The Eric Bischoff interview with PWI was almost laughable. The Vice-President of a multi-million dollar a year company was suspended and didn’t really seem to care. This interview was widely received as “proving Bischoff’s ignorance” as he felt that what he did was no big deal. The higher ups at WCW quickly responded to Bischoff’s tirade by announcing that Bischoff had been “demoted” into the role of Executive Vice President, and was now to be part a three headed leadership circle when he returned. The other positions would be filled by years end, but it was assumed that Terry Taylor and Kevin Sullivan would fill those remaining spots.
Also of note, WCW had not yet release the pay-per-view schedule for 1999 yet, and with the year coming to a close time was running out. The suspension of Bischoff was reportedly the biggest hurdle in the situation, as Easy E had been in charge of naming and organizing the events. Time Warner had apparently decided to schedule the dates and venues, but the naming process had not yet been started. Bischoff had previous expressed a desire to rename several PPVs and give them more contemporary names.
The final thing that Bischoff talked about during the interview, Shawn Michaels potential role in WCW, was made moot by the Heartbreak Kid’s new role as WWF commissioner. Michaels reportedly was going to be included on Raw and a possible second show, Smackdown, rarely and that he was scheduling a back surgery in the coming months. Michaels training of wrestlers had apparently been put on hold, but the surgery made it possible that the career of HBK was not actually ending, but merely being put on hold.
The Pay Per View itself was held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina which as most wrestling fans know, is Four Horsemen country. Prior to the event, Arn Anderson and Ric Flair were brought to the ring and presented with a plaque for their contributions to WCW. The fans were extremely hot coming into the event, and were not disappointed by the opening bout.
WCW Cruiserweight Title Match: Kidman © vs Juventud Guerrera
Kidman came to the ring with Saturn and The Giant by his side. The two combatants circled the ring, neither willing to give the other a quick upper hand. The two finally locked up and what ensued was a breathtaking display of athleticism and chemistry. Kidman played the cheap heel to perfect, while Juventud Guerrera fed off of what was an increasingly hot crowd. Every time Guerrera hit a move that put Kidman on his back, Guerrera would jump up the ropes and play the crowd, whipping his hair around and putting his arms into the air in celebration. As the match wore on, Kidman began to play opossum and attack Guerrera as he went up the ropes. Guerrera was on the second rope, when Kidman drop kicked him in the back and sent him down to the floor. Guerrera actually landed face first at the feet of The Giant. Guerrera’s impact had knocked the mask clean off of his face and he frantically tried to put it on. The Giant was supposed to force him back into the ring, but Guerrera’s fumbling with the mask made for an awkward moment. With Guerrera face down at the feet of WCW’s largest athlete, the Giant just stood over the luchadore star and stared at him for well over a minute. Guerrera hastily slapped his mask on and The Giant finally rolled him into the ring. Kidman and Guerrera tied up and this led to a Kidman scoop slam followed by a Seven Year Itch for the pin.
After the match, Kidman called for his fellow Flock members to enter the ring and celebrate with him, but Saturn and the Giant simply walked up the ramp. Kidman shrugged at his stable mates and celebrated as the cameras went backstage to an interview with Chris Jericho. Jericho be “littled” Mysterio throughout the interview, commenting on Mysterio’s height throughout. Jericho promised that the world would see how hideous Mysterio is, because only freaks wear masks. “Jason, Leatherface, Freddy Kruger, Michael Meyers, Mankind, Phantom of the Opera, Vader all wear masks! You know why? Because they are ugly.” Mean Gene suggested that maybe he should keep the mask on Mysterio to save WCW from seeing his ugly. Jericho promised that Mysterio would be so embarrassed that he would leave WCW and never come back if he lost.
