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

Showing posts with label Devon Storm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Devon Storm. Show all posts

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 because..you 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
Kronik
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.

Classy.

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.


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Thursday, 30 July 2020

PPV REVIEW: WCW Starrcade 2000

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Event poster
December 17, 2000 
MCI Center, Washington, D.C.

Before there was Wrestlemania, there was Starrcade. 


Originally promoted by Jim Crocket Promotions as a National Wrestling Alliance event and was one of the first major events of its type, pre-dating the WWF's use of closed-circuit TV by a good 18 months.

Headlined by a brutal and bloody steel cage match between seven-time World Heavyweight Champion Harley Race and his arch-rival Nature  Boy Ric Flair, the show had been a critical success and was heralded as their premier event ever since.

17 years later, the company that had become World Championship Wrestling had been in a rapid decline for some years and was now just a few short months away from closing its doors, but not without presenting Starrcade just one last time.







Here's what went down when the last ever WCW Starrcade show came to us live from Washington, D.C.

Tonight’s the Night

And so the last ever Starrcade got underway with a rather unremarkable video package highlighting some of the ten matches we’d see on tonight’s show.

Heading into the arena, we got fireworks galore and a greeting from Tony Schiavone, all of which did at least try and make the show sound like it was a big deal.

Cruiserweight Time

Cameras then panned to an envelope suspended from the rafters which the announcers told us contained a guaranteed shot at Chavo Guerrero’s Cruiserweight championship.

On cue, that awesome theme music Eddy Guerrero used to use came on and his nephew Chavo sauntered to ringside to do commentary.

Triple Ladder Match
3 Count (Sugar Shane Helms and Shannon Moore) vs. The Jung Dragons (Kaz Hayashi & Yang w/ Leia Meow) vs. Jamie Noble & Evan Karagious
Winner Receives a Cruiserweight Title Match

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Leia Meow led The Jung Dragons into battle against 3 Count and Knoble & Karagias
This was a spotfest with over-complicated booking, a few blown spots, and a few timing issues, but despite all that, it was awesome.

It was complicated in the fact that it was a three-team match with a shot at a singles title but it was never explained if the three teams were supposed to work together or if it was every-man-for-himself.

The botched and timing issues took you out of the moment temporarily, but there was always something more exciting and elaborate to immediately sweep you back into the action.

Though I get that not everyone is a fan of these type of stunt shows, this writer found it to be a gloriously fun opener that everyone involved in should be immensely proud of.

After the better part of twenty minutes, Shane Helms and Shannon Moore both retrieved the contract, much to the chagrin of guest commentator Guerrero.
Your Winners: 3 Count

As was becoming the norm in WCW, we got multiple backstage segments crammed into about 45 seconds:

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Jeff Jarrett confronted Commissioner Mike Sanders backstage
A sombre-looking Hacksaw Jim Duggan was polishing his 2x4 (seriously) when Lance Storm came in and told him that the office had been thinking of firing Duggan before he joined Team Canada. Besides, claimed Storm, the American fans would never take Hacksaw back after he turned on them at Fall Brawl 2000, so sticking with the Canadians was his only option.

Jeff Jarrett complained to Mike Sanders that while his opponent wanted a street fight, he wanted a bunkhouse match. Double J then convinced Sanders to combine the two into one match even though they were pretty much the same thing anyway.

Finally, Kronik for some reason had brought a camera to film them sitting naked (except for a towel) in a steam room.

The two agreed that the job they’d been hired for tonight was so special that they wouldn’t even demand cash up front.

“Man, am I baked,” said Brian Adams.

And people wonder why this company went out of business three months later.

Lance Storm (w/ Major Gunns & ‘Prime Time’ Eli’s Skipper) vs. The Cat (w/ Miss Jones)

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Lance Storm cuts a pre-match promo before facing Ernest 'The Cat' Miller
Lance Storm was awesome so, naturally, WCW completely misused him.

Back at Mayhem, Ernest Miller cost Storm the US title and the two had been feuding ever since. Meanwhile, Duggan -a member of Team Canada- had cost his teammates a mixed-tag against Miller and Major Gunns.

Tonight’s match was surprisingly good, though more so because of the rampant overbooking and general chaos than any of the actual wrestling.

At one point, they teased having Major Gunns and Miss Jones go at it in the ring, but this went nowhere.

After more chaos, Hacksaw came down and reluctantly cost The Cat the match after what was overall a fun encounter.
Your Winner: Lance Storm

Post-match, Storm snd Elix Skipper thanked Duggan by beating him up until Miller came back and saved the man who’d just cost him the match.

More Backstage Stuff

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Buff Bagwell interviews The Filthy Animals
Out in the back, Buff Bagwell revealed himself to be WCW’s new interviewer. Please don’t tell me this means no more Pamela Paulshock. I really liked her.

Anyway, after proving that he had so little value to the company that he wasn’t even booked in a match, Bagwell interviewed The Filthy Animals.

With Tygress and Rey Mysterio Jr. standing by, Konnan and Billy Kidman insisted that they weren’t scared about the upcoming Bunkhouse match because they didn’t even know what it was.

Way to make that seem important, guys.

Elsewhere, Reno and his former-rival-turned-partner Big Vito were walking backstage with a woman named Marie when The Natural Born Thrillers confronted Reno and mockingly urged him to rejoin them.

This went nowhere.

World Championship Wrestling Hardcore Championship
WCW Hardcore Champion Crowbar (w/ Daffney) vs. Terry Funk

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Terry Funk challenged Crowbar for the Hardcore title
Could it be? Was WCW’s last show of 2000 really shaping up to be the best one of the year?

OK, so the bar was so incredibly low for the company that even their best wasn’t all that great, but if you got rid of all the annoying backstage stuff, this was shaping up to be a fun show.

Not fun in the sense of watching an all-time classic, you understand, but more in the same way that you might consider watching a mindless half-hour of Family Guy to be kind of fun.

Anyway, this match was a blast.

