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, 30 May 2019

PPV REVIEW: WWF King of the Ring 1999

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 1999 - Event poster
June 27, 1999,
Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina

For most of its 30-year career, the WWF/WWE King of the Ring tournament was often little more than another storyline played out on TV and/or live events that would help the likes of Harley Race and Bad News Barrett evolve into a new gimmick. 

However, those of us who lived through the 1990s will remember that for a decade-spanning 1993 to 2002, the tournament gave its name to one of the original 'Big Five' PPVs, sitting right alongside Wrestlemania, The Royal Rumble, Survivor Series and Summerslam in terms of prestige and importance.

By the late 1990s, however, that level of importance was already starting to wane.

Whereas earlier events such as the inaugural King of the Ring PPV in 1993 and Owen Hart's career-changing win at the 1994 King of the Ring focused almost exclusively on the tournament itself, recent events had begun to downplay the tournament altogether.

In fact, after winning the 1998 competition, Ken Shamrock didn't even receive the ceremonial robe and crown, or much fanfare at all. Shamrock's win was treated, if anything, like it was just another victory.






A year later, would the pride and prestige be restored to the King of the Ring tournament? Or would it become just another storyline, lost in the lightning-speed chaos of the Attitude Era?

Let's head to Greensboro to find out.

Stone Cold is the New CEO

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 1999 - Jerry 'The King' Lawler & Jim Ross
The King of the Ring tournament didn't feature at all in tonight's opening video, which instead focussed on the main event ladder match pitting Stone Cold Steve Austin against Vince and Shane McMahon for control of the company.

After this, we went to Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler, who told us that Ken Shamrock had injured Shane in a match earlier on Heat. Following that match, Steve Blackman had run out and destroyed Shamrock with a kendo stick.

Backstage, Shamrock was shown on his knees, in agony, refusing medical attention.

Elsewhere in the backstage area, Michael Cole stood outside Mr McMahon's locker room and promised us an update later on in the show.

King of the Ring Quarter Final 1
Hardcore Holly vs. X-Pac

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 1999 - Hardcore Holly faced X-Pac in the first round
Short and sweet, tonight's opening contest was turning into a fine match until the finish.

X-Pac came flying right out of the gate, using his speed and "educated feet" against Hardcore Holly's brute strength.

At one point, Hardcore Holly powerbombed his lighter opponent into the mat with such force it was almost sickening.

This was tremendous stuff from these two, or at least as good as you were going to get from them.

Then, it all came crashing to a halt when Holly got frustrated, threw Howard Finkle out of his chair and blasted Pac around the head with said chair in full view of the referee.
Your Winner via disqualification: X-Pac

Post-match, Holly continued his beat down until Road Dogg ran to ringside to save his DX teammate from further punishment.

There was still a chance that X-Pac and Road Dogg would end up facing each other if the D-O-Double-G could get past Chyna in another quarterfinal match.

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 1999 - Hardcore Holly yells at Terry TaylorBackstage, Terry Taylor caught up with Holly for a quick interview.

"Who the hell are you?" asked Bob Holly.
"I'm Terry Taylor," replied Terry Taylor.

To be fair to Bob, he probably didn't recognise Taylor without a red streak running through his hair.

Anyway, Holly told Taylor that he was playing by his own rules and everyone would just have to like it.

"Oh, by the way, I haven't forgotten about you, Big Show," he said as he left, furthering a rivalry that to this day nobody remembers.

King of the Ring Quarter Final 2
The Big Show vs. Kane

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 1999 -  Kane faced Big Show in the Quarter Final
By now, Paul Wight had dropped his real name from his official ring name and was just going by The Big Show.

Here, he locked up with Kane to see who would advance in the King of the Ring tournament.

This was a surprisingly enjoyable battle of the giants, with both men moving quicker and looking far more motivated than they naturally would decades into their career.

After a good big-man match, the referee took a tumble and Bob Holly -predictably- came out to attack Big Show. Instead, Kane stopped him and chokeslammed him, then put Show in a chokehold for what felt like an eternity.

Just when the crowd were starting to get restless, Show broke the hold, but then took a wicked chair shot to the head from Kane.

The referee revived himself just long enough to make the three count, and this one was over.
Your Winner: Kane

Out in the back, Michael Cole interviewed an irate Mr McMahon. McMahon insisted that Shane was too injured to compete and needed medical attention while Shane -off camera- insisted that he'd be fine to wrestle.

King of the Ring Quarter Final 3
Mr Ass vs. Ken Shamrock

So, let's catch up here.

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 1999 -  Billy 'Mr. Ass' Gunn faced Ken Shamrock in the quarter final
Billy Gunn had left DX, turned heel, and changed his name. He was no longer Bad Ass Billy Gunn, but simply as Mr Ass.

As dumb ring names go, that was up there with the time Justin Credible was named after a jellyfish.

Dumb or not, Billy Gunn  Mr Ass took to the mic, calling out Ken Shamrock for faking his injuries and urging The World's Most Dangerous Man to grow some balls and face him in the ring.

He then called Shamrock a horse's ass, which was apparently the straw that broke the camel's back for Shamrock.

Backstage, he was shown screaming "HORSES ASS!" and beating up EMTs who were trying to help him before storming out to the ring.

It was almost as embarrassing as Billy Gunn's new ring name.

Referee Teddy Long tried to convince Shamrock that he was in no fit state to compete, but Mr Ass attacked him anyway, and what followed was several minutes of really boring action, culminating in Long finally calling the match off, telling us that Shamrock -who was now coughing up blood- couldn't continue.

This whole thing was bad, even worse than the last time these two met back at the 1999 Royal Rumble.
Your Winner: Ken Shamrock

Afterwards, Shamrock had one of his trademark temper tantrums and threw Long out of the ring, but was then too hurt to do much more than that.

All Hail Queen Chyna

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 1999 -  Kevin Kelly interviews Chyna and Triple H
Out in the back, Kevin Kelly asked Chyna how it felt to be the first woman to compete in a King of the Ring tournament.

The Ninth Wonder of the World cut a fairly decent promo in which she said that she used to want to be a princess as a child, but now she was all grown up and about to be queen.

Kelly then turned his attention to 1997 King of the Ring winner Triple H, who had issued a challenge for the WWF championship and was upset that people were trying to tell him what to do.

King of the Ring Quarter Final 4
Road Dogg vs. Chyna (w/ Triple H)

The longest match on the show so far, this one also just happened to be the best.

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 1999 -  Road Dogg kicks that shiznit doggy style
The first two-thirds of the match were all designed to get Chyna over and showcase her as a solid wrestler every bit as capable of competing with the men.

She dominated Road Dogg at a slow, deliberate pace, slamming him about and beating the life out of him so much you became sure that victory was only moments away.

Then Road Dogg got a sleeper hold on Chyna, and that's when the tide of the match turned.

To break the hold Triple H put Chyna's foot on the ropes behind Earl Hebner's back, which prompted Commissioner Shawn Michaels to come out and send his former DX mate packing.

All the while, Road Dogg got a second wind and hit Chyna with all his trademark offence as the crowd absolutely lost their minds.

It was awesome.

Towards the finish, D-O-Double-G looked to be playing the dumb ass babyface, turning his back on Chyna to watch Michaels eject Hunter.

