wasn't good either but it was relatively OK for a David Flair match.

That is if you ignore the fact that the crowbar never actually came into the actual match.

Sure, Flair hit Page with it before the bell, and sure that had Lil Naitch declare that Page couldn't compete, only for the former world champion to bravely climb into the ring and start the match, but once the bell rung, the crowbar was a non-factor.

Flair reached for it and grabbed it about three minutes in, but then he was immediately hit with a Diamond Cutter and this one was over.
Your Winner: Diamond Dallas Page

Afterwards, Page hit Flair with another Diamond Cutter, this one from the top rope. Just when he looked set to continue his attack, however, a young woman unknown to the announce team ran in to protect young David.

Annoyed, Dallas threatened to hit Charles Robinson with the Cutter as the woman we'd later come to call Daffney held onto Flair and laughed like a crazy person.

A short video package highlighting the Sting/Lex Luger feud followed. That match was next.

The Total Package Lex Luger vs. Sting
If Sting wins, Elizabeth's contract with Luger is null and void

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Sting was on to Elizabeth trying to swerve him
Sting and Lex Luger had been feuding for a while now, with their story taking an interesting turn at the previous month's Mayhem.

Then, Elizabeth had attempted to blind Sting with Mace, only to "miss" Sting and hit Luger instead (she did such a poor job that she actually pointed the can right at Lex). That had led to Liz and Lex breaking up and Sting apparently protecting the beauty from The Total Package's misogynistic abuse.

Prior to the bell, we saw Sting encourage Elizabeth not to carry her own can of Mace for her role as his valet, but to use a special 'super strength' one that he gave her.

The gullible girl went along with it, and down we went to the ring for what was probably the best match you were going to get out of Sting and Luger at this stage in their careers.

After a decent enough outing, the two clobbered each other with double clotheslines, after which Liz grabbed her Mace then ran in to check on Luger..revealing that she'd been on his side the whole time.

Realising the Stinger was behind her, she slowly stood up and attempted to spray him with Super Strength Mace, only to reveal that Sting had given her silly string all along.

The Icon looked to have the match all sewn up, even hitting The Total Package with a wicked looking Stinger Splash from the top rope.

Alas, Elizabeth returned to the ring with a baseball bat, Sting got taken out with it, and the referee called for the bell.
Your Winner via Disqualification: Sting

Post-match, we found out about WCW's weird cost-cutting measures. The company could afford to bring in punk band The Misfits for a throw-away mid-card feud, but they couldn't afford a stretcher for one of their top stars to sell an injury, so Sting had to be literally carried out as if he were Julian Assange being dragged into a police van.

Next, a look at why Sid Vicious and Kevin Nash were about to lock horns in a powerbomb match, their first one-on-one PPV encounter since In Your House 2: The Lumberjacks back in 1995.

Powerbomb Match
Sid Vicious vs. Kevin Nash

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Kevin Nash tells Sid Vicious to suck it
(Only way to win is to powerbomb your opponent)

When they wrestled in the WWF, Sid and Nash did at least try to do something. A few years later, however, the two did as little as possible, moving at snail's pace until the horrible, horrible finish.

The ref got bumped then Sid hit Nash with a powerbomb. Naturally, the referee didn't see it so things continued with a Jeff Jarrett run-in. The Chosen One blasted Sid with a guitar, after which Nash tried -twice- to powerbomb Big Sid, only for his back to give out on him.

Rather than try a third time, Big Sex simply revived the referee and told him that he'd powerbombed Sid.

The official, still groggy, took Nash at his word and called for the bell.

In the words of Randy Orton...STUPID.
Your Winner: Kevin Nash

Out in the back, Chris Benoit told Mike Tenay that nobody had answered his open challenge yet but when they did, they'd find out what silent-but-violent is all about.

I love that his slogan was 'silent-but-violent' yet The Crippler talked more on this show than he had in probably the past two years.

Ladder Match for the World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW United States Champion Chris Benoit vs. Jeff Jarrett

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Jeff Jarrett answered Chris Benoit's challenge
As you can probably imagine, this was the best match on the show by a long shot, at least up to this point.

