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, 5 August 2021

EVENT REVIEW: ECW Ultra Clash 1993

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Event review
September 18, 1993
ECW Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 may not be the most widely-remembered wrestling event in history, but that doesn't mean it isn't significant in its own right.

This was the first event for which Paul Heyman had taken control of Eastern Championship Wrestling's booking and creative vision. 

It was the event in which he first began to turn this little indie outfit into an extreme institution and one of the Big Three US wrestling companies. 

It was also the event at which we would first meet future ECW mainstays like Joey Styles and The Public Enemy...

But was it any good?

Let's head down to the ECW arena to find out.




Welcome to Ultra Clash


ECW was still Eastern Championship Wrestling at this point in time but our opening video (set to what sounded like a cut from a low-budget PlayStation skateboarding game) featured shots of a woman getting her top ripped off and JT Smith being knocked from a balcony, so it was already fairly extreme...at least more so than the fairly tame product we’d seen back at ECW Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular earlier in the year.

After said video, we went straight into our opening match.

The Public Enemy (Flyboy Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge) vs. Jason Knight & Ian Rotten

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - The Public Enemy
If your only exposure to The Public Enemy was as the party-loving jobbers from WCW, you’ll likely be surprised to find them here as two ass-kicking heels who just destroyed their opponents.

I mean they demolished them. So much so Ian Rotten and Jason Knight didn’t manage to get in a single offensive move between them for the duration of this five-plus minute slaughter.

In fact, Jason Knight didn’t even get tagged in. He just got his ass kicked on the outside while Rotten got destroyed between the ropes.

Unsurprisingly, Johnny Grunge and Flyboy Rocco Rock prevailed when the latter cannonballed onto Rotten for the win.
Your Winners: The Public Enemy

Post-match, The Public Enemy further drew the ire of the crowd by continuing their beat down of Ian Rotten.

When they’d had enough, Joey Styles started to tell us all about the group’s next big event, NWA Blood Feast ‘93.

Sadly that isn’t on the WWE Network, though I did find a https://youtu.be/WRltkUbMV0Qone-hour version on YouTube so we’ll get to that soon.

ECW Pennsylvania State Championship 
ECW Pennsylvania State Champion Tony “Hitman” Stetson (w/ Hunter Q. Robins III) vs. “Ironman” Tommy Cairo

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Tony Stetson vs. Tommy Cairo
Imagine still using the nickname “Hitman” in the 1990s and not considering changing it.

Here, the not-so-excellence of execution put his title on the line against Tommy Cairo in a decent if somewhat unremarkable match that failed to maintain this fan’s attention.

After roughly ten minutes, Stetson’s manager, Hunter Q. Robins III distracted referee Jim Molyneux while the champ blasted his opponent with the title belt.

One three count later and this one was done.
Your Winner: Tony Stetson 

Mask vs. Mask Match
Super Destroyer I vs. Super Destroyer 2 (w/ Hunter Q. Robins III)

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Super Destroyer 1 vs. Super Destroyer 2
Prior to the match, Robins took to the microphone to berate Super Destroyer I, but the quality of this recording is so bad that I could only make out the words “building” and “ugly face.”

This was a weird match that was very slow and basic. 

Though that doesn’t necessarily make it bad, it was like watching two wrestlers early in their training being told to demonstrate a basic sequence of moves for a match.

Plus there was the fact that both men wore identical attire and masks. Sure, Joey Styles told us that one of them was technically bigger than the other, but it was still impossible to tell them apart.

In the end, the babyface Super D. 1 picked up the win.
Your Winner: Super Destroyer 1

Super Destroyer 2 was then forced to unmask, and while Styles pretended like he recognized him but couldn’t remember his name, The Dark Patriot came down and helped Super D. 2 carry out a beat down of S.D 1.

Eventually, J.T Smith came down to make the save and this led us right into our next match.

Scaffold Match
The Dark Patriot vs. JR Smith

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - JT Smith vs. The Dark Patriot in a scaffold match
No joke, this was probably the best scaffold match this fan has ever seen.

All of the scaffold matches the NWA had in the 1980s (including at Starrcade '86 and Starrcade '87) saw big, tough men hanging around the edges of the platform where it was safe, and then basically hanging onto the edge of the platform and dropping down into the ring as gently as possible.

JT Smith and The Dark Patriot showed no such restraint.

They brawled fearlessly in the middle of the platform and took bumps. Smith even threw a neat dropkick.

Speaking of threw, Patriot won the match by hurling his opponent off the scaffold. Smith took an unbelievably nasty bump but then popped back up so that Patriot could come down and attack him some more.
Your Winner: The Dark Patriot

And attack him he did.

Smith got thrown into the crow, hit with a chair, thrown into another part of the crowd, hit with another chair and so on until he was destroyed.

Tag Team Bunkhouse Match
Kevin Sullivan & Abdullah The Butcher vs. Terry Funk & Stan Hansen

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Abdullah The Butcher & Kevin Sullivan vs. Terry Funk & Stan Hansen
I don't know why anybody would think this was good.

