Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Random Network Reviews: Souled Out 2000

WCW Souled Out 2000
1/16/00 – Firstar Center in Cincinnati, Ohio

So to be honest, I don't remember much about WCW in 2000. I just know that it was bad. Real bad. But could it get worse than the SuperBrawl IX show that I reviewed from just under a year earlier? Looking at the card...yes it possibly can. Hopefully this show surprises me, but my hopes aren't too high. Two of the biggest stars that the WCW had, Bret Hart and Jeff Jarrett, would miss this show. Bret took the infamous superkick from Goldberg that gave him the concussion, and WCW had him compete some after, causing post concussion syndrome. Bret's career was done. Jeff Jarrett and Chris Benoit were scheduled to wrestle three matches, yes three matches, on this show, but Jarrett also had a concussion. From what I've read, with WCW needing a new Champion, Vince Russo wanted Tank Abbott, who was a mid-carder. I don't know how true that is, but I hear he was sent home with pay, while others filled into book this show. As if that's not enough, the Radicalz and a few others asked for their releases before the show. Sheesh. So, this should be interesting at the very least.

I know Tony Schiavone gets a lot of flack, and rightfully so, but I have to give him credit for sounding excited all of the time for WCW. No matter how dire the card is. Billy Kidman will compete in “Triple Threat Theatre”. Kidman faces three guys, in three different matches. A Catch-as-Catch Can match, Bunkhouse Match and Caged Heat. Yes, those are the actual names. Also, DDP and Buff Bagwell will be competing in a Last Man Standing match with no referee. Don't know how that works. 

Catch-as-Catch Can Match
Billy Kidman vs. Dean Malenko

The only difference in this match from a normal singles match, is that leaving the ring causes a disqualification. Good little start between two good wrestlers. Malenko shows off his strength advantage, while Kidman uses his speed. Kidman goes for a dropkick but Malenko holds the ropes and Kidman misses. Kidman rolls him over and punches him before Malenko rolls outside. But there is no disqualification called. Tony Schiavone calls for the DQ but Charles Robinson doesn't until he gets back in.

Winner via disqualification: Billy Kidman in 2:11
I don't know what that was. They never explained the rules to the live crowd so they're confused. Billy Kidman looks pissed because that obviously wasn't supposed to be the finish. This would be Dean's last match in WCW, I wonder if he killed it on purpose. DUD

It's like the WCW realized that David Flair was an awful wrestler, so they made him into an insane brawler. The best thing about the partnership between Flair and Crowbar was easily Daffney.

Crowbar vs. David Flair w/ Daffney vs. Vampiro
I always thought that the character of Vampiro was cool. Brawl to kick things off as this is basically a handicap match. Vampire gets the upper hand and taunts. Flair is taken outside, leaving Crowbar to do most of the offense before Vampire kicks him outside. He throws Flair out again and hits a suicide dive before doing the Hogan taunt for some reason. Inside, Flair yells at Crowbar until Crowbar sits him in the corner and takes a spinning heel kick. Chops for Flair in the corner and he's thrown outside again. Double baseball slide that looked weak. Even with that, Crowbar and Flair take advantage, which means Crowbar does the work. He hits a splash from the apron. Inside, Flair and Vampire trade soft chops before Flair gets tossed out for the fourth or fifth time. Crowbar is just moving from spot to spot with a German suplex and front flip. Vampiro hits a release superplex but I don't know if that was how he meant it. Flair chokes Vampiro and then gets slammed onto him. Flair does his first wrestling move and it's a suplex. Vampiro and Crowbar earn “you fucked up” chants by botching a powerbomb. Crowbar hits a splash off the top and David tries a figure four. He can't even do that right. IT SHOULD BE IN YOUR GENES! Crowbar splashes in and goes to cover but they argue. Even though Crowbar let David pin earlier. Whatever. Flair suplexes Crowbar and makes out with Daffney. She tries to intervene but gets splashed by Flair by mistake. She's able to exit calmly and watch as Vampiro pins David.

Winner: Vampiro in 10:31
Holy crap that was bad. No story at all, just sloppy spot after sloppy spot. It was like, a game of one downing each other. DUD

I just would like to point out that the WCW Pay-Per-View that I reviewed before this was SuperBrawl IX. Going back to the last three matches on that show and the first two here, that's FIVE straight WCW matches I've watched and exactly ZERO stars given out. FIVE STRAIGHT DUDS. Also, the match before this streak got half a star. Half a star in six matches.

