Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Thursday, 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:

Don't miss our other Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following @Retropwrestling on Twitter or liking the Facebook page

Thursday, 26 September 2019

GAME REVIEW: WCW Mayhem - PlayStation (1999)

WCW Mayhem - PlayStation1 Review - Game Cover
Released: August 1999

Maybe you needed to be there. Maybe there's no other way to really appreciate what a big deal the WCW Mayhem game was back in 1999 than to have lived through it.

For while the first World Championship Wrestling game to be developed by Electronic Arts may not seem like anything special, back then it was the biggest thing to hit the niche market of pro wrestling video games since...well...forever.

At least, it was if you believed WCW.

For months, the company invested all their stock in promoting the hell out of this game.

Week in, week out, Mayhem advertising featured prominently on both Nitro and Thunder.

As if that wasn't enough, the company even got rid of their annual World War III PPV in October and replaced it with a new event called -you guessed it- WCW Mayhem.

Meanwhile, gaming critics heralded this as a game of firsts.

It was the first WCW game to feature all twelve PPV settings as well as Nitro, Thunder, and Saturday Night. It was also the first US-based wrestling game in which the characters could fight backstage.

Further praise came for the commentary (more of which later) and the excellent job done in motion capturing hundreds of different pro-wrestling moves.






So yes, back in 1999, WCW Mayhem for the PlayStation was a pretty big deal.

But how does it stand up twenty years later?

Let's turn on the PS and find out.

First Impressions 

There's a lot to like about this game right from the start. 

The introduction puts us in a WCW Control Room type environment were serious-looking dudes in identical uniforms and matching hats set about loading up everything you'd need for the perfect wrestling event.


They load the arena, fill it with a crowd, and even fire our announce team, Tony Schiavone and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan, for a night of WCW action.

Not content to leave it there, our guys even create their own prototype pro wrestler in their laboratory, but when they crank his aggression levels up to 95%, the perfect prototype transforms into an angry Goldberg, who smashes his way out of the lab and into Slamboree 1999.

Honestly, as intros to pro wrestling video games go, this is probably one of the coolest ever made, at least for the time period.

Combined with an aggressive heavy metal riff, it gets you pumped up and ready to smash some heads in.

So far, a 10/10 score for WCW Mayhem, and we haven't even selected our characters yet.

Roster 

WCW Mayhem - PlayStation 1 Review - Roster selection Sting
The game boasts that it features no less than 50 World Championship Wrestling athletes, though not all of them are available when you first play the game.

While there is a good selection, if you want to unlock all fifty characters then you'll need to go through the Beat the Quest mode multiple times and unlock them all.

In terms of the starting characters, the roster is split up until multiple factions. 

You have your main WCW stars, the nWo Wolfpac and Black and White job squad, and the Four Horsemen, as well as cruiserweight and hardcore division

WCW Roster

For WCW, cover star Goldberg, as well as Sting, Diamond Dallas Page, Randy Savage, and Bret 'The Hitman' Hart are all accounted for, as are Booker T, Buff Bagwell, Konnan, Curt Hennig and an assorted cast of undercard characters like Kenny Kaos and Bobby Duncam Jr. 

Weirdly, Kaos is a starting character but his High Voltage tag team partner Robbie Rage doesn't even feature in the game

nWo Roster

WCW Mayhem - PlayStation1 Review - Eddie vs. Juvi vs. Psycosis
If you want your main eventers, Hulk Hogan, Scott Steiner, Kevin Nash and Lex Luger are all Wolfpac 4 life here, while Horace, Scott Norton and Stevie Ray are on job squad duty.

Four Horsemen

The game starts with the last itineration of the Four Horsemen, with Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Steve McMichael all appearing as starting characters despite Mongo leaving the company in February of that year.

No guesses as to who the unlockable characters are in this group. 

Cruiserweights

There's a fun selection of cruiserweights here, with staples like Rey Mysterio Jr., Kidman, Eddie Guerrero, Juventud Guerrera and Psycosis all appearing alongside interesting choices such as Lizmark Jr. 

Hardcore 

Raven, Saturn, and Kanyon all represent the hardcore division, with a whole bunch of characters to be unlocked. 

Everyone else, from major stars like Ric Flair to curious additions like former Smoky Mountain Wrestling star Bobby Blaze and Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker all appear as unlockable characters.

WCW Mayhem Create-a-Wrestler Mode 

If you don't like any of the roster choices the game gives you, you can always create your own wrestler.

