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, 25 March 2021

Top 8 Best Things About The WWF Invasion Storyline

Top 8 best Things About the WWF Invasion Storyline
The WCW/ECW vs. WWF Invasion storyline that dominated Raw and Smackdown throughout the majority of 2001 has gone down in history as a disaster, ranking up there only with Katie Vick and The Gobbledygooker as some of the worst things McMahon & Co. ever forced upon their audience.

Still, despite its lasting legacy of terribleness, The Invasion angle did occasionally produce some good stuff too.

Sure, the WCW contingent that invaded the WWF boasted practically zero star power, and the two bonafide stars it did have (DDP and Booker T) were buried beyond belief. 

Sure, it gave us head-scratching defections like Christian joining The Alliance for no other reason than lumping him in with the other heels. That's not to mention Kurt Angle likewise jumping ship in literally in the last few weeks before the whole thing ended, despite the fact that he’d spent all summer feuding with Alliance leader Steve Austin.

And sure, the whole thing became more about The McMahons than any attempt at presenting a seemingly legitimate Invasion attempt, but honestly, it really wasn’t all bad.

Over the last few months, I’ve been documenting the Invasion-era PPVs here on Retro Pro Wrestling and watched the whole storyline play out, including all of the Raw and Smackdown shows in between.

Having done so, I genuinely believe that some of it was very entertaining.

Don’t believe me?

Here’s the eight best things to have come out of the WCW/ECW vs. WWF Invasion Storyline.

8. Kurt Angle Douses The Alliance in milk

It was a scene that would play out countless times over the years and was even referenced in Kurt Angle’s Hall of Fame induction; the Olympic Gold Medalist driving a milk truck to the ring and spraying everyone in sight with the white stuff.

The spot was, of course, a spoof of Alliance leader Stone Cold Steve Austin’s beer bath angle from March 1999, and served as the perfect spot for Angle to stick it to his arch-rival.

It went over huge too, partly because of the absurdity of it all, but mostly because Angle was enjoying a huge run as one of the company’s top two babyfaces. In fact, during the few months after Wrestlemania 17 while The Rock was away filming The Scorpion King, Angle had been the top face and would remain hugely over until his utterly nonsensical heel turn in the last few weeks of the Invasion.

Of course, it also gave us one JR's classic calls:

"The Billion Dollar Princess has become the dairy queen!"

7. Shane Helms Becomes The Hurricane 

Shane Helms had begun to get over in WCW’s Cruiserweight division during the dying days of the company’s existence.

He even had a terrific outing with Chavo Guerrero at WCW Greed, emerging victorious to become the new Cruiserweight champion and bringing that title with him over into the World Wrestling Federation.

There, he quickly lost the title to Billy Kidman and spent the first half of the invasion as a non-descript background character.

Things changed when he started appearing on TV wearing a Green Lantern t-shirt and professing his admiration for Hal Jordan’s alter-ego.

Not content to leave it there, Shane ‘Hurricane’ Helms decided to ditch his civilian name altogether and began referring to himself simply as The Hurricane, complete with superhero attire.

Despite being part of the heel Alliance faction, Hurricane soon became one of the more popular fan-favorite characters of that group, with only RVD (more of whom later) getting larger pops while part of the Alliance.

Hurricane was soon rewarded for his growing popularity with a European title run of not insignificant length (at least not in the modern age) and soon adopted himself a sidekick in the form of ‘Mighty’ Molly Holly.

In fact, Helms was so over with this gimmick that when he basically stole Molly from her then-boyfriend (and sympathetic babyface) Spike Dudley, the crowd continued to cheer him despite it being a pretty dick move.

The Hurricane would remain a popular act within the WWF for most of his run, even getting a high-profile match with The Rock. Alas, the WWF being the WWF, the ever-popular super hero would later ditch his alter-ego and go back to being regular old Gregory Helms.

5. Rob Van Dam’s Feud With Jeff Hardy

Not long after he arrived on the scene as part of the WCW/ECW Alliance, Rob Van Dam entered into a wildly entertaining feud with Jeff Hardy which resulted in some quality matches over the hardcore title.
The two would face off at the Invasion PPV, again at Summerslam 2001, and at least once on an episode of Smackdown.

While there wasn’t much to the storyline beyond both men wanting to outdo one another and prove themselves to be the superior wrestler, the actual matches between them were mostly excellent and a real highlight of the first few months of the Invasion.

When it was over, Jeff went back to teaming -and later feuding- with his brother Matt, enjoying a brief run with the WCW tag team titles while RVD emerged from the feud with the hardcore title still around his waist and would hold onto it until well after the whole Invasion storyline was over.

4. Rock vs. Jericho 

OK, so you could argue that a battle between two WWF stars such as The Rock and Chris Jericho could have still happened without the invasion, but this is one instance where the WWF vs. WCW/ECW storyline bombing so bad actually resulted in something awesome.

Owing to the lack of star power and generally poor ratings the Invasion was getting, Vince had The Rock come back after filming The Mummy Returns, immediately bury Booker T with his “who in the blue hell are you?” line and then beat him for the WCW Championship.

The Great One would then team with Chris Jericho for reasons that I can’t remember and probably don’t matter, but when Jericho accidentally whacked his partner with a chair, this caused a rift between the two.

The Rock began to remind Jericho that he’d never captured ‘The Big One’ and insulted him for his lack of success in high-profile matches while Jericho claimed this simply wasn’t true and promised to dethrone the WCW Champion at WWF No Mercy 2001.

True to his word, Y2J captured The Big Gold Belt from his partner/nemesis thanks to some botched shenanigans from Stephanie McMahon. The match was awesome and must have surely been in the conversation when most people were naming their Match of the Year picks.

Simply a great singles match and one of the best from the entire Invasion.

3. Paul Heyman Gives Vince McMahon a Piece of His Mind 

In the build-up to the final battle at Survivor Series 2001, ECW leader and then color commentator Paul Heyman was given a microphone and free reign to say whatever was on his mind.

It turned out what was on his mind was how much he hated Vince McMahon. After talking in general about his disdain for the Chairman, Vince Himself made his way to ringside and that's when Heyman really let him have it.

Though this cynical fan really doubts that it wasn't entirely a "shoot" promo as it was presented to be, it was certainly incredibly compelling and one of the most enthralling spots in the storyline.

2. Sing-Along With The Rock and Stone Cold 

Heyman wasn't the only one to deliver an excellent promo in the build-up to Survivor Series. On the go-home Raw, WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin and WCW Champion The Rock met face-to-face in the ring to deliver a promo for the ages.

It started with the two snatching the microphone from one another and building up epic amounts of tension and ended with them singing Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville as a duet before Rock planted Austin with a Rock Bottom. 

Though it wasn't as soaked in realism as Heyman berating of Mr. McMahon, Rock and Austin's verbal jousting looked like the most fun two wrestlers could ever have and was simply a joy to watch.

