Monday, November 30, 2015

WWE Main Event 11/10/15

1. Adam Rose vs. Jack Swagger - 3
2. Heath Slater vs. Damien Sandow - 2
3. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch - 5

When you regularly watch both Main Event and Superstars you see the same half-dozen guys pop up every episode and have seen them in every pairing imaginable (in fact I wrote about this very match-up previously). Our opener sees two prime suspects of this dilemma. Rose is wearing knee-high pinstriped leggings looking like a Nightmare Before Christmas metrosexual character that never made it past the script stage. Show’s in the UK as evidenced by the gigantic Union Jack flags hanging dourly by the entrance ramp as well as Captain Britain and the Knights of Pendragon sitting in the third row eating stadium nachos. Nice desperation counter belly-to-belly by Jack. Rare Tornado DDT out of the corner by Rose. Then Adam busts out what I’ll call Sweet Tummy Music. Later Rose does an odd diving headbutt from the top. A plus of these shows is the talent seems more comfortable to try new or different things in-ring then you’ll ever see under the stricter confines of the tightly orchestrated Raw. Patriot Lock, also known by cinephiles as the Benjamin Martin Lock, if you’re a Roland Emmerich fan, gets Swagger the win bonus.

Been awhile since Sandow has been on WWE programming. He’s back in hot pink tights and purple knee pads. More of a Lanny Poffo look than his more popular but short-lived “Macho Man” tribute act. Damien dusts off the Cubito Aequet corkscrew elbow. Slater plays a great slimeball millennial mall country/southern rock heel, type of guy who drives a big pick-up truck to fit the bill, seen often in your local WalMart parking lot, acts pompous but is always put in his place when it comes down to scrapping.  Sandow wins with a Modified Russian Leg Sweep and threw a few decent clotheslines. Nothing to write home from camp about. Main event pits two ladies in a rematch from an NXT MotY candidate. Sasha is legitimately one of the better heels in the company at this point. Becky should work some sort of LotR gimmick — maybe a cross between something elfin and an archer. Lynch (Becky, not David) gets distracted by Banks’ baddies at ringside leading to Sasha taking over. “It’s a shame Sasha acts the way she does” muses Michael Cole. We’ll politely disagree. Quite a catch I landed Banks in my fantasy league’s draft. Becky takes a nasty apron bump. Don’t start with you women in apron jokes sexists of the world! We ain’t got time for that when the WWE Network just added a bunch of old NWA TV episodes to the streaming collection. Paying the bills and cleaning my palatial estate can wait — I’ve got Tully Blanchard knucklelocks to examine. Nice finishing stretch as Becky checks a strike but Sasha transitions into a double knee backbreaker flowed seamlessly into the Bank Statement crossface for the victory. I enjoy these C-level shows, harkens back to my childhood where I spent far too many Saturday evenings watching WCW Saturday Night from the environs of home with a reassuring paper plate of Pizza Rolls.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Roppingi Vice vs. Briscoes

Roppongi Vice vs. The Briscoes - ROH Death Before Dishonor XIII - 5

Roppongi Vice sounds like an STD you'd contract from a Minato prostitute. Feel oddly comforted in the fact that Mark Briscoe and I share the same wild hairstyle presently. Strangely Mark and Rocky give each other Dap after the opening salvo. Baretta doing much better for himself on the indies and in Japan than he'd ever have working on WWE's C-level shows. I heard he even got invited over to one of Tommy Dreamer's famed pig knuckle stews after a recent House of Hardcore show. All the silverware was courtesy of Abdullah the Butcher's baggy pants. Jay goes from World champ to selling double shoulderblocks by RPG Vice. Some credit is due to WWE for improving their tag division this past calendar year but ROH really has the best tag action around. They just need to bring Disorderly Conduct out of retirement to be the grizzled old vets that take shit from no one

If this is Death Before Dishonor someone should shoot Kevin Kelly as that beige jacket is a dishonor to fashion. Anybody know if Veda Scott eats meat? I dig how Mark's camo shorts are all tattered and ripped in shreds looks like something the Rat King wore. Mark absconds Trent's yellow headband thus absorbing his powers and pro wres prowess. Really dug Romero's flying knee off the apron onto Jay. Like to see Ryback attempt that and tear his quad and be out 8 months. Briscoes deserve to be in some kind of HoF when it's all said and done for giving us over a decade worth of gnarly. Baretta bleeding from the eye like he just took a John Dodson elbow in the clinch. Unreal "Buff Blockbuster" off the apron by Mark on Rocky where he looked shot from a circus canon. Jay Driller + Froggy Bow combo on Trent ends this. Pretty damn fun mid-show bout.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Swagger vs. Rose

Adam Rose vs. Jack Swagger - WWE Main Event - 8/11/15 - 2

Two darlings of WWE’s C-level shows square off. Rose pops off some Reggie White-level forearms. Is Swagger or Miz the biggest fall from grace after losing a World title? Rose’s new vinyl trunks look like a stained glass rendering of a vagina from an anatomy textbook. Rose totally steals Delirious’ Shadows Over Hell finisher but doesn’t get the job done. Patriot Lock ends this one faster than it took Adam Rose to hit on the bartender in the faded Hum shirt at a dive bar post-show. If looking for a better Swagger match go back a week prior to the 8/4 episode where he and Big Show work a lengthy bout I found surprisingly good.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Saturday Night's Main Event 5/11/85 Co-Review

Brian and I are doing co-reviews of all the Saturday Night Main Event episodes. Here's the one that started it all!

Saturday Night's Main Event I - 5/11/85 - Nassau Coliseum, Long Island, New York

1. The US Express & Ricky Steamboat vs. George Steele, Nikolai Volkoff, & The Iron Sheik - B: 3  A: 3

Brian: If this was just a typical house show I may have knocked the score down another notch but this felt slightly more special and like a moment being the kick off of the beloved SNME run. The good guys were aces on offense and given the abbreviated time allotments the matches got on this show the heels weren't even given a heat section. Felt bad watching Ricky try to hiptoss Steele and Volkoff as they were clearly giant uncooperative bags of manure he had to imitate he was physically tossing as they really both just awkwardly rolled forward their foots barely leaving the mat if at all. You get the sense here with his size and look Windham could have been a much bigger star. Steele gets rolled up playing up his hapless buffoon character then eats a turnbuckle post-match in frustration. I think I'd rather see these six hitting the buffet at Ponderosa than in the ring together.

Adam: There probably would have been more bite here if, like Brian mentioned, the heels had a heat section, even if small. Otherwise, this was as about as one-sided as you could get with a six-man tag team squash as the faces dominated the whole match. As was also mentioned, Steel and Volkoff were extremely uncooperative on some hiptosses, about as uncooperative as the giant bags of mulch I threw down in my flower beds this past spring. Windham rolling up Steele after Sheik and Volkoff bailed pretty much made the whole team look like they were imitating old Keystone Cops routines. Not much depth here but worth a look as the first-ever SNME match.

2. Hulk Hogan vs. Bob Orton - WWF Championship Match - A: 4  B: 2

Adam: This was hot off the heels of WrestleMania and was a fun little scrum. Hogan has his usual assortment of punching and brawling. Orton hit a few couple good knees, an atomic drop, and attempted a superplex but that was about the extent of his offense. Also, what was up with the ring during this match? Everything someone bumped it sounded like a snare drum. For a six-minute match, this was about as good as you’ll get during this time. The ending was a bit weak with Piper supposedly interfering with a punch and then Mr. T getting involved. Hogan was then cornered but was saved by Paul Orndorff causing the heels to scamper like roaches when you turn on a light. 