Seeing ECW's Tony Mamaluke warms my heart. Big Vito and Johnny the Bull talk about how they're going to beat the Harris Brothers. 

Big Vito & Johnny the Bull w/ Disco Inferno vs. The Harris Brothers
It's Jacob and Eli Blu! No, it's Creative Control! Or is it the Disciples of Apocalypse? I have no clue which Harris brother is which. Ron or Don works over Johnny the Bull. Johnny knocks Jacob or Eli outside. Vito stars kicking Ron and I only know that it's Ron because of Tony Schiavone. The crowd doesn't seem to care about this and neither do I. They mention that Disco Inferno doesn't want to really be at ringside. One half of Creative Control hits a big side slam on Johnny. Mike Tenay: “Which Harris Brother is this?”. Bobby Heenan: “The one with no hair.” Oh, Brain how I love you. Jacob Blu applies a chin lock but Johnny fights out and hits a clothesline. It goes nowhere as he takes a spinebuster right after. Tag to the other Harris, who loses a fist fight so he decided to use a low blow that the referee ignores. Multiple elbows before a tag to Eli Blu, who eats a clothesline. “Boring” chants start and rightfully so. Now, we get a “DOA” chant. Skull tries a pin but Vito breaks it up, leading to Chainz or 8-Ball nailing him. Disco does nothing to help but he then shoved Vito off the top and onto the Harris Brothers as he gets the win that Disco didn't want. Also, Vito never got the tag to be the legal man.

Winners: Big Vito & Johnny the Bull in 9:32
WCW has wasted 45 or so minutes of Pay-Per-View time. This was so boring it hurt. But, it was better than the previous match so it gets a better rating. 1/2*

WCW has now earned a valiant 1 star in seven matches.

WCW Cruiserweight Championship
Oklahoma vs. Madusa w/ Spice

Oh my goodness. Holy god this is going to be bad. He runs down the crowd and says that men are the superior species. He's also doing his awful Jim Ross impersonation. Madusa comes out in a Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey. It's a former Cincinnati Bengal. You're not playing to the home crowd right Alundra. This is dreadful. He hits three snapmares and runs out of breath. Madusa struggles and hits an awful looking missile dropkick before hitting a better one. Also, I have no clue as to why Spice is out there. Madusa then whiffs on a regular dropkick. Oklahoma nails a DDT and goes for his BBQ sauce. Spice steals it when giant Asya attacks him and there's no DQ. Oklahoma goes back in and, even with the interference, rolls up Madusa and wins.

Winner: Oklahoma in 2:56
That was one of the worst things that I've ever seen. Never mind that he's like 40 pounds over the weight limit for the belt, every single thing about this was god awful. There is, literally, no words for how disastrous that was. DUD

MEAN BAH GAWD GENE is interviewing the Hardcore Champion Brian Knobbs. He says that Finlay was his mentor and that's about it.

WCW Hardcore Championship
Brian Knobbs (c) vs. Fit Finlay vs. Norman Smiley vs. Meng

SCREAMING NORMAN F'N SMILEY is out in riot gear. Seriously, if Smiley doesn't win I riot. Finlay is sporting Dudley camo attire so he'll be Finlay Dudley for the duration of this match. Knobbs is dressed like that too actually. So, Nasty Dudley and Finlay Dudley team up instantly and this is basically a tag team match. Smiley and Knobbs botch an easy move outside before Meng chops Smiley and he screams. Smiley takes a beating from the new Dudleys. Meng no sells some chair shots to the head because he's Samoan and that's wrestling rule number 12. Finlay Dudley puts on the riot helmet and headbutts Smiley, though it would've been better if he tried it on Meng. Bobby Heenan calls this the best hardcore match he's ever seen. If that's true, the quality of WCW hardcore matches must be the worst. Knobbs is down in the ring so Smiley gets near with the riot shield. Big Wiggle gets a pop from the crowd as he climbs to the top. He leaps off and is met with a shot from the riot shield to finish this.

