Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the only reviews that time travel more that Doctor Who, Cewsh Reviews! Well here we are again, in the hallowed halls of World Championship Wrestling about to imbibe some of the most controversial wrestling ever committed to film. In past installments of these reviews we’ve seen everything from a stable of insane clowns to a guy who thinks he’s Prince, to an MMA fighter who was a member of a boy band, and in between they even found some time to do some wrestling.
Going into this show, David Arquette is your WCW champion. I know. I KNOW. The main event will feature he, Jeff Jarrett and Diamond Dallas Page engaging in a triple decker cage match just as in the movie, and while Deewun only has to deal with 2 hours of a disgrace to wrestling, we’ve signed on to 3 hours of WCW booking before we even get to that. I can only assume we’ll get our reward in the afterlife. But that’s for then and this is now!
So without any further ado, let’s do a motherfucking review!
Cewsh: Okay boys and girls, let’s crack our knuckles in a way that suggests that we’re ready to get down to business, and then let’s get down to business. Now the major storyline going into this show is the Millionaire’s Club of guys like Hulk Hogan, Sting and Kevin Nash, led by Ric Flair, is feuding with the New Blood, which consists of guys like Billy Kidman, Vampiro and Shane Douglas and is led by both Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff. Despite you automatic assumption that the younger, fresher, hungrier youngsters might be the faces here, they aren’t at all, and this video spends about 8 seconds addressing that, and about 3 solid minutes talking about how Vince Russo had kidnapped Elizabeth and is forcing her to be his sex slave under penalty of firing. Because hey, priorities, right?
Oddly, hardly any mention is made here of the enormous triple decker cage match main event, despite the video being like 5 minutes long. Which is weird, since that’s basically all this show is built around. Maybe we’ll get to that later…
On another note, it must be mentioned that this show has a set and production that is miles and miles and miles ahead of anything else I’ve ever seen from WCW, even from other points in this year. Its like they found 10 million dollars just sitting around and decided to blow it all on making this show look 5 years ahead of its time. Its impressive and makes every match look wayyyyy more prestigious and credible. Its already got me in a good mood, so how can we go wrong?
As you may remember from the last time we reviewed some of the work of The Artist Formerly Known As Prince Iaukea. If you do, you may recall that this is my favorite gimmick of all time. Of all of the ridiculous gimmicks and nonsensical characters created during Vince Russo’s run as the booker of WCW, somehow he hit on something that absolutely tickles me now and forever. The lights go dim and turn purples, the electric chords of a ripped off Purple Rain fill the arena, and Prince Iaukea emerges in his silk ruffled shirt amongst lit candelabras and purple confetti. How in the fuck am I supposed to resist loving this long enough to mock it? I can’t. You’ve pulled this one over on me Vinny Ru, you bastard.
Anyway, these two get in the ring and have a perfectly fine match. Some stuff was good, some stuff (like Prince leaping off the top rope to schoolboy Candido and missing by about 8 feet, causing Candido to pin himself).
But all in all things are perfectly fine and dandy. Well, that is, until the end. See Tammy Sytch, being the cheater she is, goes to distract the ref with her feminine wiles, which almost works right up until Paisley comes and smacks the shit out of her. This causes Tammy to grab a chair and waffle both Paisley and the Artist, and Candido quickly rolls him up for the 1…2…3! Cnadido wins and his music hits and Tammy rushes in and…the ref says that it was only two. The Artist made no effort to kick out, and clearly everyone else thought it was the end, but apparently not. They must have more to do. So Candido body slams him, climbs the rope, hits a diving headbutt and wins the match.
Weird, poorly executed finishes aside, this match is the definition of inoffensive. It was a little boring, but wrestled competently. From 2000s WCW, that like awarding it match of the year.
68 out of 100
Vice: This wasn’t a crazy way to start the show off or anything like that, but it did a decent job all things considered. Candido is a solid worker, and The Artist was a fun gimmick. What’s wrestled is a very basic, formulaic match with a couple whoopsies scattered about, but it wasn’t bad. Just kind of there, really.