Brian: Not the first to be confounded by Hogan's biting and face gouging and other villain-like tactics in lieu of more classicism and heroic posturing. Maybe marathoning a bunch of Jafar Panahi films has brought out the humanist in me but I found myself much more interested in watching the audience here than the participants. Crowds just believed so much more then. When Piper interfered there was a lady who's face got redder than a Scotch bonnet pepper. Today she'd be a meme.

3. Wendi Richter vs. Fabulous Moolah - WWF Women's Championship Match - B: 3  A: 2

Brian: Cyndi Lauper was forced to watch this match on as 9" monitor back toward the end of a darkened entrance aisle. Think I saw a guy in the crowd wearing a Peachfuzz mask. Title match gets 4 minutes so there's less meat to this thing than a black bean burger. Crazy to think how different women's wrestling is today. They'd never let an old, wrinkly, saggy lady be a top in-ring talent but Moolah was an asset here dishing out some mean offense like a short headbutt that looked brutal. Richter was all '80's hair and anguished facials but retained her title with a counter roll-up so as to keep Moolah looking strong as a perennial challenger.

Adam: I though Moolah was old in the 90s but she still looked incredibly old here. Moolah took a hell of a bump over the top rope and smashed on the floor pretty good. Seeing Lauper getting booted out before the match and then showing her watching this at the end of the aisle was pretty entertaining. Roll-up at the end felt pretty flat and the majority of this felt really choreographed.

4. Junkyard Dog vs. Pete Doherty - A: 2  B: 4

Adam: Not much here except your typical Saturday morning squash match, although Doherty has a bit more street cred than your Mario Mancini’s of the world. Since this was a Mother’s Day show, JYD brought his mom to the ring, who looked less than impressed at her son’s chosen profession in the pre-match interview. Doherty yelling when JYD yanked him up from the floor by his hair was a hoot and was pretty much the highlight of this. I’m guessing for the victory dinner, Dog and his Momma hit the local Denny’s on the way to the next town.

Brian: In an unforeseen plot twist similarly to the grandparents in The Visit not really being the kids' grandparents but escaped patients from a psychiatric hospital this shocked me by being my favorite match of the show. And while I wish I could give more credit to JYD and his momma's purple church dress I have to hand out MVP honors to Pete Doherty. This golden-haired jobber bumped and gesticulated with a fervor determined to stand out even if he was put in the death slot. Doherty took a superplex off the top so hard it made me incontinent. Sometimes JYD's headbutts can look lazy or dire but I loved how he kept his hands tightly in Pete's messy mop of blonde hair not letting him go and just delivering headbutt shots while Doherty made the fascinating acting decision to jiggle his pasty white physique after each skull rattling shot.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Dutt vs. DJ Z vs. Tigre Uno

Sonjay Dutt vs. DJ Z vs. Tigre Uno - TNA X Division Championship Match - TNA iMPACT Wrestling 8/26/15 - 1

Horribly botched double-hiptoss early on Tigre dumping him on his smelly mask. Dutt wishing he was back working CZW shows in '07. DJ Z's manic blue mohawk screams Hot Topic discount rack and he sells an apron somersault not unlike one of that store's part-time employees might. "Hey man, I'm hitting up the food court on break, you guys want anything?" Some absurd offense. "Here, let me make you do a backflip so you can land face-first on my knee" which is overkill yet made completely meaningless when no contact was actually made. Dutt wrestles with the conviction of a kid playing one of the Three Wise Men in a Christmas pageant but has recently started to self-identify as Yazidi. The finish was real bad. The announcers called it a "Frog Splash" but it looked more like a kid splashing into a backyard pool, stiffly and awkwardly and as forgettable as that morning's Pan a la Catalana.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Rhodes/Funk vs. Flair/Luger

Dustin Rhodes and Terry Funk vs. Ric Flair and Total Package - WCW Thunder 2/16/00 - 2

The star's of the '80's (and Dustin Rhodes, gallant in leather pants that see him continually adjusting his junk) invade the 2000's in this "star-studded" main event.  The 5,500+ in attendance at the Spectrum were in for a "teat" as they suckled from the mammary gland of Russo and company. Flair looked surprisingly spry and fit especially in contrast to his TNA run where he looked like 200 pounds of sand poured into a trash bag. Funk on the other hand moves with the stealth and speed of a zombie or roadside possum after an encounter with a semi-truck. Terry dishes out some left hands that make me yearn for the combat stylings of The Miz. With black bandana and in need of a decent shave Rhodes is clearly on the tail-end of a three-day cocaine bender. I'll never tire of the way Luger sells basic back bumps by flailing backward like someone's grandma seeing the specter of her lost love the war took from her. Elizabeth sliding a bat into Lex's hands eerily calls to mind him sliding pills into hers as he allegedly assisted in her death. Total Package clobbers Dustin in the head with the bat (likely permanently erasing the memory of the past night's prostitute and diner dinner of corned beef hash) and even though Rhodes is unconscious Flair adds insult to injury by applying the FIgure Four while Rhodes' shoulders are counted to the mat.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Saturday Night's Main Event Project

Being that NHO cohort Adam and I are both loyal WWE Network subscribers it seemed fitting we'd eventually do something Network-related here on our esteemed wrestling blog. And while my more obscure and esoteric suggestions of tackling either the complete 2014 run of Superstars or Main Event were summarily dismissed Adam had no such reservations about tackling all of the Network's archived Saturday Night's Main Event episodes. And I've got to say I'm pretty excited too. SNME exists mostly for me through the lens of foggy nostalgia. So it's overdue to reexamine the show and its matches and see it for what it was really was/is. We're going to be doing this as a long-term, ongoing project, not adhering to any strict posting schedules, etc. just working our way through the history of SNME as time allows. We hope you'll enjoy this look back at the hottest thing happening on Saturday nights this side of Ms. Zuzu's Psychic & Tarot Card Readings.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Atlantis, Panther, Stuka vs. Casas, Shocker, Cavernario

Atlantis, Blue Panther, Stuka Jr. vs Bárbaro Cavernario, Negro Casas, Shocker - CMLL 4/21/15 - 6

Spring is in the air, the neighborhood has come alive with trees radiantly green, and lucha is cued up. Past versus present gets things underway as Panther's face has more crags in it than Edward James Olmos' and the caveman Bárbaro is game to test his mettle against the legend. Nicely done short segment has Panther get dominant position on the mat but young Cavernario was too spry to be held down and would pop right back up. I wonder if McMahon paid for Shocker's breast job. Stuka wrestles in a cut-off t-shirt with his own visage on it. Atlantis schools the opposition making all three members of the opposing team look foolhardy. Stuka gets decent air on a splash off the top on Cavernario to take the first fall. I nominate Atlantis for the next Avengers movie.

Back to Bárbaro and Panther to get us underway on the segunda caida. Bárbaro utilizing his speed and unhinged wildness. Shocker takes down Stuka and starts karate posing and thrusting like he's vintage Ricky Steamboat. Stuka goes to dive out to the floor but Shocker and Cavernario race out of harm's way. Finally Casas enters the action and goes right after Atlantis' mid-section and then his leg. Negro wastes zero movement then tags in Shocker to capitalize on the wounded prey. Oddly placed commercial disorients me but it appears Atlantis tapped to Shocker to tie things up.