Yet it turned out he was actually playing it smart.

Chyna attempted a low blow from behind but hurt her hand, leading Road Dogg to reveal he'd been wearing a metal protective cup the whole time.

One pump handle slam later and this enormously enjoyable match was over.
Your Winner: Road Dogg

"Now we can all say we saw Chyna get it doggy style!" yelled Jim Ross as Road Dogg celebrated.

Years later, those words would become truer than JR could have ever imagined.

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 1999 -  Michael Cole interviews The RockThat don't impress me much

Out in the back, Michael Cole interviewed The Rock.

The Great One channelled his inner Shania Twain by talking about how little he was impressed with being set on fire by The Undertaker.

The two would meet later for the WWF championship.

Match to determine the number one contenders to the tag team titles
The Brood (Edge & Christian w/ Gangrel) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy w/ Michael P.S Hayes)

So, here's a thing:

Matt and Jeff Hardy made their WWF PPV against Edge and Christian on a PPV headlined by a ladder match and featuring ladders predominantly in the set dressing.

Later, The Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian would go on to stardom thanks to their legendary ladder matches.

As for tonight, this was just a glimpse of what was to come between the two teams; a fast-paced, hard-hitting contest with lots to enjoy.

At one point, Edge caught Jeff Hardy with a spear in mid-air that was every bit as impressive as anything you'd later see them do in their famous TLC matches.

Alas, it wasn't enough to put the young stars away.

Towards the finish, Edge whipped Jeff into the ropes and Gangrel went to spit blood in Hardy's face.

Jeff ducked, and Edge got the blood soaking. This allowed The Hardy's to steal a win on their debut PPV outing.
Your Winners: The Hardy Boyz

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 1999 -  Michael Cole interviews The UndertakerOut in the back, WWF Champion The Undertaker asked Michael Cole what happens when you rip the balls off a Brahma Bull.

If Cole had an answer, he didn't have time to give it as The Dead Man simply walked off, ending this quick and pointless segment.

The show must go on...

Up next, Vince McMahon sauntered to ringside to tell us that Shane McMahon was so injured that he would be unable to compete.

Therefore, said Vince, the Vince & Shane vs. Austin handicap match would no longer be taking place.

This brought out Commissioner Michaels, who informed Mr McMahon that he was the one who made the matches, and thus, there was no getting out of it.

"This guy's making me lose my smile," said Jerry Lawler, an off-the-cuff quip that had this writer laughing hard.

Speaking of laughing, it as Mr McMahon who had the last laugh, as he said that there'd still be a match tonight, but that he'd have a "suitable replacement" for Shane.

King of the Ring Semi Final 1
Mr Ass vs. Kane

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 1999 -  Michael Cole interviews The Undertaker
There was a certain lack of atmosphere about this semifinal match that made you feel as though it had been put on to deliberately cool down the crowd before something more exciting came along.

Not that this was a total dud or anything. Both men put in some decent effort to entertain and, for the most part, it paid off.

It wasn't amazing, but it was a perfectly acceptable way to advance the tournament and keep things moving.

Towards the finish, Mr Ass looked to drill Kane with a chair but Big Show came out and stopped him. Kane then grabbed Gunn, Show levelled Kane with the chair in retribution for their earlier match, and three seconds later, Mr Ass was a King of the Ring finalist.
Your Winner: Mr Ass

Out in the back, X-Pac was still selling the vicious chair shot from Bob Holly earlier in the show.

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 1999 -  Kevin Kelly interviews X-Pac
Dazed and confused, he told "Road Dogg Brian James Jesse James" (his words, not mine) that although they were best friends, tonight was an opportunity for them both to reach the next level.

"It might sound corny," said Pac. "But may the best man win."

Road Dogg also cut a promo with Kelly, saying pretty much the same thing, saying the upcoming match might be the hardest of his career.

King of the Ring Semi Final 2
X-Pac vs. Road Dogg

Though better than the previous semi-final match, this one still had a sense of being more to progress the story than to actually give us a quality wrestling match.

Still, this short and snappy little encounter was fun for what it was. It ended with an X-Factor to Road Dogg for the three count.
Your Winner: X-Pac

Before our next match, we got a look back at The Rock's rivalry with The Corporate Ministry and, to be specific, with WWF Champion The Undertaker.

The two would meet next.

World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs.  The Rock

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 1999 -  The Rock defended the WWF title against The Undertaker
For all intents and purposes, this was your typical Attitude Era world title match, eschewing traditional wrestling for a couple of wild brawls through the crowds and up the entrance way and featuring ref bumps aplenty.

Towards the finish, Mike Chioda could blatantly see that he was in the way and literally stood still, waiting for Rock and Undertaker to run into him. It really took you out of the moment.

That was the catalyst for a low-blow from the Undertaker. It seemed pretty pointless doing it only once the referee was down, after all, he'd let them brawl all around the arena with nary a ten-count insight.

Following the low-blow, Paul Bearer soaked a rag in ether and handed it to the champion, only for Rock to get hold of it and put Undertaker to sleep. Triple H then ran in and planted the challenger with a pedigree. Shortly after, a tombstone ensured that for the second time in three years, The Undertaker would chalk up a successful title defence at King of The Ring.

Overall, this wasn't a bad match. It contained all the right components for an Attitude Era main event, but sadly, it just wasn't quite as good as it could have been.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: The Undertaker

Post-match, Jim Ross noted that Triple H had been wearing his wrestling attire during his run in and speculated as to whether Hunter could be Mr McMahon's 'suitable replacement' for the main event.

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 1999 -  Mr McMahon confronts Commissioner Shawn Michaels
Almost as if pro wrestling were scripted or something, this led us naturally to the backstage area, where Shawn Michaels was having Triple H removed from the building as an angry Vince McMahon looked on.

"HE'S MY TAG TEAM PARTNER!" yelled Vince.
"No shit, Sherlock!" replied Michaels. "You think I didn't know that?"

After HBK left, Vince got on his cell phone, presumedly to try and find another partner.

Kiss My Royal Ass

Prior to the next match, Mr Ass was interviewed by Michael Cole. In a decent little promo, the former Smoking Gunn told X-Pac that he'd be going straight for 'Pac's neck en route to becoming our 1999 King of The Ring, and when he did, he'd have four words for his opponent:

"Kiss my royal ass."

1999 King of the Ring Final
X-Pac vs. Mr Ass

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 1999 -  Billy Gunn wishes he was in the Four Horsemen
It was only when I got half-way through this review that I learned X-Pac was legitimately injured going in to tonight's show, which makes the decision to book him all the final a baffling one, especially when you consider that Road Dogg was super over all night long and a Battle of The Outlaws in the final would have made for compelling viewing.

This was less than compelling, but you couldn't help but feel for X-Pac and admire him for doing the best he could to put on a decent match with Billy Gunn.

Though short, this was probably the best match the two were capable of having under the circumstances.

After some reasonable action and plenty of audible swearing (Gunn yelled "bullshit!" twice at Tim White and X-Pac loudly called his opponent a "motherf*cker") It ended when Bad Ass hit 'Pac with a top rope fameasser.
Your Winner and 1999 King of the Ring: Mr Ass

Ladies and gentlemen, King Ass was born. As in 1998, however, there was no robe, no crown, or even much of a fanfare for the new king. He just celebrated like he'd won any normal match.