The only thing that really stood out was the wacky finish, and I’m not sure if it was a mistake or just WCW being WCW. Shit goes down, and The Artist kicks out at 3.01 and the bell rings, which seemed like a possible finish, but then the ref says no and the match continues long enough for Candido to murder The Artist for a much more definitive 3 count victory. It’s possible the spot was designed to give hope to the millions of Artist fans, and have him triumphantly and defiantly kick out just when you think he’s done for, causing the crowd to erupt like Mount Vesuvius as they root for their hero to overcome all odds and win the extremely coveted championship title. Whether or not it was planned, that’s not how it came off. The crowd was just kind of like “..huh?”, and the 5 Artist fans in the building were kind of like “..eh”, and it just looked messy.
Wha…what? What is…I…
Vice: I don’t know if I was high on something, but this match was insanely entertaining. Let’s get this out of the way here first: this match was absolutely terrible from a workrate standpoint. Abysmal, even. But it was just so random and ridiculous that I could not stop pissing myself laughing. You have Terry Funk, one of the biggest names in wrestling, going up against NORMAN SMILEY who is dressed as a baseball player. They fight in the backstage area, and later on the ring, and it’s zany nonsense. Especially when Norman Smiley’s mystery tag partner shows up, and he’s an overweight, immobile catcher. Funk pretty much doesn’t sell a fucking thing throughout, and you can tell he does not give even one eighth of a shit about it, and that’s one of the best parts. I mean seriously, if you were Terry Funk.. would you sell a man dressed as a catcher throwing a cardboard box at you?
But man, I was laughing throughout all of this. It was simultaneously a train wreck and the best thing ever, and I recommend downloading this match just for the sheer ridiculousness of it all.
Cewsh: I need to make this clear to you all. This is a match where a former NWA World Heavyweight Champion has to deal with a guy in a catcher’s mask with his ass crack and gut hanging out, simulating doggie style sex with him. Not only that, but that very same legend SOLD THE SIMULATED PENETRATION. For several seconds! And then sold his injured rectum!
This match is utterly beyond explanation. I cannot in good conscience recommend this match based on any kind of technical merit.
…but you should totally watch it anyway because holy shit, this is hilarious. Everything from Funk busting into the bathroom, beholding a white fat guy in a catcher’s mask and saying “Smiley? Is that you?” to the catcher standing right next to Funk and attempting exactly zero offensive maneuvers as Funk massacres his teammate, to the match ending with a goddamn roll up, this is the match I will forever point to whenever anybody asks me what 2000 era WCW was like. It was insane, classless, absurd, nonsensical, and wildly, wildly hilarious.
Now I have to go clean myself up. This match made me wet myself.
72 out of 100
Cewsh: …unfortunately I am bound by review law to inform you that that means that David Arquette is here. Now, conceivably there are a few of you out there in internet land who became wrestling fans after WCW died, and therefore are not aware that David Arquette, professional actor who appeared in such movies as Scream, Ravenous (great movie), and, well, Ready 2 Rumble, was once the official holder of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. How the hell did this happen, you ask? Well let me explain.
See, after Vince Russo took WCW, he took a product that had started to decline quickly and proceeded to attempt to stray for out of the box in an effort to save things. Naturally this caused it to take even more of a nose dive, and by this point in their history, things were just about beyond saving. So when people were trying to come up with new ideas as to things that could bring interest back to the product, as they were also trying to figure out how to promote Ready 2 Rumble on no budget, and someone jokingly suggested that they just make David Arquette the champion. The good news was that aside from one person, everyone in the meeting found this idea hilarious and forgot about it. The bad news is that the man that didn’t was Vince Russo.
A few weeks later, Arquette had a tag match for the title with his friend Diamond Dallas Page (yes, a tag match) in which he speared and pinned Eric Bischoff to win the title by accident. So an actor beat an executive to win the World Heavyweight Championship. This was Vince’s plan to make people love WCW again. It didn’t work. To Arquette’s credit, he never wanted the belt, and thought the whole idea was lame and disrespectful and donated all the money he made with the run to Owen Hart’s family, which is cool.
Then, in the proceeding weeks he constantly tried to give the title away and get rid of it, but to punish him, Bischoff booked him in this triple threat, triple decker cage match with his friend Page and the crown jewel of the Millionaire’s Club, Jeff Jarrett. Here he arrives at the arena and is told point blank by the interviewer that he’s going to get his ass kicked, to which Arquette agrees, sighs deeply, and goes inside.