Apparently my video drops audio during the last fall. Casas is great taunting Atlantis then we pan over to Bárbaro wildly stomping Panther like some sort of mugging. Cavernario is so good -- definitely in my Top 20 WotY list. Things breaking down as Casas tries to get distance from Atlantis, there's brawling on the floor, and general chaos. Stuka hits a big tope on Shocker on the floor. Atlantis and Casas exchange strikes. I really liked the slick, quick ending, as while grappling Negro lifts his leg up behind him directly into Atlantis' gonads, then Casas spins around rapidly hitting a lariat to end thing suddenly. Really good trios action and what has been a real fun first third of lucha in 2015.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

2001: A WCW Odyssey - WCW Thunder 1/24/01

25 days and counting to SuperBrawl!

1. Cruiserweight Contender Countdown Match w/ Shane Helms, Elix Skipper, Evan Karagias, Billy Kidman, Jimmy Yang, Jamie Noble, Rey Mysterio Jr., Lash LeRoux, Shannon Moore, and Kaz Hayashi - 4

For once, we don’t open the show with a long winded, circle the wagons style argument, we actually open with a match! This consisted of pretty much every cruiserweight under WCW contract at the time and the rules were that of a gauntlet match, you fight until you lose. Opening portion was good with Helms and Skipper as the action was brisk and set a good pace but after a short while, Helms advanced with the Vertebreaker, and dispatched Evan Karagias in short order as well with the same. Kidman was next and held up pretty well until he was eventually sent packing by Jamie Noble. Kidman was probably the MVP here and had good segments with both Helms and Noble, including a nice spot where Kidman reversed a Vertebreaker into a Kid Crusher on Helms. Lash, whose contributions were some god awful punches, and Moore were quickly eliminated at the end, leaving the final as Rey against Kaz. Kaz hit a stiff ass powerbomb on Rey. Rey came back though with a second rope bulldog for the win. Fun match to start out with but it felt like it dragged a bit towards the end.

Our weekly talking segment is next with Cat in an odd shirt, ranting about stupid shit and announcing a main event of Steiner & Animal against Kronik as the announcers cream their pants

2. Norman Smiley vs. Mike Awesome - 2
3. Jeff Jarrett vs. Hugh Morrus - 2

Norman wiggles in front of Awesome and gets leveled by a clothesline for his efforts. Before the match, Norman ran into Glacier backstage and acted like he had just observed the second coming of Christ. Awesome destroys poor Norman while Glacier returns and glad hands and poses for pictures around the ring, getting a reaction as cold as the arctic he represents. Not a whole lot too this except for the Glacier stuff. Jarrett did his typical pre-match schitck on the mic. They had a brief brawl on the floor with Jarrett jamming a chair into Morrus’ ribs. Morrus sells everything with zero emotion. If I would’ve know I was treading water, I’d be pretty emotionless as well. We get a mid-ring collision that was super clumsy. Wall saunters down to ringside, blatantly interferes in front of the ref, and Jarrett gets a win with that shitty looking leg sweep. I’ve seen better matches on shit-level indy shows.

4. Crowbar vs. Ron Harris - 2
5. Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Rick Steiner - 3

Completely random match here with Crowbar and Harris that amounted to exactly nothing. Tony mentions Crowbar’s former career as a gas station attendant in Maryland. That’s odd to say the least. Everything here has been really non-descipt. Crowbar got in a few good shots right at the end but damn this was boring. Was sort of hoping that Bigelow and Steiner would be somewhat violent. Steiner just deadlifted Bigelow on a big suplex. Action here has been pretty good, nothing great but certainly not as bad as some other stuff I’ve seen on this project. Steiner has been just a wrecking machine since coming back. Bigelow was good doing his trademark spots. Second rope bulldog laid out Bigelow for a pinfall. Always enjoy two big dudes pummeling each other.

6. Road Warrior Animal & Scott Steiner vs. Kronik - 3

Pretty sure this is Animal’s first actual match since showing up as the black and white clad mystery man at the Sin PPV. Animal looked pretty good in the first exchange with Adams. Steiner gets tagged in and gets a full nelson slam for his efforts. Clark does another one of his wild running front flips off the apron. Still can’t figure out what prompted him to start doing that. Damn, Clark got Animal up in a big pumphandle slam. What the hell is going on here at the end. Kronik seems lost trying the high tide double chokeslam, Cat runs down after Bagwell and Luger interfere and disappears into a void along with Scott Steiner. Ending is just what has been seen the past couple shows with Flair’s cronies beating down all the good guys.

This wasn't as bad as the episode of Nitro before this but it still felt really stale. Same dudes every week, same ending. It's like the movie Groundhog Day. You know, where Bill Murray keeps repeating February 2nd until he actually learns from mistakes and redeems himself to get out of the time loop? Yeah, it's pretty much exactly like that except I feel like I'll never get out of the stupid time loop as these people will never redeem themselves.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bravados vs. AR Fox & Uhaa Nation

Bravado Brothers vs. AR Fox and Uhaa Nation - EVOLVE 36 - 6

Almost went higher on my score and this was just a midcard bout. I imagine had this gone on in the main event slot they'd have ratchet it up another gear. Hadn't seen the Bravados in awhile but they're still rocking the plaid kickpads so that's aces. Although, aesthetically, not a fan of Harlem's new look, bald head and long beard, looks way too much like Necro Butcher during his maligned run in The Embassy and that's never a good thing. AR Fox is one of the few guys that genuinely wows me just about every time I see him perform. Not only is he as smooth as it gets with his aerial stuff but he also busts out crazy spots you wouldn't even think up with your WWE action figures. Fox and Nation got plenty of opportunities to bust out swank offense but the Bravado boys weren't helpless, putting up a good fight, and even nearly procuring a win including one section where they did multiple moves on AR Fox onto Nation who was crumpled in the corner in a neat sequence. Fox shocked and awed as he's wont to do, from somersaulting over the turnbuckle and out about 8-foot from the ring crashing into a lighting grid and plenty more. Nation is going to be a star in WWE if utilized correctly. He's got the musculature of Bobby Lashley but much more explosive athleticism and great agility. Let's hope they don't stick him with New Day and let him work a US title program with Luke Harper, eh? Fox and Nation pick up a hard fought victory but post-match the brothers' muscle Moose ruined the celebration allowing the Bravados to hit the "Gentlemen's Agreement" on Nation. Excited to finish the rest of this show and catch up to EVOLVE 37 & 38 soon too. With CZW having a lousy 2015 so far EVOLVE is pushing toward the top of the independent pack presently.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

WWE Main Event 3/6/15

1. Curtis Axel vs. Fandango - 4
2. Zack Ryder vs. Adam Rose - 3
3.Paige vs. Summer Rae - 3
4. The Ascension vs. The Usos - 4

Main Event got pulled from the WWE Network, but come one, us real, hardcore fans aren't going to let that get in the way of us getting our wrestling fix. Fandango's tights resemble a Magic Eye puzzle. Is this heel versus heel? Surprisingly sound and snug arm work done by Fandango which Axel remembers to sell when he later goes on offense. Biggest knock on Curtis is he always has such a vacuous look on his face. Fandango countered what appeared to be the early stages of a Perfect Plex into a quick match-ending roll-up. Better than you'd expect.  Oh, weird, I just watched Ryder and Rose's match from Superstars (which aired the same day here domestically) earlier this morning and thought it was pretty decent. Curious how this'll compare. The feud is built on a Twitter flame war (#badidea). Rose is getting pretty handy at taking nice spills out to the floor in-front of the Rosebuds. Ryder takes an apron bump -- guess he'd been watching some ROH TV since it seems like you'll get one of those per episode. Rose chinlock looked looser than Sunny. Ryder reversed a suplex into a neckbreaker then got adequate air on a missile dropkick. Rose caught Ryder coming through the ropes with the Party Foul for the win. This may have been a bit more athletic but the Superstars counterpart was superior and better received by its live crowd with Ryder getting a rare victory. Speaking of Superstars, it's usually only 2 matches, but Main Event generally has 4. Damn you, international copyright law strictures.