This is a pretty standard feature in wrestling games today, but the concept was very much in its infancy back in the 1990s and it certainly shows here. 

Maybe I've been spoiled by playing games like Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain as of late, but Mayhem's Create-a-Wrestler mode is as frustrating as it is disappointing.

Naming your character 

WCW Mayhem - PlayStation1 Review - El GiganteFirst things first you have to give your wrestler a name. This is fine, except for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to put a space between words. I spent far too long on this before eventually giving up, convinced that if you wanted to name your character Cactus Jack for example, you'd have to settle for calling him just 'Cactus' or 'Jack' instead.

To be fair, you can add to your character by giving a pre-set nickname. 

Some of these are interesting to say the least.

Of all the genuine WCW names to include, El Gigante is an option, and if you want to go extreme, you can always go by the name War Machine. 

You could also choose to be Kid Lightning, though apparently not Lightning Kid since Sean Waltman had been back in the WWF for a year by the stage.

Appearance

WCW Mayhem - PlayStation1 Review - Create-a-Wrestler
Things get even more interesting and frustrating when it comes to choosing how your wrestler looks.

There are only three body types to choose from:
  • Small
  • Large
  • Powerful
Powerful is exactly the same as large, albeit with a more defined physique. 

From there, you can select from a bunch of pre-defined character templates which are great if you want your wrestler to look like a Human Wasp Man or a zombie, but not so much otherwise.

On the plus side, one of the templates is hilariously called 'Invisible' and, as you might suspect, it makes your character completely invisible.

That's pretty funny.

What's even funnier is that you can choose to apply the 'Invisible' template to only select parts of your wrestler. So, for example, you could make your head invisible and create The Headless Horseman (to replace Mongo, probably). or you could decide to have a character with no body if that's the kind of thing that gets you giggling.

WCW Mayhem - PlayStation1 Review - Kane outfit
When it comes to dressing your wrestler ready for action, the choices are pretty limited.

If you're used to having an almost infinite number of tights, shorts, and other assorted garments as you do in other games, you'll be disappointed.

You'll also be pretty bummed if you're familiar with WWF/WWE games which have a habit of sneaking in attire you recognize as belonging to wrestlers not included in the game.

Whereas it's usually been possible to put together a pretty decent looking Jushin Liger and other characters in the WWF games, that's not really a thing in this game.

There is, of course, one exception.

For some reason, the game includes what is pretty obviously Kane's ring gear from that time period. Though I couldn't find his actual mask, if you ever wanted to see The Big Red Machine waging war on WCW Saturday Night, this game is as close as you're ever going to get to making that happen.

Otherwise, this whole part of the game is pretty lackluster.

Match Types 



Selecting the 'Main Event' option from the main menu allows you to wrestle a variety of matches at any WCW event.

Along with the standard singles and tag options, you can also have a triangle or four-way match.

Alternatively, you could opt for either Raven's Rules, No Disqualification, both of which are pretty much the same thing, or a Weapon's Match, which is the same thing again albeit with weapons already in the ring.

Honestly, I wouldn't get too excited about these. Even in the standard matches, you can brawl outside of the ring, head backstage and blast each other with weapons and not get disqualified or counted out, so I'm not sure what difference -if any- it makes if you choose No DQ.

I would have liked to have seen War Games, or even just a ladder or a cage match, but honestly, it's not a big deal. 

As we'll get to in a moment, you can have enough fun just playing the actual game that you don't really need fancy gimmick matches to enjoy WCW Mayhem.

Game Play 


For the most part, actually playing WCW Mayhem is a lot of fun.

Unlike some games which seem to take a bit of getting used, you can get the hang of things and start winning matches pretty quickly here.

At first, the controls felt a bit counter-intuitive for me, especially for some characters. With Bret Hart, for example, hitting down and triangle lifts your opponent up for a suplex, but hitting up and triangle drives your opponent down for a piledriver.

It's a bit off-putting at first, but you soon get used to it.

For the most part, the moves look crisp, sharp, and well-executed. 

All that praise for the game's motion capturing is certain well-warranted. Suplexes are smooth, powerbombs look devastating, and most submission moves are very well done.

Shortly before I played this game, I also played WWF War Zone which was released the year before Mayhem and wasn't nearly as smooth or engaging in terms of actual gameplay. 

However, as with most things in life, playing WCW Mayhem isn't exactly perfect. 

