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WWF “Royal Rumble 2001”
January 21st, 2001
From the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana
Commentators: Jim Ross and Jerry “the King“ Lawler

Tonight: the 30-Man Over-the-top-rope Royal Rumble.

For the WWF Tag Team Championships
The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian (champions)
This was a decent match that was mostly D-Von getting beaten up trying for the “hot tag”.
Winners: the Dudley Boyz (new WWF Tag Team Champions)

Earlier tonight: Drew Carey arrived at the arena.

Earlier tonight: Vince McMahon decreed that in the interest of fairness Triple H will get his shot at the WWF World Championship and Stone Cold will be in the Royal Rumble.

Triple H is backstage with Stephanie McMahon...who fucking cares?

The A.P.A. show one another their Rumble numbers.

Ladder Match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit (champion)
Watching this match and the shots both of them took one has to wonder how Chris Jericho never suffered the same repercussions and conditions that so many of his contemporaries did? This was a really good match. Benoit was so good at selling.
Winner: Chris Jericho (new WWF Intercontinental Champion)

Drew Carey is backstage with Trish Stratus...who cares? This did lead to Drew Carey in the Royal Rumble.

Chyna is getting ready for her match with Ivory.

Chris Jericho is glad to be WWF Intercontinental Champion one more time.

For the WWF Women’s Championship
Ivory (champion) w/Steven Richards vs. Chyna
This was a squash that's worth watching for the terrible miscue on the ending. TERRIBLE. They were selling Chyna’s neck injury leading up to the match, and when she did her cartwheel elbow in the corner move Stevie Richards was supposed to hit her in the neck. He missed his cue, she sold it anyway and lost the match. Then they sold it hard afterwards.
Winner: Ivory

Chyna is taken out on a stretcher.

Stephanie McMahon backstage...fast forward.

Drew Carey walking or something...fast forward.

Vince McMahon and Lo-Down in the lockeroom...fast forward. (I think this was when Vince informed them that he’d given their Royal Rumble spot to Drew Carey)

For the WWF Heavyweight Championship
Triple H w/Stephanie McMahon vs. Kurt Angle w/Trish Stratus
Like I care about Triple H and the fucking McMahons? ...fast forward.
Winner: Kurt Angle

The Royal Rumble
Featuring: Al Snow, Albert, Billy Gunn, Bradshaw, Bull Buchanan, Crash Holly, Drew Carey, Farooq, Grandmaster Sexay, Haku, Hardcore Holly, Jeff Hardy, K-Kwik, Kane, Matt Hardy, Perry Saturn, Raven, Rikishi, Scotty 2 Hotty, Steve Blackman, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Tazz, Test, the Big Show, the Goodfather, the Honky Tonk Man, the Rock, the Undertaker, Val Venis and William Regal
This wasn’t the best Rumble. Yeah, Kane was a total star and the last ten or fifteen minutes were great. What’s often overlooked in this one is how hard the Rock worked the match too. The guy was in there almost forty-five minutes with only one break. But the first half (with the hardcore jabronis) was kinda blah, seeing what a loser Tazz had become in just a year with the WWF was sad and Drew Carey was shit. But there have been worse guest spots. Dude just looked like he was hoping that none of his friends were watching.
Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin
___
It was bittersweet watching this because in my eyes it was the beginning of the end of the Attitude era, but it was still a good watch and better than anything the WWE has puked out in years. The Rumble was fun. The Ladder Match was really good. And the opener was fine. I’m sure the Triple H match was the usual boring ass marathon (it still clocked in at and unbearable twenty-five minutes without entrances or promo). I’m not sure I would have sat through it any other day but my son wanted to get to the Rumble so who was I to argue? The only “bad” thing (outside of a few Rumble spots) was the totally botched ending of Chyna’s match. My son was really confused what happened and it’s hard to explain what a “botch” is to a seven-year-old so I just had to tell him that she “hurt her neck running”. I think that's even how they explained it afterwards but it was clear what they were going for.
 

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That Chyna botch was so bad that I actually assumed she was heard because I couldn't figure out what the hell was supposed to have happened to her for her to actually be hurt. Does that make sense? Like never in the history of wrestling has someone sold an injury that they got running across the ring. But it happens. When someone seams injured like that I kind of assume it's a weird non-contact injury and it's legit.
 

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That Chyna botch was so bad that I actually assumed she was heard because I couldn't figure out what the hell was supposed to have happened to her for her to actually be hurt. Does that make sense? Like never in the history of wrestling has someone sold an injury that they got running across the ring. But it happens. When someone seams injured like that I kind of assume it's a weird non-contact injury and it's legit.
it's up there with the Vince McMahon "how did they even do that?" double quad blow
 

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I don't know about you guys, but that sounds like one awesome fucking feud, it would have been money and the perfect way for Randy to end his WWE run. Add that to the list of 100 questions I'll ask Vince if I ever encounter him drunk at a club. How can you possibly say no to THAT? The work was already done for him! He didn't need to book anything!
 

