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, 8 October 2020

PPV REVIEW: NWA Starrcade 1984 - The Million Dollar Challenge

November 22, 1984
Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Greensboro, North Carolina

Back at Starrcade 1983, Dusty Rhodes had appeared multiple times and, in between cutting a series of bizarre promos, appeared to challenge the winner of the Harley Race vs. Ric Flair title match.

Between then and now, Flair had actually lost and regained the title at least twice, but give credit to the National Wrestling Alliance, they stuck with their long-term booking plans and presented Rhodes vs. Flair as tonight's feature attraction.

Not only was the title on the line, however, but the winner of the match would also win one million dollars, hence the Million Dollar Challenge subtitle of tonight's show.

As for the rest of the card?

Well, let's head down to the Greensboro Colliseum and check it out, shall we?







Welcome to Starrcade, The Premier Event of the Decade

We began tonight's show with a brief look back at the finish to Starrcade 1983's main event with Ric Flair pinning Harley Race to become our new World Heavyweight Champion.

Alas, as our announcers Bob Caudle and Gordon Sollie were quick to remind us, that was then and this is now.

Tonight, three-time World Heavyweight Champion Flair would defend the title against Dusty Rhodes in a match where a million dollars was also on the line.

The two then hyped up tonight's show before sending it down to the ring where the ring announcer clearly got lost and wasn't sure what to do.

The Premier Event of the Century, Starrcade '84

Seriously, he first welcomed all the ladies and gentlemen to Starrcade '84, calling it 'The Premier Wrestling Event of the Decade.'

He then changed his mind and introduced us again, this time to 'The Premier Event of the Wrestling Century.' After that, poor Mr. Ring Announcer flipped through his papers but still couldn't figure out what to say next so ended up asking referee Earl Hebner.

National Wrestling Alliance Junior Heavyweight Championship
NWA Junior Heavyweight Champion Mike Davis vs. Denny Brown

Eventually, the ring announcer figured out what was happening and we got on with our opening contest, a decent junior heavyweight match between champion Mike Davis and challenger Denny Brown.

This was an interesting match as it was clearly just two guys competing to see who the better wrestler was with no animosity and none of the back-stories that are usually attached to almost all modern pro wrestling matches.

At one point, Brown even went crashing out of the ring. Rather than capitalizing on this by heading out to attack him, Davis left the ring, checked on his opponent and held the ropes open for him so that he could get back in the ring.

Unfortunately, being Mr. Nice Guy didn't work out quite so well for the champion.

At the finish, Davis hit a bridging German suplex on Brown but ended up pinning himself when Brown got his arm up at the last second.
Your Winner and NEW Junior Heavyweight Champion: Denny Brown

Afterward, Davis was irate for like two seconds but then congratulated the new champion.

The ever-confused ring announcer declared the wrong man as champion before correcting himself.

Backstage, Tony Schiavone hung out in the dressing room to let us know that he'd be hanging out in the dressing room for the rest of the show and conducting interviews.

Mr Ito vs. Brian Adias

There wasn't much to this match. It was only a few minutes long and very much felt like filler, but even then it was a decent enough match.

After a few minutes of basic, old-school professional wrestling, Adias lifted his larger opponent up for an airplane spin and won the match.
Your Winner: Brian Adias

Seriously, only in the 80s would that move end a match.

National Wrestling Alliance Florida Heavyweight Championship
National Wrestling Alliance Florida Heavyweight Champion Jesse Barr vs. Mike Graham

This was another really good quality match. Ok, so maybe it wasn’t the kind of raging classic you’d see from today’s performers, but neither man held anything back and gave us nothing less than solid wrestling from start to finish.

After an unrelenting performance, champion Jesse Barr used the ropes for leverage to get the cover, the count, and the fall.
Your Winner and Still Florida Heavyweight Champion: Jesse Barr

Up next, we flashed back to a recent TV taping on which Ricky Steamboat and Dick Slater had been beaten up after competing in a tag match.

Sollie and Caudle told us that Steamboat had put $10,000 of his own money on the line to get revenge.

Tag Team Elimination Match
The Zambuie Express (Kareem Muhammad & Elijah Akeem w/ Paul Jones) vs. Assassin Number 1 & Buzz Tyler

There wasn’t much to this match. It was mostly just punching, clobbering, and more punching, but there was something about the way that the crowd was super into every blow that made it just incredibly fun to watch.

At least it was fun until the finish.

We were told that this was an elimination-style tag team match, but after Assassin #1 pinned one of the Zambuie Express, the match should have continued, right?

Even the announcers seemed to think so, but then it was revealed that their respective partners had been counted out and thus had both been eliminated.

It was a little confusing and would have made more sense if they’d just kept this to a standard one-fall tag, but hey, it’s a small complaint.
Your Winners: Assassin Number One and Buzz Tyler

Backstage, Dusty Rhodes was sad chilling while Tony Schiavone bigged him up.

Rhodes then cut a fast-paced shouty promo in which he promised that Ric Flair would become yesterday’s newspaper.

He probably meant 'yesterday's news,' but with Dusty, who knows?

Anything Goes Match for the National Wrestling Alliance Brass Knuckles Championship
NWA Brass Knuckles Champion Black Bart (w/ James J. Dillon) vs. NWA Tag Team Champion Ragin’ Bull

The Brass Knuckles Championship was essentially a precursor to the modern-day hardcore championships. The announcers told us many times that anything goes, but sadly neither champion Black Bart nor challenger Manny ‘Ragin’ Bull’ Fernandez really took advantage of that stipulation.

For the most part, this was just a straight-up wrestling match with added blood.

It was OK for what it was, but certainly, nothing that anybody should rush out to see.

Eventually, J.J Dillon tossed the champion a length of rope but Bart got rolled up and pinned by the Ragin’ Bull.
Your Winner and NEW NWA Brass Knuckles Champion: Ragin’ Bull

As the show went to intermission in the arena, Ricky Steamboat talked to Tony Schiavone backstage.

When he wasn’t repeating the phrase ‘everybody has been gearing up for this night all year’ over and over again, Steamboat told Schiavone that he had been seriously injured when Tully Blanchard, Black Bart and Ron Bass attacked him and was in a lot of pain. Regardless, he was looking forward to getting his revenge on Blanchard.

God bless Steamboat, he was one of the greatest in-ring performers ever but his promos were never much to write home about.