It started backstage, where Daffney criticized Crowbar’s 70s gimmick for making him soft.

Before he could properly respond, the Hardcore champion was attacked by Terry Funk.

The two proceeded to beat the crap out of each other throughout the backstage area, even hopping up onto the back of a truck for an enjoyable few spots.

After a somewhat lengthy (by Hardcore standards) battle, the two made their way to the ring where Funk hit the champion with a piledriver on a discarded car door to claim the title.

As with everything on this show, it wasn’t amazing, but it sure was enjoyable.
Your Winner and NEW Hardcore Champion: Terry Funk

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Team Canada
Backstage, Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Team Canada.

Lance Storm told Gene that Hacksaw’s dismissal from the group had been a long time coming before horny old man Okerlund invited Major Gunns to raise her flag up a different pole.

Ahem.

Elsewhere in the arena, Lex Luger started to get ready for his No DQ match with Goldberg and revealed that he was packing a set of brass knuckles, just in case.

Big Vito & Reno (w/ Marie) vs. Kronik (Brian Adams & Bryan Clarke)

Reno and Vito were both stocky bald men so that made them brothers in WCW’s eyes.

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Big Vito & Reno (w/ Marie) faced Kronik
They came out with their sister Marie, an attractive young woman who Brian Adams accused of paying them to take out her brothers.

Marie protested this, and pretty soon it turned out you had to be as gullible and naive as a pro wrestling announcer not to realize who was the real mastermind.

Vito wrestled almost the entire match, playing the race in peril for a really long time. When he finally made the hot tag, Reno turned on his brother and rejoined The Natural Born Thrillers because HA! SWERVE!

The actual match was OK at best, but the story was vaguely compelling enough just to keep you interested.

Reno then pinned his brother, but even WCW knew this was dumb and the match was declared a no contest.
No Contest
Afterwards, Reno paid Kronik while a theme tune that was a straight rip off of Limp Bizkit’s Rollin’ played.

WCW Starrcade 2000 - General Rection cut a backstage promo on Shane DouglasIt's All Kicking Off Backstage 

Backstage, Mean Gene tried to interview 3-Count but they were interrupted, and then beaten up, by Chavo Guerrero.

Across the way, Buff Bagwell wanted to know the MIA’s thoughts on their former member’s actions, but General Rection was only concerned with letting Shane Douglas know that he was no stepping stone for the Franchise.

Neither of these segments were very interesting.

Ambulance Match
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Mike Awesome

So far, this had been a decent show from an in-ring perspective, but this one really sucked the life out of Starrcade.

That’s a shame because you could tell that Awesome was trying hard to get the crowd invested, but sadly nobody cared about this match at all.

It was lifeless and uninspired, with the most interesting thing to happen coming from the announce team, who casually referenced Bam Bam Bigelow’s Wrestlemania 11 match with Lawrence Taylor.

Mike Awesome win by dropping Bigelow through the roof of the ambulance.

Blah.
Your Winner: Mike Awesome

Out in the back, Mean Gene interviewed The Natural Born Thrillers. Reno gloated about turning his back on Vito to rejoin his ‘real family,’ the Thrillers. After that, The Perfect Event gloated about how much they were going to kick ass in their match later.

Credit where it’s due, these guys were pretty good at playing the cocky young jocks.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW US Champion General Rection vs. Shane Douglas

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Shane Douglas blamed General Rection for Torrie Wilson leaving
Before the match, Shane Douglas blamed General Rection for Torrie Wilson not being by his side, but never fully explained why.

Once the bell rang, both champ and challenger worked a solid match that was met with nigh-on silence by the crowd.

That’s a shame because you got the feeling that had this been a contest between two men the audience actually cared about, it would have even the most cynical of fans giving it some kudos.

Even when Rection looked to have a bloody Franchise beaten and called for his signature moonsault, the crowd responded with little more than a half-hearted whimper.

As it happened, Douglas moved out of harm’s way and tried to blast the champion with a steel chain, but Rection blocked it and the match continued.

At that point, Chavo Guerrero came down and at first looked as though he was helping Douglas out by throwing him the chain and distracting referee Charles Robinson, though he did then alert Lil Naitch as to what was going on so that he could turn around and disqualify the challenger.

Dumb finish aside, this was a solid effort between two men who, sadly, the crowd didn’t seem to care about at all.
Your Winner by DQ and Still US Champion: General Rection

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Mean Gene interviews World Champion Scott Steiner & Midajah
Out in the back, Mean Gene Okerlund asked World Heavyweight Champion Scott Steiner to address his upcoming title defense against Sid Vicious. Big Poppa Pump, however, was more concerned with talking about ‘hitting switches on b**ches’ and getting it on with his freaks after the match.

A vignette then aired to hype the return of Glacier to WCW.

This time around, the gimmick would be played for laughs and was treated as little more than a comedy gimmick.

The Insiders are In Their Prime

Back in the arena, Kevin Nash goofed around with his former nWo buddy Buff Bagwell while his current partner, Diamond Dallas Page got serious.

Page stared down the camera as he addressed The Natural Born Thrillers, insisting that he and Nash had both aged like fine wine and were still in their prime and that tonight, they would reclaim the tag team titles.

Dallas looked like he was committed here, but it was quite funny to see that Nash had clearly given up any pretence of giving a damn about anything.

Bunkhouse Street Fight
Jeff Jarrett and The Harris Brothers (Heavy D & Big Ron) vs. The Filthy Animals (Konnan, Rey Mysterio, and Billy Kidman w/ Tygress)

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Jeff Jarrett puts Billy Kidman to sleep
Before the match, Jeff Jarrett once again gloated about having a bunkhouse match and a street fight rolled into one.

Even the announcers struggled -and eventually gave up on- trying to explain the difference.

The actual bout was surprisingly fun for a basic weapons-filled garbage match, the main highlight of which was Rey Mysterio Jr. getting powerbombed from the ring into a dumpster outside the ring.