The Company is On The Line

Prior to our main event, we got a look back at how it came about.

Because the Attitude Era was full of convoluted stories, let's recap:

Austin won the WWF title at Wrestlemania 15 despite Mr McMahon's best efforts to stop him. This meant that McMahon needed a new plan to defeat Stone Cold, so he hatched a plot with The Undertaker that would involve 'Taker and his Ministry of Darkness abducting Stephanie McMahon and subjecting her to a black wedding with The Dead Man.

Vince begged his rival, Austin for help and Austin, being the babyface, came to the rescue.

Next, Stone Cold was beaten up and tied in the ropes while Vince revealed himself to be The Higher Power that Undertaker had been alluding for weeks ("It's Me, Austin!"). McMahon then revealed that the whole thing had been a set-up, that he had orchestrated the whole thing and The Corporation and The Ministry of Darkness were now one.

Angry at how Vince had used their daughter and subjected her to torture just to further his own ends, Linda McMahon had stepped down as CEO and installed Austin as her replacement.

Meanwhile, Shane had screwed Stone Cold out of the title, allowing Undertaker to win it.

Tonight, Austin would put his control of the company on the line in a ladder match and there was to be no interference for the heels by order of Commissioner Michaels.

With all that out of the way, let's get on with it.

2 vs. 1 Handicap Match for Control of the World Wrestling Federation
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Mr McMahon and Shane McMahon

WWE / WWF King of the Ring 1999 -  Stone Cold Steve AustinPrior to the bell, Mr McMahon announced that The Lethal Weapon Steve Blackman would be his replacement.

Just as you were about to groan in disappointment, however, that pesky GTV thing (remember that?) popped up on the titantron to reveal Shane laughing and joking with the Mean Street Posse about how he'd faked the injury to get one over on everybody.

When Pete Gass alerted Shane to the fact that that they were live on GTV, he and his boys attempted to do a runner, only for Commissioner Michaels to arrive on the scene and order Shane to compete.

Once the match started, it was just about the most fun you can have watching pro wrestling.

Saying that, there was probably not a single, actual wrestling move in sight.

Instead, there was Austin beating the living daylights out of the McMahons, destroying them with ladders, and even destroying the intricate arrangement of ladders that had been set up around the entrance way so that about 20 ladders all fell on top of Vince and Shane at once.

They brawled back to ringside, where those poor old fellows at the Spanish Announce Table were once again subjected to furniture breakage, and where Vince shoved Austin off a ladder through the American announce table.

Moving deliberately from one wild spot to another, this tremendously entertaining contest eventually moved to the ring where it was revealed that somebody was manipulating the mechanism that hung the briefcase from the rafters.

When Austin went for it, it was raised up, out of reach, but when Shane reached for it, it was lowered so that he could easily get hold of it and win the match.
Your Winners and once again owners of the WWF: The McMahons

Post-match, Austin merely looked on, pissed off and cursing at his rivals as the show came to a close.





Unlike previous years, we finally got the closest thing to a full King of the Ring tournament on tonight's show, though for the most part it often felt like filler, a way to kill time before the disappointing title match and the excellent main event ladder match. 

Again, the decision to have a legitimately injured X-Pac work all the way through to the final was questionable, especially when the ever popular Road Dogg was every bit as capable of putting together an entertaining match with his former New Age Outlaws teammate, if not more so given the circumstances. 

Speaking of Road Dogg, his match with Chyna was one of the best things on the card, second only to the main event itself which, as I may have mentioned, was tremendous. 

Elsewhere, the Hardyz/E&C match is worth checking out to see the start of an epic rivalry, though you can probably skip most everything else.                                  ¬

Thursday, 23 May 2019

PPV Review: WWF Over The Edge 1999

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - In Memory of Owen Hart
May 23rd, 1999
Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Missouri, United States.

Honestly, I've been dreading this one. 

Since I first set out to review every WWF/WWE PPV between Wrestlemania 1 and Wrestlemania 30, I knew a day would come when I'd have to make a difficult decision:

Do I review WWF Over the Edge 1999 or not?

As we started working our way through Attitude Era reviews, I spent a lot of time thinking about this one event. I even mentioned it in my Over the Edge 1998 review.

Part of me wanted to skip over it. Yes, I'd set up to review *every* PPV, but surely nobody would blame me for leaving this one out. I felt that to review it might be disrespectful to the memory of one of my all-time favourite performers:

2 Time Slammy Award-Winning King of Harts, The Rocket Owen Hart.

It was on this show that Owen lost his life.

He went into the arena expecting to entertain the fans as only he could, to go onto Raw, and then probably to go home and see his wife and children. Instead, the Kemper Arena would be the last place Owen would end up going whilst he still drew breath.

I feel very emotional just writing that and, if I'm honest with you, I think that's the real reason that I didn't want to do this review.

I just didn't want to deal without how upset it was going to make me. Indeed, how upset it *is* making me before we've even rung the opening bell.

I loved Owen about as much as its possible for a fan of pro wrestling to love a pro wrestler. So far, I've reviewed 15 years' worth of pro wrestling pay per views and I can say with no amount of hyperbole that Owen's performance was always one of the highlights of any show he happened to be on.

The King of Harts always made me smile, and it's for this reason that I ultimately decided to go ahead and write the review.

The more I think about it, the more I think it's disrespectful to Owen's legacy if I leave this one out because to leave it out would be to pretend like it never happened. It would basically mean just skipping over it, not acknowledging the fact that Owen Hart literally gave his life to make fans like me smile one last time and not taking the time to pay tribute to him.

So I'll write the review in tribute to, and out of respect for, Owen.

Regular Retro Pro Wrestling readers will know that this is usually the part of the review where I stick some ads. There'll be no advertising in this review. This is simply a review of the show, and a tribute to one of the greatest of all time.

With that, let's head to the Kemper Arena for Over the Edge 1999.

Am I Evil? Yes I am

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - Jerry Lawler & Jim Ross
We began tonight's show with one of the company's typically stylish opening videos. This one featured The Undertaker hanging around a bunch of fire and using as many different adjectives as he could possibly think of to tell us how evil he was.

Honestly, the whole video lasted about a minute, but it felt like 'Taker used the word 'evil' at least a hundred times.

The point of all this was that Evil Undertaker was promising to beat Stone Cold Steve Austin for the title, not because he was a better wrestler but because he was -you guessed it- very, very evil.

This took us to our commentators, Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler. The iconic duo reminded us of what just happened in the main event of Sunday Night Heat:

Vince McMahon took on Mideon (seriously) by orders of Shane McMahon, which had resulted in Vince getting beaten up to the point of being injured.

Vince and Shane were both supposed to be the special guest referees for the Undertaker vs. Stone Cold main event, so Shane's reasoning here was that if he could render Vince unable to perform his referring duties then he (Shane) could be the sole referee and help Corporate Ministry leader The Undertaker to win the title.

With that, it was down to the ring for our opening contest.

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions Kane & X-Pac vs. D'lo Brown & Mark Henry (w/ Ivory)

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - X-Pac teamed with Kane to face Mark Henry & D'Lo Brown
Remember that time when Kane & X-Pac were one of the hottest acts on the card and rumours flew around that The Big Red Machine would start wearing green and black?

