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Saturday, July 4, 2015

TWO NAWC Podcasts including a Beast of the East Instant Reaction Special!

On the eve of the 4th of July, Jason Block fills in for Nikki Heyman who had a “business trip” of sorts. Alongside Brian Henegar, Shane “Bad News” Beaman and Jim Williams. Jason takes a look back not only at the week that was in wrestling, but the first half of the wrestling year as a whole. It’s wrestling discussion and analysis at its best on a holiday weekend, and it’s all available by clicking right HERE.


Jason, Jim and Brian join Nikki Heyman for a live-to-tape "instant reaction" podcast while watching WWE Network's "Beast in the East" special from Tokyo.  Be sure to sync up the on demand broadcast on WWE Network and listen to us HERE.

Bad PPV Summer Great American Bash 1991

This week begins WCW Month on Bad PPV Summer. We begin with the 1991 Great American Bash. Ric Flair was supposed to defend the NWA/WCW World Heavyweight Championship against WCW United States Champion Lex Luger. However a litany of issues with WCW Executive Vice President Jim Hurd resulted in Flair taking the Big Gold Belt with him to feud with WWF Champion Hulk Hogan. Well Barry Windham will have to step into Flair’s boots tonight.

We start by showing excited fans. Must be the wrong show. They even make the cameramen buy tickets. One for them, one for the cameras. Gary Michael Cappeta welcomes us as we see a “Where’s Flair” sign. He was the CM Punk of the day.

P.N. News and Bobby Eaton vs. WCW Television Champion Steve Austin (With Lady “Drink Your Tea Before It Gets Stone Cold” Blossom) and Terry Taylor. Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone. Despite this being a scaffold match, the way to win this one is to capture a flag. News looks like he doesn’t want to fall. Given he is alleged to have been beaten up by a one-armed Rick Rude, this is nothing. Eaton and Taylor start, only for Austin to tag in. Still waiting for them to do something. This match is like an Authority promo. GET TO THE POINT! Finally, they start to fight. Austin trying not to fall while the commentators discuss the rules of this match. Austin inches to the other side before News tags in. Taylor next joins this mess, and moves slightly while in a knucklelock. Austin starts to slug him before News fights back. Eaton and Taylor move across to the other side. Austin stomps a mudhole in News before Taylor comes over to help. Eaton moves slowly to help News. He grabs the flag and hits Austin. Eaton is about to walk it across, but for some reason returns to the first side. Likely to get sprayed by a spraycan Blossom gave Austin. We hear a muffled announcement from GMC that Eaton won for his team. The brawl continues. Finally, some action. Boy did that match suck.

JR and Tony put over Luger vs. Windham for the WCW Championship in a match with an imposing cage. They talk about Flair leaving. Though they don’t mention him taking Big Gold to the WWF. Though we suspect Windham’s nephew is watching with his imaginary sister.

Eric Bischoff interviews Paul E. Dangerously, the advocate of Arn Anderson. No, he does not rip Bischoff apart about stealing talent. Instead, looking great in a trackjacket, he says he’s not scared of their opponents, Rick Steiner Brother and Missy Hyatt. Arn lets them know the AA here is aggravated assault.

JR and Tony talk about Luger and Windham once again. This match will define the show. We also hear about Sting vs. Nikita Koloff in a Russian Chain Match. El Gigante vs. One Man Gang. A.K.A Giant Gonzales vs. Akeem. Ricky (Now Richard) Morton vs. Robert Gibson.

Diamond Dallas Page accompanies The Diamond Studd. Strange to think DDP and Scott Hall would reunite decades later. Thank you DDP. Studd faces Z-Man Tom Zenk. All three men were in the AWA. Z-Man starts by attacking Studd. This ends when DDP pulls down the rope before Z-Man can go off the rope. This enables Studd to throw Z-Man over the railing. After taking Z-Man inside, Studd outbrawls Z-Man while Nick Patrick is standing up to Studd. We won’t see that again. After a series of chops by Studd, he uses an abdominal stretch to wear down Z-Man. When the referee is distracted, Studd uses the rope for leverage. Eventually, Z-Man reverses into a hip toss. But Studd uses his strength to chokeslam Z-Man and goes for a pin. Z-Man reverses for two. Studd resumes the assault before missing his clothesline. Z-Man then gets Studd outside, and sends him over the railing. When Z-Man gets Studd in the ring for a pin, DDP slaps him behind the referee’s back. Studd uses Z-Man’s attack on DDP to use a back suplex for a pin. Decent match, and you can see Scott Hall’s potential.

JR and Tony talk about Oz vs. Ron Simmons. A second member of the Kliq in action.

Oz has a castle for his entrance. The Great Wizard is the name of his manager. The Grand Wizard was already taken back in the 1980s. Oz looks really weird with a mask with a beard. Simmons emerges next. No doubt “Damn” was the first word he thought when he saw Oz’s entrance. After a feeling out, Oz has a hold locked in. Seeing Kevin Nash dressed like this is weird. Simmons breaks the hold, and we get bith men trying to knock the other down. After Oz knocks Simmons down with a kick, JR makes an Al Bundy reference. We now demand Al Bundy appear. After a sequence of power moves that gets a “Boring” chant from a fan. Simmons sends Oz over the top. When Oz get back in, he holds his hand up for a knucklelock. When Simmons is outpowering him, Oz uses kicks to get Simmons down. This match is a little too slow. Simmons tries to solve this be reversing into a suplex. Oz however is able to end the rally, and attack Simmons’ back. After a sidewalk slam, Oz only gets two. He then sends Simmons outside, where Wizard attacks. When Oz tries to pull Simmons into the ring, Simmons uses a sunset flip to gain momentum. Simmons uses three shoulder tackles to win. A little too slow in areas. And you can tell Nash is not yet the man that will main event in both the WWF and WCW. In fact, both men would become WCW Champion.

After JR and Tony talk about Morton vs. Gibson, we get the top WCW 10. The top wrestlers in WCW Chmpionship contention is a mix of weird gimmicks, and decent athletes. 10 is Johnny B. Badd (Pre-Sable), 9 is Simmons, 8 is Studd, 7 is El Gigante, 6 is Arn, 5 is Eaton, 4 is Austin, 3 is Sting, 2 is Windham, 1 is Luger. Now why do we tell you this? We don’t know either.