I actually think Summer would be a better fit in TNA (who'd also be best suited throwing their checkbook at Veda Scott, Mia Yim, Kana, Tsukasa Fujimoto, and Candice LeRae to rebuild their Knockouts division but I digress). Paige threw a nasty side kick and I really dig that aspect of her game. Paige wins with the PTO and I hope to see her go over with it again at WrestleMania. Main event on paper has me colored curious. Random Big Show vignette airs. Konnor can't hit the ropes for shit (noticed that during their match with Prime Time Players on Superstars too). I do like that they're both vocal in the ring. I'm not as cold on them as a lot of people but they definitely have a ton of work to do. Really hyped on this reaching "5" territory but so far they're skating around a "3" like the number of dicks Missy Hyatt can fit in her mouth. Guessing Ascension works Los Matadores on the WrestleMania pre-show and they get 4 minutes. Jey pops Konnor so hard that Jim Ross' face momentarily straightens out. Jimmy's rolling senton is a 5.3 on the Shannon Moore scale (and that's being generous). Viktor clearly looking for Konnor to break a pinfall when he should be selling was bush league. Samoan Splash gets the Usos the win. Very good for Main Event "main event" and would feel even fresher had it been on a Raw. I don't give half-points or else this would be a 4.5. This is scheduled to post hours before I attend UFC 185 live in Dallas so greetings from Fuel City Tacos and stay tuned to NHO for more analysis and Bob Roop jokes!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Leatherface vs. Freddy Krueger

Leatherface vs. Freddy Krueger - IWA Japan '97 - 2

60 minute time-limit? Oh, the horror. Leather busts out a damn Japanese leg whip that Freddy sells like an old man tripping over a antique radio and splitting his pantaloons. Match spills outside quickly and Leatherface bumps off the stage at Kōrakuen Hall. They brawl up through the bleachers as Wes Craven and Tobe Hooper smoke a joint and watch together in a palatial suite somewhere. Leather back to working the leg in a plot twist. Wish this was in 3-D. I was really waiting for a run-in by Leather's supercentenarian Grandpa. Freddy uses some dominatrix's whip as a noose to strangle Leather into unconsciousness for a cold and flat denouement. I'm much more interested in the post-match hijinks as Freddy holds the prone Leatherface's head allowing the dominatrix to pour some green liquid down his gullet leading to him to vomit profusely resembling an imposed turd muching in the vein of Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom.

Monday, March 9, 2015

2001: A WCW Odyssey - WCW Monday Nitro 1/22/01

The odyssey continues as tonight’s episode of Nitro shall be called “the night of bad finishes”.

We open with Jarrett, Steiner, Bagwell, and Luger in the back snapping chicken bones while watching Sid break his leg. Not sure what was in bad taste more … the chicken that they ate or this segment. Then we go to the ring with the same crew, plus Road Warrior Animal and Ric Flair, who introduces Alex Wright as the number one contender at SuperBrawl in a baffling announcement. Kevin Nash then appears, powerbombs Wright through the stage, and announces himself at the number one contender. Cat comes out, starts booking matches, then Flair starts booking other things as they just go back and forth talking over each other and making no sense for what seemed like forever. These talking segments that seem to open Nitro each week are so painful and forced and just seem to be a giant re-hash of the same thing every week, Flair is the evil boss, Cat is the good guy commissioner, and so on. This was just bad, like low-level indy bad.

1. Mike Modest vs. Christopher Daniels - 3
2. Lance Storm vs. Konnan - 1

A completely random match kicks off the in-ring proceedings for this episode. Modest you may remember from Beyond the Mat as the guy who worked for an ambulance service picking up bodies. Daniels looks completely strange with hair and one of those pencil thin beards that seemed to be popular in the late 90s. This was the beginning of the new wave of cruiserweights randomly popping up throughout WCW and there was some good action here with the pace staying rather quick. Modest with a really awesome looking full nelson suplex that Scott Hudson called a “dragon suplex”. Daniels tried the Angels Wings move but botched it and it ended up looking like a weak powerbomb. Such a shame that Scott Steiner had to come out and ruin the fun as this was going really good. Storm and Konnan only went about two minutes and was completely forgettable. Before the bout, Storm got on the mic and claimed this was the final battle between Team Canada and the Filthy Animals. Konnan retorted by stringing random words together. Huge brawl at ringside and Storm locked in a half crab for the win. Nothing more needs to be said, felt completely like a squash of Konnan.

At this point, we’re nearly halfway into this show and there’s only been about 5-6 minutes of in-ring action.

3. Lex Luger vs. Diamond Dallas Page - 2
4. The Mamalukes vs. Mark Jindrak & Shawn Stasiak - 3

Ok, so somewhere in the chaos of the opening segment, Luger and DDP was set up with the winner becoming the special referee in tonight’s main event. Luger took a page out of Larry Zbyszko’s playbook early and stalled like hell. I’ve mentioned it before but Luger is just so stiff and rigid in his movements that it’s not even funny. Imagine DDP trying to have a match with a door and you’ll have the general idea. Ending picked up a bit with DDP kicking the match into high gear but then there was a goofy spot with DDP accidentally elbowing the ref which led to Jarrett interfering and smashing DDP with a guitar. Tag match felt like quite a random match. Tony hypes on commentary that this is the first match the Mamalukes have had together since October. Good to see they hyped up their return and buried them in the middle of the show here. Nice double powerbomb spot by Mamalukes. Did I just see Jindrak hit a lionsault? Pretty sure I did. Vito did a really stupid mistake, distracting the referee while his partner had the pin. Afterwards, O’Haire and Palumbo run down and the referee awards the match to the Mamalukes for some reason. 

I should note that we’ve had four matches and not one has had a single clean finish. NOT ONE!!

5. Shane Douglas vs. The Cat - 2
6. Chavo Guerrero Jr. & The Wall vs. Hugh Morrus & Lash LeRoux - 3

Why do I have the feeling this will continue the trend of bad finishes tonight? Flair comes on the big screen and changes this to a No DQ match for the commissionership. Really sick of this mad with power Ric Flair angle already. Douglas tried an indian deathlock style submission but nope, that didn’t work. Douglas sells Cat’s strikes like he slipped on ice while shoveling his driveway. So much interference from Mike Sanders, Sean O’Haire, and Rick Steiner. Steiner stopped Douglas from hitting Cat with a chain, punched him, and then Cat polished it off with a spin kick.  The Misfits in Action exploded in the tag match but it had all the effect of a fart in the middle of Sunday church service. Fun exchange to start off with between Wall and Hugh. Chavo and Lash kept the pace quick although at times it was a bit sloppy. Morrus on the apron yelling at the referee much like he used to yell at NXT recruits until he got called out on his excessant bullying. Wall seemed to be a non-factor except for the first brawl with Morrus. Roll up from Chavo wins this for his team in what is the first clean finish tonight.

