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 wcw. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wcw. Show all posts

Thursday, 7 November 2019

PPV REVIEW: WCW Starrcade 1999

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Event poster
December 19, 1999
MCI Center in Washington, D.C.

For years, World Championship Wrestling had touted Starrcade as their flagship event. It was the place where feuds that had been raging throughout the calendar year would come to an end, where old grudges were settled and new stars were born.

Then the 1997 Sting/Hogan event happened and, well, Starrcade was never quite the same again.

Still, at least on this cold, December night a few days before New Year's Eve, World Championship Wrestling could rightly lay claim to promoting the last ever pro wrestling pay per view of the entire millennium.

While that may not be enough to give Starrcade 1999 the same gravitas and prestige of earlier events, it does at least go some way to making it a marginally important note in the turbulent history of WCW.

On that note, let's head to Washington, D.C for the last Starrcade before the turn of the century.





Strap yourself in for this one

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan called the action
Before the show got underway, Scott Hudson talked us through all of the matches on tonight's card.

To be honest with you, the first time I saw this opening video, I turned the show-off and couldn't face coming back to write this review for several weeks.

Honestly, it looks dreadful, but we've come this far in our journey through the Monday Night Wars that I'm determined to see this through, no matter how painful it might be.

After that video, we got a second video looking at the two biggest feuds going into the show - Kevin Nash vs. Sid Vicious and Bret 'The Hitman' Hart vs. Goldberg for the title.

Tony Schiavone then welcomed us to the 17th annual Starrcade and introduced his colleagues, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan and Scott Hudson. Quite why we had to have Hudson instead of the awesome Mike Tenay is anyone's guess, but there you go.

Thankfully, the new WCW bosses had done away with having the announcers spend ages talking about the show before we got any action. Instead, we got straight down to our first match of the evening.

Disco Inferno & Lash LeRoux vs. Johnny The Bull & Big Vito (w/ Tony Marinara)

WCW Starrcade 1999 - The Mamalukes faced Disco Inferno and Lash Leroux
Though the show may have looked terrible on paper, this opening contest proved to actually be not half bad.

Johnny The Bull and Big Vito hadn't yet been christened The Mamalukes yet, but still looked pretty impressive in their debut PPV match.

If you don't remember them, they were a couple of goons from a stereotypical New York Italian crime family.

They also had a manager who was only called Tony Marinara because apparently just flat-out calling him Tony Spaghetti Sauce would have been too obvious.

That aside, they worked well with Disco Inferno and Lash LeRoux to put on a reasonably entertaining contest with a somewhat silly finish.

Beaten into a daze, Disco didn't bother to look behind him when he felt another wrestler approach him and instinctively hit the Last Dance (Stone Cold Stunner) on them, only to reveal that he'd actually hit his own partner.

Big Vito planted LeRoux into the mat, and this one was over.
Your Winners: Big Vito & Johnny The Bull

Post-match, The Mamalukes did their best Undertaker impression by knocking Disco out with ethanol then stuffing him into a body bag, only to carry him backstage and immediately let him out of it again so that they could stuff him into the trunk of a limo and drive away.

Good old' WCW.

The Crippler Issues an Open Challenge

Cutting back to the announce team, Tony Schiavone told us that tonight's scheduled ladder match for the United States title between champion Scott Hall and challenger Chris Benoit would not be taking place due to Hall suffering a knee injury.

Not only would it not be taking place, but Hall had been stripped of the title and Benoit had been awarded it due to forfeit.

The Crippler's music then hit and he marched down to ringside.

"Chris Benoit is not scheduled to come out right now," said Tony, as if we were supposed to believe that it was an absolute total coincidence that he'd arrived at the same time they were talking about him.

Taking to the mic, the new US champion declared that titles should be earned, not given and that as far as he was concerned, the title was vacant.

However, he knew we'd all come to Washington to see a ladder match, and thus he issued an open challenge to anyone in the back to face him in one for the title later.

Credit where it's due, this was actually one of Benoit's better promos where he actually showcased some personality.

World Championship Wrestling World Cruiserweight Championship
WCW Cruiserweight Champion Evan Karagious (w/ Spice) vs. Madusa

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Madusa beat Evan Karagious for the Cruiserweight title
Last month at Mayhem 1999, Madusa and Evan Karagious were a hot couple, but they had apparently split up after Karagious won the cruiserweight title and started shacking up with former Nitro Girl Spice.

Here, they went at it for the cruiserweight championship in what was a sloppy horror show of a match.

I mean, honestly, it was atrocious.

The worst pro wrestling matches are always those that look fake, and this one looked as fake as Madusa's breasts.

After a few minutes of terrible garbage, Spice turned on Evan by hitting him with the weakest low-blow in history, allowing Madusa to hit a bridging German and pick up the win.
Your Winner and NEW WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Madusa

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Screamin' Norman Smiley
Out in the back, WCW Hardcore Champion Norman Smiley refuted Mean Gene Okerlund's accusation that he was afraid of upcoming challenger Meng.

Screamin' Norman then screamed like a startled little girl at something off camera which Mean Gene told us was the TV producer counting him down.

It sounds dumb, but it was at least kinda funny.

"I think I soiled myself. Did I?" asked Smiley as he turned around. Ever the sport, Gene checked out Norman's rump and confirmed that yes, he had.

World Championship Wrestling Hardcore Championship
WCW Hardcore Champion Screamin' Norman Smiley vs. Meng

Late 90s hardcore matches were always fun, but here you had the added comedy value of Screamin' Norman running around and screaming his head off, desperately trying to get away from Meng.