Sure, I can see how it might have been entertaining if you were there live, but watching it back now, it just looks like four sloppy-arsed drunks falling over each other after closing time.

At various points, Kevin Sullivan tried a brand new, never-before-tried approach to winning a pro wrestling match:

He would just walk up to his opponents and look at them.

 Seriously, there was a moment when he wandered towards Stan Hansen and just stood there staring at him for a while until Hansen thought 'screw it' and slapped the Taskmaster silly.

In the end, Eddie Gilbert ran out with a steel chair, causing a disqualification, which was dumb because this was a weapons-filled, anything goes brawl.
Your Winners via Disqualification: Terry Funk and Stan Hansen

Post-match, Kevin Sullivan and Abdullah The Butcher started fighting each other for no explainable reason until some dudes ran in to break it up. 

Funk and Hansen then returned to beat up those dudes and we got another wild brawl into the crowd that was exactly the same as the Dark Patriot/J.T. Smith brawl except with more people.

I'll say it again, this was not good.

$5,000 Intergender Battle Royal
Sensational Sherri vs. Tigra  vs. Angel  vs. Don E. Allen  vs. Jay Sulli vs. Hunter Q. Robbins III

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Tigra
Nor was this. 

While Tigra spent the whole match sat on the turnbuckle, watching, each of the men took turns in walking over to Sensational Sherri and Angel and being routinely eliminated by them.

Sherri then did a Mil Mascaras and eliminated herself, though rather than hitting a top rope splash, she chased off some dude in a shell suit who Joey Styles told us was Freddie Gilbert, Eddie's brother and ECW referee.

At that point, Angel deliberately popped herself up on the ropes making her an easy target. Tigra came over, poked Angel in the bum with the tip of her finger, and won the match.
Your Winner: Tigra

I'm a big fan of Sensational Sherri, but this was dumb and pointless.

Loser Receives 10 Lashes
Wildman Sal Bellomo (w/ Sensational Sherri) vs. Sir Richard Michaels (w/ Hunter Q. Robins III)

Did Hunter Q. manage every single heel in ECW?

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Wildman Sal Bellomo
I’m sure he did, because here he was again, backing Sir Richard Michaels.

Not to be outdone, Wildman Sal Bellomo got on the microphone before the match started and said ”whmph, mmph, bumpy bum bmmph, Sherri would you come to the ring, please?”

OK, so it may not have been that exactly, but like I said earlier, the recording quality is so bad that I’ve really no idea what he said beyond asking Sherri to join him in the ring.

The Sensational One did so, making her presence felt in Big Sal’s corner for what was a fairly average, if inoffensive, match.

After a few minutes of uninspired action, Sal fell like a sack of potatoes onto Richard Michaels and got the one, two, three.
Your Winner: Wildman Sal Bellomo

If you were worried that this show didn’t have enough post-match brawls,  you’ll be delighted to know that yet another one came right up.

Wildman Sal started to lash Michaels with a training belt while Sherri rolled around on top of Hunter Q and made him the luckiest dude in the whole building.

At that point, Rockin’ Rebel ran down to blast Sal with a chair and throw Sherri around the ring.

Eastern Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Championship 
Fabulous ECW Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas (w/ Paul E. Dangerously) vs. The Sandman

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - Shane Douglas vs. Sandman
Yes, Shane Douglas was “Fabulous” here, apparently. 

Though, to be fair, he almost wasn’t much of anything as he first walked off and threatened not to defend his title until the referee promised that he would give said title to Sandman if Douglas didn’t return to the ring immediately.

The champion did so, and consequently entered into what I have to say was the best match on the card up until this point.

No, I can’t quite believe that I just wrote that either, but it’s true. It was a competently wrestled heel vs. face match with some stuff which, while fairly textbook, was still pretty fun.

In the end, the ref took a tumble and Paul E.‘s phone came into play as an international object to give us a very near fall.

The challenger then dove off the top with what looked to be the match-winning flying cross body only for Douglas to roll through, grab a handful of tights and retain the gold.
Your Winner and Still ECW Heavyweight Champion: Shane Douglas 

Afterwards, Sandman berated the referee while Fabulous Shane made his escape.

Baseball Bat Match
W*ING Tag Team Champions Headhunters (Mofat & Mahim) vs. Miguel Perez & W*ING Heavyweight Champion Crash the Terminator

ECW Ultra Clash 1993 - The Headhunters
Ok, scrap what I said about Douglas vs. Sandman, this was the best match on the card.

As a baseball bat match, things started with all four men outside the ring and a baseball bat inside.

After the count of ten, they charged to the ring to grab the bat and beat the living hell out of each other with it.

And beat the living hell out of each other they did.

The match immediately spilled back out into the crowd for a wild brawl which was hampered only by ECW's lack of budget. 

The show was filmed entirely on a single camera, and when you have two teams pairing off and brawling all over the building, that one camera is going to miss stuff.

At one point, one of the Headhunters got thrown through a fricken wall by Crash the Terminator and the camera was focussed purely on the other Headhunter hanging around in the ring doing nothing much of anything. 