Gibson walks out in a trenchcoat he stole from a hobo. JR says Bischoff will talk with Missy Hyatt. Goddy. Morton, walking out with Alexandra York, does not have Mr. Hughes. Damn. He is still dressed like he always is. For a sellout who sold this sumbitch out, he has weird taste. A brawl starts this match off as JR talks about their Tag Championship reigns. York uses her speak and spell while Tony talks about their victory over Koloff and the future Smash. Gibson reverses Morton and sends him outside. Morton takes his time before he returns to the ring. After stalling, we get a shot of Gibson’s weird eye. Gibson sends Morton to the corner several times. We noticed Bill Alphonso is refereeing this. Haven’t seen this much stalling since WMXX. Finally some action as Morton sends Gibson into the turnbuckle. When Morton attacks Gibson’s leg, we see Bill Apter snapping away. Gibson tries to fight back on his hurt leg, but Morton takes advantage. Given the rumors many tanked their matches on purpose tonight in honor of Flair, this slow pace may be intentional. Morton rips away at Gibson’s tights to get to the knee brace. Gibson goes for a pin out of desperation, but only gets two. Morton uses a series of punches and stomps to keep Gibson on the ground. Morton uses a figure-four. The edit from showing a few fans yelling “Morton sucks” back to the action is a little gaffy. Gibson fights to get to the ropes, but Morton is able to keep him in the middle. Gibson powers his way however into reversing the hold. Morton releases the hold, and resumes the attack on the knee. Every time Gibson battles back, Morton goes back to attacking his knee. Gibson is able to strike Morton in the face. JR almost says he’s a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. Morton is able to keep on the knee. For a match with one of he best tag tams of all time, it’s worse than the last match. Gibson DDTs Morton, then back body drops him. After an attempt at a dropkick, Morton blocks. Again, on the knee. Though an inverted atomic drop is used. Gibson prevents Morton from going off the buckle, and even enziguri’s him. After brawling on the outside and dropkicking each other, York distracts the referee so Morton will be able to use the giant calculator to win. JR says the audience is angry. We imagine he’s describing the whole show.

Dustin Rhodes and The Young Pistols are interviewed by Bischoff about their non-title elimination match with WCW World 6-Man Tag Team and United States Tag Team Champions the Fabulous Freebirds and Badstreet. Full of energy, but not a lot of substance.

Dustin and the Young Pistols vs. the Freebirds, lead down by Oliver “Big Daddy Dink” Humperdink. Jimmy Garvin says it’s not their fault. We imagine he means the booking. Dustin starts off by dancing to taunt Hayes. Dustin then bodyslams Hays and Garvin. Dustin stays in charge until Garvin uses a kick. This then leads to everyone in the ring. Tracy Smothers gets in the ring next. He allows the Freebirds to pose out of respect for their flag. Strange to think Goldust, Dok Hendrix, and Freddy Joe Floyd are in the same match. Smothers uses several dropkicks and elbows before Badstreet tags in. Brad Armstrong. Great wrestler, bad gimmicks. Badstreet is dominated before tagging in Hayes. After a few moves, he tags in Garvin. Smothers is sent out by Badstreet, who is on the apron. Dink clotheslines him. Hayes send the full blooded Italian back outside. Referee Randy Anderson seems as lost as most fans. Garvin apologizes again for this event. Badstreet and Hayes team up as JR says May 19th. Watch out. Hayes locks in a sleeper hold, and then begins chopping. Despite a 10-punch attempt by Smothers, Hayes gets out and tags in Garvin. Smothers is again in a sleeper. After Garvin releases, Badstreet “tags” in, does a few moves, then Hayes is back in. After Smothers reverses a DDT, he tags in Steve Armstrong. Dustin and Garvin brawl outside as Hayes clotheslines Steve, and does a double DDT with Badstreet for the pin. Hayes’ joy is ended when he sends Smothers over the top rope. Apparently, that’s a DQ. So Hayes is off to the bar. Badstreet enters, and double teams briefly. Smothers tags in, but now the referee needs to see it. As Dustin goes back, another double DDT, and Smothers is out. Dustin comes in and quickly eliminated Garvin. These eliminations would be better over the match. Dustin quickly uses a bulldog to win. Not bad, but not great.

JR says he hopes we are enjoying the show. We are sad to say no JR. We next hear about The Yellow Dog vs. Badd in a mask bounty match.

Dog, who’s Brian Pillman, comes out with a dog. Badd (Marc Mero in blackface) comes out with Teddy Long. No chance of anone going one-on-one with The Undertaker or a tag team match. We see Vlad the Super Fan. This version of the show seems to be missing Pillman “Johnny B. Gay”. We also get a “Scene Missing” deal. Likely where Pillman says it. After a tie-up, JR refers to Dog as Pillman. We get an exchange of flying moves before Dog uses a hip toss. After Badd stalls, he tries for offense, but is sunset flipped for two. He however does gain momentum. At least until he talks to Teddy. When Dog goes to attack Teddy, Badd attacks from behind. Badd Gets Dog into the ring, and goes for a sunset flip off the top for two. Badd tries to remove the mask, but gets a jawbreaker for his troubles. When Badd tries for a punch, he gets a back suplex. He should be glad it’s not his future ex-wife’s future husband doing that. Dog uses some quick offense before he goes to win. Teddy runs in for a DQ. After Dog fights him off, Badd Tony Danza’s him.

Bischoff goes to interview Missy. Bischoff’s future buddy Jason Hervey sends Hyatt a good luck card. We see this is a men’s locker room. As an FSU shirt is around. Bischoff goes into the showers without permission. Good thing JBL’s not there.

JR and Tony tell us it’s a lumberjack match between Big Josh and Blackblood. Oh no.

Josh, who is the future Doink. Blackblood, who is Billy Jack Haynes, emerges with an incredibly fake mask. Blackblood punches Josh and sends him outside. The heel side assaults. Something JR is not happy about. After Josh is lightly brought in by the faces, he promptly comes back with a dropkick. Josh sends Blackblood to the heels, who let him in. Josh sends him back out as the faces throw him in. After a 10-punch by Josh, Blackblood battles back and sends Josh to the faces. We then get a quick brawl after Blackblood suplexes Josh in. After several knees and legdrops by Blackblood, Josh battles back. We see Josh mutter instructions before another brawl. Blackblood goes to use his fake axe. Dustin stops him, and Josh rolls him up. Whatever that match was, we’re glad it’s over.

After talking about El Gigante vs. OMG, we hear there’s more action.

OMG is lead by Kevin Sullivan. OMG looks like a refugee of Class of Nuke ‘Em High. Sullivan ramble about death wagons and OMG. El Gigante is lead to the ring by little wrestlers. Tough to think one’s a former UWF Champion, and the other is a streak victim. The short men attack OMG before the match begins. Once it does, OMG finds El Gigante too large and immobile to bring down. A hip toss by El Gigante is a full extent of his moves. Fonzie is distracted, so OMG uses a wrench. OMG keeps using the wrench when the referee’s back in turned. When the referee is busy with OMG, Sullivan attacks. Boy we hope this ends soon. OMG splashes, El Gigante gets out. El Gigante prevents OMG from going off the top. El Gigante uses a suplex on OMG, then iron claw’s Sullivan. When OMG tries to use powder. El Gigante kicks it in his face and gets the win. Finally off to next match.

JR and Tony talks about Sting vs. Koloff. May 19th again. Kane’s on his way.

We get a recap of Koloff and Sting attacking each other at different points.