It wasn't 'good' in the traditional sense of a pro wrestling match, but it sure did make this writer laugh.

Towards the finish, the champion screamed as he dived over a table and hid while Fit Finlay and Brian Knobs beat up on Meng for seemingly no reason.

After Finlay laid out Meng with a lead pipe, Smiley returned and pinned him to retain the title.
Your Winner and Still WCW Hardcore Champion: Norman Smiley

WCW Starrcade 1999 - David Flair received a new crowbarPost-match, Meng slapped the Tongan Death Grip on referee Nick Patrick.

Elsewhere in the arena, David Flair had a shiny new crowbar delivered to him in a gift-wrapped box.

Meanwhile, that dumb Oklahoma gimmick got his boy, Dr Death Steve Williams all fired up, only to be kidnapped by The Misfits.

Prior to the next match, we got a video package looking back at the time Hacksaw Jim Duggan returned from legitimately beating cancer, only to be saddled with a dumb gimmick where he was WCW's janitor. That somehow led to a feud with The Revolution and to tonight's contest:

The Revolution vs. Duggan and three mystery opponents. If Duggan won, the Revolution had to do Duggan's janitorial work, but if The Revolution won, Duggan had to denounce the USA...even though I'm pretty sure all of The Revolution were Americans too.

Prior to the bell, Duggan gave a brief interview to Mike "I should be on commentary" Tenay but said nothing of note.

The Revolution (Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, Shane Douglas and Asya) vs. Jim Duggan and The Varsity Club (Mike Rotunda, Kevin Sullivan and Rick Steiner) w/ Leia Meow

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Jim Duggan teamed w/ The Varsity Club to face The Revolution
If you like terrible wrestling, Starrcade 1999 is the show for you.

Duggan announced The Varsity Club as his partners to the delight and excitement of absolutely no one (not even The Varsity Club). He then proceeded to trade the slowest fists in the universe with Saturn and Dean Malenko while Shane Douglas -who was supposed to be a participant in the match- did commentary.

Duggan wouldn't tag in Mike Rotunda. He wouldn't tag in Rick Steiner and he wouldn't tag in Kevin Sullivan, who hadn't competed on a WCW PPV since his retirement match with Chris Benoit at Bash at the Beach 1997.

This apparently pissed off The Varsity Club, who eventually stormed the ring and beat up all of The Revolution and Duggan himself.

Eventually, they left, and Aysa pinned Duggan to pick up the win.

This was garbage.
Your Winners: The Revolution

Post-match, Douglas got on the microphone and berated a fallen Hacksaw, reminding him that he'd have to denounce the USA on the following evening's Nitro.

Oklahoma is Locked Up

Out in the back, Mean Gene Okerlund stood by with The Misfits, who had Oklahoma locked in a cage. Jerry Only told Okerlund that this was to ensure Oklahoma didn't run away if Vampiro beat Steve Williams because if Williams lost, Vampiro would get five minutes alone with the Jim Ross impersonator.

Vampiro (w/ The Misfits) vs. Dr Death Steve Williams (w/ Oklahoma)

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Vampiro faced Dr Death Steve Williams
I have a feeling that by the end of this review, the letters on my keyboard that spell the word GARBAGE will have worn down because that's exactly what this was.

The Misfits wheeled out Oklahoma in his cage and Vampiro lept off the top of it onto Dr Death on the outside. That was just about the most exciting thing that happened in the whole match, and even calling it exciting is something of a stretch.

In the ring, Vampiro and Dr Death went back and forth in an uninspired contest before Williams put his hands on referee Charles Robison, leading to the DQ.
Your Winner via disqualification: Vampiro

This meant that Vamp got five minutes alone with Oklahoma, but half of those five minutes were spent with Williams beating up Vampiro some more and then being escorted out of the ring by a million security men, all of whom forgot to let Oki out of the cage.

Eventually, Doug Dillinger set him free and he attacked Vampiro, only for Vamp and The Misfits to eventually gain the upper hand.

Eventually, Vamp drilled Oki with Nail in the Coffin and ordered Lil Naitch to make the three count. Looking confused as if to say "but this isn't actually a match," Robinson acquiesced anyway and counted the fall.
Your Winner: Vampiro

Honestly, I'm bored just writing that.

The tension in the Air

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Curt Hennig, La Parka, Vincent and Creative Control
Remember back at Mayhem when Curt Hennig lost a retirement match? Well, this was pro wrestling, so obviously he was back competing again tonight, just a few weeks later.

Backstage, he was shown standing by with Creative Control, Vincent, and La Parka, wanting to know if The Powers That Be had any instructions for them.

Off-camera, Vince Russo's voice was heard telling Hennig that his mind wasn't in it tonight because he was pre-occupied with something big that was about to go down.

Elsewhere in the arena, Stevie Ray blamed the recent tensions between him and Booker T on the addition of Midnight to the Harlem Heat camp and swore that he wouldn't have his brother's back tonight.

Apparently, the Heat would face Creative Control to determine the number one contenders to the WCW tag team titles.

Creative Control (Ron & Don Harris) & Curt Hennig vs. Harlem Heat (Booker T, Stevie Ray, and Midnight)

Curt Hennig and Creative Control beat Harlem Heat
Stevie Ray no-showed, effectively making this a Booker T & Midnight vs. Creative Control & Curt Hennig handicap match.

The resulting action wasn't bad but, like almost everything else on this show, it wasn't very good either.

Midnight played face-in-peril for what felt like forever. When she finally got the hot tag to a super-over Booker T, Stevie Ray (who had arrived moments earlier) got up on the apron to distract Nick Patrick.