1. The Rise and Rise of Rob Van Dam

Having impressed in that aforementioned feud with Jeff Hardy, Rob Van Dam quickly caught fire as one of the most popular stars in the company throughout the duration of the Invasion storyline. 

In fact, I'd even dare to say that the reactions he received were on a par with the likes of headline acts like Austin and Angle. 

His popularity didn't go unnoticed and despite being aligned with The Alliance for the duration of the storyline, he was presented as a babyface and was even teased as rivaling Stone Cold Steve Austin for the title of Alliance leader.

This led to him being placed in a WWF title match, taking on champion Austin as well as Kurt Angle in a triple threat match. Though you could easily be skeptical and say that RVD's role in the match was simply to give Austin a win without Angle suffering a loss, if you followed the entire storyline, Van Dam's rise to the main event seemed entirely fitting and a natural result of his growing stardom.

Unfortunately, it wasn't to last.

Just a few months after the Invasion storyline ended, Van Dam found himself in a nothing mid-card feud with Goldust. Sure, that feud gave us a decent match at No Way Out 2002, but it seemed like such a comedown after The Whole F'N Show had proven himself to be one of the company's most over stars in 2001. 

2001 Reviews:

Thursday, 18 March 2021

PPV REVIEW: WWF Survivor Series 2001

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Event Poster
November 18, 2001, 
Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Greensboro, North Carolina

Survivor Series 2001 was the night that The WWF Invasion finally came to an end.

That meant that one of the greatest missed opportunities in pro wrestling history came to an end.

It meant that the enjoyable push of Rob Van Dam as one of the most popular stars of 2001 -and one of the few bright spots of the Invasion- was coming to an end as despite being hugely over, RVD would find himself lumbered in a mid-card feud with Goldust a few months later.

It meant an end to Stone Cold Steve Austin's run as the leader of a company that discarded him and told him he'd never be a star, and the end of  us all pretending like Vince McMahon couldn't have just barred The Alliance from entering the arena if he'd wanted to. 

Here's what went down on that fateful night in what had long been NWA / WCW Country, Greensboro, North Carolina. 

This is the End, My Only Friend, The End

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Paul Heyam and Jim ross
Remember that awesome Doors sound-alike that the World Wrestling Federation used back at Armageddon 2000?

They wheeled it out again here to serve as the soundtrack for tonight’s opening video package, splicing footage of WWF legends like Gorilla Monsoon and Freddie Blassie standing around looking reflective with clips of historical moments such as The Ultimate Warrior charging to the ring, and shots from the recent WWF vs. Alliance feud that was finally going to end tonight.

Curiously, the intro had been redubbed so that after the video, a dude said “and now, WWE Survivor Series” even though the company was definitely still the WWF at this time.

From there, we went to the obligatory crowd shots both in the arena and at WWF New York while Jim Ross put over tonight’s event as the most significant event in pro wrestling history.

He and fellow announcer Paul Heyman bantered back and forth about hating working together before it was down to our opening contest.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship
WWF European Champion Christian vs. Al Snow

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Christian defended the European title against Al Snow
One of the dumbest moments of the Invasion storyline was Christian defecting to The Alliance for no other reason than the fact that he was a heel.

Tonight, he kicked off Survivor Series 2001 by referring to Greensboro as ‘the place the WWF [came] to die’ before meeting the challenge to his European championship laid down by Al Snow of all people earlier on Heat.

Snow may not have been a prominent character on TV during the Invasion (he was mostly off doing Tough Enough) but he gave us a fun opening match here against Christian.

Both men traded the advantage multiple times, going back and forth in an entertaining effort that had the crowds hooked from start to finish.

Towards the end, Al hit the Snow Plow only for Christian to get his foot on the ropes to break the count.

Proving that he wasn’t the smartest dude on the roster, Snow stared at Christian’s foot on the rope for a few seconds and somehow deduced from this that he’d won the match.

A few moments later, he was punished for his stupidity by eating an Unprettier and taking the fall.
Your Winner and Still European Champion: Christian

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - The Alliance confront Stone Cold Steve Austin
Another dumb moment in the Invasion storyline came when Vince McMahon told everyone that Steve Austin would be defecting and rejoining the WWF, sewing seeds of distrust in The Alliance.

Tonight, Austin arrived at the arena with his wife Debra and WWF title belt in tow only to be confronted by his Alliance teammates who wanted to know what was going on.

Why hadn’t he returned their phone calls? He didn’t want to.

Was he joining the WWF?

Hell no!

In a fun segment, Austin demanded that his cohorts stop being paranoid and vowed to take out the World Wrestling Federation one way or another.

Sh*t Happens

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Michael Cole interviews Vince n Linda McMahon
Elsewhere in the arena, Linda McMahon expressed concern that somebody might get hurt tonight, only for her husband Vince to dismiss her with the old saying ‘sh*t happens.’

McMahon then gave a confident interview to Michael Cole in which he boasted about building an empire by taking calculated risks.

Tonight, according to Vince, that empire would absolutely come out on top.

When it was all over, McMahon was interrupted by William Regal. The Alliance Commissioner was as entertaining as ever as he told Vince that Austin was as loyal to the group as Regal was to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Tonight, said Regal, The Alliance would do to the WWF what he was about to do to Tajiri.

William Regal vs. WCW Cruiserweight Champion Tajiri

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - William Regal vs. Tajiri
’s girlfriend Torrie Wilson wasn’t with him tonight after Regal had pretty much murdered her on the go-home Smackdown show.

Seeking revenge, the Japanese Buzzsaw quickly got revenge by kicking Regal’s face off and making him bleed. Not that this was enough to earn him the victory.

After a very short but enjoyable match that lasted less time than the previous two backstage segments, Regal destroyed his former assistant with a powerbomb.
Your Winner: William Regal

Not content with that, Regal beat up Tajiri after the bell. Torrie then ran out to check on her man so Regal murdered her again.

The brute.

Edge and Test

Prior to the next match, we were reminded of the rivalry between Edge and Test. The latter had cheated to beat the former for the Intercontinental Championship but Edge had then beaten Kurt Angle for the US title.

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Test flirts with Stacy Keibler
WWF Commissioner Mick Foley had then booked the two in a title unification match on tonight’s show. This video package had also been overdubbed because in Foley’s original announcement he had confused which man owned which title.

Back in the arena, Test had begun to play up the conceited ‘obsessed with his own looks’ gimmick that he’d suddenly adopted on the last Smackdown when Stacy Kiebler had told him he was hotter than Edge.

Backstage, the Intercontinental Champion was busy admonishing make-up lady Janet Ventriglia for not rubbing oil into his body properly when Kiebler came to wish him luck in his match.

Though she wouldn’t give a straight answer when he asked her out, the former Miss Hancock did rub his bum as she left.

“Yeah,” smiled Test afterwards. “She wants me.”