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WCW “Bash at the Beach”
July 12th, 1998
From the Cox Arena in San Diego, California
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby “the Brain” Heenan and Mike Teney

Tonight: Diamond Dallas Page and Karl Malone face Hollywood Hogan and Dennis Rodman. Probably some other stuff too.

The commentators welcome us to the show and Mike Teney tries to convince everyone that EVERY match matters tonight.

“Mean” Gene Okerlund runs down Goldbergs first WCW World Heavyweight Championship defence, which is tonight against Curt Hennig.

Ravens Rules
Saturn vs. Raven w/Scotty Riggs and Lodi
Saturn did one of the dumbed jumps off the top rope through a couple empty tables outside the Ring you’ll ever see, because Raven got off the table in Saturn’s plain site. This was a good match but that was one of the stupidest things I’ve seen in a while, even from a guy with wonky eyes.
Winner: Raven

Mean Gene brings out Eddie Guerrero; who has a hair verses hair match against Chavo Guerrero Jr. later on in the show. Chavo has another match against Stevie Ray tonight which is right before the hair verses hair match.

Kidman w/Lodi vs. Juvientud Guererra
Wow, this was a good one. These two worked together incredibly well. Hands down one of the best matches I’ve seen in a long time. A lot of “close calls”/”he almost killed himself/him” though.
Winner: Juvientud Guererra

Lee Marshall is on the WCW chat with Konnan.

Stevie Ray vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
I really wish I knew how it came about that Chavo had to wrestle Stevie Ray before he had to have a hair verses hair match against Eddie? The commentators were playing off Chavo being “nuts” so I almost seemed like this was something he wanted. Chavo submitted to the opening handshake. That was funny.
Winner: Stevie Ray

Hair verses Hair
Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Eddie Guerrero
This was a joke match, which for Chavo is fine. But Eddie’s better than that. He can sell a joke match too though. It just shows you how good he was. This did transfer over to an actual wrestling match after a few moments and it was really good.
Winner: Eddie Guerrero
Chavo starts shaving his own head and asks Eddie to do the same so they can be twins.

Chris Jericho was supposed to face Dean Malenko next but Dean Malenko was suspended this past Monday for violating the “no physical contact” clause between himself and Jericho. But Jericho says he will still perform tonight.

Disco Inferno w/Alex Wright vs. Konnan w/Kevin Nash and Lex Luger
I was surprised this match lasted longer than an Irish Whip and a...whatever Konnans finish move was. It didn’t last long though.
Winner: Konnan

The Giant vs. Kevin Greene
These two were supposed to be in a tag team match with Goldberg and Curt Hennig as their partners but when Goldberg won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship the previous Monday they just stuck them in a singles match. This was Greens last professional wrestling match as the NFL passed a rule at the beginning of the following season not allowing players to wrestle during the off-season. It was far from an Okada seven-star classic but it was passable. He was better than Steve McMichael.
Winner: the Giant

Curt Hennig is on the WCW hotline. He knows what it’s going to take to beat Goldberg: experience.

Recap of Chris Jericho tricking Dead Malenko into physically contacting him and getting himself suspended thus cancelling their match at this show. Good shit.

Chris Jericho comes out to dance but JJ Dillon comes out and gives Jericho a chance to defend his title tonight anyway against someone who’s local and hasn’t wrestled in months.

No Disqualification match for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship
Chris Jericho (champion) vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Rey was local and hadn’t wrestled in almost six months due to an injury he suffered at the hands of Jericho. This was a good match with a few botchy botches.
Winner: Rey Mysterio Jr. (new WCW Cruiserweight Championship)

For the WCW World Television Championship
Bret Hart vs. Booker T (champion)
No offence to the Television Championship but Bret fucking Hart was about two tiers above that belt. Every time I see Bret Hart in WCW I get angrier and I’m not even a fan. This match was going fine until Bret Hart got himself disqualified.
Winner: Booker T via disqualification
Bret Hart continues beating on Booker T but EVENTUALLY Stevie Ray made his way to the ring to help him, after Bret Hart had done his damage. Stevie looks very disappointed in his brother and tells the officials he’s is fine and makes him walk back to the dressing room.

Recap of Goldberg winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship the previous Monday.

For the WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Curt Hennig vs. Goldberg (champion)
These two were having one of the better Goldberg matches until like a flip of a light switch Goldberg “Goldberg’d” and that was it. A prime example of Hennig being so good that he could wrestle a broom and make it a good match.
Winner: Goldberg

Recap of how tonight’s main event came to be.