In fact, it was so good that your reviewer watched it twice, just to make up for having sat through all the horrible wrestling on the rest of the show.

Though it wasn't the greatest ladder match of all time, both men gave a tremendous effort to deliver a well-paced, bloody and dramatic match that was totally compelling to watch.

After a captivating performance, Benoit delivered an awesome diving headbutt to Jarrett from the top of the ladder, then climbed up again and retrieved the title.
Your Winner and Still US Champion: Chris Benoit

Out in the back, Bret 'The Hitman' Hart gave one his better on-mic performances when he told Mike Tenay that tonight was about proving his doubters wrong and being true to his word by beating Bill Goldberg.

Finally, it was time for our main event

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart vs. Goldberg

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Bret 'The Hitman' Hart defended the WCW title against Goldberg
Never has a match been so tremendously good and yet at the same time so frustratingly terrible all at the same time.

After an initial handshake to establish we had a face vs. face encounter on our hands, both champ and challenger waged war on each other in a thrilling battle that -along with the earlier ladder match- more than made up for all the terrible garbage that went before it.

Then the finish happened, and it was bad in the kind of way that still has you shouting at your TV, even 20 years after the event.

All of the referees got knocked out, so Rowdy Roddy Piper came out, walking very slowly and wearing a referee's shirt.

Bret began to put Goldberg in the Sharpshooter, yet he barely had it synched in before Hot Rod sauntered over to the ropes and lazily rang the bell because even though it was two years later, Hitman Equals Screwjob.
Your Winner via Screwjob and still WCW Champion: Bret 'The Hitman' Hart.

Piper then took the belt and left the ring, seemingly hurting his hip as he did so. He walked slowly and apathetically towards the back but was caught up by Hart. Piper handed Bret the belt back and the show..well, the show just kind of ended.





My recommendation for watching Starrcade 1999? Watch the Meng/Norman Smiley match as your undercard, then skip straight to the ladder match and watch all the way through to the point that the final referee gets knocked out in the main event.

That should trim the show down from three hours of garbage with about half an hour of good stuff to just half an hour of pretty good stuff.

Otherwise, avoid this one at all costs. For saying it was the last PPV of the millennium, World Championship Wrestling really didn't do anything to make this feel like mattered.

You know the worst part of all this?

There's still another 15 WCW PPVs left to review. God help us all.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Movie Review: Monster Brawl (2011)

Monster Brawl (2011) Review - Movie Poster
If you take your pro wrestling seriously, you may hate Monster Brawl. If you take your horror seriously, you may hate it even more. 

If, on the other hand, you've got a good sense of humour and can laugh at some of the more ridiculous things that pass for entertainment, then you may just find this 2011 horror comedy starring Kevin Nash and Jimmy Hart to be a great deal of fun.

Like Celebrity Deathmatch combined with the goofiest parts of the Evil Dead franchise and the most over-the-top elements of pro wrestling, Monster Brawl is ridiculous, far-fetched and at times, quite terrible.

However, it's terrible in a kind of so-bad-it's-good way, which already makes it way better than last week's movie, Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies, which was just terrible in a so-bad-it's-awful way.

The most interesting thing about this movie is that it's hardly a movie at all.

There's no real plot to speak of and certainly no character dedevelopment, but that isn't really the criticism it would be if it were applied to a different film.

You see, rather than being a traditional movie, Monster Brawl is basically a fictionalized pro wrestling show. albeit with monsters, ghouls and The Mouth of South as a hyperactive ring announcer.






As such, it's probably best if we review it just like any other pro wrestling event...

*This review contains spoilers*

Monsters Shall Shape the Fortune of All Mankind

Monster Brawl (2011) Review - Buzz Chambers (Dave Foley) and Sasquatch Sid (Art Hindle)
All good pro wrestling shows begin with an opening video package, and Monster Brawl is certainly no different.

With eerie music playing, our event gets underway by giving us a quick glimpse at the various competitors as an ominous voice tells us that these ghosts, goblins, and ghouls have been summoned to fight and that somehow, this means that monsters shall shape our future.