That gave us the odd moment where Joey Styles called something that we didn't actually see.

When we could see stuff, it was all good stuff, culminating in one of the big fat Headhunters hitting a sweet moonsault for the three.
Your Winners: The Headhunters

At this juncture, Joey Styles told us that The Headhunters had successfully defended their W*ING tag team titles, though there was no mention on the show -or in anything I've read since- that says the titles were actually on the line.

Afterward, both teams continued fighting to end the show with yet another brawl through the crowd because why choose to end your show with something different when you could just repeat the same damn thing you'd been doing from the beginning?

To be fair, it was a pretty entertaining brawl, but I can't help but feel that it would have meant so much more had we not already seen the exact same thing multiple times.







So no, Paul Heyman's start as ECW booker was not a spectacular one by any stretch of the imagination.

When one of the best matches on the show is Shane Douglas vs. The Sandman, you know things are pretty bad.

Sure, it's historically important, and if you do watch it you'll get to see not only Heyman's first attempt at booker but also the ECW debut of The Public Enemy and Joey Styles on commentary, but don't expect to be entertained very much.

If you can get the moment JT Smith plummets to his doom and the main event on YouTube, those are the only moments you need to see from what was otherwise a poor show.


Thursday, 29 July 2021

PPV REVIEW: WWE Judgement Day 2002

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Event poster
May 19, 2002
Gaylord Entertainment Center, Nashville, Tennessee

In some ways, WWE Judgement Day 2002 was a night of firsts. 

It was, of course, the company's first PPV since they switched from being the WWF to WWE.

It was also the first PPV appearance of future main eventer, world champion, and movie star, Dave Batista. 

Yet it was also a night of lasts. 

This was the last time we would see Stone Cold Steve Austin competing before he "took his ball and went home" for a while, and it was the last time Brock Lesnar would be stuck around the undercard before his King of the Ring 2002 victory catapulted him to main event status. 

With all that being said then, let's head on down to Nashville and check out the show.






Judgement Day is Upon Us

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler called the event
Tonight’s show began with a rather sinister video package that spliced clips of the company’s biggest stars talking about their rivals with ominous footage of a noose and, eventually, somebody hanging from said noose.

As morose as that was, it eventually gave way to the standard pyro, crowd shots from the audience and the newly re-christened The World restaurant (formerly WWF New York), and our greeting from Jim Ross.

Tonight, he and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler would be calling all of the action, including this, our opening contest: 

WWE Intercontinental Championship 
WWE Intercontinental Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Rob Van Dam 

This was as solid an opening match as you were going to get.
WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Eddie Guerrero defended the IC title against Rob Van Dam

Miles better than their match at Insurrexion 2002 and at least on a par with their battle at Backlash 2002, it was a tremendous back-and-forth encounter that engaged the crowd from bell to bell.

After a very enjoyable match, Eddie Guerrero got the backslide on RVD and scored the fall thanks to rope-assisted shenanigans.
Your Winner and Still Intercontinental Champion: Eddie Guerrero 

Out in the back, Batista made his WWE PPV debut as Deacon Batista, Reverend Devon’s muscle-bound briefcase carrier.

The two were joined by Vince McMahon and his assistant, Stacy Kiebler, who was set to challenge Trish Stratus for the women’s Championship.

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Batista, D'Von, Stacy Kiebler and Vince McMahon
The Reverend called for a prayer to ask  The Good Lord to keep Stacy safe, but when he, Keibler and Batista had their eyes closed in prayer, Vince opened his and used the moment to do a sly bit of perving on Stacy’s boobs and bum.

I get that this wasn’t very PC, but McMahon’s facial expressions throughout this whole segment were at William Regal levels of funny, and I couldn’t help but find this whole segment hilarious.

It was followed by a quick video in which an old woman trimmed her bush and set fire to it as a means of telling us to Get the ‘F’ Out.

WWE Women’s Championship 
WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus (w/ Bubba Ray Dudley) vs. Stacy Keibler (w/ Reverend Devon & Deacon Batista) 

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Bubba Dudley mocks Stacy Kiebler
Since being split up in the draft, Devon had been a heel and was Vince’s ‘Spiritual Advisor’ which put him in Stacy’s corner while Bubba Ray Dudley had turned face and formed a loose alliance with Trish Stratus which meant that he was in her corner.

I mention this, because even though both women worked hard in this match, it was clear that the only reason for this taking place was to give The Dudley Boyz an excuse to be back in the ring together.

The match was as good as you were going to get out of Trish and Stacy, but it was more of a plot device than anything.
Your Winner and Still Women’s Champion: Trish Stratus 

Indeed, we got our obligatory Dudleyz reunion after the match followed by Devon and Deacon beating up Big Bad Bubba and dumping him through a table.

Let’s Be Friends

Backstage, Ric Flair and Vince McMahon decided that since they were both now heels they should shake hands and pretend to like each other despite having hated one another’s guys for months on end.

OK, so it was heavily implied that neither man really liked the other, but why even bother having this segment at all?