7. Kevin Nash vs. Buff Bagwell - 3

Luger comes out to referee dressed in workout gear. Guess the guy WCW sent with twenty bucks to run down the street and get Luger a referee shirt from the sporting goods store hadn’t made it back yet. Magically, after commerical, Luger has a referee shirt on. Guess whoever they sent to procure a ref shirt made it back in time. I sense bullshit and cheating. Luger started with the bullshit early, getting physically involved, slow counting when Nash had a pin, and holding a chair that Bagwell drop kicked in Nash’s face. Bagwell’s offense was supplemented by Luger’s chicanery, however Nash has a few bright spots mainly in the beginning where he doled out some nasty elbows in the corner. We get DDP interfering and hitting Luger with a Diamond Cutter, Nash hits a powerbomb and does the old count the fall yourself with the ref’s hand spot, leading to a giant brawl to close out the show. 

It's shows like this that really make me wonder why I started this project in the first place. I’ll see it through though but from what I remember after watching all this for fun a while back, the TVs up until SuperBrawl are just absolutely a chore to sit through.

2001: A WCW Odyssey Master List

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Buff Bagwell vs. Total Package

Total Package vs. Buff Bagwell - WCW Thunder 10/21/99 - 3

I figured the masochist in me needed to spend my Sunday morning watching a match between two of the guys I've always considered two of the least talented in-ring performers of their era. This is when Luger was simply going by "The Total Package". He should have got a spokesperson gig for USPS. Lex surprisingly leans into a back elbow then takes a powder outside allowing for Elizabeth to akwardly take a cheapshot at Bagwell. Wonder if any of these three ever attended any of Bischoff's swinger parties? Outside the ring Luger shows his interpretation of a vicious streak with some torpid stomps and such. I always assumed Bagwell was protogynous. Buff fights his way out of a headlock, rebounds off the ropes, and marvels with a flying crossbody that Lex forgot to sell. Wonder if I can find the GPS coordinates of the pawn shop where that gold necklace Buff was wearing sits today. Really didn't like Package's powerslam where he does like a half-turn then takes a knee like a varsity lacrosse player in lieu of another pep talk by coach. Luger locks in the Torture Rack and Buff taps faster than Elizabeth when she forgot Luger's safeword that night at the Marriot. Spoiler alert: it was "USS Intrepid".

Sunday, March 1, 2015

NHO Podcast Episode #7 - WWE's Greatest Factions DVD Part 2

It's part 2 of our review of the WWE's Greatest Factions DVD. Join us as we dive deep into the NWO, The Brood, Million Dollar Corporation, Nation of Domination, Blue World Order, and the Corporation. It's your monthly helping of audio awesomeness from the NHO review crew! 

Matches discussed include:

- War Games Match Roddy Piper, DDP, & Ultimate Warrior vs. Bret Hart, Hollywood Hogan, & Stevie Ray vs. Kevin Nash, Lex Luger, & Sting (Fall Brawl '98)
- Edge, Christian, & Gangrel vs. Al Snow, Bob Holly, & Scorpio (Rock Bottom '98)
- Elimination Match: Tatanka, Bam Bam Bigelow, King Kong Bundy, & The Heavenly Bodies vs. Lex Luger, Adam Bomb, Mabel, & The Smoking Gunns (Survivor Series '94)
- Triple H & New Age Outlaws vs. Owen Hart, Kama Mustafa, & D-Lo Brown (Over the Edge '98)
- Big Stevie Cool vs. Axl Rotten (ECW TV 1/7/97)
- Gauntlet Match: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Corporation (Raw 2/13/99)

Download the MP3 file here

If you missed Part 1, check it out here

Feedback is always welcome! Hit us up on Twitter @neverhandover, leave comments below, or email us at

Be sure to subscribe to us on iTunes!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hardy vs. MVP & Kenny King

The Hardys vs. MVP and Kenny King - TNA Xplosion (February 2015) - 4

I can't go higher on my score because there was some horrendous looking shit in here, stuff that made the business look more exposed than those leaked nude pictures of Seth Rollins, but being on Xplosion this got 13+ minutes and as such felt more fleshed out and had real ebbs and flows like a match should unlike what you'll typically see in truncated form on iMPACT! Back to those ugly spots, so Jeff tried to slide under MVP's legs but tripped him up in a great gaffe, then King at one point had Matt by his hair and I guess Hardy thought he was getting hit with a neckbreaker so basically did the move to himself while Kenny stood there with the look of someone who just dropped something in an antique mall on his face. Jeff got carried out early after getting tossed into the steel ring steps (which we didn't even see) and minutes later Willow runs out brandishing an umbrella that looked like some kind of Final Fantasy sword. Willow took off (after hitting a Twist of Fate on King which he instead took like a Stone Cold Stunner never flattening out) to the back which later lead for Jeff to wearily stumble back down to ringside and into the match. This isn't going to make you run out and buy the new PeroxWhy?Gen album but will satiate you desire for flubs and by way of Matt chubs.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Best of the Brian Pillman Memorial Show

A while back I was at the local flea market and perusing through some old magazines that the wrestling booth had stacked in a box. It was there that I found the program for the 2000 Brian Pillman Memorial Show, a show which I had attended in high school with some friends. I paid the guy at the booth (who I must say looked strangely like Sgt. Ledbetter from this old DWA show we reviewed) and took my prize home. Thumbing through the program at home, I then realized I had a compilation on my hard drive of a old HWA tape with the best matches from the Pillman Memorials from 98-00. This is the review of said tape.

Matches from Pillman '98

1. Tarek the Great & Sean Casey vs. Chip Fairway & Shark Boy - 3

It’s really interesting to see people like Shark Boy early into their respective gimmicks and characters and see how far they’ve come. His ring attire looks like it was put together by a fifth grader for a Halloween costume contest at the local elementary school. Fairway did a completely nutty somersault over the top about five minutes in but beyond that, he attributed next to nothing aside from breaking up pinfall attempts. Tarek and Casey worked well as a team and put together some good double team moves including two double brainbusters and a wild springboard bulldog. The action here felt like it didn’t have a lot of forward momentum, just four guys trying to kill about 20 minutes before intermission. Tarek had absolutely one of the most glorious botches I’ve ever seen. He was attempting a springboard moonsault, slipped, got tangled in the ropes, and took a header to the floor. I’d look this up just to see that. Ending was typical with a brawl between everybody and Shark Boy coming off the top rop with a big dive for the win. 

2. Al Snow vs. Chris Candido - 3

For two guys representing ECW I definitely expected more that this. Snow started off by doing impressions of both Sabu and Taz and then a bunch of stalling. Candido wasn’t far behind though, doing a spot where he got hip tossed by the ref, chasing him around the ring, and then later getting bodyslammed by him. Ten minutes into the match and there wasn’t any offense of note by anyone (including the ref) and they just seem to be on autopilot. Loved Candido’s sell of a facebusted by spinning around on the match and gyrating like he was trying to introduce a new breakdancing move. Couple good nearfalls toward the end by Candido off of both a suplerplex and a reversal of a dive by Snow. Sunny does a completely random run-in at the end, distracting Snow and somehow Candido still lost.

3. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit - 5

Judging by the previous two matches I wasn’t holding out much hope for this, however for a 12-minute match, this was quite good. Jericho came out rather conspicuously to Rush’s “Tom Sawyer”. I’m sure he was as just as confused as me as to why that song was chosen for him. The action flowed seamlessly with Jericho controlling the majority of the match. Benoit hit a vicious back suplex from the top rope that landed hard and folded up Jericho. Not too much out of the ordinary here, some good mat work and a quick pace, just as you would expect these two to have. Not sure if they were rushed for time or not but the finish seemed really sudden with Benoit reversing a Magistral cradle attempt into the crossface leading to Jericho tapping out. Can’t wholeheartedly recommend this match but so far, it’s been the best match.

Matches from Pillman '99

4. Shark Boy vs. Matt Stryker - NR
5. Tarek the Great vs. Jeremy Jett - NR
6. Chad Collyer vs. Chip Fairway - NR
7. Shark Boy vs. Tarek the Great - NR

These next four bouts I can’t in good conscious give ratings to as we were given the last 2-3 minutes of each match. Stryker had some decent selling, Tarek looked like a creature you’d find in the troll caverns sharing tea with Gollum, and Fairway was donning his best Buddy Lee Parker tribute outfit. We had clips of Tarek dropping Jeremy Jett on his head repeatedly, Fairway hitting a sickening sit out powerbomb on Collyer, and Shark Boy winning each of his encounters with Buff Blockbusters. Moving on …

8. Shark Boy vs. Chip Fairway - 4

This is the finals of the cruiserweight tournament that the 1999 show was built around. Some nice offense by Fairway with a big suplex and a facebuster. Really surreal seeing only about 800 people surrounding the ring in the vast, dark emptiness that is the Cincinnati Gardens. Shark Boy never really seemed to have gotten out of the blocks. Fairway with a huge legdrop from the top rope. I’ll admit, he’s working a really good heel, keeping the pace slow and the crowd out of it. Shark Boy gets a fluke win on a backslide. Not bad, considering Fairway controlled 99 percent of the match and Shark Boy got zero offense. Fairway pulled off the big moves really good.

9. Dr. Tom Prichard vs. Terry Taylor - 7

This was going along at a good pace until Missy Hyatt had to stick her ugly mug into the proceedings for no reason by kicking Taylor with giant platform boots not seen this side of the local strip club and hitting him with the world’s worst DDT. Before that mess, this was rather enjoyable with both guys trading hammerlocks and hard elbows while doing some good mat work. Taylor took a big header into the post that sounded like to bowling balls banging together in the ball return. Prichard really seemd to enjoy working submissions. Taylor’s offense was pretty crisp. He got in a couple good suplexes, a few short jabs and made the match more enjoyable. These two could work together on every DVD I watch and I wouldn’t be opposed to it. Ending stretch was good too with them trading nearfalls and Taylor getting the upper hand with the flying forearm. Really fun match, despite the completely random Missy Hyatt interference that went nowhere.

10. Hardcore Match: Road Dogg vs. Al Snow - NR
11. Mankind vs. D-Lo Brown - NR

Two more matches joined in progress here that I can't fairly rate. First up, we get Road Dogg laying in the corner and Snow rooting around underneath the ring for furniture. Then, there’s a sickening spot in the match where a table spot when awry and Road Dogg’s back nearly snapped in half taking a powerbomb on a table and the table didn’t budge an inch. Foley was throwing horrible punches when we joined his match. D-Lo got some sick air on a frog splash attempt but crash landed right on a chair. Let’s move on …

12. Rey Mysterio Jr. & Konnan vs. Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko - 5

There was some really good stuff in the early going here with Benoit and Konnan exchanging holds on the match and Mysterio and Malenko doing some good cruiserweight style back and forth. The audio on this is really weird, no commentary and it sounds like the ring volume has been turned up really high, almost to the point where it sound like the sounds of people hitting the ring has been dubbed in, and the crowd really low. The action stayed pretty fast and furious with just lots of going from one move right into the other at points. The best way to describe it would be if you’re playing one of the old WWF video games, such as No Mercy, and just hitting move after move. Konnan didn’t do much except for chilling on the apron and coming in for his trademark spots like the rolling clotheline and the tequila sunrise submission. Match ended quickly on a roll-up from Mysterio and not a whole lot to really note from anyone as there wasn’t much out of the ordinary.

Matches from Pillman 2000

13. Chip Fairway vs. Race Steele - 4

This is a tournament final to crown a new HWA heavyweight champion and D-Lo Brown of all people comes out holding the belt and cutting a promo beforehand. A bit more research shows he was the first HWA heavyweight champion so I suppose that makes sense. Fairway is still sporting his Buddy Lee Parker gear from earlier on this tape against Shark Boy. Did anyone know that Race Steele fought in WEC a few years ago? I didn’t until I randomly stumbled across that useless tidbit of information a few days ago. Chip’s argyle socks and golf cleat-esque shoes do not work with the sleeveless muscle shirt he’s sporting. Match was a bit sloppy in spots as Steele was noticeably way early on a number of things, most notably a gorilla press spot that he telegraphed even before Fairway was in position for it. Steele hit a nice running dive over the top rope and followed that up by tossing Fairway into the ringpost, which Chip took a huge 360 bump for. Fairway had a glorious botch where he tried to do a move similar to Chris Jericho’s lionsault but instead of springboarding, fell backwards onto the mat with this look on his face like someone falling backward. Camera completely missed the finish with Race Steele pinning Fairway to with the vacant title.

14. Justin Credible vs. Raven - 3

An ECW world title defense on the Pillman Memorial show? Sure, why the hell not. Right from the start Credible is busted open and we get a crowd brawl which I fondly remember since I saw this match live. I remember running down from my seat to the floor just to get to see the action up close and also taking home one of those hard plastic chairs that these two used throughout the match. Credible takes a bump outside the ring and literally bounces off a very uncooperative table. So far, this has been just a bunch of brawling. Raven kicking out of both a superkick and a tombstone piledriver barely elicits a reaction from the crowd. A second tombstone piledrive wins it for Credible in a match that felt very much like a main event of a random ECW on TNN episode.

15. Chris Benoit vs. Steven Regal - 6

This is the match that everyone associates with the Pillman Memorial shows. Some good techincal stuff abound in the first few minutes but things really get into high gear once Regal gets splattered on a DDT off the apron. Great spot where Benoit was chopping Regal who responded with a sickening headbutt and some vicious kicks to the body. Awesome double-underhook suplex from the top rope by Regal. Double headbutt spot just ruined any plans either guy had for the evening.  The nice thing about this match is that there was no wasted motion. Everything felt like it belonged and nothing felt out of place. A German suplex (probably at least the seventh or eighth one) followed up by a crossface defeated Regal. I'd say this is worth a least checking out as it's a very solid match but it's not as good and as epic as I remember it being.

Monday, February 2, 2015

NHO Podcast Episode #6 - WWE's Greatest Factions DVD Part 1

The NHO Podcast is back with another epic episode. This time, it's part one of the WWE's Greatest Factions DVD. Join the guys as they spend nearly two hours looking at D-X, The Heenan Family, Right to Censor, The Freebirds, The Nexus, The Dangerous Alliance, and Hart Foundation and reviewing the seven matches that were featured on the first disc of the DVD set.