Hollywood Hogan & Dennis Rodman w/Disciple vs. Diamond Dallas Page & Karl Malone
This was pretty terrible. I hate Dennis Rodman but he was a at least good showman. And I’m not a fan of basketball so I really have not opinion on Karl Malone but in doing my research I learned that Rodmans Bulls beat Malone’s Jazz in the NBA finals for the second year in a row a few weeks before this. A bad match was to be expected but 20+ minutes of boring posturing was really bad. Even the crowd turned on it pretty quickly. Had this been ten minutes and the main event of a Nitro it would have been fine.
Winners: Hollywood Hogan & Dennis Rodman

Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan and Mike Teney thank everyone for watching and wish “Matt” a happy birthday.
__
It’s too bad the main event was so bad because up until it this was a really enjoyable show. There were a few really good matches (seriously, seek out Kidman verses Juventude Guererra) and even the outside of the ring segments weren’t bad either. And it was done without a lot of the WCW staples of the time (Sting, Nash, Luger, Hall, the Steiners) or Nitro Girls. Do yourself a favour and watch this show BUT stop after Goldbergs match. Then you’ll be treated to one of the best WCW pay per views I’ve seen.

I didn’t know that Goldberg held both the World Heavyweight and United States Championships at this time. So Bret Hart being stuck in the dregs of the Television Championship ranks makes sense to me now.
 

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WWE “Night of Champions”
September 18th, 2011
From the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry “the King” Lawler and Booker T

Tonight: Randy Orton defends the World Heavyweight Championship against Mark Henry, Alberto Del Rio defends the WWE Championship against John Cena and Triple H faces CM Punk in a no disqualifications match with Triple Hs title of COO of WWE at stake. Punk won’t be COO if he wins, just Triple H won’t be COO of Punk wins.

For the WWE Tag Team Championships
The Awesome Truth vs. Air Boom (champions)
“Heel” R-Truth and “badass” Miz. Double yuck. Thank God the Miz kept the rapping during their entrance to a very minimum. Evan Bourne is one guy who I liked better in the WWE. He bores the hell out of me in Ring of Honor and anywhere else but in WWE he stuck out and shone. All joking and whatnot aside this was a good match. These makeshift tag teams make me kinda depressed because none of the guys have done that much since. I know Kofi won the WWE championship but that ended sad and now he’s back to wrestling in tag team matches again.
Winners: Air Boom via disqualification
After the match R-Truth and the Miz beat the crap out of the referee.

Matt Striker approaches the Awesome Truth and informs them they will likely get fined but they say it’s a conspiracy by Triple H.

For the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Cody Rhodes (champion) vs. Ted Dibiase
This was okay.
Winner: Cody Rhodes

Christian comes out and says he deserves another shot at the World Heavyweight Championship as soon as Mark Henry and Randy Ortons match finishes. He insults the crowd but then gets them to chant for him. Thank the fucking maker Sheamus comes out, makes fun of Christian, says he’d give his uncle Fargusts lucky green testicle to have a match tonight and tells Christian he wants the first crack at him if he gets a match and wins the World Heavyweight Championship. Then he Brough Kicks Christians useless ass. That’s a Wrestlemania Moment, fella.

Fatal Four-Way match for the WWE United States Championship
John Morrison vs. Alex Riley vs. Jack Swagger vs. Dolph Ziggler (champion) w/Vickie Guerrero
Alex Riley? Alex Riley!!!!?? Of all the “blips” on this show he’s the tiniest. The real point of interest (if you could call it that) during this match was Jack Swagger vying for the managerial services of Vickie Guererro despite Dolph Zigglers displeasure of that.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler

Josh Matthews is with Mark Henry. He says he’s going to win. He said more but that was the gist of it.

Vickie Guerrero is so glad that Dolph Ziggler won and that everyone wants to work with her.

For the World Heavyweight Championship
Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton (champion)
This was not a good match at all. I like Mzark but he was never title picture material. And Randy was phoning it in.
Winner: Mark Henry (new World Heavyweight Champion)
Josh Matthews interviews Mark Henry and he just yells at everyone for not believing in him.

Alberto Del Rio is mad at Johnathan Laurinaitis for something that happened at Raw. After Del Taco takes off CM Punk comes by and gets in Laurinaitis’ face.

For the WWE Divas Championship
Kelly Kelly (champion) w/Eve Torres vs. Beth Phoenix w/Natalya
I don’t care who’s in the ring with Kelly Kelly; the match is shit. Fuck, she was terrible. I swear when she was down and supposed to be selling moves she was laughing.
Winner: Kelly Kelly

BE A STAR WWE, BE A FUCKING STAR!