Winner and Still Hardcore Champion: Brian Knobbs in 6:10
This wasn't very good. There were times when guys were just standing around. However, due to the quality of the show so far, it's match of the night for now. 3/4*

Bunkhouse Match
Billy Kidman vs. Perry Saturn

Just like Malenko earlier, this would prove to be Saturn's last WCW match. Kidman tries a hip toss but gets a clothesline instead and Saturn hits a gorilla press slam. Kidman hits the ropes and snaps off a flying head scissors and dropkick. Kidman reels off ten punches in the corner but then messes up on a clothesline. Saturn slows the pace down and eventually goes for a suplex that gets countered into a rollup for two. Saturn hits a clothesline and a decent looking springboard leg drop. Saturn rips Kidman's tank top and chops him. I forgot that this was supposed to be a Bunkhouse match, which is just a hardcore match. Don't think this should've gone on right after a Hardcore Title match. They bring a table into play, but it's not used as Kidman gets off of it and hits another head scissors. Saturn hits the big elbow but only gets two. The crowd is pretty dead as the terrible first five matches killed them. Kidman reverses a powerbomb, but ends up taking one anyway for two. Saturn misses a moonsault, allowing Kidman to his Stratusfaction and Sky High for two. Kidman goes for a second bulldog, but gets it countered into a belly to belly that sends him outside and through a table. The crowd is a bit into it now. Kidman somehow kicks out of that. Saturn wastes time posing so Kidman is able to hit an odd looking back drop off the top. He reverses a powerbomb into a facebuster and wins.

Winner: Billy Kidman in 10:03
Okay, new match of the night, but it still wasn't very good. It was a Bunkhouse match that had one weapon used and it was only used once. *3/4

There's still six matches? Are you serious? They show video of Stevie Ray going “back to the hood”. This is exactly how Tony Schiavone announces it. 

Booker T w/ Midnight vs. Stevie Ray
The crowd is raising the roof for Booker. His attire is atrocious. WCW named the black girl that Booker had with him Midnight. Yup. They have the same theme song too. Booker sends Midnight backstage and beats on Stevie. He connects with the Axe Kick, causing Stevie to try and regroup outside but Booker follows. Stevie hits a big clothesline that Booker oversells. Booker continues to sell Stevie's offense like it kills him. See, he's a good brother, he's making Stevie look tough. You can kind of hear Booker telling Stevie what to do. Stevie hits a powerslam and its REST HOLD TIME! Stevie nails a back body drop shortly after and taunts to the dead crowd. Booker reverses a move but takes a double axe handle. Booker reverses a whip and kicks his brother a few times. Scissors Kick and spinaroonie! Instead of going for the pin, he wins a slow series of reversals and hits the Book End. Fat Ahmed Johnson runs out and knocks him out for the DQ.

Winner via disqualification: Booker T in 6:28
This was bad. Stevie Ray is terrible and it showed here. Another bad match. 1/2*

Midnight rushes out but is afraid to enter. This lets Stevie and Ahmed hit their sloppy finishers as the crowd chants “Ahmed”. Stevie introduces him at Big T because they're the new Harlem Heat.

MEAN BAH GAWD GENE interviews Sid. This should be good. But wait, he keeps it together and it wasn't bad.

Jerry Fylnn vs. Tank Abbott
Kill me now. Who the hell thought this should be on Pay-Per-View? Flynn gets absolutely no reaction. They barely fight in the corner before trying to fight in the middle. Flynn tries an armbar but Tank blocks it and gets in some body shots. He tries a leg lock, but Flynn stops it and gets in another armbar. Tank picks him up and bombs him down. He whiffs on two punches and Flynn is “knocked out”. Mike Tenay says there's a ten count, but the ref does three arm raises and it's over.

Winner: Tank Abbott in 1:38
What was the point of this? Crap. Tank missed both knockout punches and it looked like crap. And again, WCW commentators and referees mix up the rules. DUD

Last Man Standing
Buff Bagwell vs. Diamond Dallas Page

So this is because DDP thinks Buff is banging Kimberly. They have a fist fight to start before brawling into the crowd. Back inside DDP hits a neckbreaker. They sold this as “no referee” but there is one, he's just outside. DDP continues to dominate things in the ring and a clothesline takes both men out. Bobby Heenan seriously gives zero craps about this show. They brawl up to the station so I have to see Mark Madden. They pick up the god awful looking computer monitors and hit them into each other. Buff connects with an elbow through the table but the camera doesn't catch it and Schiavone reacts like Mick Foley got thrown off the Hell in a Cell. He also asks why the ref isn't counting, so there's that disconnect again. DDP is up, because the spot wasn't that great, and Schiavone is all “I thought he was dead.” In the ring, Buff nails a low blow. Buff taunts so DDP levels him and crotches him on the post. Buff hits a splash from out of nowhere and the ref finally counts. They get up at 8 and 9 respectively before Buff hits a DDT. Another near ending. Buff, who plays to the crowd, hits the Blockbuster but DDP gets up. Buff pulls out a riot baton and beats on DDP with it. DDP gets up at 9 and hits the Diamond Cutter. He doesn't get it completely though and Buff is up first to win. 