Offering a retort, TV champion Tully Blanchard and his manager J.J. Dillon reminded us of the stipulations for their match:

The title could change hands on a DQ and if Blanchard tried to run away, he’d lose the title.

The champion didn’t seem too concerned by this. He insisted that Steamboat was going down and that after that he’d go after the world champion no matter who that might be.

Tuxedo Street Fight
Loser Must Leave Town
Paul Jones (w/  Kareen Muhammed) vs. Jimmy Valiant (w/ Assassin Number One)

So, Jimmy Valiant was no longer doing the Charlie Brown gimmick he had back at Starrcade 1983. That’s a bit of a shame. As ridiculous as it was, I kind of enjoyed it.

What I didn’t enjoy this chaotic mess of nonsense.

In the opening moments, Valliant tied Paul Jones to the ropes and very quickly stripped him down to his undies.

Honestly, I thought that’s how a tuxedo match should end, but not this one. Jones broke free and went on the attack but Valliant made a comeback and looked to be in control until JJ Dillon interfered, giving the win to Mr Jones
Your Winner: Paul Jones

The loss meant that Jimmy Valiant now had to ‘leave the area,’ though it was never expressly stated what that meant.

  • Did he have to leave the NWA?
  • Did he have to leave whatever territory he was most closely associated with?
  • Or did he simply have to leave the town they were in like every wrestler on the show would have to anyway?

If so, for how long?

Who knows?

Not me, that’s who.

Ric Flair is Ready

Backstage, Tony Schiavone reminded us that Ric Flair had been champion for a year after defeating Harley Race at the first Starrcade. This wasn't technically true. Flair had dropped and regained the belt a bunch of times over the course of the year, but apparently, none of those occasions counted.

Anyway, The Nature Boy warned The American Dream that he better be half the man he claimed to be when they stepped in the ring tonight.

National Wrestling Alliance Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship
NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion ‘Cowboy’ Ron Bass (w/ James J. Dillon) vs. Dick Slater

It’s starting to feel like Dillon is in practically every segment on this show. Meanwhile, Dick Slater used to be dirty but apparently, he’d had a wash since turning babyface.

This was all part of one of the hottest storylines in the company between Dillon’s stable and a gaggle of babyfaces but sadly the heat generated by that story didn’t translate into a quality match.

Though the fans were into it, there was nothing special about this one.

Bass won when Slater got disqualified for putting his hands on the official.
Your Winner and Still Mid-Atlantic Champion: Ron Bass

Post-match, Slater got revenge by taking out both Bass and Dillon.

We then got a brass rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner as a clearly unsteady cameraman tried to focus on the flag.

Keith Larson & Ole Anderson vs. Ivan & Nikita Koloff

Keith Larson was the brother of Don Kernodle.

Know how I know?

Because the announcers mentioned it about twenty times before he and Ole Anderson had even fully reached the ring.

Seriously, this was like the NWA’s version of Rellik.

Speaking of Kernodle. He showed up in a neck-brace to hang out on the apron and wave the American flag with Ole Anderson and Keith Larson who was his brother don’t you know?

The match finally got underway and turned into a good, solid traditional tag team match.

The faces spent the first part of the contest in control, Anderson and Larson taking turns to work over Ivan Koloff's arm until The Russian Bear turned the tides for his team with a Greco-Roman eye poke.

From there, we got bear hugs aplenty and some enjoyable action before Ivan picked up the win for his team by blasting Larson with a chain behind the referee’s back.
Your Winners: Ivan & Nikita Koloff

Afterwards, Don Kernodle took to the ring and used his crutches to beat the crap out of the Koloffs.

National Wrestling Alliance World Television Championship
NWA World TV Champion Tully Blanchard (w/ James J. Dillon) vs. Ricky Steamboat

Both men had put up $10,000. Winner takes all.

Well, this was excellent.

Proving that consistent selling really is a lost art these days, Ricky Steamboat came into the match with his injuries and sold them well from bell to bell in the kind of way that you just do t see today.

When he did get control of the match, he proved why he was one of the greatest of his generation With some outstanding work. Tully Blanchard was no slouch either and played his role perfectly.

That included being the devious heel champion who blasted his opponent in the head with a discreet International Object to retain his title.
Your Winner and Still TV Champion: Tully Blanchard

National Wrestling Alliance United States Championship
NWA US Champion Wahoo McDaniel vs. Superstar Billy Graham

In direct contrast to the previous match, this wasn’t very good at all.

Superstar Billy Graham looked nothing like you remember Superstar Billy Graham looking like. He looked like how Bruno Sammartino looked in the last few years of his life and was apparently doing a weird karate gimmick.

Wahoo McDaniel was incredibly over, but even his popularity did nothing for the match.

Wahoo won with a tomahawk chop but the whole thing was not fun.
Your Winner and Still US Champion: Wahoo McDaniel

Out in the dressing room, Tony Schiavone interviewed Smokin’ Joe Frazier and two men who would be the judges for our main event.

It was hard to tell if Frazier was drunk, bored, or had taken one too many punches to the head, but his interview comments made him sound dumb.

National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nature Boy Ric Flair vs. The American Dream Dusty Rhodes

Special Guest Referee: Smokin’ Joe Frazier
In one of those bizarre, it-could-only-happen-in-the-80s moments, Dusty Rhodes came down wearing a silver and purple robe with purple smoke bellowing out and Prince’s Purple Rain (dubbed on the network) playing.

I mean, I love Prince, but it but just looked odd for Dusty.

Meanwhile, Flair came down in a hot pink robe that made him look like a drag queen.

The match started off well, got better, and was on the verge of turning into an all-time classic...

...Then Joe Fraizer got involved and the whole thing turned to hell.

Dusty got an admittedly nasty-looking cut in his eye that Fraizer kept stopping the match to check out the eye and eventually just stopped the match, awarding it to Flair.
Your Winner and Still NWA Heavyweight Champion: Ric Flair

If that had happened today there'd be very loud "BULLSH*T" chants and possible riots.

Post-Match Interviews

Backstage, Ric Flair told Tony Schiavone that he only cared about two things:

The title and his million-dollar cheque. He had both and was therefore happy.

After cutting to Sollie and Caudle, Schiavone then caught up with a very angry Dusty Rhodes who was unsurprisingly irritated at both Flair and Fraizer.

Finally, after the post-show credits, Fraizer himself cut another sloppy-arse promo in which he defended his terrible decision making.







Starrcade 1983 had been both historically important and critically acclaimed. Starrcade 1984 was neither.