After that, the referee then inexplicably began enforcing tags, turning what had previously been a tornado-style free-for-all into a standard six-man, albeit with weapons and such.

I suppose you could argue that this was the transition from bunkhouse into street fight, but you’d probably lose that argument pretty quickly.

After a fun contest, Jarrett destroyed Kidman with The Stroke to claim victory for a team Mark Madden referred to as The Nashville World Order.
Your Winners: Jeff Jarrett & The Harris Brothers

A promo video then aired to promote the company’s next PPV, Sin before Buff Bagwell tried to interview The Sarge, Dwayne Bruce.

The Power Plant Head trainer has been brought in to talk about his most successful protege, Goldberg.

Before he could say much, however, The Sarge was attacked by Goldberg’s opponent, Lex Luger.

Killing time while the ring was cleared of its plunder, we got some discussion among the announcers.

“We’ve come a long way from Ric Flair and Harley Race in 1983,” said Schiavone.

Yes Tony, yes you have.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW Tag Team Champions The Perfect Event (Shawn Stasiak & Chuck Palumbo w/ Mike Sanders) vs. The Insiders (Diamond Dallas Page & Kevin Nash)

WCW Starrcade 2000 - The Natural Born Thrillers protest CEO Ric Flair's decisions
This was tremendous, not because it was a five-star workrate classic or anything, but because it was the first thing on the actual show that felt legitimately super over.

The crowd loved Page and Nash and were genuinely invested in every moment of the match while Shawn Stasiak & Chuck Palumbo were -as I said earlier- starting to nail the cocky jock heel role.

The only sore spot was Ric Flair, who came out before the match and told Mike Sanders that if he went anywhere near the ring, The Perfect Event would be stripped their titles.

He then repeated his insistence that Sanders was to go nowhere near the ring before realizing he had it wrong and changing to Sanders being allowed in the ring as long as he didn’t put a foot inside it.

It was stupid, but even that couldn’t take away from what was a thoroughly enjoyable match.

After a good show, Nash obliterated Palumbo with the Jackknife and this one was all over.
Your Winners and NEW Tag Team Champions: The Insiders

Post-match, Kevin Nash grabbed a microphone and gave us a ‘hey yo,’ an obvious shout-out to Scott Hall.

No Disqualification Match
Lex Luger vs. Goldberg
Goldberg’s career on the line

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Bill Goldberg's career was on the line against Lex Luger
This won’t be the first time I’ve said this about something on a WCW show and, with three more PPVs to go, it certainly won’t be the last,  but this was dumb.

In the opening minutes, both men gave us the best match that they were capable of giving us.

Granted, that was nothing too special, but if you were watching Goldberg vs. Luger and expecting dragon screw leg whips and tope con hilos, you were only setting yourself up for disappointment.

No, the match was as good as it could have been until The Sarge came down with Buff Bagwell trying to urge him not to get involved.

Honestly, the moment Bagwell stepped out, it was incredibly obvious that he would turn heel at any moment.

Sure enough, after first pretending to ‘accidentally’ hit Goldberg with his Buff Blockbuster, he turned on Sarge and beat him up outside the ring.

On a few occasions, Goldberg looked directly at this happening but completely ignored it and carried on while the announcers tried to convince us that he had no idea Buff had attacked Sarge.

Seriously.

An eventual jackhammer gave us the predictable result.
Your Winner: Goldberg

Afterwards, Bagwell destroyed Goldberg with a chair to cement his turn. Quite why he couldn't have done this in the actual match and helped Luger end Big Bill’s career is anyone’s guess.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Scott Steiner (w/ Midajah) vs. Sid Vicious

WCW Starrcade 2000 - Scott Steiner defended the World Heavyweight title against Sid Vicious
I don’t care what you say, I enjoyed the heck out of this match.

On paper, it looked to be a thoroughly underwhelming match, but both champ and challenger played to their strengths to give us a captivating big man match with a thrilling ending that really kept you in suspense and made it look as though either man could’ve won at any moment.

One thing I will say, people gave John Cena crap over the years for his weak-looking STF, but Scotty’s Steiner Recliner never looked like it hurt much at all.

Still, Big Poppa Pump applied it multiple times before Sid finally passed out, bringing this surprisingly awesome match to an end.
Your Winner and Still WCW Champion: Scott Steiner

Post-match, Steiner, and Midajah posed with the title to end the show.







And so, with less than four months of their existence left, World Championship Wrestling had put on one of their best shows of the year, if not the last several years.

Ok, so there was still a lot of stuff that made you roll your eyes, and none of the matches were must-see classics, but Starrcade 2000 didn’t suck, and for WCW that was a pretty big achievement in itself.

It almost seems a shame that the company were finally getting their act together so close to the end but alas, even a fun show like this one was too little, too late.



For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
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Thursday, 6 February 2020

PPV REVIEW: WWA The Inception 2001

WWA The Inception 2001 - Event poster
Sydney Super Dome, Sydney, Australia,
October 26, 2001.

When Vince McMahon bought out World Championship Wrestling in March 2001, he effectively created a monopoly of the pro wrestling industry that other companies have been trying to break ever since. 


Almost immediately, one of the first companies to take a shot at filling the WCW-shaped hole in the wrestling landscape was Andrew McManus' World Wrestling All-Stars, and by all accounts, it looked to have a pretty good shot.

With a roster made up of ex WCW and WWF wrestlers, the company certainly had plenty of star power and enough guys capable of putting on decent matches.

With that in mind, The Inception seemed to have everything it needed to be a very good show.

But was it enough to position the company as a viable contender to the World Wrestling Federation's throne?

Let's head Down Under to the Sydney Super Dome in Sydney, Australia to find out.







Please Stand for the Australian National Anthem

Hoping to lend the event an air of gravitas, Jeramy Borash introduced little-known Australian quartet Ajaqua, who were on hand to sing the Australian National Anthem.

A short opening video package followed, after which it was on with the show.