Winner: Buff Bagwell in 11:38
So Buff wins by taking a Diamond Cutter. Dumbest ending to a Last Man Standing Match ever. *

Kimberly is out and Buff tries to talk to her so DDP beats on him with the riot baton. Kim and DDP leave together but she's not happy.

Caged Heat
Billy Kidman vs. The Wall w/ Shane Douglas

So this is WCW's first Caged Heat match. It's a steel cage with a roof, which makes it a Hell in a Cell. This would be like the WWF making their first HIAC between Owen Hart and Faarooq instead of Undertaker and HBK. Shane Douglas introduces his mystery final person from the Revolution as the Wall. Yay. Kidman didn't get a new shirt after Saturn ripped it up. Kidman beats on Wall with a chair before he no sells and punches it into his face. Wall hits a big boot in the ring but the crowd could seriously not be more dead. Wall slams Kidman into the cage a few times, with the second one actually looking impressive. It's brutal to watch something where the crowd reacts to nothing. Wall dominates which isn't helping this crowd at all. He goes for a chokeslam, but Kidman counters into a hurricanrana. He signals for the Shooting Star Press but the Wall is up and he catches a diving Kidman with a chokeslam to finish it.

Winner: The Wall in 5:03
This was WCW's attempt to steal HIAC from WWF? Even if it wasn't, this was poor. 1/4*

Hardcore Match to be WCW Commissioner
Kevin Nash vs. Terry Funk

Mike Tenay calls this a battle for the future, which has to be one of the most ironic things ever. I don't have high hopes here. We kick things off with Nash toying with Funk. Just a note, we've had a Bunkhouse match, a Hardcore Title match, Caged Heat, Last Man Standing and now this Hardcore match. Nash nails him with a chair and hits the Jacknife through the table within the few two minutes. Nash gets on the microphone and tells Funk that if he can crawl back in the ring, he'll let him stay as Commissioner. Funk makes it and Nash claims he was lying. No surprise. Nash continues to pound away while Funk bleeds like he's Ric Flair. Funk won't give up and he hits Nash with the chair twice. A DDT gets him two. Funks wails on Nash but he takes them like nothing and strikes Funk twice with the chair. Funk doesn't fall and no sells some gut shots with the chair. He sets up two open chairs but ends up taking the Jacknife onto both of them.

Winner: Kevin Nash in 7:59
Kevin Nash beat the hell out of Funk for eight minutes. Funk did like two moves and lost. Blah. 1/2*

Arn Anderson gets interviewed and talks about how bad it is for the company that Kevin Nash will be commissioner. I feel like the underlying point was that WCW was in trouble as a company. Non kayfabe wise.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Chris Benoit vs. Sid Vicious

Of course, this was Chris Benoit's final WCW match just like it was for Saturn and Malenko. Slow start and Sid uses his power to gain the upper hand. He helps Benoit up as Saturn and David Flair come to the entrance to watch this HISTORIC match. Even though David Flair is supposed to be insane. Sid clotheslines Benoit outside. Sid continues to toss Benoit around to “Sid” chants. Benoit wisely goes to the knee and starts to target it. He dropkicks the steel steps into the leg in a nice spot. Figure four is applied but Sid is so strong that he turns it over and Benoit gets to the ropes. According to Schiavone, this “sold out” crowd is on “their feet”. They're not. Benoit works the leg some more every single time that Sid tries to fight back. Indian deathlock time which I appreciate. Benoit breaks the hold for no real reason. Sid starts to fight through the pain but Benoit knocks him back down. Sid gets a near fall before going back into a submission. Sid fights out but Benoit hits the diving head butt. Sid powers out of the cover very hard. He pulls out a chokeslam but Benoit gets his foot under the ropes. Benoit now puts on the Crossface and Sid taps instantly.

Winner and New WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Chris Benoit in 14:59
They built up Sid “never giving up” the whole match and he taps instantly. Sid's foot was under the bottom rope because WCW can't have a clean finish. The match was slow and boring. *

Overall: 0/10; Why? As in why would WCW put on a show this bad. 12 matches and not one can get to two stars. Nothing on this card is redeemable and it's the worst Pay-Per-View that I've ever seen. Seriously, every single thing on this show is bad and most of it doesn't make sense. Next on “Random Network Reviews” is Anarchy Rulz '99

Tuesday Night WWE Network Roundup

Let's dive right into the always fun Tuesday nights with Main Event. First thing that stood out to me was the change to the main event of Main Event. On Raw, it was announced as Sheamus vs. Rusev, which is a hard hitting first time match that I was looking forward to. However, it was changed to a Battleground rematch between Jack Swagger and Rusev. Oh well, odd opening contest as two heels go at it. Fandango vs. Seth Rollins. And no Summer Rae or Layla coming out with Seth, so I guess they only accompany faces. It was a decent opener and I'm surprised Fandango got as much offense as he did. Seth wins with the Blackout. (I refuse to call it a Curb Stomp as I've seen the actual Curb Stomp wrestling move and that ain't it).