Koloff emerges without Lana. Smart man. Sting is everything WCW, which means if he ever goes to the WWF, he’s screwed. They start with their wrists in the handles. After a feeling out, Sting kicks Koloff and brings him outside to put him across the railing. Sting gets Koloff into the ring, and rams his head into the buckle. When Koloff escapes, Sting pursues. Sting however is now the one being hit with the chain. Sting refuses to go into the railing, and sends Koloff into the post. Sting brings Koloff into the ring, but Koloff uses the chain to regain the advantage. He uses the chain to choke Sting before wrapping it around his elbow. After another elbow drop, Sting rolls out of the way. Sting then battles back before Koloff uses more hits, and attempts to go through the buckles. He gets three, but Sting prevents him from winning. Koloff uses a bearhug. This enables both men to get two. Koloff low-blows Sting before Sting low-blows him. Eventually, both men get three. After a quick brawl, Koloff stops Sting from getting the won. Koloff uses a Russian Sickle. Sting gets a surge of adrenaline, and goes to win, but Koloff gets the win. Sting however, hold his head up high after winning the post-match brawl. This was actually a great match. Sadly, the next two won’t be.

JR and Tony talk about the WCW Championship match. After this, we get a video package for both men. The video shows Big Gold, a Belt that will not be here tonight. Windham’s video looks like drunk Ziggler. Luger’s looks like he’s bored. JR says the cage means we’ll see the better man win. Overshadow much. Tony tries to talk over “We Want Flair” being chanted. Strange that “We Want Flair” has the initials WWF. JR says Luger was recruited by Joe Paterno. That’s like saying you’ve been hired by OJ Simpson. Soon, you won’t be proud of that. The stalling ends, and the match is on.

Windham bo-lieves he will win the regional belt that has a plate that says “World Championship Wrestling” glued onto it. Luger walks down as the longest reigning United States Champion. The “We Want Flair” is officially the original “CM Punk”. Referee Nick Patrick holds the interim belt. After a tie-up, Luger finds Windham is too big to outpower. He tries going off the ropes, but is dropkicked. After a weird handshake, we get “Nature Boy” chants. Luger gets Windham down, but Windham avoids the elbow. They tie-up again, before Windham back body drops Luger. “We Want Flair” again. Luger forces Windham’s head between his legs. Maybe he learned from Paterno after all. Windham gets out, and tries a figure-four. Both men go for a knucklelock. But when Windham goes for a kick, Luger reverses into an atomic drop. Windham shoulder tackles Luger, but Luger catches Windham’s second attempt with a sleeper. Windham gets out, and gets Luger into a sleeper of his own. Luger sends Windham into the buckle, and hits a DDT for two. Luger tries to go off the cage, but Windham sends him flying. Windhamgoes for an elbow, but Luger gets out of the way. After a back body drop, Luger hits three different clotheslines for two. Luger returns to the power game. As Luger has Windham in the torture rack, we realize the fans are into this match, really they should be. Luger goes for a superplex, but Windham sends him off and hits his clothesline. Windham back body drops Luger, then lariats him. Windham hits a dropkick for two. We see Harley Race, the man that actually punched out his high school principal, and Mr. Hughes walk out. Luger uses a piledriver to win. We see WCW decided to turn Luger. Well that will really make Luger’s time as WCW Champion a doozy.

JR and Tony talk about what just occurred, and that’s not even the last match.

Paul and Arn vs. Missy, who’s brown hair makes her look like Miley Cyrus before she went nuts, and Steiner. Before the match, Dick Murdoch and Dick Slater take her away. Missy and two Dicks is too easy a softball. Steiner starts against Arn. A sign says “We Want Flair”. That will be said more often. Paul distracts Steiner, which allows Arn to take advantage. Paul gives a boot to Arn, but Steiner KO’s him with a Steinerline. JR references Paul’s hair status. Rick Steiner Conquers Paul E. Dangerously with a Steinerline. JR’s glad we have no more matches. You and us both.

And that was the show. Most of these matches were really boring, and while the fans did not viciously boo after the WCW Championship match, it was certainly a moment that derailed a great reign before it truly warmed up. Well that’s the review for this week. Next week, we warm up the bikes for an event that earned less at the gate than we do now. Until next time.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

2015 Gooker Contenders Mid-Year Roundup

The year is only halfway over, but we have quite a bit of idiocy going on in this strange world we call wrestling. Much of that idiocy from the first six months are likely nominees for WrestleCrap’s annual Gooker Award. In the past, we’ve had the botching of the most anticipated wrestling angle ever, the year-long exploitation of a legendary wrestler not long after his passing, and most recently, the tie of a frustrating women’s angle involving two “athletes”, and the revelation that the wrestling biggest promoter in the world is as out-of-touch as C.M. Burns about Don Mattingly’s sideburns. Well his year has no lack of stpidity. Whether we’re talking about not giving  the fans what they want yet again, attempted murder in a storyline, or booking someone as a face without ever turning them such, 2015 certainly has brought many fans something to rage about, so we decided to go over the top contenders the year has brought us so far, and the likelihood of them making it to nomination.

For this, we must first lay down two rules. First, it has to be something that was presented in an on-screen wrestling program. This leaves out Seth Rollins’ “overexposure” months before he was in every other segment on WWE TV, nor our own Dixie allegedly proving that Gmail, let alone running a company, can be “quite difficult darlin’.” Therefore, it had to have been something on TV, a DVD set, an iPPV, or streaming on WWE Network. Second, it can’t be a gimmick or angle that got tremendously better in the timeframe of January-June. So The New Day can breathe a positive sigh of relief, at least before Brock Lesnar throws Kofi Kingston clear across Japan. With that out of the way, we bring you the list of victims on the figurative firing line.


The Booking of the 2015 Royal Rumble
RD Reynolds wrote in the description of last year’s Rumble “appointed golden boy Dave Batista was booed out of the building as fans chanted over and over for Daniel Bryan.” One would think WWE would do what it could to avoid this happening again. Well between the still as popular as ever Bryan being eliminated like a regular midcarder, and other favorites Dolph Ziggler, Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose being dumped out like garbage by two aging giants, the vision of Roman Reigns as the conquering WrestleMania hero was dead long before The Rock’s puzzled face became meme fodder of the year and #CancelWWENetwork became a worldwide trend. The real shock will be if 2016 sees a winner fans will approve of.
The likelihood: Quite strong. WWE learned the nothing from the previous year’s battle the internet waged after their mistake. This time instead of a legend that could, and did, rebound, it was the man they were desperately trying to make into the next big wrestling star. Because of both the Rumble, and their decision to have Reigns win over Bryan clean, WWE had to go with a mostly illogical method of having Seth Rollins use his Money in the Bank contract to be inserted into the match when WWE found fans were mixed on Reigns and cheering the match’s mega-heel Brock Lesnar, because the latter had re-signed. While Reigns is winning back fans, it is still a long way before his sadly tarnished image can shine once again. Will this make it to a nomination? You can believe that.