Across the arena, US Champion Edge gave a hilarious interview to Jonathan Coachman in which he mocked Test for ‘being dumped by virtually every chick on the planet’ and promised to dethrone him in tonight’s match.

US vs. Intercontinental Championship Title Unification Match
WWF Intercontinental Champion Test vs. WCW US Champion Edge

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Test vs. Edge - US title vs. intercontinental title unification matchBoth men had enjoyed the best year of their WWF run so far in 2001.

Edge had triumphed (along with Christian) in the memorable and historic TLC match at Wrestlemania X-7 before going on to win the 2001 King of the Ring and enjoy a couple of reigns with the IC title before his latest role as United States Champion.

Though not as successful, Test had enjoyed two tag team title reigns with Booker T in a fun make-shift team and was now heading into this title unification match with the Intercontinental gold.

At first, the match didn’t seem like it was going to be up to much. It was somewhat slow and rather uninspired, but then something (who knows what) happened to light a fire up the arse of both men and then suddenly upped their game, the match getting better and better the longer it went on.

Eventually, after what ended up being a solid match, Edge planted Test with a spear and walked away with both the United States and Intercontinental Championships.
Your Winner and NEW Unified US & Intercontinental Champion: Edge

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - The Hardy Boyz & Lita
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon vented to Kurt Angle about how worried she was that if The Alliance lost she would have to become a regular person and clean her own toilet.

Ever the gent, Angle assured her he wasn’t going to let that happen.

Across the way, Lita and Jeff Hardy were busy talking about how weird Matt Hardy had been acting lately when the future broken one himself interrupted their conversation.

According to Matt, everybody should have been acting weird as tonight was an important night - after all, if they lost their match tonight, they were out of a job.

Steel Cage Match Tag Team Title Unification Match
WCW Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D’Von Dudley w/ Stacy Kiebler) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy)

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - The Dudleyz faced The Hardy Boyz in a tag title unification match
There was no real reason for this to be a cage match. In kayfabe, the stipulation had been decided on a whim by Commissioner Mick Foley. In reality, this writer suspects it was simply to keep things fresh after the two teams had battled countless times in the past.

This match wasn’t quite up there with their epic tables match from Royal Rumble 2000, but it was still a solid effort fought under cage escape or pinfall rules.

Both teams went back and forth for an enjoyable 15 minutes until Stacy Kiebler seduced outside official Nick Patrick so that she could slide a table into the ring.

After a little more action, Matt Hardy escaped the cage after which Jeff Hardy planted D’Von atop the table and scaled to the top of the cage.

At that point, Jeff could have simply climbed down and won the match for his team but instead decided to dive off the cage onto D’Von.

It was a cool spot, sure, but a dumb one. D’Von moved, Jeff crashed through the table and one three count later relinquished the tag team titles.

Oh Jeff, why?
Your Winners and NEW Unified Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boyz

Afterward, Jeff was wheeled off on a stretcher.

The Commissionership is a Joke

Over at WWF New York, Commissioner Mick Foley revealed that he wanted to be in Greensboro but his boss Vince McMahon had ordered him to hang out at the restaurant/club instead.

Picking up where he’d left off in a pissed-off promo back on that week’s edition of Raw, the angry Commissioner promised that if he still had a job come Monday he’d be flying to Charlotte to have a few choice words for Mr. McMahon.

Meanwhile, back in the arena, Test beat up Scotty 2 Hotty so that he could take his place in the upcoming Immunity Battle Royal.

Immunity Battle Riyal
Featuring Lance Storm, Justin Credible, Diamond Dallas Page, Test, The Hurricane, Raven, Billy Kidman, Raven, Tommy Dreamer, Shawn Stasiak, The APA, Crash Holly, Funaki, Billy & Chuck, Spike Dudley, Perry Saturn, Albert, Tazz

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Immunity Battle Royal
Winner Gets Immunity From Being Fired For 1 Year Regardless of Which Side Loses

It’s always difficult to say much about a battle royal. Nothing much of note happened here apart from Chavo Guerrero and Hugh Morrus putting in an unscheduled appearance.

The former Misfits in Action cohorts had been fired by The Alliance after sucking up to Vince McMahon and asking him for a job, requests that McMahon flat out refused.

The two snuck into the battle royal hoping to get their jobs back but failed, as did almost everybody else.

After about ten minutes of guys hanging out on the ropes, Test eliminated Billy Gunn to ensure he’d still have a job on Monday.
Your Winner: Test

Out in the back, Booker T told Shane McMahon that he didn’t trust Stone Cold, only for Shane ‘O to try and convince Mr. Five-Time that Austin was indeed the one to lead them to the promised land.

Six-Pack Challenge for the Vacant World Wrestling Federation Women’s Championship
Trish Stratus vs. Jacqueline vs. Lita vs. Ivory vs. Mighty Molly vs. Jazz

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Molly Holly locks up with Jacqueline
The women’s championship hadn't been since Chyna defeated Ivory for it at Wrestlemania.

She’d since left the company, vacating the title which had been completely forgotten about over the course of the Invasion.

Tonight, these six women looked to remind people about it in what was a pretty damn good effort.

The story that often seems to be told is that from the Attitude Era onwards, the women’s division was a joke, a bathroom break, a whole bunch of nothing until the likes of Beth Phoenix and Charlotte Flair began to change all that.

While it would certainly become that for a while, there was no sense of the division being a joke in this match. It was a competent, well put together and reasonably enjoyable outing for the most part.

The only downside was the introduction of former ECW star Jazz as the mystery sixth woman.

While Paul Heyman marked out for her big time, the rest of Greensboro welcomed Jazz with total apathetic silence.

Despite that, she looked pretty impressive until the finishing spot where she went cack-arse through the ropes in an ugly botched spot.

With Jazz out of the way, Trish Stratus was left to plant Ivory with her Stratusfaction bulldog and win the match.
Your Winner and new Women’s Champion: Trish Stratus

In the post-match, Jim Ross put over Trish as being the underdog due to her limited experience compared to the other women.

“But there’s Trish, coming in the back door,” said Jim Ross before turning to Paul Heyman and quipping. “I’m sure you wouldn’t mind that.”

JR, you filthy perv.

Vince Rallies the Troops

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Vince McMahon gives Team WWF a pep talk
Prior the main event, Vince McMahon lined up Team WWF in the locker room to give them a pep talk.

Ever the asshole, Mr. McMahon role his troops that although he was confident that they’d win, the fans would never forgive them if they lost.

What’s more, said Vince, losing would mean that they’d be personally and professionally disgraced, not to mention ridiculed by their peers and family.

Finally, McMahon also told them to forget all about Stone Cold Steve Austin rejoining the company and act as if it were ‘complete BS.’

Speaking of Austin, he was seen leading his team through the backstage corridors in solemn silence.

Say what you will about the whole Invasion storyline but this segment did an excellent job at building up the gravitas of the whole situation.

By the time it was over and we went into our obligatory pre-match video there was still an hour left on this show.

