Tuesday 27 December 2016

WWF Backlash 2002 Review

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Welcome one and all to another bone-chilling edition of the only wrestling review series on the internet that gives The Yeti nightmares: Seaonmaniac Wrestling Reviews. I have fired up the time machine once more and it looks like I am back in 2002. The dust had cleared from Wrestlemania, Triple H stood atop the WWF mountain but Hulkamaniac was running wild brother…. Wait a minute Hulkamania in 2002?..... Hulk Hogan in the main event for the WWF championship in 2002?.... Oh yes, it did happen, Hogan had turned face at Wrestlemania after his classic with The Rock and it seemed The Hulkster could do no wrong as fan support (or politics) showed that Hulk Hogan could have one more championship run in him. The brand split has also taken place and this show allows us a glimpse at the new WWF. We also have Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Undertaker for the number one contendership to The Undisputed Championship and that’s without mentioning the likes of RVD, Eddie Guerrero, Ric Flair, Kurt Angle and many, many, more.

Opening Promo

All about Hogan and Triple H, Triple H has to take down his childhood icon while Hogan is alive and kicking for all of his fans. Solid stuff from WWF, Hogan wants the belt to cement himself as the best of all-time while Triple H needs to win to make sure his journey to the top was not a waste. Good ol’ Backlash with the hook stage design which every fan remembers vividly. JR and The King Jerry Lawler welcome us to the action.

(WWF Cruiserweight Championship Match) Tajiri W/ Torrie Wilson vs Billy Kidman ©

Tajiri had begun his heel turn as The Japanese Buzzsaw began to mistreat his girlfriend Torrie who was dressed in Japanese attire for this pay per view. Kidman and Tajiri trade holds with Kidman gaining control until Tajiri trips Kidman into the turnbuckle. Kidman counters Tajiri with a boot, Tajiri blocks a hurricanrana and turns into a catapult. Kidman lands on the top rope and nails  a missile dropkick. Tajiri powders to the floor and lures in Kidman who smashes into the guard rail. Scoop slam and a knee drop, Tajiri chokes Kidman across the bottom rope. Martial arts kick to the face of Kidman, snapmare and reverse chinlock by Tajiri.

Kidman fires up, hurricanrana by Kidman but Tajiri puts the breaks on Kidman. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Tajiri, tree of woe for Kidman and Tajiri runs full-speed and dropkicks the champion. Tajiri works the back with knees to the champion, Kidman battles out of a submission hold but Kidman is at Tajiri’s mercy at this time. Double stomp to the lower back, Kidman blocks The Tarantula at first but Tajiri lures Kidman in for a Tarantula. Tajiri breaks the hold. Kidman reverses an Irish whip, Tajiri looks for the handspring elbow but Kidman nails a dropkick to the back of Tajiri’s head. Cover and a two count, Kidman looks for a back suplex and Tajiri slips out the back and nails a spinning heel kick. German suplex with a Delphin Special pin, two count for Tajiri.

Massive martial arts kick by Tajiri to the head, two count for the challenger. Tajiri looks for a powerbomb which Kidman counters into a facebuster. Two count for the champion who signals for The Shooting Star Press, Tajiri dodges the Shooting Star, Buzzsaw Kick by Tajiri for a two. Crowd comes alive for Kidman, Tajiri props Kidman onto the top rope. Massive top rope spinebuster by Kidman, two count for the champion. Kidman looks for a powerbomb but Tajiri sprays the mist on Kidman and picks up the win.

A fantastic, little opener. Feels like a throwback to a WCW openers from the late 90s where the cruiserweights would steal the show more times than not. Tajiri and Kidman come in and the last couple minutes were very exciting with nearfalls and false finishes where I bought into the match being over. Kidman looks gutsy in defeat as her survived Tajiri’s best moves and Tajiri did cheat to win so Kidman looks good and Tajiri also looks good coming out of the match as a cheating, psychotic, controlling boyfriend and heel.

Winner: Tajiri over Kidman via Mist!

Scott Hall W/ X-Pac vs Bradshaw

With Hogan turning babyface, The NWO responded with recruiting former member X-Pac who was formerly known as Syxx. The brand split had left Bradshaw without his partner Faarooq but it seems Bradshaw was benefiting with a rub by working with the likes of Austin and Kane against the likes of Hall and Nash. X-Pac comes to the ring wearing Kane’s mask, Kane would be absent from the WWF until the summer so we never did get a payoff to this angle as The NWO was gone by the summer.