For the WWE Championship
Alberto Del Rio (champion) w/Ricardo Rodriguez vs. John Cena
The introductions for this match were torture. The match was the same old shit. Del Rio had just won the WWE Championship a month earlier but the result of this match surprised none.
Winner: John Cena (new WWE Champion)

No Disqualification match with Triple’s position as COO of WWE at stake
CM Punk vs. Triple H
I wanted to simply say ‘ugh” in my review of this match (because I HATE both of these guys) but it actually ended up being an entertaining match. The storyline I couldn’t give two shits about. The was a lot of outside interference at the end and Kevin Nash looked terrible.
Winner: Triple H
____
Man, 2011 was a vacuum in the history of the WWE. Does anyone remember this time or any of the guys and their angles? So much of it I’m glad I’ve forgotten. I hated Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez so much. So I was kinda glad he lost. He won the title back like a month later. Kelly Kelly just makes me naustious. The biggest “WTF?” for me though was Alex Riley. I had completely forgotten about that guy. So much of this show is just astrix in everyone involved career. Seeing so many of them made me sad how they never amounted to anything in the WWE. This should be mandatory watching for everyone hoping to go to the WWE.

Another thing I couldn’t figure out was who were the heels and who were the faces half the time. Christian came out, the crowd was loving him, he was playing face then seemingly turned heel but then turned face again in a matter of a few sentences. Beth Phoenix was a heel but she’s from Buffalo so the crowd was firmly behind her. Or they just feel the same way about Kelly Kelly as I do. And I couldn’t tell who were the heels out of CM Punk, Triple H and Johnathan Laurinaitis.

What do I remember from these days? Fucking John Cena. Every month, every pay per view, every title match; fucking John Cena.

There was a pay per view two fucking weeks after this (Hell in a Cell).

The amount of CM Punk shirts in the crowd were almost as hilarious as the Bullet Club shirts at Ring of Honor a few years ago. You know the shirt: the white one with the lightning bolts and the black stripe or something.

It was nice to see a pay per view in a hovel like Buffalo.
 

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WCW “Bash at the Beach”
July 9th, 2000
From the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson and Mark Madden

Ernest “the Cat” Miller the (new WCW commissioner$ and MI Smooth arrived at the arena. MI Smooth leaves to tell someone something and the Jung Dragons come in to fight him, but he beats all three of them up.

Tonight: Scott Halls future is in the hands of Kevin Nash and Goldberg.

For the WCW Cruiserweight Championship
Juvientud Guererra w/the Filthy Animals vs. Lieutenant Loco (champion) w/M.I.A.
All the teams were kicked backstage as soon as this started and I couldn’t have been happier. That left Juvi and Chavo to have a great match uninterrupted. I’d forgotten how good these guys were. Sadly, things got Russy towards the middle and both teams tried to sneak back out. Thankfully there were two other referees at ringside who kept kicking them out but I’d rather have just watched these two tear it up on their own.
Winner: Lieutenant Loco

The Cat is in his office telling the Jung Dragons “it’s over” but they don’t understand. I don’t understand either. Jeff Jarrett bursts in looking for Hollywood Hulk Hogan because he wants to retire him.

For the WCW Hardcore Championship
Big Vito (champion) vs. Screamin’ Norman Smiley AND Ralphus
How many stars are there? I’m giving them all to this match.
Winner: Big Vito

Goldberg has arrived and he has Scott Halls contract with him.

Mean Gene Okerlund is with Kevin Nash who is confident.

History of Miss Hancock and Daffney’s feud over...David Flair. David Flair. Let that sink in. You’ve tried to forget it but let that sink in: Stacy Keibler and Daffney were fighting over David Flair.

sigh

Wedding Gown Match
Miss Hancock w/David Flair vs. Daffney
I hated every second of this for so many reasons. Out of jealousy. As a wrestling fan. As a human.
Winner: Daffney (due to Miss Hancock stripping)

The Cat is backstage muttering and the Jung Dragons are spying on him.

The commentators kill time as the ring crew clean up all the cake from the last match.

For the WCW World Tag Team Championships
The Perfect Event (champions) vs. Kronic
You know what pissed me off about this one right off the bat? I’d forgotten that the Perfect Event came out to Mr. Perfects music. So for a moment I thought I was going to get to see him right this horrid show. This was surprising because it seemed at the offset that Kronic were just going to squash the Perfect Event and walk out with the titles in a minute but for most of it the Perfect Event controlled the match. What was even more surprising was when Kronic was in control how sloppy and dangerous two veterans could be in the ring. I was scared for Palumbo and Stasiak.
Winners: Kronic (new WCW World Tag Team Champions)

The Cat is in his office on the phone and he hears the Jung Dragons music but can’t see them. Jeff Jarrett bursts in again looking for Hulk Hogan. He threatens to ruin the show if Hollywood Hulk Hogan doesn’t show up soon. After he leaves the Jung Dragons attack the Cat.

“Positively” Kanyon w/bad wig vs. Booker T.
Kanyon was so underrated. He always pulled something new, unseen and cool out every time he was actually allowed to wrestle a match. This was a really good one until fucking Jeff Jarrett interfered.
Winner: “Positively” Kanyon

Mike Awesome is backstreet with a large Viking lady when Pamela Paulson and her massive fake boobs ask him about Scott Steiner. He says he’s going to win their match.

