It took four years and near-negative buyrates, but WCW has finally decided to kill the August PPV we all came to love and dread, Hog/Road Wild.
It's dead. But we can't breathe easy.
As I write this, I've already seen New Blood Rising. It just finished. Usually, I watch and write at the same time. Tonight, I couldn't access my computer during the show.
So, I sat and watched New Blood Rising with my friends, and my god, was it bad.
The funny part is that yesterday, I received an e-mail which described brilliantly everything that ails WCW.
I'll present it before I commence with the match descriptions.
I regularly check out a lot of wrestling websites and a lot has been made lately of Vince Russo writing for the internet.
And I'd have to agree.
Your everyday common rasslin fan doesn't know what a 'shoot' is, they don't know what a 'work' is. And they sure as hell don't know that Hulk Hogan is a 'politician' behind the scenes.
Hell, until I had net access, those terms, apart from politician, didn't mean anything to me, and definitely not wrestling.
And the last thing WCW needs right now is to alienate their fans with 'insider' terms. I read somewhere that someone said the JR/Lawler/Tazz feud comes off as a shoot, and that Russo doesn't need to use insider terms to portray things as real and I agree with that.
Remember when WCW was 'restarted' on April 10?
To your casual fan who just watches wrestling for what it is, they wouldn't have had a clue whats going on. Why is there a week with no WCW TV? Why's Bischoff back? Who the hell is Russo? Whats going on? Why are they declaring all titles vacant. The situation was never really explained and the same goes for a lot of things in WCW.
I firmly believe that Russo wants to get internet fans on his side. Example, giving Lance Storm three title. Internet fans love him. Sure, he's a great wrestler, but he doesn't deserve three belts, not so early in his WCW career. It's just catering for internet fans.
And then he likes to 'swerve' them.
Goldberg turning heel was done terribly. And remember the constant title changes on every show? David Arquette anyone?
Someone made a good point recently, in a newsgroup, after reading what Bob Ryder said about WWF also catering to internet fans. They said, 'WWF caters for the fans at WWF.com, WCW caters for fans at www.pwtorch.com, www.wrestlingobserver.com.
I thought that was a great comment.
WCW needs stability, they need angles which move a little slower, more hype and build up in feuds, it's hard to keep track. And as long as Russo keeps coming out with 'shoots', and making references to the opposition, the ratings will stay at the dire level that they are currently at. If WCW concentrated on their own product, like WWF and ECW does, they'd be better off for it.
I'd like to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading.
Yup. WCW has a lot wrong with it. And I have to say, after watching New Blood Rising, I'm not sure I want to waste my time and money on this crap anymore.
Usually, when I review these pay-per-views, I offer blow-by-blow descriptions. But not tonight. The matches were run of the mill, everything you'd expect from this crop of wrestlers.
- Curtain jerker: Ladder match Three Count vs. Jung Dragons
- Hanging above the ring are Three Count's gold record and a recording contract.
- The most amusing thing about the match is Tank Abbott, who sings, dances, and is wearing a shirt that exposes his nipples.
- The six guys in the ring basically spend the match pulling each other off the ladders.
- There are a few impressive spots, including Shane Helms pulling off a neckbreaker from a ladder, and Evan Karagias supplexing Kaz Hayashi off a ladder.
- Tank spends most of the match cheering on his boys as the guys in the ring do ladder spots and moves that look practised.
- The end comes when the masked Jung Dragon takes down the gold record, and has it stolen by Tank.
- Hayashi and Helms race up ladders for the contract.
- Tank then topples the two ladders, clearing the way for Karagias to get the contract. Three Count wins.
- Exciting, huh?
- To the back...
The Filthy Animals say they'll help The Cat beat The Great Muta, if he gives them a shot at the WCW tag belts on Nitro and lets them ref tonight's tag title match.
- The Cat agrees, of course.
- Match 2: The Great Muta vs. The Cat
- The one thing I'll remember about this show: how much Muta looked like The Great Kabuki, circa 1981.
- Miller does something ridiculously funny he grabs the microphone, and says something he wants Muta to understand: "You're The Great Muta, and I'm gonna whup your Great Ass."
- He then hits Muta with the microphone.
- Miller takes the advantage with brawling.
- Muta counters with solid wrestling, and hits his usual spots, including a dragonscrew legwhip and a powerdrive elbow that has lost much of its power and drive over the years.
- After about five minutes, Tygress comes out to ruin the match.
- When the opportunity arises, she hits Muta with a chair which leds to an eventual pin by Miller.
- Without the outside interference, it might have been much better.
- To the back...
- Buff Bagwell is looking for his fat mother.
- Match 3: Positively Kanyon vs. Buff Bagwell
- Kanyon comes out driving a fork truck with Judy Bagwell tied to it.
- It's the "Judy Bagwell on a pole match."