The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy) vs. Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Paul Heyman teamed with Brock Lesnar against The Hardy Boyz
For all that Brock Lesnar did in his career, it’s mad to think that his first few months in the WWE were limited to beating up The Hardy Boyz every week.

This was just another in a long series of matches that the three had were the challenge was to make Brock look like a total monster without making Matt and Jeff look like total jobbers.

To that end, they were mostly successful. The brothers took the fight to The Next Big Thing in an entertaining contest but ultimately fell short.

Following a fun bit of action, Brock destroyed Jeff Hardy before finally tagging in Paul Heyman who got the three count.
Your Winners: Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman 

Out in the back, Mark Lloyd interviewed Booker T

The Booker Man had been hand-selected by Ric Flair to be the newest member of the New World Order which was apparently how that worked now.

It was dumb, but not as dumb as the way the promo ended.

After boasting about being a five time (five time, FIVE TIME!) Dubya See Dubya champion and not really addressing Lloyd’s comments at all, Booker noticed a woman in an evening gown randomly standing by herself and looking completely out of place.

Wanting himself a piece, Mr. Five Time approached her and accepted her hotel key so that they could apparently go and have some sexy times later on.

It was very silly and made no sense whatsoever.

Who was the woman?

Why was she dressed all fancy yet randomly hanging around next to some dirty production equipment backstage at a wrestling show? 

After a quick look at the rivalry between Steve Austin and Ric Flair, it was onto our next match.

Handicap Match
Nature Boy Ric Flair & The Big Show vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin 

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Stone Cold Steve Austin
This was famously Steve Austin’s last PPV match until No Way Out 2003 and, honestly, with a match like this, it’s hard to blame The Texas Rattlesnake for ‘taking his ball and going home.’

This was Stone Cold Steve Austin, main event superstar and certified legend competing in what was basically a midcard match.

Some of the action was fairly decent, and the chop-offs between Austin and Flair was fun stuff, with the crowd chanting ‘WOO!’ Every time Flair landed a chop and ‘WHAT?’ Each time Austin did.

Yet despite that, this really felt like a demotion for Stone Cold.

In the end, X-Pac came down and accidentally kicked his nWo team mate Big Show in the face, Austin delivered stunners all round and won what was a pretty entertaining but still questionable contest.
Your Winner:  Steve Austin

Afterwards, Austin drank a couple of beers and hobbled to the back, probably feeling annoyed that he’d gone from main eventing to being done within the first hour of the show.

Hair vs. Hair Match
Kurt Angle vs. Edge

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Edge vs. Kurt Angle
These two had a cracker of a match back at Backlash which this fan enjoyed immensely.

Since then, Kurt Angle had meant to reveal a new t-shirt boasting all of his accomplishments but Edge had switched it to one that said ‘You Suck’ on it.

By some twist of logic, that low meant the two were set to meet again in a hair vs. hair match which turned out to be arguably even better than the aforementioned Backlash encounter. 

A thrilling contest that only got better the longer it went on, this one saw Edge and Angle really up their game as they built to a dramatic finale with Edge battling out of the Ankle Lock and scoring the win with a roll up. 
Your Winner: Edge

Post-match, Angle attacked Edge but the future Rated R Superstar made a quick comeback and dragged his rival to the entrance where a barber was stationed with all of his tools.

Before the Olympic Gold Medalist could get his head shaved, however, he managed to escape and run off. Edge gave chase, leaving the bemused barber to stand around aimlessly.

Earlier, I was going to say they really should have brought Brutus Beefcake in for this segment, but now I see why they didn’t.

Booker T’s Naked Bum

Down the street, we went inside a room at the Marriott Hotel where Booker T was about to get it on with the random woman from earlier.

You’d have to imagine that it was only due to Booker’s inflated ego that he was perfectly OK having a cameraman in the room while he was about to get it on.

Anyway, the girl wanted the lights off which was the obvious cue for something to happen.

Sure enough, Booker’s estranged tag team partner Goldust emerged, and when the light came back on he was under the covers with Booker and his girl. 

The reason? Booker hadn’t been returning any of his phone calls and he wanted to get the proverbial band back together.

In the only entertaining moment, Booker fled from the bed and left the room where his bare bum on full display.

Honestly, I can’t explain why, but that part was funny whereas the whole rest of this skit was just plain dumb.

Hell in a Cell is a Cell in Which There Will be Hell

Before the next match, we went to Smackdown commentators Michael Cole and Tazz to put over their show’s big match.

“Hell in a cell is simply a cell,” said Michael Cole. “And Triple H and Chris Jericho will go through hell in that cell.”

Well, thanks for that original and creative explanation, Michael. 

A video package then followed which did a better job of explaining the feud than Michael ‘State the Bloody Obvious’ Cole had just done, and with that it was on to the cell where the hell would be.

Hell in a Cell
Chris Jericho vs. Triple H

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Triple H vs. Chris Jericho - Hell in a Cell
This was the first Hell in a Cell match since the multi-man match at Armageddon 2000.

It was also excellent, way better than said match and even better than HHH and Chris Jericho’s meeting at Wrestlemania 18.