Hall and X-Pac look to corner Bradshaw and out comes Faarooq to watch his buddy’s back. Hall throws his toothpick at Bradshaw and Bradshaw begins beating on The Bad Guy. Clubbing blows from Bradshaw and DDT, Hall powders and runs into Faarooq. Faarooq knocks down X-Pac and Hall, Bradshaw continues to tee off on Hall. Snap suplex and a two count for Bradshaw, Hall begins to get in some offence as Bradshaw argues with the referee. Hall chokes Bradshaw with the ropes, X-Pac takes cheap shots and Hall presses the advantage. Bradshaw bursts out of the corner with a shoulder block, Bradshaw knocks down Hall with elbows. Corner clothesline by Bradshaw, Clothesline From Hell by Bradshaw on the rebound. X-Pac puts Hall’s foot on the ropes.

X-Pac is eventually nailed by Bradshaw and Faarooq but Hall manages to escape with the win by low blowing Bradshaw and rolling-up the big Bradshaw. Match was bowling shoe ugly but that is not always a bad thing. Bradshaw works a stiff style and it looks very believable. Hall took a major beating in this match and did not a whole lot in this match. It was fine, nothing less and nothing more.

Winner: Hall over Bradshaw via roll-up!

(WWF Women’s Championship Match) Trish Stratus vs Jazz ©

Trish won this opportunity by beating Molly Holly and Molly Holly comes out before the champion to disrespect Trish Stratus. I do love Molly’s character from this time period, Molly decks Trish before her match with Jazz. Trish begins to fight back but Molly sends Trish flying into the steel steps. Enter Jazz, the killing machine, Jazz goes right after the ribs of Trish. Story of the match has been established. Jazz is going to break Trish’s back. Jazz nails a rolling firemen’s carry, Trish looks for a knockdown but Jazz begins jabbing Trish. Trish blocks the final punch and tees off, Chick Kick connects for a two count. Chop by Trish, make it two. Trish kicks and punches Jazz in the corner, Jazz shoves off Trish but Trish nails her handstand headscissors, double clothesline by Trish. Trish lowers her head off an Irish whip and Jazz kicks Trish in her face. Sit-out powerbomb by Jazz, two count for the champion.

Jazz drapes Trish across the bottom rope, Jazz chokes the challenger with her boot. Jazz misses a stinger splash, Trish goes for a backslide and gets a two count. Jazz counters Stratusfaction with a back suplex, dragonscrew legwhip by Jazz into a Boston Crab. Jazz drags back Trish and transitions into The STF, Trish has to tapout with the pain being too much. This is how I feel the first match between the two should have went, Jazz had the injury advantage and would toy with Trish which would lead to Trish surprising Jazz with it looking like Trish having a chance to win. That did not happen though, Jazz crushed Trish through this match but you have the injury by Molly playing into the storyline. The match was good, more time would have been nicer and maybe a moment where Trish looked like winning.

Winner: Jazz over Trish via STF!

Brock Lesnar W/ Paul Heyman vs Jeff Hardy

We get a creepy promo where Paul Heyman is holding onto one of Lita’s thongs. Heyman gets a slap for his antics and Heyman tells Brock Lesnar to destroy Matt Hardy. Matt Hardy is laid out on the top of the stage with an F-5. Jeff is fighting for his brother’s honour, Lesnar had debuted after Wrestlemania and put the wrestling world on notice as this raw, rookie destroyed everything in his path. It will be so much fun to cover Lesnar’s initial run with the company as many feel it was underrated so, I shall be the judge on that!

Let it be known that Lesnar’s first theme is as lame as lame can be, it is that bad. Jeff jumps on Brock but Brock shoves Jeff to the floor, Brock is in pursuit but Jeff dropkicks Brock. Jeff tries a plancha but Brock catches Jeff, Brock is ready to ram Jeff into the ringpost but Jeff slides out and Brock hits his head hrad. Crossbody by Jeff gets a one count and Brock goes to work, Brock shoulder thrusts and belly to belly suplexes Jeff. Second overhead throw, series of gutbusters by Brock. Brock Irish whips Jeff hard into the turnbuckle, Jeff counters an Irish whip into The Whisper in The Wind. Jawbreaker and leg drop to the nuts by Jeff, Jeff nails The Swanton and Lesnar powers out of Jeff’s finisher. Jeff grabs a chair, Lesnar hoists up Jeff in mid-shot and Brock lays out Jeff with an F-5. Lesnar powerbombs Jeff into oblivion twice, Lesnar powerbombs Jeff for a third time and the referee calls for the bell as Jeff cannot continue, TKO finish for Lesnar.

Dominating performance and a great introduction to Brock Lesnar for the fans, massive, agile, athletic and can sell, Brock Lesnar is the man. Impressive pay per view match for The Next Big Thing. I am a fan of The TKO finish, use it sparingly and it can super effective as it was on this night. Jeff Hardy is a great wrestler for this type of match as Jeff throws himself around the ring like a ragdoll.