Sure, only the Graham/McDaniel match was flat-out bad, but outside of the Blanchard/Steamboat match and the first two-thirds of the main event, nothing was particularly memorable. Then there was that ending, which was both infuriating and insulting.

Seriously, Starrcade 84 is not a show you necessarily need to spend any time with.



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Thursday, 1 October 2020

PPV REVIEW: WRESTLEMANIA 17

April 1, 2001 
Reliant Astrodome, Houston, Texas

Before we begin today, I want to point out that, having watched all of the previous sixteen Wrestlemanias, this is the first event that truly felt like a modern 'Mania.

You know how Wrestlemania has the huge entranceway, the massive ramp, and the general sense that this is an event beyond any normal pro wrestling event?

Wrestlemania 17 was really the first event that had all of that and was the first event which truly felt like the spectacle of all spectacles.

Don't believe me?

Let's head on down to the Houston Astrodome for an event many consider to be one of the best Wrestlemania's of all time.







Welcome to the Showcase of The Immortals

Our opening video package was melodramatic in the best sense of the world.

It showed us a whole different bunch of people, from farmers somewhere in middle America to street food vendors in Asia all finding a way to huddle round a television - proving that no matter what their circumstances, they had always found a way to watch past moments like Mike Tyson knocking out Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 14 and Yokozuna enjoying his short-lived title reign at Wrestlemania 9.

Credit where it's due, this was a well-done intro.

Then, as Limp Bizkit's My Way blasted out, we got a quick opening credits package featuring tonight's main stars followed by a deliberately dramatic greeting from lead announcer Jim Ross.

Ross' broadcast colleague for the evening was Paul Heyman, who was insanely excited about making his first Wrestlemania appearance.

If you're wondering where Jerry 'The King' Lawler was, he had recently walked out of the World Wrestling Federation after his real-life wife, The Kat, had been fired for apparently being a bit of a spoiled diva.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho vs. William Regal

This all came about because Chris Jericho besmirched Commissioner William Regal. Regal retaliated by booking Jericho in a match against half the world, but Y2J then got his own back by peeing in Regal's tea and dressing up as Doink to beat him up.

Tonight, they looked to settle the score in a fun opening contest that really could have been even better had they given it five more minutes.

As it was, Regal/Jericho was a fine opener but then given the talent of both men, it was probably always going to be good.

The story going in was that Jericho's shoulder was injured and Regal spent the majority of the match going after it. This wasn't enough to secure a victory, however, as Y2J hit the lion sault to retain his title.
Your Winner and Still Intercontinental Champion: Chris Jericho

Out in the back, Shane McMahon arrived in a limousine bearing the license plate 'WCW 1.'

Elsewhere in the arena, The APA smoked stonking-big cigars with Jacqueline. Texas native Bradshaw was super excited about being in the Astrodome and proceeded to recall every major event that had happened in the arena.

He and Farooq were in action next.

Six-Man Tag Team Match
The Right to Censor (Bull Buchanan, The Goodfather, and Val Venis w/ Steven Richards) vs. Tazz and The APA (Farooq & Bradshaw w/ Jacqueline)

This started as your standard six-man but soon disintegrated into a free-for-all and a pretty decent one at that.

Ok, so this was never going to win Match of the Night honours, but it served a purpose and, as short little brawls go, was pretty good fun.

After a few minutes of hard-hitting offence, Bradshaw hit the Clothesline from Hell on The Goodfather and won the match for his team.
Your Winners: The APA & Tazz

Backstage, Trish Stratus wheeled an apparently catatonic Linda McMahon in her wheelchair. Stephanie McMahon approached and ordered Trish to hand crush some ice ready to celebrate her pops beating Shane McMahon later on.

This was during the time that Vince had committed Linda to an institution, had an affair with Trish, and then turned on Trish and started treating her like trash for no reason.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship Triple Threat Match
WWF Hardcore Champion Raven vs. Kane vs. The Big Show

This was very entertaining.

Most of the match was fought backstage, with people being slammed through windows, doors and tables, riding around on golf carts and generally beating the crap out of each other.

The main story of the match was The Big Show and Kane colliding while Raven was kind of lucky to be there, but even he played his part well and contributed to an enjoyable garbage brawl.

Eventually, all three men made their way back to the stage where Show lifted Raven up to throw him off the stage. Kane kicked them both off then jumped on top of Show and pinned him for the three.
Your Winner and NEW Hardcore Champion: Kane

Backstage, Edge and Christian wanted to know if Kurt Angle wanted to go and celebrate with them after they all won their matches tonight, but The Olympic Gold Medalist was too concerned with watching a video of Chris Benoit making him tap.

"If your hand taps the mat but there's no official referee and no official bell and it wasn't an official match, then officially you didn't tap," said Angle, mesmerised by the video on the screen.

Meanwhile, at WWF New York, Superfly Jimmy Snuka stood around posing.

The Champ is Here

Out in the crowd, Jonathan Coachman interviewed a fan who had travelled all the way from Brisbane, Australia for Wrestlemania.

Meanwhile, WWF Champion The Rock arrived at the arena, hung up his title belt and jacket, and wandered off again.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship
WWF European Champion Test vs. Eddie Guerrero (w/ Perry Saturn)

Whenever people talk about the greatest Wrestlemania matches of all time, nobody in history has ever mentioned Test vs. Eddie Guerrero for the European title at Wrestlemania 17.

And that's OK.

Not every match has to be an absolute showstopper. Some of them can just be a fun way to fill a few minutes, and that's exactly what this was.

Sure, the ever-talented Guerrero managed to get the best out of his opponent and give us a solid match, but this wasn't going to win any awards.

After a very good effort, Test took out Eddie's cornerman, Perry Saturn, only to get distracted dealing with Dean Malenko. Eddie then clocked the champion with the title belt to claim it for himself.
Your Winner and NEW European Champion: Eddie Guerrero

Backstage, Michael Cole interviewed a homeless man who vaguely resembled Mick Foley.

The man told Cole that even though Vince McMahon had embarrassed and humiliated him, he was still going to be impartial when the boss took on his own son Shane later on in the show.

Elsewhere in the arena, Stone Cold Steve Austin was so over that he got a huge pop for walking into a dressing room and sitting down.

Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit

Before the match, heat-seeker Angle ripped on the Texan crowd and mocked them for being Texan.

The actual match started good, got better, became great, and then kind of went out on a whimper.

