Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Date: March 14, 1999
Location: Freedom Hall, Louisville, Kentucky
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
It’s SuperBrawl Part II with a lot of rematches from that horrible show. In this case the main event is Hogan vs. Flair for the title in a barbed wire cage match with an added stipulation that hasn’t been mentioned on TV yet. We’ve also got Nash vs. Mysterio to blow off the giant killer story, Benoit/Malenko vs. Windham/Hennig for the Tag Team Titles and Sonny Onoo/Ernest Miller vs. Jerry Flynn. That match is happening but Goldberg, Diamond Dallas Page and Bret Hart aren’t on the show. Let’s get to it.
We open with a video on the main event. At least it’s different than the “building the cage” video.
Tony finally tells us the stipulation in the cage match: first blood. Just in case a barbed wire cage wasn’t enough for you.
Call the Hotline!
Video on Mysterio vs. Nash.
Cruiseweight Title: Kidman vs. Mikey Whipwreck
This is Mikey’s debut and he’s challenging. Mikey grabs an early front chancery followed by a fast headscissors. Kidman comes right back with a dropkick to put Mikey outside, followed by a whip into the barricade. Back in and a high cross body gets two but Whipwreck sends him back out to the floor. A wheelbarrow slam sends Kidman face first onto the barricade and gets Mikey two back in the ring.
Off to an Indian Deathlock on the champion but Mikey rolls over onto his stomach and reaches back to grab Kidman’s chin at the same time. That goes nowhere and draws a lot of booing so Kidman comes back with a hard clothesline. He’s all fired up now and stomps on Mikey in the corner, only to have a Fameasser countered into a powerbomb for two. Back up and Mikey gets knocked to the floor again, setting up a huge dive from Kidman.
It’s Whipwreck up first and he nails a slingshot clothesline for two. He tries a slingshot suplex but Kidman counters into a snap suplex of his own. Cool move. Mikey sends him right back to the floor but misses a dive and hits the barricade. They whip each other into the barricade with the newcomer getting the better of it and taking Kidman back into the ring.
A gutbuster gets two for Mikey but he walks into the BK Bomb for another two. Mikey drops him with a neckbreaker and gets a nice near fall off a top rope clothesline. Kidman comes back with a sitout Pedigree but gets caught in a reverse inverted DDT. Like every other challenger though, Mikey tries a powerbomb and I think you know what’s coming. Kidman goes up and nails the Shooting Star to retain.
Rating: C+. This was a good match but needed to be about three minutes shorter. Even though the cruiserweight division was stacked at this point, I like the idea of bringing in Mikey. He wrestled a much more ground based style than most of the other people in the division so this was a little different. Also Kidman has beaten almost every cruiserweight in the division so he needed a new challenger.
Stevie Ray talks about not being yoked anymore.
Vince says the name is Vince.
Remember the video on the cage being built from the start of the show? Here’s another version of it. This one aired on Nitro to make us want to buy the show that we had to buy to see the video that should make us buy the show.
Vince vs. Stevie Ray
This is a Harlem Street Fight and the winner leads the Black and White. In other words, all the stuff with Norton, Adams and Horace was a waste of time and has been dropped. Vince’s graphic still says Vincent, even though the video before the match emphasized his new name. Whatever his name is, he stomps on Ray’s foot and pokes him in the eye to take over. Stevie lifts him in the air by the throat before they hit the floor.
Vince is whipped into the barricade and they fight into the crowd. Luckily there’s a tarped off section of folded down seats for them to fight in. Stevie can barely stand on the chairs as he beats up Vince. Tony actually covers the bunch of unsold seats by saying it’s a production area. Back in and Vince slams him down and gets two off a middle rope elbow. He goes up again but dives into Stevie’s boot.
Stevie sends him into the buckle before lunging forward for a horrible collision spot before Vince does a HORRIBLE fall into a low blow. Stevie doesn’t even react off the impact. Horace comes out and throws in a slapjack, saying he’s the leader no matter what. Vince gets it but drops it, allowing Stevie to hit the Slapjack (lifting Pedigree) for the pin.
Rating: D-. This stuff is entertaining when they keep it short but when it’s a seven minute match, it loses its charm in a hurry. Stevie winning is the right choice as he’s the best talker of the team, but he’s the better of multiple evils. At least they’re keeping the Black and White separate and making it clear they’re a lower level unit. The street fight aspect barely meant a thing given that low blows have pretty much been made legal in WCW.
Jericho says Saturn doesn’t deserve to be in the same ring with him.