The Hitman Has Never Been Beaten

WWA The Inception 2001 - Bret 'The Hitman' Hart reveals the WWA Championship
"...Scheduled for one fall!" came the voice of Jeramy Borash through the PA system. Borash clearly realized he had the running order wrong and quickly shut up, allowing Bret 'The Hitman' Hart to make his way out.

Brandishing the WWA championship (which looked like a relic from the 70s), The Excellence of Execution started off with a dull, lifeless speech about how much he loved Australia and was grateful to them for looking after him when he got stuck there in the aftermath of 9/11.

Things got more interesting when Bret turned his attentions to tonight, somehow making the tournament for the WWA title all about himself.

First, he took a moment to trash both WCW and the WWF which was surprising. After all, it's not like Hart has a reputation for being bitter or anything.

Next, he claimed that nobody had ever beaten him in either company.

"Not Goldberg, not The Rock, not Stone Cold Steve Austin, Chris Benoit, or even that piece of sh*t Vince McMahon," had even defeated him, at least according to the Hitman.

Of course, Yokozuna beat him at Wrestlemania 9, Shawn Michaels beat him at Wrestlemania 12 and even Bob Backlund beat him at Survivor Series '94. So, even if you strike Montreal from the record, that's still a bunch of people who definitely beat The Hitman for the gold.


Anyway, Bret claimed that as a result of this undefeated streak, he was basically giving his world title to the winner of tonight's tournament.

Look:

I'm a big Bret Hart fan.

I've loved watching and reviewing his matches here on Retro Pro Wrestling, but my goodness that promo was dull.

It lasted about three minutes but felt like it went on for 30 years.

If You Like Stipulations, You'll Love This Show

WWA The Inception 2001 - Jerry 'The King'  Lawler and Jeremy Borash called the event
It was at this point that things started to get really weird.

With Bret gone, we went to our announce team of Jerry 'The King' Lawler and Jeramy Borash.

Sticking with tonight's theme, the two rambled on a bit about being in Australia and how every match in the 'Seven Deadly Sins' tournament was a gimmick match of some kind.

As they ran through the card, it quickly became apparent that most of the time, that gimmick would be "hardcore match."

Borash and Lawler also told us about other matches not included in the tournament, such as Devon Storm vs. Norman Smiley and a 'Black Wedding Gown' match between husband and wife duo Luna Vachon and Vampire Warrior.

According to Lawler, Vachon and Warrior were due to celebrate their first wedding anniversary on Halloween but were now getting divorced instead and had, like many a married couple, chosen to settle their differences not in a courtroom but in a pro wrestling ring.

Of course, this being the inaugural WWA show, we had no idea why the pair had broken up. We just had to take WWA's word for it that they had.

However, that wasn't the weirdest part.

No Sir, that honor went to the way WWA decided to pump Borash and Lawler's commentary through the arena PA system so that everyone in the audience could hear it.

It was strange, and, even watching it at home, would detract from the in-ring action for the rest of the show.

Speaking of which, let's get down to our opening match.

Seven Deadly Sins Tournament Match 1:
Ladder Match for the Vacant WWA International Cruiserweight Champion

WWA The Inception 2001 - Juventud Guerrera beat Psicosis for the WWA Cruiserweight title
Psicosis had originally won the company's cruiserweight title at a house show event but had been stripped of the gold on the rather unfair grounds that his victory got in the way of tonight's booking plans.

His opponent, Juventud Guerrera came to the ring to a knock-off of The Macarena while Borash referred to the time he (Juvi) got kicked out of Australia a year earlier for going on a drug-fuelled rampage.

Speaking of Borash, he was also tonight's ring announcer, so he just introduced the wrestlers from the announce desk and then went back to having his conversation with Lawler broadcast across the entire arena.

"Finally...The Juice...Has come back, to Australia!" declared Juvi in a brief pre-match promo which was pretty terrible.

Fortunately, he made up for a bad promo with a fun opening contest against long-time rival Psicosis.

The last time we saw them competing against each other on PPV was in a four-way match which also included Rey Mysterio Jr and Billy Kidman at WCW Souled Out 1999.

Now it was just the two of them, and they did a great job in putting on a fun spot fest with a couple of jaw-dropping moves.

Not that this was a perfect match.

At one point, Juvi had a ladder the corner and stood on it, ready to jump off onto Psicosis.

However, he took so long to get up there and pose for the crowd that Psicosis had to stand around gormlessly, just waiting to take the move.

Talk about killing suspension of disbelief.

As if it wasn't bad enough that, after all that, Juvi didn't even land the move properly, the ladder fell down and cracked both the combatants and the referee.

While it was enough to keep Juvi and Psicosis out of action for a few moments, the referee decided to no-sell it completely, making him look like the toughest dude in the right.

Despite that, this was a very enjoyable opener that ended when Juvi scaled the ladder and grabbed the gold.
Your Winner and NEW WWA International Cruiserweight Champion: Juventud Guerrera (advances in the world title tournament)

In his post-match celebration, Juvi suddenly started selling a rib injury that he hadn't bothered with at all during the match.

Horny Old Men Lech After Some Women

WWA The Inception 2001 - The Starrettes were WWA's answer to The Nitro Girls
With Juvi gone, Borash introduced us to The Starettes, the WWA's answer to The Nitro Girls.

Just like The Nitro Girls, the Starettes came out on stage and busted out a dance routine while flashing some big smiles. Unlike The Nitro Girls, however, the Starettes had the commentary team leching after them over the PA.

Lawler and Borash came across like a randy, old version of Beavis & Butthead as they oggled the dancing women and picked out their favorites.

I mean, seriously, can you imagine if the WCW Nitro camera panned onto a shot of Spice or Skye and Mike Tenay suddenly blurted out "I'll take her!" over the PA?

Because that's what Borash did. To be fair to the future TNA announcer, he wasn't as bad as the horny old King, but this was still pretty terrible.

Backstage Shennanigans

WWA The Inception 2001 - Lenny Lane & Lodi in a backstage skit
Out in the back, an Australian comedian called Rove McManus arrived in a limousine with Nathan Jones in tow.

