Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Heenan, Tony Schiavone
time and tonight we get the other half of the first round. Some of
the matches were already announced on Thunder, but I’d actually be
surprised if they remembered those matches after four days. Other
than that I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of the Filthy Animals vs. the
Revolution, which hopefully means more of Torrie. Let’s get to it.
drinking in their locker room when Bret comes in to yell at them for
interfering last week. They handed him the US Title but Bret wants
them to stay out of his business. You can see it coming from here.
the usual intro, here’s Bret on crutches with something to say. He’s
seen the tape from last week (now there’s something you don’t hear
every day) and doesn’t want to be associated with screwjobs. As far
as he’s concerned, Goldberg is still the US Champion. This brings
out Sid to say it’s his because he has proof Goldberg said he quit at
Halloween Havoc. They tell each other to screw themselves but here
are the Outsiders to break up a powerbomb. Nash hands Sid the belt
but tells him to go to the back. They yell at Bret as this is
brackets for the tournament.
arrive on a motorcycle but Asya is right there to prevent her from
running off. That’s one of the more logical things I’ve seen on this
show in weeks.
Savage’s speech last week about finding someone to hand the torch to.
Tournament First Round: Vampiro vs. Berlyn
takes him down with a headlock to start but Vampiro does the same to
him. In a match between two people who could be World Champion, the
announcers talk about Torrie. Back up and Berlyn scores with a kick
to the ribs but charges into a powerslam for no cover. Cue the band
the Misfits to surround the ring as Berlyn hits a spinwheel kick.
Vampiro kicks him down as well but the referee gets bumped. The
bodyguard comes in with his loaded glove but the Misfits take him
out, allowing Vampiro to hit him with a chair. Vampiro dives into a
dropkick but the Misfits trip Berlyn to give Vampiro the pin.
Someone take away Russo’s caffine. It’s a four minute and eleven
second match but there was a ref bump (I’ll go low and say the first
of three tonight) and FIVE people interfering. I’m fine with Vampiro
pinning Berlyn, but you can easily do the same thing and get to the
same post match stuff with WAY more extra stuff. Does Russo really
think fans aren’t going to stick around for this match if the Misfits
and the bodyguard don’t interfere during a ref bump? I know he’s
delusional but come on.
screw this character and walks off.
Nash says he can’t be Scott Hall’s manager tonight so he’ll be his
Torrie in a cage because that’s how you treat filthy animals. “Is
this how Billy likes it?” This is Russo’s version of porn isn’t
a recap of the Revolution kidnapping Torrie last week, here’s the
Revolution for a chat. Shane calls out the Filthy Animals because he
has an offer for them. Saturn has the key to the cage, so he
challenges Eddie for…….wait for it…….you know it’s
coming……..A KEY ON A POLE MATCH!!! I’m stunned it took Russo
this long to get to one. Malenko rips on Benoit so here’s Chris to
say we should make their match a cage match. And thank goodness
there’s one above the ring.
Nash is in a makeup chair.
aren’t allowed into the building so they beat up the security guards.
back with the Nitro Girls. Kimberly says Page is so injured that she
has to leave the team to take care of him.
Tournament First Round: The Cat vs. Lash Leroux
now blond Miller is here against doctor’s orders though the injury
isn’t specified. He slaps Lash in the face to start and punches his
way out of a sunset flip attempt. Somehow being injured has really
opened up his offense. Lash Irish whips him across the ring,
Miller’s knee gives out, Lash grabs a basic leg lock and Cat gives
up. This didn’t even last a minute and the announcers were too busy
talking about Nash’s makeup to notice the match until it was over.
says either the Outsiders or Sid are going to pay.
over who is going to lead the Nitro Girls. Why do they need a
leader? Ah that would be because EVERYTHING HAS TO BE AN ANGLE
filming Luger and Elizabeth, with the former wanting to know what
Elizabeth is going to do to help in his matches. The audio is out of
sync and the camera crew is shown directing the scene. I’m assuming
this is more breaking the fourth wall, but it might be something a
bit better, like horrible production and not knowing how to run a
Zbyszko has gone to Scott Steiner’s house to talk about Scott’s
recent back surgery. Scott hurt his back about a year ago and then a
shoulder injury made it even worse. The medicine didn’t help so he
had surgery and starts rehab in 21 days. This didn’t mean much but
an update is nice.
a fight during their routine. My goodness just let them be
Bagwell that the Powers That Be have a new surprise for him. Buff
says that’s two for him and zero for them.
Girls fighting. Wrestling? Anyone? Soon perhaps?
back. Egads that’s four segments in the first hour. Add “patience”
to the list of words Russo doesn’t know.