Yeah, I don't get that either, nor is it explained by our announce team Buzz Chambers (Dave Foley) and 'former champion' Sasquatch Sid (Art hindle).

Introducing Your Competitors 

What the duo do tell us is that tonight we'll see eight fiendish foes battle it out in two distinct 'conferences.'


Monster Brawl (2011) Review - Witch Bitch played by Holly Letkeman (Rosemary)
With such imaginatively creative names as Zombie Man, Lady Vampire, Mummy and Frankenstein, it's probably fair to say that the writers of this low-rent monster mash probably weren't at their peak when they came up with characters for the Undead Conference.

The addition of Werewolf, Cyclops, and Swamp Gut in the Creatures Conference isn't much better, though to be fair, this group does give us the wonderfully named Witch Bitch. 

Honestly, that maybe my favourite wrestling name since Razor Ramon Hard Gay.

I love it because it leaves absolutely no doubt as to what her character is supposed to be. She's a witch, right? But not just any witch. She's also -get this- a bitch!

I'm already rooting for her to win the whole thing, and we haven't even gotten to the ring yet.

Nor will we for some time.

Introducing The Mouth of the South 

Monster Brawl (2011) Review - Jimmy Hart arrives on the scene
Of course, you can't have a pro wrestling show without a ring announcer, which is apparently why Jimmy Hart was hired.

In fairness to Hart, he's hilarious here, arriving into the graveyard arena on a cart being pulled by some kind of hunchback troll.

"Come on baby, step on it. I'm gonna be late for the Monster Brawl!" he cries in a way that manages to effortlessly blend The Mouth of the South character you know from TV into a cornball horror setting.

Finally arriving on the scene, Hart can barely contain his excitement about what we're about to witness.

"Tonight, we're gonn have a blistering, bickering brawl, a devastating, disgusting donnybrook, and a freakish, full-on FRACKAS!" he shrieks with such unabashed enthusiasm that you can't help but smile.

God bless Jimmy Hart, this is great.

The Genesis of Monster Brawl

What's not so great is Jimmy's first assignment of the evening, a sitdown interview with 'unemployed, small-town wrestling promoter' Jacob Blackburn (Jason Deline) who tells us that he put together tonight's event because he loves wrestling and monsters.

I get it, this is supposed to give you some backstory to the event, but there's two problems with it:

1: It's so boring that even Jimmy Hart visibly yawns on camera.

2: It kind of takes away from the idea that this is some kind of mystical, supernatural gathering of creatures summoned by a higher power.

Still, this is a movie featuring an obese swamp creature and a werewolf, so maybe I shouldn't read too much into things.

We also get a minute of Sasquatch Sid interviewing our referee for the evening, legit UFC official, Herb Dean.

Dean tells us that there are basically no rules tonight. His job is to 'cut down on groin shots' and stop managers from interfering.

Finally, we get down to our opening contest.

Cyclops vs. Witch Bitch 

Monster Brawl (2011) Review - Cyclops vs. Witch Bitch


Well, I mean, we kind of do.

Before the bell, Monster Brawl sets up the format that will run throughout the show:

Backstories for each combatant, a promo from each combatant, and finally, some in-ring action.

In this universe, Cyclops is apparently a Scottish blacksmith who traded his eyes to Hades for the ability to see the future and has regretted it ever since. Meanwhile, Witch Bitch comes from a small town in Massachusetts yet for some reason speaks with a cockney accent.

She agrees to join the tournament after being called -and I quote- "The worst witch ever!" by the local townsfolk. 

I mean as if it wasn't bad enough being a witch, now you're the worst witch ever? No wonder she was pissed off and looking to fight something.
Monster Brawl (2011) Review - Cyclops cuts a promo on Witch Bitch
Admittedly, the promos are pretty great.

"Normally, I would not fight woman," admits Cyclops, who apparently did a Kofi Kingston and dropped his accent for no reason..."But this witch....IS A BITCH!"

Yeah! Right on!

Eventually, we get to the ring for our opening match 17 minutes into the show.

Honestly, it's like watching a mid-90sWCW show all over again. 