The two stepped out of their limo, took one look at Lodi & Lenny Lane (back doing their gay gimmick), and left.

Meanwhile, Disco Inferno arrived, complaining about the lack of security. He then handed his credit card to a crew member and sent the guy off to get him two suits.

Quite how a shirt and tie were going to provide him with adequate security is anyone's guess.

Seven Deadly Sins Tournament Match 2: Dog Collar Match
Konan vs. Road Dog Jesse James

If there was ever going to be such thing as a WWF vs. WCW dream card at the height of the Monday Night Wars, this is probably one of the matches we would have had on the undercard.

WWA The Inception 2001 - Road Dogg vs. Konnan
Two guys who, at the time, were better known for their pre-match banter with the crowd than for their in-ring prowess, finally locking up after being on opposite sides of the aforementioned war.

Proving that little had changed since those days, Konnan rapped his way to the ringside and got all bowdy-bowdy with the audience.

Road Dog too brought a microphone with him, doing his whole 'Oh, you didn't know' routine to a knock off of the familiar New Age Outlaws routine. Yet when he tried to go through his usual Michael Buffer impersonation, K-Dog cut him off and attacked.

Pulling a 'Mexican Heavyweight Championship' belt from out of nowhere (it looked suspiciously like the same belt as the company's world title), Konan lifted it in the air and attempted his own version of Roadie's pre-match promo, but managed to flub it up.

"Ladies and gentlemen," he began. "The WWA boys and girls, children of all ages, the WWA proudly presents your Mexican Heavyweight Champion of the World!"

We weren't done there.

With Road Dog lying in the corner, Konan took the time to mock him for being the only member of D-Generation-X not gainfully employed. I'm not sure if, by this, K-Dog was insinuating that WWA wrestlers didn't get paid, or whether he was insulting his employers by suggesting that wrestling for them wasn't a real job.

Finally, Konan, who hadn't worked for the World Wrestling Federation since 1992, told his opponent that the WWF had two words for him.

The match eventually got underway and was, to be perfectly honest, a bit of a mess.

Dog collar match rules were the same as your average strap match in that you had to touch all four corners consecutively to win. Jerry Lawler revealed that Bret Hart had also decreed that the match could end by pinfall, but neither man so much as attempted a cover, so why this was even brought up is beyond me.

The two got the crowd involved with some interesting spots, but it was all very sloppy and uncoordinated. The action had to be paused on at least three separate occasions as Konan's dog collar kept falling off.

After a few short and uninspired minutes, Road Dog tied up Konan using the chain, bent him over, pretended to have anal sex with him, then casually walked to all four corners of the ring while K-Dog just lay there, looking like an idiot.

Yes, this was probably the first 'touch all four corners' match in wrestling history not to use the Stone Cold/Savio finish from In Your House: Beware of Dog.
Your Winner: Road Dog

WWA The Inception 2001 - Queen Bea stretches backstage
Before the next contest, Lawler and Borash took the time to tell us all about the upcoming 'Skin to Win' match featuring a bunch of scantily-clad 'Penthouse Pets.'

Once again, the duo gave us their horny Beavis & Butthead impressions as they lusted after a group of moderately attractive models.

The joke here was that both King and Borash both had the hots for one 'girl' with a nice ass who turned out to be a dude.

Yuck.

Hardcore Match
Devon Storm vs. "Screamin'" Norman Smiley'

Devon Storm was billed as hailing from "the other side of sanity," because he was crazy.

WWA The Inception 2001 - Devon Storm vs. Norman Smiley in a hardcore match
Here, he locked up with Screamin' Norman Smiley in a bout akin to the kind of thing we saw Smiley do all the time in WCW.

The big difference was that Norman was far less camp and comedic than we'd previously seen him be in matches such as his Starrcade 1999 effort against Meng.

I mean, sure, he did the Big Wiggle on storm twice, giving us no less than three simulated sex acts in the space of twenty minutes,  but other than this, Smiley came across as a competent performer in what was a riotously entertaining hardcore bout.

If you like the CZW -or even ECW- brand of ultraviolence, you might not enjoy this one, but if, like me, you liked the kind of over-the-top hardcore bouts that were commonplace during the latter half of the Monday Night Wars, you'll likely find a lot to enjoy here.

The two battered each other with kendo sticks, threw chairs and trash cans at one another, and even took us for a little walk backstage, inadvertently revealing plenty of empty seats in the process and showing us how poorly this show had drawn.

The end came after Storm took half a lifetime to stack two tables on top of one another on the stage, a process which, as in the earlier cruiserweight match, made the suspension of disbelief rather difficult.

When he finally had the props in place, Storm lifted Smiley on top of the top table and climbed the scaffolding surrounding the WWA tron.

After throwing a trash can onto his opponent, the former Crowbar dove off, sending both himself and Smiley crashing through both tables to the floor.

It was an awesome spot that looked a lot better than I've described it here.

It also ended the match, though not in the way that you might imagine.

Storm had practically destroyed himself with that move and was unable to make the cover. His rival, however, was. Despite being just as broken as Storm, Smiley learned over, draped an arm over his chest and scored the pinfall.
Your Winner: Norman Smiley

WWA The Inception 2001 - The Fruits in Suits
Out in the back, Disco Inferno walked down a corridor, fresh from a brief cameo during the backstage portion of the previous match.

Disco approached the crew member he spoke to earlier, who was standing by with two guys in badly-done Bananas in Pyjamas outfits.

"What the hell is this?" asked Disco.
"It's exactly what you asked for," replied the stagehand. "Two fruits!"

Irate, the former WCW TV Champion knocked down the bananas and stormed off-camera yelling "TWO FRUITS? I SAID TWO SUITS!"

Sadly, this would not be the last time the terrible 'two fruits' joke would rear its ugly and unfunny head tonight.

WWA The Inception 2001 - Jeff Jarrett vs. The Front RowOut in the arena, Borash and Lawler ran through the seven Deadly Sins tournament brackets as they stood so far.