Some moves just don't seem as if they've been mapped out very well.

For example, if you go to the top rope for an ariel move, the game pays no attention to where your opponent is and just has you diving recklessly in the middle of the ring.

WCW Mayhem - PlayStation1 Review - Cruiserweight action
On many occasions, I had my rival knocked out on the mat and climbed to the top, ready to crush him with a sweet splash. Yet because he was too close to the corner or not properly positioned, I just ended up flying over him and hitting the canvas.

It's at this point that Tony Schiavone would make fun of me, claiming that if I spent a little less time showboating, I would have hit that move.

No, Tony, if the game developers had thought things through a little better, I would have hit that move. 

There were other times too when I'd have my opponent in perfect position and yet a move would just completely miss for no reason. 

Still, as much as I gripe about this, it wasn't enough to put me off playing. On the whole I enjoyed the experience of playing WCW Mayhem, even if it was completely unrealistic. 

See Hulk Hogan's Fabulous Flying Dropkick 

When reading up about this game, I saw people who are more into gaming than wrestling talk about how each wrestler has his own unique move set, signature taunts and entrance.

This isn't entirely accurate. 

It looks as though Electronic Arts devised about five or six different entrances and five or six different taunts and then just divvied them up at random, almost as if they drew them out of a hat.

Ok and the next wrestler is...Rey Mysterio Jr. and his signature taunt is...

*picks out of a hat*

Hulk Hogan's hand-to-the-ear thing. 

Then you have Bret Hart hulking up and flashing his muscles, and Wrath doing bodybuilding poses that I don't think I ever saw him do once his entire career.

Sure, some guys have their trademark mannerisms.

In making their entrance, Rick Steiner gets on all fours and barks like a dog (naturally), and Scott Hall has his famous strut, but some make no sense at all.

Juvi, Perry Saturn and a bunch of others all come out and adjust their tights in the exact same way, while just about everbody else does some weird Lex Luger flexing before marching to the ring.

Then there's the moves.

If you were expecting an experience that closely replicates what you'd see on TV, you might be disappointed. 

Again, most trademark moves are present and correct. 

Goldberg will drop you with a gorilla press slam, most of the cruiserweights will flip, flop and fly, and Bret Hart does his signature side russian leg sweep, but then when you go to follow it up -as Bret often did- with a driving forearm from the corner, The Hitman instead decides that he's going to leap off with a flying splash.

Not surprisingly, he misses 90% of the time and lands in the ring to be chastised by Tony Schiavone.

Then there's Hulk Hogan, who will think nothing of hitting you with a standing dropkick or taking you to the top rope for a superplex, you know, just like he did all the time in real life?

Again, it's like the developers got a bunch of moves in one hat, a bunch of wrestlers in another, and paired them all up at random.

Story Mode: Quest for the Best 



On your first play-through, there appears to be a lot to like about Quest for the Best, which is WCW Mayhem's answer to the typical Career Mode.

Starting at the bottom, you start by defeating the top five contenders to the TV title before winning that belt and then defending it against five contenders.

You then repeat the same process for the United States Championship, and then again for the world title.

WCW Mayhem - PlayStation1 Review - US title winner
At first, this is a lot of fun, and throws up random quirks like Bobby Duncam Jr. being the number one contender to Goldberg's world title while Hollywood Hogan is only the fifth-ranked contender.

As you work your way up to the TV title, you even unlock a few bonus characters.

I beat Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker and Bobby Blaze and unlocked both of those, then beat Ernest Miller to unlock his manager, Sonny Onoo.

So far, so good, but after a while it gets a little repetitive.

There are no cut-scenes, no 'tween-match drama or random side quests, just keep beating dudes one after another. 

It actually gets worse once you win the world title. 

WCW Mayhem - PlayStation1 Review - World title winnerInstead of just having five challengers, the list of dudes coming after your gold never seems to end, so you simply find yourself squashing one after the other with no real finish line in sight.

While the gameplay is pretty fun, it's simply not enough to keep you invested in the game for any real length of time when all you're doing is winning one match after the next after the next.

Still, if you've got the patience for it (which I really haven't), then it's worth going through this process just to unlock all the extra characters.

Graphics and Appearance 

As I've said before, I approach these game reviews from the perspective of a wrestling fan, so I'm perhaps not as qualified to comment technical details as much as a serious gamer might be. 
WCW Mayhem - PlayStation1 Review - Halloween Havoc set

That being said, WCW Mayhem really is a great looking game, at least for a PS 1 release. 

