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Ian Challis




For some bizarre reason I'v had a coupla requests to review this show-I'm not quite sure why, seeing as it has no particular historical significance or anything. But the public gets what the public wants, so here we go...

  • Comin' atcha liiiiiiiiiiive from Minneapolis, Minnesota, the date is August 22nd 1999, your hosts are The King and Good Ol' JR.

  • Backstage Jesse Ventura, who was of course guest reffing the main event, lays down the law to Triple H and Chyna. He shockingly reveals that the best WRESTLER will walk out with the title tonight. Phew, I thought I was watching boxing for a minute there.

  • Earlier today, that damn nosy cameraman watched as Howerd Finkel greeted Y2J on his arrival.

  • Opening Match:Euro-Continental Title Match: Jeff Jarrett Vs. D'Lo Brown, Lord Of Metal(c): Jarrett squabbles with Debs when they come out, so she promptly joins D'Lo at ringside. Which reminds me-why the HELL did the WWF kill D'Lo's career? His demotion seemed freakishly in time with the whole Droz thing, which I hope is just a coincidence. I miss D'Lo's funk-ay entrance music. Jarrett jumps Brown to start, but D'Lo comes back with some armdraggery and a sloppy powerslam for two. He slaps Jarrett around some more, including a Rydien Bomb for a nearfall. Jarrett comes back with a sleeper (waaay too early in the match), but D'Lo counters it into a vertical suplex then plays to the crowd. Jarrett catches him coming off the top with an elbow then knocks him to the floor with a dropkick, and follows up with a baseball slide. Brawl on the floor. The usual floor-related action, then Jarrett takes D'Lo back in the ring and works the arm. I never got that-why does Jarrett ALWAYS work the arm when his signature hold was the Figure Four? Answers to the usual, please. Jarrett with a top rope armbar takedown and more shoulder-stompin'. Crowd pisses Jarrett off with a puppy chant. D'Lo counters the ten-punch by dropping Jarrett face-first onto the turnbuckle, and a running powerbomb puts both guys down. D'Lo launches the comeback with a tilt-a-whirl slam, heel kick, bodyslam, and the I Think You Better Recognise legdrop for two. Belly-to-back sets up a senton, but Jarrett moves and Debra gets on the apron. Jarrett grabs the guitar-and Mark Henry gets his biggest pop EVER as he runs in to make the save-then clobbers D-Lo with the guitar himself! WOTTA SHOCKING SWERVE!! Jarrett gets the pin and his sixth Intercontinental Title, alongside his first European Title. Of course, all credibility for THAT belt went down the toilet the next night when Jarrett GAVE the title to fatboy. Mark confirms his heel turn by unbuttoning his shirt and slapping the unconcsious D'Lo, and Jarrett and Debs re-unite, just to show the blatantly obvious. Let's see...Jarrett gets five Russo points, and we'll add another ten for the SHOCKING SWERVE, so that's fifteen Russo points in the opener. Good match, though. ***1/2.

  • Tag Team Turmoil Match-First Round: Edge And Christian Vs. The Hardy Boyz w/Gangrel: Welcome to Bizzarro World, as the Hardys were heatless heels, and Edge and Christian were virtuous-and mute-babyfaces. Hey, who's that guy with the Hardys? Didn't he used to be a big star? Nah. Matt and Edge start and Edge quickly tags out, giving the opportunity for some double teaming and a two count for Christian. Heel kick on Matt and backdrop for Jeff, but Gangrel gets a cheapshot and Matt rolls Christian up for two. Tag to Jeff, double front suplex, and the shirts come off-to zero pop. jeff covers for two. Springboard moonsault gets two, and Jef tags out. Matt hammers Christian and does all the heel beatdown stuff. Tag to Jeff, and the ~SWANTON BOMB~! before it was over gets a two, but edge breaks up the cover. Christian counters a suplex into a double slop drop and makes the hot tag-Katie, bar the door, cuz it's a PIER FOUR BRAWL! Everyone hits the floor and Edge and Jeff debut the rail-running nid-air spear spot-bee-yoo-ti-ful. Too bad the camera missed it. Christian nails Gangrel with a springboard plancha, and Matt nails both with a moonsault to the floor. He goes up top again, but Edge takes him down in the ring with an Electric Chair Drop, and Christian finishes it with his patented frog splash elbow. The buzzer sounds and...
    Mideon and Vis are out for round two. Yes, the residuals from the Ministry were still in Push Country here, unfortunately. Vis beats the crap outta Christian, Mideon gets some crappy offence in, but misses a second rope elbow. Hot tag, but Vis hits an alleged heel kick on Edge. Spear on Mideon finishes moments later, however. Round three...
    Droz and Prince Albert are next. I wonder where these two would be today if not for...y'know. Droz works over Edge and Albert debuts his TKO neckbreaker, but it's just jobber offence as Christian planchas Droz on the floor and Edge gets the Downward Spiral (Flatliner) on Albert for the pin. Up next...
    More Ministry castoffs, as The Acolytes, pre-heat and tag team credibility, are number five. Brawl, and the Acolytes beat the Canadians down for a while. Edge eventually busts out of a Faarooq sleeper but gets spinebustered for two. Dominator attempt fails and there's hot tags on both sides. Faarooq and Edge hit the floor and brawl, and Christian gets two off of a Tornado DDT on Bradshaw. Bradshaw takes his head off with the Hades Clothesline for the win moments later, and we're down to...
    The Holly Cousins, who are doing the "Fightin' Family" schtick. Faarooq hits the Dominator early on Crash (who had only debuted six days earlier)but Hardcore breaks it up and the cousins argue. Hardcore gets double-teamed but comes back with a suplex, and Crash tags himself in. The Acolyts beat the shit outta him, but Hardcore gets a tag. The cousins squabble some more, and Hardcore tosses Crash-then walks into a double spinebuster for the Acolytes pin. Pretty entertaining crap. Ten Russo points for the quickfire Crash TV concept, plus five for being reminded about the whole Ministy debacle TWICE in one match. That's another fifteen. *** for the match.

