Mem-O-Rate Review (C) for WWF Unforgiven: In Your House
"Mem-O-Rate (C) ?", you say, furrowing your brow in mock discomfort. "What is that? I fear new things like fire and the WWF, so it can't be good. I think instead of reading it, I'll eat some heretics who don't believe in my god Lobbydoo."
No, don't do that.
See, as a PGIT (Puro Geek In Training), I've got to ween myself off of That Devilicious Sports Entertainment by recapping something. However, it's the end of the semester out here in sunny Watts, CA, so I've got more work than those damned janitors (if they ever get back). Not to mention, I still don't know the names of all the moves on earth, or even about half. I can still call a Viscera match pretty well, so stay with me, or I will. Mem-O-Rate is simply my way of rating matches based on a combination of workrate, heatrate, and overall cool shit. It's the only scale that doesn't take off for run-ins IF THE FUCKERS HAVE A PURPOSE. And it's got its own rating scale, detailed below:
***** - FRIGGIN' GREAT
**** - Really good
*** - Good
** - Eh; at least there's no Yokozuna in it
* - Waste of my rods and cones
DUD - YOU OWE ME MINUTES
So with that under our belts, let's us begin! We'll start with something pretty run-of-the-mill: 1998's WWF Unforgiven: In Your House.
II. The Time For Talk Is Through.
MATCH 1: Six-Man Tag Team Match: Faarooq, Ken Shamrock, Steve Blackman vs. Nation of Domination (Rock, Kama Mustafa, D'Lo
AND AWAY WE GO:
Hey, look, it's Unfunny Steve Blackman. Y'know, I read that they broke up Headcheese, and I suddenly care even less about Steve Blackman than I did BEFORE Headcheese. It was just that funny. Anyway, this is your typical NOD clusterfuck, with someone distracting the ref (usually Rocky) or the faces protesting in agony ("Sir! Honestly, sir!") while the NOD double teams their beating pony in their corner. And Vince wonders why nobody really got into the Gang Wars. Interesting note: Everybody except Sir Steve the Useless has a backstory that gets continued later on in WWF TV: Faarooq and the NOD (duh), Ken Shamrock and Rocky at KotR the next month, and Ken and Charleskamapapa Wrightgodfathermustafashango later allegedly feuded over the IC belt. Dark days, indeed. THAT, WCW, is how you build. Too bad nobody cares about the Godfather. For those keeping score at home, NOD wins. YAAAAAAAAAWN.
Mem-O-Rate Score: *. I like the Rock (aw, why did I say that? Now Herb Kuenze is gonna eat my cat) and D'Lo, so this wasn't a TOTAL waste of time. Shamrock sucks my butt, however. And don't get me started on Blackman.
MATCH 2: Tag Team Title Match: New Age Outlaws vs. LOD2K
AND AWAY WE GO:
I'm sure that there are those of you out there who like one or both of the teams in this match; you may want to skip this one. NAO come out with a blow-up doll of "Dean Smith" (this is in NC, so I should be pissed, right? WRONG - years of Duke conditioning took that right out), which makes them...heels? I'm confoosed... eh. It sure don't help thar work rate none. Spiel spiel spiel. Oh, and in case I forget later, THE LOD SUCKS A LOT. Why did Vince bring them back when he had Too Cool (love that UNCOMFORTABLY FUNNY LIBERAL OFFENDING HOMOSEXUAL GIMMICK - if it were any less over the top, I'd be offended) and Your Gods and Mine, The Hardyz? Oh well - if it weren't for the LOD being glory-hogging sodbuckets, we never would have OMEGA, and that would make me cry. The match, by the way, sucks ass. Sunny comes out, so it's not a total wash, but then the match ends in a DUSTY FINISH! Yay! Everyone drinks!
Mem-O-Rate Score: DUD. I may suck at math, but I know that 2 Teams - Talent + Crappy Workrate + DUSTY FUCKING FINISH = Ass Match.
MATCH 3: Evening Gown Match: Sable vs. Luna.
AND AWAY WE GO:
I think we all know that there's only one participant in this debacle of a match who I NEVER WANT TO SEE EVEN APPROACHING NAKED: that beat-with-the-ugly-stick Luna. On the other hand, it's not like I think Ten-Pounds-Of-Boob-In-A-Five-Pound-Bag Sable is all that hot either. Let's just say that I hope Neve Campbell wanders into this match. Hmm, that's strange; I could swear I remember the twenty minutes of non-stop highspots and psychology these two put on in their match before this "match". If I remember right, Luna Swantoned Sable, but Sable countered into a Tiger Driver '91, pinning her. But then Vince came out and said that since nobody got stripped, the match had to continue. (Oh the hell with you; at least I try.) Alleged match is anything but; it needs a soundtrack of "Thong Song" (just because that song is the funniest thing to come on my radio in a while). Sable loses, but strips Luna afterwards. YARF. I say fie, and strike it from the record.