The menu and loading screens are bright, vibrant and attractive and the characters themselves are very well done for the time.

As for the arenas, while the TV set-ups are nothing spectacular, some of the PPV shows look amazing in a way that my crappy screenshots simply don't do justice.

Sure, WCW Mayhem may not be perfect, but it sure does look the part.

Sound and Commentary 

Again, I read somewhere that all of the wrestlers in this game have their own entrance themes. This isn't true. 

Most of the major stars do, while those belonging to either the Wolfpac or nWo Black & White have their stable's theme. Yet many wrestlers are assigned a theme that doesn't actually belong to them.

The majority of the cruiserweights, for example, come out to Eddie Guerrero's awesome Latino World Order theme, while anyone from WCW that isn't a main eventer gets the generic Nitro music. 

That's not a big deal though, as most of the themes that you'd actually want to here are all present and correct.

Where this game really shines, however, is on the commentary.

Remember how dreadful it was to have Michael Cole and Taz doing the worst commentary in history on WWF Smackdown - Just Bring It?

There's none of that here. 

Schiavone and Heenan provide some of the most realistic commentary you'd ever heard on a video game up to this point. In fact, I'd say it's even better than on some of the games that came long after Mayhem was released.

Sure, the longer you play, the more likely you are to hear repeated phrases, but for the most part, the commentary is very refreshing.

At one point, I was brawling backstage and the duo began bickering for a good couple of minutes, much like they'd do on Nitro.

It's a nice touch, and certainly one of the best things in the game.

Final Impressions 

So, is WCW Mayhem for the PlayStation 1 really as good as it was made out to be back in 1999?

Not exactly.

Yes, for the most part, it's a great game. It looks great, it sounds great, and if you can get over your character diving into the middle of the ring like an idiot, it plays great too.

But there's not much too it and I don't think you get the same kind of longevity out of Mayhem that you do with other games.







Thanks for reading. For more reviews of retro pro wrestling games, shows, and more, follow RPW on Twitter or like the Facebook page here.

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Thursday, 19 September 2019

PPV REVIEW: WWF Survivor Series 1999

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1999 - Event poster
November 14, 1999,
Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan

I've been a wrestling fan for most of my life, but in the late 1990s, as I approached 16 years old, I started to discover that going out with girls and skateboarding was more fun than staying home and watching professional wrestling.

From late 1999 until sometime in the year 2000, I slowly but surely drifted away from it altogether. By the time I was 17, I was no longer watching any wrestling at all, and wouldn't do so again for about seven or eight years.

As such, it's around this time on my journey to documenting every WWE PPV from Wrestlemania 1 to 30 that my memory of what was going on in pro wrestling at the time starts to get a little sketchy.

Sure, I was still kind of watching (I think I dropped off altogether after Wrestlemania 2000), but I wasn't watching with the kind of intense enthusiasm that I used to, and I honestly don't recall if I ever saw Survivor Series 1999 back in the day.






If I did, I certainly wasn't paying enough attention to it as I don't recall a single thing about it.

But hey, that's actually a lot of fun because it means I'm watching this one as if its the first time I've ever seen it, something I haven't been able to do since we first started covering WCW PPVs a few years ago.

With that being said, I'm eager to dive into it, so let's head to the Joe Louis Arena and see what went down at Survivor Series 1999.

Who will survive tonight?

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1999 - Jim Ross & Jerry 'The King' Lawler called the action
Our show began with a dramatic and compelling video package which told us that tonight, we'd see Triple H defending the WWF title in a triple threat match against Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock, with Vince McMahon as the special guest referee.

This led us to our usual warm welcome from Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler, the latter of whom told us that tonight's show was going to be even more memorable than Survivor Series 1997.

With that, it was onto our opening match

Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match
The Godfather (w/ The Hos), D'Lo Brown and The Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Vo Dudley) and The Acolytes (Farooq & Bradshaw)

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1999 - D'Lo Brown and his team dressed up like pimps
See what I mean about forgetting stuff? I had no idea The Headbangers got back together in late 1999 after that whole 'Chaz Warrington - Wife Beater' mess.

Here, Mosh and Trasher joined D'Lo Brown in dressing up like pimps, which The Godfather found hysterical.

True fact - if you put an afro wig on Mosh, he looks eerily like Carlito Colon.