Both fiends come out swinging before Witch Bitch hits her foe with what Sasquatch Sid brilliantly calls 'a dirty kick to the dick.'

True to his word, Herb Dean tells her off. So, after getting her face pummelled in by a hammer-wielding Cyclops, she pulls out a rusty meat cleaver and slits the official's throat.

Alas, even a murder weapon can't save the Bitch. A few moments later, Cyclops blasts her in the face with a frickin laser beam from his eye, setting a record for Most Bullshit Match Finish that wouldn't be broken until Hell in a Cell 2019.
Your Winner: Cyclops

It's at this point that I should probably point out that Witch Bitch is played by Holly Letkeman, better known to you and me as former Impact Knockouts Champion Rosemary.

The Mummy vs. Lady Vampire


Monster Brawl (2011) Review - MILF Alert (Mummy I'd Like to Find)

Lady Vampire's backstory is that, well, she's a lady vampire who sounds a bit like the late, great Luna Vachon. Meanwhile, the Mummy (rumored to be that of King Khafre) manages to escape from a museum, prompting the local news to issue a MILF alert.

No, you misunderstand. That stands for Mummy I'd Like to Find.

Genius.

Speaking of genius, if this were an actual pro wrestling show, Lady Vampire vs. The Mummy would probably pick up match of the night honours, not because it was a five-star classic or anything, but just because it contains some honest-to-goodness wrestling moves.

Monster Brawl (2011) Review - Lady Vampire (Kelly Couture)You ever wanted to see a mummy bodyslam a vampire, or a vampire hit a mummy with a running bulldog, man, this is the show for you!

Ultimately, however, it wasn't pro wrestling that wins the match for the femme fatale. Instead, she reaches into the Mummy's body and pulled out his black heart.
Your Winner: Lady Vampire

"Your Winner, black heart removal, Lady Vampire,"  says an ominious voice, the same ominous voice that would occasionally chime in throughout the matches with words like 'Majestic' or 'Brutal' like something out of Mortal Kombat.

The Action Continues...

Moving into the heavyweight division, Werewolf defeats the comically named Swamp Gut.

Imagine if comic book character Swamp Thing stopped caring and gained like 200 lbs. That's pretty much what Swamp Gut is.

Here, he gets his ass kicked by a charismatic wolf-man character who ultimately goes on to the final to face the winner of our last first-round contest:

Zombie Man vs. Frankenstein.

Monster Brawl (2011) Review - Kevin Nash as Captain Crookshank with Zombie Man (Rico Montana)

It's here where things get interesting...

...Or at least as interesting as Monster Brawl ever gets.

Zombie Man, you see, is the result of a government experiment overseen by a seven-foot tall army major who once answered to the name of Big Daddy Cool Diesel.

Tonight, Zombie Man locks up with Frankenstein, played by Robert Mallet. If that name doesn't sound familiar to you, you probably know him better as Kurrgan, a member of The Oddities who last appeared here on Retro Pro Wrestling in our Summerslam 1998 review.

Anyway, espite the best efforts of Nash's Colonel Crookshank, his Zombie Man is overthrown by FrankenKurgan, who heads into a final showdown with Werewolf.

To his credit, Nash really gets into the character and delivers one of the best performances of the whole non-movie, but even the man who once played Super Shredder is outperformed in this movie by Jimmy Hart.

I'm serious.

Monster Brawl (2011) Review - Jimmy Hart with his ring girls


With two scantily-clad ring girls by his side the whole time, Hart's unbridled enthusiasm and energy are a joy to behold, yet it's the announcers who really steal the show.

As Buzz and Sasquatch, Foley and Hindle are frequently hysterical, with their commentary more than making up for most of Monster Brawl's glaring flaws.

And trust me, this movie has more than its fair share of those.






Despite only clocking in at an hour and twenty minutes, the terribly slow pace of this film make it seem as though it just drags on forever.

Add in some questionable writing, distinct lack of narrative and the fact you can clearly tell Swamp Gut is just some guy in an ill-fitting mask, and it's easy to write off Monster Brawl as a really bad movie.

Yet to do so would be to miss the point.