That was kind of fun, right?

Probably more fun than this long opening match which failed to ever come out of second gear.

Though not bad, it could have benefited from being at least five minutes shorter.

The sole highlight was Kane leaping off the top rope onto D'Lo Brown and Mark Henry on the outside.

Speaking of Kane, it was his chokeslam to Henry (who for reasons that I forget was wearing suit pants and shoes) that won the match.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: Kane & X-Pac 

Out in the back, Michael Cole promised that he'd give us more information about Vince McMahon's condition as soon as we had it.

Pierre isn't Real

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - Kevin Kelly interviews Hardcore Holly
Next, we went to Kevin Kelly, who was standing by for an interview with Hardcore Holly.

In preparation for his upcoming Hardcore Title match, Holly reminded reigning champion, Al Snow, that his 'friends' Pierre and Head were not real, but that the beating he was about to give Snow definitely was.

This started off as a strong promo for Holly, but halfway through it felt as though he completely forgot what he was supposed to say. Either that, or he was running on a finite amount of charisma that dried up as he spoke.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship
WWF Hardcore Champion Al Snow (w/ Head) vs. Hardcore Holly 

In case you'd forgotten, Pierre was a stuffed reindeer head that Snow had been carrying around with him.

Holly had destroyed the reindeer on Raw, but Al brought it with him anyway and used it to waffle his opponent in the opening moments of the match.

From there, we got your typical WWF hardcore match with an obligatory brawl out into the concession stands. There, champ and challenger proceeded to throw funnel cake and popcorn at each other, selling the deadly food items like they were Triple H's sledgehammer.

Though not quite on a par with the creativity of their earlier effort back at XX, this bit was at least mildly entertaining.

Sadly, once they both got back to the ring, all the life seemed to just drain out of both the competitors and the live crowd.

After a few more minutes of not very much happening, the champion powerbombed his opponent through a table, fell, head-first into Holly's nuts, and got the three count.
Your Winner and still WWF Hardcore Champion: Al Snow 

Out in the back, Michael Cole interviewed Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco, who confirmed that an ambulance had been sent for Mr. McMahon. Patterson was convinced that McMahon's ankle was broken, but Brisco didn't seem quite as concerned.

Mixed Tag Team Match
Jeff Jarrett & World Wrestling Federation Women's Champion Debra vs. Al Snow & Nicole Bass

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - Debra teamed with Jeff Jarrett to face Al Snow & Nicole Bass
Despite her being the WWF Women's Champion, JR told us that this was Debra's first actual match.

Was this the first time in history that somebody had been a pro wrestling champion before their debut match?

Here, the southern beauty teamed up with Jeff Jarrett to take on the unique paring of Val Venis and Nicole Bass.

Anyway, this one wasn't altogether too bad.

Naturally, Venis and Jarrett did the bulk of the work, while the inevitable cat-and-mouse between Debra and Nicole actualy proving to be reasonably entetaining.

At one point, the women's champion even struck her larger foe with Jarrett's guitar, but that wasn't enough to get the job done.

After a few minutes of decent action, Val flew off the top with the Money Shot and picked up the win for his team.
Your Winners: Val Venis & Nicole Bass

Post-match, Nicole woman-handled Val and gave him a long, deep kiss. Despite being clearly violated, the wrestling porn star seemed to very much enjoy having Nicole's tongue down his throat.

Meanwhile, out in the back, Mr. McMahon was shown being taken away on a stretcher whilst Shane McMahon mocked him.

D-O-G-G or P-U-SS?

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - Mr Ass faced Road Dogg
Up next, former New Age Outlaws partners Road Dogg and Mr. Ass would go at it.

Backstage, Road Dogg cut a garbled promo in which he didn't really say anything but did manage to spell out the word 'puss,' inferring that while he was the D-O-G-G, his former partner was, yes, a pussy.

In response, Mr. Ass told Kevin Kelly that he'd spent the past few years carrying Road Dogg 'like a bad case of the clap but all of that was now over.

Although Road Dogg's promo wasn't great, this was actually compelling stuff that got you interested in seeing these two go at it.

Road Dogg vs. Mr. Ass 

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - Bad Ass Billy Gunn vs. Road Dogg
A lot had happened to Jesse James and Billy Gunn since they were two lower midcarders battling it out just to get noticed back at In Your House: In Your House 14: Revenge of Taker. Since then, the two had teamed up, dominated the tag team scene, and become one of the most popular acts of the Attitude Era.

Now, they were once again going their separate ways, with Gunn leaving DX, changing his name to Mr. Ass, and becoming a baddie.

Though both men no doubt did their best, this came across as a terribly bland match with not much to offer.

After a disappointing effort, Mr. Ass hit the Fameasser for the three count.
Your Winner: Billy Gunn 

Out in the back, Shane McMahon told Michael Cole that, as the sole referee for the main event, he would call things right down the middle.

There was a noticably sombre feeling to this segment.

Eight Man Elimination Match
The Corporate Ministry (The Big Boss Man, Farooq, Bradshaw, and Viscera) vs. The Union (Mankind, Ken Shamrock, Test, and The Big Show)

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - Big Boss Man works over Big Show
Right from the early going, it was pretty obvious that nobody wanted to be out there for this fairly average, Survivor Series style elimination match.

Not that the eight combatants didn't put any effort in.

The short-lived Union stable and the Corporate Ministry's answer to the nWo B-Team did at least look like they were trying, but by now the tragic event seemed to have cast a grim cloud over the entire night and took any enjoyment right out of this one.

After a decent effort, sole survivor Mankind slapped Mr. Socko down Big Boss Man's throat to pick up the win and bring this passable contest to a close.
Your Winner and sole survivor: Mankind 

Up next, we got the same promo package for Triple H vs. The Rock that we'd already seen about five times since Sunday Night Heat started a few hours ago.

This was supposed to lead into an interview with The Rock, but Chyna came out to distract him, allowing Triple H to attack The Great One from behind.

Mankind came to the rescue, but he too took a beating for his troubles.

Triple H (w/ Chyna) vs. The Rock

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - Kevin Kelly interviews The Rock
For the record, I always loved the theme Triple H was using around this time.

This wasn't as good as the all-out war Rock and Triple H had in their ladder match back at Summerslam 1998, but then it was never going to be.

That Summerslam match had been in a league of its own but whilst this wasn't quite on the same level, it was at least the best match on the card so far.

The two went at it in a good Attitude Era brawl which ended when Hunter got mad at Earl Hebner because Hebner had prevented Hunter from using a steel chair.

The former DX leader took his cues from X-Pac's theme music and knocked out the ref.

A few seconds later, Earl called for the bell and this one was over.
Your Winner via Disqualification: The Rock

Except it wasn't. The Rock got back up and beat Triple H to a bloody pulp. When Chyna got involved, Mankind ran out to even the odds.

I've a feeling The Rock 'n' Sock connection wasn't too far away from being a thing.

World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer)
Special Referee: Shane McMahon 

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - The Undertaker won the WWF title for a third time
Before the match got underway, Pat Patterson came out to take Vince McMahon's place as the co-referee, but he got chokeslammed by The Undertaker and was hauled out by Brisco and Sgt. Slaughter.