Four-on-Four Elimination Tag match: The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Rick Rude) vs The Wolfpack (Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Scott Steiner, Rick Steiner)
The Elimination Tag Team match proved that the Four Horsemen, finally whole, were untrusting of each other. Benoit and Malenko refused to tag in Flair or Rude, but were actually working quite well. Benoit forced Rick Steiner to submit to a Crossface, and Malenko had a Texas Cloverleaf locked on Scott Hall before Nash saved his teammate. Benoit and Malenko worked as quickly as they could as they knew they couldn’t keep up with the power of the Wolfpack. Scott Steiner finally got tagged in and got some retribution, locking on a Steiner Recliner on Malenko. Flair and Rude didn’t enter to save their teammate and Benoit was on the floor, exhausted from his actions in the fracas. Malenko was forced to submit, evening the score. From that point, it was easy pickin’s for the Wolfpack. Rude was clearly not in good ring shape, and was quickly eliminated. Flair and Benoit put their differences aside to eliminate Scott Steiner with a Figure Four/ diving head butt combo. Flair was then subjected to a Jackknife Powerbomb and was eliminated, leaving an exhausted Benoit as the last man in the match for the Horsemen. Benoit tried as hard as he could, fought valiantly and even eliminating Hall with a bridging German suplex, but Kevin Nash proved too much for Benoit. Nash used several power moves and a Powerbomb to gain the victory for his team.
Backstage, Mean Gene caught up with Randy Savage, and the Macho Man was on fire. He promised to destruction of Goldberg if it was the last thing he ever did. Savage said that he was told to make an impact, and he would do just that tonight. He wasn’t going to just end the streak, he wanted to end the career of The Beast.
WCW Tag Team Titles Match: The BlackHearts © (Davey Smith and Jim Neidhart) vs The Flock (Mortis and Ron Reis)
This match was a display of brute power throughout. Both teams possessed quite impressive strong men and it showed in a physical match, with many powerslams, suplexes and sidewalk slams. The Flock were clearly the toughest challenge The Blackhearts had faced, but most of that had to do with the fact that it was the most level playing field the team had competed on to date. The Blackhearts made use of acting manager, and de-facto leader Owen Hart during the match, using him to distract the referee while the double teamed Mortis or Reis. Eventually The Giant, Saturn, and Kidman went to grab Owen who said something to the three and they suddenly stopped and left him be. From that point on, The Blackhearts dominated. The Flock members had suddenly lost their fire and were now being beaten rather badly. Davey Smith hit an impressive running powerslam for the pin on Reis, but Mortis didn’t even attempt to break up the pin. The Blackhearts had retained.
The Flock quickly left the ringside area and Owen grabbed a mic. Owen told his brother, Bret, that the Blackhearts had his back and made some remarks about blood being thicker than water and the Hart family traditions being what molded the group. Backstage, Bret was interviewed and commented that Stu and the rest of his family weren’t brought up like that. Bret stormed off in disgust, answering only one question from Mean Gene Okerlund.
WCW Television Title vs Mask Match: Chris Jericho © vs Rey Mysterio
This match may have been for the WCW Television Title, but it was another cruiserweight breath taker. Jericho and Mysterio Jr. gave each other everything they have. Jericho and Mysterio had a quicker paced match than the Cruiserweight Title match earlier in the evening. On top of the high flying spectacle, it was also a fairly brutal affair. Jericho reversed a Hurricanrana into a powerbomb, and Mysterio reversed a Lionsault attempt into a dropkick into the stomach of a mid-air Jericho. The match wore on, with each man controlling the match in different segments. Jericho used his size to his advantage, while Mysterio used his speed to get his upper hand. The ending sequence of the match was breath taking. Jericho was going to attempt a diving elbow to a downed Mysterio jr. Mysterio quickly go to his feet and set up Jericho for a hurricanrana from the top rope. As Mysterio went to complete the move, Jericho blocked it mid-aid and landed in perfect position to apply a Lion Tamer. Mysterio somehow got his hand to the ropes, breaking the hold. Jericho got to his feet, but as soon as he was in an upright position he was nailed from behind by a springboard bulldog by Mysterio. Jericho kicked out at 2 from the accompanying pin attempt. Mysterio tried to get Jericho in position for a leg drop from the top rope, but Jericho tried a roll up. After several reversals of pins, Jericho somehow ended up with his arms around the neck of Mysterio, locking on a sleeper. Jericho used his free hand to grab the mask of Mysterio and start to pull at it. Mysterio was able to push backwards and ended up on top of Jericho, while Jericho’s shoulders were on the mat. The referee counted the pin, just as Jericho pulled off the mask of Mysterio to reveal…. a second mask. Jericho had lost his WCW TV title, and had not accomplished his goal of unmasking Mysterio.