It didn’t necessarily start out that way, however. The early part of the match was slow and sluggish as The Game and The Larger Than Life Living Legend cranked up the violence factor and tried to inflict as much damage as possible.

Then, referee Tim White absolutely stole the show by getting knocked off the apron and taking a wicked bump into the steel mesh.

Honestly, it was an insane bump that was more impressive than any individual spot that the actual wrestlers pulled off. Sadly, it was also the spot that ended White’s career as a referee and eventually led to those awfully distasteful segments a few years later where White would repeatedly try to off himself.

The moment Tim landed on the floor, JR started yelling. 

“But Tim White has the key! Tim White has the key!”

Not “OMG, Tim White just went flying and got knocked the F out.” Or “holy crap Tim White must be hurt!” But “Tim White has the key!”

Jim Ross, ladies and gentlemen, master of subtlety.

Sure enough, White’s bump would lead to the cage being opened so that a gaggle of officials could rescue him, but not before Chris Jericho kicked his ass for costing him the match.

The cage opening was the real turning point.

We got some brawling, a cool spot where HHH DDT’d Jericho on top of the ever ill-fated Spanish announce table, and then The Game making a call back to his No Way Out 2000 match against Cactus Jack by producing a barb wire-wrapped baseball bat.

The two inevitably made their way to the top of the cage where some excellent action culminated in a match-winning pedigree.

I loved this match.
Your Winner: Triple H

Out in the back, Kurt Angle tried to hide from Edge by pretending to be a woman getting her hair cut.

Edge caught up to the Olympic Gold Medalist and the chase continued.

We then saw a video in which a couple had sex in the back of a car while Mark Henry’s old ‘Sexual Chocolate’ music played. The window went down with a WWF logo on it and came up again the WWE logo on it.

Get it? 

Because GET THE ‘F’ OUT!

Meanwhile, at The World, Maven and Torrie Wilson were on a date where Torrie talked about how much she liked to take her clothes off.

WWE Tag Team Championship 
WWE Tag Team Champions Billy & Chuck (w/ Rico) vs. Rikishi & Rico

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Billy & Chuck vs. Rico
No, I didn’t make a mistake there.

Rico was still Billy & Chuck’s stylist but Vince McMahon had decided to screw with Rikishi by making Rico his partner for tonight’s match.

Ultimately, the plan backfired because when Rico went to kick his partner in the face, ‘Kishi ducked and Chuck ate a face full of boot. 

Chuck also ate some big ol’ booty as Rikishi squashed him and one three count later we had new tag team champions.

The match was nothing. 

It lasted about three minutes and wasn’t very exciting, but at least it served it’s purpose in putting some space between the Hell in a Cell match and the main event. 
Your Winners and New Tag Team Champions: Rikishi & Rico

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Kurt Angle got shaved bald
Out in the back, Edge continued to pursue Kurt Angle, only for Angle to sneak attack his enemy and whack him over the noggin with a trash can lid.

The former champion then led Edge to the arena and the barbershop area, aiming to chop off his long, blonde locks.

Instead, Edge kicked his foe in the gut and knocked him out with a sleeper hold and shaved Angle’s head to create the look that Angle would maintain for the rest of his active career.

Finally, Edge encouraged the crowd to sing along to Angle’s theme, replacing their usual ‘you suck’ chants with ‘you’re bald’ ones.

Then, we got a video for the main event before the bell rang snd the match itself got under way.

WWE Undisputed Championship 
WWE Undisputed Champion Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. The Undertaker 

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Undertaker beat Hulk Hogan for the Undisputed Title
In another ‘first’ for this PPV, it was the first PPV to see Undertaker using his Dead Man Walking theme song.

Tonight, he and Hogan met in their first PPV match since This Tuesday in Texas, and it was probably about on a par with that match in terms of quality.

That’s not to say it was bad or anything, but after several solid matches on this show, Hogan/Taker wasn’t exactly going to end things on a high note.

After some decent but unspectacular action, Vince McMahon came down and got himself beat up by the Hulkster.

The distraction allowed ‘Taker to waffle the champion with a chair and pin him for the title much like he’d done back at Survivor Series 1991.
Your Winner and NEW Undisputed Champion: The Undertaker

Afterwards, the new champion destroyed Hogan with a chair before walking to the back with the belt proudly around his waste.








In a way, it was entirely fitting that the first WWE-branded PPV should end with the man synonymous with the WWF being taken out and destroyed once and for all.

It was a poignant moment on which to end what had been an all-round good show.

Though not every match was amazing, the opening Intercontinental Championship match was very entertaining , the Hell in a Cell match was really enjoyable, and the Hair vs. Hair match was an awesome Match of the Night winner.

Skip the women’s match, the handicap match, and the main event, and this is a good show to watch.


Thursday, 22 July 2021

PPV REVIEW: WCW Capital Combat 1990

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Event Poster
May 19, 1990, D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C

There's only one thing anybody remembers about WCW Capital Combat 1990:

The appearance of Robocop.