Tournament First Round: Buff Bagwell vs. Stevie Ray
this isn’t ready to go yet either. Stevie says the Powers That Be
have made this a strap match. He chokes away in the corner as Heenan
thinks Nash’s makeup reminds him of a former employer. We’re getting
Kevin McMahon aren’t we? More choking ensues until Buff throws him
over the top to hang Stevie. Cue the Harris Brothers to jump Buff
and that’s a DQ. So the Powers want to screw with Buff by having him
advance in the tournament?
go after Stevie, only to have Booker come out for the save.
people still think he hit Elizabeth with a guitar. What’s funnier to
me is that she hasn’t mentioned it yet.
Kevin Nash as Vince McMahon. I guess this is the long awaited
response to the Billionaire Ted skits? Nash says he does everything
for the fans in his best Vince voice, which really isn’t all that
great. He’s the most powerful man in sports entertainment and he
built this place single handedly. In a pre-emptive move tells the
fans not to chant insults at him. He’s a billionaire due to the
stock options but he categorically denies anything going on.
his future World Champion who he’ll push as a babyface until people
are sick of him. He’s clean, he’s sober, he’ll work in the main
event against Jeff Jarrett, and he has more than one catchphrase:
Scott Hall. Scott brings Nash a wig and says he can’t follow this
because the Powers That Be told him he’s gone if he has one more
strike and he doesn’t want to burn bridges up north. Hall asks who
picks out Vince’s clothes and thinks they’re from JC Penny. To all
the boys in New York, the attitude is down here.
this was horrible. That’s in addition to being stupid, completely
missing the point, ticking off the audience, and being the last thing
they should be doing when they haven’t won a night in the ratings in
a year now. The imitation wasn’t even funny, especially given that
Vince is basically a walking cartoon character. How many of those
jokes do they think the common fan understood? The worst part, I
don’t think they care how many the fans understood, because this was
just for the writers to laugh at and had nothing to do with the
audience, because that’s what WCW is about these days.
comes up to Meng and tells him that Jeff Jarrett is making fun of him
in the back. I’m assuming this is about Liz getting attacked? Jeff
has been giving out bananas because Meng likes them, so Luger gives
Meng one. Meng eats the banana without peeling it. I could turn
this show in as a psychology project and get an A just for finding
something this insane.
retire anytime soon and will beat Disco tonight.
Tournament First Round: Disco Inferno vs. Curt Hennig
dad Larry is in the crowd and hugs his son. Disco tries to get a hug
as well but Curt nails him from behind and takes him inside for a
nice running dropkick. Some chops put Disco on the floor where Larry
gets in some shots of his own. Back in and Hennig charges into a
boot in the corner, setting up a swinging neckbreaker from Disco.
The offense goes nowhere but Disco blocks the PerfectPlex. Can we go
back to the Larry stuff? The Chartbuster is blocked as well and
Disco heads outside to talk to the yet to be named fan (ECW’s Tony
Mamaluke)…..and gets counted out.
And that man is a champion ladies and gentlemen. The best part of
this match really was Larry Hennig getting a reaction from the crowd
who remembers the days when wrestlers wrestled instead of imitating
the owners of other promotions in not funny comedy bits. If there’s
a reason behind this Curt gets fired if he loses bit, I’m not seeing
it. Finally, there was no mention of Mamaluke being the same guy
that used to be Lodi’s biggest fan.
Filthy Animals want Torrie back and Konnan issues an open challenge
for the Tag Team Titles.
wearing catching gear and dancing.
is “getting into character. Get it?” It makes no more sense on
vs. Norman Smiley
match. Apparently Madusa is back in the tournament because it wasn’t
fair to have her fight Meng with no warning. Smiley is wearing the
catcher’s gear to the ring which would eventually become football
pads. The monsters fight in the corner but Meng stops to beat him
up. Tony thinks this is hilarious. The former Faces of Fear double
team Smiley with weapons shots until Barbarian hits Meng in the head
with a mop. They do the same sequence again but with a trashcan
instead of a mop.
keeps trying to fight back but Meng knocks him into the corner and
dropkicks Barbarian down. Meng takes off Norman’s catcher’s mask and
knocks him to the floor where Jimmy Hart rips off the chest
protector. Back to more double teaming of Smiley in the ring and a
stretcher comes out to save Norman. However, it’s a ruse as Norman
sees both guys down in the ring with Meng face first between
Barbarian’s legs. Somehow that’s not a cover from Meng so Norman
runs in to pin Barbarian.