Forget your sports entertainment, this was proper professional wrestling. At one point, somebody breathed hard in the referee's general direction, causing the official to collapse to the mat and go into a coma.

While that was going, Angle tapped to the Crippler Crossface but, as he said earlier since there was no official and no bell, it didn't count.

More excellent action continued, then after several close, dramatic near falls, Angle scored the win with a sloppy-looking roll-up.

As finishes go, it was very anti-climatic, but everything that went before it was brilliant.
Your Winner: Kurt Angle

Backstage, William Regal was mortified to find Kamala standing on his desk and rubbing himself with a framed picture of Her Majesty The Queen.

Though I'd like to think this was just a call-back to Drew Carey mentioning The Ugandan Giant to Triple H back at Royal Rumble 2001, he was actually there to compete in tonight's gimmick battle royal.

Eventually, with a little help from Kimchee, the Commissioner managed to talk Angle down.

The Rabid Wolverine Attacks

Up next, a video package showed us some of the WWF superstars taking part in a Wrestlemania pep-rally with members of the armed forces.

Back in the arena, Kevin Kelly tried to interview Kurt Angle, only for Chris Benoit to appear and attack our Olympic Hero and slap him in the crossface.

A second video package followed this one highlighting the rivalry between Chyna and WWF Women's Champion Ivory.

That match was next.

World Wrestling Federation Women's Championship
WWF Women's Champion Ivory vs. Chyna

Right To Censor banned from Ringside

The story was that Chyna had been injured at the hands of Right to Censor and had to sign a waiver insisting that she wouldn't sue the WWF if she got re-injured in this match.

For what it was, this was OK, but it was basically just The Ninth Wonder of the World making short work of her much smaller opponent and destroying her in about three minutes.

This was Chyna's final Wrestlemania appearance.
Your Winner and NEW Women's Champion: Chyna

Backstage, Vince McMahon made sure that Trish Stratus knew when to bring his catatonic wife down to the ring during his match with Shane.

Michael Cole then interrupted him to discuss Shane McMahon buying WCW, but Vince wasn't interested in that.

We then got a look back at the rivalry between the McMahon boys, including Vince telling his son that he wished he'd never been born.

Nice.

Street Fight
Shane McMahon vs. Vince McMahon (w/ Stephanie McMahon)

Special Referee: Mick Foley
Shane McMahon didn't have his own Here comes the money theme yet, so came down to the same No Chance in Hell theme as his old man. Before the bell rang, Shane shouted out to his WCW boys -namely Lance Storm, Hugh Morrus, Chavo Guerrero, Shawn Stasiak and Stacy Keibler- who were watching the big event from a skybox.

Then, the bell rang, and this turned into a thoroughly enjoyable bit of storytelling.

Yes, there've been greater street fights in history from an actual wrestling perspective, but this was the perfect way to bring the months-long McMahon saga to a close.

After a few minutes of brawling, Trish Stratus wheeled the catatonic Linda McMahon to ringside but then turned on Vince and gave him a good slapping. That led to a Trish/Stephanie McMahon brawl, taking the two ladies out of action.

The evil Vince McMahon then propped his wife up in the corner of the ring so that she'd have to watch her own son get destroyed, but at the last minute, Linda stood up, revealed that she was fine, and kicked her husband straight square in the bollocks.

Shane O' Mac then debuted Coast to Coast, and that was all she wrote.
Your Winner: Shane McMahon

Earlier that weekend, at the Axxess convention, Kevin Kelly interrupted The Hardy Boyz autograph signing to ask them about TLC. Matt and Jeff were nervous but also excited.

Back in the arena, Triple H sat in his dressing room grunting while Undertaker hung out in the boiler room, shadow boxing. The two would meet later on in the show, but TLC was next.

Tables, Ladders and Chairs II
World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship TLC Match
WWF Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz (D'Von & Bubba Ray Dudley) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy) vs. Edge & Christian

At Summerslam 2000, these three teams had changed the game by competing in the incredible TLC I. Personally, I think I preferred that match to this one, but don't get me wrong, TLC II was still all kinds of awesome.

The big difference this time around was that we got run-ins from former ECW Stars Spike Dudley and Rhyno. The latter was a friend of Edge & Christian while the former was, obviously, there to help out his family members. Lita got involved too, and with nine different people involved it at times got a little chaotic, but it was still several shades of epic and a joy to watch.

The highlight was the famous moment that Edge lept off a ladder and speared Jeff Hardy who was hanging from the device that suspended the title belts over the ring.

After many similar insane spots, Edge and Christian won the match just as they had done at Summerslam, this time with Christian sat atop Rhyno's shoulders while The War Machine scaled the ladder.
Your Winners and NEW Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian

We then got another look at Axxess with both fans and superstars alike talking about how awesome the whole thing was.

Following some banter from Ross and Heyman, Howard Finkle told us that Wrestlemania X-7 had set an all-time attendance record for any event at the Houston Astrodome of 67, 925 fans.

Heenan and Okerlund Return Home

Before the Gimmick Battle Royal, Mean Gene Okerlund was introduced as our guest play-by-play announcer before Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan made his first 'Mania appearance since Wrestlemania 9 as our special guest colour analyst.

Heenan clearly forgot he wasn't on Nitro any more and immediately called Mean Gene 'Tony.'

Oops.

There was also this gem:

Heenan: "Repo Man, last week he repo'd his own car. This man is nuts."
Okerlund: "About four years ago, he got my mother-in-law's"
Heenan: "About four years ago, everybody got your mother-in-law."

Genius.

Gimmick Battle Royal
Featuring The Bushwhackers, Duke 'The Dumpster' Drosse, The Iron Sheik, Earthquake, The Goon, Doink The Clown, Kamala (w/ Kimchee & Harvey Wippleman), Repo Man, Jim Cornette, Nikolai Volkoff, Michael P.S Hayes, One Man Gang, The Gobbledegooker, Tugboat, Hillbilly Jim, Brother Love, Sgt. Slaughter

The individual entrances for the old-school performers lasted twice as long as this very brief battle royal, but that was kind of the point.

This was never about giving us a good match, it was about the nostalgia trip, and it was a lot of fun, especially with Heenan and Okerlund cracking wise the whole time.

The interesting thing was how over Doink The Clown was. He easily got the biggest pop of the whole match and there was very loud booing when he was
finally eliminated.

Eventually, The Iron Sheik won.