For the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship
Scott Steiner (champion) w/Midajah vs. Mike Awesome
I guess this was a Hardcore match because Awesome was using a chair and the referee didn’t seem to care. And I guess it was No Countouts because they were outside the ring for minutes at a time and the referee didn’t seem to care about that either. Low-Blows were legal too. The Cat came out and he seemed to care. Whatever it was it was a really entertaining fight. The ending was stupid though.
Winner: Mike Awesome via disqualification (but Steiner was stripped of the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship for using the Steiner Recliner, an illegal move)

Graveyard Match
The Demon w/Asya vs. Vampiro
So this starts in a graveyard and the first person to get to the arena wins. The lighting was terrible so it was hard to tell what was going on for a lot of it. It ended when Vampiro threw the Demon into a coffin then overturned the coffin into an open grave. He may have thrown Asya into it too. I wasn’t really paying attention.

Shane Douglas guarantees he will defeat Buff Bagwell tonight.

Buff Bagwell vs. Shane Douglas
I couldn’t really get into this one. Torrie Wilson came out and that was nice.
Winner: Shane Douglas

Hollywood Hulk Hogan is here!

Jeff Jarrett is ready for Hogan. He has a plan.

Jeff Jarrett is supposed to defend the WCW World Heavyweight Championship against Hollywood Hulk Hogan next but Vince Russo comes out first.

For the WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Jeff Jarrett (champion) w/Vince Russo vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan
Jarrett lies down, Russo throws the belt at Hogan, Hogan reluctantly pins him and he looks pissed.
Winner: Hollywood Hulk Hogan (WCW World Heavyweight Champion)

Wow.

Vampiro has made his way back to the arena (walking right by Hogan) and gets into the ring, this winning the Graveyard Match. A bunch of black cloaked disciples in Sting masks bring a coffin out to the ring. The coffin opens and (not) Sting attacks Vampiro, throwing him into the coffin.

Mean Gene Okerlund is with Goldberg, who is hoping to end his personal vendetta with the Outsiders tonight when he beats Kevin Nash and rips Scott Halls contract up.

Vince Russo comes back out and informs everyone that he came back for the guys that bust their asses every week and care about WCW, not guys like Hogan. He says everything that happened earlier with Hogan and Jarrett was so Hogan could get his way, get the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, leave and never come back to WCW. He strips Hogan of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship and returns it to Jeff Jarrett. But he puts Jarrett in a real match tonight against Booker T. for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

With Scott Halls WCW Contract at Stake
Kevin Nash vs. Goldberg
Why wasn’t Hall even present for this match? It was a Goldberg match but with Goldberg playing the heel.
Winner: Goldberg

Mean Gene Okerlund is with Booker T., who has no idea what’s going on but he is not going to let this opportunity pass him by.

For the WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Booker T. vs. Jeff Jarrett (champion)
This match itself was cloudy and the crowd was drained because of all the crap that had happened in the last hour but it ended the way it needed to. This show needed a feel-good ending after the Hogan stuff and having Booker T. win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship was the best possible way to do it.
Winner: Booker T. (new WCW World Heavyweight Champion)
____
There were moments of this show where I thought it was going to rival New Blood Rising as the worst pay-per-view I’d seen in my life (specifically the Wedding Dress match, some of the overbooking during the earlier portions, whatever was going on with the Cat and the Jung Dragons and when I heard Tony Schiavone introduce Mark Madden as one of the commentators) but wrestling-wise it was REALLY GOOD. That Juvientud Guererra verses Chavo Guerrero match was the best Chavo match I’ve ever seen (the bar wasn’t high), the Hardcore match was way better than I expected for a STOOPID match and the tag team match, the Booker T verses Kanyon match and the United States Championship match were all way better than I made them out to be.

Then there was the the Hogan match. That was sad. Just sad. Say what you may about Hogan and his politicking in WCW but he took WCW to levels it never reached before or after and deserved a better send-off than that. It wasn’t Fingerpoke of Doom or “Hogan’s the Third Man”-levels (the latter of which happened four years earlier in the same building) but it was definitely something to get your head spinning for the next hour. That completely changed the trajectory of the show. It kind of took the wind out of the sails but moreso than anything there was the feeling of “what the fuck just happened”?

We all remember WCW dying in 2000 but the crowd was still extremely hot for this show. And it’s not like the audio was edited, I watched this on the WWE Network. WWE would never edit crowd noise into a WCW show.

The commentators were really laying it on thick with the term “sports entertainment” here. I don’t know if they were mocking something or if Russo decided to go all META or what. They also cut Mark Madden off from quoting Tony Schiavone’s last line from Bash at the Beach 1996 (“Hulk Hogan, you can go to hell”).

