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 Gangrel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gangrel. Show all posts

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.


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.


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."


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.

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, 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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Thursday, 29 August 2019

PPV REVIEW: WWF Rebellion 1999

WWE / WWF Rebellion 1999 - Event poster
October 2nd, 1999
National Indoor Arena, Birmingham, England

Between 1996 and 1999, your writer attended every WWF event to take place in the UK.

Or at least, I thought I did.

Somehow, Rebellion 1999 happened without me being there, or even having any memory of it.

Whether I'd just exhausted the time and money my Dad was prepared to spend on taking me to wrestling shows (I was 15) with the UK version of No Mercy which had taken place earlier that year, or whether it was around this time that I started to fall out of love with pro wrestling for a while, I honestly can't remember.

Still, we're here now, so let's head down to Birmingham, England for the first ever Rebellion PPV.

Two men set to kick some bum

WWE / WWF Rebellion 1999 - Jim Ross & Michael Hayes called the action
Our show tonight began with an opening video which was voiceovered by a stereotypically posh Englishman talking about Mr Helmsley and Mr Rock.

This was countered by a brash American voiceover referring to them instead as Triple H and The Great One before declaring that these were two men set to -and I quote- "kick some bum."

It's rare that you'll ever hear me moan about one of WWE's usually awesome opening video packages, but my goodness this was cringeworthy.

When it finally ended, we went live to the arena to be greeted by Jim Ross and his colleague Michael Hayes.

No, I don't know where Jerry Lawler was either.

Hayes was super excited about our main event tonight - a one-on-one showdown in which The Rock and Triple H would apparently kick some bum.

First, however, we had our undercard to get to.

Jeff Jarrett hates women

WWE / WWF Rebellion 1999 - Jeff Jarrett w/ Miss Kitty
Now at the height of his misogynist gimmick, Jeff Jarrett entered the National Indoor Arena first and took some time out to insult women everywhere, but especially those here in Birmingham.

Say what you want about the gimmick itself, Jarrett was very good at playing it and managed to get some serious, serious heat just by calling a few women ugly.

He then took out a vacuum cleaner and issued a "Thousand-pound challenge" - any woman who would step in the ring and do some vacuuming, thus proving that this was all women were good for - would earn £1,000.

After much deliberation, Jarrett picked a "fan" out of the front row, dumped a bunch of dust on the ring apron, then had her vacuum it up. Not that she could. The vacuum cleaner clearly wasn't plugged in, so the dust just stayed where it was, which made the whole thing look a bit silly.

Rather than actually plugging the vacuum in, Jarrett decided to attack the "fan" and put her in a figure-four leg lock.

Proving that she needed to spend way more time in whatever wrestling school they'd found her at, the "fan" sold Jarrett's figure four as though he were slightly flicking her on the knee.

Finally, Chyna ran in to a huge ovation and beat Jarret to a pulp.

As Double J reeled on the outside, referee Mike Chioda conducted a coin toss to decide whether it was Jarrett's Intercontinental championship or D'Lo Brown's European Championship that would be on the line in the next match.

It was heads, so we had ourselves an Intercontinental Championship match even though it would have made much, much more sense for D'Lo Brown to defend the European Championship in Europe.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett (w/ Miss Kitty) vs. WWF Europea Champion D'Lo Brown

Once the two finally locked up, things developed into a good, though not necessarily great match.

The Birmingham crowd were really into D'Lo, and their unwavering enthusiasm for the show itself added an extra level of enjoyment to what was a pretty solid effort.

After a lot of back-and-forth action, Miss Kitty distracted the referee so that Jarrett could blast D'Lo with a vacuum cleaner for the match-winning three count.
Your Winner and Still Intercontinental Champion: Jeff Jarrett

Post-match, Double J challenged Chyna to a match for later on in the show. Apparently, we'd be getting a whole lot of Jeff Jarrett tonight.

The Godfather vs. Gangrel

WWE / WWF Rebellion 1999 - The Godfather faced Gangrel
Ah yes, The Godfather vs. Gangrel - the match you always wanted to see.