That makes for a really long main event for sure.

Winner Take All Survivor Series Elimination Match
Team Alliance (Shane McMahon, Booker T, WWF Hardcore Champion Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle, and WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin) vs. Team WWF (The Big Show, Kane, The Undertaker, Chris Jericho, and WCW Champion The Rock

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Steve Austin, RVD, and Kurt Angle reach for a tag
The Rock and Austin wasted no time getting into this one, immediately going after each other with rights and lefts and battering each other around the ring.

Things eventually settled down with members from each team pairing off and taking turns to spend a little time in the ring, usually with Team WWF getting the upperhand.

Hilariously, every time a member of the World Wrestling Federation made a cover, Shane McMahon would dive in and break it up then scurry off like a rat.

Speaking of Shane, he led by example by scoring the first fall for his side.

The Big Show took to the ring and destroyed Booker T, only for Kurt Angle to hit him with an impressive Angle Slam. Big Show then ate a scissor kick from Booker and a five-star frogsplash from Rob Van Dam before Shane sealed the deal with an elbow drop to put The Alliance ahead 5-4.

Unfortunately for McMahon, his victory didn’t last long. He got his ass whooped by The Rock, chokeslammed by Kane, tombstoned by The Undertaker and finally hit with a lionsault by Chris Jericho to level the playing field.

Things would soon breakdown into a brawl during which time both Kane and The Undertaker were eliminated, leaving The Rock and Chris Jericho to take on Austin, Angle, Booker, and RVD.

Given that Rock and Jericho had become increasingly hostile towards each other in recent weeks this did not bode well for Team WWF.

After more entertaining brawling, it all came down to Rock & Jericho vs. Austin & Angle.

In other words, a match between four original WWF guys.

Jericho played face in peril for a while before Rock finally made the hot tag and destroyed Kurt Angle, making the Olympic gold medalist possibly the only person in history to tap out to The Rock’s awkward sharpshooter.

Jericho too was later eliminated and took out his frustration on arch-rival The Rock before being sent packing by The Undertaker.

That left us with another classic Rock/Austin showdown which was undoubtedly the highlight of the whole match and a joy to watch.

After an epic battle between the two men, Kurt Angle returned and turned his back on The Alliance, smashing Austin in the face with the title belt to give The Rock, and Team WWF, the victory.
Your Winners: Team WWF (Sole Survivor: The Rock)

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Vince McMahon celebrates the WWF's Victory
As a distraught Paul Heyman looked on, The Rock celebrated his victory while Vince McMahon came out onto the stage.

The closing moments of Survivor Series 2001, and of the entire Invasion storyline was the WWF owner standing tall and proud, arms raised in victory having finally destroyed his competition once and for all.

In every sense, the landscape of professional wrestling would never be the same again.

Survivor Series 2001 may never go down as an all-time classic event, but its job was to write the final chapter of a story and to that end, it worked very well.

Although there were definitely some highlights (the main event and the tag title cage match) nothing on the show actually sucked, making for an enjoyable event from start to finish.

The Invasion may have had many flaws, but at least it ended on a high note.

Thursday, 11 March 2021

EVENT REVIEW: ECW Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular 1993

June 19, 1993
ECW Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

ECW Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular was the first major event promoted by ECW and was a long, long way from the kind of PPV events the company would be putting out just five-six years later.

Back in 1993, there was no way of telling that this little-promotion-that-could would eventually establish itself as one of the "Big Three," offering a viable option for those who preferred a more extreme alternative to WCW and the WWF.

OK, so may be some people - like Paul Heyman, for example - wanted it to happen, but to watch Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular you'd be forgiven for dismissing ECW as nothing more than another low-rent indie promotion with nothing much going on.

Still, that's not what we're going to today. Rather than dismiss ECW, we're going to head down to Philadelphia and see what went down at the company's first big super show.

Welcome to the Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular 

We began tonight’s show outside the ECW arena where Todd Gordon and Jay Sulli stood around hyping up a small group of middle-aged men who were apparently die-hard ECW fans.

Gordon hyped one of tonight’s big matches before calling the ECW Super Summer Sizzler 93 ‘the hottest show in independent history.’

With that, we got our opening video package, a typically early ‘90s amateur-hour affair featuring early ECW stars like Jimmy Snuka and Don Muraco as well as people this writer had no idea had ever appeared for the company like British Bulldog and Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart.

We then went straight to the action with Sulli being joined on commentary by the one and only Paul E. Dangerously.

Eastern Championship Wrestling Television Championship
ECW Television Champion ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka vs. J.T Smith

Superfly was a heel here and aligned with Paul E.

ECW Summer Sizzler Spectacular 1993 - Jimmy Snuka
Apparently, his gimmick was that he didn’t give a sh*t. Either that or he just didn’t actually care and was only there to pick up a paycheque.

The match wasn’t awful or anything but you really just got the impression that Snuka was simply going through the motions until he could hit the Superfly Splash and get out of there.

That happened in about six minutes, ending a pretty ‘blah’ match.
Your Winner and Still TV Champion: Jimmy Snuka.

Moving quickly on...

First Blood Rules
Larry Winters vs. Tony “Hitman” Stetson

ECW Summer Sizzler Spectacular 1993 -  Larry Winters vs. Tony Stetson
Things got a little better with this next match. Not great, but better.

The action wasn’t particularly special, but both Larry Winters and Tony Stetson concentrated on attacking each other’s foreheads and actually trying to make their opponent bleed right from the word go. Honestly, that’s a far better approach than many first blood matches where the two wrestlers compete in a relatively normal match and drawing blood seems like a an afterthought.

With that working in its favor then, it’s disappointing that the finish to this match was kind of dumb.

Rockin’ Rebel got involved, distracting the referee so that Stetson could pull a chain out of his pants and blast his rival with it to win the match.

Sure, that would have been a standard finish in a regular match, but it had already been announced that there were no rules besides making your opponent bleed, so why bother with the distraction?
Your Winner: Tony Stetson

Post match, Stetson and Rebel beat up on poor old Larry Winters until Winters battled back and sent them packing.

Cat Fight Humiliation Match
Miss Peaches vs. Terrible Tigra

ECW Summer Sizzler Spectacular 1993 -  Terrible Tigra
‘Cat fight humiliation match’ - well, at least ECW were honest and didn’t try to pass this off as any kind of genuine athletic competition because it certainly wasn’t.

Miss Peaches was Sandman’s wife and Terrible Tigra had been getting involved in Sandman’s matches which was a good enough reason for the two to roll around on the mat tugging at each other’s clothes in a bout that had no clearly defined way to win.

The way to win wasn’t by removing an item of your opponents' clothes because Tigra did that to Peaches in about sixty seconds and the match continued.

It could have been by regular pinfall or submission but since neither lady even attempted a cover, that’s probably not it either.

After another minute or so of nondescript rolling around, Tigra tried to leave only to be blocked at the isle by the debuting Angel, who was being presented here as a mystery woman.