Juvi's ribs had been so badly injured in the first match that he was no longer able to compete. His replacement wasn't announced.

Meanwhile, the winner of an upcoming battle royal would face the winner of Jeff Jarrett vs. The Front Row...

Yeah...That's what I thought.

Apparently, 'Front Row' was the nickname of Nathan Jones and not the actual front row.

Anyone Can Enter the Battle Royal

Backstage, WWA reporter Stevie Ray asked Commissioner Hart about the upcoming battle royal.

The Hitman made the big reveal that the battle royal was open to absolutely anybody that worked for WWA, including cameramen, the t-shirt seller, even the bus driver and yes, to answer Big Stevie's inquiry, even him.

Seven Deadly Sins Match 3:
Battle Royal featuring Buff Bagwell, Disco Inferno, Stevie Ray, Jerry 'The King' Lawler, Jeramy Borash, Norman Smiley, Devon Storm, Some Referees, a Cameraman, a Random Woman, and The Fruits in Suits

WWA The Inception 2001 - Stevie Ray doesn't want to look like a roody poo fruit booty
Yep, this happened.

Things started normally enough, at least as normal as it gets in pro wrestling.

Disco Inferno started the match with Disco Inferno, Stevie ray got involved, then Norman Smiley, then Devon Storm.

Jerry Lawler also decided that both he and Borash should enter the fray.

At one point, Lawler held Stevie in place while Borash drilled a bunch of weak-looking fists into the WCW legend's mid-section. It looked so ridiculous it was laughable, especially when Stevie simply picked Borash up and dumped him outside.

As Borash died for a while, Devon Storm -fresh from being eliminated- decided that he was going to do commentary, talking about how he was 'sporting the proverbial crimson mask' after his match with Smiley.

Then things got even sillier.

A cameraman and two referees got involved, followed by a random woman in a gold dress.

The poor woman didn't last long and actually eliminated herself from the competition after deciding that this was preferable to getting sexually molested by Jerry Lawler.

Yes, that happened.

Undeterred, Lawler took out his sexual frustrations on Norman Smiley by doing the Big Wiggle on him for Pretend Anal Sex Situation Number Four.

Just when you thought things couldn't get any more ridiculous, 'The Fruits in Suits' turned up.

Yes, that's what Borash called the 'two fruits' from our last segment, presumedly to avoid a copyright claim from the Bananas in Pyjamas.

The duo eliminated Disco, but only after he hit the most bizarre finishing move of all time:

The Village People's Elbow.

Yes, that's exactly what it sounds like.

He hit the move, the bananas dumped him outside of the ring, then got dumped by Buff, and this one was over.
Your Winner: Buff Bagwell

WWA - The Inception 2001 - Randy McManus and Nathan Jones
Battle Royals are normally not that interesting, but at least that one was kind of funny.

Out in the back, the girl in the gold dress had recovered from getting dry-humped by Jerry Lawler and was now interviewing Rove McManus and Nathan Jones.

I feel bad calling this woman 'the girl in the gold dress.' I honestly did Google around to try and find her name, but it seems that the only mentions of her on the Internet are as "some girl" or "Interviewer chick."

Sorry lady, I tried.

Anyway, the nameless interviewer held the microphone while McManus talked about how Nathan Jones's opponent, Jeff Jarrett, would end up masturbating alone in his hotel room after the sow.

Again, that's not a lie. That's genuinely what he said.

Seven Deadly Sins Tournament Match 4: Guitar on a Pole Match
Jeff Jarrett vs. Nathan Jones (w/ Rove McManus)

According to the laws of pro wrestling, I'm not allowed to review an 'Object on a Pole' match without referencing Vince Russo, even though his only contribution to this show was recommending Jeramy Borash as booker.

WWA - The Inception 2001 - Jeff Jarrett faced Nathan Jones in the first round of the WWA title tournament
Still, the outcome of this one was so ridiculous that it was clear Borash had been to the Vinny Ru School of Pro Wrestling Booking.

Things started out well enough.

Jeff Jarrett came to the ring and got heat by cutting his usual promo about being the chosen one and his love of slap nuts.

Jones and McManus then came down and got the big pop the WWA were hoping for.

As an Australian, Nathan Jones was presented as the proverbial home town hero, the one wrestler the crowds could call their own.

He was huge. He looked like a monster. He even had a famous Australian celebrity cutting a pre-match promo for him.

In short, he had it all.

And then he was beaten in about five minutes by Jeff Jarrett.

To be fair, Double J carried the inexperienced star to a decent little match. Unfortunately, he then ruined the whole thing with a stupid ending.

Nathan Jones went to get the guitar from the pole by climbing up to the ropes even though he was tall enough that he could have just reached up and grabbed it.

This would have proved to be a better option. As it was, the seven-foot star was so bad at climbing the ropes that his opponent was able to just saunter over and throw him off.

Jarrett grabbed the guitar for himself, but before he could blast Jones with it, Rove McManus rushed into the ring. The Chosen One blasted the comedian with the guitar in what was genuinely a sweet looking spot before Jones kind of walked into Jeff Jarrett's stroke.

One three count later, and WWA had disposed of their most popular babyface in about five minutes.
Your Winner: Jeff Jarrett

WWA - The Inception 2001 - Jerry Lawler confronts the Fruits in Suits
In the ring, Jerry 'The King' Lawler called out The Bananas in Pyjamas  Fruits in Suits so that he could find out whey they eliminated his friend, The Disco Inferno, from the earlier battle royal.

The duo came to the ring but basically just stood there while Lawler made jokes about how 'fruits' was a derogatory term for homosexuals.

Speaking of whom...

The West Hollywood Blondes came out to interrupt the promo, with Lawler pronounce the name of Lenny Lane's partner as "Low Dye."

Seriously.

Their arrival allowed Jerry Lawler to make the one joke this whole thing had been leading to:

"Hey, now we've got four fruits!"