Before the bell, Godfather refused to give one of his hos to Gangrel then proceded to go after him in what was a very underwhelming contest.

The very definition of a filler match, absolutely nothing interesting happened outside of Michael Hayes informing us that Chyna had accepted Jeff Jarrett's challenge.

After a few minutes of nothingness, Godfather hit the Ho Train and the Pimp Drop to win the match.
Your winner: The Godfather

Afterwards, Godfather set his hos loose on referee Tim White. Having the time of his life, White got down and boogied with the bikini-clad ladies.

It was pretty funny.

Jeff Jarrett has Vachyna envy

WWE / WWF Rebellion 1999 - Michael Cole interviews Chyna
Out in the back, Michael Cole asked Chyna if she accepted Jeff Jarrett's challenge. Despite just telling us she had a few minutes earlier, Michael Hayes acted surprised when Chyna confirmed that she did.

That was dumb.

It was almost as dumb as The Ninth Wonder of the World telling us that while some men had penis envy, Jeff Jarrett had vachyna envy. You know, because it sounds a bit like vagina?

Ahem. Yeah.

Anyway, Chyna was then interrupted by The British Bulldog.

Receiving a rousing chorus of boos from his countrymen, Davey Boy insisted that nobody wanted him to see him fight "that long haired freak" X-Pac and that he should instead have a title shot against Triple H. Playing the heel to full effect, Bulldog stormed off to demand such a shot from Vince McMahon.

Val Venis vs. Mark Henry

Well, this was fifty shades of meh.

Val Venis made light work of super heavyweight Mark Henry, beating him with the Money Shot after three terribly uneventful minutes.

Man, I'm actually starting to be grateful that I wasn't at this show after all.
Your Winner: Val Venis

WWE / WWF Rebellion 1999 - British Bulldog confronts Vince and Shane McMahon
Out in the back, British Bulldog stormed into Vince McMahon's office to demand a title shot against Triple H.

When McMahon reminded Davey that he'd already had one on Smackdown, an angry Bulldog picked up a rubbish bin and threw it across the room.

Cameras then cut away to Stephanie McMahon lying on the floor, insinuating that Davey had knocked her out with the bin.

World Wrestling Federation Women's Championship
WWF Women's Champion Ivory vs. Tori vs. Jacqueline vs. Luna

The last time we saw Jacqueline here in the UK, she was getting her boobs out back at Capital Carnage 1998. Tonight, she kept all of her clothes on as she locked up with Luna Vachon, Tori, and WWF Women's Champion Ivory.
WWE / WWF Rebellion 1999 - Ivory and Jacqueline square off
Look, I hate to rag on the women. I'm a fan of at least three of them, but this was an absolute hot mess of a match.

At one point, Ivory dropped to the outside and let the other three duke out it before finally coming back in to pick up the scraps.

With Tim White's back turned, she blasted Jacqueline with the title and won what was a really poor bout.
Your Winner and Stil WWF Women's Champion: Ivory

Out in the back, we were shown paramedics putting Stephanie -now wearing a neck brace- onto a stretcher and wheeling her off. We were also shown a recap of the bin-throwing incident from about five minutes ago.

You know, just in case we missed it.

Looking back on it a second time, one thing stood out as being pretty odd:

When Stephanie was on the floor, the bin the Bulldog had thrown was now nowhere in sight despite the fact that it must have landed nearby.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the arena, Michael Cole and Davey Boy Smith watched via a monitor as Stephanie was stretchered out. Bulldog told Cole that what happened to Stephanie was an accident and that he didn't owe Vince an apology but rather Vince owed him one.

If anything, this was an effective way to establish the Bulldog as a hated villain in his own country.

WWF Tag Team Champion Road Dogg vs. Chris Jericho (w/ Curtis Hughes)

WWE / WWF Rebellion 1999 - Chris Jericho faced Road Dogg
Oh, you didn't know?

Making his UK debut, Chris Jericho had been at war with Road Dogg for months after he legitimately injured him shortly after his debut.