From there, we got your typical Stone Cold main event - a whole lot of brawling with the obligatory trip up to the entrance way- coupled with plenty of time spent attacking Undertaker's leg.

Like Rock/HHH before it, this was one of the better uotings on the card but still lacked a certain something, likely for very obvious reasons.

Despite not being as good as other Stone Cold main events, this was still the best that it could have been given the circumstances. It ended when Shane pulled a predictable fast-count to give The Undertaker his third WWF title.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Champion: The Undertaker

Afterwards, The Corporate Ministry ran in but all got stunnered for their troubles.

------------------

So, that was that. 

Now that I've worked my way through Over the Edge 1999 I have no desire to ever do so again, not just because of the sadness that comes from remembering this was the night that Owen Hart died, but because none of the matches were particuarly exciting. 

Given the circumstances, that's entirely understandable. Please note that I'm not complaining about Over the Edge benig a bad show, or even necessarily saying it *was* a bad show. 

It was a group of wrestlers doing their best to simply get to the end of the event under very difficult circumstances, and for that, I have to commend them.

I tell you what though, I sure do miss Owen. 



1999 events reviewed so far


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Thursday, 16 May 2019

PPV REVIEW: WWF No Mercy UK 1999

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 1999 (UK VERSION) - Event poster
May 16th, 1999
Manchester Evening News Arena, Manchester, England 

May 16th, 1999 was an important day for the superstars of the World Wrestling Federation. It was they travelled to the north of England for No Mercy, a UK-exclusive pay per view that would give its name to an event the company would run annually for the better part of the next ten years (and again in 2016 & 2017).

May 16th, 1999 was also an important day for your writer, not only because I was there in the crowd, but also because May 16th happens to be my birthday.

Yes, this marks the fourth (and I think final) time that we're reviewing an event I was there for in person. Unlike One Night Only 1997, Capital Carnage 1998 and Mayhem in Manchester, I remember nothing about the actual card.

All I remember is some guy in the crowd saying "this is so bad I wish I'd stayed home and had a wank" and the event coming to a close with the whole MEN Arena joining in singing Vince McMahon's theme tune, No Chance in Hell.

So much for a memorable 15th birthday, eh?






With that in mind then, let's head down to RPW's home city of Manchester, England and see what actually did go down at the first ever WWF No Mercy PPV.

We're Having a Triple Threat

Tonight's show began with one of the WWF's typically brilliant video packages. This one told us that The Undertaker and Triple H were leading the Corporate Ministry and that the two would go up against Stone Cold Steve Austin for the world title here tonight in Manchester.

Then following the usual pyro, crowd shots, and the briefest of welcomes from Jim Ross, it was straight on to the show.

The Corporate Ministry Will Have No Mercy

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 1999 (UK VERSION) - Shane McMahon leads The Corporate Ministry
And so we began properly with an in-ring promo from Shane McMahon.

Flanked by the entire Corporate Ministry, Shane-O-Mac told us that tonight, the Corporate Ministry would have no mercy on their opponents.

Geddit? Because the event was called No Mercy! Clever stuff indeed.

With the red-hot crowd calling him an arsehole at every opportunity, Shane told us that this meant The Acolytes and Viscera would have no mercy on Ministry defectors The Brood and that Mideon would have no mercy on his opponent, Kane.

Man, I'm starting to realise why I blocked this card from my memory.

As you might expect, he also told us that Undertaker and Hunter would show no mercy on Austin and that we would see a new WWF Champion tonight, though not before revealing that he'd brought the European Championship out of retirement for one night only to defend it against X-Pac.

Finally, we were told that tonight's triple threat main event would now be a No Holds Barred match. Though I get the logic of using that reveal to pop the crowd, let's be honest: Wasn't ever WWF main event technically no holds barred during the Attitude Era?

Though I question the logic of a one night only title defence (what happens if X-Pac wins, does he just retire the title again?), this was fairly compelling stuff by Shane that got the crowd plenty riled up and ready to see him and his gang get their arses handed to them here in Manchester.

Tiger Ali Singh vs. WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Gilberg

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 1999 (UK VERSION) - Tiger Ali Singh faced Gilberg
I'm starting to wonder what we British did to piss off Vince McMahon that he always gave us a Tiger Ali Singh match on our PPVs when the rest of the world were usually spared such an ordeal.

Tonight, Singh took to the microphone to inform us that the reason we all hated him is that we thought he should have been driving a taxi rather than wrestling. The crowd roared with approval at that one, basically cheering our own racism.

Singh's old-school yet effective heel promo, along with Gilberg's over-the-top entrance were both longer than the actual match itself. After about ninety seconds of action -which admittedly, the crowd loved- Gilberg hit a spear but spent so much time celebrating that Singh was able to get up, land a neckbreaker, and win the match.
Your Winner: Tiger Ali Singh

Backstage, we were shown Austin arriving at the arena "moments ago."

This was followed by a look back at how The Brood severed ties with The Ministry of Darkness. If you recall, it started when The Undertaker kidnapped Stephanie McMahon and Ken Shamrock took it upon himself to find her, mostly by putting Christian in an ankle lock until the future TNA Champion revealed Steph's whereabouts.

Naturally, this raised the ire of The Phenom, who subject Christian to several punishments (like a flogging and getting put in a match with Big Show) before ordering Edge and Gangrel to strap Christian to the Undertaker symbol.

Instead, the latter two stood up for their brethren and turned on The Ministry, becoming babyfaces in the process.

The Corporate Ministry (Farooq, Bradshaw, and Viscera) vs. The Brood (Edge, Christian, and Gangrel)

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 1999 (UK VERSION) - The Brood recover after a loss to The Corporate Ministry
Credit where credit is due, this one turned out to be way better than you might have expected it to, mostly thanks to the efforts of Edge, Christian and, to a lesser extent, Gangrel.

Flying around the ring no matter as to whether they were on the offence or defence, The Brood shone bright here, especially when contrasted with the slow, clubbing offence of the Ministry.

OK, so this wasn't an amazing match by any stretch, but let's face it:

When you see Viscera involved in anything, your mind flashes back to King of the Ring 1995 and you just know, deep down in your soul, that it's going to be horrible.

This, my friends, was not horrible, not by a long shot.

Unfortunately for the WWF's answer to The Lost Boys, simply looking good wasn't enough to secure them a victory.

Towards the finish, Shane McMahon came out with Mideon and when the match inevitably broke down into a six-man brawl, the former Phineas Godwin ran in and DDT'd Christian. That set up Bradshaw to deliver a Clothesline From Hell and pick up the three.
Your Winners: The Corporate Ministry

Post-match, Shane declared that his Ministry's 'No Mercy Mission' had begun.

Next, we got an indepth look at The Lethal Weapon Steve Blackman, who was about to participate in what was sure to be a thrilling match against Droz.

The Lethal Weapon Steve Blackman vs. Droz

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 1999 (UK VERSION) - Steve Blackman faced Droz
OK, again, let's be fair:

This was a relatively decent match, but it was Sunday Night Heat decent and not pay per view decent.

