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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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WIRTB Review: WCW Mayhem 1999

Ok, so In Your House One, it was bad. It really was that bad. But, it still wasn't Superbrawl bad. True, we got Mabel, but we didn't have to deal with...James Brown and--what do y'know?--Sid Vicious. So, I've been tasked today with reviewing a PPV that honestly scares the crap out of me.

I'm SOTB!!!, I'm not drinking, and this is WIRTB Review, where I review the crap, so you don't have to.

In 1999, wrestling was in a flux. It was possibly at its biggest peak. I mean, this was the year that Foley put a lot of butts in seats. This was the year that the Fingerpoke of Doom happened (as horrible as it was, it still made people tune in). This was the year that ECW had a national show. So, let's be real. 1999 was a great time to be a wrestling fan.

And then, we had Mayhem 1999, a PPV also known for being part of the Malcolm in the Middle title sequence (right after the flaming skiier, for those who are wondering).

We begin today's show with a rundown of the events that set-up this insanity. Sting, who at this point was a heel, was stripped of the WCW World Heavyweight championship after, well, being Sting and using his bat to beat people. Because of this, WCW sanctioned a brawl-for-all to crown a new champion. We had Norman Smiley in this tourney. We had Bret Hart. We even had Madusa in there, since I guess she was supposed to be WCW's answer to Chyna at this point, going up against Chris Benoit. We had Meng. Pretty much, anyone who was able to actually lace up, they got the call from WCW to go out there and do whatever they needed to make this interesting.

"We can do this nice and easy...or we can do this nice and rough."
"You will feel the wrath of what silent but violent is all about."

These are either quotes from some SicFlics parody of Fifty Shades of Grey under the "Brutal Dildos" banner starring some random black girl with an insanely large marital aid and a Hitachi Wonder Wand...or Sting and Benoit going on about their title shots tonight. Just off the insane amount of pyro WCW used to start, I guess to get the crowd hyped up, I wish that I was watching the SicFlics thing. Don't judge me.

Our first match of the evening is Benoit versus Jarrett. Now, you'll know that, if you're watching this on the Network, you can't search for anything related to Benoit. But, the match was solid. It wasn't bad, it wasn't good. It was just ok. Benoit got the win.

Next up?


"HE'S THE DISCO KING!" Disco Inferno comes out and I lose it. I've never marked out so hard for a wrestler. This guy was the greatest wrestler of all-time. Now that my sarcasm is out the way, Disco Inferno comes out and is promptly attacked by his opponent, Evan of 3 Count. Evan beats the crap out of Disco to start. Tony Marinara a/k/a Tony Mamaluke starts off with the worst faked Joisey accent I've heard, talking about how Glenn Gilbertti owes him money and he better pay what he owes or fishes and cement will be his friend.

Oh, late-generation WCW. You and your edginess of using real names.

See, there was a reason why "this is Phil Brooks versus Paul Levesque" worked or Scott Hall being Scott Hall worked. It was done in a way that's like "oh, shit. These guys are fed up. Let's watch." It felt real. Having Tony Marinara (stereotype much?) call Disqo (that was a thing, BTW, because Disco Inferno went heel and wanted to be a bit more blackish...or some foolishness) by his government name, on the other hand, is just like "oh, ok. We're trying to connect with the smart fans a little too much, but, fuck it. WCW, I guess you're in too deep. So, let's have Vince Russo call everyone jobbers and have Tony Schiavone say 'we just got swerved.'" And while Disco apparently had some real-life gambling problems, it just doesn't connect here--at all.

We see that Medusa has see-through pants, then Evan gets the win after Disco fucks around and hits Tony with a steel chair.

What? Ok, I'm one match in and stuff is already starting to not make any sort of sense. Not only that, but the match itself was putridly awful. We may have a new contender for WIRTB's Worst of the Worst.

Next, we've got Nasty Brian Knobbs and Norman Smiley in a hockey get up. Knobbs beats the hell out of Smiley with trash cans and Norman starts screamin'. I legit cracked up at his screams through this match, because they're oversold in a Ziggler-meets-Rollins-meets-Mr.-Perfect sort of way.


Anywho, Norman starts beating Knobbs in the head with the trashcan and starts beating him with his goalie stick. A "Heyman is God" sign appears as Knobbs begins to de-robe Norman and whatnot. Jimmy Hart gets involved (because that's what managers do), attacking Norman. Norman is then beaten outside the ring and up the walkway in some of the most-telegraphed offense I've ever seen. Seriously, Smiley turns around and waits for the can shots for two, three seconds before they come. Once backstage, Norman hits Knobbs with a broom, which results in...more trashcan shots. We get a table spot (Norman goes in obviously), and some more "brawling" between the two.

