When you make a deal with a nostalgia act and stick a Power Plant nobody in Gene Simmons’s gear. Then set up a deal for a PPV Main Event without knowing how it’s gonna get over. The most “Because WCW” thing ever.
Welcome back to more “Dream Matches”! Today, we take our first look at the infamous WCW run of “The Demon”, Dale Torborg wrapped up in KISS gear and made to be an official “KISS Wrestler” in a giant failure of a gimmick. Here he’s a speedbump for Jeff Jarrett during his never-ending WCW Main Eventer run. Then it’s a hilariously bad match where The Disciple cuts an impassioned promo to beg the fans to cheer for him, then goes out and flubs horribly in a match against Kenny Kaos! I find one more Super Assassins match, as Warlord & Barbarian (in masks) go out against the Nasty Boys!
One more “PG-13 in WCW” match, as they try to take the WCW Tag Team Titles from The Mamalukes! Then it’s a pair of Essa Rios vs. Funaki matches, as they fill time on all the lower-end shows with Light Heavyweight Title defenses! And finally, I end my “Los Cowboys” run by finally slotting in their trios match with Tigre Canadiense (a forgotten white guy who got unexpectedly over in lucha) against Dr. Wagner Jr. & The Headhunters!
JEFF JARRETT (w/ The Harris Twins) vs. THE DEMON:
(WCW Saturday Night, March 11th, 2000)
* UGHHHHHHHHHH I forgot the Harrises were in the last-ditch “nWo”. And Jarrett is saying they’re in “Slapnut County” to get crowd heat and cuts this rambling, boring promo about putting Sid’s career “on life support systems”. He’s in silver shorts, up against the KISS Demon in a US Title defense, and poor Dale Torborg has to do his giant entrance, brandishing his cape like a doofus, all so Jeff can jump him from behind.
Jarrett throws punches and whips the Demon into the corners a bunch, then backdrops him over the top so the Harrises can beat him up and toss him into the railings- hilariously, the ref finally sees this and just freaks out instead of disqualifying Jarrett, which distracts him AGAIN, as Jeff just beats Demon up all over the outside. Tons of railing shots hammer him, and Jarrett easily avoids a sunset flip, chokes him, then dodges a dropkick. God, he is giving this guy NOTHING. Demon manages a small package for two and some punches, but Jarrett slides under him, kicks him in the gut, and hits The Stroke (inverted Russian legsweep) for the win at (2:56), having given this guy about five seconds of offense all match. Just an out-and-out squash, to the point where I felt bad for the guy. Sure the gimmick sucks, but holy crap, at least PRETEND like you don’t consider this a failure.
Rating: 1/2* (JIM POWERS gets more offense than this poor schmuck did)
When your gimmick doesn’t need to exist, but you’re still there on the roster and aren’t getting paid to sit at home.
THE DISCIPLE vs. KAOS:
(WCW Saturday Night, March 20th 1999)
* From the floundering days of WCW, as Kaos gets a reasonably-big focus on TV, and Disciple has now become a full jobber, as he joined the Ultimate Warrior during his “oWn” (One Warrior Nation) anti-Hogan gimmick, but was the only person to join up, and then vanished when Warrior soon disappeared from WCW’s most horrible storyline ever. So now a bushy-faced, wild-haired Brutus Beefcake is a TV jobber in jeans and a vest. He even cuts a promo before the match talking about his lack of direction! He asks the fans to get behind him so he can get back on track “to where I need to go!”, but doesn’t get much of a reaction. Kaos is in a black version of his singlet with some green artwork on it, and they’re still only kinda using his first name “Kenny”.
Disciple controls the arm to start, but Kaos ducks under him and hits a snap suplex for two and works the arm himself. Disciple jawbreakers out of a chinlock and gets a bad powerslam for two, barely getting Kaos over. He lands on a foot trying a 2nd-rope thing and hits an awful backdrop suplex, AGAIN stumbling and barely even getting Kaos up. Kaos hits the apron, drawing Disciple in to grab him, but hangs his neck over the top rope and hits his signature Springboard move, looking like a glorified “run into the guy because they both forgot what to do” and that actually GETS THE PIN at (3:05). Haha- with Disciple’s promo I was thinking they were gonna give him a win- what kind of geek loser cuts a promo asking the fans to get behind him and then jobs to a rookie?