I say 'eventually' the whole battle royal lasted about three minutes.
Your Winner: The Iron Sheik

Post-match, Sgt. Slaughter returned to the ring and slapped Sheiky Baby in the cobra clutch.

This was supposed to create a feel-good moment, but you sort of got the impression nobody ever really cared about Slaughter as much as the WWF often thought they did.

We're Motorhead and We'll Kick Your Ass


A video package followed highlighting the rivalry between Triple H and The Undertaker. This came down to The Game bragging that he had beaten everybody there was to beat only to be reminded that he'd never beaten The American Bad Ass.

Those two would meet next, but first HHH got a Super Special Entrance in which Motorhead played a version of his theme song live.

God bless the legendary Lemmy Kilmister, but there was no hiding the fact that he forgot the lyrics to this song of the way through it.

Triple H vs. The Undertaker

This was by far The Undertaker's best Wrestlemania match up to this point and perhaps even one of his best individual matches ever - at least at this stage of the game.

They started in the ring, went for a crazy brawl through the crowd and returned to the ring again, all the while building the drama.

After an incredible battle, 'Taker sent The Game for his Last Ride to go 9-0 at Wrestlemania.

The Streak continues...
Your Winner: The Undertaker

Finally, after a look back at their epic rivalry set to Limp Bizkit's 'My way' it was time for The Rock to defend the WWF Championship against Stone Cold Steve Austin in a showdown for the ages.

No Disqualification Match for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

And man, what a showdown it was.

Surpassing just about every Wrestlemania main event that had ever come before it, Rock/Austin quickly developed into an all-time classic.

It had the huge, big-match feel of Hogan/Andre, the drama and intensity of the very best Attitude Era matches, and a certain intangible quality that came as a result of Rock and Austin's unmatched star power.

Apart from an unnecessary ref' bump, everything about this match was perfect, violent, brutal perfection that was drenched in blood, and forced you onto the edge of your seat from start to finish.

Speaking of the finish, that came when Vince McMahon came down to the ring and Austin revealed that he had sold his soul to The Devil Himself, making a pact with the Chairman and turning heel in the process.

When Rock refused to die, Vince handed Austin a chair which the Texas Rattlesnake used to just bludgeon his opponent before finally securing the pinfall.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin

Post-match, Austin and Vince shared a beer and toasted over the prone, lifeless body of The Great One.







Wrestlemania 17 has often been described as the greatest Wrestlemania of all time, and after watching it today, it's obvious that it at least deserves to be in the running.

Rock/Austin, HHH/Taker and TLC 2 were the real highlights, but in between everything else worked well and served its purpose. Even the Gimmick Battle Royal -while not great from an in-ring perspective- was a welcome bit of nostalgia and gave us some hilarious banter between Heenan and Okerlund.

Overall, an exceptional show that is very much worth tracking down.



Thursday, 24 September 2020

Top Ten WCW PPV Matches from 1996 - 2001

Top Ten WCW PPV Matches from 1996 - 2001: Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.As regular Retro Pro Wrestleing readers may recall, last week's review featured WCW Greed, the final ever World Championship Wrestling Pay Per View.

That means we've now covered every single WCW PPV from January 1996 up until the company's demise, and what better way to celebrate that fact than by looking back on the top ten best matches from that time period?

Before we get into it, here's the criteria:

There isn't one.

The only criteria for choosing these matches is how much I enjoyed them.  It doesn't matter if other matches were better from a workrate perspective or anything like that. If I had a good time watching it, it goes in.

On a similar note, these top ten WCW PPV matches aren't necessarily in exact order. Other than the number-one ranked match which remains one of my all-time favourites, there's no reason why any of the other matches are ranked where they are.







If you want to argue that my ninth pick is actually better than the match at number four, you're probably right.

Anyway, without further ado, let's dive into it.

10. Triple Ladder Match - 3 count vs. Jung Dragons vs. Noble & Karagious - Starrcade 2000

Top Ten WCW PPV Matches from 1996 - 2001: The Jung Dragons & Lea Meow
The last 18 months of WCW's existence was hardly known for producing quality entertainment. Now ould you ever consider the likes of 3 Count and The Jung Dragons to be among the company's most illustrious stars.

Still, there's no doubting that this high-octane spotfest from Starrcade 2000 was a lot of fun.

That said, so were most of the matches between these six men.

For what felt like the majority of the year, WCW would book The Jung Dragons and 3 Count against each other. When that got boring, they broke Evan Karagias away from the latter and Jamie Noble away from the former and had them establish a new tag team so that we could have lots and lots (and lots) of different six-man and three-way matches.

Though they'll never go down as all-time classics, they were insanely good fun and always a highlight of any show they happened to be on.

9. Blitzkrieg vs. Juventud Guerrera - Spring Stampede 1999



There's no denying the fact that 1999 was clearly the worst year in World Championship Wrestling's history, at least from a creative standpoint. Watching all 12 of their 1999 PPVs as I did for this blog was a tedious, frustrating, and sometimes downright infuriating process.

Yet in the midst of all their horribleness, the company somehow managed to pull a rather excellent Pay Per View out of their ass in the form of Spring Stampede 1999. The show featured several excellent contests, including a Raven's Rules tag team match pitting Raven and Saturn against Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko, a thoroughly entertaining hardcore match between Hak (Sandman) and Bam Bam Bigelow, and a gripping cruiserweight title match which pitted tag team champions Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio (also the cruiserweight champion) against one another. 

Heck, even the main event -in which DDP won his first World Heavyweight Championship- was good stuff.

To be fair, a case could be made for any one of those matches to feature somewhere on this list, but for some reason, this compelling match between Juventud Guerrera and oft-forgotten cruiserweight star Blitzkrieg has always stood out to me as an absolute gem.

Remember, this isn't meant to be the definitive list of great PPV matches according to some strict scientific criteria. It's one dude's opinion, and this dude says that Blitzkrieg/Juvi is a favorite.

8. Steven Regal vs. Dave 'Fit' Finlay - Uncensored 96


Making their way from Blackpool and Belfast respectively, Regal and Finlay set out to show the American audiences how things were done in the UK and Ireland with a stiff, hard-hitting contest that was violently entertaining from start to finish.

OK, so the crowd at WCW Uncensored 1996 didn't seem to care much for it at the time, but if you ask me, few things are as fun as watching two talented wrestlers just beat the living crap out of each other as these two did here.