  • Backstage, Dead Weight Inc. arrive. And if you don't know who I'm referring to there, you'll see later.

  • Road Dogg is out in his pyjamas to do some rhymin' mic spiel, which basically boils down to a Hardcore Title match for him next night on RAW. The Y2J Countdown interrupts and Jericho reels off the insults, then Roadie makes some gay innuendos. Five Russo points, just for Roadie doing an interview on PPV. Jericho leaves, dejected, and Roadie sits down on commentary for...

  • Hardcore Title Match: Al Snow w/Pepper Vs. The Big Bossman(c): This is match two in the epic Snow/Bossman series, which culminated in Snow eating his dog. Thank God I'm not passing comment on THAT. Snow jumps on Bossman (literally-he jumps off of the entrance structure)as he enters, and they brawl into the back. Roadie follows for on-the-spot commentary. Usual backstage brawl with all the standard spots, then they head into the street. They fight through the traffic and into a nearby bar, where some idiot on a mobile phone insists on blocking the camera and shouting "hi, Ma!!". Where's Jim Dotson when you need him? Into the bathroom-is Kevin Sullivan booking?-where Snow utilises the URINAL CAKE OF DEATH, then they go walkabout. Snow with a moonsault of the bar, then into the poolroom. Bossman shoves Dogg, who responds with a nightstick shot, and Al pins him across a pool table for his second Hardcore Title. Ten Russo points for the whole Bossman/Snow feud. Usual hardcore match here, with some stooopid comedy thrown in for "laughs".**. Post match Al wallops Meanie and Stevie Richards, who are messing with Pepper backstage.

  • Backstage, Jess discusses politics with Mankind. Too funny.

  • Women's Title Match: Ivory(c)Vs. Tori: Pfft. Tori's definitely had those babies supersized since this show-that top wouldn't contain her now. If you want play-by-play, go talk to Lee Marshall. Suffice to say, some hilariously bad action takes place, culminating in Ivory getting the pin off of a botched sunset flip by Tori. DUD. Post match Ivory tries to strip Tori, but Luna (with Meng style afro!) makes the save. And that ended up going nowhere.

  • Rock suspects Michael Cole of being a little comme-ci comme-ca. Hilarity ensues.

  • Mr. Ass arrives with a secret under a blanket. Could it be...CLARENCE MASON?

  • Lion's Den Weapons Match: Ken Shamrock Vs. Steve Blackman: Do NOT get me started on this one. Shamrock kicks Blackman's ass and cuts the feud's legs off the previous month, so they book a rematch? WHY? Why not give Blackman a hope in Hell of getting over by having him actually, y'know, win? Pfft. Blackman wallops Shamrock with his nunchuks to start but Shamrock gets a legwhip and some chuk shots of his own in. Blackman trips him and chokes him out, but Shamrock snapmares him and throws the chuks out of the cage, then beats the piss out of him. Blackman blocks a kendostick shot and batters Kenny with it, but Shamrock sprinboards back into control with...something. Belly-to-back on Blackman, then DDT on Shamrock, and both guys are down. Shamrock gets a powerslam as they recover, but Blackman puts him down with an enzuiguri and beats him with the kendostick some more, culminating with a VICIOUS knockout shot. Shamrock lays there like he's unconcsious-and Blackman just parades around. So how the f*ck do you win this thing? Sheesh, talk about confusion of rules. Blackman stands around for a while, having clearly put Shamrock down, and Kenny eventually stands up, hits a belly-to-belly, and hits a KO shot of his own, which for some reason, makes him the winner. Yeah. Despite the fact that Blackman DID THE EXACT SAME THING FIVE MINUTES EARLIER. What a pile of crap. Ten Points for the Russo finish, *1/2 for the match.