Sure, Blackman and Droz could string together a few spots that might get them a round of applause from their peers at pro wrestling school, but none of it was all that interesting or entertaining.

After a few minutes of passable action, Blackman locked in a submission and got the three count.
Your Winner: Steve Blackman

Up next, we got a Beaver Cleavage vignette. You remember those, right?

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 1999 (UK VERSION) - Beaver Cleavage
What I don't remember, is whether they showed this live in the arena back on my 15th birthday. If they did, I can't imagine it being well received since we in the UK had never seen Leave it to Beaver and had no idea why this was supposed to be funny.

In this particular skit, Headbanger Mosh (Beaver) tried eating shredded wheat without putting any milk on it and then wondered why it tasted dry. He called for his mum, who came out and offered him some of her breast milk.

I'm serious.

Hello, Manchester!


Clearly, somebody backstage was watching the Blackman/Droz match and realised that if they didn't do something quick, the whole of Manchester was about to fall asleep. That's the only reason I can think of for sending Mankind out to work the crowd for a few minutes, even though he wasn't scheduled to wrestle until later on in the show.

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 1999 (UK VERSION) - Mankind cut a promo before facing Billy Gunn later in the show
In Foley's defence, he did his job very well and, watching back almost twenty years later, it's fair to say that his few minutes on the microphone were the highlight of the show up to this point.

Apparently, somebody had told Foley that we play football in Manchester, prompting him to ask us if the local team was any good. It figures that nobody told him we actually have two football teams.

The former Cactus Jack then got his biggest pop of the night by showing some love to hometown hero Davey Boy Smith before turning his attention to his upcoming opponent, Bad Ass Billy Gunn.

"You can say 'ass' here, right?" asked Foley. "Because I've been told I'm not allowed to say, wanker."

He delivered that last word with all the mischievous glee of a schoolboy who had just heard it for the first time, rounding off what was a very fun, if rather pointless, promo.

Killing a little more time, we got some pre-recorded comments from the fans as they were going into the arena. Sadly, not one of them said that someone was going to win whether they wanted to or not.

Mideon vs. WWF Tag Team Champion Kane

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 1999 (UK VERSION) -  Mideon vs. Kane
There's no polite way to say this:

This was all kinds of hot garbage.

I mean sure, if your idea of great wrestling is seeing two men trade punches and arm-wringers, then it's a five-star classic, but for the most part, this was horrible.

After four and a half minutes of nothing, Shane, The Acolytes and Viscera all ran in and attacked Kane.
Your Winner via Disqualification: Kane

Post-match, X-Pac ran in with a big stick and single-handedly saw off four men.

Debra is Our New WWF Women's Champion

On Raw, Sable and Debra had an evening gown match for Sable's women's championship. Debra got distracted by Val Venis, allowing Sable to strip her right off, but Commissioner Shawn Michaels had declared that the winner of the match was the lady who actually got her clothes stripped. Ergo, Debra was our new women's champion despite having never competed in a match.

#WomensRevolution

Ignoring what that says about the quality of the WWF Women's Division during the Attitude Era, this recap was shown as a way of explaining why the women's title was not on the line in our next match.

Tori vs. Nicole Bass

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 1999 (UK VERSION) - Sable w/ Nicole Bass
This was supposed to be Tori vs. Sable, but Sable came out and declared that the crappy English weather had given her a chest cold and she was unable to compete. Instead, Nicole Bass simply picked Tori up, slammed her down and pinned her.

Much like the earlier Singh/Gillberg match, the pre-match stuff was longer than the actual match. I swear, it's like the company really couldn't be bothered being in England tonight.
Your Winner: Nicole Bass

Afterwards, Jim Ross twice called Nicole Bass a shemale and even defended himself to Jerry Lawler. I'm not sure if this was a cruel joke, or if Ross genuinely thought calling Bass a shemale was a compliment.

Meanwhile, out in the back, Shane McMahon told Michael Cole that he would have no mercy for X-Pac. I wonder if the WWF really did fly Cole all the way to England just for this one, 20-second segment.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship
WWF European Champion Shane McMahon vs. WWF Tag Team Champion X-Pac

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 1999 (UK VERSION) - Michael Cole interviews WWE European Champion Shane McMahon
McMahon had beaten Pac for the title on Raw earlier in the year and successfully defended it (thanks to a Triple H heel turn) against him at Wrestlemania 15.

Since then, he'd retired the title, but brought it back out tonight for what turned out to be an almost identical match to the one they'd had back at 'Mania.

Not that this was necessarily a bad thing.

Featuring cameos from Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco, Chyna, and Triple H, this was the best match on the card up to this point, with a red-hot crowd making it all the more enjoyable.

One of those rare matches where overbooking actually turns out well, this one ended when Hunter drilled Pac with pedigree, revived the knocked-out referee and draped Shane over his opponent for the three.
Your Winner and Still WWF European Champion: Shane McMahon

Afterwards, Kane came to his partner's rescue and helped him to the back whilst Shane McMahon bragged that it was "three down, one to go."

The Ministry Attack

Backstage, Michael Cole earned his paycheck by asking Mankind if he thought his arch-rivals the Corporate Ministry would interfere in his match tonight. As if on cue, the Ministry immediately showed up and attacked him.

Honestly, it was almost as if it were scripted or something.

Bad Ass Billy Gunn vs. Mankind

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 1999 (UK VERSION) - Billy Gunn faced MankindFoley was legitimately working hurt here, so the backstage attack angle was designed to eventually write him out for some healing time.

The attack also gave Gunn the opportunity to get some heat by declaring himself the winner when his opponent first no-showed. Before referee Teddy Long could raise Gunn's hand, however, Foley did show up and entered into a spirited brawl with Mr Ass.

Though it went a little too long, both men worked within their limited capabilities to deliver the best match they could have delivered.

Towards the finish, Gunn hit a piledriver on a chair and got a two count but the ring announcer rang the bell anyway.

OK, so I lied earlier when I said I didn't remember much from this show. Strangely, I do remember that.

The match ended abruptly after this. Gunn hit a Fameasser on the chair and this one was over.
Your Winner: Bad Bum Billy Gunn

In a classy move, announcers Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler gave a shout out to The British Bulldog, who was recovering at home from a career-threatening back injury following that stupid trapdoor incident back at WCW Fall Brawl 1998.

Bulldog would be back with the company by the year's end.

World Wrestling Federation Championship No Holds Barred Triple Threat Match
WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Triple H (w/ Chyna) vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer)

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 1999 (UK VERSION) - WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin celebrates his win over Undertaker and Triple H
I've said it before and I'll say it again:

If you've seen one Steve Austin main event, you've pretty much seen them all.

This was your typical brawl-around-the-arena-and-do-some-stuff-in-the-ring outing that Austin had pretty much every night of his main event run, and whilst it was entertaining, it wasn't amazing.

The story of the match was simple: Hunter and 'Taker teamed up to make it basically a handicap match until, predictably, the two couldn't agree on who should beat Austin and had a falling out. This turned it into your typical three-way until the whole Corporate Ministry ran in for the finish.

Seeking revenge, X-Pac, Kane, Mankind and The Brood all ran in to even the score. A wild brawl ensued, with all but Triple H and Austin ending up backstage.