Angel ordered Tigra back to the ring to roll around again for another minute before simply letting her leave. At that point, the referee called for the bell and awarded the match to Peaches.
Your Winner Via Goodness Knows What: Miss Peaches

Post-match, Peaches went to cut a promo but Rockin’ Rebel and Tony Stetson chased her off then ganged up on Angel and ripped her top off, exposing her boobage to the audience. Seriously, can you imagine any show today where two men could overpower a woman and rip her clothes off and it being allowed to air?

I’m sure there are people for whom this kind of stuff constitutes entertainment, but this fan is certainly not one of them.

Anyway, Larry Winters eventually came to the rescue and Angel’s dignity was preserved with a beach towel.

Eastern Championship Wrestling TV Championship
WCW TV Champion Superfly Jimmy Snuka (w/ Paul E. Dangerously) vs. Iron Man Tommy Cairo

ECW Summer Sizzler Spectacular 1993 -  Iron Man TommY Cairo
With Paul E. now accompanying his man to ringside, Terry Funk joined Sulli on commentary.

This was the better of Jimmy Snuka’s two title defences on the show, but only because challenger Tommy Cairo turned up ready to go and worked his butt off.

Snuka still seemed like he didn’t want to do much of anything, so his opponent bounced around for a while before losing in the most feeble way possible.

Paul E. tripped up Cairo and Snuka pinned him with one foot barely grazing the middle rope.

Apparently, Cairo was so weak that he couldn’t kick out and the match was over.
Your Winner and Still ECW TV Champion: Jimmy Snuka

After the bell, Cairo hi-fived the fans while Terry Funk put over his main event match with ‘Hot Stuff’ Eddie Gilbert and the ring announcer put over the ECW Hotline.

Remember that?

Philly Street Fight
The Sandman vs. Rockin’ Rebel

After his awful double-murder suicide killing his wife and then himself in 2018, Rockin’ Rebel now recives the Krispin Wah treatment on WWE Network which captions this match only as ‘Sandman Competes in a Philly Street Fight.

Much as I do with Benoit matches on this blog, the best way I can think to approach this is to focus purely on the quality of the match out of respect for their opponent and leave my own personal feelings about the crimes committed out of the equation.

The match was easily the most entertaining thing on the show so far but to be honest, given the lacklustre quality of this event that’s not the huge compliment it might first seem.

The Sandman wasn’t yet fully ‘The Sandman’ as fans would later get to know him as. Instead, he was somewhere between the beer-swilling hardcore icon and the surfer dude he had started his career as.

Whatever his gimmick was, Sandman wasn’t a great wrestler here but could swing a chair around with the best of them and did so with gusto until another mystery woman (Tammy Sytch) entered the ring and sprayed him in the eyes with something.

That allowed Rebel to get the win via roll-up.
Your Winner: Rockin’ Rebel

Afterwards, Tony Stetson (who had put in a cameo in the match) helped Tammy to the back but thankfully saw no reason to rip her clothes off.

Dark Patriot II (w/ Paul E. Dangerously) vs. Dick Murdoch

ECW Summer Sizzler Spectacular 1993 -  Paul "Flappy Tits" Heyman
Prior to the bell, Paul E. announced that the original Dark Patriot was in Japan and thus he had recruited the originally named Dark Patriot II to take his place.

Dick Murdoch didn’t care. He was here to make his ECW debut and was only interested in kicking some butt.

He did that pretty effectively in an inoffensive but largely bland match that was typical of your average low-rung indie show.

Like I say, it wasn’t awful or anything, just not that entertaining.

Murdoch won with a roll-up.
Your Winner: Dick Murdoch

Ready for some more?

Six-Man Tag Challenge
Wildman Sal Bellomo, Super Destroyer #1, and Stevie Wonderful vs. Hunter Q Robins III & ECW Tag Team Champions The Suicide Blondes (Sir Jonathan Hotbody & Sir Richard Michaels)

ECW Summer Sizzler Spectacular 1993 -Sal Bellomo
Joey Styles
made his ECW debut here, joining Sulli on commentary and playing a heel which was interesting and fun.

Speaking of fun, that’s exactly what this match was, at least compared to the bland bag of meh that the rest of this show had been.

Played partly for laughs and partly as a straight match, this still came across as the kind of thing you’d only find on an indie show, but since that’s exactly what this was, I can hardly complain.

After some decent action, Wildman Sal Bellomo splashed the crap out of Richard Michaels to earn the win.
Your Winners: Sal Bellomo, Super Destroyer, and Stevie Wonderful.

Finally, with just shy of 25 minutes left on the clock, it was time for our main event.

Joey Styles left the announce booth to be replaced by Todd Gordon, delighting nobody but Gordon himself.

King of Philadelphia Texas Chain Match Massacre
Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert vs. Terry Funk

This was your standard ‘touch four corners’ strap match using a chain instead of a strap with the winner claiming the title of ‘King of Philadelphia.’

Though it certainly wasn’t a technical classic, it was a compelling and bloody brawl that captured the attention and held it from start to finish.

Both men busted each other open as they brawled in the ring, around the ring, and later up in the crowd.

At one point, referee John Finnegan got squashed in the corner and was replaced by Kevin Christian.

At first, this seemed like a random and pointless move but later it proved to be important to the finish.

Terry Funk touched all four corners only to discover that Christian had been distracted by Paul E. and didn’t see it.

As Funk argued with the official, Gilbert waffled him with a chair, hit him with a piledriver and then touched all four corners to win the match, and the crown.
Your Winner and King of Philadelphia: Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert

Afterwards, Paul E. Dangerously revealed that he and Kevin Christian had been in cahoots the whole time. He also cut an excitable promo but the quality of this video is so poor that it’s impossible to make out what he said.

Finally, things ended with Todd Gordon firing Christian, who pushed the boss man down and wandered off arm in arm with Dangerously while Gilbert got sent packing by Funk.

The Funkster then placed the King of Philadelphia crown atop Gordon’s head as the ECW Super Summer Sizzler 1993 event came to a close.

If all you had to go off was this one event, you’d never in a million years be able to guess that ECW would become one of the hottest wrestling promotions in the world.

The Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular came off as a low-rent indie show filled with mediocre performances, a gang rape spot and only the occasional flash of genuine entertainment.

Things would get better -much better- over the course of ECW’s existence, but their first major event wasn’t much to get excited about.


Other ECW Reviews:

Thursday, 4 March 2021

PPV REVIEW: WWA - The Revolution 2002

WWA - The Revolution 2002 - Event Review
February 24, 2002
Aladdin Casino Center, Las Vegas, Nevada

I couldn't help myself. I needed to see more  World Wrestling All-Stars shows even though the first show, WWA: The Inception had been bad beyond belief.

Not just bad, but farcical

Famously, the show featured the commentary of Jeremy Borash and Jerry Lawler blaring out over the arena PA system for the whole event, but that was the least of this show's problems.