Because, you know, ripping on homosexuals is funny.

Rounding out the party, Bret Hart returned to the scene to demand that the two fruits leave the ring.

"Which two?" asked Lawler, making the usually super-serious Bret Hart laugh out loud for the first time in his career, if not in his entire life.

"The fruits...the bananas" laughed The Hitman, before announcing that Lodi and "Lonny" would replace the injured Juventud Guerrera in a three-way dance against Road Dog.

Yes, it's weird that the babyface Commissioner decided to stick it to fellow babyface Road Dog by placing him in what was a handicap match against two heels, but heck, it's not like anything else on this show made any sense either.

Seven Deadly Sins Semi-Final 1: Three-Way Dance
Road Dog vs. Lenny Lane vs. Lodi

WWA - The Inception 2001 - Lenny Lane and Lodi faced Road Dog
Despite being nothing more than a four-minute gay sex joke, this wasn't too terrible.

The West Hollywood Blondes naturally double-teamed the former DX member. Early on, Road Dog moved out of harm's way when his rivals tried to trap him in the corner. This caused Lenny to fall onto all fours and Lodi to fall onto his knees behind him, making it look like he was doing him up the bum.

Simulated sex count: Five

Lenny and Lodi continued to dominate (Road Dog, not each other), but couldn't agree on who would get the pinfall and ended up coming to blows.

Eventually, Lenny hit a sweet moonsault onto Lodi, pinning him in a 69 position. Roadie recovered from an earlier beating dropped a knee onto Lenny's head and pinned the pair of them in a 69, making for six occasions of simulated sex on a pro wrestling show.

Apart from all the sex stuff, this wasn't the worst match ever, but it only lasted four minutes which is too short to really count for anything.
Your Winner: Road Dog

Post-match, Lenny and Lodi made up with a hi-five, hip bump, and a hug. Jerry Lawler reacted to the two men hugging as though he'd just seen them fellate one another in the middle of the ring because homophobia = lol apparently.

T*ts, Whips, and Buff

WWA - The Inception 2001 - Stevie Ray interviews Buff Bagwell
Backstage, Stevie Ray stood by for an interview with Buff Bagwell.

Before they got started, however, Stevie made Buff hold his microphone so that he could put his hat and glasses back on.

"Let me do this, I don't wanna look like a fruit booty," said the former WCW tag team champion.

That's exactly what I always think of when I see a hat-less Stevie Ray. There goes Stevie without his hat again. Man, what a fruit booty!

Anyway, as if this show couldn't get any weirder or more sexual, Buff announced that his upcoming match with Jeff Jarrett would be -and I quote- "a T*ts, Whips, and Buff match."

Unfortunately, neither Bagwell nor anybody else bothered to explain exactly what that meant.

Seven Deadly Sins Tournament Semi-Final 2: T*ts, Whips, and Buff Match
Jeff Jarrett vs. Buff Bagwell

WWA - The Inception 2001 - Buff Bagwell strikes a pose before facing Jeff Jarrett
As the two combatants made their way to the ring, it became obvious what the stipulation was all about.

Buff brought a bevy of unknown beautiful women to ringside with him. The women all had whips, and if either man went outside, the beauties were supposed to whip him.

Yes, it was essentially a lumberjack/jill match with a BDSM theme.

Though it was silly, it would have been fine if they'd just worked the gimmick and given us a decent finish. However, like everything on this card that wasn't the opening ladder match, Bagwell/Jarrett had to take ridiculous booking to a whole new level.

For the most part, it was fine, or at least as fine as a five-minute Buff Bagwell/Jeff Jarrett match was ever going to be, ie: nothing spectacular but nothing terrible either. The two men worked a bit in the ring, Jarrett got whipped on the outside then, when Bagwell got hurled to the outside, his women protected him and gave him a neck massage.

So far, so predictable but inoffensive.

Then, the finish came.

Bagwell hit the Blockbuster, but Slick Johnson had his hands full with one of the girls, so one of the other girls counted the fall. Naturally, Johnson declared that it didn't count, but Buff was so busy celebrating that he didn't notice. Instead, he walked into a Stroke from Jeff Jarrett and lost the match.

Ugh.
Your Winner: Jeff Jarrett

As we approach the last forty-five minutes of WWA The Inception, it occurs to me that this would have actually been a really enjoyable show if they'd kept things simple.

Cut out the ridiculous finishes, ease off on the comedy and just let these guys wrestle, and you'd have a good show on your hands.

Luna is Mad

WWA - The Inception 2001 - Luna Vachon was mad at her husband
Out in the back, the interviewer lady in the golden dress asked Luna Vachon why she wanted to fight her husband.

Hilariously, Luna declared that she and Vampire Warrior had originally come out to celebrate their anniversary, but the former Gangrel kept complaining about losing every wrestling matches he competed in so she had no choice but to kick his ass.

Black Wedding Match
Vampire Warrior vs. Luna Vachon

Well, this was terrible.

Another throw-away, five-minute match saw Vampire Warrior trying his best not to hit his wife even after she trapped his grapefruits in a pair of kitchen tongues and smashed a pumpkin into his groin.

Yet it seemed that even a vampire could only resist a spot of domestic abuse for so long. After an irate Luna spat at her husband and threw her wedding ring at him, Vamp impaled her.

Sorry, I should say, he hit her with the impaler. That's what'll happen if you watch a show that has more sexual references than actual wrestling in it.

One three count later, this god awful gimmick was over.
Your Winner: Vampire Warrior

Remember earlier, when Lawler and Borash were shocked to discover that one of the girls in the upcoming Skin to Win match had a penis?

Well, up next Stevie Ray tried to find out who this man/woman/transvestite was because, obviously, suckas got to know.

At one point, Stevie lifted up the person's dress and said "look at that ass," then acted all shocked when they ran away.

I mean, wouldn't you?

Skin to Win Match
Queen Bea vs. Violet Terossi vs. Adara James vs. Sharon A. Wad


WWA - The Inception 2001 - Adara James won a "Skin to Win" match
This was probably the worst thing I've ever seen in professional wrestling, and I've seen the Heroes of Wrestling PPV.

