By King Leo of King Leo's Wrestling Palace

Gerry B. sends the following arena report:

Things you don't see on TV:

There is more but I can't remember, so here is:

Angelo L. sends the following arena report:

I arrived about an hour and a half before bell time, armed with the obligatory signs. I had four in all. They were:

And no, I am not lying about that last one either !!! A little more about that last sign in a moment...

With my ringside seat (which I paid over AUS$400 for - bargain!!!), I was able to get into a pre-show session in one of the corporate rooms where the free beer was drunk and the free food was eaten. We did have the pleasure of having a number of wrestlers drop in for some Q&A sessions. First cab off the rank were the one & only "Nature Boy" Ric Flair and Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who both got good response from the crowd who got into the session. Of course, the first thing Flair did (apart from letting fly a few obligatory WHOOO'S) was flirt with some woman standing right next to me, by winking and blowing kisses at her.

The line of the night went to Hacksaw; who when asked what it was like to get close to Major Gunns responded: "No one has managed to get close to Major Gunns!!! (in obvious reference to the size of her assets)". That had Flair cracking up. I managed to ask Ric this question: "Given that you are a jet flying, limosuine riding, kiss stealing, wheelin' dealin', son of a gun; what I want to know is: how has the kiss stealing been going on this tour?". The reason I asked this was that the night before (Friday), Ric, and a number of other wrestlers were out at a local nighclub called HEAT, located in the casino/hotel where the wrestlers were staying. Let's just say that Ric was in some fine form, with some young talent (presumably local), and even managed to style and profile on the dancefloor - it was a classic to watch.

Before he managed to answer, Hacksaw interjected with: "After last night, this I want to hear." After avoiding the question for about 90 seconds, which he spent talking about how he had never been to Melbourne before, how impressed he was with Melbourne, how he was enjoying himself, and how great the fans were, he finally responded by saying that yes, the Melbourne women were fine, and that indeed he was a jet flying, limosuine riding, CREDIT CARD paying son of a gun.

Both guys came across very well, and looked to be enjoying their time in town. Following those two came Mark Jindrak & Sean O'Haire. It was a little embarrassing for those two, as many of the crowd in attendance didn't actually know who they were. They didn't stay long though. Then came the Stinger, which I didnt stay around too long for; as I went downstairs to give my access pass to my younger brother (who didnt have one), so he could check out what was going on.

I made my way down to my seats, which were ringside, four rows from the ring (beautiful position, except for the broad who insisted on standing on her seat for most of the night - well she was less than 5 ft tall, so I guess she didn't have a choice if she wanted to see!). David Penzer came out, and warmed up the crowd for a bit; and introduced the dark match for the evening, which was Kwee Wee (who actually got a mild pop initially) versus a local wrestler (who I didnt quite catch the name of). The local boy got the crowd gowing by waving the Aussie flag Hacksaw-style (I was just waiting for him to wave a boomerang and use it 2x4 style - of course I wasnt disappointed there, when he gave Kwee Wee a crotch shot with the boomerang - which of course got a loud pop). Kwee Wee finally got the crowd offside with a variety of hand gestures and insults. Kwee Wee won with his finisher (which I cannot recall the name of).

Following that, Penzer (gee, I didn't realize how fat he was) introduce the announce crew: Tony Schiavone (who actually got a pop - I was expecting him to be booed out of the building), Mark Madden (who got heat - I kept asking him "Who ate all the pies?"); and then OUR PATRON SAINT Stevie Ray. I got myself into position on the side of the ramp and held the Stevie Ray sign up high for the boys to see. Schiavone saw my sign almost immediately, laughed and pointed the sign out to Stevie Ray. Stevie looked at it, laughed himself silly for a few seconds and gave me the thumbs up sign. That actually made my night. At that point, I actually felt like a true mark!

Unfortunately. I don't believe any of my signs got onto camera, as my ringside seats were on the near side of the main cameras, so they werent really in shot. One of the ring cameramen got a good long look at my NATURAL BORN JOBBERS sign as Jindrak/O'Haire got to the ring for their title match, but I doubt it will get on to the show itself - after all, its not really a complimentary sign is it?

The Nitro Girls entertained the crowd through most of the ad breaks. Music was also played.