In my opinion Jeff Jarrett ruined the show by being on my TV six separate times during its three hours.
[font size="4"]"Dwe-doo dwe-doo dwe-doo duuuh”
“Dwe-doo dwe-doo dwe-doo duuuh”
“Dwe-doo dwe-doo dwe-doo duuuh”
“Dwe-doo dwe-doo dwe-doo duuuh”[/font]


This was Hogan’s final night in WCW.
 

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WWF “Royal Rumble”
January 24th, 1999
From the Pond in Anaheim, California
Commentators: Michael Cole and Jerry “the King” Lawler

Tonight: the Royal Rumble, and Vince McMahon has put a bounty on whoever eliminates Stone Cold Steve Austin. Plus, the winner of the Royal Rumble is granted a shot at the WWF World Championship at Wrestlemania.

Road Dogg vs. the Big Bossman
Despite Road Dogg being the Hardcore champion at the time this match was not under hardcore rules or for the Hardcore Championship, so that took away any real interest a match between these two could have had. I thought remembered the Big Bossman being a surprise entrant in the 1999 Royal Rumble but I guess not, because he was also one half of the WWF Tag Team champions at this time. It was an okay match. I think the point was for the Corporation to wear members of D-X down before the Royal Rumble.
Winner: the Big Bossman

For the WWF Intercontinental Championship
“Bad Ass” Billy Gunn vs. Ken Shamrock (champion)
The bar wasn’t very high but this was a much better match. As good a match as you’re ever going to see from Billy Gunn.
Winner: Ken Shamrock

Vince McMahon and his cronies are getting pumped up for the Royal Rumble.

For the WWF European Championship
Gangrel vs. X-Pac {RULES!) (champion)
Referee: TEDDY LONG, PLAYA!
Aside from a really REALLY bad botch on a roll-up at the end this was a good (but short) match.
Winner: X-Pac (RULES!)

Kevin Kelly is with the members of D-X and they say they’re a family but it’s every man (and woman) for themselves in the Royal Rumble.

Shane McMahon comes out to introduce Luna. He calls Sable (who was injured previously on Sunday Night HeAT) out to forfeit the WWF Women’s Championship to Luna. She refuses.

Strap Match for the WWF Women’s Championship
Luna vs. Sable (champion)
This was far from as bad as it could have been, even though they totally forgot the rules of a Strap Match. I thought it was once your opponent touched a turnbuckle it like...reset the count or whatever? I thought you had to touch all four in a row without your opponent touching any? Not here.
Winner: Sable

The Corporation is ready for the Royal Rumble, the bounty and the WWF World Championship shot at Wrestlemania.

Doc Hendrix asks the Rock if he will be able to do what no one else has ever done before: make Mankind say “I Quit”. He guarantees victory.

“I Quit” Match for the WWF World Championship
The Rock vs. Mankind (champion)
This match was a lot of fun; be it the crazy punishment they both took, the Rock anytime any microphone was in his face or the insane chair shots at the end. I wonder how sick the Rock felt at the end having to do that?
Winner: the Rock (new WWF World Champion)

The Royal Rumble
Featuring: Al Snow, Billy Gunn, Chyna, D-Lo Brown w/Terri Runnels and Jacqueline, Dan Severn, Droz, Edge, Gangrel, Gillberg, Goldust, Golga, Jeff Jarrett w/De-Bra, Kane, Ken Shamrock, Kurgan, Mabel, Mark Henry, Owen Hart, Road Dogg, Steve Blackman, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Test, the Big Bossman, the Blue Meanie, the Godfather w/two hoes, Tiger Ali Singh, Triple H, Val Venis, Vince McMahon and X-Pac (Rules!)
This was a lot of fun at the time but watching it now...it really kinda sucks. All that mattered was Stone Cold getting his hands on Vince McMahon, which could have been done any other way but I guess it served its point in storyline purposes. And at least Stone Cold DID get his hands on Vince, something that’s absence has been well documented in all the authority figure storylines since. Aside from those two though it was just a bunch of low card guys killing time and a lot of times where a single guy was standing in the ring by himself. Even D-X didn’t do too much other than be there. It really showed how weak the undercard of the WWF was in 1999 that the final four (as Vince McMahon sat outside the ring) was Austin, Owen Hart, D-Lo Brown and the Big Bossman.
Winner: Vince McMahon
__
I wasn’t that high on the Royal Rumble but the entire undercard was really good. The WWF Championship match was kinda hard to watch at the end but was worth watching the entire show for. And Stone Cold verses McMahon really never did get old. Overall the show was a good time capsule to glory days of yore. Before the dark times. Before Stephanie McMahon was even known of.

The crowd here was maybe the most Attitude Era-y you’ll ever see. I was on the lookout for the “X-Pac Rules” guy but I didn’t see him. So here he is.
 