This didn't seem to have much impact, as Patrick still counted Booker's pin attempt, so it wasn't as if they were doing the whole "referee didn't see the tag" schtick.

At that point, Curt Hennig came in and hit Booker with a random International Object and got the win for his team.
Your Winners: Curt Hennig & Harlem Heat

I should point that yes, the number one contenders to the tag team titles were decided in what was -on paper at least- a six-man match.

I'm Gonna Be Your Fat Daddy

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Dustin Rhodes promised to be Jeff Jarrett's fat daddy
Up next, we were reminded of the time that Dustin Rhodes returned to WCW as 'Seven,' immediately denounced the gimmick and entered into a feud with Jeff Jarrett.

This led to Jarrett challenging Rhodes to a Bunkhouse Brawl match, asking "didn't his fat daddy invent the damn thing?"

Rhodes accepted the challenge, beating up on Double J and insisting "I'm gonna be your fat daddy."

It's been five minutes since I watched this video and I still can't stop laughing at that.

Having regained my composure, I continued with the show as Mike Tenay interviewed Dustin. The former (and future) Goldust claimed that WCW firing Dusty was a mistake but that tonight, he would do this for his father's honour.

Before the interview could properly conclude, Jeff Jarrett attacked and this one was on.

Bunkhouse Brawl
Dustin Rhodes vs. Jeff Jarrett

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Dustin Rhodes is Jeff Jarrett's big fat daddy
Finally, we got something we could enjoy here; an entertaining brawl between two pros who knew what they were doing.

After beating each other with wheelbarrows, planks of wood and bull ropes, the two took to the ring where referee Billy Silverman tried to stop Dustin from giving Jarrett a good whipping.

Not to be stopped, Rhodes simply duct taped Silverman to the ropes and slapped an extra piece of tape over his mouth for good measure.

Not long after, Curt Hennig came down and set Silverman free as Double J slapped a sleeper hold on his opponent.

From there, we basically got an unadvertised handicap match as Rhodes tried his best to fight off the attack of both Jarrett and Hennig.

He almost managed it too until the fight went back out to the entrance way. There, Jarrett lept off the ladder intended for our upcoming US title match and smashed Dustin with a guitar shot for the three count.
Your Winner: Jeff Jarrett

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Diamond Dallas Pae
Up next, we got a look at the rivalry between Diamond Dallas Page and David Flair before going backstage where Mean Gene was standing by with DDP.

Page promised Mean Gene that he couldn't wait to get his hands on Flair and, more importantly, that the couldn't wait to get his hands on Flair's crowbar that he could then beat up Nature Boy Jr. with.

This was, as you might expect, pretty compelling stuff from Page.

Crowbar on a Pole Match
Diamond Dallas Page vs. David Flair

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Daffney debuted to help David Flair
You can insert your own obvious joke about Vince Russo loving 'Things on Poles' matches here.

Surprisingly, this wasn't actually that bad. I mean, it wasn't good either but it was relatively OK for a David Flair match.

That is if you ignore the fact that the crowbar never actually came into the actual match.

Sure, Flair hit Page with it before the bell, and sure that had Lil Naitch declare that Page couldn't compete, only for the former world champion to bravely climb into the ring and start the match, but once the bell rung, the crowbar was a non-factor.

Flair reached for it and grabbed it about three minutes in, but then he was immediately hit with a Diamond Cutter and this one was over.
Your Winner: Diamond Dallas Page

Afterwards, Page hit Flair with another Diamond Cutter, this one from the top rope. Just when he looked set to continue his attack, however, a young woman unknown to the announce team ran in to protect young David.

Annoyed, Dallas threatened to hit Charles Robinson with the Cutter as the woman we'd later come to call Daffney held onto Flair and laughed like a crazy person.

A short video package highlighting the Sting/Lex Luger feud followed. That match was next.

The Total Package Lex Luger vs. Sting
If Sting wins, Elizabeth's contract with Luger is null and void

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Sting was on to Elizabeth trying to swerve him
Sting and Lex Luger had been feuding for a while now, with their story taking an interesting turn at the previous month's Mayhem.

Then, Elizabeth had attempted to blind Sting with Mace, only to "miss" Sting and hit Luger instead (she did such a poor job that she actually pointed the can right at Lex). That had led to Liz and Lex breaking up and Sting apparently protecting the beauty from The Total Package's misogynistic abuse.

Prior to the bell, we saw Sting encourage Elizabeth not to carry her own can of Mace for her role as his valet, but to use a special 'super strength' one that he gave her.

The gullible girl went along with it, and down we went to the ring for what was probably the best match you were going to get out of Sting and Luger at this stage in their careers.

After a decent enough outing, the two clobbered each other with double clotheslines, after which Liz grabbed her Mace then ran in to check on Luger..revealing that she'd been on his side the whole time.

Realising the Stinger was behind her, she slowly stood up and attempted to spray him with Super Strength Mace, only to reveal that Sting had given her silly string all along.

The Icon looked to have the match all sewn up, even hitting The Total Package with a wicked looking Stinger Splash from the top rope.

Alas, Elizabeth returned to the ring with a baseball bat, Sting got taken out with it, and the referee called for the bell.
Your Winner via Disqualification: Sting

Post-match, we found out about WCW's weird cost-cutting measures. The company could afford to bring in punk band The Misfits for a throw-away mid-card feud, but they couldn't afford a stretcher for one of their top stars to sell an injury, so Sting had to be literally carried out as if he were Julian Assange being dragged into a police van.