Queen Bea and Violet Terossi are, or were, nude models. Adara James was an indie worker who, according to Cagematch.net, wrestled about six matches in her career, and Sharon A. Wad was the transvestite, played by Danny Dominion who was nobody.

To her credit, James had the makings of a good wrestler and probably could have gone on to better things had she stuck with it.

Instead, it's her fate to be best remembered as the only good thing in what was otherwise an absolute piece of garbage.

Danny Dominion dominated the whole thing, going around and beating up the other three women in what made for genuinely uncomfortable viewing.

Eventually, he threw Queen Bea and Violet to the mat and removed their tops. The crowd booed loudly, not because they hated Dominion, but because the girls were wearing pasties that concealed their breasts.

Then Stevie Ray came down, punched Dominion a couple of times, and allowed Adara James to pick up the victory by leaping off the top and planting the dude with a frankensteiner.
Your Winner: Adara James

Afterward, Borash began telling us about the WWA's upcoming shows in the UK, only to be interrupted by the promoter, Andrew McManus.

McManus handed Borash a letter and told him to read it.

It was from former WCW star Midajah, who promised to "be there" with her man.

It was never actually explained where "there" was. Presumedly the UK shows.

Disco Faces The Fruits

WWA - The Inception 2001 - The Fruits in Suits strike a pose
Killing time before the main event (because heaven forbid a match on this show go longer than ten minutes), Disco Inferno came out to interrupt a routine by the Starrettes.

Unlike Jerry 'The Perv' Lawler, Disco was sick of seeing attractive women shaking their ass and sent them packing before storming to the ring where a cage had been set up for Road Dog/Jarrett.

Ticked off about being eliminated from the battle royal, Disco called out the two fruits, who came out and attacked him.

Disco fought back and ended the segment by throwing one of the bananas off the top of the cage to the outside. As dumb as it was to have Disco Inferno vs. The Bananas in Pyjamas, this was admittedly pretty impressive.

It would have been even more impressive if the cameras hadn't shown us the giant safety crash mat which had been strategically placed at the foot of the entrance to protect the flying banana.

Seven Deadly Sins Tournament Final
World Wrestling All-Stars World Championship
Road Dog vs. Jeff Jarrett

WWA - The Inception 2001 - The WWA Championship
At no point in tonight's show had World Wrestling All-Stars shied away from referencing the WCW and WWF careers of their roster.

While that occasionally came off as cheesy, such a strategy should have worked in their favor for this main event cage match between two guys with a long history together, shouldn't it?

Yes, here we had Road Dog, who had once been called The Roadie and served as Jeff Jarrett's lackey before it was revealed that it was he all along who sang Double J's big hit, With My Baby Tonight.

From there, Road Dog had scaled new heights of popularity, becoming one of the biggest stars of the Attitude Era and arguably even surpassing his former charge's success.

So tonight, live and for the first time ever, we'd finally get to settle the score:

Was Double J Jeff Jarrett the bigger, better wrestler? Or was it Double J Jesse James?

It would take thirty seconds to tell this story, but nobody bothered. Instead, we were told that Jarrett had won multiple WCW tag team titles and Roadie had won multiple WWF tag team titles.

of course, this was entirely true, but it was nowhere near as compelling as the actual relationship between the two men.

Not that it seemed to make much a difference.

For the first time since the Juvi/Psicosis match, the competitors in the ring looked to be trying their hardest, busting out a good main event match which was probably the best singles match involving The Road Dog since he faced 123 Kid at In Your House 2: The Lumberjacks.

For those paying attention, that was the same show Jarrett 'sang' With My Baby Tonight.

Things were going well, but then this being the WWA, they had to turn all bulls**tty and ridiculous.

According to Commissioner Hart -who had joined the commentary team- the match could be won by pinfall or submission only, so Jarrett and Road Dogg climbed out of the cage for a brawl around the ringside.

OK, so the brawl itself was pretty fun, but what the heck was the point of the cage?

Back in the ring, Slick Johnson took a tumble, so Jeff Jarett grabbed his guitar and murdered Jesse James with it. He then applied a sharpshooter.

Roadie tapped, but Bret Hart refused to let the match be over. His reasons weren't exactly clear, but it came across as though Hitman simply didn't want anybody else winning with his finishing move.

This idea was further cemented with Road Dog got up, hit a pump handle slam on Jarrett and then applied a sharpshooter of his own.

Proving that he was non-discriminating in his bitterness, Hart refused to let Road Dog win that way either, and decided instead to just walk off with the title.

The New Age Outlaw gave chase, stealing the belt and bringing it back to the cage where Jarrett kicked it out of his hands, dropped him face-first with a Stroke onto the title belt and won the match.
Your Winner and NEW WWA World Heavyweight Champion: Jeff Jarrett

It had been yet another stupid finish, but at least it gave us a credible champion, right?

Not exactly.

Standing battered, bloody and yet triumphant, Jarrett confronted Bret Hart, only to drop to his knees and beg off. Not that this stopped The Hitman.

He grabbed Jeff by the legs and locked him in the sharpshooter for no real reason, ending WWA The Inception by looking like a bitter old man.






I said it earlier and I'll say it again, The Inception could have been a good show.

OK, so Road Dog and a bunch of WCW leftovers were never going to give us five-star classics, but they were all competent performers capable of delivering a decent show had they been allowed to.

Instead, they were all dumped in a bunch of really short nothing matches in which bad comedy, bad finishes, and bad sexual references took precedence over any actual pro wrestling.

Get rid of the bananas, let the guys actually have a wrestling match, and WWA could have been onto something.

Given that this was their first real event, I'm willing to give WWA the benefit of the doubt and check out some of their other shows, but honestly, there's not much to see here outside of an admittedly wonderful opening ladder match between cruiserweight stalwarts Psicosis and Juventud Guerrera.

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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.