7. Falls Count Anywhere match: Chris Benoit vs. Kevin Sullivan - Great American Bash 1996


For obvious reasons, I try not to draw too much attention to Chris Benoit on RPW, but to leave out this fantastic Falls Count Anywhere match from The 1996 Great American Bash would be to deny Kevin Sullivan his rightful place on this list.

Of course, the old joke is that Kevin Sullivan booked his own divorce during his feud with Benoit, but there was no joking around when the two beat the hell out of each other all the way to the men's bathroom and back again.

This wasn't the only match from that year's Great American Bash to make it onto this list, and the one we'll get to later was (arguably) better, but man, what a heck of a fight this was.

6. Ladder Match: Syxx vs. Eddie Guerrero - Souled Out 97


Let's be honest - there wasn't a lot to like about WCW's ill-advised nWo Souled Out PPV in 1997. An attempt at running an nWo-only PPV, the show was mostly a creative and financial disaster.

So sure, with so much bad stuff surrounding it, the Eddie Guerrero/Syxx ladder match was always going to look good, but even taken out of context, this was still an excellent contest.

Of course, it could have done without the heel commentary referring to Eddie as a "Mexican jumping bean,' but that's another argument for another day.

5. Jeff Jarrett vs. Booker T - Bash at the Beach 2000



Even when WCW was at its peak in terms of popularity and creative excellence, the company's PPV main events were normally huge disappointments in which Hulk Hogan and a bunch of other  dundering old-timers wandered around the ring doing as little as possible. 

Then, at Bash of the Beach 2000, Hulk Hogan 'dropped' the title to Jeff Jarrett in an infamous angle in which he merely laid down and handed JJ the win. The show as a whole is remembered more for this -and Vince Russo's subsequent worked-shoot/shoot- promo than it is for anything that actually happened in the ring, but that's not to take anything away from the tremendous effort Jarrett and Booker T would have in the actual main event.

Proving that WCW could deliver exciting action at the top of the card, this was as good as it got at the time and still holds up today as a quality match.

4. Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Dean Malenko  - Great American Bash 1996


Told you Benoit/Sullivan wasn't the only match from Great American Bash '96 to feature on this list. Truthfully, this whole list could have been made up of matches featuring Dean Malenko and Rey Mysterio and you'd have a hard time arguing that it wasn't a reflection of the best matches ever - but I wanted to add some variety. 

Yet while I may have left out some of their matches to make room for some of WCW's other talented stars, it would be a crime against all that is good and decent to leave out this absolute five-star worthy cruiserweight classic.

3. DDP vs. Goldberg - Halloween Havoc 98


The story surrounding this match may be more famous than the match itself. In his 2018 Hall of Fame speech, Goldberg recalled how Diamond Dallas Page had the whole thing meticulously planned out, even presenting him with a 15-page script to follow.

WCW being WCW, however, the show ran long and the PPV cut off before most people could see the match. Fortunately, we got to see it for free on Nitro the following day (and on the Network years later) and it was tremendous.

Clearly, DDP's meticulous planning paid off as this Halloween Havoc 1998 match was one of his best, and I've yet to see Goldberg involved in anything better.

2. DDP vs. Randy Savage - Spring Stampede 1997



The Randy Savage/DDP feud was the hottest storyline in professional wrestling in 1997. Their promos and angles were magic, and every time the two locked up in the ring it was a thing of pure beauty. 

This match from Spring Stampede 1997 was the highlight of an incredible feud that still stands up today as being worthy of its place on this list.

1. Cruiserweight Title vs. Mask Match: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Eddie - Halloween Havoc 97



Ask me to name my favourite matches of all time, and off the top of my head, I'll tell you that my top two are the HHH/Rock ladder match from Summerslam 1998 and this all-time classic between two true legends from Halloween Havoc 1997

Incredible from start to finish, Eddie Guerrero was at the peak of his WCW heel run here, and was an excellent antagonist for the ever-popular Rey Mysterio Jr. Take that good old fashioned good versus evil story and combine it with the outstanding talent of two men like Mysterio and Guerrero, and what you had here was not just one of the best WCW PPV matches, but one of the best matches of all time, period.







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Thursday, 17 September 2020

PPV REVIEW: WCW Greed 2001

WCW Greed - Event poster
March 18, 2001
Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida

In some respects, it's entirely fitting that the final ever World Championship Wrestling Pay Per View was titled Greed.

For years, stories of bloated egos and excessive contracts had followed WCW through the good times and bad and, with the benefit of hindsight, many were quick to point to such excess as one of the many reasons why the company eventually went under.

Still, after years of mismanagement, awful booking and something called a Doomsday Cage Match, at least WCW were going out on a high.

OK, so they were never going to recapture the magic of their mid-90s, nWo-fuelled glory days, but over the course of the last few months of their existence, their on-screen product was getting consistently better.

Don't just take my word for it, however. Let's go to Jacksonville, Florida for Greed, the last WCW PPV ever.







Last Man Standing

Since becoming World Heavyweight Champion, Scott Steiner had not only defeated everybody who stood in his way but had sent most of them packing from WCW altogether.

Sting, Goldberg, Kevin Nash, Sid Vicious, they were all gone thanks to Big Poppa Pump. Even Booker T had been on something of a hiatus after falling victim to the Steiner Recliner.

Now, only one man remained:

Diamond Dallas Page.

Cutting a promo in our opening video, Page hyped his upcoming title match, ending by saying "Tonight, Scott Steiner's gonna get banged."

Ahem.

We got the usual crowd shots and greeting from Scott Hudson and Tony Schiavone, the latter of whom welcomed us to "the first-ever Greed."

Oh Tony, nice try.

Kwee Wee vs. Jason Jett

WCW Greed 2001 - Kwee Wee battled Jason Jett
Formerly known as EZ Money in ECW, Jason Jett had only debuted in WCW that week (they were seriously still hiring?) and had made such a big impression they thrust him into a PPV opener with Kwee Wee.

As openers go, this was a lot of fun even if it was a little sloppy in places.

Jett had some cool offence and both men seemed to work hard which made the whole thing pretty enjoyable.

OK, so there was one potentially hazardous spot where Kwee Wee reversed a top-rope powerbomb into a 'rana and looked in danger of landing on his neck, but otherwise, there was a lot to like about this.

After a good back-and-forth battle, Jett hit his 'Crash Landing' finisher to score the three count.
Your Winner: Jason Jett

Up next, we got a look at a recent tournament to crown new WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Champions. Fair play to WCW for still trying to do something creative at this stage of the game.