The Dudley Boyz made their entrance next, but Godfather refused to give them any of his hos, preferring instead to lock up with them and The Acolytes.

Farooq and Bradshaw were able to co-exist with Bubba Ray and D-Von long enough for them to eliminate both headbangers, but that was about all they could handle.

Bradshaw grabbed a chair and walloped both D'Lo Brown and his own partner, Bubba. That was enough to get him disqualified. Farooq and D-Von then came to blows and basically walked off fighting one another, leaving Bubba Ray at the mercy of Farooq's former Nation of Domination underlings, Godfather an D'Lo Brown.
Your Winners and Survivors: The Godfather and D'Lo Brown

Post-match, Godfather, D'Lo, and referee Tim White got down and funky with The Hos.

Kurt Angle - Olympic Hero

Oh yeah, now I remember this show, it was the in-ring debut of Kurt Angle.

Before the Olympic Gold Medalist stepped into the ring, we got a video package in which he bragged about all of his achievements. Just in listing all of his medals and championships, Angle sounded like a bona fide heel.

Shawn Stasiak vs. Kurt Angle

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1999 - Kurt Angle made his WWE debut
Though they'd change their minds later in his career, the fans did not care at all for Angle as he locked up with Shawn Stasiak in what was a decent, though not very spectacular, match.

At one point, they ignored him altogether and chanted for the Detroit Red Wings before booing the Olympic Gold Medalist. When he took to the microphone to demand they stop boing they, of course, booed louder.

Angle showed plenty of promise here, but there was nothing about this rather average match that made you suspect he'd go on to become one of the sports all-time greats.

Predictably, he won the match thanks to the Angle Slam.
Your Winner: Kurt Angle

Earlier, on Heat, Triple H had tried to lure The Rock and Austin into a beat down at the hands of his recently reunited DX buddies X-Pac and Road Dogg, but that had backfired. Rock had fought off the DX men while Austin kicked HHH's ass.

Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match

Val Venis, Mark Henry, Gangrel and Steve Blackman vs. WWF European Champion The British Bulldog and The Mean Street Posse (Pete Gas, Rodney, and The Mean Street Posse)

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1999 - The British Bulldog's career was going down hill
Poor British Bulldog - one minute he's competing for the world title, the next he's in a match which screams "we didn't have anything else for these people to do" with The Mean Street Posse as his partners.

Honestly, I think the look on Davey Boy's face in this picture says it all, don't you?

Also, I have no idea who the heels were supposed to be here. I think it was all of them. I also think it doesn't even matter because nobody seemed to care about this match.

Val Venis' team made light work of The Posse before Bulldog got his revenge by taking out Gangrel and Steve Blackman. Yet just when you thought he might go all the way, he got splashed by both Venis and Mark Henry and lost the match.

Seriously, poor Bulldog.
Your Winners and Survivors: Mark Henry and Val Venis

Out in the back, Michael Cole stupidly stormed into the women's locker room for an interview without boring to check if they were decent. The ladies, particularly Ivory and Jacqueline made fun of him for it and teased him mercilessly while Terri scurried around trying to hide her boobs and Luna looked on.

Now, it was only back at Unforgiven 1999 that Luna, Jacqueline and Ivory were at war with one another, but apparently, they'd patched things up and would be competing tonight.

Eight-Woman Sudden Death Tag Team Match
Mae  Young, The Fabulous Moolah, Tori and Debra vs. WWF Women's Champion Ivory, Jacqueline, Luna Vachon and Terri Runnels

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1999 - Debra was lovely
This was like a traditional Survivor Series match just fought under 'one fall to a finish' rules because nobody wanted to see a match featuring The Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young drag on to the usual lengths of an elimination match.


Naturally, this was just the kind of sloppy mess you'd expect it to be.

Thankfully, it ended quickly when the barely mobile Moolah pinned women's champion Ivory while Debra ripped Terri Runnel's top off for good measure.
Your Winners: Mae Young, The Fabulous Moolah, Tori and Debra

Post-match, Moolah stole Ivory's title then tried to beat her up some more until everybody pulled them off each other.

X-Pac is Ready for Kane

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1999 - Lilian Garcia interviews X-Pac
Out in the back, Lillian Garcia asked X-Pac if he was ready to face "a very angry and very determined Kane."

Now playing the heel after the recent D-Generation-X reunion, Pac insisted that he'd been the one carrying The Big Red Machine during their tag team run together before calling Kane impotent and sexually frustrated.