Oh for goodness’ sake. Somehow this match was the longest of the
night at a whopping six minutes and thirty one seconds. I guess this
is supposed to pass for comedy now as you have Norman go from nothing
to being the hardcore idiot, which is better than what he was doing
in theory. Somehow this is going to get even worse I’m sure, but
just let it be shorter. Please?
does the Big Wiggle on the announcers’ table.
time for his public apology.
Powers That Be and says he’s lost a kidney but he can have a bigger
impact in the few years he has left than he’s had in the last twenty
years. A voice (Russo) asks if Duggan is asking for an opportunity.
That’s all Duggan wants, but Russo asks how that will help the
ratings. He’ll think about it.
for future reference: the only people who care about ratings are
either people who work for a wrestling company or people with WAY too
much time on their hands. Stop using them as a plot device, because
almost no one knows or cares what the heck you’re talking about and
it just sounds dumb. Wrestlers fight for championships or to settle
scores, not for the ratings. Also, you lose the right to talk about
ratings after that Nash skit earlier.
the back and say if Sid gets screwed, it’s because Sid screwed Sid.
Can we at least get a reference to something not almost two years
talks to Meng again but Meng doesn’t seem to understand.
Jeff Jarrett, who demands Luger come out here and apologize for
accusing him of attacking Liz last week. Jarrett: “This isn’t the
WWF and we don’t abuse women here.” Luger and Liz come out and
admit that they’re not sure it was Jeff, so they’re sorry. However,
Luger thinks it might have been Meng, who Jeff calls a giant ape.
Cue Meng to chase Jarrett off, allowing Liz to mace Meng so Luger can
beat on him with a tire iron. Couldn’t he have done this in the
back? Or during the hardcore match when Meng was out cold? Too
logical I’m guessing?
the Outsiders knock on his door.
team up with him to go after the Tag Team Titles.
match with Torrie in a shark cage on a fork lift, wearing a dress cut
lower than this show’s ratings. Eddie is on Saturn from the bell and
takes him outside for a whip into the barricade. The early attempt
at the key doesn’t work though as Saturn comes back in and suplexes
Eddie instead. Eddie pops back up though and nails a SWEET
springboard tornado DDT, but this time it’s Shane stopping the run
for the key.
Kidman, Eddie runs back in to stop Saturn as I ask the obvious
question: WHY ARE THEY CLIMBING A FREAKING POLE??? I know Russo
hates wrestling but what’s up with the pole thing? Anyway Saturn
superplexes Eddie down and plants him with a piledriver but drops a
headbutt instead of going for the key. Eddie gets back up and sends
him into the cage, where Torrie reaches through to choke Saturn.
With the other Animals going holding back the Revolution, Eddie
climbs the pole and (eventually since the pole is greased. Yes
grease on a pole) gets the key.
I’m so glad we built up this story last week and blew it off with a
five minute pole match instead of some big fight between the two
groups to win Torrie’s freedom. Instead, Eddie climbed up the pole
and got the key to the shark cage to get her off the forklift.
Somehow, a week is a long build up for Russo. That sums up so many
of his problems.
is freed and that’s that.
the back and “McMahon” tells Sid to trust him. Sid goes into a
rant about getting screwed when he left the WWF so Nash takes off the
wig and Sid starts laughing. For the far too many-th time tonight,
what in the world are they talking about?
the Tag Team Title shot.
Team Titles: Konnan/Kidman vs. Sting/Total Package
and Luger are challenging. Tony’s horrible sense of timing continues
as he says last week’s 13 second Sting vs. Knobbs “match” was
about two minutes long. Package starts by posing but Sting cleans
house instead. We finally settle down to Kidman vs. Luger with Lex
laughing at him until a dropkick puts him down. Luger tries to get
up but grabs his knee. He crawls over to Sting for a tag as Konnan
comes in to clean house. It’s so bad that Mysterio and Guerrero come
in for the DQ beatdown of Sting. Another angle instead of a match.
Animals destroy Sting and beat him down with the bat. So is Sting
back to being a face like he should have been all along? That might
be the first thing Russo has gotten right. The Animals leave so
Sting yells at Luger.
says he’ll lay down for Sid tonight. Nash says he did these skits
because he’s the only giant left (remember that he’s saying this to
SID) and has no booking power.
looks for the Animals, because somehow they’re a main event level
group all of a sudden.