Next, a look at why Sid Vicious and Kevin Nash were about to lock horns in a powerbomb match, their first one-on-one PPV encounter since In Your House 2: The Lumberjacks back in 1995.

Powerbomb Match
Sid Vicious vs. Kevin Nash

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Kevin Nash tells Sid Vicious to suck it
(Only way to win is to powerbomb your opponent)

When they wrestled in the WWF, Sid and Nash did at least try to do something. A few years later, however, the two did as little as possible, moving at snail's pace until the horrible, horrible finish.

The ref got bumped then Sid hit Nash with a powerbomb. Naturally, the referee didn't see it so things continued with a Jeff Jarrett run-in. The Chosen One blasted Sid with a guitar, after which Nash tried -twice- to powerbomb Big Sid, only for his back to give out on him.

Rather than try a third time, Big Sex simply revived the referee and told him that he'd powerbombed Sid.

The official, still groggy, took Nash at his word and called for the bell.

In the words of Randy Orton...STUPID.
Your Winner: Kevin Nash

Out in the back, Chris Benoit told Mike Tenay that nobody had answered his open challenge yet but when they did, they'd find out what silent-but-violent is all about.

I love that his slogan was 'silent-but-violent' yet The Crippler talked more on this show than he had in probably the past two years.

Ladder Match for the World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW United States Champion Chris Benoit vs. Jeff Jarrett

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Jeff Jarrett answered Chris Benoit's challenge
As you can probably imagine, this was the best match on the show by a long shot, at least up to this point.

In fact, it was so good that your reviewer watched it twice, just to make up for having sat through all the horrible wrestling on the rest of the show.

Though it wasn't the greatest ladder match of all time, both men gave a tremendous effort to deliver a well-paced, bloody and dramatic match that was totally compelling to watch.

After a captivating performance, Benoit delivered an awesome diving headbutt to Jarrett from the top of the ladder, then climbed up again and retrieved the title.
Your Winner and Still US Champion: Chris Benoit

Out in the back, Bret 'The Hitman' Hart gave one his better on-mic performances when he told Mike Tenay that tonight was about proving his doubters wrong and being true to his word by beating Bill Goldberg.

Finally, it was time for our main event

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart vs. Goldberg

WCW Starrcade 1999 - Bret 'The Hitman' Hart defended the WCW title against Goldberg
Never has a match been so tremendously good and yet at the same time so frustratingly terrible all at the same time.

After an initial handshake to establish we had a face vs. face encounter on our hands, both champ and challenger waged war on each other in a thrilling battle that -along with the earlier ladder match- more than made up for all the terrible garbage that went before it.

Then the finish happened, and it was bad in the kind of way that still has you shouting at your TV, even 20 years after the event.

All of the referees got knocked out, so Rowdy Roddy Piper came out, walking very slowly and wearing a referee's shirt.

Bret began to put Goldberg in the Sharpshooter, yet he barely had it synched in before Hot Rod sauntered over to the ropes and lazily rang the bell because even though it was two years later, Hitman Equals Screwjob.
Your Winner via Screwjob and still WCW Champion: Bret 'The Hitman' Hart.

Piper then took the belt and left the ring, seemingly hurting his hip as he did so. He walked slowly and apathetically towards the back but was caught up by Hart. Piper handed Bret the belt back and the show..well, the show just kind of ended.





My recommendation for watching Starrcade 1999? Watch the Meng/Norman Smiley match as your undercard, then skip straight to the ladder match and watch all the way through to the point that the final referee gets knocked out in the main event.

That should trim the show down from three hours of garbage with about half an hour of good stuff to just half an hour of pretty good stuff.

Otherwise, avoid this one at all costs. For saying it was the last PPV of the millennium, World Championship Wrestling really didn't do anything to make this feel like mattered.

You know the worst part of all this?

There's still another 15 WCW PPVs left to review. God help us all.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

PPV REVIEW: WCW Mayhem 1999

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

The tournament finals are tonight!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Disco is all about the mon-ay

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was supposed to be funny.

It wasn't.

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

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

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

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

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

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

You say you want a revolution...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Loser Retires Match
Curt Hennig vs. Buff Bagwell

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sting's formula for success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Crippler is Ready for The Hitman

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

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

Lex is Hurt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You remember Oklahoma, right?

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

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

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

Naturally, Vampiro won the match.
Your Winner: Vampiro

Afterward, Dr. Death destroyed Vampiro.

Scott Hall issues an Open Challenge

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

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

One in, one out

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

Oh boy, can't wait for that one.

Lex Luger (w/ Elizabeth) vs. Meng

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

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

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

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

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

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

It looked stupid.

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

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

Putting friendship aside

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

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

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

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

Booker T.

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

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

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

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

The two would face off next.

Kimberly vs. David Flair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Quit Match
Goldberg vs. Sid Vicious

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

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

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

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

Finally, it was time for our main event.

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

Yes and no.

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

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



1999 events reviewed so far
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    Thursday, 3 October 2019

    WCW Mayhem - The Music (1999) - A track-by-track review

    WCW Mayhem - The Music album -  A Track-by-Track Review

    Give WCW their due, when they hit on an idea they liked, they sure did milk it for all it was worth.

    Don't believe me?

    Just look at how much mileage they got -or at least tried to get- out of the New World Order or how many Fake Stings we got over the years.

    So it shouldn't have come as much of a surprise back in 1999 when somebody decided they liked the name Mayhem so much that they decided to plaster it not only to a video game, but also an entire Pay Per View event and yes, even a tie-in CD.