Knobbs, for some unknown reason, starts tossing food at Norman. I guess this is where WWF got their idea for Stone Cold beating Booker T through the supermarket. Norman and Knobbs get thrown into the elevator, which results in Hart hitting Knobbs when the doors open. Norman wins the battle, but Knobbs wins the war, as he just beats the unholy beezeebus out of Jimmy Hart and Norman.

Remember what I said about Madusa being "WCW Chyna?" False. That "honor" goes to Asya. And she's in our next match: The Revolution versus The Filthy Animals. But, first, Tony Marinara tells Disco he's bringing "the boys" tomorrow to Nitro and Jeff Jarrett has a 2x4 for...someone.

Anywhooo, Filthy Animals versus Revolution in an elimination tag match. Dean Malenko almost kicking a fan's ass was better than most of this match. It was a clusterfuck, in every sense of the word. Overbooked to high hell, a dead crow for the most part, botched spots, Konnan leaving, horrible tag team moves by Saturn and Asya, et cetera. A sign in the front, "who booked this crap," speaks my sentiments exactly. It's pretty much made to put Asya over, but Asya gets put out on by a Guerrero frog splash. Guess how this match ends?

A low-blow...to Torrie Wilson.

So, for one of the first times that I've seen, we get the mystical clit knuckle. It's just as incapacitating as a nutshot, but usually even more banned, since we don't want to promote attacking women's sexualized parts in wrestling (even though, y'know, tit shots and lady atomic drops are normal). But, to have Perry Saturn, a tough guy, win the match in such a punk way? Sheer stupidity.

Anywho, our announcers put over the event (lulz) as Buff Bagwell gets stomped out by Jeff Jarrett, The Powers that Be and Creative Control (again with the "realism," WCW?) for about half-a-minute. A few seconds later, Curt Hennig comes out for his match with Buff to some of the most basic entrance music ever.

At this point, Curt gives no fucks and it shows. He's still amazing, even when he gives no fucks. But, he obviously gives no fucks here. And, guess what? HE GETS STOMPED OUT TOO! So, how many of these matches have begun with either a schmozz or outside interference? Every...fucking...one. The match itself wasn't bad. It just wasn't good. Hennig gives no fucks and is having more fun talking with Heenan. And Buff? Well, he's Buff. After about four minutes, the Gigolo gets the win with a Blockbuster.

I'm five matches in and I'm already tired of the BS.

Next up? Bret versus Sting. Sting starts off by selling HBK-versus-Hogan-style, flying around to each ounce of Bret offense. After this, Sting takes control. That seems to be a problem with 1998-2001 WCW (and 2015 WWE at times), specifically in "big matches." It's very "face gets some shots in, then the heel, then the face, then..." Pretty much, whoever the announcers don't talk about that much during the match, he's the guy who tends to end up winning, after the face/heel/face/back-and-forth foolishness. Bret starts Hulking Up because Canada, but Sting shuts him down. Tony Schiavone calls this a "very technical match" and...just, no. This match has been anything but technical. We get possibly the sign of the night in "DESTINEYS CHILD AND TLC ARE LESBIANS."

I guess that's what "Waterfalls" was really about...

And, of course, we get another interference, with The Total Package (Lex Luger) running in and attacking Sting. The ref calls for the bell after Bret puts the sharpshooter on TTP. This leads to Sting being disqualified and Bret wanting to continue, completely forgetting that he (if he wins) has another match against Benoit tonight...yep.

Fuck this company.

Bret gets the "by the book" win with a sharpshooter.

Afterwards, Berlyn comes out to a horrible "O Fortuna" cover/re-vision thingy for his match against Vampiro, which is apparently a dog collar match. Berlyn, for those that don't remember/don't care, is Das Wunderkind Alex Wright repackaged as this Blade-meets-Matrix-meets-sadness-meets-Columbine German dude with...THEEEEE WAAAAAAAALL (get it? Berlyn...Wall? Berlin...Wall?)! It's still insane to think that Alex Wright is still under forty. But, lo and behold, he's not over the hill just yet (May 2015). It's also insane that, even though WCW toned the gimmick down, they thought it'd be a good idea post-Columbine, to have a white guy in all black with a trenchcoat-looking thing come out, all dark and shit and try to get over. It's like how WWF used an Owen Hart-like approach to Chyna's "injury" at Royal Rumble 2001.