The Sting vs. Triple-H Feud
Some fans wanted to see Sting never sign with WWE, others wanted the man to sign if only to see him challenge The Undertaker’s streak at WrestleMania. Well with no streak match to speak of, it was decided to build-up to Sting facing Triple-H at the big one. This saw, among other things, Heath Slater being used as a stand-in for Sting accepting the challenge to appear at Fast Lane, and the eventual match that saw the aged D-Generation X and the nWo interfere. All topped off with what was framed as Triple-H winning a promotional war that was long dead. If one listens closely, after the match they can hear Vince burning cash before flushing it down a toilet in San Fran.
The likelihood: Up in the air. The anger fans have stems partly from the fact that Sting’s WWE debut saw him help to bring an end the Authority for all of a month and a half. Both this waste of a debut, and the fact that this match was framed as “The final ultimate decisive battle of the Invasion” by a promotion lead by a man that can’t sit his ego down to create a great WrestleMania moment, make this match a sore spot for fans that waited for Sting to make his appearance for over a decade. What may lessen this hit, and possibly keep it from that possible Gooker, is what could happen in the next few months. If Sting does something positive around Summerslam, then like Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt, most will be forgiven.


Chris Jericho “Interviews” Stephanie McMahon
After Stone Cold Steve Austin got Triple-H to say on Austin’s podcast that the main reason Chyna’s not in the Hall of Fame is because his kid can Google, WWE decided to give Chris Jericho’s show some time to shine on the network. After an innocent interview with John Cena, a big interview with the top female executive was planned. What followed was a series of questions too soft to be called softball. Easy questions about a company party, and a childhood crush on John “Bo Duke” Schneider, were only countered with one question about the #GiveDivasAChance trend. Thankfully Austin would return just in time to interview Paul Heyman. Though it robbed the World of knowing which Darren on Bewitched he preferred.
The Likelihood: Not too likely. While many fans wanted more than one question of substance, it was expected as a result of Jericho’s loyalty that we’d get an interview even most state-sponosored “journalists” in dictatorships would label soft. And while it may still get a nod just so we have another Network-based nomination, we feel that this feels more like Million Dollar Mania in the sense that as bad is it was, there was/will be far worse things in the year to knock it away.


“James Storm Murders Mickie James” Angle
While many fans in the possible dying days of TNA enjoy the show, there are still a few headscratchers that even aggravate them. Despite Magnus doing everything he could to show is bride-to-be that Storm was not being genuine with his intentions, she still went alone to see him. When she turned him down, Storm responded by throwing Mickie onto traintracks. The commentators barely acknowledged this, and fans were left waiting a week to find out someone pulled her off the tracks. Both this, and Storm winning the big revenge match, are big enough indications that maybe Billy Corgan was not the best person to hire.

The Likelihood: Quite strong. This feud started off great. Storm seemingly being a good friend to Mickie, while Magnus saw Storm only wanted to get into her pants (Or in this instance, have her join his stable). But once Storm got friendzoned, he tried to kill her. Magnus decided rather than go to the police, something a real life fan did, mind you, he decided he’d rather beat him in a wrestling match. When the match happened, Storm was able to win that match too. After both this and having MVP drop a precision N-bomb, we’re certain Corgan is trying to out-Russo Russo. We now worry about what his “Big progressive” angle was going to be.


All Things Nikki Bella
Once again, we have an instance where someone’s year is Gooker-worthy. This time #GiveDivasAChance becomes WWE's own corrupt a wish. Nikki’s year saw her first feud with Paige contain such lowlights as stealing Paige’s gear, which forced her to steal someone’s fairy dress, and giving her a forced spray tan. After losing to Paige and the departing AJ Lee at WrestleMania, Nikki was booked as a face, despite never actually turning, to face a heel Naomi. This feud saw Naomi recruit Tamina Snuka to prevent supposed face Brie Bella from interfering in any more matches. Next an ongoing feud with Paige that has seen several twin switches that make as much sense as a fever dream, and Nikki booked as the biggest Mary Sue this side of Milla Jovovich. We know talent is not sexually transmitted, but Cena hate seems to be.
The Likelihood: Good. Wrestling has seen reigns of terror that have angered fans for all the wrong reasons. This is possibly the worst of them all. Unlike the 2002-2005 reign of Triple-H, or even the 2009-2011 reign of Michelle McCool-Taker, this is centered around someone that is marginally improved as a wrestler. It doesn’t help that the booking often makes no sense. The April-June booking that saw no face turn for her, just showing up booked as having “Worked hard” to be Champion. Though she still needs help from her sister to win. This include Brie dressing up like her, despite the fact she has a noticeably different cup size and figure. Then WWE adds a nice cherry on the sundae that has fallen on the floor by having Nikki sell finishers like she’s Iron Man, and you see why the phrase “X-Pac Heat” is becoming “Bella Heat”. Now we are not sure if she’s going to break AJ Lee’s Championship record, but that’s like Taco Bell replacing Baja Blast with horse urine.

#AxelMania/Damien Mizdow/The Meta Powers
If there has been anyone lost in WWE’s descent into madness, it’s Damien Sandow. His breakup from The Miz was in a throwaway battle royal won by The Big Show. Rather than stand alone as Damien Sandow, he feuded with Miz over the name in a feud that was clearly a rib on Booker T (Well, WCW guys need to be reminded who then bestest, most handsomenest promoter of all time is). His next feud was one with Curtis Axel, who had been doing a Hulk Hogan parody spun from never actually being eliminated from the Royal Rumble. Copying everything Axel said wasn’t enough, as Sandow became Macho Mandow. They would briefly feud with The Ascension, who themselves are doing a gimmick mocking 1980’s tag teams. After this, they would do Superstars duty. Got all that? Good.
Likelihood: If you read all of that, and are either not angry, or laughing that someone thought this was a good idea, then you deserve a Gooker yourself.


The Intercontinental Championship Elimination Chamber Match
Usually, a match isn’t just bad, it is Jenna vs. Sharmell bad. And while this one follows in the tradition of Jeff vs. Sting or 18 Seconds, it is different in how it happened. When Mark Henry’s chamber opened up early, he had no better choice than to enter. Most of the wrestlers were as lost as the commentators that didn’t know Sheamus jammed his lock intentionally. This left Dolph Ziggler to salvage the match. He was calling shots louder than Cena, but in this instance, it was understandable.
Likelihood: Fair. This match fell apart by accident, so to put it with the other bad matches previously named. The reason this match is here is because of the lost concept of calling the match in the ring. It looks to be that only Ziggler could think quickly enough to make sure the match didn’t entirely fall apart. This reminds some of the 1996 Royal Rumble. Here, Steve Austin was supposed to be in the final four, but when he lost his grip on the rope, he was accidentally eliminated early. Leaving the other three, including Shawn Michaels, to figure out the best way to handle this. It may not win, but this match at least has a shot at being nominated.

That is out list of the first half of the WrestleCrap Gooker contenders. Now again, we have the next 6 months to look at, and hope we don’t have anything as insulting as most of what we named. Now enjoy Saturday.

NXT Review 7/1/2015

Well this Saturday brings two certainties: Kofi Kingston will feel a different form of power, and Finn Balor will hope to wrestle the NXT Championship from a distracted Kevin Owens. But first, he has to get through both this week’s main event, and the final part of the look into his life and journey in wrestling. Let’s see how this unfolds this week.