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Don't know what happened to some of the old stays of this thread, like @Emperor Palpatine and @Obfuscation, but yeah, I've been on a binge of mid 2000's wrestling lately. A lot of matches from my childhood. Here's what I think about a bunch of them.

Angle vs. Benoit, Royal Rumble 2003 - I haven't touched the other matches in this feud in years at this point, but I certainly remember WM 17 and Backlash 2001 as excellent, while Unforgiven 2002 is a precursor to this (like, they are insanely similar) and it baffles me that this has so much popularity and is seen as a 5 star classic while the Unforgiven match is barely remembered. Must be because this was for the WWE Title. Anyway, I've always had mixed feelings on this match. Rewatching it with the mindset of an adult fan with well set tastes on wrestling... it's fine? I feel like it struggles with a bizarre structure - some of the control segments and match act transitions are pretty rough; the pacing of the match is rather wonky too until they go balls out in the third act; there are some very silly moments, like the German Suplex trade-off; the well known submission countering at the end kinda makes both of their finishers look weak, if you really think about it (c'mon, you lock in your submission 700 times and you still can't get your opponent to tap out? It made sense with this feud to go all the way, especially as Angle needed to put out his soul to finally beat Benoit as he had already lost to him twice, but there's still an element of credibility that needed to be protected more); and, more importantly, this match comes as build-up to Angle vs. Lesnar at WM 19, but not only does Lesnar not play any role in this whatsoever, but Team Angle, the goons hired by Paul Heyman to protect Angle from Lesnar and Benoit, are banned from ringside before the bell even rings, making the entire build-up to this match totally moot. They could've told an interesting story with the numbers game in Angle's advantage, but they did nothing with it and that annoys me. Nevermind the fact that it's hard to believe that the same Angle that was going to have an even match with Brock Lesnar - who had already beaten up everyone at this point - was struggling with midcarder Chris Benoit. However, as the culmination to the ongoing Angle vs. Benoit feud, it is satisfying. It really is the story of two incredible athletes who know each other like the palm of their hand, and the hard-fought competitiveness that they bring to the table to get their hands on the most prized title in the business. And it's a Hell of a spectacle to watch, especially when they go all out and start finding increasingly creative ways to bump off of each other's crazy shit and counter the Ankle Lock or the Crippler Crossface. It's borderline anticlimatic that the ending turns out to be Benoit tapping out to the Ankle Lock after endless minutes locked in it, then, but the fact that this was the 1st time that Angle did the grapevine trick kinda solidified it as him doing everything to force Benoit to submit to him and Benoit just not being able to resist any more punishment. I remember the complaints that it stretches believability and that it looks almost 'too' perfectly executed to be bought, but in all honesty, these two always primed me as in-ring perfectionists, so I think it makes sense for their characters to be smooth in execution, even if yes, it does have moments where I think that it really comes clearly more across as a show than as a real fight (not that wrestling is real, but it's the artform of making you suspend your disbelief, after all). But yes, this is fine. It's not bad, it's entertaining, but it lacks in too many fundamental areas to really stand out. - ** 3/4 - ***

Cena/HHH vs. Angle/Orton/Mysterio, SNME April 2006
- This is a match that I haven't seen since, like, 2007 or something like that (I used to have my cousin's WM 22 DVD 2 which featured the full SNME episode from a few weeks before WM 22, but then it disappeared). This match was the opening segment of that show and it was the precursor to the famous Cena/HBK vs. Batista/Taker No Way Out 2007 match, where you had the two Main Events of WM 22 going against each other. All these years later, I think this match is... well, something. Positives: Rey is great as the babyface in peril; Angle is in full Wrestling Machine gimmick at this point - basically Suplex City Lesnar before Suplex City was cool - and his role is to be a machine in small spurts, which works; I liked the ever growing tensions between Cena and HHH (the one between the SmackDown team made no sense given that the team seemed on board and then they just devolved out of nowhere); and the crowd is hot. Other than that, this was a nothing match. Moves happen, HHH is boring, Orton is basically useless, and things turned into a total mess at the end for no real reason. Not good, Bob. - * - *1/4