    OK, perhaps it was a little surprising that they even bothered to release an album.

    For while the WWF had released numerous albums over the years, World Championship Wrestling had only really put out one release, 1992's Slam Jam Vol 1, an album which gave us songs about how Ricky Steamboat didn't cheat on his wife.

    Sure, there was Christmas Brawl in 1996, but that was more of a promotional marketing gimmick than anything else.

    Since both of those releases, the presentation of WCW had changed dramatically, and so too had the music which went along with it.

    Gone was the cheese and cheeriness of early WCW themes, replaced by kick-ass, take-no-BS heavy metal and hip hop.







    WCW Mayhem - Track-by-Track Review

    Yes, if WCW Mayhem - The Music stands as evidence of anything (besides WCW milking every good idea dry), it's their last-ditch attempt to appeal to a mainstream audience by updating their presentation with a thoroughly modern soundtrack and bringing in major recording artists like Master P, Megadeth and others.

    But don't just take my word for it.

    Without further ado, here's your track-by-track review of WCW Mayhem - The Music.

    1. DJ Ran - Make Some Noise (Mayhem Mega Mix)

    "Ladies and gentleman this is David Penzer, get ready for the Mayhem of World Championship Wrestling!"



    You remember DJ Ran, right?

    He used to get all up in your area every Monday night on TNT. Here, he kicks off the album with a special Mayhem Mega Mix which is supposed to replicate the way Ran would get the live crowd pumped up at the beginning of Nitro.

    In that sense, this works. 

    Ran yelling at us to MAKE SOME NOISE, coupled with a greeting from WCW announcer David Penzer really does serve as a great start to the album. Honestly, it's about as close as you're going to get to capturing the atmosphere of a big-time late-90s pro wrestling show on a music CD.

    While Ran spins his tunes, WCW's biggest stars are given an opportunity to speak.

    Most of them take that opportunity to put themselves over.

    Big Sexy tells us he's in the house. Big Poppa Pump tells us he's our hook up. Buff tells us he's the stuff.

    But Macho Man Randy Savage

    He decides not to put himself over, instead taking his one spot on the opening track to instead put Hulk Hogan over.

    "You know something brother?" he asks. "Hogan is the man."

    This probably wouldn't be so bad if the two were still nWo team mates, or even still portrayed as friends on screen, but by 1999 the two had almost nothing to do with each other in the storylines which just makes Savage's line a little odd.

    Funny, definitely, but odd.

    2. Purity - Adrenaline V.1 

    "Adrenaline.."



    If neither the artist nor title of this track are familiar to you, don't worry; you'll instantly recognise it the moment you press play.

    Yes, ladies and gentlemen, twenty years after the fact, your writer has only just discovered that the theme tune for WCW Nitro was actually a song called Adrenaline V.1 by a London-based, all-female electronica outfit called Purity.

    Want to hear the full version of the track?

    Here you go.



    Rather than just give us that straight-up banger for three-minutes, WCW Mayhem simply gives us the standard thirty-second WCW Nitro intro with Tony Schiavone welcoming us to 'the one and only Monday Nitro.'

    Schiavone is his usual hyperbolic self here, bigging up the show -or in this case, the album- as some huge spectacular. 

    Sadly, he stops short of calling Mayhem 'the greatest album in the history of our sport,' or anything like that.

    Oh, and in case you were wondering, Purity are still very much doing their thing, with main songwriter Jill Stark composing a lot of stuff for films and games. 

    3. Insane Clown Posse - Take It 

    "Everything is up to him // It's all out, you have to take it"


    I could be wrong on this (please correct me if I am), but I'm pretty sure Insane Clown Posse have the unique distinction of being the only musical performers not named Jimmy Hart to appear on both WCW and WWF music albums.

    Their time with The Oddities in the World Wrestling Federation led to their theme 'Oddities' appearing on WWF The Music Vol. 3. Now, they were here on WCW's album with their kick-you-in the-nuts, nu-metal-style monster, Take It, a track that served as Vampiro's theme during his time with The Dead Pool

    I've never been the biggest ICP fan ever, but even I have to admit that this angry noisefest is a pretty decent track, albeit one that is definitely of its time.

    This very much sounds like the kind of stuff you'd hear if you hung out in the metal/alt crowds back at the turn of the Millenium, and is absolutely befitting the chaotic, violent world of professional wrestling. 

    4. Slayer - Here Comes The Pain 

    "I am the new hell on earth // The lord of agony divine // Domination, intimidation // Lives within these eyes"


    Oh yeah, now we're talking.

    To be honest, I've no idea how Slayer ended up on a professional wrestling album. As far as I know, neither they, nor this absolute bruiser of a track, ever ended up on WCW programming, but hey, it's f'n Slayer, so it's always going to be good stuff.

    OK, so Here Comes the Pain isn't the best Slayer song in the world (that's South of Heaven, obviously), but it's still a solid, battering metal track full of snarling aggression and brutality.

    Though it may seem out of place at first, this track does perfectly encapsulate the driving energy that WCW Mayhem was supposed to be all about. In that sense, it is actually a pretty perfect fit, even if it might have been even more perfect as the soundtrack to the WWF game Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain.


    5. Invasion (Goldberg Theme)

    "How about that ladies and gentlemen? GOLDBERG - and this crowd is on their feet!"


    And so we reach the first truly recognisable song on the album.

    Even if you'd never heard of Slayer, ICP, or DJ Ran, there's no wrestling fan on Earth who hasn't heard of Goldberg and wouldn't be familiar with this iconic theme music.