Widely hailed as one of the most ridiculous things the company ever presented (which, for WCW, is saying something!), Robocop's much-maligned involvement at the event was done to tie in with the release of the Robocop 2 movie and pretty much overshadowed everything else that went down on the card. 

To be honest, that's a shame, because even though Capital Combat was never destined to go down in history as an all-time classic event, it certainly had more to offer than a goofy publicity stunt. 

Don't believe me?

Here's what went down when World Championship Wrestling came to Washington D.C.






Capital Combat 1990 - The Return of Robocop

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Tony Schiavone
Tonight’s show opened with a short, animated video which showed a classified file being opened to reveal that it was full of press clippings about Sting’s injury, a flyer for tonight’s show, and randomly, a photograph of Rick Steiner.

After zooming into an also-animated shot of the Capitol building, we went live to the arena where a fresh-faced Tony Schiavone put in his first NWA/WCW appearance since -I think- Starrcade 1988.

Schiavone got things underway by hyping up tonight’s three title matches before sending it to a brass band for a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner in commemoration of Armed Forces Day.

Next, Big Tony introduced us to our play-by-play team of Jim Ross and Bob Caudle who also decided to tell us about the title matches while we waited for the matches to begin.

Kevin Sullivan, Bam Bam Bigelow, and Cactus Jack (w/ Sir Oliver Humperdink) vs. Norman The Lunatic and The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal)

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Bam Bam Bigelow
The Road Warriors came down riding pillion on some other dudes Harleys so Norman followed suit by riding a child’s scooter to the ring.

Honestly, this writer laughed way too hard at that.

In terms of stature, this seemed like a demotion for Hawk and Animal, but they made the most of it and so too did everyone else involved.

Moving at a much faster pace than you’d imagine given the participants, it was a fun, solid 10-or-so minute match with a lot of good action.

Not too surprisingly, the good guys won after Hawk nailed Kevin Sullivan with a top rope clothesline. Your Winners: Norman & The Road Warriors

The losers of the match hadn’t even left the ring when Johnny Ace’s music hit ready for the next match.

Johnny Ace vs. Mean Mark (w/ Theodore Long)

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Mean Mark beat Johnny Ace
Before the action got underway, Jim Ross tried to sell us on just how mean Mean Mark really was by noting that his favourite signer was Ozzy Osborne.

He bites the heads off bats, you know,” said Ross, almost proudly.

There was no biting in this one, but there was some fairly decent action.

Though the match probably went about five minutes longer than necessary and wasn’t very inspiring in places, it was nonetheless a good effort that saw Ozzy’s number one fan pick up the win thanks to a heart punch and an elbow from the middle of the top rope.

Your Winner: Mean Mark

Post-match, Ross and Caudle showed us that Mark’s impressive top rope elbow had scored an 8.2 on the Slam-O-Meter, which really was as cheesy as it sounds: an honest-to-goodness scale rating the impact of certain moves that looked like it came right from a Nickelodeon game show.

Sting is Concerned for the Little Stingers

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Gordon Sollie awaits the arrival of Robocop
Out in the back, Gordon Sollie hung around outside Sting’s locker room which was protected by two security guards, one of whom looked suspiciously like Big E.

Sollie basically recapped the story of Sting’s feud with The Four Horsemen, how he got kicked out of the group at Clash of the Champions X: Texas Shoot-Out and was subsequently injured.

This somehow led to Sting now being friends with fricken Robocop of all people and to Sollie telling us over and over again how concerned Sting was for his little Stingers.

Back in the arena, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express ranted and raved about how good the NWA was and how they were going to quite literally whip some ass in the upcoming Corporal Punishment match.

While Ricky Morton tried to break Hulk Hogan’s record for the most uses of the word ‘brother,’ in a single promo, Robert Gibson made hand signals at the camera.

I've since been informed in the comments that this was Gibson speaking in sign language to his brother who was deaf, but I still like to think that what he was saying was I’m stuck on a Robocop-themed PPV, send help.

The Samoan Swat Team (Fatu & Tama) vs. Captain Mike Rotunda & ‘Wildfire’ Tommy Rich

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - The Samoan Swat Team faced Tommy Rich & Mike Rotunda
At this point, Captain Mike Rotunda had gone full Sail Boat Captain and had teamed up with Tommy Rich in what seemed like an odd-pairing.

Speaking of Rotunda, did you know that he was a finalist in a punt-pass-kick competition when he was 9 years-old?

If you watched any NWA/early WCW you certainly did because Jim Ross mentioned it EVERY. SINGLE.TIME that Rotunda wrestled.

I’m telling you all this because it was far more interesting than anything that actually happened in the match.

The Samoans stalled for literally about three minutes as they kept trying to do their pre-match ritual only to be interrupted by Tommy Rich’s incessant whistling.

Honestly, I know he was the babyface but it made me really f**ng hate Wildfire. Just let them get the damn thing done so that the match could start!

Not that much of anything happened once it did.

Though it was competently performed, the match was bland, boring, in exciting and went on for far too long.