After a recap of the Brock Lesnar is the number one contender announcement, we head to a singles match between Jey Uso and Ryback. Their respective tag team partners are at ringside with them. Quick note, it's strange how on one hour programs like Main Event you get full entrances but on a three hour show like Raw, so many people get jobber entrances. That irks me. Good little match here and Ryback earned "Feed Me More" chants for the Meat Hook clothesline. Interesting, and surprising that he won but I'm okay with it.

The stunning Renee Young is on my screen and I'm smitten once again. She interviews Heath Slater and Titus O'Neil, who are teaming tonight. Heath calls them Slater Gator and Titus is annoyed by this. I liked this interview. SLATER GATOR! They face the new Nation of Domination or whatever this stable will be as Big E and Kofi Kingston are accompanied by Xavier Woods. There's a SLATER GATOR chant which warms my heart. I'm cool with both of these teams honestly and Kofi/Big E needed the win to help establish their stable. Plus, they pulled out a new double team move so that's sweet.

More Renee Young! Interview for "Big Hoss" Jack Swagger and Zeb as they're all patriotic as usual. Then another interview for Heath Slater, who says that he has the worst luck. He shouts SLATER GATOR and the crowd goes along with it heading into the next segment. I wonder if this will actually get over.

Lana looked mighty fine on Main Event. She continues to tell the US fans to shut up before badmouthing them for a few minutes prior to the match. This match was just about even with their Battleground contest. It should be more hard hitting than it is, but it was still pretty good. The crowd was much more into Swagger than they were at Battleground which helped for sure. They nearly do the countout spot from the Pay-Per-View, but Rusev takes the flag and attacks Swagger with it, so he gets disqualified for his first loss, though it's not a pinfall loss. He tries to continue the attack after the match, but Zeb steals the flag and Swagger big boots him out of the ring.

As always, a fun edition of Main Event. Seth Rollins picked up a win, Ryback gained momentum, the new stable of Kofi/Big E/Xavier won their first match and Swagger evened the score with Rusev. Next up, was WrestleMania Rewind. As stated before, these episodes are hit or miss. This was one that I wasn't really looking forward to, but I forgot how good of a nine minute match this was. Kurt Angle was on another level at this point, while Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio were both more than capable of hanging. It was a nice look at Rey Mysterio's crowning moment for his good friend Eddie Guerrero.

Last up is the WWE Countdown. Sometimes the fans do a terrible job of voting such as picking John Cena to have the best debut or the Brood ahead of the nWo and Four Horsemen on the list of factions. We got Riveting Rivalries here and things started with Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper. This probably should be higher on pure importance factor. Next we had Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat which I'm okay with. They had some classics. At eight, we have The Rock vs. Triple H. Again, this is fine because their rivalry spanned the majority of their careers. At seven we have John Cena vs. Edge. I would have HHH/Rock ahead of this but I get it. Easily my favorite Cena feud as Edge was amazing throughout. Kane vs. The Undertaker comes in at 6 and I would have this higher also. It's a feud that started in 1998 and they had their last match in 2010. That's impressive. 

At number five, we get John Cena vs. The Rock. I get that their match at WrestleMania 28 was huge and the two highest grossing WrestleManias ever feature them, but the feud was widely disappointing to me. Anyway, at four the Mega Powers explode! I like how a lot of the talking heads agree with me in siding with Macho Man. Hulk Hogan for sure had lust in his eyes for Elizabeth. We get an honorable mention of sorts for Trish vs. Lita which I loved. At three is Steve Austin vs. The Rock, which is my personal favorite but I get it being third. To "main event" three WrestleManias in five years is unheard of. At two, we get HBK and Bret. They had some disappointing matches but the rivalry was very intense and important in history. And of course, at number one, the feud that helped WWE surge past WCW in the ratings war, McMahon/Austin. They had some highly entertaining segments and it has to be one.

That's all for now. Follow me on Twitter @the_kevstaaa