  • Love Her Or Leave Her Greenwich Streetfight: Test Vs. Shane McMahon: Ok, I'll fill you in on this one, for those who don't know the backstory-Test was due to marry Steph MacMahon (the turnout of that is WHOLE 'nother story)and Shane didn't like the idea of his sister marrying the lowly wrestler type. So he sent his Greenwich "thugs", the Mean Street Posse (who can still be seen sometimes, kicking about Metal or Heat)to deliver sneak attack after sneak attack, until Test snapped. He basically beat the shit out of all three members of the Posse, until only Shane was left uninjured, hence this match. And, as a special surprise, the Posse join Shane at ringside (on a COUCH, no less), wearing some FUGLY Hawiian shirts and sipping Champagne. Test spears Shane on the floor to start. Shane shirt du jour: I Just passed The Test. Test basically beats the crap out of Shane on the floor, then tosses him in. Shane gets his first bit of offence-a spear-but Test shrugs it off and chokes him in the corner. Backdrop by Test, and Shane bails. Test follows and tosses him into the steps, then throws him into the crowd. This is legalised murder, folks. Shane gets another brief flurry of shots but Test powerslams him off of the guardrail. They brawl round to where the Posse is sitting and Test gets a faceful o' Champagne, so he press slams Shane onto all three members. And for an encore, he clobbers all of them with a COOKIE SHEET OF DEATH. The Posse gang up on Test and pummel him, then throw back over the rail and next to the announce table. It all goes ECW as the Posse hand Shane weapons to clobber Test with-first a stopsign, then a Greenwich mailbox, then a framed photo of the Posse! Inventive. Shane rolls him into the ring, but it only gets a two count as JR does a primo selljob-for the love between Test and Steph. Awwww. Shane hits the patented reverse elbow off the ropes, but misses a corkscrew moonsault. Test hammers Shane and catches him with a powerbomb off of a leapfrog for a two count. Big boot results in a ref bump, and Shane gets clotheslined to the floor. STOP SIGN!! STOP SIGN!! STOP SIGN!! Test caps it off with a slam, but the Posse jump him and lay him out on the Spaniard's Table.Shane's going to the top-HOLY SHIT! FLYING ELBOW! Crowd appreciates that. About a gazillion replays follow as both men get their asses back in gear. It gets a two count when they finally crawl back in the ring-and Test's kickout gets a HUGE pop. Man, the guys really dropped the ball with Test. Pete Gas accidentally pops Shane one as Joey Abs jaws with the ref, so Rodney compensates by nailing Test with his arm cast. That gets a near fall, and it's probably the ONLY time someone's sold Rodney's offence. Big pop as the Stooges run in and beat the crap out of the Posse, and Test finishes Shane with the Meltdown/flying elbowdrop combo for a HUGE reaction. Bitchin' match-now HERE'S when Test should've picked up a title. **** for the match, and ten Russo points for the marriage storyline, but who cares. Steph (in her frumpy period)runs in and celebrates with her man while her brother's spine shifts back into place.