World Title Tournament First Round: Booker T. vs. Jeff Jarrett
goes after him in the aisle but the referee takes the guitar away,
allowing Booker to come back with some right hands. They fight into
the ring where Booker nails a spin kick and spinning forearm, only to
get sent outside for some whips into steel objects. The Harris
Brothers are on the stage as Jeff clotheslines Booker down and puts
on a sleeper.
his usual finishing sequence, only to have the bald guys throw in a
guitar. With one of them offering a distraction, Jeff nails Booker
with the guitar. Despite seeing the guitar come in, being maybe two
weeks from the guitar hitting Booker in the head and DIVING OVER THE
BROKEN PIECES, Robinson counts the pin.
of Slam (the name of Ready to Rumble, even though Tenay used the name
Ready To Rumble earlier in the night) and wants to kill Sid and the
still fighting so Nash comes in and says save it for the pay per
be Madusa’s friend after their match tonight.
Tournament First Round: Madusa vs. Evan Karagias
gropes him to start but then shoves his hat off. Evan grabs her from
behind but rubs her legs. She lays down but Evan pulls her up, only
to get kissed down to give Madusa the pin in another nothing angle
disguised as a match.
Tournament First Round: Chris Benoit vs. Dean Malenko
a cage. Malenko (who got a jobber’s entrance. IN A CAGE MATCH?)
chokes him down in the corner to start but Benoit comes back with
shots to the ribs and a powerbomb, sending Malenko head first into
the top of the cage for a bonus. Benoit chops away and dropkicks him
into the cage, only to miss another dropkick so Malenko can catapult
him into the steel.
send Benoit head first into the cage, but he escapes a third one and
plants Malenko with a tombstone in a nice counter. Chris slits his
throat and goes up, only to have Malenko pop up and superplex Benoit
off the top. Cue Saturn with a chain, but Benoit intercepts the pass
to Malenko and knocks Dean cold (like ice man). With no real need to
other than to finally wake up the crowd, Benoit goes up top and nails
a HUGE Swan Dive from the top of the cage for the pin.
90% of that is for the Swan Dive alone. Thankfully they let this
have some time (four and a half minutes is time in Russo World) as
Benoit and Malenko could have a good match in their sleep. I’m glad
to see Benoit rising above the rest of the midcard and he deserves
this more than Malenko (not that he doesn’t deserve a push of his
the Revolution to chain Benoit to the cage. Before they can get much
further though, the Filthy Animals come out for the save but David
Flair comes out to crowbar all of them down. Konnan tries to get out
but Sting comes in to beat him down. Patience Russo, patience. I
assure you it won’t hurt anything and you can get all your nonsense
in every week.
Flair leaves and gets run down by a car. Kimberly gets out and pokes
him before getting back in and driving away. I think the whiplash
I’m getting from these fast angles is worse than whatever is wrong
is down in the back and says Bret did it. Russo trope: someone being
down when we didn’t see the attack.
World Title Tournament First Round: Sid Vicious vs. Scott Hall
has the US Title on. They talk trash until Sid pokes him in the
chest to put Hall down. Sid covers but Hall tries a small package
for two. The bigger guy is ticked off and pounds Sid against the
ropes before getting two off a backbreaker. Sid chokes even more as
the fans want Goldberg. The cobra clutch has Hall in trouble but
Hall fights back with right hands. A chokeslam drops Hall again but
the referee goes down because we need to fill the quota. Bret comes
out and breaks his crutch over Sid’s back, allowing Hall to cover for
At least the show is over and at least this story makes something
resembling sense. The fact that I can map out the story from
beginning to end and (if I ignore the Vince stuff) make sense of it
tells me that it’s probably the best story on the show. Now if only
we can get a match to go five minutes.
end the show.
are the updated brackets, assuming they don’t switch things up:
Yet somehow, this was a step in the right direction from last week.
They cut down on some of the stupid stuff, but at the same time
cranked up some of the other problems. The Vince McMahon stuff
wasn’t funny, didn’t lead anywhere and seemed to be there to make
Russo laugh. That MIGHT have gone over better today since Vince has
basically turned into an insane man from time to time, but this was
just one big inside joke that got TV time.
wrestling sucked tonight but that goes without saying on a Russo
show. This tournament is a mess, but next week will only (in theory
at least) have half the matches of the first two weeks. Multiple
tournament matches were turned into gimmick matches, because
apparently I’ll care about Stevie Ray vs. Bagwell in a strap match.
least there are a few stories taking shape, even if they’re not very
good. Unfortunately for every Revolution vs. Filthy Animals, there’s
a Buff Bagwell REAL LIFE story. These “shoot” stories are
getting old fast but Russo seems to think they’re the greatest thing
since sliced bread (that would be sliced bread #1 in case that’s not
clear). Horrible show this week and I see no reason to keep coming
back, especially with two weeks before Mayhem.