No, Monster Brawl is never going to be regarded as a classic movie. Hell, it's barely even a movie, but it is ridiculously entertaining, often hilarious, and probably the most fun you'll ever have watching a Kurrgan match.



Other pro wrestling movies you might like:
Enjoyed today's review? Get more Retro Pro Wrestling on Facebook and Twitter

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Movie Review: Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies (2013)

Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies Movie Review - movie poster
It can't have escaped your attention that it's Halloween next week, which means that if there was ever a good time to review 2013's Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies, this was it. 

For the unfamiliar, Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies is an indie horror film written and directed by Cody Knotts and starring, of all people, The Franchise Shane Douglas in a lead role.

If that choice of casting doesn't tell you everything you need to know about this 80s zombie flick throwback, hopefully, this review will.

Of course, despite the fact the whole movie basically revolves around the former ECW Champion, he doesn't even get top billing on the movie poster.

That honour goes to Rowdy Roddy Piper. and quite rightly too.

God Rest his soul, Hot Rod tried his hardest to make this movie into something credible by delivering just about the only decent performance in the entire thing.






Yet even the guy who started in They Live couldn't rescue what ultimately turned out to be a complete mess of a movie.

*This review contains spoilers*

That's a shame too because, in theory, the over-the-top nature of pro wrestling and zombie movies should have worked well together.

Combining the slapstick dramatics of 'sports entertainment' with the guts and gore of your favourite slasher flicks could have been a riot.

We could have had the likes of Douglas, Piper, and their co-stars (including Matt Hardy, Reby Sky and Hacksaw Jim Duggan, with a brief cameo from Kurt Angle) playing up to their larger-than-life characters, powerbombing zombies into oblivion and engaging in all kinds of hardcore shenanigans with the undead.

It could have been hilarious in the kind of dark, twisted and gory way that some horror movies intentionally are.

Alas, Cody Knotts decided not to go for gross-out humour.

With Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies, he and a supporting cast of indie jobbers created a movie which  tries to be scary, disgusting, dramatic and emotionally poignant all at the same time but which ultimately fails to be any of those things at all.

The ring is the only place you can kill a man and get away with it 

Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies Movie Review - The film featured lots of unnecessary shots of SoCal Val's feet
Totally giving away the first plot point, our movie begins with a screen which informs us that if you want to commit murder, a pro wrestling show is the best place to do it.

Cut to our star, Shane Douglas, backstage at some low-rent indie show.

There, he discovers his girlfriend, Taya Parker, making out with his upcoming opponent, the terribly named Battling Billy.

I'm not certain, but I think this is the same Battling Billy who formed that famous Freebirds-style tag team with Fighting Frankie and Kick Your Ass Kevin.

As The Franchise rages about his partner's betrayal, SoCal Val is seen out in the ring, getting the thinly-sparsed crowd ready for tonight's big match between Douglas and Mr Battling.

Now, I'm not suggesting Knotts has a foot fetish or anything, but there are way too many shots of Val's feet in this opening scene and it's anything but subtle.

In between looking at her feet, we're shown lots of clips of some really fat indie jobbers while the opening credits play.

Eventually, Battling Billy battles Duelling Douglas, with Shane hitting a tombstone on his opponent and actually killing him dead.

Man, even The Undertaker didn't take the gimmick that far.

Cody Knotts - The Worst Business Man in History

Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies Movie Review - Battling Billy vs. Shane Douglas
Later, Billy's brother Angus (played by indie wrestler Ashton Amherst) visits Cody Knotts himself. Knotts, it seems, isn't only a director, he's also a pro wrestling promoter.

Anyway, Angus hands Cody a big wad of cash and asks to select a couple of wrestlers for a private show.

Cody hands him an envelope with pictures of his roster. From this, Angus picks Taya and a picture of Shane Douglas that looks to be about twenty years old.

"I just want these two," said Angus who, it has to be said, has the worst Scottish accent in history.

Now, if I were Mr Knotts, I'd be thinking I'd gotten a pretty sweet deal here. A guy hands me a huge wad of cash and from this I only have to pay two wrestlers?