I wont get into details of the matches, and provide spoilers, as King Leo will report the details, but the matches that were on the program were:

Following that, where I presume the telecast ends with the victor (Mike Awesome - oops) standing victorious with Goldberg; Goldberg reentered the arena to his full entrance - man is it loud!!! He proceeded to give a short speech thanking the crowd for their support of WCW right throughout the tour (you have to admit the crowds were pretty good), and talking about how the performers were blessed to perform in front of crowds like the ones in Australia.

I must say I enjoyed this show a lot more than the "RAW" show that I attended whilst I was in the US earlier this year at the Continental Airlines Arena in New Jersey (in March). Obviously, the fact that I was at ringside rather than in the bleachers helps. One of the other main differences between the shows was that the ad breaks (which were very long for the RAW program, and dead quiet), were much shorter, and things were happening to keep the crowd going (Nitro Girls, music, the appearance of Pamela Paulshock ringside - who tried to get the now obligatory Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi! chant going - that chant makes me cringe, Penzer etc etc). Production was on the whole pretty good - you could see and hear all the backstage stuff)

Well, that wrote a lot longer than I thought, but it was a good night had by the majority of the crowd. There were quite a few signs, but not as many as I thought. My favourite, apart from my Stevie Ray sign of course, was one in reference to Miss Hancock's pregnancy "Stacy: Just Call Me Daddy!".

I close (FINALLY, say all the readers) with the traditional DDT Digest Nitro Report (sorry Aldo!!!) closer - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

THE GOOD: Eight matches. A good mix of matches and interviews. Nearly all of the available big names were on the show. Most of the boys looked to be putting in a effort (with the possible exception of the Armageddon match - well, how much of an effort do you really need to put into one of those???). Torrie Wilson (need I say more). The crowd - once again the arena was all but packed (about 95% full).
THE BAD: The work of the Harris Brothers vs Boogie Knights match. The timing of Mike Sanders in his interference to the tag title match (the ref had to hold the 2 count for a while).
THE UGLY: The screw job finish to the tag title match AGAIN made the champs look ordinary. Kevin Nash looking to be out of breath BEFORE HE EVEN ENTERED THE RING for the Armageddon match. The absolute oversell of the 'The Franchiser' by Big Vito (it looked awful!!!).

Glen W. sends the following arena report:

Dark Match.
Kwee Wee with Paisley Vs Ozzi
Ozzi comes out with an Australian Flag, and get big pops by the Melbourne 
crowd. The match goes back and forth but after about 5 minutes Kwee Wee 
gives Ozzi a DDT off the top rope for the win.

Show starts and Tony Shiavone, Mark Madden and Stevie Ray as Commentary.

Nitro girls come out to warm up the crowd (only 3).
David Penzer announces that there will be a count down to Armageddon Match, 
where a wrestler enters the ring every 30 secs. There are 30 men in total, 
and they can b only eliminated over the top rope.

Match 1
Rey Mysterio Jr (with Tygress) Vs Mike Sanders
Non Cruiserweight title Match,

Rey controls most of the match and eventually gets a rollup on Sanders for 
the win.

The Cat came out during the match with Ms Jones.

After the match Goldberg is jumped backstage by Kronik.

Match 2
Big Vito Vs The Franchise (with Torrie)
A "Boring" chant starts up during the match. The match is going back and 
forth until The Franchise nails the Franchiser on Big Vito for the win.

Match 3
Boogie nights (with Duck) Vs The Harris Brothers.
Big Ron only comes out, as Heavy D was beaten up backstage by Goldberg.
Boogie nights are controlling the match until Heavy D comes out from 
backstage. The Harris bros start to control the Match and Heavy D starts 
beating up the Duck and then throws it into the crowd.
Bookie nights eventually win the Match with a flying clothesline off the top 
rope by Disco.

Match 4
Prime Time Elix Skipper Vs Bill Goldberg,
Goldberg makes his entrance without Elix even noticing. Goldberg stands 
behind him for a good 30 seconds before he realises. A Spear then a 
Jackhammer and another win by Goldberg, Complete squash.

Match 5
Jeff Jarret and Scott Steiner Vs Kidman and Konnan.
Match goes back and forth until JJ hits Konnan with the guitar and then Big 
Poppa Pump puts Kidman in the Steiner Recliner for the win.

You see Ric Flair arriving at the arena.
A Sam Greco interview with Shiavone is shown.