A video hypes the tag team match between Balor and his partner Samoa Joe, against Owens and Rhyno.
The Vaudevillains finally e-emerge to take on Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder. 1920’s vs. 1970’s. Gotch and Wilder start off, but Dawson quickly tags in. Dawson briefly overpowers Gotch, but falls victim to a team up. He is able to fight back with frequent tags between him and Wilder. Both teams have interesting chemistry both in-team, and with each other. Vaudevillains get the win with their elbow and neckbreaker. Overall, a quick, but interesting match.

Devin Taylor interviews Becky Lynch about her hip injury. Becky makes it clear that she will take the time to heal, but will be gunning for the NXT Women’s Championship upon her return. A shame. Too many injuries.

Baron Corbin vs. 1980’s jobber-style wrestler. Tucker Knight. Comparing Corbin to the dinosaur everyone hated in Jurassic World is a bad idea. Not much to note. A few power moves into end of days. Next week, we might just give a list of great bakery items instead of any details.

An advertisement for WWE’s Japan show. Best they don’t show 2015 Kane be the game changer against the man built up as LIVING DEATH!

NXT General Manager William Regal has had enough of Enzo and Big Cass, and The Vaudevillians yelling, so he makes a #1 contenders match for next week.

The final Balor video sees the man himself talking about how his designs inspire people to draw. Between that, and getting a kid to do the too sweet handsign, we say he better not be botched. Balor is shown in his tryouts, and then his debut teaming with Hideo Itami. He brings up that the name Finn is both the Irish hero, and a salute to his father Tweet of the night goes to @WheelerDeeler: Finn's Dad in a Man Utd shirt... I'm against him now. Triple-H is shown talking about playing to the camera. He may have mumbled “eat it Dad.”  We see footage of Balor’s first WWE match in his native Ireland. Seems fitting the man of the present is shown facing the man of yesteryear, Neville. Balor talks about the confidence he draws from the paint. He says it helps him channel a darker side. This makes it seem like the heel version will be absolutely insane. We see footage of Balor defeating Tyler Breeze becoming #1 contender, and Balor’s surprise to be back in Japan facing Owens. We also see New Japan and ROH star Karl Anderson on WWE TV. Becky briefly puts over how driven Balor is. The final takeaway is that WWE fans will be telling Vince he better not screw this up. Tough to do given the unofficial slogan of “If it ain’t broke, break it”.

Video of Eva Marie impressing Regal and Sara Del Rey. Give Brian Kendrick whatever he wants.

Emma, with Dana “I Don’t Know What My Look Is This Week” Brooke, vs. Carmella. Emma is the general here. Carmella is trying to keep up. She does a little bit at first. Going through the feel out pretty well. She pulls off a hurricarana quite well. Emma however, uses a kick to the leg to sway the match for her. Dana yells, but thankfully, it’s not at “CO’MON NIKKI” levels yet. Carmella gets out of a scissor hold, and starts to rally. Her character isn’t quite stand alone, but it is coming along. Emma is able to win with an inverted STF. Emma’s new character is evolving real well. She just needs mic time.

Bull Dempsey is ready to fight a vending machine. Even DRAKE YOUNGER is trying to get him to calm down. When Dempsey claims he’s trying to get pistachios, Regal tastes the chocolate around Dempsey’s mouth like it’s coke. We really hate this fat gimmick.

Another ad for Balor. It is obvious they are looking to make him the star. They better not do what they did to Reigns.

Last week, Jason Jordan finds he has a stalker. Chad Gable, in a Dave Schultz shirt that is Kurt Angle approved, pleads his case yet again.

Tyler Breeze vs. Tye Dillinger. Great to see the assault by Reigns hasn’t hurt him too well. Breeze is still trying to be a heel, but the fans like him a bit too much. We’ll say he’s a tweener. Dillinger punches and stomps while mocking Breeze. Dillinger’s dominance is ended by a reversal. At which point, Breeze uses quick viciousness followed by a beauty shot to win.

A Tapout ad with Charlotte. Did you know her husband Bram signed a multi-year deal?

Sasha Banks sees Emma and Dana, mainly Emma, eying her Championship. After grabbing the belt, Sasha throws down the gauntlet to a tag team match.

Balor and Joe vs. Owens and Rhyno is the main event this evening. Final hype for the event on Saturday begins. Owens brandishes the belt to taunt his opponents. We start with the two former TNA World Heavyweight Champions brawling before Balor tags in. Balor is in the driver’s seat until Owens tags in. After a brief rally by Balor, Owens starts to whip Balor around while taunting fans. Owens sends Balor outside as we go to break. Again, the less you talk about Brock Lesnar being dominated by a near retired wrestler, an overprotected wrestler, and two retired wrestlers, the better. Owens continues the usual chinlock from the break. Owens tags in Rhyno, who proceeds to use the power game to hold Balor in the air for 15 seconds before suplexing him. Owens tags in, and again with chinlocks. Balor battles back. But Owens uses Cena’s moves of doom. Even indirectly, Cena buries you stars. Balor gets out of an AA, and stomps on Owens. Balor and Owens tag their partners in. Back to 2006 Impact. Owens distracts Joe for Rhyno to take advantage. When Owens tags in, Joe pushes Owens aside. Rhyno distracts long enough for Owens to powerbomb Joe, but Balor prevents him from getting the win. After Rhyno accidentally gores Owens, he is tossed out by Balor. Balor then gets the win with coup de grace. Not sure now who will win. While there is a rule of momentum, Owens has been all over the map. It would make a bit of sense for an unfocused Owens to lose the belt, but we will find out Saturday.

This week was more of a go home show, but even here, it outclassed any show of this type the main roster does. It set up the match on Saturday real well, and leaves you wanting more. We’ll be back next week, and it will be then when we find out if Owens pops up for a win, of if the Balor age begins.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Impact Bell to Bell Review 7/1/2015

Well this past Sunday was Slammiversary. Given the attention to tonight, you might have had little interest in ordering it. It actually wasn’t a bad show. There were a few problems, but at least we had a blaze of glory.

A video for TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle vs. Ethan Carter III starts the show. This match is what fans wanted Sunday.

The Rising vs. The Beat Down Clan in a losers must disband match. Drew Galloway and MVP start by brawling with each other. MVP asks for a time out before tagging in Low Ki. After quick momentum shifts, Drew tags in Micah. Josh Mathews lets you know that Haku is Micah’s dad. Which is why we have Lagana tell him bad news. When Kenny King tags in, he dominates for a bit before tagging in MVP. Josh says MVP may start a new group if he loses. That’s been our booking philosophy. The team up enables Low Ki to eliminate Micah of all people. We are locking our door. MVP and Low Ki are able to use the team up on Drew, with Eli Drake asking to tag in. A desperation attack allows Drew to tag in Drake. Drake is a house of fire before hurting his ankle. Drew looks concerned about the status of his partner. Too fishy. We suspect Russo’s back. Drew starts against the Lucha Underground star Hernandez. Hernandez starts with shoulder tackles and by chopping. King and Low Ki try to assault, but a miscommunication sends Low Ki outta here, and pins King. Despite being eliminated, Low Ki tries to attack, but gets a shoulder load of steel. Drew tries attacking Hernandez, but a kick by MVP allows for a border toss. MVP then tags in to finish off Drew with a drive by kick. The poor man’s Bullet Club wins.