- Kanyon says, however, that the "second-rate country of Canada" didn't have a pole strong enough to support Mom Bagwell.
- So, it's a "Judy Bagwell on a fork lift match."
- I won't even get into how stupid all of this is.
- Buff comes out and the brawl begins.
- The match sucks.
- They brawl through the crowd, they brawl in the ring.
- All the while, Judy screams like Roseanne.
- Kanyon hits the second rope leg sweep, Bagwell does the neckbreaker and Buff dance.
- It goes like that.
- The match psychology is non-existent.
- Basically, they fill time until the end.
- David Arquette, yes David Arquette comes out.
- Arquette attacks Bagwell, but the dastardly plan doesn't work as Buff hits the blockbuster on both men for the win.
- Kanyon cutters Arquette after the match.
- To the outside...
- Lance Storm has arrived.
- The announcers say that Goldberg was injured the day before in a motorcycle accident in Sturgis.
- Yeah, right.
- Match 4: WCW tag titles Kronic vs. Misfits in Action vs. Jindrak & O'Haire vs. The Perfect Event
- Your special in-ring referee is Disco Inferno.
- Disco runs down the rules and says nobody is allowed to touch him.
- The booking in this match is simple three things are repeated again and again.
- 1) Disco counts slow for everyone but Jindrak & O'Haire, because he thinks the Animals can beat them on Nitro.
- 2) Kronic chokeslams everyone.
- 3) The action is all over the place and builds to nothing.
- The Animals get involved, of course. Tygress and Rey attempt the bronco buster on Cpt. Rection with different results...
- At one point, Muta and Vampiro attack Kronic. More on that later.
- Anyway, the end comes in ridiculous Russo fashion.
- Kronic has the pin on Chuck Palumbo but Disco refuses to count.
- So, Lt. Loco attacks Disco, steals his ref shirt, and makes the count even though it means MIA doesn't win.
- To the back...
- Jeff Jarrett says the same old crap to Pamela Whatshername
- Match 5: Strap match Shane Douglas (w/Torrie Wilson) vs. Kidman
- I dunno. I think they're real. Hey, Torrie, don't look at me like that...
- *Yawn* Same old strap match cliches...
- Yank opponent into ringpost.
- Put strap between opponent's legs and pull.
- Choke opponent with strap.
- Torrie attempts to interfere, of course, and it backfires, of course.
- Kidman pins Douglas.
- Post match, Kidman slaps Torrie's ass with the strap.
- My god, I bet her ass smells like roses.
- Douglas hangs Kidman, who is saved by Big Vito.
- The Italians in the crowd (and there are lots in Vancouver) cheer on Vito.
- Vito's attacked by some guy named Reno.
- I guess I should know who he is, but I've been watching old episodes of Jeopardy! every Monday night this summer.
- To the back...
- Outside, Booker T gets out of his car.
- Since a camera is there, you just know he's going to be attacked.
- And here comes Jarrett. He slams the car door into Booker's leg a few times.
- A word of advice to rasslers if you're in the back and you see a camera, RUN.
- Match 6: Mud pit match Miss Hancock vs. Major Gunns
- Major Gunns comes out first.
- Hey... check out how red the ropes are tonight...
- The match, of course, stinks.
- The ladies are moving in slow motion, throwing feeble kicks, punches, and clotheslines.
- The point of the match, I think, is to strip your opponent of her outer garment and pin her in the mud pit.
- Man, the ropes are red tonight.
- Hancock misses a splash and rolls out of the ring, clutching her gut.
- She sells the gut injury, unless she has other things to do, like walk, punch, think about shoes, or rip Major Gunns' clothes off.
- Gunns gets stripped, and returns the favor.
- They make their way to the pit where Hancock dances like a whore till her tummy starts to hurt her.
- Gunns pins her, and they stop the show saying Hancock is really hurt.
- Working the smarts again.
- David Flair rushes out to help Hancock.
- He jumps in the mud like an idiot, rather than run around to help his girl.
- To the back...
- Vampiro says something stupid to The Demon about having a black heart and a red dress.
- Match 7: Sting vs. The Demon
- Sting squashed The Demon. Quick pin after a reverse DDT.
- Vampiro and Muta attack Sting.
- Kronic attacks Vampiro and Muta, and challenges them to a tag title match later in the show.
- To the back...
- A medical guy is helping Booker.
- Booker, knowing he's in trouble when a camera is around, sends the camera guy packing.
- Match 8: US title Lance Storm vs. Mike Awesome
- Here's a lesson in how to ruin a match that a child could book.
- Storm, wrestling in Canada and way over with the crowd, should have been booked to win this clean.
- That would build his heat and legend in Canada (where WCW still must expand), and make him more hated in the U.S., where he would be an effective heel.
- In other words, this was a chance to start to build Storm into the next Bret Hart.