    Sounding like the kind of dramatic fanfare that would play as  Roman gladiator made his way into battle, this short-but-memorable theme was a big part in creating the main event aura around Bill Goldberg and, dare I say it, had a big part in his success.

    After all, nobody would argue that Big Bill's legendary status had much -if anything- to do with his in-ring prowess. It was all about the presentation, and this bold, powerful theme was a big part of that.

    Fun fact, before Invasion became synonymous with Goldberg, it was used for a spell in the mid 90s by Pat Tanaka.


    See?

    6. Megadeth - Crush 'Em 

    "Now we've found you (crush), we're gonna pound you / We're gonna beat you (crush), gonna defeat you / We're gonna bust you (crush), we're gonna crush you / We're gonna (crush 'em) crush 'em"


    While we all remember Invasion as the classic Bill Goldberg theme, there was a time in the summer of 1999 when he used Megadeth's sporting anthem Crush 'Em to accompany him to the ring.

    OK, so the song is almost universally derided by die-hard Megadeth fans, but there's no denying that this is a great track to get the blood pumping.

    Yes, the lyrics are cheesy and yes, it lacks the scathing guitars of Peace Sells... or the snarl of Sweating Bullets, but we're not  here to dissect heavy metal, we're here to talk about wrestling music and as such things go, Crush 'Em is a solid effort.

    It's just a shame they gave it to Goldberg.

    Had they kept this as the soundtrack to video montages or even for a PPV opener, it could have worked well. As it was, they tried to fix something that wasn't broken by having Goldberg walk out to this and it just didn't work.

    No wonder very few people have fond memories of this song.

    7. What Up Mach (Macho Man Randy Savage Theme)

    "What up Mach? OOOOHHHH YEAH!"


    Speaking of wrestlers with iconic themes, Macho Man Randy Savage is so synonymous with Sir Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No.1 that even when people hear that piece in a non-wrestling context they can't help but yell out OHHHH YEAH!

    When Savage returned for a brief and largely terrible run in 1999, however, World Championship Wrestling decided to give him a thoroughly modern makeover and have him come out to a gutsy heavy metal riff which sounds a bit like a thrash metal band upping the tempo on a cover of  Metallica's Bad Seed.

    We'll have more from Metallica later on, but for now I'll just say that although few will ever equate Macho Madness with this track (which features his valet, Gorgeous George asking What up, Mach?), it's still an enjoyable piece of metal riffery perfectly in keeping with the edgy, aggressive attitude WCW were going for at the time.

    8. Kid Rock - Blast 

    "Kid Rock back in this *** house // Feel the effects of my shotgun blast // Mothers crying from theses shotgun blast // Feel the effects of my shotgun blast // People dying from theses shotgun blasts"


    Kid Rock fans might know this song better by its full title, Shotgun Blast, the 13th track from his 1996 album, Early Morning Stoned Pimp.

    Apparently, as edgy as WCW were trying to get in 1999, they still couldn't include the word shotgun, nor could they include the multiple instances of the F-Word which feature in Kid Rock's original track. 

    That aside this is one of those tracks which, like the earlier Slayer anthem, doesn't seem to have any direct link to the world of pro wrestling. 

    If you're already a Kid Rock fan, then there's no doubt you'll enjoy this one, but honestly, it's probably the weakest track on the album so far. 

    Not bad, but a little meh.

    9. Self High-Five (Diamond Dallas Page Theme)

    "Ya love me, ya hate me, you'll never forget me. Get ready to feel the BANG"


    So far, this is the second album to feature obvious Smells Like Teen Spirit knock-off, Self High-Five.

    The track originally appeared three years earlier on the Christmas Brawl album, where I referred to it as "hard, edgy, and full of energy."

    I stand by that statement today, partly because it's true, but mostly because I can't think of anything to say about DDP's theme that hasn't already been said before.

    Indeed, it's one of the most iconic WCW themes and is still fun to listen to, especially at a time when WWE Network have dubbed over it with their own, less thrilling version.

    10. Primer 55 - Loose

    "Here I come with the new style kicking // Just can't help it 'cause it's so damn wicked // Insane in the brain with a mind like Cujo // Ya better run 'cause I'm about to get loco // Feelin' this way is an everyday thing // See ya talkin' shit, but you don't know me"


    Nu-metal really hasn't aged all that well, has it?

    Sure, some bands from that period in musical history have evolved and gone on to do good things but this, this is very much a product of its time.

    Whether that's a good thing or not is really up to you.

    If you're all about baggy jeans, down-tuned guitars and mixing basic rapping with angry screaming, this is the jam for you.

    Interestingly enough, Loose was the WCW theme song of a tag team called Air Raid who competed in the cruiserweight division during the dying days of the company's existence and who featured a young man known as Air Styles, better known to you and me as former WWE Champion, The Phenomenal AJ Styles.

    11. 'Sting Theme' 

    "Riddle me this, riddle me that, who's afraid of the big, black bat?"




    Was there any cooler character in the Monday Night Wars than the re-invented Steve Borden? Ditching the colorful face paints in favor of a look directly inspired by The Crow, the WCW icon was genuinely one of the most intriguing, compelling stars at the time, at least until the debacle that was Starrcade 1997 ruined most of his mystique. 

    Sting's Crow Theme was perfectly suited to his character during this time period, and remains one of your writer's all-time favourite WCW themes. 

    Stil, by the time 1999 came around, the Sting character had gone through enough of a transformation that this gem of a track was no longer really suited to him.

    So it's probably just as well that they swapped it for our next track.

