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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

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Wrestlemania 12 Review

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WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

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Showing posts with label Brian Knobs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brian Knobs. Show all posts

Thursday, 10 October 2019

PPV REVIEW: WCW Mayhem 1999

WCW Mayhem 1999 - Event poster
November 21, 1999
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

To give WCW credit, when they went with an idea, they really, really went all the way with it.

When they created the nWo, they recruited half the roster to the black & white army and even ran their own nWo PPV.

When they wanted to truly compete with the World Wrestling Federation, they brought in most of that company's biggest stars and most recognizable faces, hiring everyone from Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage to Mean Gene Okerlund and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan.

And when they needed a babyface to save Sting from the clutches of the evil Four Horsemen? They didn't just send in any babyface, they sent in freakin' Robocop!

And so it was that when the company teamed up with Electronic Arts to produce a new video game called WCW Mayhem, they once again proved just how much they loved going all the way with things.





Not only did we get the video game, but we also got a music album which combined a small number of wrestlers' entrance themes with a random selection of pop, hip-hop, and metal.

As if that wasn't enough, the company decided to take the Mayhem brand to the next logical level:

Creating an entire PPV designed to promote the video game, and generate interest in the absolute musical weirdness that was  WCW Mayhem: The Album.

Was it any good? Let's head to WCW's first ever PPV from Canada to find out.

The tournament finals are tonight!

After the bizarre, confusing, and annoying finish to last month's Halloween Havoc 1999, Sting had been stripped of the WCW title for attacking an official. As a result, the WCW brain trust had created a 32-person tournament for the vacant title.

At the start of tonight's show, Tony Schiavone talked us through clips from Nitro which showed the first few rounds of the competition.

In notable highlights, Madusa persuaded the Powers That Be to let her enter the competition, only to lose her match to none other than Meng.

Madusa then got re-added to the competition for no apparent reason, but then lost her second attempt to Chris Benoit, who made it all the way the semi-finals after also beating arch-rival Dean Malenko in a steel cage match.

Jeff Jarrett had also made it to the finals by virtue of being 'The Chosen One,' as had Sting -who got in by hitting Brian Knobbs with a baseball bat and pinning him in about five seconds.

Finally, Bret Hart had also made it through despite being injured.

After this lengthy opening video, we then got a second opening video which told us pretty much the same thing as the first, albeit with more soundbites from the various wrestlers promising to become our new champion.

With that, we got the usual introduction from Schiavone and Heenan (I miss Mike Tenay being part of the announce booth), and it was onto our first semi-final match.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semi-Final 1:
Jeff Jarrett vs. Chris Benoit

WCW Mayhem 1999 - Jeff Jarrett battled Chris Benoit
Easily one of the best opening PPV matches of that year, if not of the past several years, Chris Benoit vs. Jeff Jarrett was absolutely tremendous.

Holding nothing back, both went at it full-tilt in a fast-paced, hard-hitting contest with nary a dull moment in sight.

After trading the advantage several times, The Crippler looked to have things sewn up thanks to his patented top rope headbutt, only for Creative Control (Ron & Don Harris) to save Jarrett from defeat.

At that point, Dustin Rhodes ran in to fight with the Harris boys which distracted referee Charles Robinson.

With Lil Naitch's back turned, Benoit was able to wallop Jarrett with Double J's own guitar and score the fall.
Your Winner: Chris Benoit

Afterwards, a blood Jeff Jarrett joined Creative Control in laying waste to Benoit until Doug Dillinger and a gaggle of nobodies ran in to break things up.

Disco is all about the mon-ay

WCW Mayhem 1999 - Mike Tenay interviews Cruiserweight Champion Disco Inferno
Out in the back, Mike Tenay reminded Disco Inferno that as well as putting his cruiserweight title on the line against Evan Karagious, he was also putting up $25,000 of his own money.

Tenay questioned whether Disco cared more about the money than the title, but before the champ could really explain how insulted he was by that remark, he was attacked by Jeff Jarett for no reason.