YOU CAN DO IT DAVEY!
Cewsh: Believe or not, there is a fucking compelling story here.
From the moment that Mr. Perfect’s WWE music hits in a match that we know Curt Hennig is in, we get excited for the oncoming perfection, but are instead treated to a sight of Shawn Stasiak, coming out to the Perfect music and doing Hennig’s shtick. See, the idea is that in order to make a name for himself, Stasiak has targeted Hennig and decided to show him up at being, well, himself. He stole the music, the mannerisms, and, after the best match Stasiak ever had, he stole Hennig’s finisher too, beating him clean with the Perfect Plex, in a moment so singularly shocking and unexpected that I sat in disbelief for several moments afterward. Shawn Stasiak, formerly of Meat and Planet Stasiak fame, once had a compelling character, good matches, and beat Curt Hennig clean? I mean life is full of surprises, but there’s finding $20 in your pants pocket and then there’s finding out that Shawn Stasiak actually had a ton of potential and some great shit going on, before he went to WWE and got lost in the shuffle. Sheesh.
Now then, as I said, this match is absolutely competent. Curt Hennig has no truck with bad matches, and basically carries Stasiak to a match which ideally presents him, making Stasiak look fantastic and getting a ton of sympathy cheers for himself. As far as Hennig goes, this match is just average. As far as Stasiak goes, this match is somewhere in space compared to the rest of his matchography. Adjust your expectations accordingly.
71 out of 100
Vice: Stasiak comes out to Mr. Perfect’s theme, wrestles the best match I’ve ever seen him wrestle, and then more or less defeats Hennig clean? What planet am I on?
Planet Stasiak, clearly!
I was absolutely shocked by all of this, especially Stasiak’s performance which was legitimately good. He’s never been bad, but he’s never stood out to me at all in the ring before. This was fresh and nice to see, and it’s a shame he never did anything that significant in his career. Of course I could be completely talking out of my ass here, because he was in the ring with Curt Hennig after all. But still, the dude kept up and the two put on a fun little match that I enjoyed.
Cewsh: Before this match can actually begin, Hugh Morrus comes out dressed in his camouflage as the leader of the Misfits In Action (M.I.A.). His compatriots are sitting in the front row cheering him on as he grabs a mic and just generally being both supportive and useless, which is their specialty.
They proceed to have a match and its okay, though god knows it doesn’t do much to erase the stench of that name change. Also unhelpful is Morrus (or Rection, if you wish) landing directly on Steiner’s head via moonsault, which Steiner then no sells completely and then spends the next 5 minutes just violently beating the shit out of Morection as punishment for existing in general (or General! HA! God I kill me). Steiner then locks in the Steiner Recliner and 8 seconds later this one is over and Hugh gets to blessedly go home and pointedly not answer his phone for the next 6 years.
60 out of 100
Vice: I love Scott Steiner. I love “You will address me by my real name.. HUGH.. G.. RECTION”.
This was another match that was just there, and the only thing that stood out was a botched moonsault. Rection came off the top and Steiner was supposed to move out of the way and not get hit. Well, Rection overshoots it a bit and ends up smashing Steiner’s face and neck straight into the canvas with a ton of force, as he couldn’t get away in time.
It was very scary to watch, as shit like that can destroy bodies and careers. Obviously I know that Steiner survived it since he’s still wrestling, but shit. It was ugly.
Cewsh: He’s also really upset about something.
I have no idea what it is, because I wasn’t listening. But he looks really, really intense about it.
This match wasn’t bad. I don’t know about Mike Awesome, but Kanyon completely mailed this performance in from what I saw, which definitely didn’t help things. And other thing that didn’t help was Mike Awesome completely spiking Kanyon on his neck/shoulders with a disgusting powerbomb that could have put him out with an injury for quite some time.
Massive clusterfuck ending.
Cewsh: Here’s what you need to know about this festival of manliness.
1) Mike Awesome and Chris Kanyon are fine wrestlers, and just mail it in here.
2) Chris Kanyon takes some absolutely disgusting bumps.