    12. Metallica - Seek & Destroy (Live at Woodstock '99)

    "Scanning the scene in the city tonight // Looking for you to start up a fight // There's an evil feeling in our brains // but it's nothing new, you know it drives us insane."


    As the biggest Metallica fan in the world, I loved seeing Sting coming to the ring to the sound of this scathing thrash metal anthem from the band's 1983 debut, Kill 'Em All, even if I was never entirely convinced that it suited him.

    The longest track on the album by a good few minutes, this comes directly from the band's appearance at the infamous Woodstock 1999 festival

    Though it might not be the greatest rendition of this classic track, it's still Metallica tearing up like only they can in a track that is undoubtedly a highlight of the album.

    13. Buff Daddy (Buff Bagwell) 

    "Buff....Dadd-Ay!"



    We've had the ferocious riffs of old-school metal, we've had the swagger and hostility of hip-hop and we've had the aggression of late-90s nu-metal.

    What better way to follow all of that than with, erm, Buff Bagwell gleefully shouting about how sexy he is as a chorus of back-up singers croon "Buff, he's the stuff."

    To be honest, I always found Bagwell's post-nWo theme to be pretty hilarious, but it seems a little out of place coming between Metallica and Limp Bizkit.

    Still, if you can ignore that, Buff Daddy is plenty of fun in a cheesy, over-the-top kind of way.

    14. Limp Bizkit (Ft. Everlast) - Faith (Remix)

    "Baby, I know you're askin' me to stay // Say please, please, please don't go away // 'Cause you're givin' me the blues"



    Remember when Limp Bizkit were one of the hottest bands in the world?

    Every angry teenager you met walked around sporting a backward red baseball cap and baggy jeans while telling you that they wanted to break stuff.

    It was a weird time, but it does explain why Fred Durst et al ended up on this WCW music album with what is a pretty lackluster version of their famous George Michael cover.

    Gone is the outright brutal chaos of the original track from their abrasive 1997 debut, Three Dollar Bill Y'All.

    In its place is a chilled out hip-hop track which, though it may have its fans, does nothing for this writer.

    Still Limp Bizkit were still one of the most popular bands around at the time, so it makes sense to include them in here as an incentive for non-WCW fans to buy the album.

    15. American Made (Hulk Hogan's Theme)

    "He's got the red, white, and blue running through his veins // He was born and raised in the U.S. of A // He's government inspected, he's U.S. grade // If you mess with the flag it's like a slap in his face."



    This is the second time this year that I've reviewed this track. If you recall, it features as one of the stand-out songs on Hulk Rules, a 1995 album by Hulk Hogan and The Wrestling Boot Bandthat somehow manages to be awesome, awful, weird, and hillarious all at the same time.

    In that review, I wrote:

    The song was clearly meant to be an updated take on his famous WWF theme, Real American. Though it's nowhere near as iconic as that Rick Derringer-penned track, I'd argue that it's the better of the two in terms of pure rock-out fun.

    I stand by that today, partly because it's still very much true, but mostly becuase I feel like this album has been playing for the last thousand years.

    16. Lyrical Giants - Bone Crusher 

    I honestly can't make out a single lyric in this track...I'm sorry.



    As you've probably figured out by now, this WCW Mayhem - The Music review is written by someone who listens to way more rock music than rap.

    In fact, I'll go so far as to confessing that I'm woefully ignorant about hip-hop to such an extreme that all I can think of when I hear this is "Hey, it sounds like that DMX track that was big around the turn of the Millenium."

    That's not a criticism by the way. 

    As hip-hop tracks go, this is a pretty good one, with an upbeat vibe to it that I imagine makes it great for clubs and parties and the like.

    Who knows, maybe they played this jam at those Nitro Parties they had?

    17. Got Him in the Corner 

    "He's got him in the corner and here we go...Oooh! That's gotta hurt!" 

    I won't put a video here, this is basically a clip of Tony Schiavone calling a 'ten punches in the corner spot.'

    It's not really anything, but I promised you a track-by-track review, so dagnammit, we'll include one here.

    18. Ruff Ryders featuring Drag-On, Jadakiss, Eve, Styles - Pay Per View 

    "I'm a total savage // Like Lex Luger, you'll get the total package // Straight power bomb like Kevin Nash and Sid Vicious // Small like Rey Misterio put y'all in big ditches"


    In case you hadn't figured it out, we're well into the hip-hop section of the album now, with rappers Drag-On, Jadakiss, Eve, and Styles tell us how bad ass they are by liking themselves to various WCW stars.

    Jadakiss, for example, boasts about how he's like Sting, you know, all black with a bat, before Eve strangely boasts that "I'm feared like Miss Elizabeth."

    Now, God Bless Miss Elizabeth and, apart from in our review of her botched performance at the WCW Mayhem 1999 PPV, you'll find nary a bad word said against her at Retro Pro Wrestling, but I'm not sure too many people actually feared her.

    Still, this is a pretty fun, catchy tune, even if it's one I doubt many people are even aware of.

    19. Big Pun & Fat Joe - Make the Crowd Roar 

    "I'm like Hollywood without the Hogan // I'm like Konnan without the slogan"



    If you haven't yet had enough of rappers likening themselves to pro wrestlers, Fat Joe and the late Big Pun have got some more for you here, with Mr. Pun himself telling us that he's going to "make shit messy like Kevin Nash."

    Because if there was one thing Big Sexy was known for, it was being untidy. 

    I joke, but there's seriously a part of this song that rubs me the wrong way. 