Mem-O-Rate Score: DUD. Hey, quick joke: What's the sound of ten thousand teenaged boys reaching orgasm at the same time? "SAAAAAAAABLE, SAAAAAAAABLE". Now you laugh.
MATCH 4: "SPECIAL" "BONUS" "MATCH": Rock 'n Roll Express vs. Midnight Express
AND AWAY WE GO:
Jesus Funky Christ, I care less and less with every match. Thank god DUDE LOVE~! is in the last one, to send me home happy (at least). Honestly? This match bored me to tears, so much so that I can't even deride it properly. I mean, I'm watching it to try to see why, and I'm reaching for the fast forward button. I refuse to waste my life watching matches like this when most Viscera matches are so much shorter.
Mem-O-Rate: DUD. This was pretty significant (sorta), as it's the first time the NWA tag team title was ever d-fended on WWF TV. Unfortunately, the cold, cruel, unblinking eye (which is exactly like the Wreck of the Hesperus) of the Mem-O-Rate scale does not care a whit.
Somewhere in here, Double J sings with some country "superstar". I like breaking barriers - I was one of the most liberal kids at Riverside High, I was one of two to go out here to SoCal, and I FUCKING HATE COUNTRY MUSIC. I put my balls on this segment (figuratively speaking, of course) and move on.
MATCH 5: European Title Match: Triple H vs. Owen Hart (~!)
AND AWAY WE GO:
Triple H you may recognize today as a bad-ass, the best heel in the business, or, for some reason, a piece of crap (somebody's really going to have to explain that one to me. I was going to rant on how good HHH is before I decided to do this rant until my mail gets here). One year after this show, he was entering his first event fresh off the Wrestlemania heel turn that would make him into just that. One year later, Owen's just half of the tag team champs, unfortunately making intimations towards the IC title. It's funny how much difference time makes, isn't it? I mean, honestly, I would have expected Owen to be in the upper card a year afterwards, had you asked me then. I still think HHH is good, but I would have expected him to grow into his main-eventing role more slowly, and as a babyface. Of course, looking back now, it's pretty hard to find a foil for him. I can't see him as a face, but whiny heels just don't cut it for him. Him vs. Jericho would have ROCKED ASS SIX WAYS FROM SUNDAY, however. Maybe that woulda been it. But I digress. Match isn't as good as I expected - they spend WAAAAAAAAAAY too much time showing Chyna escaping from a cage in which she is suspended (but the WWF doesn't promote violence towards women, nosirree). Pretty nice carry job by Owen, actually; the parts he controls are about three shades of decent. Eventually, Triple H takes over with the KNEE~!, leading to a ref bump, leading to Owen pinning Triple H, leading to...nothing (*damn ref bumps STRAIGHT TO HELL*). X-Pac enters the ring and lays out Owen, leading to the Inevitable In-Favor-Of-The-Heel Ref Revival (but a heel has to win at WM, to make it less predictable...I never said I wasn't totally zen with it), and retention for Triple H. I'm not complaining, but I was expecting so much more...oh well. I guess I shouldn't complain; it's one more thing I can remember Owen by.
Mem-O-Rate Score: ***. Yeah, I may bitch and moan, but it's what I'm here for. It was good, it just wasn't spectacular. You want spectacular, wait for Mark Henry/Viscera on NWO2K. Five stars all the way.
(That was my last Viscera joke. I think.)
MATCH 6: Inferno Match: Undertaker vs. Kane
AND AWAY WE GO:
Well, gee, it's the Undertaker. I can't think of anyone whose matches I would rather be molested by William "Refrigerator" Perry...REPEATEDLY...than watch, other than the Lord of Dorkness here. And Kane sucks too. Yeah, yeah, they're good company men and all, but fuck 'em both at this point. And joy! since there's a real RING OF FIRE (and it burns, burns, burns... HA. ME = WITTY), both men move EVEN SLOWER THAN NORMAL. JEEZUS HORATIUS CHRIST IN A SACK; I'm gonna HAVE to watch some OMEGA after this one to KEEP SANE. Cute spot as Undertaker does his "I'm Scary Because I Can Walk On The Top Rope" thing and the flames jump higher (and it burns, burns, burns) right when he jumps. Unfortunately, this ain't Pokemon, so cute don't count here. sooooooooooooooooooooo slooooooooooooooooow.... sooooooooooooooooooo sloooooooooooooooow. Hey, lookey, they're on the outside of the ring! Hey, Kane's foot caught on fire (~?)! Match is over!