Jarrett laid into Disco and was eventually pulled off him by an odd assortment of characters including Konnan and Jerry Only from The Misfits.

World Championship Wrestling World Cruiserweight Championship
WCW Cruiserweight Champion Disco Inferno (w/ Tony Marinara) vs. Evan Karagious (w/ Madusa)

WCW Mayhem 1999 - Evan Karagious (w/ Madusa) faced Disco Inferno for the cruiserweight title
The actual match here was pretty good - not flashy, not out of the ordinary, but a relatively decent cruiserweight title match.

The only problem was that you couldn't really pay any attention to it because some annoying little kid called Tony Marinara was doing color commentary.

The story was that Marinara was the son of some kind of New York Italian mobster, who had been sent by his dad to collect a $25,000 debt owed by the Disco Inferno. Disco, it seemed, had been spending beyond his means, which made the whole concept of him putting $25K on the line seem like absolute nonsense.

Doing his best (worst) imitation of a character he once saw in a Godfather movie, Mariana spent the whole match talking about himself which was completely off-putting.

In the end, he got involved in the finish, which saw him accidentally take a chair shot from Disco Inferno.

Seizing the opportunity, Karagious got Disco in the ring and rolled him up for a three count.

The weird thing was that despite winning the title, Karagious appeared like an afterthought in this match. Even his girlfriend, Madusa, played a more important role.
Your Winner and NEW WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Evan Karagious

Backstage, Bret Hart was shown entering the arena and sipping on a Starbucks.

Elsewhere, an off-camera Vince Russo was heard yelling at Jeff Jarrett for screwing up his match with Benoit. Russo warned Jarrett that he had until the end of tonight's show to prove himself.

WCW Mayhem 1999 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Screamin' Norman Smiley Screamin' Norman Screams as Normal

Out in the back, Screamin' Norman Smiley was all decked out in full Toronto Maple Leafs hockey gear to protect him in his upcoming hardcore title match against Brian Knobs.

Smiley told Mean Gene Okerlund that he was more than ready for Knobs, but then panicked and screamed like a girl when he heard someone doing construction work off camera.

It was supposed to be funny.

It wasn't.

World Championship Wrestling Hardcore Championship
Brian Knobs (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Screamin' Norman Smiley

What was funnier was this: a kind of slapstick comedy hardcore match in which Knobs and Smiley battered each other with a thousand trashcan shots before wandering off backstage for a brawl through the food storage area.

There, Jimmy Hart climbed a ladder and hilariously began throwing food at Norman from a self.

WCW Mayhem 1999 - Nasty Boy Brian Knobs faced Norman Smiley for the WCW Hardcore titleNext, they brawled into an elevator, but when they came to get out, Hart accidentally struck his own man, allowing Norman to get the win and become the company's first ever hardcore champion.

Though this may not have been a classic match, it was certainly a lot of fun in a goofy, comedic kind of way.
Your Winner and NEW WCW Hardcore Champion: Norman Smiley

Post-match, Knobs hit Smiley with yet another garbage can then beat up on Hart for costing him the match.

You say you want a revolution...

Up next, we got a video package highlighting the feud between The Revolution and The Filthy Animals.

Out in the back, Revolution hinted to Mike Tenay that they would be gunning for Torrie Wilson. Now the oddball of the group, Perry Saturn then appeared to randomly take credit for wiping out the dinosaurs before storming off.

Across the way, The Filthy Animals offered a retort to Mean Gene, basically cutting a generic promo in which they vowed to end Revolution.

In other backstage shenanigans, Tony Marinara promised that he was showing up to Nitro the following night and bringing 'The Boys' (The Mamalukes) which left Disco rocking back and forth and referring to himself as a dead man.

Elsewhere, Jeff Jarrett stormed down a corridor having apparently stolen a 2x4 from Jim Duggan.