    At one point in the original, uncensored version of this song, Big Pun raps:

    "Just remember to roll with God
    And try not to kill yourself, like Owen Hart.
    No disrespect, I know you miss him, Bret." 

    I mean seriously. 

    OK, I'm probably being a little too sensitive, especially since somebody was clearly smart enough to censor Owen's name out of this version of the song, but still. This album was released about six months after Hart passed away, and yet here we are.

    Is it just me or is that pretty bad? Especially given that Hart didn't actually kill himself.

    Rant over, let's move on.

    20. Kevin Nash - Wolfpac Theme 

    "Wolfpac is back, causin mass destruction, guess who's here, the bad boys of wrestling." 


    Another one of the more memorable WCW themes, here we have the track that was used for the nWo Wolfpac and for Kevin Nash as a singles wrestler.

    Back then, I always thought this was one of the cooler tracks WCW had at the time. It's got a certain swagger and yet is also pretty dark, making it a perfect fit for a guy who was cool, cocky and yet could straight up kick your ass.

    21. Cypress Hill - Fist Full 

    "Put you to the ground, chokeslam on your back while I'm chillin' with Nash and the honeys, Wolfpac style." 


    These rappers sure did love them some Big Sexy, even if the dude was a bit messy.

    To be fair, this is a pretty bad ass track. It's exactly the sort of thing you can imagine WCW using as the soundtrack to a highlights package, or as background music for the WCW Mayhem video game. 

    Like others before them, the Cypress Hill boys basically brag about how they're going to kick your ass like professional wrestlers, but they do it with an energy and aggression that the likes of Big Fun and Jadakiss lacked.

    All in all, this is one of the better songs on the album.

    22. Count That Man Out 

    "One, two, three...Count that man out!"

    No video here, this is just another Tony Schiavone soundbite. This time, the current AEW commentator calls the action as somebody gets pinned.

    23. Screwball - Give it Up 

    "War you want, war you get." 



    I can't seem to find much information about this track, but if you enjoy listening to rappers bragging about how bad ass they are, then you're in luck here.

    Honestly, I feel like I've been writing this review forever, I'm getting tired, and as much as some people might like this song, it does very little to change my energy.

    Decent, but entirely forgettable. 

    24. Konnan featuring Madd One - Bow Wow Wow 

    "Bow-wow-wow, yippie-yo, yippie-yay // Arriba la raza, all day, every day"


    Of course, you can't have a hip hop section of a WCW album without an appearance by K-Dogg himself. If you were watching at the time, you probably remember this one.

    Konnan had debuted in WCW wearing a mask as the 'Mexican Champion,' turned heel to join the Dungeon of Doom and then randomly morphed into a gangsta during his time with the nWo, then released this music video for his team with former opponent, Rey Mysterio Jr. 

    Konnan was incredibly popular around this time, so obviously WCW decided that the best thing to do with his video was to use it as the basis for a feud with Disco Inferno.

    That aside, this is actually a really good track, not quite as good as the other one he did for The Filthy Animals, but still damn enjoyable all the same.

    That's despite the fact that it starts with a soundbite of K-Dog inviting the listener to toss his salad. I mean seriously, Konnan did a bit on the mic before every match, he said all kinds of things over the years, yet out of all the clips they could have picked, the producers of this album went with him talking about someone sticking their tongue up his bum. 

    25. West Texas Rednecks - I Hate Rap 

    "There's only one thing that I hate, cos it's a bunch of crap, I hate rap!"


    If you didn't remember K-Dog's theme, you'll certainly remember this one.

    WCW positioned Curt Hennig and his chums as the heels, but the crowd decided that they loved the West Texas Rednecks more than they the gang's rivals, Master P. and the No Limit Soldiers.

    Of course, it didn't help that they also gave the Rednecks one of the most entertaining songs to ever come from a pro wrestling country.

    Naturally, you have to overlook the fact that  Hennig, Bobby Duncam Jr. and the Windham brothers were now suddenly talented musicians capable of writing and performing a hit country song, but that aside, the whole Rap is Crap thing was a fun time in WCW and was a rare highlight of their programming at a time when so much of the company's output sucked a large one.

    26. Loona - Bailando

    "Bailando, Bailando, my friends, let's go!"



    If the CD had ended with Rap is Crap it would have been perfect. Instead, we got this latin-infused dance number that was apparently used for some of the Nitro Girls dance routines. 

    Bailando was a hit for Paradiso in Europe, who reached number one on the charts in Denmark and broke the top ten in a few other countires. A few years later, Dutch artist Loona took her cover of the track to the top of the German charts.

    This version closely resembles Loona's version, albeit with English lyrics sung by Stephanie Marano and some dude randomly shouting out NITRO GIRLS! BODY SLAM!

    It's a decent song, but it feels kind of tacked on and out of place here.

    Not that I'm complaining, at this point, I'm just glad it's over.







    If you're wondering how exactly WCW Mayhem - The Music managed to cram a whole 26 songs into one album, it's because a large number of  those songs last barely a minute. While tracks by actual artists are featured in full, the wrestling themes are cut as short as possible.

    Despite this, WCW Mayhem still feels like it takes an eternity to listen to and would have been just as good with half of the tracks missing.

    Still, as a big rock and metal fan, I won't deny that it's great to find an album which combines my love of pro wrestling with some kick ass tunes by Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth. 

    If you want to get a copy of this album for yourself and support this blog at the same time, you can buy WCW Mayhem from Amazon.com and we get a tiny percentage of the profits as a referral fee.

    Otherwise, thanks for sticking with this review all the way to the end. If you're looking for more pro wrestling album reviews, here's a few more for you:

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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.