HBK vs. Shane O'Mac, SNME April 2006
- From the same show as Cena/HHH vs. Angle/Orton/Mysterio, comes this spotfest, courtesy of Shawn n' Shane. I remember adoring this match as a kid, mostly thanks to the crazy Superplex off a ladder through two tables spot. That spot is still crazy as fuck and I envy the cojones it took from both men to take it. There's also a funny spot with Shane accidentally giving Vince the Van Terminator. Other than that, I did like that they had Shane work over Shawn's back - notorious for suffering terrible injuries in the 90's - after the Superplex spot. Vince is great on the outside too. And... that's about it as far as good is concerned. The match starts out well, with Shawn attacking Shane in the entrance ramp, but then it goes directly into the two setting up weapons and tables and a ladder while the other sells stalls and I'm left baffled by the blatant spotfestiness of it. Again, I liked the back work by Shane, but Shawn pretty much ignores it completely and it leads to absolutely nothing. The existence of limb work is more than welcome, but try have it mean something, bookers. The structure of this match is fucking bizarre and backwards, with them rushing the big spot of the match 3 minutes in. One could say that they're just not wasting any time bringing in the big guns, and I thought that too at first, but then they really did just set up weapons in a phony fake way and that argument goes out the drain. And I thought the way the match was structured was to justify Shane's back work, but again, that back work goes nowhere. Finally, the ending is just another in the million replicas of the Montreal Screwjob. Vince, it's never gonna be the same again. Deal with it. This is just a spotfest, and if you enjoy that, you're gonna have a lot of fun with this, but I like myself some substance beyond spots. - * - *1/4
 

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WWF Raw is War Jun 01,1998 Live in Chicago


View attachment 88000
Mcmahon & Foley segment- This was an excellent segment between these two. Vince is on fire and has fully grown to be a relentless asshole heel after being more so of a cowardly one originally. Excellent work put into this, Vince going off about his family, making Foley go on his knees. Absolute gold. I guess he just fired Dude Love only? Looking forward to seeing Foley and how Mankind will be introduced.

Disciples of Apocalypse vs. Legion Of Doom & Puke AKA Droz Street Fight- This was a fun little brawl even though it was filler and short lived. Always nice to see Sunny in that fire top she's got on, she was missing for a few weeks so it was nice to see that cutie again. Undertaker's pissed, wonder what he'll do next?

Val Venis vs. Papi Chulo- Never heard of Papi Chulo before, interesting. Val Venis vignettes were gold leading up to his debut last week, this is now his second televised match. Cut a great promo about how he's got a "gun in his pocket that doesnt fire off blanks" Awesome. So Papi Chulo means Pimp daddy in spanish? Cool, maybe these two can shake hands and form a team afterwards? Overall I was happy this wasn't a generic squash match. Papi Chulo got a little bit of offense and showed that he's a entertaining guy to watch in the ring.

Undertaker/Vince Mcmahon segment- Well delivered by Taker even though he said "give" instead of gave or something along those lines. It seemed like he broke kayfabe or at least it felt like that when he said "Vince didn't want me to be the FOTC, i've only had the belt twice" He expressed his loyalty to the company. Vince heating things up referencing his mom being a whore and announcing a #1 contender match.

This DX & Sable commercial for Super Soakers takes me back to my kid days of having a blast with those. Didn't grow up watching WWE until 2002, so it's great fun seeing these episodes for the first time. Let's get ready to soak it!
Marc Mero vs. Steve Blackman KOTR qualifier- Boring, uncharismatic Marc Mero gets another babe. This is either Jacqueline's debut or maybe she hadn't been on screen for a while. Was hoping Steve Blackman would've dodged the shooting star press but who knows if it would've been just as boring had it continued on past two minutes. I enjoy Marc Mero being a controlling abusive asshole to women, but listening to him on the mic for too long is pretty much the equivalent to nails on a chalkboard.

"So punch your boss in the mouth day" is officially on 3/16. Great Edge vignette, he slapped someone in the alleyway and he's making me eager to see his TV beginnings.

HHH & New Age Outlaws vs Rock, DLO Brown & Owen Hart. 6 man elimination tag- This went by pretty quickly. Funny to see HHH and Owen Hart still feuding this time Owen Harts not the babyface. Owen easily stands out in ring work though all men played a significant role in making this a solid TV match. And Shamrock returns and the match ends in DQ. Here comes Dan Severin and now the UFC fighters look like they want to fight eachother.

Mcmahon's makes a deal with the devil shaking Kane's hand. Fuck yeah!

Jeff Jarrett vs. Faarooq KOTR qualifying match- Now I'm not too fond of Double J doing the nature boy walk and using the figure four. He has something going with that country boy kind of feel being introduced as the greatest entertainer/wrestler but he isn't really doing any kind of singing or entertaining yet. I do like his sparkling logo thing during his entrance. The Godwins are now Southern Justice and are coming in with Jeff Jarret's future entrance music. Nothing too noteworthy or exciting about this bout. Seemed like Farooq carried the match.

Taka Michinoku vs. Funaki Light heavyweight championship match- Fun match between these two. Especially liked Funaki's offense. And Al Snow dressed up like he's Japanese, LOL! Classic. Mark Henry vs. Terry Funk- Probably one of the better matches of the night. Decent amount of action, terry looked really good kicking out of a bunch of splashes and leg drops after missing a few moonsaults and hurting himself in the process. Undertaker vs Kane #1 contender match- Id say it was motn. Not too much action in this match but I was anticipating Mankind to come out and interfere especially after the ref got knocked out. Good commentary from Steve and Vince.
 
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