Six-Person Inter-Gender Elimination Match
The Revolution (Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn & Aysa w/ Shane Douglas) vs. The Filthy Animals (Eddie Guerrero, Torrie Wilson & WCW Tag Team Champion Billy Kidman w/ WCW Tag Team Champion Konnan)

WCW Mayhem 1999 - Torrie Wilson
For saying there was so much incredible talent involved, this proved to be a seriously sloppy mess of a match.

At various times it looked as though the wrestlers had all had some big falling out backstage and refused to sell to each other. Eddie Guerrero dropkicked Dean Malenko in the back, but the Iceman just turned around and acted as nothing happened.

Later, Eddie put Saturn down then climbed the ropes, only for Saturn to pop back again as if he'd just had a really refreshing nap.

When the wrestlers did lock up, most of the actual action looked disjointed and horrible.

There have been worse matches than this in pro wrestling history, but probably none as overwhelmingly disappointing as this one.

In the end, Torrie Wilson was the sole survivor for her team but she got beat when Perry Saturn hit her with a low blow.

Yes, you read that correctly. A woman lost to a low blow.
Your Winner: Perry Saturn

Out in the back, Jef Jarrett was seen beating up Buff Bagwell in the locker room.

Loser Retires Match
Curt Hennig vs. Buff Bagwell

WCW Mayhem 1999 - Curt Hennig lost his 'retirement match' to Buff Bagwell
The announcers kept referring to this as a "loser must hang up his boots" match, but I'm pretty sure they meant it was a retirement match and not that the loser had to tidy his clothes away.

Curt Hennig was no longer a West Texas Redneck and was back to being just a straight-up pro wrestling legend, though I believe his feelings about the quality of rap music remained unchanged.

Here, he too got beat up by Jeff Jarrett and Creative Control before entering into a passable contest with Buff Bagwell.

Though neither man's finest hour,  it's was perfectly acceptable as mid-card filler which would have been Ok if this weren't, for all intents and purposes, Hennig's retirement match.

After a strong performance, he lost the bout to Buff Bagwell, who then walked off as though retiring a legend was no big deal.
Your Winner: Buff Bagwell

Post-match, Hennig got a standing ovation from the Canadian crowd.

Sting's formula for success

WCW Mayhem 1999 - Mike Tenay interviews Sting
Out in the back, Mike Tenay told Sting that his formula for success was "beat Bret Hart."

I'm not sure if Tenay knew that this wasn't actually a formula.

Sting replied by asking Tenay to relay a message to The Hitman:

He didn't care if they were in Canada, he was still going to beat him.

Alas, Tenay wouldn't get to relay that message as the match was next, meaning Sting would see Bret before Tenay did.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semi-Final
Bret 'The Hitman' Hart vs. Sting

WCW Mayhem 1999 - Sting and Bret Hart faced off in the World title tournament
The last time these two fought on PPV was at Halloween Havoc 1998.

This one was marginally better than that one, but only marginally. For the most part, the two veterans put on a solid show, but then it all came unraveling with the arrival of The Total Package Lex Luger.

Luger took Sting's baseball bat and waffled Sting with it, but Bret wasn't happy, so he attacked Luger and put him in the sharpshooter.

Referee Mickie Jay then decided that because Luger had struck Sting, Sting should be disqualified because who the hell cares about logic, right?

The Hitman argued with Jay that he didn't want to win that way and encouraged the match to be restarted. When it did, things got much better and we actually got a pretty dramatic final sequence which saw The Hitman reverse the Scorpion Death Lock into a Sharpshooter for the Eins, Zwei, Drei.
Your Winner: Bret Hart

Afterwards, Sting called Bret back into the ring for a showdown but revealed that he actually just wanted to shake The Hitman's hand as a mark of respect.

The Crippler is Ready for The Hitman

Out in the back, Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Chris Benoit about his world title tournament final match against The Hitman. Benoit, as charismatic and flamboyant as ever, promised to overcome Bret later on tonight.

Man, talk about an over-the-top personality.

Lex is Hurt

WCW Mayhem 1999 - Lex Luger feigned an injury
I feel like this doesn't get said enough:

In terms of character, few were better in the 80s and 90s than heel Lex Luger. Sure, he may not have been amazing in the ring, but his mannerisms were out of this world, and always made this writer in particular laugh out loud.