3) The end of this match features Awesome going for a powerbomb on the stage, before Kevin Nash dashes (dashingly) down to the ring to lay down some quality ass kicking on the awesome one, and then gives it to the entire rest of the New Blood as well when they come down to the ring, and I am completely blown away at the ENORMOUS face reaction he receives for doing so. Apparently Kevin Nash was, at this point, a seriously enormous face who gets Austin like cheers from the crowd. Bizarre.
4) This match has no actual end.
5) THIS MATCH IS STILL GOING! Since they’re both dead though, this has become more of a…casket…match…
7) I’m going to hell.
62 out of 100
Cewsh: Vince Russo has Elizabeth on a chain and is treating her like shit. Fucking fantastic.
It would be great if someone hit him with a truck for karma’s sake.
The idea here is that Russo is using Elizabeth to torture Lex Luger (her on and off screen beau at the time) and therefore the apparently facey Luger wants a piece of him tonight. Naturally Luger wont get it, because Russo is not a wrestler (well, yet at least) but Russo has plenty of lackeys to put in his path, and tonight victim isn’t your stuff, or my stuff, he’s THE STUFF.
Next month, Lex Luger faces THE THINGS.
Cewsh: As I said before, the idea here is that Luger is mega pissed about Liz being taken from him, so he's about ready to whup some ass in frustration and plans to make his ex tag team partner Buff Bagwell the victim of that ire. Of course, for whatever reason he walks calmly down to the ring and proceeds to strip himself and pose for 5 straight minutes like he forgot there was a match taking place here. Why does he do this?
Then Buff comes out in his Buff way, and off we go. In the following minutes a great deal of posing happens, and in between they find ways to occasionally produce an occasional wrestling move from somewhere. Finally Elizabeth throws a chair at Russo and darts down to ringside to help her man. Buff gets to her first and attempts to introduce a proposal vis a vis his penis and her vagina when Lex takes offense (as you do) and beats him all over the ring, culminating in a Torture Rack of epic proportions which Buff endures for almost long enough to say his name before tapping like a baby. Then Elizabeth falls into her boyfriend’s arms in relief that at last they can be together forever.
…or at least until Chuck Palumbo runs out dressed exactly like Luger and puts him in the Torture Rack, allowing Buff to rekidnap Liz. Ooooookay, so is imitating legends sort of a rookie thing now? I liked it better when I saw it on Planet Stasiak.
65 out of 100
Cewsh: Are you aware than Shane Douglas is the Franchise? Because Shane Douglas would like for you to know that he’s the Franchise. And when the Franchise franchises others, they have then been Franchised by the franchising Franchise. Franchise?
Vice: Shane Douglas works at Target.
Again, the match is just whatever, but post-match was amazing-- because it featured DAFFERS. Young Daffers with pink hair, dancing around with enthusiasm and screaming her lungs out. She seems almost legitimately crazy here, and it gave me quite the boner.
I really do love her, and forever will. HEART YOU, DAFFERS.
61 out of 100
Cewsh: Vampiro was fucking cool here, as he comes out for his match with Sting after weeks and months of hyping it up to the moon, promoting Vampiro as the new Sting, ready to take the man’s place. In fact, everything ABOUT Vampiro on this show is incredible as even in the backstage segments he apart from the rest, relaxing in a corner, and as he comes to the ring he’s wearing a sardonic smile and just walks with an air of someone truly evil and different.
The potential to be something special is radiating off of this man in waves and now I have to chalk him up on the list of guys from late WCW who were overflowing wildly with potential and were just totally squandered on their way to obscurity. For the record that list now includes Lance Storm, Booker T and Vampiro, and with those three alone, this company could have sailed off into a new decade confident in a main event scene that would be both fresh and truly special.
Anyway, this match was perfectly fine. Not great and not bad. Sting, at this point, really didn’t give a flying fuck about anything, and Vampiro has always had sort of an awkward style that doesn’t lend itself well to the brawls he frequently found himself in. But it was fine, and they’re both cool, so there you go.
66 out of 100
Vice: It’s amazing how awesome Sting looks here. I still preferred it when his outfit covered up his chest and shoulders, but this is such a great look still. He’s got a full head of hair, awesome muscle definition, and just looks like a badass. It’s sad to see what he looks like these days, really. Still solid in the ring of course, but man. I used to LOVE Sting. Vampiro looks like an evil motherfucker here too. It was a fairly short match that I enjoyed a bit. Wasn’t great, but it entertained me enough to get a thumbs up.