Behind the scenes, this was the reason that Jericho had to run all his matches by X-Pac first. In front of the camera, it was the reason why he and Road Dogg had engaged in a war of words back at Summerslam 1999, and why they were going at it tonight.

Cutting Y2J off as he made his entrance, the D-O-Double-G took the fight to his opponent in what turned out to be the best match on the show (at least up to now) by a country mile.

This was a highly entertaining contest with a hot finish that saw Road Dogg make a miraculous, last-second kick out after being blasted with a vicious chair shot by Jericho's bodyguard, Curtis Hughes.

By the way, here's one thing I never mentioned back in the Unforgiven 1999 review. If your only memory of Mr Curtis Hughes is as the big fat guy from the late 80s/early 90s, you might want to check him out in 1999. The dude was jacked!

Anyway, despite kicking out of the chair shot, Road Rogg eventually succumbed to a low blow and lost this terrific match.
Your Winner: Chris Jericho

Prior to the next match, we saw clips of fans lining up outside Virgin Records in London for a meet and greet with The Rock and Big Show.

WWF Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett (w/ Miss Kitty) vs. Chyna

Though it was about five times shorter than their match at Unforgiven, this quick little contest was far more enjoyable.

Before it could pick up steam, however, British Bulldog ran in and clobbered Chyna before drilling her with a powerslam.

Jim Ross claimed that he had done so because, in their earlier backstage encounter, Chyna had claimed Davey Boy had a face like the ass-end of a dog.

Really though, it made more sense that he was trying to get the attention of Chyna's partner in crime, Triple H.
Your Winner via DQ: Chyna

Post-match, Jeff Jarrett slapped the Figure Four on Chyna until all the referees broke it up.

We then saw more clips from The Rock and Big Show's autograph signing in London.

No Disqualification Match
The Big Show vs. Kane

WWE / WWF Rebellion 1999 - Big Show puts Kane in a boston crab
Though most of this no DQ match was basically just a regular match, it was still pretty fun, or at least as fun as you were going to get from The Big Show and Kane.

Sure, there was a little too much reliance on drawn out submission spots, but when the two were just laying into each other, it was an enjoyable watch.

In the end, Show went to smash Kane with a chair but The Big Red Machine kicked it into his opponent's face then lifted him up for an awesome looking bodyslam to win the match.

Yes, I know bodyslams aren't usually awesome, but the way Kane lifted Show like he was nothing was pretty impressive.
Your Winner: Kane

Backstage, Michael Cole interviewed Triple H, bringing up the fact that British Bulldog had been running roughshod all night.

The WWF Champion claimed that he didn't care about Bulldog, about Jeff Jarrett, or even about Chyna at that point. All he cared about was defending his title against The Rock in tonight's main event. Referring to himself as 'The Game' for the first time on a WWF PPV, Hunter vowed to kick Rocky's ass and leave "this craphole England," with the title still around his waist.

X-Pac vs. British Bulldog

WWE / WWF Rebellion 1999 - British Bulldog caused havoc on the show
The last time we saw British Bulldog on a WWF PPV, he was getting beaten up by Shawn Michaels and Triple H in the main event of One Night Only 1997.

Two years later, and he was back fighting HBK and HHH's Clique buddy X-Pac in a decent though somewhat unspectacular effort.

Keeping things relatively short, the two worked well together, but you sort of expected something more from Davey Boy's big homecoming.

Still, at least he picked up the win thanks to his patented power slam.
Your Winner: The British Bulldog

Out in the back, Crash Holly tried explaining to his cousin Hardcore Holly that Brits measure weight in stones and money in pounds. Clearly confused, a frustrated Bob insisted Crash pick up his weighing scales and get going for their next match.

Elimination Match to Determine the Number One Contenders to the Tag Team Titles
Edge & Christian vs. The Acolytes (Farooq & Bradshaw) vs. The Hollys (Crash and Hardcore Holly)

WWE / WWF Rebellion 1999 - The Hollys faced Edge & Christian and The Acolytes
Fought under Elimination rules, The Holly Cousins were the first ones to go after Crash ate a wicked clothesline from Bradshaw.