Man, the Disciple looked HORRIBLE here. I mean, he sucked right from 1990 until today, but he was dangerously clumsy here, twice barely getting the smaller Kaos up in basic moves every wrestler should know how to do. Then the finisher came off like both guys forgot what the move was supposed to be.
Rating: DUD (poor Kaos is just nowhere near experienced enough to rein in whatever the f*ck drugs the Disciple was on)
THE NASTY BOYS (Brian Knobs & Jerry Sags) vs. THE SUPER ASSASSINS (Assassin #1 & 2):
(WCW Saturday Night, Dec. 9th 1995)
* Hey, it’s another Super Assassins match! This one has them without Col. Parker (who just got engaged to Sherri) and they’re up against what I guess are babyface Nasty Boys- Knobs & Sags are in green shirts & black pants and just charge the ring.
The Nasties take a small beating, but come back on the outside and hit a lariat sandwich on Warlord in the ring, but Barbarian comes in and takes a double team. Warlord trips up Knobs and beats on him outside again, but he just gets his DESTROYED- the Nasties drop elbows, clothesline him and double-team him, but this goes on a bit too long (like, they don’t really have 3 minutes of offense to run through so they start just doing double-headbutts). Barbarian finally misses a Flying Headbutt and Sags comes in and wipes out both guys, getting Warlord to axehandle Barbarian coming off the top- he keeps on the attack, and ultimately Knobs comes in and dumps Warlord and everyone brawls to the floor for the Double-Count Out at (5:07). Very standard brawling match, but not actively bad- keeping the Nasties off offense is a pretty decent way of keeping a match above *.
Rating: *1/4 (fine enough, basic brawling-type tag match with a non-finish)
For all the “Vince loves roided up musclemen above all else” jokes you get in wrestling, there sure are a lot of roided up guys who had totally forgettable careers and never got much of a look.
WCW WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES:
THE MAMALUKES (Big Vito & Johnny the Bull, w/ Disco Inferno) vs. PG-13 (Wolfie D & J.C. Ice):
(WCW Saturday Night, Feb. 26th 2000)
* Once more with PG-13’s short-lived WCW run. Wolfie D, who’s actually sort of in shape (like trailer trash with a workout kit) is wearing some hubcap on a chain around his neck, which I assume is a Flava Flav riff. J.C. Ice looks like a scrawny meth-head and is wearing a jester’s outfit. And yes, the Mamalukes, a lame bunch of guys in a Mafia gimmick, are actually the Tag Team Champions because things are so goddamn bad for this company at this point. Johnny is super roided while Vito’s in the “black shirt to hide the physique” look.
Wolfie uses his speed to take over on Johnny and PG-13 double-team him until he pokes JC in the eyes (lol why is this huge dude doing that against scrawny dweebs?), but Vito runs right into an armdrag. Vito slugs him to come back and catches him for a falling front powerslam, but misses an elbowdrop and takes dropkicks until Johnny cheats on his behalf. They beat Ice down and Johnny adds a press-slam with reps. Double-elbow into a boot to Vito’s swinging neckbreaker gets two because Vito’s too busy flexing and posing to make the cover, then they hit a double-hiptoss into a double “birthday bump” move as Hudson & Zbyszko debate the meaning of “mamalukes” (“Why would they call themselves the buffoons?” “They WANT to be called the Paisans”), but they again just default to stomps and punches.