Matches discussed include:
- Corporate Royal Rumble (Raw 1/11/99)
- King Kong Bundy, Big John Studd, & Bobby Heenan vs. The Machines & Lou Albano (Big Event 8/28/86)
- Right to Censor vs. Too Cool & Rikishi (SummerSlam 2000)
- Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, Buddy Roberts, & Jimmy Garvin vs. The Von Erichs & Iceman King Parsons (WCCW 5/13/83)
- The Nexus vs. John Cena, Chris Jericho, Sheamus, Edge, & Randy Orton (Raw 8/30/10)
- Steve Austin & Bobby Eaton vs. Marcus Bagwell & Sting (WCW 1/18/92)
- Undertaker, Steve Austin, & Dude Love vs. Bret Hart, Owen Hart, & British Bulldog (Raw 7/21/97)

Download on MP3 here

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

WWE Superstars 1/23/15

1. Naomi vs. Cameron - 4
2. Fandango vs. Sin Cara - 4

The Funkadactyls dissolution was the wrestling equivalent of the Berlin Wall coming down. Cameron got her mouth busted open and Naomi's extensive ass-based offense including a new spot where she trapped Cameron and twerked on her face would have had Jerry Lawler going skeet skeet skeet all over his Coca Cola memorabilia collection. Fandango would be better suited in Lucha Underground (and Sin Cara too for that matter) or as a member of The Kingdom in ROH but first-half of this was laid out nicely with some grappling and transitions at half-speed then they sort of truncated the last act to a quick finish stretch where Rosa flirting with a guy at ringside who runs a Jeffrey Jones fan site was more interesting than what was happening in the ring. Fandango's diving leg drop from the top is a 3.7 on the Bobby Eaton scale but I'm still glad to see someone using it regularly.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

TNA One Night Only: Knockout Knockdowns 2

8 Knockouts versus 8 outsiders. The winners advance to a gauntlet finale. I'll be reviewing sans pants.

1. Veda Scott vs. Gail Kim - 5
2. Scarlett vs. Angelina Love - 3
3. Reby vs. Velvet Sky - 3

I've enjoyed Veda in her various ROH roles and having her pair off with Gail Kim was an inspired choice. Scott worked quirky librarian until the bell rang then pounced revealing the guise. Don't think they'd ever worked together previously and there was some less than flawless figuring out of spots but call it bias I tossed this an extra point. I was excited by the match-up and it was a good opener. Scarlett is working a drunk party girl gimmick complete with red plastic cup. This was pretty one note, some interference stuff with Velvet at ringside, lots of Angelina stomps, but nothing worth noting. Scarlett has a marketable look and did well in her backstage promo so I'm surprised TNA hasn't offered her a contract. Too bad Cute Kip wasn't in attendance to do a Beautiful People reunion. Reby's married to Matt Hardy so we know at least one thing: she doesn't mind spare tires. 

4. Havok vs. Madison Rayne - 5
5. Karlee Perez vs. Taryn Terrell - 2
6. Mia Yim vs. Brittany - 4

One of the first looks at Havoc as the new monster of the division. Rayne played a nice Krystalak to her Godzilla (come on I know you guys got Unleashed on your DS). Karlee was actually in WWE for 3 years under the name Maxine but don't feel bad if you've already forgotten her. Her father doesn't. Taryn's sort of diving RKO variation came off faker than her wedding vowels to Drew McIntyre. Next match was actually quite good and worked more competitively than anything else thus far. Knocked off a point for one striking sequence where Yim looked like she was working at quarter-speed and for Brittany being more vanilla than those wafer cookies in your grandma's pantry.

7. Deonna vs. Brooke - 2
8. Marti Belle vs. ODB - 4
9. Rockstar Spud vs. ODB - 0

Deonna working painfully shy girl gimmick. For Hooters Girls gone legit Brooke is no Yurizan Beltran but she actually put forth some effort pre-match to play a heel role buy dumping on her opponent and the crowd. This was a bit lost with Brooke leading and some shoddy work therein such as Brooke's attempt to cheat using the ropes for leverage on a pinfall which was so apparent Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu could have seen it. Marti Belle I dig, she was good in an opening in-ring bit with Rockstar Spud, but man did she ever draw the short straw getting booked with ODB. Belle made ODB's repugnant offense look better than its ever had. Spud's got some of the best facial expressions around. Spud gets stripped down to his shit-stained undies (no I'm not kidding) and spanked mid-ring.

10. Entrant #1: Gail Kim vs. Entrant #2: Brooke vs. Entrant #3: Mia Yim vs. Entrant #4: Reby vs. Entrant #5: Angelina Love vs. Entrant #6: Madison Rayne vs. Entrant #7: Marti Belle vs. Entrant #8: Taryn Terrell - Gauntlet Rumble Match - 6

Better than the '99 Royal Rumble. Pretty smartly laid out and when it came down to the final two (Madison and Angelina) it reverted to pinfall or submission. This match within a match was quite good with some good teases. The tired botch interference with the hairspray by Velvet was insipid and uninspired but the hot finishing stretch bolstered this enough to be the only thing off this show to land in the vaunted NHO recommended category.

Podcast Notes for WCW Starrcade '89

(Author's Note: As a supplement to episode 5 of our podcast covering Starrcade '89, I figured since my notes were so long, I might as well share them for your reading pleasure to follow along with as you listen. - Adam)

Starrcade 1989 Podcast Notes

December 13, 1989
The Omni - Atlanta, Georgia

This show is based around two one-night round robin tournaments, one singles tournament, and one tag team tournament. 

We’ve got Jim Ross on commentary with Terry Funk delivering commentary on the singles and Jim Cornette on the tag.

Tag team participants:
- Doom
- The Road Warriors
- The Wild Samoans (aka Samoan Swat Team)
- The Steiner Brothers (World Tag Champions)

Singles tournament participants:
- Great Muta (TV Champion)
- Sting
- Ric Flair (NWA Champion)
- Lex Luger (US Champion)

1. Doom vs. The Steiner Brothers - 5
So many fans masquerading as empty seats. Scott ate a serious knee in the corner from Simmons (aka Doom #1 as JR calls him). Rick got a nearfall off a big powerslam. Cornette hypes on commentary how innovative the one night round-robin tournament is. Well, it was only done once and never again. I guess that says how successful it was. Anyway, digging the physicality thus far as both teams just lay into each other. Backbreaker by Scott was sloppy. This random Nitron dude in Doom’s corner lays into Scott after he takes a bump to the outside. Who in the hell was Nitron? Not sure but his punches look like shit. Hot tag to Rick with only a few minutes left in the time limit. Doom looked good to start but about halfway through it seemed like they started to conserve energy. Chaos at the end with a huge brawl on the floor but somehow Rick snuck in the ring to avoid getting counted out. Fun match though.
Score: Steiners - 15, Doom - 0

2. Sting vs. Lex Luger - 4
Lots of fire from Sting to start off with, brawling in the aisle, stiff clotheslines, and a big flying splash into the ring. Luger has gotten in roughly zero offense in and we’re about halfway through. First offensive move from Luger was about 10 minutes as he countered Sting flying off the top rope with an atomic drop. Noticed Luger a few times blatantly calling spots. Not sure what happened when Luger was tied up in the ropes and Sting stopped and just started choking him. One minute left and they are doing a meandering brawl outside the ring. Cheap pin by Luger and a shitty spot where both guys fall over the top back in the ring ends this.
Score: Luger - 20, Sting - 0