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Kevin Nash
Rematch from Nitro a few weeks back where Rey beat Nash. A big boot to the face puts Rey down to start but he comes back with the sitout bulldog and a springboard Fameasser. Mysterio sends him to the floor with a spinwheel kick but makes the mistake of trying a baseball slide, allowing Nash to sidestep him and send Rey into the barricade.
Back in and Nash hits the framed elbow and boots Rey back to the floor. Nash lifts him into the air by the throat for an atomic drop but Rey kicks him low because what else was he supposed to do? There’s the Bronco Buster but Rey’s moonsault press is caught in midair. Rey escapes but Luger trips him up, allowing Nash to kick him in the face and Jackknife him back to the cruiserweight division. Appropriately enough, the match ran 6:19.
Rating: D+. So what did we learn here? Don’t mess with the main event talent, the last few weeks were a total fluke, and Rey Mysterio has no business in the main event scene. Also Konnan is a horrible friend because he wasn’t out there when Rey had to deal with Nash, Luger and Liz. I’m so glad Nash got to beat up Rey Mysterio though. It makes him look so much more awesome than he did before.
The three guys in the hardcore match talk about how tough they are. Again, we saw this earlier in the week on TV.
Jerry Flynn vs. Ernest Miller/Sonny Onoo
Let’s get this over with. Miller comes out to the Glacier lasers and the James Brown music while wearing a cowboy hat. Tony gets in his only good line of the night: “It’s the Cat in the Hat!” Flynn chops Miller down to start but goes after Sonny for cutting off his ponytail. Miller gets in a cheap shot as Schiavone talks about how Flynn could be a top five (he was OBSESSED with this top five thing around this time) star in the next year.
They head outside with Miller kicking Flynn down and Sonny gets in a few cheap shots. Back in and Miller hits some more kicks before tagging in Sonny to pick the bones. Flynn grabs at the foot so Onoo dives back to the corner. Back outside and Miller tries to use a chair but Mickie Jay pulls it out of his hands. Miller kicks Jerry some more but gets rolled up for two. Sonny finally comes in, gets kicked once and Jerry pins him.
Rating: F. Thankfully this was it for Flynn’s push as he went back to jobbing where he belonged soon after. This is another example of WCW having no idea what their fans wanted and thinking it was ok to throwing garbage out there with a WCW logo on it. Total waste of pay per view time.
In ANOTHER video from Thunder, the teams in the Tag Team Title match talk about being smart and tough.
Raven vs. Hak vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Hardcore match. Hak comes out with barbed wire wrapped around him to what sounds like Mongo’s old music. Hak gets double teamed to start but Raven turns on Bigelow a few seconds in. Raven’s sister Chastity brings in a dumpster full of weapons to get us to the real match. It’s Raven in control until Bigelow runs him over. He breaks an ironing board over Hak but Raven comes back with a mailbox.
Raven and Bigelow have a standoff with trashcans but Hak uses the ironing board to break it up. An ECW chant starts up and everyone is worn down less than five minutes into the match. Raven uses the ironing board again but gets whipped into some trashcans. Bigelow takes over but Raven hits him low with a rowing oar. There’s a lot of just ramming each other into various objects and WAY more standing around between spots.
We get one of the few wrestling moves of the mat as Hak hits a top rope hurricanrana to Raven. Hak brings in a very real looking table but Raven helps Bigelow powerbomb Hak onto the table, followed by a splash through it. Bigelow switches over to wrestling but Chasitity comes in to save Raven. She pulls out some electrical tape and Bigelow brings in two more tables. Bigelow is whipped mostly through one of the tables in the corner and the Even Flow lays out Hak.
Instead of covering though, Raven tapes Hak’s arms together and blasts him in the head with the chair, which is TOTALLY not ripping off Rock vs. Mankind from the Royal Rumble. Bigelow lays out Raven with Greetings From Asbury Park but Chastity sprays him with a fire extinguisher, knocking him off the top rope and through a table. Chastity then turns on Raven by spraying him in the eyes and hitting him low, giving Hak the pin.
Rating: D. To recap, the girl that we know almost nothing about turned on her brother to be with the guy that we know almost nothing about who may or may not be a former friend of her family (it’s not clear if those appearances were retconned or not) and Bam Bam Bigelow has gone from facing Goldberg on pay per view to this in three weeks. Even worse, this got FIFTEEN MINUTES.
The announcers talk for a bit as the ring is cleaned up.
Tag Team Titles: Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko vs. Curt Hennig/Barry Windham
It’s a lumberjack with straps match and Hennig/Windham are defending. The lumberjacks are a bunch of lower/midcard guys including Meng and Norman Smiley. Benoit and Hennig get things going and Arn Anderson comes out to replace Chris Adams as a lumberjack. The champions try to leave and get beaten up like the cowards they are. Back in and Benoit chops Hennig to the floor for another whipping before it’s off to Barry.