Match 6
Booker T and Sting Vs Jindrak and O’Haire
Match goes back and forth with Sting and Booker T mostly in control.
Sting nails His Scorpion Death Drop at the same time as Booker T nails his 
Bookend. Sanders Runs out and hits the Ref resulting in a DQ.

Match 7
The Perfect Event Vs Kronik.
Kronik controls basically the whole match and nails the High Times for the 
Goldberg comes out and starts beating on them until Kronik gets him down and 
then leaves. Goldberg then gets up slowly and takes out the Perfect Event.
Ric Flair comes out to a huge Pop
He says he loves Melbourne and the women, David then comes out and talks 
about Buff and the DNA match upcoming at Halloween Havoc.
Ric tells David not to think about that, and then David accuses Ric of being 
the father. Ric Flair leaves the ring and David starts beating up on Mark 
Madden until Ric comes back in the ring and Makes the save. David leaves and 
then Ric leaves to his music with another big applause.

Match 8, Main Event
The last man left in the ring gets a title shot the Nitro after Halloween 
The wrestlers that came out in order, Mike Sanders, The Cat, Stasiak, 
Palumbo, Disco, Alex Wright, Crowbar, Heavy D, Big Ron, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, 
Lt. Loco, Big Sexy Kevin Nash, David Flair, Corp. Cajun, Kwee Wee, Rey 
Mysterio Jr., Booker T, Mike Awesome, Sting, Jeff Jarret, Scott Steiner 
(came in at the same time as JJ), Kidman, Lance Storm, Big Vito, Jindrak, 
O’Haire, Konnan, Kronik.

When Big sexy came out he got a huge pop, and eliminates everyone in the 
Ring, He eventually gets eliminated. At the end, Goldberg does a run in and 
Help Mike Awesome eliminate Kronik.
Mike Awesome is the winner.

After the match, Goldberg comes out again and tells the crowd that himself, 
Booker T and Sam Greco will be giving autographs, after two hours in lines with 
thousands of people, I eventually get to the autograph area, only to find 
that Booker T isn't there as he has a sore arm or some crap. Anyways, I got 
Sam Greco's autograph and Goldberg's as well. Getting Goldberg’s autograph 
was AWESOME and I also shook hands with him.

Biggest Pops
Kevin Nash
Ric Flair
Booker T

Biggest Heat
Jeff Jarret
Big Poppa Pump
Mike Sanders
The Franchise

This was a great show.

Prashant M. sends the following arena report:


Well this was my first ever wrestling event and well I was very happy with the product I saw. Anyway I arrived at the arena a few hours early in hope to catch a few wrestler’s arriving...mostly Ric Flair. However, a lot of others had the same idea but got nothing. I brought a sign saying, "I came to see (insert my poster of Flair)." Merchandise at the arena was disappointing to say the least, not a huge lot of variety there. There were quite a few Bret Hart t-shirts in the crowd considering they weren’t selling any. I felt sorry for the Hitman die-hard fans who have waited 10 years for this only to have WCW cancel him off the tour.

On to the show: Taking away the fact I was there live I thought it was a good show. All wrestlers really tried their best I thought, bar maybe Sting. They say Sting's heart isn't in wrestling at the moment and it looks to me like that maybe the case. By the way I am now officially a David Penzer mark. Don’t ask me why but I am.

As the crowd were gradually making there way in Penzer introduced the evening’s dark match. It was Kwee Wee vs the new aussie sensation er jobber Sam Greco. I cheered for Kwee Wee when he came out simply because he’s so damn CHARASMATIC. Greco got a few cheap pops in with the flag and aussie aussie aussie chants. Kwee Wee did well in getting the crowd against him which work out good for him later on in getting heat from the crowd in the battle royal. Kwee Wee got the win with a nice DDT off the top rope in a good start of the show. After the match the crowd was only half full and I was getting worried about it not filling up in time for the show. However once the show started it was a miracle because I couldn’t find any empty seats.

After the dark match Penzer introduced Shivonie who got a face pop which I was pissed off about. Madden got a mixed reaction, and stevie ray came out to a good pop including me yelling at the top of my voice saying "OUR PATRONT SAINT."

Curtain jerker match was Rey vs Sanders: I don’t know wheather they show it on TV but sanders blows a spot in the first bit of the match. It didn’t really take away the effort from both these 2 athletes. Cat got a big face pop as did most wrestlers throughout the night when he did his stuff on the mic. The end came when Ms Jones slapped sanders and cat rolled him back in for rey’s frankenstiener which got a massive cheer. Good opener but it looked a little sloppy.