World Championship Wrestling World Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship
Kid Romeo & Elix Skipper vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. & Billy Kidman

WCW Greed 2001 - Kid Romeo and Elix Skipper beat Kidman & Rey Mysterio to become Cruiserweight tag team champions
And fair play to everyone involved in this one for working hard to deliver a quality match even though this whole Cruiserweight tag team division never got a chance to launch.

Like the earlier singles match, this was far from flawless but had some entertaining spots and a good energy to it that made it an enjoyable watch.

Following a riveting contest, Kid Romeo caught Rey Mysterio Jr. coming off the ropes and slammed him headfirst into the mat like he wanted him dead.

One three count later and the first Cruiserweight tag team champions were crowned.
Your Winners and NEW Cruiserweight Tag Team Champions: Kid Romeo & Elix Skipper

Mysterio and Kidman would actually win the titles on the final Nitro but then we’d never hear of those belts again.

Everybody is On Drugs

WCW Greed 2001 - Ric Flair acted like he was on all the cocaine in the world at this show
Backstage, Buff Bagwell revealed that he had hired his own camera crew then took them into a room to chat with Ric Flair, Jeff Jarrett and Road Warrior Animal.

Everyone spoke at a thousand miles an hour like they’d just taken all the cocaine in the world so it was hard to make out what they were talking about, but it pretty much came down to ‘our group is the best and we’ll win our matches tonight.’

A flashback to Nitro then showed us that Stacy Kiebler had now had her baby after she discovered that she was pregnant back at New Blood Rising. Not only was she back, but she had also aligned herself with Shawn Stasiak.

Shawn ‘The Star’ Stasiak (w/ Stacy Keibler) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

WCW Greed 2001 - Shawn Stasiak and Stacy Keibler were a thing
Before the match, Stacey introduced us all to what she called ‘The Shawn & Stacey Show,’ and, of course, to the star of that show, Mr Shawn ‘The Star’ Stasiak.

Stasiak then came down doing a narcissist gimmick, referring to himself as a ‘The Mecca of Manhood’ and insisting that all the fans were ‘Bam Bam Bigelow wannabes'.

Stasiak then threw a bunch of 8x10s of himself into the crowd before entering into a mediocre contest with The Beast From The East.

While this certainly wasn’t terrible, coming right after two thrilling Cruiserweight matches really made it feel more boring than it probably was.

After a few minutes of nothing much, Stacey distracted Billy Silverman and tossed her man a can of spray which he used to temporarily blind Bigelow before hitting him with the match-winning neckbreaker.
Your Winner: Shawn Stasiak

Afterward, Stasiak threw more pictures of himself around the place then snogged Kiebler’s face off. That right there was probably the best moment of his career.

Pointless Backstage Stuff

WCW Greed 2001 - Kid Romeo and Prime Time Elix Skipper celebrate backstage
Out in the back, Miss Jones begged Ernest Miller to let her get revenge on Kanyon for whatever it was he’d done to her. The Cat insisted that he be the one to handle it.

Elsewhere in the arena, Kid Romeo and Elix Skipper helped each other strap on their newly-won tag team titles and celebrated by hugging and jumping up and down until it got a little too gay for them and they just shook hands instead.

None of this meant anything or seemed to matter.

A clip then aired to show us the story behind our upcoming Team Canada vs. Hugh Morrus & Konnan match. That story seemed to be ‘a bunch of brawling happened in the ring for no reason.’

Team Canada (Lance Storm & ‘Canadian Killer’ Mike Awesome’ vs. Hugh Morrus & Konnan

WCW Greed 2001 - Lance Storm and Mike Awesome faced Hugh Morrus and Konnan
Before the match, Lance Storm was serious for a minute and declared that he and Mike Awesome were going to win this match and go on to become the tag team champions.

Good luck with that, Lance.

He then called for the Canadian National Anthem but just got Hugh Morrus instead.

Konnan came down a second later and the match was on.

For what it was, this was a decent tag team match, even if it was instantly forgettable.

The end came when Big Mike planted Morrus with a running Awesome Bomb for the win after almost fifteen minutes of solid action.
Your Winners: Team Canada

Out in the back, we saw footage from the security camera in Dusty & Dustin Rhodes’ locker room. This was a nice touch that added a certain sense of realism and got away from the question of ‘why is there a cameraman randomly in the room?’

Anyway, Dustin was getting aggravated that his pops wasn’t getting ready for the match, but The American Dream insisted he was getting ready.

His plan?

To eat 40 burritos that he had delivered to the room on a platter. This would then give him bad gas and he’d rub his ass in Ric Flair’s face.

Dusty Rhodes, ladies and gentlemen. One of the greatest of all time.

Buff’s Documentary

WCW Greed 2001 - Chuck Palumbo & Sean O'Haire
Elsewhere, Buff and his cameraman continued to work on their documentary project.

This time, Buff wanted to talk to Rick Steiner.

First, The Dog-Faced Gremlin insisted he’d make short work of Booker T later on in the show. Then he claimed that his brother Scott would return to ‘normal’ (lol) after he figured out who was messing with him.

Finally, tag team champions Chuck Palumbo & Sean O’Haire cut a weird promo in which they stood at an angle and addressed somebody off-camera.

‘They say that only the strong survive, and we’re the survivors,’ said Palumbo.

OK then.

World Championship Wrestling World Cruiserweight Championship
WCW World Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero vs. Sugar Shane Helms

WCW Greed 2001 - Chavo Guerrero defended the Cruiserweight title against Shane Helms
These two first met for the title back at WCW Sin, with Guerrero getting the win.

Shane Helms then earned another title shot by beating five other men back at Superbrawl: Revenge.

Since then, he’d left 3 Count and struck out on his own, even adopting his own crew of Nitro Girl dancers called ‘The Sugar Babies.’

The match then got underway and turned into something quite tremendous.

After years of playing goofy comedy and sidekick roles, Chavo had really come into his own as a veteran heel and fighting champion, while Shane Helms impressed more and more with each high profile match.

Together, they delivered a quality match that combined the usual Cruiserweight action with some mat-based technical wrestling and a few genuine ‘holy s**t spots.’

After an excellent battle, Helms reversed Guerrero’s Gory Special attempt into a Vertebraker to capture his first title.
Your Winner and NEW Cruiserweight Champion: Shane Helms

Post-match, a jubilant Sugar Shane celebrated his big victory while the Sugar Babies danced behind him.