Chris is find with chopping Windham to the floor as well where the Texan gets whipped as well.
Off to Dean who hammers away with more aggression than you would expect from him. The Horsemen double team Barry down but Hennig gets in a cheap shot to take over. Benoit is thrown to the floor and gets whipped a few times before it’s back to a chinlock from Curt. The beating continues but Benoit finally snaps off a German suplex and makes the tag off to Dean. Everything breaks down and Malenko hits Hennig with a PerfectPlex for two but Barry breaks up the Texas Cloverleaf.
Windham tries to low bridge Dean to the floor but Malenko stops himself, only to have Hennig knock him out to the floor for a whipping. Now it’s Dean in trouble as Curt hooks a sleeper. Dean makes the ropes but is sent to the floor for more belt shots. Windham hammers away in the corner but Dean punches his way out of a belly to back suplex. The double tag brings in Hennig and Benoit as everything breaks down.
Benoit takes off Windham’s belt and throws him outside for a brawl. Hennig goes after Anderson, earning him a tire iron shot to the head. Malenko breaks up the superplex and Benoit hits the longest Swan Dive I’ve ever see (Hennig would have been in a good place for a 450) for the pin and the titles.
Rating: C+. The match wasn’t as good as their first one last month but it finally got the job done. Last month’s was brought WAY down by the booking but the wrestling itself was better. This one was more of a tag team formula and that’s a hard idea to screw up. I could have done without Arn’s interference but to be fair Hennig went after him first. That Swan Dive was very impressive and I can live with it only hitting Curt’s arm as he was already out.
Chris Jericho vs. Perry Saturn
This is the dog collar match and Saturn comes out wearing a dress made of chains, black lipstick, eye shadow and yellow contacts. Jericho offers to have Ralphus fight in his place but Ralphus says no, earning him a slap in the face. Back in and Jericho is very tentative to put on the collar so Saturn attacks him to get things going. He puts the collar on Chris and pulls Jericho back when he tries to run. Saturn goes to the apron and gets a running start to send Jericho face first into the buckle.
A springboard chain shot to the head puts the Canadian down and it’s time for some choking. They head outside and Saturn pulls him into the barricade a few times. Back in and a clothesline knocks Saturn over the top rope to the floor and now it’s Jericho choking a lot. They head inside again and Jericho tries a powerbomb, only to pull himself down at the same time. A small packge gets two for Saturn and he pulls Jericho off the middle rope in a smart counter. Then he makes it simple and throws Jericho around by the neck.
Jericho gets the Liontamer but Saturn wraps the chain around Jericho’s neck so the hold chokes Jericho, forcing him to break it. The Death Valley Driver onto the chain gets two and Jericho counters a hurricanrana with a powerbomb. Jericho unhooks Saturn and wraps the chain around himself before going up for a moonsault. Saturn moves and the impact drives the chain into Jericho’s chest but it doesn’t seem to bother him. A top rope splash completely misses Saturn and another Death Valley Driver gets the pin.
Rating: C-. This was ok but the ending felt like it was supposed to be two minutes earlier. I’m not sure why the Death Valley Driver on the chain didn’t get the pin but the regular version could. The match wasn’t bad and hopefully it ends this dress thing which isn’t getting Saturn anywhere.
Mikey Whipwreck gives an interview on WCW.com and praises Kidman. Nothing to see here.
TV Title: Booker T. vs. Scott Steiner
Steiner is defending because US Champion Scott Hall has disappeared, taking Booker’s title shot with him. Scott stalls a lot after the bell and we get our first lockup at two minutes into the match. A lockup goes nowhere and it’s back to the stalling. Steiner hammers Booker down but he comes back with right hands. The champion ducks a spin kick and bails out to the floor for a breather with Bagwell.
Back in and Scott charges into a boot and Booker hammers away again. An atomic drop staggers Scott again and a spinning cross body gets two as Buff pulls Booker out to the floor. Steiner throws Booker into the crowd for a bit before the villains take their turns choking. The spinning belly to belly suplex plants Booker and we hit the chinlock. Back up and Booker hits a running forearm before mostly missing a spinning kick to the face.
Booker tries a side kick but Steiner ducks. The side kick clears the referee and thankfully he doesn’t sell, but the look of fear on his face is great. Another side kick nails Steiner but Buff crotches Booker on the top. Steiner superplexes him down and Buff comes in with a chair, only to hit Scott by mistake. Booker kicks the chair into Bagwell’s face and pins Steiner for the title.