Winner: Brock Lesnar over Jeff Hardy via TKO!

Edge vs Kurt Angle

Edge and Kurt Angle were trading assaults week after week, the match gets a promo package so this match seems like a very highstakes match, I like this aspect because it makes the match seem like a big deal. This was also the beginning of the crowd chanting “You Suck” to Kurt Angle’s theme song. Edge was beginning to find his feet at a singles star thanks to successful booking throughout 2001 and this feels like another huge test for the young Canadian. You also have the history between these two who were former friends who tag teamed throughout 2000.

Kurt Angle shoulder blocks Edge but runs into a couple of right hands, forearm smashes by Edge. Edge runs into an elbow but Angle runs into a dropkick. Flapjack by Edge and Edge clotheslines Angle to the floor, Angle takes a breather before luring Edge to the floor. Edge continues beating on Angle until we re-enter the ring, Angle stomps all over Edge. Spinning heel kick by Edge but Angle answers back with a German suplex and a Woo that the fans eat up. Chops in the corner by Angle, Edge returns the favour. Edge attempts a right hand but Angle cuts off Edge with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Huge knockdown by Angle, Angle nails a snap suplex. Two count for The Olympic Hero, Angle applies a reverse chinlock. Edge survives the hold and battles back to his feet.

Angle puts down Edge with a German suplex, Edge blocks the second and nails Angle with a belly to belly suplex. Slugfest in the middle of the ring, flying forearm by Angle. Back body drop by Edge, Edgecution for a two count! Angle goes low, Edge slides out of the back suplex and nails a facebuster for another two count. Edge climbs to the top rope but quicker than a cat, Angle effortlessly runs up the ropes and nails a belly to belly suplex. Angle goes for The Ankle Lock, Edge kicks off Angle. German suplex by Angle, three to be exact. Two count for Angle, Angle looks for The Angle Slam, Edge slides out and nails a German suplex on Angle. Edge elevates Angle to the floor, Edge nails a crossbody from the top rope to the floor. Missile dropkick in the ring by Edge for a two count, Edgecution is blocked, Edge O Matic is blocked and Angle nails The Angle Slam for a two count.

Angle pulls down the straps and applies The Ankle Lock, Edge crawls and crawls. Edge rolls The Ankle Lock into a victory roll pin, awesome counter which gets a two count. Angle is pissed now, Angle grabs a chair from ringside, Angle misses Edge and hits the top rope. The chair smacks Angle in the face and Edge nails an Edge O Matic. Two count, this match has the crowd standing on their feet. Edge kicks down Angle, Edge looks for The Spear. Angle kicks Edge in the face and nails The Angle Slam, Angle puts away Edge with The Angle Slam.

Great back and forth match, these two can go and Angle was a machine by this point. Edge showed the WWF fans that he did belong with the top tier talent of the WWF, so many nearfalls that had the fans going nuts and in the end, Angle goes over after outsmarting Edge in a way that does not make Edge look like a fool, a common problem for today’s babyfaces. Very good match and their matches as part of The Smackdown Six shall be fun to rewatch!

Winner: Kurt Angle over Edge via Angle Slam!

Chris Jericho Promo

I did find it weird that Jericho was nowhere to be seen on the card, I am guessing an injury but then again, Jericho was playing second-fiddle to Hogan who was feuding with Triple H for the championship. Jericho rips on the fans, the pay per view and Hogan. Jericho leaves in a huff and maybe the future plans were for Hogan vs Jericho somewhere down the line?

(WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) Eddie Guerrero vs Rob Van Dam ©

Eddie Guerrero is back! Latino Heat had returned after Wrestlemania with many fans happy to see the return of Eddie Guerrero. Eddie Guerrero is facing off against RVD, one of the most popular men on the roster. This should be a good match but nothing is ever sure in wrestling.

Guerrero sucker punches RVD but RVD comes back strong with a huge spinkick, forearm shots by Van Dam. Monkey flip and spinning heel kick by the champion, two count for RVD. Eddie grabs the leg of RVD and dragonscrew legwhips RVD. Guerrero eats some shoulder thrusts from RVD before teeing off on the champion in the corner. RVD kicks back Guerrero, standing moonsault by RVD. Cover and a two count for RVD, more forearms by RVD. Floatover suplex by RVD for two, scoop slam. RVD goes to the top rope but Guerrero crotches the champion, Guerrero was looking for a top rope superplex but RVD hotshots Eddie on the rope. Diving thrustkick from RVD, Rolling Thunder by RVD for two, Guerrero slides out of a suplex for an O Connor roll, two count for the challenger.