Vice: This match is just a bit over 13 minutes long, and it’s the slowest 13 minute match ever I’d have to say. Not because it was bad, but.. something about it. During the match, Cewsh and I were talking about how absurd it was that they were getting such a giant block of time for this match, and how it was putting Kidman over like a motherfrogger by being in the ring with Hogan for 20+ minutes. By match’s end, I’d have guessed it went just shy of 25. Almost double the actual time. It’s wacky.
The whole feud between these two is absolutely baffling to me still after all these years, and I’m really not sure what to make of it all. But regardless, Hogan did wonders for Kidman here. Even with Kidman getting the crap kicked out of him for a lot of the match and having Bischoff’s biased reffing saving his ass numerous times, just hanging with Hogan for that amount of time was enough to make him look fantastic. It was all so very.. strange. And not a very good match, but hey, the crowd was into it. That’s always a plus.
Cewsh: To this day, I have no idea what the fuck this feud was all about.
Seemingly an answer to the criticisms that Hulk Hogan never puts over any young talent, they pull Billy Kidman seemingly out of a hat to not only feud with Hulk Hogan, but to beat him repeatedly, leading to this PPV match. Its nice of Hogan to actually do this, but I mean, Kidman? There really wasn’t anyone in the back who they thought could use the rub of beating Hulk fucking Hogan better than Billy “Scrawny childlike greasy haired crusierweight” Kidman? Fair enough I guess.
Like Vice said, this match kept right on going until the break of dawn and I was equally shocked to find that it had only been as long as an episode of Rugrats. What was here wasn’t the worst thing ever, but really what it was was Hulk Hogan beating the shit out of the scrawny Kidman, and then Bischoff cheating to make Kidman not lose. Then Kidman would fail to take advantage of this, and lather rinse repeat. I’m not sure how this was intended to actually get Kidman over, but hey, he went on to become on of the biggest stars of all time and led WCW down the path to their eventual resurgence and defeating of WWE.
58 out of 100
Interestingly, this is literally the first time in the entire show since the opening video that this match has actually been discussed in any way at all. Even David Arquette just said he had a match, cleverly leaving out that it was a match featuring the CRAZIEST FUCKING GIMMICK OF ALL TIME HOLY SHIT.
Vice: This review would have actually been far more on time had Cewsh or I not had to review this match. For me, the rest of the show was pretty easy to talk about, but there’s just so much stuff going on with this match that it’s hard to actually put together thoughts in any sort of coherent way. Half of me just wanted to put a facepalm picture, or an audio clip of Gabe yelling out “DAAAANGEEEROOUUUUUUSSSSS’, or just say “this is why WCW died”, or something.
This was just uncomfortable to watch for so many reasons. Like, David Arquette being WCW World Heavyweight Champion. Or that this match is based off a movie that didn’t exactly set the world on fire (if you’d like to know more, check out Deewun’s I Have an Opinion on this (and huzzah for shameless plugs!)). Or that the triple steel cage structure just looks so horrifically unsafe with it just kind of wobbling around and looking like it could just collapse at any second.
From what I gathered from pre-match interviews, Arquette was shitting his pants over having to wrestle this match, possibly both real and kayfabe. Secondly, Arquette openly said he didn’t want the title, so he was going to get DDP to win it.. and that just devalues the belt more than it was already devalued. Third, this is going to be terrible.
When Jarrett and DDP were duking it out in the first cage, it was fine to watch. It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t scary. It was basically a hell in a [very wobbly] cell match. Once it moved to the second cage, I got a bit nervous. It just looked so unsafe for everyone. I knew that nothing crazy happened since this was a decade ago, but it was still very unsettling because some companies, like TNA for example, still do ridiculous gimmick matches where you really have to wonder if everyone is going to make it out alive. And call me silly, but I’d much prefer watching a perfectly safe bad match than watching an incredibly unsafe spectacle 9 out of 10 times.
And then the match just kind of goes along until David Arquette is at the very top of the mountain, armed with a guitar, as both DDP and Jarrett are climbing up opposite sides.. and.. wait for it..