  • Tag Team Title Match: Dead Weight Inc. w/Paul Bearer Vs. Kane and X-Pac(c): This is the debut of Kane's reverse colour motif, and the champs are using the melding of Kane's theme and the original DX tune as their entrance. Pier Four to start as X-Pac gets all up in Undertaker's face-he's a spunky one, that Sean. Nice spot as Taker goes to chokeslam 'Pac on the floor, but Kane reaches over the ropes and hauls his partner back in the ring to safety. Cute. Kane hits his "My Feet Hit The Floor First But Ignore That Part" top rope clothesline on Taker for two, then Fat Show gets the tag and I excercise my right as your reviewer to go for a drink. When I come back Kane's had the crap beat out of him, but he manages a tag to Sean. Yeah, real clever. Show hands him his ass both in and out the ring, then press slams him back in OVER THE TOP ROPE. That's a Viscera Splash Moment-Impressive to see no matter how lazy and useless the man pulling it off is. Pac tests his balls a bit with a variety of low blow spots (including Show dropping his weight on them-ouch), and then jumps into a bearhug. Show squeezes the life out of him then executes the ~ALBERT BOMB~ from it. That gets a nearfall. He makes the INternational Sign Of The Chokeslam but Kane blocks it with a big boot, allowing Pac to get a low blow. Taker reaches him before he makes the tag-so Sean donkey kicks him in the personal area and tags Kane, who a HOUSE AFIRE! Kane knocks Show down in the ring then goes after Taker on the floor, allowing Sean to hit the Broncobuster on the big man. He showboats, so Show pulls himself out of the corner and hits the chokeslam (still called the Showstoppa by JR). He makes an arrogant cover-for two. Taker is pissed off at that, so he tags himself in and Tombstones Sean for the three count and the titles. That decision TOTALLY deflated the crowd-they were begging for the champs to go over here. Five Russo points for Dead Weight Inc. but a surprisingly enjoyable match otherwise. **1/2. The champs tease dissention-three minutes into their title reign. And people wonder why the titles were so devalued during this period...

  • Kiss My Ass Match: The Rock Vs. Mr. Ass: Gunn's big surprise is a fat chick, who is apparently the "Designated Ass For Kissin'" (JR's words, not mine) for this match. Rock hits the ring to an anemic pop-thanks to this lame storyline-and proceeds to kick Billy's ass for a few minutes. Gunn did look like such a jobber against the Rock, this match included. They hit the aisle and do the standard brawl at the entrance way-you throw me here, then I slam you there, that sorta thing. Back to the ring and Gunn takes charge with his usual offence-neckbreaker, Jackhammer press, stinger splash-and Rock launches his cmeback. Samoan Drop for two, Layin' The Smackdown DDT for another. Rock Bottom, but Gunn escapes, wheels Rocky round and hits the Fame-Asser. Instead of covering, however, Gunn just calls the fat chick into the ring and tries to shove the Rock's face into her butt. Rock blocks, elbows Billy down below and shoves Billy face-first into the cheeks, then delivers the Rock Bottom/People's Elbow combo for the three count. Standard fare here, plus ten Russo points for the gimmick.**.

  • Main Event-Triple Threat Match For WWF Title: Mankind Vs. Triple H Vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin(c), Special Referee: Jesse "The Body" Ventura: Jesse cuts a two-line promo, which is good because any more and the media would've eaten him alive. Mankind and Austin beat the crap out of Triple H and send him to the floor, and Mankind offers Steve the hand Of Friendship-so Steve flips him off and lays into him. Hunter gets a shot into his knee when he comes off the ropes, putting him down, and he works the knee. Mick works a heel groove by "coaching" HHH-Mick ALWAYS does that schtick in three way dances. Hunter slaps on a figure four and Mick legdrops Austin as he does so. Somewhere in here Chyna is sent to the back-sorry for the lack of details but I'm eating Chigaco Town pizza and I'm starving. Mick boots Hunter to break the hold and they brawl on the floor, with Mick missing his apron dive. Austin follows them out and he and HUnter brawlthrough the crowd and back. In the ring Mick and Hunter work some more doubleteams on Austin, but Steve fights back, sending Hunter to the floor and hitting the Stunner on Mick. Triple H breaks up the cover with a NASTY chair shot and covers Austin-but Jesse just stands there. Hunter shoves him a bit and Jesse readies himself for a ruck-and Shane runs in to protest. Austin gets the Stunner on him-as is prerequisite when Shane enters the ring-and Jesse tosses him over the top rope to the floor. Hunter and Austin knock each other down, and Mick slowly gets to his feet-and gets a double Mandible Claw. Austin lowblows him to break, and Hunter goes for the Pedigree on Mick, but Austin clotheslines him. Stunner for Hunter, but Foley breaks up the cover. Hunter wallops Foley and Pedgirees Austin, but Mick breaks the cover, gives Austin the Double Arm DDT and gets the pin and the title. Great match. ***3/4. Post match Jesse hands Mick the Smoking Skulls belt, while Hunter goes nuts on Austin, Pillmanizing the knee with a chair. Irony I guess. No Russo points needed here.

  • Final Thought: A quick tally puts this show at a whopping EIGHTY Russo points, which, for a nine match cad, is pretty reekish. However the wrestling was unusually sparkling for a show in this period-particularly Shane/Test, which, for a bottom rung performer and a non-worker, was absolutely amazing. The only great letdown was Rock/Ass, which could've been better had the two men not just stuck it in neutral. No complaints here-a highly recommended tape.

    Ian Challis

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    Guest column text copyright (C) 2000 by the individual author and used with permission