That left The Acolytes to go at it with Edge and Christian in what proved to be a pretty good tag team contest. Though it didn't quite make it to fifth gear at any point, this was still great to watch, especially when Edge picked up the win to earn another tag team title shot for Christian and himself.
Your Winners: Edge and Christian

Finally, we got a recap of the recent three-way rivalry between Triple H, The Rock, and The British Bulldog, leading us to tonight's main event.

World Wrestling Federation Championship Steel Cage Match
WWF Champion Triple H vs. The Rock

WWE / WWF Rebellion 1999 - Michael Cole interviews WWF Champion Triple H
We'd seen them fight in a two-out-of-three-falls match at Fully Loaded 1998. We'd seen them clash in a classic ladder match at Summerslam 1998.

Tonight, we finally got to see Triple H and The Rock collide in a steel cage match and, man, what a steel cage match it was.

Going from 0-60 in no time at all, the two long-time rivals put it all on the line in what proved to be a tremendous effort.

The two waged an absolute war on each other until they could barely stand, but that was only half the story.

At one point, Hunter got the cage door open and tried to make an escape, but when Rock grabbed his foot to stop him, the champ reached for a steel chair which had been conveniently placed near the door. Despite Tony Chimmel telling us earlier that this was a no-rules match, that dumb ass Earl Hebner tried to stop Triple H grabbing the chair anyway.

A scuffle ensued which resulted in Hebner getting knocked out cold, meaning the official wasn't awake when Rock climbed through the cage a few moments later to win the match.

With nobody to make the call, the action continued, using this clever little set-up to allow Rock and Hunter to brawl on the outside and through the crowd without the match ending.

Rock busted HHH wide open with a chair, then put on a headset and told us that it wasn't blood oozing out of the champion's head but monkey piss.

Once the two got back in the ring, Bulldog came in for the eventual run in. Shane McMahon and the Stooges went after him but got their asses kicked before Chyna ran down to help Triple H, despite The Game telling us earlier that he didn't really care about Chyna.

Eventually, The Rock got too busy getting beat up by The British Bulldog to stop Triple H escaping the cage and retaining his title.

Seriously, a lot happened in that match, but it was incredible fun.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: Triple H

Post-match, Vince McMahon locked The British Bulldog in the cage so that The Rock could nail him with The Rock Bottom and a People's Elbow to end the show on a high note.

And that's probably the saddest part of Rebellion, the fact that The British Bulldog's last appearance on a British PPV was him getting his ass kicked rather than getting one last moment of glory.

But hey, that's just speaking as a biased fan.

Overall, Rebellion is only really worth watching for the awesome main event. Yes, the earlier Road Dogg/Jericho match was fun, and yes, the X-Pac/Bulldog and tag team title matches were enjoyable for what they were, but neither of those matches were strong enough to compensate for what had otherwise been a truly terrible undercard.

The main event, however, was in a league of their own, and after spending most of this show being glad I hadn't sat through this one in person, Rock/HHH in a steel cage made me wish I really had been there on that night in October 1999.

1999 events reviewed so far

Thursday, 16 May 2019

PPV REVIEW: WWF No Mercy UK 1999

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

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

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

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

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

So much for a memorable 15th birthday, eh?

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

We're Having a Triple Threat

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

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

The Corporate Ministry Will Have No Mercy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tiger Ali Singh vs. WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Gilberg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lethal Weapon Steve Blackman vs. Droz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm serious.

Hello, Manchester!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mideon vs. WWF Tag Team Champion Kane

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

This was all kinds of hot garbage.

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

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

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

Debra is Our New WWF Women's Champion

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


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

Tori vs. Nicole Bass

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not that this was necessarily a bad thing.

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

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

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

The Ministry Attack

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

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

Bad Ass Billy Gunn vs. Mankind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1999 events reviewed so far

Other UK event reviews: 
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Retro Pro Wrestling

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