Arquette SWERVES everyone by thwacking DDP in the skull with it, followed by Jeff Jarrett one handing a guitar to DDP’s head as well, leaving DDP to fall down and Jeff Jarrett to continue his rise to the top and, ultimately, the belt at the top. And before we even have like 10 seconds to absorb everything that has happened, KANYON shows up out of nowhere and starts beating up Mike Awesome (who showed up out of nowhere earlier). And then moments later, Awesome chucks Kanyon off the top of the cell and onto the entrance platform, which Kanyon sells like death by firmly remaining in the *SPLAT* position. While this isn’t exactly a massive deal on its own, it becomes quite stupid when you factor in that about a fortnight shy of a year prior, in this same arena, Owen Hart assumed the *SPLAT* position…
Yeah. Just didn’t sit very well with me.
What a wacky, wacky main event.
Cewsh: I hate to say it but, well, what he said.
See, there are a number of variables at work here that determine whether or not this could be a good match. The same variables can be applied to any match, really. GPD. Gimmick, Participants and Danger. It’s a formula that will nearly always tell you definitively what you will get from a match before it ever takes place, and it is virtually always accurate with a few notable exceptions (like anything TNA has ever done that was good). Let’s break down the formula for this match shall we?
Gimmick: A 30 foot tall triple cage made of chicken wire that is inspired by a bad movie that nobody saw (except our friend Deewun of course).
Odds of this gimmick producing a good match: 1,000 to 1.
Participants: A 50 year old, a midcarder who likes to call people slapnuts and a B grade actor in his second ever match.
Odds of these participants producing a good match: 1,000,000 to 1.
Danger: Did I mention that they have to climb to the top of the 30 foot structure and stand on top of it with no bracing support whatsoever to grab a belt from the rafters and that this thing is built out of chickenwire and puppy dog wishes?
Odds of this danger quotient producing a good match: Infinity to 1.
Guess what, the GPD was right about this one.
First there’s the fact that Jarrett and Page aren’t exactly the biggest and best stars in the company at the time, so the fans don’t care at all. Then there’s the fact that they have to pointedly avoid falling through huge gaping holes in the cage, risking serious injury. As Page said in an interview later, it is only by sheer dumb luck that they both avoid stumbling through one of these as they were everywhere. THEN there’s the fact that Mike Awesome and Chris Kanyon show up more or less at random to interfere here and do an extremely poor job of impacting things in any way. THEN there’s the fact that Arquette decides this match by betraying his friend Page to essentially hand Jarrett the belt, and THEN there’s the fact that Awesome then throws Kanyon off the cage onto the ramp with a splat in the same fucking arena Owen Hart fell to his death in just a year earlier.
Is that everything?
Oh wait, then there was the fact that David Arquette was dressed like this.
48 out of 100
Cewsh: You know, everytime we watch a WCW PPV it is never what I expect it to be. The shows have been historic, boring, kooky, soul rendingly awful, humous, credible, compelling, filled with potential, and void of any possible redeeming quality in various turns. But what this particular show was, more than anything, was simply solid. Other than the main event, no match really rocked the boat of competency one way or the other, and that’s something I’ve truly never seen from a WCW show before. I’m used to the musings of mad geniuses, not the solid remains of a promotion on cruise control. Do I prefer this compared to that? Hard to say. But since I was expecting to hate all of time, space and creation after seeing the card to this show, I’ll take it. Dear god will I take it.
Vice: Overall I actually liked a lot about this show. While most of the matches weren't very good and there was practically a running gag throughout that WCW was terrible, something about the show just kind of worked for me as a whole. I certainly wouldn't recommend actually seeking this show out and watching it, but for what it was, I was content watching it.
I think that's a massive compliment.
We hope you've enjoyed yet another blast from the past, and we hope you will enjoy all the other times we go to the well again in the future because WCW is really the gift that keeps on giving. Coming up next week is our review of TNA's Genesis 2010 PPV, which may very well contain the single least interesting card of any PPV since Jim "The Cockatoo" Scherinske took on Ed "The Yardman" Roberts back in 22' skiddo. So until then, be sure to keep reading and be good to one another.