- But WCW blew it by having Storm call out Jacques Rougeau as guest referee with the Canadian rulebook.
- So, the match wasn't about wrestling, it was about ludicrous and irritating swerves.
- With Rougeau sitting at ringside, you knew the match was going to be a joke. And it could have been so good if they would have let these guys strut their stuff.
- Eventually, Awesome pinned Storm. So Rougeau told ring announcer David Penzer that under Canadian rules, you can only win on a five count.
- Awesome then made Storm submit to a dragon sleeper. Rougeau ruled that titles can't change hands on a submission.
- Awesome then scored a five count pin. Rougeau said under Canadian rules, the man who was pinned has a 10 count to get up so the match can continue.
- Finally, with both men down, Rougeau ruled that if one man doesn't get up at the count of ten, he loses. Rougeau attacked Awesome, so that Storm could get up before ten, and retain the title.
- In my eyes, this match ruins Storm's credibility by making him look like a wimp and a coward.
- Anyway, at the end of the match, Bret Hart came out and the Canadians all hugged.
- A blown opportunity by WCW to build Storm and a Canadian following.
- To the back...
- Kevin Nash says he's gonna whup Steiner's butt since Goldberg isn't showing up.
- Match 9: WCW tag titles Kronic vs. Vampiro & The Great Muta
- Another run of the mill contest.
- Basically, it's a brawl with Muta and Vamp using some of their trademark moves as they absorb the occasional slam.
- The action goes back and forth until Muta accidentally sprays mist into the eyes of the referee.
- The Harris brothers enter the ring, attack Kronic, and that gives Muta an opening for a moonsault on Clarke and a pin.
- New champs.
- A bunch of white rap fans seem happy about it.
- To the back...
- Booker says he's gonna kick Jarrett's ass.
- Match 10: Kevin Nash vs. Scott Steiner vs. Goldberg
- Nash comes to the ring first. He looks fatigued walking the ramp.
- Steiner comes to the ring and the match is on.
- They brawl. Big surprise.
- Nash is so bad now that he really should retire.
- He spends what seems to be the majority of the match on his back, resting.
- I'm not kidding.
- Goldberg does come out eventually to attack his opponents.
- He leaves for what seems to be no reason, and Vince Russo comes out to try to force him to stay.
- Goldberg, right in front of the camera, tells Russo to "f#ck off."
- Nash and Steiner mail it in, and Nash eventually scores the pin after a jacknife powerbomb.
- Match 11: WCW World title Booker T vs. Jeff Jarrett
- After several terrible matches, the crowd is dead, and all of the people watching with me are ready to fall asleep.
- Jarrett sneak attacks Booker to gain the early advantage.
- Booker counters a few moves, including a leapfrog he turns into a powerbomb.
- They take it outside and toss each other around a bit.
- Booker posts Jarrett, nails him with chops, and looks very much like a man who can carry this company.
- Too bad most of the talent that could complement Booker's style are now in the WWF.
- As the match goes on, Booker sells the leg injury.
- Booker hits the axe-kick, but accidentally nails the ref when he gets up.
- Booker goes for a sidekick, and Jarrett smashes his leg with a guitar.
- Booker endures a figure-four leglock, and they go outside.
- Standing on the apron, Booker plants Jarrett through a table with the book end.
- A second ref comes out, and Jarrett takes him out with a chair.
- Booker takes the stroke on a chair.
- A third ref counts two.
- Booker catches Jarrett off the top, he attempts a book end.
- Jarrett counters. Booker counters.
- Book end.
- The last match was good, but not nearly enough to save this dog of a show.
Just a report from the show. I was there, and it was pretty average. I was at RAW a few weeks ago, and no comparison. RAW a LOT louder, more pyro, and fans way more into it. I dont know how many people they said were there, but there was only about 9,000, definitely not sold out, lots of seats available.
The show itself left me wanting. Sting on for only like two minutes? The crowd's loudest pop was for Lance Storm, and his match was a joke. A real dissapointment was that Bret wasn't the "rule enforcer", and only came out for a brief non-speaking appearance. The crowd just never really got into it, other than when Storm was talking, the anthem, and when everyone thought Bret was coming out. A pretty good pop when he did come out, though.
The rest of the night was pretty uneventful though. A disapointment for sure. Nash wins the 3-way? Bookers noticable limp suddenly not so noticable? I could go on, but would probably keep going for too long. Biggest dissapointment for the crowd I think was the Lance Storm match, even though he won. The way it was done didn't work. The mid card matches were pretty boring, though the 3 count match had some nice moves and some hardcore stuff.
Fans were also chanting for Y2J throughout the night, and ROCKY, ROCKY when Booker was fighting. Fans were not good at the end of the night, throwing anything and everything at the ring and announce team as they left and the night ended. Overall, a poor job by WCW to get the fans into the evening. I have to stop, Im ranting here.