Here, he was found backstage sporting a neck brace (sorry, 'cervical collar') and telling Mike Tenay that Bret Hart had injured him so much in that last match that there was just no way he could compete tonight.

Ever the generous soul that he was, The Total Package promised to write a personal check to every fan who had hoped to see him wrestle tonight.

His manager, Elizabeth, agreed that this was very generous, though you sort of got the feeling she was more than a little tired of Flexy Lexy ducking out of matches.

Chain Match
Vampiro (w/ Jerry Only) vs. Berlyn (w/ The Wall)

WCW Mayhem 1999 - Berlyn and Vampiro battled in a crappy dog collar match
Though it was called a 'chain' match, this was supposed to be your standard dog collar match.

I say supposed to be because what it actually turned out to be was a big pile of insulting garbage.

Vampiro put the collar around his neck, but then Berlyn decided that he'd rather knock out Lil Naitch than put his collar on. What transpired next was that we got about five minutes of Vampiro brawling inside the ring with The Wall, and Berlyn duking it out with Jerry Only off camera.

This was bad enough, but it was made worse by the arrival of Oklahoma and Steve Williams.

You remember Oklahoma, right?

Basically, it was Ed Ferrara doing a very distasteful parody of Jim Ross.

It was awful, and it made the presentation of this whole terrible match even worse.

In the end, The Wall stormed off after getting into an argument with Berlyn, leaving the former Alex Wright to take a pounding from Vampiro and Jerry Only.

Naturally, Vampiro won the match.
Your Winner: Vampiro

Afterward, Dr. Death destroyed Vampiro.

Scott Hall issues an Open Challenge

Out in the back, Mean Gene Okerlund told us that since Rick Steiner was in the hospital after getting powerbombed through the stage by Sid, that somehow made Scott Hall the Television Champion.

Carrying both the TV belt and the US belt, Hall told Mean Gene that he was issuing an open challenge for tonight. Hall looked a mess here.

One in, one out

Also in the back, Curt Hennig was shown leaving the arena, shaking hands with the likes of Konann on his way out. As he left, Kimberly Page arrived through another entrance, ready for her match against David Flair.

Oh boy, can't wait for that one.

Lex Luger (w/ Elizabeth) vs. Meng

WCW Mayhem 1999 - Lex Luger was an awesome heel
Apparently, The Powers That Be had ordered Lex to compete despite his "injury," so he was forced to face Meng, who he had attacked with a crowbar in order to advance in the world title tournament.

The match wasn't bad, but you know, it was Lex Luger vs. Meng, so it was never going to be a five-star classic.

The sole highlight was when Meng had Luger down in the corner and stood on his neck brace, prompting the clearly terrified Luger to call out "help! help!"

Didn't I tell you heel Lex was a riot?

At the finish, Elizabeth spent about five hours trying to take the top off a can of mace while Luger and Meng hung around on the ropes waiting for, all but killing suspension of disbelief.

Liz was then supposed to spray it at Meng, only for Meng to Meng to move and Lex to get a face full of it, but instead, she pointed the can directly and Lex and sprayed.

It looked stupid.

Finally, Meng tore off Luger's neck brace and slapped on the Tongan Death Grip for the win.
Your Winner: Meng

You know, when this show started I had really high hopes that it was going to be a great show, but the longer it goes on, the worse it seems to get.

Putting friendship aside

Out in the back, Bret 'The Hitman' Hart told Mean Gene Okerlund that he was going to put his friendship with Chris Benoit aside in order to beat him for the WCW title.

World Championship Wrestling United States and Television Championship
WCW US and TV Champion Scott Hall vs. Booker T

WCW Mayhem 1999 - Scott Hall defended the WCW and TV titles against Booker T
It's honestly hard to tell if Hall was drunk or if he'd just stopped caring. Either way, he looked a mess here.