A Samoa Joe bundle? What’s NeXT.

MVP says he has a present for the BDC. Pay.

Magnus starts talking as if Sunday’s match was not a last minute alteration to the match. He welcomes back Mickie James, who thanks the fans, and Magnus, for warning her, not rubbing the truth in her face, and winning the match. 2/3 ain’t bad. Boy did this angle die at the scene of the accident. Former TNA Heavyweight Champion, Tag Team Champion, and employee James Storm then walks out and says Mickie should thank her for not crippling her. He should thank Billy for getting him a shot at the Gooker. After Storm says he can get any woman he wants, Mickie promptly calls his bluff and demands Storm find a woman. May we suggest Abyss as yet another Park family member.

EC3 training with Tyrus. We aren’t sure if he’s winning.

The Wolves vs. The Dirty Heels in a 30- minute ironman match to decide the TNA World Tag Team Champions. The Wolves take advantage early on, but as soon as Austin Aries tags in, he shirst momentum the Hee’s way. With no clock, we will not be sure if we botch the time. Tweet of the night comes from @ShroomMeister: Honestly, the least the unpaid production staff can do is put a clock and score on screen.
The momentum rolls the Wolves’ way once they are able to team up on Bobby Roode. Though when Aries is back in, he starts to talk too much. Davey Richards tries for a submission, but Aries is able to roll out and tag in Roode. Once Eddie Edwards tags in, Aries is able to take over, and team up with Roode. Aries uses a bow and arrow-style hold before Eddie breaks the hold. The Heels are dominating before we finally get the time on TV. Eddie is able to do a hurricanana on both men and tag in Davey. Davey puts the team in the driver’s seat, and even puts Roode in the tree of woe. Aries is able to prevent a pin. The Pope accidentally says The Wolves are former WHCs. Well they were somewhere else. Partial points. Aries takes over against Davey. Aries goes for a pin, but only gets two. Davey sells a powerbomb by laying in the legs up position for a few seconds. Davey eventually battles back, and goes to tag in Eddie. Davey has to kick Roode away before he can do this. But once Eddie is in, he uses a backpack stunner, but only gets two. Eddie chops away before Aries starts a double team. Davey is able to get Aries out quickly,This is short-lived, as the Heel are able to use a double team to shift things their way. When Aries tags in, Aries lock in last chancery. Davey has to fight through Roode in order to break the hold. Once the Wolves get Roode out of the ring, they go for a double team before Aries breaks it up. It’s not long before Aries gets the first fall. Threee minutes remain while Roode holds the Wolves for a suicide dive. Josh forgets we don’t have nameplates on outr belts. In fact, the only WWE belts that have them are held by John Cena and his “friend”. Eddie is able to tie it at one with under a minute. Both Eddie and Aries are down when Roode tags in. Eddie rolls him up to go 2-1. Roode rallies to lock in a crossface, but it’s too late. The Wolves reign once more. The Pope call them Patriotic Wolves. Good dodge.

An ad for a One Night Only means Slammiversary may now be our penultimate PPV.

TNA Knockout Champion Taryn Terrell vs. Awesome Kong vs. Brooke in a triple threat match is next. We may get answers to that “Playtime is over” stuff no one talks about. Not sure what is stranger: The fact that Billy got Courtney Love paid, or Taryn’s entrance. Kong starts by brutalizing anyone that gets within reach, but Brooke beats Taryn severely early on. Taryn rolling out leaves Brooke and Kong to face off. Kong is able to use power to overcome before Taryn tags in. Josh reminds us that Taryn beat Havok. Might not want to say that name near the other commentator. Taryn is able to beat on Brooke like they’re in a hotel room. Kong then heads out and attacks the Dollhouse, but she doesn’t do a good enough job, as they prevent them from knocking Brooke off the turnbuckle. Taryn pins Kong with an assist. As she heads to the back, the lights go out. We then see those videos were for Gail Kim, who seems to go into hiding to heal a broken finger. Despite this only being a video, Taryn screams like Gail slaughtered everyone in her hometown.

Jeff Jarrett and Mike Tenay talk about the angle Dixie’s hoping keeps her employed here. Jarrett says there is a future with the two promotions, which means he will pull out of the sale when Bob Carter adds more stipulations.

Angle vs. EC3 is the main event. This is the most anticipated possible WHC change not f---ed up by Hulk Hogan so he’s not outshined. We see an ad by Yeti coolers. It’s pronounced “Yet-Tay”. Angle starts by locking up with EC3, followed by another chinlock Randy by EC3. During this feeling out, fans are hot for both men. EC3 briefly takes over before he goes to Suplex City, and is sent outside the ring. Angle then belly to belly suplexes EC3 on the outside before bringing him in, and suplexing him some more. EC3 is able to kick out, and belly to back suplexes Angle before Stinger splashes him. The Pope acts like Sting is retired. Silly bastard, he only wishes he retired. Josh refers to a DDT as DDP. Boy they are earning their pay. EC3 then uses a full Nelson, to which Angle gets out of and brings EC3 down. Angle then delivers more Germans than a Munich traincar. Angle uses a missed splash to Angle slam EC3 and ankle lock him. Tyrus breaks it up, and EC3 attempts a 1%er. Angle Germans some more before sending Tyrus down and Angle slamming EC3 again. Angle lock in the ankle lock, but EC3 rolls out. Angle belly to belly’s EC3 into referee Brian Hebner. Tyrus uses this to his advantage. He hits the 1%er, but only gets two. Tyrus then attempts to enter with a chair, but is ejected with the help of Brian Stifler and Earl Hebner. EC3 attempts another 1%er, but Angle rolls through and ankle locks one more time. EC3 needs to bite on his wristband. After trying to reach the rope, he rolls out and breaks the hold. EC3 is able to roll out of an Angle slam, and get the pin.

So ends Bell to Bell. It didn’t have as many great matches, the tag team and WHC matches both delivered, and at least showed glimpses of the show fans once watched in droves. Well, kind of anyway. Until next week.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

North American Wrestling Connection Ep. 380 - Small Table, Big News

Nikki Heyman’s table is much smaller this week with only Jason Block and Carl Chenier sitting down to talk about lots of news, including why the heck the Jarretts have made a surprise TNA return, Tough Enough week 1 thoughts, Wyatt vs. Reigns going up a few notches in the personal level, and much more on our wrestling podcast that is close to 400 episodes. Click HERE to listen along.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Bad(ish) PPV Summer King of the Ring 1999

Before we close out the month of June, we want to say that Wade Barrett can rest easy knowing his King of the Ring honor is not the worst use of it. Because of this, we look at the last KOTR of the Vince Russo era. So with that, we give you the 1999 King of the Ring.

We start with recap of Austin as kayfabe CEO mixed with images of great leaders like JFK, bad ones like Mussolini, and Jesse Jackson as, well, someone.

Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcome us from Greensboro, NC. We are updated on future NWA Champion Ken Shamrock being assaulted by Steve Blackman during a match with Shane McMahon on Heat. Shamrock still refusing help after biting blood capsules. Michael Coe says Shane might not wrestle again in the main event. In which he teams with his father to face Stone Cold Steve Austin for WWF ownership.

Hardcore Holly vs. X-Pac in a KOTR quarterfinal match. Two former WWF Tag Team Champions collide. We find out that X-Pac stopped Triple-H and Chyna from assaulting Road Dogg on Heat. Holly starts off showboating while he’s in control. Holly targets the head and neck early in the match. Most of this likely leads Harvard Student Chris Nowinski to think of a new job. X-Pac uses a back suplex to take over. Using a series of kicks, X-Pac then does a bronco buster without hurting himself. As quick as the match starts, Holly uses a chair and gets DQ. The assault brings out Road Dogg to make the save. A DQ finish that early brings the whole match down. Road Dogg’s “Down where? Down here” shirt apply to ratings now.

Terry Taylor asks Holly about what he did. Holly’s rude to the cock of the walk before saying he hasn’t forgotten about The Big Show.

Speaking of Big Show, he’s in action next in a quarterfinal match. Back when he only turned a few times. We see a recap of Big Show pushing a junk car down. His opponent tonight is Kane. Yes, these two men were once well loved. The two skyscrapers stare each other, then exchange blows. Battling for ground early on, Kane uses his power to throw Big Show around, but then Big Show uses his imposing presence before getting hit with an enziguri. Yes AN ENZUGURI! After a double boot, Kane is on the outside. He regains momentum with a slingshot on Big Show off the rope before using a top rope clothesline. Kane accidentally hits referee Jimmy Korderas before Big Show hits Jimmy. After a low blow by Kane on Big Show, Holly returns with the chair before getting disposed of by Kane. After a brief Big Show offense, Kane goozles Big Show with the intention of choking him. After what seems like forever, Big Show breaks the hold. This leads to Kane using the chair for the win. Not totally bad, but could’e done without interference, or choking.

Cole asks Vince McMahon if Shane will wrestle. Vince dismisses him like he was a report about the current angles.

Billy Gunn is out next. We get a recap that doesn’t explain much as to why he’s got a WWF Tag Team Championship belt. Billy challenges Shamrock and mocks him. This leads Shamrock to push medical officials aside to wrestle his quarterfinal match. Referee Teddy Long takes time away from the tag belt to tell Shamrock he shouldn’t wrestle. Billy takes advantage to punch and kick Shamrock’s ribs. Any offense by Shamrock early on, including an ankle lock, is brief before Billy continues to work on the torso. Even sending him crashing onto the guardrail. Shamrock tries an ankle lock outside, but Billy again gets out. When Billy gets Shamrock back inside, he tries to splash, but Shamrock rolls out of the way. Once Billy hits a powerbomb, Teddy basically says “you can’t go on playa”, and ends the match. Shamrock is angered by this, and throws Teddy out.

Ring of Honor’s Kevin Kelly interviews Chyna, who says she wants to be Queen. We won’t make a joke here. And Triple-H, who says he won’t take orders. Hopefully this is his NXT stance.

Road Dogg comes out showing why he needs a promo off with Enzo Amore. He’s in the last quarterfinal match with Chyna. If you told us that in 2015, Triple-H would hide behind his kid when asked about Chyna, we’d say we want to see this. It may be the whiskey talking, but Chyna is not completely scary at this time. Her build is Charlotte-like. Chyna uses power to take over in early exchange. Just when Road Dogg looks to be in control, Chyna uses elbows. The match spends too long with the resthold stuff before Chyna starts to strike with elbows and kicks. Chyna whips Road Dogg into the turnbuckles several times. Chyna, like Triple-H, was trained by Killer Kowalski. Interesting fact. When Road Doggreverses and sends Chyna outside, Triple-H gets in his face. When Chyna distracts the referee, Triple-H begins to assault him. Once Road Dogg is back in the ring, Chyna again uses elbows. When JR says “Chyna is on top”, we forget he’s not reviewing her movies. Road Dogg briefly battles back with puches before getting a DDT for a two. Chyna looks frustrated before going back to the power game. Chyna mocks Road Dogg’s knee drop. Eventually, Chyna uses a sleeper hold, which given the pace of this match, feels extra slow. Road Dogg finally starts to rally. Going with a sleeper of his own. Eventually, we get a second ref bump. Leading to Triple-H using a well-placed chain to try to get Chyna the win. Shawn Michaels, wearing a shirt for his own wrestling school, prevents Triple-H from getting involved. Michaels is Commissioner, so he sends Triple-H away. When Chyna attempts a low blow, we see Bret is wearing a steal plate. By which, we mean Road Dogg wore a cup. A pumphandle slam later, and Road Dogg wins. An all D-Generation X semifinal if that green Kane suit is to be believed.

Cole is interviewing The Rock about his WWF Championship match against The Undertaker. Rock talks about Taker lighting him on fire. Only Russo would think a match with THE UNDER F---ING TAKER! AND THE F---ING ROCK! Needs fire.
Edge and Christian vs. The Hardys for #1 contendership is next. We see that this match was also on Heat. That’s right, the B-shows then are better than the A-shows now. As we were saying, this match was on Heat, but the Acolytes got involved and beat both teams. Matt starts off against Christian. 2 WWECW greats facing off. A double team by the Hardys makes their manager, Michael Hayes, happy. Christian battles back and tags in Edge. Interesting to note all four wrestlers would hold main event gold in WWE. The WWECW Championship counts. After Edge dominates, Jeff reverses and tags Matt in. Once Christian tags in, the pace quickens in this match. It even sees all four in the ring at once. Gangrel tries to argue with referee/Andre travel buddy/Bartender/Storyline suicide attempter Tim White, only for Hayes, the reason the Hardys wear baggy pants, interfering He gets a spear chucked at him for his troubles. This enables the Hardys to attempt a double team, only for Jeff to be next in the spear party. Gangrel’s blood spit attempt leads to Jeff getting the pin. Gangrel makes nice for the night, but you know an Edge face turn is upcoming. Great match, but you know the Dudleys are needed.

Taker asked if he can handle the Brahma Bull leads to Taker threatening to castrate Rock. This same man threatened to gut CM Punk after all.

Vince comes out next and informs fans that Shane will not be able to wrestle. He teases that the match is off before Michaels basically says that Vince will not weasel out. If anyone is able to spot weaseling out of a job, it’s him. Vince then says since the match will go on, he will choose a new partner. We imagine this is where Vince started his feud with God. JR and Jerry talk about the Higher Power and other nonsense.

Billy vs. Kane is the first semifinal. Kane vs. a man with long blond hair and white boots. Are we watching 1999 or 2015? Billy starts by taking the fight to the big man before Kane reverses. Kane then proceeds to take Billy apart in and around the ring. However, when he attempts to use the steps, Billy dropkicks him and takes over. Billy hammers away along the walkway. The referees around this time are more lenient t this time. When Jerry says King Kane, we suspect Hayes wanted to give him the name Ken as well. Billy brings him into the ring. Kane reverses the assault with a scoop powerslam, and shows more agility with a dropkick. Billy tries to use a chair before Big Show takes it from him, then likely turns again by hitting Kane with the chair. Billy still uses the tights to get the win. Kane, whether angry at the finish or the booking, Jason spots to send Billy running.