One Stone Cold Stunner later and this one was over.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin

Post-match, X-Pac returned, bringing Shane McMahon with him.

Pac and Austin then beat up HHH and McMahon and ended the show with a bunch of beers, bronco busters and Stone Cold Stunners.






Now that we've reached the end, I realise why I remember almost nothing about No Mercy 1999. That's because almost nothing happened. 

Yes, the overall storyline of the Ministry dominating but finally getting their comeuppance in the main event was told well, but most of the actual matches were so lacklustre that none of it felt like it mattered.

Sure, there was nothing technically *bad* about tonight's show, but outside of Foley's rather entertaining promo, there was nothing all that good either. 

Overall, two hours and sixteen minutes of meh that made no difference whatsoever.


1999 events reviewed so far


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Thursday, 9 May 2019

PPV REVIEW: WCW Slamboree 1999

WCW Slamboree 1999 - Event poster
May 9, 1999 
The TWA Dome in St. Louis, Missouri.

A favourite past time of wrestling fans the world over is to deride, ridicule, and basically shit upon Vince Russo and his work in pro wrestling. For many, Vinny Ru's time leading the creative direction of World Championship Wrestling was a crime that deserved no less punishment than to be the subject of online abuse for the next 20 years. 

But look, in Russo's defence, he wasn't even with WCW when the company decided to run its "Ric Flair in the Mental Institute" angle.

On paper, it sounded feasible:

Now the President of WCW, The Nature Boy had quite literally been driven mad by power, stripping off during promos and even referring to himself as the President of the United States.

Taking advantage of the situation, Commissioner Rowdy Roddy Piper had seen to it that Flair was committed so that he (Piper) could be in charge.

Yet when it played out on TV, it ended up being worse (or at least as bad) than even the most horrendous of Vince Russo's crimes against wrestling.






In his last act before being sent to what Tony Schiavone sensitively called "The Funny Farm," Flair had fired Piper, but then booked him in a match where the two would go at it for control of WCW.

No, this wasn't that Flair had fired Piper then changed his mind. In his insanity (or rather, the insanity of the WCW booking committee), Flair had decreed that Piper was both fired and eligible to compete for control of the company at the same time.

Tonight, the culmination of what has long been referred to as one of WCW's worst ever storylines would take place as Ric Flair, fresh from a stay in a state mental institute, would go one on one with Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Let's head down to St. Louis, Missouri and see how it all played out.

The Fate of WCW Will Be Decided

WCW Slamboree 1999 - Iron Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan
Our opening video told us everything I've just told you about Flair and Piper as well as running down the rest of tonight's card and reminding us that we'd get to see the likes of Kevin Nash vs. WCW Champion Diamond Dallas Page, Sting vs. Goldberg and the match everybody had been dying to see:

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Brian Knobbs.

Before we got to any of that, however, we had our announcers Iron Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan giving us their own unique take on the card.

Mean Gene Okerlund then came out to shill his telephone hotline to an audience who were beginning to learn that they could just use their dial-up modem and get all the same "exclusive rumours" for free.

With that, it was on to the action.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship Triangle Match
WCW World Tag Team Champions Billy Kidman & Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. The Four Horsemen (Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko w/ Arn Anderson) vs. Raven & Perry Saturn

WCW Slamboree 1999 - Billy Kidman & Rey Mysterio
These three teams had been involved in a very entertaining feud over the past few weeks, so it was no surprise at all that when they delivered the goods when they finally met.

With The Four Horsemen team now heels, Saturn & Raven had become firm fan favourites whilst champions Kidman and Rey Mysterio -though still loved by the fans- had been having trouble getting on the same page.

Together, all three teams put on a very good opening contest in which team had a man in the ring at all times.

Towards the finish of this enjoyable outing, Arn Anderson got involved and blasted Saturn with a spinebuster. Dean Malenko locked on the Texas Cloverleaf, but at the same time a mysterious man wearing  DDP shirt, a sting mask, and a baseball cap came out of the crowd and decked Billy Kidman.

That gave Raven the chance to get the cover, the count, and the titles.
Your Winners and NEW WCW Tag Team Champions: Raven & Perry Saturn

Post-match, the mysterious man revealed himself to be a returning Chris Kanyon. The three then celebrated with the newly won titles.

Afterwards, we were 'treated' a video package featuring random clips of DDP which served no purpose and really had no place on a pay per view.

Speaking of which...

Stevie Ray (w/ Vincent & Horace Hogan) vs. Konnan

WCW Slamboree 1999 - Horace Hogan vs. Konnan
Apparently, there must be some licensing issue with Konnan's theme music for this event because not only is his original theme not featured, it's not even replaced with another theme like they do with DDP.

Instead, we just got blanket silence right up until the moment when Konnan tastefully invited one of the nWo members to toss his salad.

Note to self: Stop watching Konnan matches at lunch time - it will put you right off your food.

K-Dogg next invited Stevie Ray to peel his potatoes. To this day I'm not sure what that means, and I don't wish to find out. Stevie apparently knew, and it made him mad.

Or perhaps he was just mad that he'd forgotten his tights and was forced to wrestle in his pyjamas.

The match itself was about as uninteresting and uninspired as you can imagine. The only exciting moment came when Rey Mysterio came out to help his buddy Konnan even the odds against the nWo and eventually pick up the three count.
Your Winner: Konnan

Next, we got a similar video package to the earlier DDP one, except this one featured Page's upcoming opponent, Kevin Nash. The Nash video, however, was even more pointless than the DDP one because it didn't even show Big Sexy beating people up - just random shots of him smiling and throwing up the Too Sweet.

Backstage Shenanigans

Out in the Internet Location,  Rick Steiner spoke about his upcoming TV title match against reigning champion Booker T, after which there was yet another pointless video, this time featuring Sting.

Finally, we got a random candid shot of DDP talking to fellow Jersey native Bam Bam Bigelow who was on his way to the ring for our next match.

Hardcore Match
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Brian Knobs

WCW Slamboree 1999 - Brian Knobbs faced Bam Bam Bigelow
If you've seen one WCW hardcore match you've essential seem them all.

This was the same concept as every one of the company's previous efforts to capitalize on WCW's popularity:

Load the ring with weapons, have both competitors use said weapons to hit each other with no regard for storytelling or psychology, then head up the ring entrance for a bit of a brawl.

Though I appreciate that both Bigelow and Brian Knobbs took some painful bumps here, the end result was not very entertaining.

After a fairly boring match, Bam Bam suplexed Knobbs through a merch stand and got the three.
Your Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow

After a quick look at how Stevie Ray had secretly been helping Booker T in his rivalry with Rick Steiner, the latter two men went to the ring for our next contest.

World Championship Wrestling World Television Championship
WCW World Television Champion Booker T vs. Rick Steiner

Though not the most exciting match in the world, this was a perfectly serviceable outing between two decent performers.

Not that it couldn't have been much better.


For the most part, it felt like the kind of the thing the company would use as filler on an episode of Nitro rather than a PPV-calibre wrestling match, but still, it wasn't terrible.

In the end, Scott Steiner came out and gave his brother the assist without Rick even being aware of it.

One top rope bulldog later and we had a new TV champion.
Your Winner and NEW WCW TV Champion: Rick Steiner

So far, we were two title changes in as many title matches.