And, oh hell...here comes Oklahoma with Dr. Death. This match is already doomed.


I skipped this one, honestly, because Oklahoma is literally the worst character in WCW at this point. And that's saying a lot, considering KISS Demon and other schmucks. I caught Vampiro, however, tossing Berlyn like a sack of potatoes. Vampiro got the win on a chain-aided camel clutch. Dr. Death jumps in the ring, does his best Stone Cold impersonation, and starts beating Vampiro and Jerry Only before asking for a beer. I had to watch this whole thing on mute, because Oklahoma makes me want to hurl my computer through a window.

Scott Hall Ramon gives a promo that involves him telling someone to suck it. Hennig leaves out and tosses water at Konnan. And we're told that Kimberly is going to go against David Flair. Ugh.

So, The Total Package versus Meng is our next fight. Straight out of the early 1990s, TTP has a neck injury and is being punished by The Powers That Be. Or something. I honestly stopped giving a crap. Meng wins on botched interference from Elizabeth (which just pisses him off and makes him destroy TTP some more), since Meng is the hitman of the century. Every time I've seen Meng in one of these WIRTB Reviews, he's beaten the low, unholy hell out of his opponent, even without doing much. Plus, y'know, biting noses off and making Little Caesar's seem badass usually leads to me giving props when props are due.


Scott Hall doesn't look so good in his pre-match promo with Booker T (for the US and TV titles). I'm not the one to try to intentionally discredit someone, but he looks fucked up as shit right here. He sounds it, too. This match was pretty standard late-90s WCW. Lots of interference (of fucking course), Scott Hall winning but still looking pretty fucked up, Jeff Jarrett, SCOTTTTTTT HALLLLLLLL ring announcer, rip-off Undertaker music for...Midnight, a black woman who's kicking ass. Yay.

We go back to ringside for a "Nelvana Sucks!" sign, for some hilariously insane reason, and some fat Weeknd-looking guy with his fat Edge friend throwing up "gang signs" and facially masturbating himself. Our fun is ended, though, when David Flair, doing his best Eminem-meet-Norman-Bates impersonation, comes out with a crowbar (remember him?) to face Kimberly. Kimberly lowblows him, David gets the crowbar, knocks out the ref (of...fucking...COURSE!), and stands over Kimberly with the crowbar. This shit is uncomfortable as hell. Kimberly steals David's cup and begins to lowblow David again and deliver some of the worst offense in wrestling history. Yes, worse than Paisley versus Sunny. 

David gets back up with the crowbar and is about to beat Kimberly until...POSITIVELY CHRIS KANYON comes out to beat David and DDP delivers the Diamond Cutter. As DDP is about to beat David with the crowbar (that thing's gotta be pretty dirty now), Arn Anderson comes out and tells DDP to stand down as Arn checks on David. And, of course, this ends badly. Why? David hits AA in the back with the crowbar (what?) and runs through the crowd, Roman Reigns-style.

Goldberg versus Sid Vicious have our next-to-last match tonight...in an "I Quit" match. Interesting sidenote, this match is about a month to the date before Goldberg damn near kicked Bret Hart's head off for reals. However, this match is the equivalent of Goldberg versus Lesnar, if both Goldberg and Lesnar were about 50. Goldberg wins with the Cobra Clutch.

And finally, we get our main event: Chris Benoit versus Bret Hart. Montreal versus Calgary. Dungeon Trainee versus Dungeon Trainee. Two of the greatest technicians of our time, even with...everything that's happened with Benoit. The match is a decent back and forth affair...until every...fucking...body runs in to send this match to a clusterfuck. The match itself was solid, just like the opening match, but it just fell flat for me. And that's even before the run-ins.

So, Benoit matches aside, we're at that point of our post where we ask the question: was it really that bad?

Yes. Oklahoma, in terms of sheer depression, trumps Mabel's appearances in WWF. Scott Hall was loaded like a semi-automatic. Disco Inferno had kayfabe broken to make it more "real," but it just came off as more laughable. Plus, RUN-INS OUT THE ASS! 

So, in closing, I'm SOTB!!! and this has been another--wait a second, I just realized something. I was supposed to review Mayhem 2000, which apparently is the Heroes of Wrestling to Mayhem 1999's WM 30. Oh, crap...

Well, we know where we're going next. Until next time, remember: I review the crap, so you don't have to.

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