Next match Boogie Nights vs Harris Boys: Disco’d duck got a big cheer from the crowd but after the 2 got on the mic the cheers turned to jeers. Harris Boys for what its worth put on a show which I believe was to their personal best capability. With the hard work they actually ended up being true faces in the match. It also helped when one of the two did an elbow drop on the duck and through it in the crowd. The end came when Disco got ANOTHER duck and hit one of them for the win.

Next match was Vito vs Franchise: A very good pop for the greek adonas. I love that thing he does with his fingers. Also cheers for Franchise, well they were for Torrie Franchise actually got decent heat. After the slow start it was a decent match, the end came when Douglas hit Vito with the franchiser.

The Goldberg segment with Skipper I thought was reasonably funny but it was at least classical. HUGE HUGE cheer for Goldberg.

Jarrett & Steiner vs Kidman and Konnan: Huge cheer for Jarrett and Steiner, especially Steiner. The crowd was really into him. Unfortunately Kidman got one of the softest cheers thus he and Gonnad weren’t the faces in this match. Jarrett eventually hit Konnan with the guitar, I have waited so long to see that but when it happened I wasnt friggin watching.

Nash and NBT or NBJ (you choose) were shown backstage singing backstreet boys (not that I know who the backstreet boys are). This was pretty damn funny.

Booker T and Sting vs Jindrak and O haire: Sting in my opinion got the biggest pop of the night. Very deafening. Booker’s unfortunately was not that big. I didn’t think this match was as good as it could have been and the ridiculous screwjob ending made me even more against it.

Kronik vs The Perfect Jobbers: Not much of a match. Kronik were supposed to be the number one heels of the night considering they were feuding with Goldberg, however got face pops on their power moves.

OMG the interview with Flair was awesome. Selfishly speaking I have waited 10 years for this, just to see the guy in the flesh and god as my witness, he didn’t let me down. I know at the wrestling you supposed to cheer your head off but the people around me thought I was f***ing crazy. I don’t remember much except for the whooo’s and Flair saying Melbourne is the best place on earth and he and David could have any women in the arena both getting loud whooo’s. All I could get out of my mouth was “RIC.” 17 years I have been on this earth and its fair to say that, that was the greatest moment in my life.

Next was the big countdown to Armageddon. This was the same as a royal rumble except the contestants came in every 30 seconds.

Noticeable things:

Unpredictable ending which was good I guess.

The crowd was very alive tonight. I talked to some guy who had been to nitro the previous night and said thunder was much better. Just about all wrestlers came out to a pop. With Lance Storm with the only legitimate heat. Is it just me or does wrestling look much slower in the ring in attendance as opposed to the fast pace of the shows on TV.

Top Face pops in order:

  1. Sting (I thought so anyway)
  2. Goldberg
  3. Kevin Nash
  4. Scott Steiner
  5. I may be biased but I thought it was Ric with all those whooo’s.
Heel heat wasn't too much as most wrestlers got cheered:
  1. Lance Storm (good work, Lance). I think me and this other guy with a Canadian flag were the only 2 who cheered him.
  2. Kwee Wee (Good effort by Mr. Funk)
  3. Franchise
  4. Disco and Alex
  5. Kronik
After the show Goldberg came out and thanked us. I really thought he meant that because you could tell the wrestlers were very appreciative. He then said he, Sam Greco and Booker T would sign autographs upstairs.

We then sprinted to the line and after about 1 hour of waiting we made it. I said to Greco "Good luck for the future" and he replied with "Thank-you I hope to have your support for the future" Then after all night shitting on Goldberg I said "Good show, mate" with whom he replied with "Thanks' partner", he then signed my ticket and shook my hand. My sister was almost in tears because she got a hug from Goldberg. On a side note, we then caught the tram home where we bumped into a top Australian wrestler. Well by his accent he is from the states but wrestles in Australia’s AWF monthly promotion. His name is TNT and handed us a pamphlet to their next show. It took me a while to get who he was then my friend said TNT and then I congratulated him on his match last month with BLITZKREIG, that’s right the man BLITZKREIG just in case you were wondering what Blitzkrieg is doing now.

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