It featured a Bananas in Pyjamas rip-off known as The Fruits in Suits whose sole contribution to the show was to serve as the basis for a bunch of homophobic jokes, Bret Hart lying about being undefeated before interfering in the main event because he didn't want anyone winning with his finishing move and so much ridiculousness that The Inception simply has to be considered one of the worst PPVs of all time.

Still, I couldn't help myself. 

I found the company's second PPV, The Revolution, on YouTube, and just had to know if it was as bad as the first or if the company had managed to turn things around.

Let's head to  Las Vegas, Nevada and find out together, shall we?

It's the Revolution

WWA - The Revolution 2002 - Tantric performed at the event
Rather than starting with the usual opening video package, we instead joined WWA Revolution part way through a live performance by the band Tantric with a song called -naturally- Revolution.

Look, I'm not going to knock on Tantric. Their song Down and Out is a good tune that still crops up on my playlists from time to time, but the production values of this show were so poor that all you heard was lead singer Hugo Ferreira moaning the word "Revolution" over and over. 

Needless to say, this was not Tantric's finest hour.

Nor was it WWA's. 

The show finally gave us our opening video...Three of them in fact.

The first video showed clips from The Inception and other WWA tour shows set to the classical piece O Fortuna

If they'd left it at that, I would've said the show was off to a good start. Unfortunately, they gave us a second short video featuring more of the same clips set to a piece of rock music and finally, a third short video which featured yet more of the same in more of an opening credits style.

It was like they made three different intros and couldn't decide which one to use so simply said "f**k it" and threw all three in.

Unfortunately, the production woes would continue in our first match of the broadcast.

Six-Way Elimination Match
Nova vs. Low Ki vs. Shark Boy vs. AJ Styles vs. Tony Mamaluke vs. Christopher Daniels

WWA - The Revolution 2002 - Christopher Daniels competed in the opening match
There are certain things that we all just take for granted in pro wrestling. Take camera angles for example. 

In any match where the competitors are already in the ring for "super special introductions" we take it as a given that when a wrestler's name is announced, the camera will show us that wrestler so that we can put a name to a face and know exactly who the ring announcer is talking about.

WWA either didn't think that was important or hired a camera crew who had never seen professional wrestling before. As such, whenever a wrestler was introduced in this six-man elimination match, the view either stayed on the ring announcer's face, cut to the hard camera, or gave us some random view of a different wrestler. 

The camera work didn't get any better as the match progressed and ended up completely distracting from the action. At times, the camera crew completely missed what was going on. 

At one point, Tony Mamaluke got busted wide open and nobody had any idea why because the cameras missed it, leading announcers Jeremey Borash and Mark Madden to speculate that Mamaluke had actually cut himself open backstage before the match

I mean, unless he took the whole Goldberg-headbutting-a-locker thing to extreme levels, that seems very unlikely. 

Later in the match, Christopher Daniels was on the top rope, the next he toppled to the mat like a sack of crap and nobody knew why guessed it, the camera missed it.

Look, I get it:

This is a pro wrestling review not a cameraman/show director review, but when the production value is so bad that you notice it more than anything going on in the ring, that seems like it's worth mentioning.

Not that the action itself was bad. 

Here, you had six talented guys who knew full well that their job was to go to the ring, bust out a bunch of cool spots and big moves, and to that end they mostly delivered.

With the possible exception of AJ Styles busting out a second rope Styles Clash, almost everything was instantly forgettable, but this was still a fun match. 

Speaking of Styles, he was really the star of the whole thing which, knowing what we know now about his career, shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

Unfortunately for the future WWE Champion, simply outshining everyone else in the match wasn't enough to actually win it. Nova picked up the win with a top rope suplex.
Your Winner: Nova 

WWA - The Revolution 2002 - Mark Madden and Jeremy Borash called the event
Post-match, Madden and Borash killed time by talking about how we should "expect the unexpected" from the WWA which was a not-so-subtle way of letting us know that tonight's advertised card had changed. 

Bret Hart Speaks

Up next, we got an in-ring promo from WWA Commissioner Bret 'The Hitman' Hart whose first job was to tell us exactly how the card had changed.

According to The Hitman, WWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett's scheduled challenger, Macho Man Randy Savage, wasn't able to make the show. So, as Commissioner, it was Hart's job to choose a replacement and out of everyone on the WWA Roster (including bonafide main eventer Scott Steiner and the uber-talented Eddie Guerrero), he had chosen Brian Christopher.

Bret's reasoning for this seemingly out-of-the-blue choice? He liked second-generation wrestlers and since Christopher had been on the last tour (which I'm pretty sure he wasn't), that qualified him to compete for the world title.

So far, so good, but then things got...well, kinda weird.

WWA - The Revolution 2002 -  WWA Commissioner Bret 'The Hitman' Hart
Much as he'd done at The Inception, Bret decided that he wanted to talk about 9/11, and told the American audience that despite the anti-American gimmick he played at the end of his WWF run, he was actually proud to hold an American passport by virtue of his mom being born in America. After using the traumatic events of 9/11 to get himself over as a babyface with the crowd, Hart then took a bizarre swerve where he began talking about how great the Canadian hockey team was, eliciting boos and a loud "USA! USA!" chant from the live audience.

Oh, Bret, I'm a big fan of yours, but this was not your finest hour. 

Whatcha Gonna Do, Funker?
Since we last saw him competing as Kwee-Wee back at WCW Greed 2001, Allan Funk had grown his hair long, spouted a moustache and decided to start doing a Hulk Hogan impersonator gimmick.

On tonight's show, we first met him backstage where he confronted pint-sized brawlers Puppet and Teo, both of whom stared at him looking utterly confused while he spouted every Hogan mannerism in the book.

The Funkster then walked off, leaving Puppet to charge at Teo with a trash can lid.

The Funkster vs. Reno

WWA - The Revolution 2002 -  Allan Funk did a Hulk Hogan impression
This bland but inoffensive match was notable only for the fact that the crowd clearly weren't on board with the heel/face roles. The Funkster was clearly positioned as the face here, but the crowd were having none of it and were firmly behind former Natural Born Thriller, Reno.

Of course, I say firmly - what I really mean is that they'd occasionally get bored and bust out a faint "Reno! Reno!" chant. During one of these instances, Jeremy Borash told us that we could clearly hear the audience rooting for The Funkster. Yep, because when I want to show my support for my favourite wrestlers, I always chant their opponent's name.

Clearly undeterred, The Funkster 'Funked Up' and did the whole hand-to-ear thing, only to be met with a chorus of half-hearted boos from the fans. It was pretty funny. Just not in the way Funk intended it to be.

In the end, Funk blasted Reno with a piledriver and Leg Drop of Doom and that was that.
Your Winner: The Funkster

Out in the back, Scott Steiner emerged from a limousine with a bevvy of beauties.