The SST won with a flash pin. Your Winners: The Samoan Swat Team

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Tony Schaivone interviews The Steiner Brothers
Somewhere in the arena, Tony Schiavone interviewed tag team champions The Steiner Brothers about their upcoming match with Doom.

Scott Steiner was either meeting Schiavone for the first time since the announcer had returned from the WWF or he just being Scott Steiner as he referred to him by the name “Tommy...Tony Savvany.

He then proceeded to rant about how very few people were lining up to face The Steiners because of how tough they were.

For his part, Rick was still playing the ‘frustrated simpleton’ gimmick (at least I think it was a gimmick) as he spluttered his way through a few lines about how good of a team Doom were.

Sweepstakes Winners

Prior to the next match, Garry Michael Capetta introduced us to the winners of the Capital Combat sweepstakes contest.

He’d actually tried to do this earlier but got drowned out by theme music and we never actually got to see the winners on camera.

This time, we saw that the two winners were an older couple who were clearly a bit bemused about being pointed out and did their best to wave to the audience.

Bless ‘em, it was adorably cute.

Hair vs. Hair Match Precious Paul Ellering vs. Teddy ‘Sugar Ray’ Long

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Paul Ellering faced Teddy Long in a Hair vs. Hair match
Missy Hyatt was the guest ring announcer for this one. I feel almost blasphemous saying anything negative about the beautiful Ms. Hyatt, but ring announcing was not her forte.

Sure, she was competent, but she was also kind of shrill.

Anyway, Teddy Long came down wearing boxing gloves, one of which was loaded.

After getting attacked from behind, Paul Ellering made a comeback, stripped Long of his gloves and whacked him around the noggin with the loaded one to win this short nothing match. Your Winner: Paul Ellering

Afterwards, they had a moustachioed gentleman in a sequin jacket named Jay Tapper out to do the haircutting.

JR had told us that Tapper was a ‘stylist to the stars’ and implied that he was famous, however a Google search for ‘Jay Tapper stylist’ only brings up his name in relation to this event, so he can’t have been all that famous.

With Long out cold, Tapper shaved like three little tufts off hair from the back of Long’s head so that it was visibily clear that ol’ Sugar Ray still had plenty left on his head.

This, therefore, wasn’t so much ‘Loser Loses Their Hair’ as it was ‘Loser Gets a Half-Hearted Trim.

The Four Horsemen are Fired Up

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - The Four Horsemen
Up next, Tommy Savanny had words with the Four Horsemen who were all fired up apart from Sid Vicious, who just stood in the background wearing a tuxedo for no explainable reason.

Ole Anderson started by shouting about how the Horsemen would never let Ric Flair lose the title and the fact that Lex Luger fighting hurt was not as courageous as it was being made out to be.

Ric Flair promised that Luger would be a one-legged athlete for the rest of his life. At one point, Flair even insisted that Luger was half the man Nature Boy was, and you could almost see the cog’s working in Sid’s brain as he stored that line for a later date.

National Wrestling Alliance United States Tag Team Championship
NWA Tag Team Champions Flyin’ Brian & Z-Man vs. The Midnight Express (Sweet Stan Lane & Beautiful Bobby Eaton w/ Jim Cornette)

Jim Cornette must be locked in a cage. 

This was just a tremendous match.

With Jim Cornette locked in a cage at ringside, Stan Lane and Bobby Eaton locked horns went up against Flyin’ Brian and The Z-Man in about that was fast-paced (for the time) exciting and with nary a dull moment in sight.

It was one of those wonderful old-school matches where arm drags and dropkicks were to the audience what a 450 plancha is to today’s audience and it was all the more enjoyable for it.

After an adrenaline-charged match with lots of entertaining action, Sweet Stan kicked Z-Man in the back of the head, Beautiful Bobby rolled him up and new champions were crowned. Your Winners and New US Tag Team Champions: The Midnight Express

Afterwards, the camera lingered ominously on the empty cage before Jim Ross plugged July’s Great American Bash.

Robocop is Here

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Robocop came to Sting's rescue
Out in the back, Gordon Sollie told us that Robocop was here and he was.

A bunch of official-looking Men in Black types rushed out of a room wearing suits and holding a finger to their ear the way official-looking Men in Black types usually do in films, all before the robotic police officer stepped out of the smoke and began walking forward.

At that point, however, there was chaos and confusion.

The screen turned to static and that was all we saw of Robocop....

...Except it wasn’t, because up next, Sting came out to much fanfare only to be slammed into the cage by Sid and The Anderson’s.

Coming to the rescue, Robocop spent eight years walking down the aisle and ripped the door off they cage.

The three Horsemen fled, Sting and his mechanical pal went backstage and that was it for Robocop’s big return.

Yo Mama

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Jim Cornette confronts the Junkyard Dog
After GMC plugged the Great American Bash, Schiavone caught up with a returning Junkyard Dog.

JYD told us that he’d been all over the world competing in places like Japan and was now back home in the NWA.

Jim Cornette then arrived on the scene to brag about the Midnight Express’s big win.