3. Doom vs. The Road Warriors - 4
Two straight matches for Doom. Can’t imagine they have a ton of gas left in the tank after the war with the Steiners. Another hard hitting match so far with LOD just starting out hot. Hawk goes hard into the ringpost. Some good rotation on a powerslam by Simmons (aka Doom #1). Having a 15-minute time limit on each match in each tournament has made this an easy, fast watch so far. Doom looking gassed towards the latter half. Nitron seems to be mysteriously missing from Doom’s corner, not that he was really missed anyway. Top rope clothesline finishs this off after a scrum.
Score: LOD - 20, Doom - 0

4. Great Muta vs. Ric Flair - 2
Ok, so there’s Norman the Lunatic dressed as Santa Claus at ringside randomly. Don’t really remember these two ever tying up so this should be interesting. Liked chop exchange. What the hell is going on? Arn and Ole get into a huge brawl with Buzz Sawyer and Dragonmaster at ringside, who show up after Muta gets trappe in the figure four. Really sad this only went a few minutes.
Score: Flair - 20, Muta - 0

5. Road Warriors vs. Steiner Brothers - 5
JR calls an enziguri a “savate kick”. Does he even know what a savate kick is? Some stiff clothelines, including one that rocked Animal’s night. So far, this has been nothing but a fight. Scott nearly gets decapitated by Animal on a clothesline out of the corner. Loved Corny’s line that the biggest beneficiaries of this match will be Blue Cross Blue Shield. Good lord, Scott hit a really rough belly-to-belly from the second rope that dropped Hawk directly on his neck. Ugh, the Doomsday Device looked like shit but a guess it played well into the finish as they did the old double shoulders on the mat finish.
Score: Steiners - 20 (35 total), LOD - 0 (20 total)

6. Great Muta vs. Sting - 4
Two guys here that are winless thus far in the tournament. Liked the nice story the set in the beginning with both guys really needing a win, made this feel important. Muta locks in a Cattle Mutilation of all things in a submission attempt. Sting reverses in and starts nailing Muta with “American right hands” as JR calls it. Pace felt a little slower than some of the previous matches thus far. Sting looks completely gassed. Big superplex rattled the ring letting Sting get the win. Not really a great match, but not bad either. Felt like both guys were saving themselves for later in the show.
Score: Sting - 20 (20 total), Muta - 0

Here’s the leaderboard at halftime!
Flair - 20
Sting - 20
Luger - 20
Muta - 0

Tag Team:
Steiners - 35
LOD - 20
Doom - 0
Samoans - 0

7. Wild Samoans vs. Doom - 4
This is the last we’ll see of Doom, they’re 0-2 and mathematically eliminated from winning. First time the Samoans have appeared in the tournament. Nitron is back. Fatu and Reed exchange headbutts and both guys stagger backwards. Samoan Savage crashed and burned on the mat after attempting a flying headbutt. Some jawing by Doom as I clearly heard Simmons yell “come on island boy”. Some nice psychology and basic by Doom, cutting the ring off and isloating Samoan Savage. Collision spot and having Fatu randomly land on Doom #2 seemed like a lame spot to finish this off. 
Score: Samoans - 20, Doom - 0 (Final Score: 0)

8. Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair - 6
JR says that Flair loves to use the chop and says that “Luger’s chest is as wide as the interstate”. Some stalling to begin with. Damn, Flair chops the living shit out of Luger in and out of the ring. The pace seems to be a bit slower than the other single matches, wonder if they are just working towards a draw since they only have 15 minutes? I have a feeling they are because Flair is working rest holds (a hammerlock) and Terry Funk just referenced a draw on commentary saying “it wouldn’t do either man any good”. Flair gets some nearfalls on a series of roll-ups halfway through and goes back to working on the arm with seven minutes left. Big gorilla press by Luger send Flair to the outside with less than five mintues left. Luger’s punching looked like shit. Vicious clothesline caught Flair in mid-air coming off the top rope. Good tease at the end with Luger locked in the figure four and trying not to submit.
Score: Flair - 5 (25 total), Luger - 5 (25 total)

9. Wild Samoans vs. Steiner Brothers - 3
Final Steiners match of the night here as we approach the end of the tournament. Two teams here that just seem to enjoy hurting people. Lots of stalling and general complaining by the Samoans. Ten minutes in and there really hasn’t been a whole lot I’ve liked. Samoan Savage works a bearhug trying to get a submission win. Yep, don’t think thats gonna work on Scott. Please tell me this isn’t going to a draw as well, two straight draws would not be cool. Good face in peril segment by Scott but Samoan’s offense consisted of mainly clubbing blows to the back. Ref loses complete control as everyone is confused. Steiners get DQ’ed but it’s never explained why.
Score: Samoans - 10 (Total: 30), Steiners - 0 (Final Score: 35)

10. Great Muta vs. Lex Luger - 3
Final match for each guy here. Luger at this point has 25 points and Muta has a big ol’ goose egg. Luger definitely favoring the knee, playing into the last match where he was locked in the figure four by Flair. Muta spends the majority of the match working over the knee. Funk mentiones on commentary that this is a match where the fans don’t care about it. Good observation, didn’t even realize this was heel vs. heel. Luger really favoring the knee but hits a clothesline that levels Muta. Super awful hip toss by Luger. Muta spits the green mist and gets DQ’ed for his troubles.
Score: Luger - 10 (Final score: 35), Muta - 0 (Final Score: 0)

11. Wild Samoans vs. Road Warriors - 4
Final match in the tag team tournament. Animal completely no sells a piledriver. Awesome moment where Animal tries to bound off the ropes but barely hits them, walks up to Samoan Savage and just hits him really damn hard with an elbow. Both teams looking completely gassed, as I don’t mean on steroids. This also seemed really disjointed at parts, especially the end where everyone was in the ring and Hawk hit a top-rope clothesline for the win.
Score: LOD - 20 (Final Score: 40), Samoans - 0 (Final Score: 30)

Tag Team Final Standings:
LOD - 40
Steiners - 35
Samoans - 30
Doom - 0

12. Sting vs. Ric Flair - 5
Pretty obvious that this would go on last. Also interesting to note that this was the last pay-per-view event of the 1980s and it was headlined by these two. Sting seemed a lot less fatigued than Flair. Interesting pin attempt as Flair hooks in an abdominal stretch and rolls it into a nearfall. Big vertical suplex get a two-count. Sting no-sells a bunch of chops on the floor. Some good back and forth at the 10-minute mark and Sting starts gaining control. JR says both men are fatigued. Well, not only them, but me as well as I’ve just sat through 3 hours of seeing the same 4 singles and same 4 teams wrestle each other. Sting’s rat tail looks ridiculous, just thought I’d point that out for the record. Action was kind of slow in the beginning but ramped up after the ten-minute mark. Flair got overly confident and got caught in a small package to close out the match, the show, and the tournament. Game, set, and match.

Singles Finals Standings:
Sting - 40
Luger - 35
Flair - 25
Muta - 0

Final Thoughts:

Well, after watching three hours of the same four teams and same four singles people wrestle each other the whole night, I feel like I’ve been run through a gauntlet. Maybe doing one of these tournaments on the show would have been fine, but not both. Props though for WCW having the balls to put on a wild show like this.