Kiss My Ass

Backstage, Ric Flair and Jeff Jarrett told the documentary maker that they wouldn’t be kissing Dusty’s ass but the Rhodes men would end up kissing theirs.

We then got pre-recorded comments from Booker T, who warned Rick Steiner to save the drama for his momma.

‘Tonight, Steiner, I’m coming after the US title, a title that has eluded me for eight long years,’ said Booker.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions Chuck Palumbo & Sean O’Haire vs. Totally Buff (Lex Luger & Buff Bagwell)

WCW Greed 2001 - Chuck Palumbo & Sean O'Haire won the tag team titles
Before the bell, Lex Luger & Buff Bagwell cut a long-winded promo in which they first bragged about their accomplishments (multiple championships between them and retiring Bill Goldberg) then admitted that they may have underestimated the tag team champions.

Totally Buff were adamant that they were back on form tonight but they really weren’t.

Chuck Palumbo & Sean O’Haire came down and squashed the veterans in about 30 seconds thanks to a couple of Seanton Bombs.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the pre-match promo lasted longer than the actual match.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: Chuck Palumbo & Sean O’Haire

Out in the back, Scott Steiner finished 102 pull-ups while Midajah counted. In typical Steiner fashion, he then stumbled over a promo in which he declared that DDP was going down.

Back in the ring, Totally Buff continued selling the mugging they’d received from Palumbo & O’Haire, taking forever to get up and get to their feet.

Kanyon vs. The Cat (w/ Miss Jones)

WCW Greed 2001 - Ernest 'The Cat' Miller w/ Miss Jones
Before the match, Ernest ‘The Cat’ Miller promised to rip ‘that ugly-ass mask’ off Kanyon’s face. Of course, Kanyon wasn’t wearing a mask, it was just his ugly-ass face.

Oh, haha.

Bad jokes aside, this was a gripping contest that was probably one of the best of Miller’s career.

He and Kanyon were given ample time to tell their story and did so in a way that kept the crowd entertained right the way through.

Naturally, it helped that Miller was one of the most popular guys on the roster in WCW’s final days (make of that what you will), and Kanyon was such a convincing heel that the whole thing worked well.

Toward the finish, the referee got knocked out. Kanyon went after Miss Jones but that proved to be his detriment. Cat waffled him with the Feliner and that was all she wrote.
Your Winner: The Cat

Post-match, Kanyon recovered and went on the attack but was seen off by Miller’s underling M.I Smooth, a man once better known as Ice Train.

Out in the back, Buff Bagwell was upset at both Lex Luger for the outcome of their match, and at his camera guy for recording him arguing with The Total Package.

Elsewhere, Dustin Rhodes had to beg his dad not to fart after devouring the world's supply of burritos.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW US Champion Rick Steiner vs. Booker T

WCW Greed 2001 - Rick Steiner defended the US title against Booker T
It's funny how Rick Steiner was once a part of one of the greatest tag teams in the world but in his last few years with WCW he was lazy and pretty dull.

Like many on the card before him, Booker T worked hard here, but Steiner's insistence on doing as little as possible really hurt what could have been a good match.

Towards the finish, Shane Douglas came out to get revenge on The Dog Faced Gremlin for taking his title off him. He clocked Steiner over the back of the head with a cast.

Booker T hit the Bookend and finally became US champ.
Your Winner and NEW US Champion: Booker T

Out in the back, Buff Bagwell has been knocked out. Lex Luger hinted that Road Warrior Animal had done it, but Animal decided now was the perfect time to prove what a horrible actor he was and denied everything.

Kiss My Ass Match
Jeff Jarrett & Nature Boy Ric Flair vs. Dustin Rhodes & Dusty Rhodes

WCW Greed 2001 - Dusty & Dustin Rhodes
Ric Flair clearly didn’t care about any of this and came dressed for action in a Hawaiian shirt, slacks and dress shoes.

Meanwhile, I can’t figure out if WWE dubbed over Dusty’s actual WCW theme with a bad version of his old polka-dot era WWF theme or if WCW just ripped that theme off like they did with so many others.

When both teams had made their entrances, Ric Flair declared that he wasn’t going to wrestle but then got in his team’s corner to fight, making himself look like an insane idiot in the process.

After four days of stalling -including Road Warrior Animal being sent to the back- the match finally got underway and was entertaining as heck.

That was mostly because Dusty Rhodes was so damn charismatic and fun to watch that he could have strutted around the ring doing nothing for twenty minutes and still made it work.

As it was, he put some effort in and got the crowd pumped up while son Dustin did most of the grunt work.

Speaking of Dustin, he got a fumbled roll-up on the Nature Boy to win the match for his team.
Your Winners: Dustin & Dusty Rhodes

Afterwards, Dusty Rhodes dropped his drawers and rubbed his burrito-stink ass in Jeff Jarrett’s face.

Falls Count Anywhere Match for the World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Scott Steiner (w/ Midajah) vs. Diamond Dallas Page

WCW Greed 2001 - Scott Steiner defended the World Heavyweight Championship against DDP
This was a solid main event in which both men showed up to work and delivered, not a classic exactly, but certainly one of WCW's better PPV main events.

The only frustrating part is that they didn't really make a big deal out of the Falls Count Anywhere match apart from one brief trip into the crowd which was a fairly standard part of main event matches around this time period anyway.

When they did get in the crowd, there was a kid on crutches and as soon as you saw him, you knew he'd been put there specifically so that the wrestlers could use those crutches.

Sure enough, each crutch got broken over a wrestler's back then, as Page and Steiner continued to wrestle, you could see the same kid just walking around fine. It was dumb but pretty funny.

Back in the ring, we got a brief run-in from Rick Steiner before a beaten and bloody DDP fell -like so many stars before him- to the Steiner Recliner.
Your Winner and Still WCW Champion: Scott Steiner

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was your last WCW PPV match in history.







Amazingly, WCW were so close to getting fully back on track creatively in their final days. Sure, a lot of the backstage stuff was lame, but apart from a few lacklustre encounters, most of the actual in-ring action was solid and entertaining.

The three cruiserweight matches (Jett/Kwee-Wee, the cruiserweight tag titles and Guerrero/Helms) all made the show, while the Dusty Rhodes stuff was a lot of fun.

All in all, a late-era WCW PPV show that was actually worth watching.




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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.