Johnny gets a twisting slam and Vito a chinlock, but Ice fights up (despite being a heel) and gets a DDT to massive boos. Wolfie gets the “hot” tag and clears the ring, then hits a mat slam off the top on Johnny- Vito saves. Wolfie tilt-a-whirls Ice onto Vito- Johnny saves. Hey, there was no tag! Ice grabs the hubcap and annihilates Johnny with it, but Disco pulls his guy out at “2” so Ice wipes Johnny out with a Tope Con Hilo! But Disco pushes Wolfie off the top and Vito adds a spinning DDT for the pin at (7:51)- The Mamalukes retain!
A weird one, as it was too long for these guys- the Mamalukes can really only brawl, and never follow up anything. PG-13 are kinda/sorta decent but are pretty weak fliers so just kind of ate a heat sequence despite being heels.
Rating: *1/2 (objectively sorta okay but too long and weirdly laid out for a heel vs. heel match)
WWF LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE:
ESSA RIOS (w/ Lita) vs. FUNAKI:
(WWF Metal, March 4th 2000)
* Near the peak of my WWF fandom, Metal was a show even *I* wouldn’t watch, so I missed out on the endless Rios matches. He & Lita are in purple tights with yellow fire- both have been arguing of late (leading to their eventual split). Funaki’s in his pinstriped singlet and a total jobber at this point.
Funaki gives Rios some shots but quickly eats a dropkick to the leg into a Ligerbomb for two- yeah, sit-out powerbombs crazily enough were “opening seconds of the match” offense in 2000 WWF. This happened A LOT. Funaki gets his foot up in the corner and a bulldog gets two, then hits the floor to dodge- Rios catches him with a baseball slide headscissors, then distracts the ref so LITA can do the same move. Kneeling powerbomb gets two, but Funaki reverses a whip, only to have his Tornado DDT reversed to an inverted atomic drop, then reverses a roll-up to the Glam Slam and finishes with a Moonsault at (3:13). Lita does her own Moonsault after the bell, doing the sort of stuff that got her really over as a babyface. Match was fine, but very short and mostly just “Cool Move, then punching” the whole way.
Rating: *3/4 (decent, forgettable quick bout with a handful of good moves)
WWF LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE:
ESSA RIOS (w/ Lita) vs. FUNAKI:
(WWF Sunday Night Heat, April 9th 2000)
* A rematch, with Rios in red tights, Lita in her shiny red bodysuit, and Funaki in a blue singlet.
Rios pounces to start, but they just throw strikes until Funaki dodges a dropkick and Rios eats sh*t against the ropes in a big bump. Funaki hits a snap suplex & DDT reversal for 2-counts, but Rios dodges him and hits chops and a headscissors reversal. Lita runs in for her own headscissors to a big reaction from the fans (remember, competent female wrestling was still pretty unique for Attitude Era fans). Funaki quickly gets the “kick to the gut” reversal and hits a bulldog, backdrop and piledriver (called out as terrible by Kevin Kelly on commentary) for two. Sliding dropkick in the tree of woe and vertical suplex seem to have Rios in trouble, but they badly mis-time a corner dodge so Funaki charges in for no reason, and Rios misses a flying senton, only to roll up, reverse that rollup to the Glam Slam again, and hit the Moonsault for the win at (5:02). Lita again does the same move. Weaker match than the first- Funaki called it, and was rather plodding with basic offense, and they mistimed a couple of things.
Rating: *1/4 (not a great TV match- way too slow for a Light Heavyweight bout)
A while ago I discovered Silver King’s team with El Texano- their rapid-fire double-teaming made me nickname them “The Deceptivelty-Stocky Rockers”. However, most YouTube videos looked like garbage and nobody much cares about them, so I’ve had this one on the docket for AGES. So today I finally post it!