Jericho harassed the referee all the way up the ramp and we cut backstage to an interview with Diamond Dallas Page. DDP told the world that he was ready, ready to be a champion, ready to be the man, ready to be a leader. He promised that he wouldn’t let others win his matches for him. He wouldn’t act innocent in the face of injustice. He would be the man WCW needed and the Champion it deserved.
WCW United States Title Match: Goldberg © vs Randy Savage
Randy Savage’s madness came to fruition in his first encounter with Bill Goldberg. Savage was the most vicious and relentless he had been in his career against Goldberg. The streak of the Beast was not nearing 150 and Savage was determined not to be added to the list. Savage used every trick he could, and played heel perfectly, cutting off every Goldberg comeback with a lowblow, eye rake, anything he could. Savage, try as he might, eventually found out just how strong Goldberg is. Goldberg caught Savage trying a lariat and never looked back. Goldberg delivered several impressive power moves; a gorilla press slam and an Oklahoma Slam that left Savage reeling. Savage’s heelish tactics began to fail him and eventually Goldberg went for a spear. Savage was able to sidestep the tackle, and Goldberg slammed shoulder first into the ring post. Savage then began to choke Goldberg against the ropes and screaming for Goldberg to “remember the madness” over and over again as the referee counted to 5. Eventually the bell rang, but Savage continued to choke the life out of the champion. Referees attempted to pull Savage off Goldberg, but Savage actually decked several of them and went back to choking the lifeless body of Goldberg.
A video package played, showing everything that had occurred between Hart and Page. This went all the way back to the Mayhem Match several months earlier and concluded with the two nose to nose in the ring on Nitro just 6 days earlier. DDP and Hart sound bites were played from their interviews chiding each other. The moment had finally arrived for DDP, a chance to be WCW World Champion.
WCW World Heavyweight Title Match (with Raven as special guest referee): Bret Hart © vs Diamond Dallas Page
The main event of the night was destined to be a brawl from the start. Hart and Page had both cut some vicious promos on each other, and were ready for a hellacious match. Special Referee, Raven, did as little as possible for most of the near 20 minute bout. Page put on as technical of a match as anyone in WCW would ever see from him, matching Hart every step of the way. Hart hit a spike piledriver and went for a pin but Raven, sitting in the corner of the ring, refused to count the pin. After several more minutes of action, DDP nailed a clothesline and went for a cover of his own. Again, Raven didn’t budge. Hart and Page continued the vicious match, but each taking every chance they got to yell at Raven. Hart again hit his spike piledriver, and went for the Sharpshooter. Hart cinched in the maneuver and leaned back. Raven finally rose from his corner, walked over to Hart and delivered an Even Flow DDT, leaving both competitors out on the mat. Raven then calmly walked out of the arena.
Without a referee, The Blackhearts made their way to the ring. Owen and Neidhart propped up Page and were calling for Bret to attack. Slowly, the Hitman got to his feet and looked at his family in confusion. The cameras picked up Bret saying “is this how we’ve been taught?” The remaining Hart members looked back at Bret almost sadly. Owen shook his head in disgust and the announcers said that it appeared that Owen an company were going to have a change of heart. Owen dropped the lifeless Page and walked towards his brother, Bret, with his arms out as if to hug him. Bret leaned in embrace his family, but Owen kicked Bret in the stomach, and hurled him towards Neidhart, who held Bret in the air. Davey Smith bounced off the farthest ropes and nailed the Hart Attack to Bret and the three left the ring.
Again, both competitors were down on the mat. A replacement referee sheepishly walked to the ring and called for the disqualification. Page had been able to get to one knee, and was looking at Bret’s lifeless body. Bret Hart had retained, but it appeared that he had lost the war.
WCW Cruiserweight Title Match: Kidman © def. Juventud Guerrera
Four-on-Four Elimination Tag match: The Wolfpack (Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Scott Steiner, Rick Steiner) def. The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Rick Rude)
WCW Tag Team Titles Match: The BlackHearts © (Davey Smith and Jim Neidhart) def. The Flock (Mortis and Ron Reis)
WCW Television Title vs Mask Match: Rey Mysterio def. Chris Jericho ©
WCW United States Title Match: Goldberg © def. Randy Savage via DQ
WCW World Heavyweight Title Match (with Raven as special guest referee): Bret Hart © def. Diamond Dallas Page via DQ