Scotty!

After a quick video package to hype our next match, we went backstage where Rick Steiner was seen wandering around and shouting "Scottay!' as though he were Timmy from Southpark.

Apparently, the Dog Faced Gremlin did know that Big Poppa Pump had helped him out after all, and went looking for him, bumping into Buff Bagwell en route.

Bagwell looked to be on his way to the ring, but wasn't, because current WWE referee Charles Robinson was.

Little Naitch Charles Robinson (w/ Ric Flair & Aysa) vs. Gorgeous George (w/ Macho Man Randy Savage, Miss Madness & Madusa)

If Gorgeous George wins, Macho Man is reinstated
WCW Slamboree 1999 - Ric Flair & Charles Robison (w/ Asya) confront Macho Man and Gorgeous George
Prior to the bell, Ric Flair invited a slutty-looking Madusa and the future Molly Holly, Miss Madness to his hotel room for a ride on Space Mountain. Little Naitch then took to the mic to warn Savage that, after he was done beating her, he was going to take Gorgeous George so that she could ride his space mountain.

Eventually, after much stalling the match got underway and, you know what, it was actually pretty good...

...Or at least as good as you were going to get from two non-wrestlers.

Trading some basic wristlocks and hammerlocks, the two gradually built up a fun little contest that no doubt surprised anyone who was expecting it to suck.

While George herself was no slouch, it was Robinson doing his Nature Boy tribute that was the real highlight here - even getting the trademark Flair Flop and other signature Slick Rick spots down to a tee.

Alas, imitating the Nature Boy wasn't enough to help him win the match.

After all that entertainment, Gorgeous George flew off the middle rope with the best elbow drop she was capable of delivering and won the match.
Your Winer: Gorgeous George

Up next, Buff Bagwell would finally get to challenge Scott Steiner for the US title. First, however, we got a look back at their rivalry, which mainly consisted of Steiner calling Buff a girl and Buff responding with such mature, well-thought-out insults as "Big Bad DooDoo Daddy" and "Big Poppa Dump."

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW United States Champion Scott Steiner vs. Buff Bagwell

WCW Slamboree 1999 - The Steiner Brothers reunite
With several disappointing matches over and done with, your writer didn't have great expectations for this one.

Thankfully, Steiner and Bagwell surpassed those low expectations by creating a match which, while short, was as high impact as it was entertaining.

The crowd were super into it too which made things that much better.

Following an enjoyable bit of back-and-forth, the referee took a tumble allowing Rick Steiner to come in and turn on Bagwell, aligning with his brother.

One Steiner Recliner later and this one was over.
Your Winner and Still WCW United States Champion: Scott Steiner

Another pointless video followed, this one featuring Goldberg. Afterwards, Tenay, Schiavone, and Heenan killed a little bit of time by talking about the Sting/Goldberg match.

Yet another video package came next featuring both that match, the DDP/Nash match and, finally, the whole Flair/Piper ordeal.

I swear to you the whole looked like some 12-year-old kid made it on his first version of Windows Movie Maker.

Battle for Control of World Championship Wrestling
Nature Boy Ric Flair (w/ Arn Anderson & Aysa) vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper

WCW Slamboree 1999 - Rowdy Roddy Piper faced Ric Flair for control of WCW
As Nature Boy made his way to the ring, Mike Tenay took the time to tell us about a new feature on the WCW Hotline:

The Ross Report.

Yes, you did read that correctly. Apparently, this was a report run by then-WCW magazine writer Ross Foreman, who is now Head of Media Relations for Impact Wrestling.

Flair started the match by firing the assigned referee and putting Charles Robison in his place.

What followed was ten minutes of outside interference, crooked officiating, chops and punching, broken up by the occasional back body drop.

while the lack of anything particularly novel might be enough to have a lot of fans giving this one the old "minus five stars," but there was something about the way this felt more like an old-school brawl than a wrestling match that made it surprisingly enjoyable.

Towards the finish, Piper looked to defy the odds by putting Anderson and Aysa to sleep, then KO'ing Little Naitch. Big Naitch, however, brought out the brass knuckles, nailed Hot Rod with them, and got the three count.
Your Winner: Nature Boy Ric Flair

WCW Slamboree 1999 - Eric Bischoff returned and joined forces with Rowdy Roddy PiperPost-match, a grey-haired Eric Bischoff strolled out to the ring and reversed the decision.

Bischoff hadn't been seen in many months. In fact, I'm pretty sure the last time he was seen was when Flair beat him for control of WCW back at the tail end of 1998, so quite how Bischoff still had any authority to reverse the decision will forever remain a mystery.

Irate at the decision, Flair kept screaming that he was the boss, then got into an insane argument with a little boy at ringside while Bischoff and Piper hugged it out in the ring.

That was all kinds of nonsensical.

Sting vs. Goldberg

This was a match to determine who was the 'Franchise Player' of WCW.

About two seconds into it, Sting and Goldberg botched a spot so badly it was impossible to even hazard a guess at what they trying to do.

It was so bad, in fact, that the match never recovered.

For the next couple of minutes, two of WCW's biggest stars gave us a sloppy, tedious match which had literally one good spot:


Goldberg spearing sting from out of mid-air.

At the finish, Bret Hart (who had kayfabe quit the company months earlier) came out and destroyed Goldberg with a chair.
Your winner via disqualification: Goldberg

The winner was never announced because The Steiner Brothers came out and attacked both men for no reason, though a DQ seems to be the result that makes the most sense here.

Finally, following another Windows Movie Maker package for the main event, it was onto said main event.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Diamond Dallas Page (w/ Kimberly) vs. Kevin Nash

WCW Slamboree 1999 - WCW Champion Diamond Dallas Page faced Kevin Nash
DDP was a heel now, partly because Randy Savage had helped him to capture the title the previous month at Spring Stampede, but also because he'd been getting too big for his britches and bragging about what a legend he was.

That had made Kevin Nash the babyface in this encounter, and at times it was like watching a main event from his 1995 run as Diesel all over again.

The first part of this match was monumentally boring. It looked to be all over when Savage came out and attacked Nash, leading to a DQ.

However, Eric Bischoff came out again and ordered that the match be restarted, declaring that it would go on "to the finish."

That effectively turned it into some kind of impromptu no-holds-barred match, with chair shots and low-blows taking place directly in front of referee Nick Patrick.

This part of the match was much more enjoyable, and ended with DDP getting jackknifed to hell.

A three count later, and WCW head booker Kevin Nash became our new champion.
Your Winner and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Kevin Nash

Funny how that works, isn't it?







Only a month earlier, WCW had managed to crank out one of the best PPVs of the year in the form of the aforementioned Spring Stampede. With Slamboree 1999, however, the company had not only reverted back to delivering lacklustre shows, but they'd also somehow made things even worse than they'd been before. 

Indeed, when an inter-gender match between a non-wrestling female manager and a non-wrestling referee happens to be one of the most entertaining things on the entire card, you know you're in trouble. 

Sure, the opening tag team match was great fun, but other than that, nothing here was as enjoyable as Charles Robinson vs. Gorgeous George, and if that doesn't tell you everything you need to know about the state of WCW in the spring of 1999, then nothing will. 




Other 1999 pro wrestling reviews:
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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.