DR. WAGNER JR. & LOS HEAD HUNTERS (Head Hunter I & II) vs. TIGRE CANADIENSE & LOW COWBOYS (El Texano & Silver King):
(UWA May 2nd, 1992)
* More from my favorite lucha tag team, as Low Cowboys team up with “Tigre Canadiense” against the infamous Headhunters… and Silver King’s own BROTHER, Dr. Wagner Jr.! Tigre is Canadian wrestler Mike Lozansky, who Lucha Wiki says was brought to Mexico specifically to lose his mask in a feud with Villano IV to fill a “slow time” on the schedule (I assume this happens a bunch in lucha). But apparently he got surprisingly over, and so was brought back, and even turned technico! The Headhunters are in red shirts & black pants, and about as fat as Mo from Men on a Mission here- not the true blobs they’d later become. Wagner’s in white, Tigre’s in tiger-striped trunks, and Los Cowboys are in purple.
FALL UNO: We start with everyone fighting immediately, and Wagner hits a back body drop on Tigre for the first fall, then drops one Cowboy in an STF while a Headhunter runs in and hits a lazy dragon sleeper on the other for the next fall at (2:00). God, Lucha is tough to get into for those easy falls.
FALL SEGUNDO: Wagner holds a Cowboy for a Headhunter avalanche and he whups on the entire babyface team, but the other Cowboy hits a leg lariat to leave him wobbly. Wagner just comes in and HH leaves and that’s a tag cuz lucha, but Wagner eats a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and the faces attack the Headhunters on the apron. Tigre eats a boot from a Headhunter, but Low Cowboys hit a double-team “leapfrog your partner onto the other guy’s back as he’s draped over the ropes” move, which is pretty impressive on such a hefty guy. Double-back body drop harries him, but again Wagner’s in and now legal- Tigre powerslams him but gets belly-bashed by a Headhunter, but bails and Los Cowboys miss a double-clothesline, duck one back, then hit on the second try. Double-atomic drop has the Headhunter selling stock-stiff in a comedy bump, and a double backdrop suplex assisted by the top rope (like Tully’s slingshot suplex but with a backdrop, bouncing his legs off the ropes) take him out- when Wagner runs in again, Tigre flies onto him off the top and finishes him with a Hurricanrana at (4:06), winning the round as he’s the captain. Really fast-paced fall!
FALL TERCERA: Wagner takes a beating and then hits his partner by mistake, setting off an argument with the Headhunters- this turns into a comedy routine where the faces rally the fans in razzing Wagner while he desperately yells at them, but eventually the Hunters draw him in to hug it out and make up. Tigre & a Headhunter go, with HH actually doing a drop-down then a leapfrog (!), but gets hiptossed & armdragged, then dropkicked to the floor. Back from the replay with Wagner & Silver King doing a GREAT sequence, with the Cowboy doing a moonsault dodge and the “Owen flip” off the ropes into an armdrag to the floor. Back in, SK actually drops a Headhunter with shoulderblocks after failing the first time, then dropkicks both Headhunters to the floor and sets up Wagner for a slingshot senton from Texano for two. Wagner gets too boastful and gets clotheslined down by Texano, but bails after the Hunters help him out, and one uses ring-control to push Tigre into the corner for a heel beatdown.
Tigre cocks up a sunset flip and the HH is good enough not to sell it and improvises, and a longer beatdown ensues where it’s clear that Wagner’s “just come in and that’s the tag” plan is NOT gonna work for the babyfaces owing to the heel ref. Then Tigre just arbitrarily throws punches to come back and tags out, so Texano clotheslines a Headhunter, then SK comes in and BODYSLAMS one, then DDTs the other- he holds him for a flying move, Wagner accidentally dropping an elbow on his partner trying to break it up (he wasn’t even in the same hemisphere of hitting SK, though), so Texano splashes onto BOTH men, and then the Headhunter rushes in and SPLAT- he squashes both his partners, leading to Tigre and the others triple-piling them- 1…2…3 (8:03)!! The babyfaces win!
Hey, actually really good! The first fall was nothing, but the second was really tight and fast-paced, and the third had some funny comedy and good babyface comebacks. Then there was a long heel beatdown that was kinda boring and an arbitrary comeback, but the babyfaces got some great stuff in and the end and the finish was fine. Hooray for some Lucha!
Rating: ***1/4 (fun match with some funny bits and some good athleticism- Silver King the early ’90s continues to impress)