Out in the arena, Disco Inferno came to the announce table to bemoan the fact that his scheduled match with Brian Christopher had been canceled so that the former Grandmaster Sexay could cash in his clearly well-earned title shot against Jeff Jarrett. Pumped and ready for action, Disco declared that he was issuing an open challenge then sat down to do commentary, by which I mean he sat down to argue with Madden and Borash a bit.

To be fair, the way Borash casually quipped "I don't like you," to Disco was funnier than I can make it sound here.

Native Blood (Navajo Warrior & Ghost Warrior) vs. Kronik (Bryan Adams & Brian Clarke) 

WWA - The Revolution 2002 -  Kronik appeared
were last seen at WWF Unforgiven 2001 in a legendarily bad match against Kane and The Undertaker. Tonight, they competed against Navajo Warrior and Ghost Warrior that wasn't much better.

In fact, this wasn't really anything. Brian Adams and Bryan Clarke decimated their opponents from pillar to post, botched a few big moves (naturally), and then walked away with the pin after a "High Times" double chokeslam.

It wasn't great, but I suppose it could have been worse. 

I take no pleasure from saying that, either, because I'm generally a big fan of the basics behind the Kronik gimmick. Not so much the dumb marijuana references, but the general idea of two big dudes smashing people's heads in does have a place in wrestling. It's just a shame Adams and Clarke never quite mastered that role.

As for Native Blood, their only job was to get beat up by Kronik and serve as the basis for several tasteless jokes by Disco and Madden. If you really wanted to know how little you were supposed to care about these two, the announcers didn't even bother to learn their names, with Borash at one point calling Navajo Warrior "Native Blood One" and later referring to the team as -I'm not making this up- "The Other Team."

Pah. This was nothing. If you never see this match in your life, you really won't be missing anything.
Your Winners: Kronik 

WWA - The Revolution 2002 -  Puppet The Angry Dwarf cut a promo
Backstage, Puppet cut a promo in which he insisted that "midgets are the true stars of America" and that he was going to destroy "every weeble wobble in America," whatever that means.

This was followed by a brief dance routine by the Starettes (think discount-aisle Nitro Girls) who were thankfully spared from having Borash and Jerry Lawler making lewd comments about them over the loudspeaker as had been the misfortune of the (completely different) Starettes back at The Inception. 

Unfortunately, not everyone got to do their job without awful comments about them being made on the PA...

Falls Count Anywhere Hardcore Match:
Puppet vs. Teo

"Midgets! When was the last time you saw midgets!" asked Jeremy Borash as Puppet and Teo came out already brawling.

WWA - The Revolution 2002 -  Puppet The Angry Dwarf
Well, the last time we saw little people wrestling -these exact two no less- was at the first TNA PPV, but since this show came first, I get Borash's point. At that TNA show, Puppet and Teo actually put on a pretty decent performance, playing it straight and having an actual wrestling match with none of the goofiness normally associated with dwarf wrestling. This time, the two did their best to give us a hardcore match that was completely overshadowed by the obnoxious commentary -particularly from Madden and Disco- that the WWA production team had decided everyone needed to hear blasting out through the arena.

While Borash seemed to be in awe of the fact that dwarf performers even existed, Mark Madden and Disco Inferno spent most of the match talking about how both men should just die. That's no exaggeration. At one point, Teo climbed the top rope for a leap to the outside and Disco Inferno shouted -I shit you not- "GO ON! KILL YOURSELF!"

Throughout the rest of the match, they continued to crack wise about what it would be like for Teo and Puppet to either kill themselves or each other. Given that Puppet (Stevie Lee) passed away just a few months before I sat down to write this review, this has aged very badly. 

The worst part about this was that the commentary was the only time the crowd reacted to anything at all. Puppet and Teo slammed each other into trash cans, dove off the ropes and generally demolished each other to near silence. The only noise came from the occasional burst of laughter when the crowd found Disco and Madden's idiotic jokes funny.

Honestly, if you want to watch wrestling were Little People are treated with some kind of dignity and respect, this wasn't the match for you.

The end came when Puppet dropped Teo with a TKO onto some thumbtacks -again to almost no reaction- and picked up the pin.
Your Winner: Puppet

WWA - The Revolution 2002 -  Big Poppa Pump is your Hook Up, Holler if ya hear me!
I was going to say that Puppet didn't have much time to celebrate because Scott Steiner came out and attacked him, but that's not actually true. He had all the time he wanted to celebrate, grab a coffee, and maybe even repaint his house as The Big Bad Booty Daddy took his sweet time strolling to ringside and taking out the two pint-sized performers.

Accompanied by a beautiful woman who wasn't Midajah, Steiner cut a practically incomprehensible promo which can just about be summed up thusly:

Sex = good.
Bret Hart not giving him a title shot = bad.

Steiner then said that since he was there anyway, he was going to kick somebody's ass and went outside to grab Disco Inferno. It was at this point that the weirdest thing in the whole show occurred:

Disco tried to escape through the crowd but was stopped by -of all people- Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Tenzan choked Disco and pushed him into the waiting arms of Steiner. His appearance was never acknowledged by Borash nor by Madden, and I've even scanned countless reviews of this show and not one reviewer mentioned this spot. Honestly, I started to think I'd hallucinated it, but nope, there he is.

What an absolutely weird thing to bring a guy in from Japan to have him appear from nowhere, choke a dude, and then disappear without anyone even noting that it had happened.

Anyway, Steiner then threw Disco around the ring like a rag doll for a few minutes before taking him out with the Steiner Recliner to end the whole...whatever this was.

As Madden and Borash reflected on what just happened (and talked about what was still to come), Hiroyoshi Tenzan got up from his seat behind them and wandered off into the crowd. The announcers continued not to mention him as if he'd never been there.

World Wrestling Allstars International Cruiserweight Championship
WWA International Cruiserweight Champion Psicosis vs. Juventud Guerrera vs. Eddy Guerrero

WWA - The Revolution 2002 -  Eddie Guerrero wrestled for the cruiserweight title
You know, I'm convinced that WWA used the same title belt for both their cruiserweight and world championships. They looked pretty much identical. 

Not that the ring announcer even seemed to notice that a title was involved at all here. He didn't introduce Psicosis as the champion nor did he even tell us this was a title match.

Oh, and for the record, yes, that is how they spelled Eddie 'Eddy' Guerrero's name on this show.

The match got underway and proved to be the best thing on the card up until this point. That's not to say it was an all-out classic or anything. It wasn't, but it was a match in which three talented performers showed up motivated to work and delivered the best match they possibly could.

Sure, it was occasionally soured by the weird camera angles, the odd presentation of a pro wrestling show taking place in a theatre rather than an arena, and Borash constantly boasting about how they were the only pro wrestling promotion not afraid to book a proper cruiserweight division, but beneath all that, what you got here was a good effort from three stalwarts of the now-defunct WCW cruiserweight division.