X-Pac acted like he really couldn't care less about fighting Kane and, as a heel, it was an attitude that really worked for him.

X-Pac vs. Kane

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1999 - Kane checks on Tori
And so the big pay off to the X-Pac/Kane story that had been playing out for most of the year came to a head in a short yet enjoyable little match in which The Big Red Machine looked to counter his opponent's quickness with brute strength.

It was an effective approach which not only made for entertaining viewing but also seemed to have helped Kane win the match despite interference from Road Dogg.

In the end, Kane lifted X-Pac up for a tombstone, but Triple H ran in and blasted him with the WWF title for the DQ.
Your Winner via disqualification: Kane

Post-match, Hunter and Road Dogg set Kane up in the corner for an X-Pac bronco buster. Tori ran in to try and save her boyfriend Kane but when she grabbed 'Pac, he turned around and kicked her without realising who it was.

Instantly showing shock and remorse, X-Pac fled with his DX buddies in tow.

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1999 - Michael Cole interviews The Rock A Backstage Brawl

Out in the back, Michael Cole tried to interview The Rock, but Triple H came along and got in Rocky's face. The two then got into a big brawl which had to be broken up by Sgt. Slaughter and a bunch of officials.

Handicap Survivor Series Elimination Match
Prince Albert, Mideon, Viscera, and WWF Hardcore Champion The Big Boss Man vs. The Big Show

As the combatants were making their way to the ring, we were shown clips of Big Boss Man interrupting the funeral of Big Show's dad and stealing the casket.

"If we never see that footage again, it'll be too soon," said Jim Ross, echoing the thoughts of every wrestling fan who had to sit through that angle.

Ross also told us that Big Show had been assigned Kai En Tai and The Blue Meanie as partners, but had beaten them up so that he could take out Boss Man and Boss Man's partners by himself.

And take them out he did, in about 30 seconds. Show destroyed Mideon and Prince Albert with chokeslams in no time at all, then, in the sole highlight of the entire thing, lifted Viscera up for a huge, and hugely impressive, body slam. One chokeslam later and he was gone too.

Boss Man then ran off and got counted out but, rather than celebrate, Show chased after him.

That barely qualified as a match, but it was still fun to see Big Show going crazy and destroying people. That should have been his thing the whole time.
Your Winner: The Big Show

Out in the back, Kevin Kelly tried to interview Stone Cold Steve Austin but Triple H appeared once again appeared and struck Austin before running off. Stone Cold gave chase, then we cut to what was clearly a pre-recorded segment in which Austin was wandering around in a parking lot looking for Hunter. Cue a car with lights at full beam smashing through the parking lot gates and running down the Texas Rattlesnake.

After cutting to a reaction from Jr and King, Ross actually left the announce table and went backstage to check on Austin. Stephanie McMahon and Test were already there looking over him, as was an irate Vince McMahon. Later, Shane McMahon and Sgt. Slaughter also showed up as EMTs prepared Stone Cold to be placed on a stretcher.

Triple H and DX then showed up and McMahon tore them a new one, blaming them for having Austin run down. Hunter denied having anything to do with it and of, course, he was right. Later, a certain someone would reveal that they were the ones driving the car and that, yes, they did it for The Rock.

Austin was finally taken away on a stretcher now be out for some time, in kayfabe selling the fact that he'd just been run over by car but in reality recovering from injuries he'd accrued thanks to the wild and violent nature of all the main event matches he'd had over the past two years.

Though the actual angle and reveal of Austin's assailant would be derided later, this whole segment was pretty dramatic and engaging stuff.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Chyna (w/ Miss Kitty) vs. Chris Jericho

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1999 - Chris Jericho faced Chyna
After all the drama of the 'Austin Got Run Over' angle, we went straight into what was easily the best match on the show so far by a long, long shot.

Chris Jericho held nothing back as he absolutely brutalised Chyna both inside an outside of the ring, but The Ninth Wonder of the World refused to give up and eventually scored the win thanks to a top rope pedigree.

OK, so the actual pedigree didn't look all that great, but the spectacle of it, particularly coming at the end of what was an absolutely thrilling match, made it work.

The crowd loved it, I loved it, and if you watch it, I'm sure you'll love it too.
Your Winner and Still Intercontinental Champion: Chyna

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1999 - DX confront The McMahons
Out in the back, Triple H and X-Pac burst into the McMahon family locker room looking for Vince McMahon.