Great. More money for me.

Except I'm not Mr Knotts, and I'm glad too, because the real one (or at least the fictional version of the real one) apparently has no business sense whatsoever.

Instead of taking the really sweet deal, he says "I tell you what, you can also take Piper, Hardy, Reby Sky, and a bunch of jobbers so insignificant that the guy from Retro Pro Wrestling won't even bother looking up their names."

I know you're supposed to find yourself shouting at the screen during horror movies, but that's usually when the girl is running through the dark woods to get away from the evil monster, not when a pro wrestling promoter is screwing himself over with terrible business deals.

They're Coming to Get You, Barbara

Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies Movie Review -  They're coming to get you, BarbaraThat isn't the only deal that's made either.

Knotts, revealing himself to be some kind of sex pest, interviews some woman called Sarah for a vague and unspecified job and spends most of the time rubbing up against her. Meanwhile, Angus makes a deal of his own with some demonic figure:

Gain the power to summon hordes of demons at will by killing a woman and eating her heart. To do so, Angus finds a woman at the local hospital by the name of Barbara, fulfilling the legal obligation that every indie horror film has to reference.

Welcome to the Uh-oh Penitentiary

Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies Movie Review -  Sarah and Rowdy Roddy Piper
With his new demonic superpowers intact, Angus drives the group of pro wrestlers out to an abandoned prison under the guise of having them take part in a pro wrestling show, only to reveal that it was a rouse the whole time:

He's going to set the zombies on all of them, all because Shane Douglas killed his brother.

It's at this point that the film stops being interesting.

Don't get me wrong, it doesn't stop being bad, but it does stop being interesting.

Once inside the abandoned prison, all of the wrestlers basically spend the rest of the movie running away from the zombies, stopping to fight them for a bit, and then running away again.

I say all of them, Matt Hardy spends most of the time making out wife Reby Sky until he too gets attacked and ends up having what is admittedly the best fight scene in the whole movie.

At first, I wondered why anybody would agree to make this film, then I realised that Matt Hardy got paid to basically make softcore porn with his wife and I suppose that at least makes sense.

At one point, Kurt Angle pops up. He thinks he's been booked to do a surprise run-in at the non-existent wrestling show but like Hardy, Sky, and later Hacksaw Jim Duggan, he too gets devoured and transformed into a zombie.

Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies Movie Review -  Zombie Jim Duggan
Speaking of Duggan, it's him you have to feel sorry for the most.

As they're doing the running away part of the run-chase-run thing, Douglas stops and has a heart to heart with Hacksaw, thanking him for his help when he (Douglas) broke into the business 30 years ago.

Then, in the ultimate act of heel-dickery, The Franchise then turns on his friend, running away and locking the door on him, leaving the man and his 2x4 to the mercy of the zombies.

Seriously, what a dick.

Other than that, most of the actual wrestlers vs. zombies part of the movie is all kind of samey. Piper and Sarah get close and tease at a romance despite the fact that he's old enough to be her dad, some spot monkey indie kid does a bunch of flippy stuff, but after you've seen the wrestlers run, then fight, then run away again once, you've basically seen the entire second half of the movie and there's really no reason to keep watching them do it over and over again, especially when Knotts keeps using the same small group of extras as the zombies.

It's all a bit samey and more than a bit terrible which is a shame, because, as I say, Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies could have been a really fun movie.






In fact, it even started out fun in a Wrestlecrappy this-is-terrible-lets-laugh-at-it kind of way, but after a while, this just became a chore of a film with almost no redeeming qualities outside of one really hysterical line when Reby Sky suddenly shouts "I WANT YOUR BRAINS!"

If you like your really horrible Halloween films with a touch of pro wrestling, you might enjoy this in a so-bad-its-good way, but otherwise, save yourself an hour and a half of your life.

Otherwise, you'll find yourself sitting there, as I'm sitting here now, hours after the movie is over pondering one serious question:

Was all that worth it just for Shane Douglas?

Other pro wrestling movies you might like:
Enjoyed today's review? Get more Retro Pro Wrestling on Facebook and Twitter

Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.