Uhh...WHAT THE FUCK? I'm REALLY GLAD I saw that. I could easily have spent that time stapling my penis to a copy of Alanis Morrisette's first album, and it probably would have been more enjoyable! GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! KRUNK SMASH (with BAD MATCH RATING!)
Mem-O-Rate Score: FUCKING DUD. To be fair, pretty much the only way that match could have ended with me a happy Digable Son would have involved an immolated Undertaker (or Kane, to be fair), but hey, they give me shit, I give them a shit sammitch.
MATCH 7: WWF World Title: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. DUDE LOVE~!~!~!~!~!
AND AWAY WE GO:
Ah, sweet sweet biased journalism. See, Dude Love is quite possible one of three perfect ideas ever let loose upon the world, along with that McNugget Hot Mustard Sauce and The Princess Bride. I maintain that he's got the BEST THEME MUSIC EVER (2nd: Triple H's new one), he's got the best shirt in wrestling history (2nd: Tazz's), and damned if he isn't the only guy whose catchphrase works its way into my regular discourse. This match is pretty sweet too, with everybody selling the idea of how Vinny Mac is going to screw SCSA like he did Bret Hart (how sweet it was...but that's another rant). The brawl between the two is not too bad, with both Austin and Dudester selling some harsh-ass moves on the stage. And then Sports Entertainment rears its head, when Vinny Mac tells the timekeeper to ring the (funky) bell. I need to vidcap Austin clocking Vince in the head with a chair to add to my collection of beautamous sights (anyone wants a BIG picture of Bischy thumping Hulk's skull with sweet steel, drop me a line). Match ends on a DEFINITE Sports Entertainment Moment, when SCSA Stuns Dude (DAMN YOU AUSTIN! DAMN YOU STRAIGHT TO HELL!), pins him, and counts it himself. Arena goes nuts. Significant in that it pretty much showed that Steve-o could do whatever he wanted to without a fan backlash (unintentional pun, sorry). Entertaining, decent brawl - I have no complaints about this.
Mem-O-Rate Score: ****. Well there goes my Puro Snob License - ah well. I guess it's back to my WWF and CRA+ZY ASS Japanese aerial stuff. I can't ever be a true puro snob when I'm so entertained by a guy dancing like that. I REALLY want more Dude.
OVERALL WORTH OF TAPE: Well, if you're a history type of guy, there's the ass-tacular NWA match; if you're easily Entertained Sportily, there's the title match; if you're into Owen matches, there's the Owen match; if you're into high flying... um, Chyna's in a cage? This was back when the WWF took the "Something for Everyone" approach, but wasn't really hitting it on all cylindars yet (witness loads of crap on this card), because they could always rely on a swank-ass main event to tear the roof off. I can't say I like it too much, but hey, the main event DID rock, and it could have been MUCH worse (KotR '99). I wish Dude had gone over here, though.
III. RANDOM STUFF
Yeah, Bret Hart can suck my butt. Sure is great that he cares so much for Owen that he lets Sting do the SAME GODDAMN STUNT THAT CAUSED HIS BROTHER TO FALL TO HIS DEATH. He's a whiny bitch, bitching about how Vince made him DO HIS JOB. I'm pretty close to pulling a Slymm on this one and calling him That BH Guy forever more. There's a column forthcoming about this one... just you wait.
DAMN, I wish that the WWF and ECW had taken this to the next level. I forget whose idea it was, but it would have been cool to have Vince not let Tazz job the title, and then have another invasion. I can't speak for you, but spot-fu rocks my world, so RVD-Jeff Hardy would have been my cup of green tea. And they could have gotten REALLY awesome if they'd had Tazz job to whoever on WWF TV by having the ECDubs do a TON of runins (so that he doesn't lose face), and then had someone else from the WWF (Benoit, perhaps) run out ostensibly to save him, but then kick his ass. He'd be elevated, ECDub would be elevated, WCDub would look even stupider (I hear you laughing out there, it's possible)... everybody wins!
Powerman 5000's album "Tonight The Stars Revolt" is A THOUSAND TIMES BETTER than it has any right to be. Buy it now.
Three Count still rocks. And needs to go to ECW or the WWF.
That's about it.
IV. OBLIGATORY CLOSING PORTION
Comments? Questions? Need someone to ridicule all of your beliefs? Write to me at email@example.com and let me know. I'll be more than happy to reply. And anyone who writes gets (wait for it...) ALL UP IN MY AREA! HA! HA! HA-oh.
Digable James Cobo
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