Shane revealed that Vince had gone to the hospital with Austin before yelling at DX for the terrible crime they'd committed.

Hunter and X-Pac swore down that although they were setting him up, they weren't setting him up to get run over. Helmsley then revealed the real reason he was looking for Vince - to confirm that now Austin was out of action, the main event would just a singles match against The Rock, rather than a triple threat.

Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match
Too Cool (Scotty Too Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay) and The Hollys (Crash and Hardcore Holly) vs. Edge, Christian, Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy (w/ Terri Runnels)

Last month, at No mercy 1999, Edge, Christian and The Hardys had waged a war on each other in an instant classic tag team ladder match.

Now, they were on the same side, taking the fight to Too Cool and The Hollys in a match which slowly got worse the longer it went on.

Things started off pretty well, with all eight men battling back and forth before Edge and Matt Hardy got eliminated in quick succession.

It was that point on that things started to disintegrate, with only a rare 450 splash from Jeff Hardy breaking up the monotony in a big way.

Eventually, Hardy was gone too, leaving Christian to put up a valiant effort until he lost to Bob Holly.

That could have been a great match. As it was, everybody seemed to get lost and confused about halfway through so it never got any better than being fairly good.
Your Winner and Sole Survivor: Hardcore Holly

Out in the back, Shane McMahon told us that he'd spoken with Vince on the telephone.

The news?

Austin had not lost consciousness, which was a good sign but had suffered severe head, neck, and back trauma.

The other news?

We would still have a triple threat match tonight, just not with Austin.

Shane never told us who the replacement would be, but we'd no doubt find that out later.

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws vs. Mankind & Al Snow

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1999 - The New Age Outlaws faced The Rock & Sock Connection
The New Age Outlaws were technically the heels here but still did their usual opening spiel anyway.

Meanwhile, Al Snow and Mankind had been paired up on screen because Mankind made fun of Snow a lot in his book.

Together, both teams tried hard to put on a good match but for some reason, it just fell flat.

The Outlaws had been doing the "Road Dogg Plays Face-in-Peril" format for so long that they apparently didn't know how to do anything else, so we still had a long string of Roadie getting his ass whooped before the tables turned and Snow played face-in-peril for his team.

The result was a messy brawl that failed to make much of an impression. In fact, the best part of the match was the commentary.

At one point, Jim Ross was completely deadpan when he said "Mankind gave Al snow head on Smackdown"

"How dare you say that!" quipped Lawler.

It was hilarious.

In the end, the Outlaws won thanks to a spike piledriver.
Your Winners and Still WWF Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws


World Wrestling Federation Championship Triple Threat Match
WWF Champion Triple H vs. The Rock vs. The Big Show

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1999 - The Big Show won his first WWF Championship
With no extra special reveal or anything like that, Big Show made his way to the ring to take Steve Austin's place in what turned out to be a fantastic main event.

Brawling through the crowds, around the ring and yes, between the ropes, all three men worked hard to pull off some awesome spots. Plus, the fact that this was a good five or ten minutes shorter than your average 20 minute plus main event meant that it was never allowed to drag on.

As such, we got a really fun battle with nary a dull moment in sight.

Towards the finish, Earl Hebner got taken out so Shane McMahon came down to referee, but Triple H pedigreed him into oblivion. DX came in for a run in, but they got taken out by Big Show.

Finally, Vince McMahon came down and planted Hunter with the WWF title. Big Show made the cover and won the WWF title for the first time.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Champion: The Big Show

And so, nine months after he had helped Vince McMahon in his match against Steve Austin back at St. Valentine's Day Massacre: In Your House, Big Show had finally had the favour returned. McMahon had helped the former Giant win his first WWF Championship and the big guy couldn't be happier, practically crying as he held the title aloft to end the show on a high note.





I may not have remembered anything about Survivor Series 1999 when I first sat down to watch it, but now that we're done, I can tell you that there are a few things I'll always remember.

I'll always remember everybody dressing up as pimps in the opening match. I'll always remember Jeff Hardy busting out that sweet 450 splash, Stone Cold getting run over, and Big Show winning his first WWF title.

I'll also remember how despite much of the in-ring action being rather subpar, the Chyna/Jericho match and the main event more than made up for it.

Oh, and the debut of some guy called Kurt Freakin Angle.

All in all a decent outing, though by no means one of the best of the year.



1999 events reviewed so far

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.