Kevin Kelly is in the back with X-Pac. He asks about possible mixed feelings. X-Pac basically says he and Road Dogg are friends, but tonight is about the better man, whoever it is.

X-Pac vs. Road Dogg is the last semifinal match. JR talks about the KOTR tonight will be the last one of the millennium. Hope it’s not a waste. Kevin Kelly asks Road Dogg about the match. Road Doggtalks a bit too fast to be understood by any non-Boomhauer in the audience before coming out. Road Dogg starts controlling the match before X-Pac takes over. Random “Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy”, “TakerDiva” and “I am a Mikdunals imploiee of da Munth!” signs deserve attention. Road Dogg gets out of another chinlock Randy, and punches and knee drops is way back into the match. However, X-Pac uses his quick kicking to take over. Though Road Dogg getting out of the way of the bronco buster leads to his most painful one of the time. When Road Dogg goes for another Pumphandle slam, X-Pac reverses into an X-Factor to win. The two men shake hands afterwards. Another match that rises above the booking.

Taker vs. Rock is next up. Taker in the hype video goozling Chyna is an interesting opposite to the man that saved Elizabeth from getting hit with a chair. Taker starts by punching Rock, and donkey punching referee Mike Chioda. This actually helps Taker when Rock Rock Bottoms him. Taker next Chokeslams Rock, Rock kicks out. Not a lot of grappling here, but given Taker’s wrestling with a torn groin, we will not complain. The two men brawl along the outside near the entrance. The referee again letting a lot of stuff slide. Including Taker sending Rock into spare guardrails. Rock battles back toward the ring, but Taker reverses a suplex with one of his own. Taker eventually gets Rock back into the ring. Taker then sets up Rock for what will later be known as old school, but Rock crotches Taker on the rope. Rock then grabs a water to spit in Taker’s face. The two men then brawl in the stands by the hard camera, where Taker uses more water. When you see Taker from behind, you understand why WWE was trying so very hard to push Roman Reigns. Rock gets Taker back to ringside, where Taker uses the ring bell to block Rock’s chair shot. Boy this referee is very conservative with his power. Taker gets Rock on the apron, where Paul Bearer uses his shoe. Taker scaring away the referee always gets a LAUGH FROM US. Rock battles back before Taker DDT’s Rock. Taker then remains in control with a chinlock. But Rock will not stop. We can see Taker telling Rock to reverse, which leads to a Samoan drop. As quick as Rock’s control was, a double clothesline puts both men down. After they use the ropes to get up, the brawl continues. Rock reverses a tombstone into a DDT for two. Bump #3 for referees tonight sees Rock people’s elbow Taker. Though with no referee, Taker still has the Championship. Bearer hands Taker an ether rag. Rock is able to grab it and use it on Taker. Triple-H runs down and pedigrees Rock. Both men are down. Taker tries getting up before deciding to pin Rock for only two. Taker then tombstones Rock to get the win. The brawl was good, but the ether and Triple-H were unnecessary.

Triple-H is dragged away as Vince tells Michaels that’s his partner. Vince, wearing batters gloves that make him look like the president of the Pat Benetar superfans, then uses a phone to tell someone to turn around. Bonus for a dazed Rock.

X-Pac vs. Billy for the final. Belly lets Cole know he’s targeting X-Pac’s neck before he says he can kiss his royal ass. We hope he’s not winning here. Billy starts targeting the neck like he said. Using thing like kicks and Stinger splashes. X-Pac sends Belly outside and planchas Billy. As the match returns to the ring. Billy is able to recalibrate his sight on the neck. Billy keeps a hold on the neck for what feels like a minute. Billy uses a fameasser, but only gets two. When he goes to rgue with the referee, he walks into an X-factor. Only two. X-Pac again bronco busts, but the pain is too much, as Billy still has the presence to use a neckbreaker. Both men fight along the top rope before Billy uses a second fameasser, this time from the second turnbuckle to become the 1999 King of the Ring. We do hope in two years, he’s not at a WWF bar eating a sandwich.

We get a video for the main event, including what we’ll call the 1999 Gooker award winner the Higher Power. When JR refers to Shane as fourth generation, many fans are angry about what the future holds. Vince gets refered to as an a—hole as Jerry says Vince is from NC. Bad move Jerry. Vince reveals Blackman is his partner. Suddenly, GTV reveals Shane relaxing with the Mean Street Posse. We do hope the payoff to GTV is good. Michaels will not let another wrestler avoid getting beaten, as he escorts Shane to the ring. Michaels says Blackman looks like a G.I. Joe, which reminds us of the one wrestler beaten up by a naval officer story not resulting in a lawsuit. Man Austin is over. You want organic over for our flagbearer. When Vince and Shane try to leave, Austin attacks them and brings Vince back. When Shane returns to the ring, Austin strikes at him as well. He focuses on Vince again. He will only be as brual as here again when he asks about why there aren’t a lot of young WWE main eventers. JR wonders if there will be grandchildren after Austin crotches Shane on the ringpost. Looking at his wife, we imagine he’ll try. When Austin tries to go after Vince, Shane then attacks. Austin however, fights back and goes after Vince. Shane pursues and goes up the ladders set up as setpieces. Austun follows him and forces him off. Austin then throws Vince into several loose ladders, and hits him with a few. Austin then sends Shane into a ladder before knocking down the ladders over both of them. Austin then grabs a ladder, and heads for the ring. When Shane tries to stop him, Austin sends him over the top. He then uses the ladder to incapacitate both men before going off of the halfway point of the ladder onto a prone Shane, who is laid out on the Spanish announce table. Austin and Vince then brawl on the ladder before Austin is send off the English/American announce table. Vince sets up the ladder to try to get the briefcase. Austin frantically gets in and low blows Vince and ramming him into the ladder before sending him off. When Shane tries to attack, Austin uses the ladder to keep Shane trapped. Austin then sends Vince into the ladder. When Austin sets up the ladder to slingshot one, he decides to do so to both. Austin then sandwiches Shane with the ladder, leading to him tapping out. Austin sets up the ladder to attempt to grab it. Vince knocks it down. They then try to not use the ladder, but still grab the briefcase. Austin turns Vince around, and punches him. He then gives both men a stunner. Austin goes for it, but someone raises the briefcase. While they never said directly who did it, it is implied later it’s the Big Boss Man. Austin goes to get answers, and notices Vince is going for the briefcase. The two men brawl before Shane knocks the ladder down. He then sets it up, and grabs the briefcase. Don’t feel so bad for Austin. He booked himself a WWF Championship match for the next night.

While this was not a purely bad event, it certainly was not great. Too many ref bumps, too many matches with interference, and the fact that Billy Gunn would be Billy Gunn’ed, make this tough to defend. So ends another edition of Bad PPV Summer. Next month awaits the worst July PPVs WCW put out around this time. Until then, have a great weekend, and try to remember Slammiversary.