Not surprisingly given his superior star power, Eddie Guerrero won the match with his patented frog splash and then started to cut a heel promo on the very crowd that had been cheering for him the whole match.
Your Winner and NEW WWA Cruiserweight Champion: Eddie Guerrero  

WWA - The Revolution 2002 -  Jerry Lynn confronts Eddie Guerrero
It was a weird promo too because Guerrero talked about how he had battled his personal issues and was now making a comeback -true babyface fodder if ever it existed- but insulted the crowd and generally heeled it up the whole time.

He was eventually interrupted by Jerry Lynn standing at the top of the entrance ramp and shouting "Excuse me! Excuse me!"  - somewhere backstage, Eddie's wife was no doubt taking notes. 

Lynn cut an equally bizarre promo in which he acted like a heel when he was supposed to be the babyface, told Guerrero to "quit your bitchin', biatch" and got punched in the head by the new cruiserweight champion. The two brawled for a bit and then it was over.

What a weird show this really was. 

Before the next match, the Starettes danced again.

No Disqualification Match:
Devon Storm vs. Sabu (w/ Bill Alfonso)

WWA - The Revolution 2002 -  Devon Storm vs. Sabu
OK, forget what I said about the last match, this was the best match on the card so far by a good mile.

OK, so it went nigh on 20 minutes, and OK so there were enough blown spots to fill an entire episode of Botchamania, but I don't care. It was fun. 

Although it was technically a No DQ match, there wasn't much of the usual garbage that you'd get in these kinds of matches around this time period. A single chair made it into the ring and a single table was set up outside the ring, and that was it. Otherwise, the NO DQ rule was there simply so that the two could spend a lot of time messing up spots on the floor.

All botches aside, this was ridiculously enjoyable and a highlight of the show that came to an end when Bill Alfonso swung a chair at Devon Storm, missed, and struck Sabu. The former Crowbar got the cover, the count, and the match.
Your Winner: Devon Storm 

The two weren't done yet. As Devon Storm staggered up the entranceway, selling the match of a lifetime, Fonzie handed Sabu a chair which the Homicidal, Suicidal, Genocidal Maniac promptly threw at the man who'd just beaten him. 

Fonzie then made his way to the entrance carrying a table upon which Storm was placed so that Sabu could jump off the video screen onto his rival. It was pretty much the exact same spot Devon had done to Norman Smiley at The Inception.

Meanwhile, backstage, Lodi stitched up Lenny Lane's shorts but it was made to look like he was doing him up the bum, you know, because gay = LOL, apparently. 

Lenny Lane & Lodi vs. Rick Steiner & Ernest 'The Cat' Miller

WWA - The Revolution 2002 -  Ernest 'The Cat' Miller grew some hair
Before the bell, Ernest Miller promised that if he and Rick Steiner lost, he would personally "pucker up and kiss Mark Madden's nasty, fat ass."

Fortunately, there would be no ass-kissing tonight. Miller and Steiner destroyed the "girly-boys" (Miller's words) in about 30 seconds and that was that.

What I don't get, is why a company would have both Rick and Scott Steiner on their show doing pretty much nothing and decide not to book them as a tag team. The Steiner Brothers could have easily done the same beat down of Lenny Lane and Lodi and it would have likely gotten a much bigger pop for the sheer novelty of having Rick & Scott teaming up. Meanwhile, Ernest Miller was still popular enough (and talented enough on the microphone) that he could have responded to Disco Inferno's challenge and made it work.

Still, this was the same company that booked Brian Christopher (God rest his soul) in a world title match, so who knows what was going on there.
Your Winners: Rick Steiner and Ernest Miller 

Afterwards, Miller beat up Madden so much that both Madden and Borash fell out of their seats. 

World Wrestling All-Stars World Heavyweight Championship
WWA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett vs. Brian Christopher 

WWA - The Revolution 2002 - Jeff Jarrett is your WWA Champion
I take back what I said earlier about WWA only having one title belt to represent two championships. They'd clearly invested in a new belt for their world title and made the belt they'd previously used for their world title as their new cruiserweight title.


Speaking of classy, Brian Christopher came down to the ring to his WWF Too Cool theme which had the volume lowered on the broadcast to prevent copyright issues. 

Next, Jeff Jarrett responded to some fans at ringside telling him he sucked by yelling "I may suck, but you swallow!"

This was followed by Christopher grabbing the microphone and first yelling something incomprehensible like "WHEHEHEH JILLA MILLA FLIBAMEHHHH" and then saying "Hey! Jeff Jarrett doesn't suck, he swallows!" as if he'd just come up with the most original insult in the world.

Look, I hate to speak ill of the dead, but the start of this match was not Brian Lawler's finest hour.
"I heard his partner has a better worm," quipped Madden as Lawler stood around in his knickers looking all surprised.

Fortunately, things did get better and this turned into a decent match. Not world title main event decent, sure, but at least decent enough that it would have likely been well received on the mid-card of a Raw or Nitro broadcast. 

The two wrestled a deliberate, traditional Memphis style match that culminated with modern-day shenanigans which then ruined any kind of good favour the two had earned with the crowd.

Brawling on the outside, the challenger accidentally kicked the referee, taking him out of action. He then got into the ring and hit the Hip Hop Drop, prompting a second referee (Slick Johnson) to rush in to make the count, only for the first referee to pull him out of the ring and argue that only he (Referee 1) was eligible to count the fall.

This led to both zebras arguing outside the ring, allowing Jarrett to bash his opponent over the head with a guitar. He made the cover, Referee 1 then made the count only for Slick Johnson to pull him out of the ring which made no sense whatsoever. After all, if anyone had a legitimate claim at officiating the match, it was referee 1. 

Anyway, stupidity finally ceased, Jarett hit The Stroke, driving Christopher into the WWA title belt, and three seconds later it was all -thankfully- over.
Your Winner and Still WWA Champion: Jeff Jarrett

Afterwards, Jarrett celebrated with his title before Tantric's Revolution played over a video of highlights from the event (not that there were many) and the ring announcer thanked us all for coming.

So, was World Wrestling All-Stars' The Revolution PPV as bad as their first event, The Inception?

No, but that's a bit like saying that being run over by a car isn't as bad as being run over by a truck. It was still a pretty painful experience. OK, so some of the action was pretty decent, and yours truly enjoyed the Sabu/Devon Storm match far more than I ever could have imagined. The cruiserweight title match didn't suck, and if you like the kind of "everybody flip around and do lots of spots" multi-man matches that would become a TNA trademark for years, then you'll no doubt enjoy the opening contest.

Still, the production values were awful, the booking decisions bizarre, and the decision to have Mark Madden and Disco Inferno loudly wish that Puppet and Teo would just literally murder each other was beyond words. 

If you're a glutton for punishment, watch this show. Otherwise, stay away.

Other World Wrestling Allstars Reviews:

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Retro Pro Wrestling

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