Rating: C-. Not great here but the title change is a good idea. I can’t stand the referee watching Bagwell use the chair as it should be a DQ even if it was an accident. This whole getting more extreme and lawless is very annoying as it comes off more and more like an ECW knockoff every night. At least Booker’s losses are forgiven here though.
Video on the cage being built. I have it memorized by this point.
WCW World Title: Hollywood Hogan vs. Ric Flair
Hogan is defending and if Flair loses, he’s out of WCW for life. If Flair wins, he’s champion and President of WCW permanently. This is also a barbed wire steel cage match with no doors on the cage. Before the cage is lowered, Flair tells the referee to not stop the match for a scratch or a trickle of blood. The referee is allowed to use his own discretion as to what first blood means. Flair is sounding very heelish here. I’m glad they threw in the significant blood clause. I’ve always thought a heel could just slip in a needle and poke the other guy for the win otherwise.
Hogan shoves him around to start and nails a right hand before running Flair over like it’s 1986. The fans have no idea how to react as Hogan does all his old spots, including dropping the rapid elbows. Flair takes a beating in the corner and Hogan no sells a single chop. A running clothesline puts Ric down and Hogan does the hand to the ear. It’s one sided so far and Hogan puts on a Figure Four.
That thankfully goes nowhere so Hogan rams him face first into the cage. Hogan bites at the cut and Flair is doing his crazy man stuff, including having his trunks pulled down. There’s a small cut above Flair’s eye and Hogan sends him face first into the buckle. Total dominance so far and the fans are chanting for Hogan. Flair’s hair is half red now and Hogan drives him into the cage. Some of the barbed wire has fallen off the top of the cage and is hanging down the side.
Hogan hits the big boot and legdrop for a cover but obviously the referee (Charles Robinson) won’t count. Flair nails Hogan with a foreign object and sends him into the cage, cutting the champion open. Cue David Flair and the Blonde (now called Sam) as Ric drops a knee on Hogan’s head. Ric spits at his son and says he’ll be a fourteen time champion. Now it’s a full Hogan chant as we have a double turn.
Ric drops an elbow for two (Tony is totally fine with a cover and count) and it’s time for the Hulk Up. The fans are into it because they haven’t see it in years but the legdrop only gets two. Tenay tries to keep up with the stipulations as Hogan no sells a suplex. Ric, the crazed father desperate for vengeance, drops to his knees and begs for mercy.
The referee gets bumped (like it matters) and David tells Hogan to Hulk Up. Arn Anderson comes out with a tire iron to David so Sam jumps on Arn’s back. Anderson throws her down and slips Ric the tire iron to knock Hogan out. There’s the Figure Four and Robinson counts the pin to give Ric the title again. The fans, trying to make sense of this whole thing, are almost silent for the announcement of a new champion.
Rating: D. I have no idea what I just watched. It was indeed a cage match, but the barbed wire meant nothing and David and Sam didn’t need to be there other than giving Anderson a reason to come down. The stipulations were a mess though and the fans seemed really confused by the blood and then the pinfalls. The rest of the match wasn’t bad though as Hogan vs. Flair using the old formula is entertaining enough.
However there’s also the booking, which is as stupid as it could have been. I can REALLY stretch and accept Ric being tormented so much that he snaps and starts abusing his authority to get the title and revenge. It’s not the best story in the world and it goes against everything that WCW had been doing for the last few months, but at least it can be done.
Then there’s Hogan turning face and it just does not work. Period. Hogan has caused all these problems for the last several years but now we’re supposed to cheer him because…..why are we supposed to cheer for him? Because he Hulked up and Flair abused his authority by stretching what a first blood match meant and used a tire iron? I’m supposed to feel bad for Hogan because he’s getting cheated in one match after cheating for two and a half years?
Basically WCW is saying two wrongs make a right and that really doesn’t work after watching Ric go through this much horrible stuff over the last few months. That really doesn’t hold up and the story doesn’t work with everything that lead us to this point. At least Flair FINALLY beat Hogan in a big match though.
David checks on Hogan and Tony praises Hollywood for his valiant effort.
Overall Rating: D. This should be subtitled “SuperBrawl Part 2: We’re Sorry.” The Tag Team Title match is a reversal of what we saw before, Booker getting the TV Title is a nice addition and Flair won….albeit in weird fashion. Unfortunately the damage was done three weeks ago and the last few weeks of television. The fans are already starting to leave and WCW is going to start to get desperate.
Now to its credit, this was WAY easier to sit through than SuperBrawl which was one of the most infuriating shows I’ve ever seen. This show had some watchable wrestling on it and nothing maddening, putting it miles ahead of last month’s offering. It’s not a masterpiece or anything, but it at least corrected some of SuperBrawl’s errors.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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