“Where have you been while we were here winning titles?” asked Cornette, who clearly hadn’t heard anything JYD had just said.

In a brilliant response, Dog gave Cornette the exact address where he’d been, and, of course, Cornette recognised that address as his mother’s house.


Corporal Punishment Match
The Rock & Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael ‘P.S’ Hayes & Jimmy Jam Garvin

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - The Rock 'n' Roll Express
You know, we’re approaching the two-hour point and so far Mean Mark/Johnny Ace has been the only singles match (if you forget about whatever Teddy/Precious Paul was supposed to be).

This one started with Ricky and Robert being pushed to the ring on a platform with a retro jukebox on it.

It was meant to say “LOOK! THEY’RE ROCK & ROLL!” but this was 1990, so what it really said was “LOOK! THESE GUYS ARE OLD!

Even Jim Ross called the jukebox an antique which wasn’t exactly great for R&R’s image.

Meanwhile, Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin were supposed to be the heels but came to the ring and shot fireworks from their wrists which seemed like a very babyface thing to do.

The match got underway with a little confusion.

GMC and the announcers all seemed to think that this was a strap match, but really it was just that each time had a whip and could use it whenever they wanted.

I’ll say that again:

Whenever they wanted.

This would have been fine had the whips played a prominent role in the match but they got used about three times for all of 30 seconds at a time.

The match itself was fine, but it seemed really weird to have such a hyped-up stipulation attached to it and then barely use it.

The good guys won after a fairly standard battle. Your Winners: The Rock & Roll Express

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Sting
Out somewhere in the arena, Tony Schiavone interviewed ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ Doug Furnas.

Rather than asking Furnas anything about himself, Savanny only wanted to know about Lex Luger.

Happy to oblige, Furnas said that Luger looked to be in great shape for someone who had spent two weeks in hospital and that the Total Package was ready to go.

Hyping the main event even further, Sting came out to tell Schiavone that he supported Luger’s decision to get back in the ring despite being hurt.

If I was in Luger’s position I’d do the exact same thing,” Sting lied, ignoring the fact that he’d been hurt two months ago and was wandering around with nothing to do ever since.

National Wrestling Alliance World Tag Team Championship
NWA World Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. Doom (Butch Reed & Ron Simmons w/ Teddy Long)

Oh look, another tag match.

Before the action got underway, Rick Steiner ripped off Teddy Long’s bandana.

We were all supposed to laugh at him for getting his head shaved earlier but even though he had a visibly bald spot that had been there before anyway, he still clearly had plenty of hair left on his head.

This was another decent match - not as decent as the US tag team title match, I’ll give you that- but it was a commendable effort from both teams nonetheless.

If you like watching guys just knock the hell out of each other for a while, you’ll like this match.

After a solid effort, Butch Reed and Ron Simmons double-teamed Rick Steiner off the top rope and scored a surprising yet well-earned victory. Your Winners and New Tag Team Champions: Doom

Out in the entrance way, Doom gave a post-match celebratory promo to Tony Schiavone.

The actual content of said promo was fairly standard stuff, but it was the energy and enthusiasm which really made this such a good segment.

Reed, Simmons, and Long were ECSTATIC about winning the titles and it made it seem like a HUGE deal - something you just don’t see any more.

Steel Cage Match for the National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair (w/ Woman) vs. NWA United States Champion Lex Luger

WCW Capital Combat 1990 - Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair
Defending champion Flair kind of had the advantage here as he already had the experience of competing in this cage. It was the same one used the time he tag teamed with Sting to face Great Muta and Terry Funk back at Halloween Havoc 1989.

The match was as solid as it always whenever Flair and Luger locked up, and it also ended with the same kind of screwy BS finish that occurred in just about all of their high-profile matches.

After a great match, Sid and The Andersons made their way to the ring but Sting came down to fight them off.

He wasn’t alone.

Backing him up, El Gigante made his WCW debut by waddling down to ringside and doing very little.

All the while, the cage had been lifted so Barry Windham snuck in and attacked Luger, resulting in a DQ. Your Winner via BS DQ: Lex Luger

Post match, Arn Anderson got in the ring and helped Flair and Windham attack Luger until Sting could make the save.

As he did so, El Gigante stood on the outside, doing nothing.

Eventually, Flair and his Horsemen fled and were stopped by Tony Schiavone for an interview.

Dripping with blood, his eyes and wide, Flair went absolutely demented as he continually screamed ‘WE’RE THE HORSEMEN!’

It was glorious, in a completely bat-sh*t-crazy insane way, but it was all over once Sting chased Flair down and beat him up to end the show.





Capital Combat 1990 may only be remembered for the Robocop stuff and that’s perfectly understandable given how much it was hyped up... and how much it failed to deliver, but there was so much more going on that.

While this writer would have liked to have seen one less tag team match, it has to be said that the US tag team title match was excellent.

The opening six-man and the world tag team title matches were also decent and the main event was great up until the finish.

Not a must-see by any stretch then, but certainly not as bad as you may have heard.




Other 1990 pro wrestling reviews: 

Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling. 

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.