The weirdest part was that despite this, he was able to have a pretty good with the man who answered his open challenge:

Booker T.

Though short, this double title match was pretty enjoyable, at least it was until Jeff Jarrett came down and helped Hall defeat Booker with the Outsider Edge.
Your Winner and still US and TV Champion: Scott Hall

Post-match, Jarrett and Creative Control beat up on Booker T. The lights went out, and when they came back on, a female bodybuilder called Midnight appeared and saved Booker.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Lex Luger went looking for Elizabeth.

From there, we got a look at the story behind our next match. That story was basically that David Flair was some kind of psycho stalker and potential rapist, with Kimberly as his victim.

The two would face off next.

Kimberly vs. David Flair

WCW Mayhem 1999 - David Flair faced Kimberly Page
Tony Schiavone called this "one of tonight's marquee matches," which should tell you everything you need to know about the state of WCW in 1999.

This was less of a match and more of a crappy angle. Flair threatened to bash Kim's head in with a crowbar, so Kimberly kicked him in the nuts. Flair didn't flinch, giving us the idea that he was wearing a cup, so Kim pretended she was getting ready to go down on him, then whipped the cup out and blasted him in the balls anyway.

She beat David up some, but he regained the upper hand and the damsel in distress had to be rescued by her husband's friend Chris Kanyon. Finally, DDP himself came out and was about to hit Flair with the crowbar when Arn Anderson came to David's rescue.

The Pages walked off, and that was that.
No contest

WCW Mayhem 1999 - Mike Tenay interviews Sid Vicious Afterwards, Flair walloped Anderson in the back with a crowbar and Double-A had to be stretchered out, which seemed a little excessive.

We then got a video for the upcoming Sid/Goldberg match, followed by Mike Tenay interviewing Mr. Vicious himself.

Big Sid told Tenay that he would never say 'I Quit' to Bill Goldberg, but would instead beat on Bill until he admitted that Sid was the Master and the Ruler of the World.

I don't care what you say, Sid was always great.

I Quit Match
Goldberg vs. Sid Vicious

I say 'great,' I mean more in terms of his promos and character than anything he did in the ring.

Of course, it didn't help that they made this an I Quit match, effectively taking away the only things that made Sid and Goldberg attractions and forcing them to wrestle a submission style match neither man was suited to.

After a few minutes of nothingness, Goldberg made Sid pass out, and that was basically that.
Your Winner: Goldberg

Backstage, Lex Luger told Mean Gene that he was going to get even with Elizabeth for costing him the match with Meng.

Finally, it was time for our main event.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Final
Chris Benoit vs. Bret 'The Hitman' Hart

WCW Mayhem 1999 - The Best There is, The Best There was, and The Best There Ever Will BE
This had the potential to be an all-time classic main event.

Instead, run-ins from Dean Malenko, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Goldberg all diluted things to a large degree. The run-ins were all completely unnecessary, but even despite them, Hart and Benoit worked tirelessly to deliver the best main event they could given the circumstances.

The only sad thing was that such circumstances dictated that this was only going to be a very good match rather an incredible one.

Not that this is much of a complaint. This was still a great effort that ended with a win for The Hitman courtesy of the Sharpshooter.
Your Winner and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Bret Hart

Bringing his wife and kids into the ring, The Hitman hugged Benoit then celebrated with his new title and the Canadian flag as Mayhem went off the air.





And so WCW's first PPV in Canada was headlined by a good main event between two of Canada's biggest stars, but was it any good?

Yes and no.

On the whole, this was far better than some of WCW's other PPVs from 1999. The opening Benoit/Jarrett match, the fun hardcore match and both of Bret Hart's two matches delivered to an extent, but again there was a lot of frustrating and confusing moments, dumb stuff like the Elizabeth botch, and The Filthy Animals vs. Revolution match in which everybody seemed to phone it in.

With another thirteen or fourteen WCW PPVs to go, I'm hoping, praying, that we get at least one more good show from start to finish but to be honest, I won't hold my breath.



1999 events reviewed so far
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