RVD kicks Guerrero to the floor and lands a moonsault from the apron, RVD places Guerrero on the barricade and nails his leg drop on Guerrero. Cover by RVD in the ring, Guerrero kicks out at two. Guerrero blocks Rolling Thunder with his knees, tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Guerrero. Nice back suplex by Guerrero, two count for the challenger. Drop toehold by Guerrero into a Romero Special, Guerrero applies The Gory Special. RVD rolls out of The Gory Special so Guerrero clothesline the bejesus out of RVD. Leaping calf kick from Guerrero, Guerrero nails a tope atomico for a two count. Guerrero decides it is time for The Frog Splash, RVD enzuigiris Guerrero and crotches the challenger. Beautiful sunset powerbomb by Guerrero, two count for the challenger. Guerrero elbows RVD and sets up for a powerbomb.

Step-over spinning heel kick by RVD, Guerrero grabs the belt, RVD hits the referee by mistake. Guerrero neckbreakers RVD on the belt, Frog Splash by Guerrero and Guerrero is your new champion!

Not the match I expected from these two, it was still good. Not a fan of the finish for the simple reason that this is the third match in a row where a weapon shot has been teased before the finish. Angle and Jeff attempted to use steel chairs and I thought Eddie was going to do the same thing before he grabbed the belt, it is just bad booking in my opinion when the same concept is used three matches in a row Not the wrestlers’ faults but the producers/agents. Guerrero looks to be great shape after his rehab and he wins a championship in his pay per view return match. Viva La Raza!

Winner: Eddie Guerrero over RVD via Frog Splash!

(Number One Contender’s Match for Undisputed Championship) Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Undertaker (Ric Flair = Special Guest Referee)

Undertaker and Flair are no strangers to one another, Undertaker asked Flair to be the number one contender as did Austin. Austin and Undertaker had both attacked Flair so Flair was hesitant in giving either man a chance at the championship. Undertaker and Austin did prove they deserved their opportunity so Flair made himself the referee with the stipulation of if either man lays a hand on Flair, they lose their championship opportunity if they win and be suspended.

Tense stare-down between these two tough sons of bitches, lock-up and Taker has control with a side headlock. Big shoulder block by Undertaker, Austin slips to the outside. Another lock-up, Austin has the side headlock. Shoulder block does not knock Undertaker, Austin begins doing press ups? Third lock-up, Undertaker has the side headlock, clothesline by Austin that knocks Undertaker. Austin asks Taker for a test of strength before flipping off The American Badass. They seems more like a comedy match than a real number one contender’s match. Seconds later, Austin is throwing armdrags and drop toeholds. Austin begins working the arm of Big Evil, knees into the arm of The Deadman. Taker is back on his feet and teeing off on Austin, Austin turns the tide and chops Taker. Irish whip by Austin, Taker blocks with the boot. Clothesline by Taker and Taker is wrenching the arm of Austin. Old School by Taker, Austin kicks out at two. Lou Thesz Press by Austin, massive elbow for a two count. Austin clotheslines Taker to the floor, Taker lands on his feet and drags out The Rattlesnake. Austin and Taker chop one another, Austin rams Taker’s head into the announce table. Undertaker boots Austin and gains control, control changes as Austin smacks Taker into the crowd. Austin attempts a piledriver on the floor but Taker counters and Austin is slammed onto the floor.

Austin is rammed into Taker’s motorcycle. The NWO have appeared onstage, Taker rams Austin into the steel steps. Undertaker knocks down Austin with a hard right hand, choke by Taker. The NWO edge closer and closer to the ring, Taker drops forearms and knees into Austin’s head. Taker drops a huge leg across Austin’s neck. Taker attacks the legs of Austin. Leg grapevine hold by Taker, Austin crawls to the ropes. Austin begins fighting back but Taker smacks the leg of The Rattlesnake and clotheslines Austin. Taker wrenches away at Austin. Taker presses the advantage with more holds targeting Austin’s neck. Austin fires back, goes for the Stunner but Taker shoves off Austin and clothesline The Bionic Redneck. Austin fires up on Taker, Taker cuts off Austin with a huge leaping clothesline. Taker chokes Austin on the mat, Taker unties the top rope turnbuckle. Austin reverses an Irish whip and sends Taker into the exposed turnbuckle, double knockdown.

Austin starts throwing bombs at Taker, Austin stomps a mudhole in Taker and walks that son of a bitch dry. Irish whip by Austin, Taker elbows Austin and goes for The Tombstone. Austin slides out and shoves Taker into Flair, Stunner by Austin on Taker but there is no referee. Taker low blows Austin with Flair down, Chokeslam by Taker. Austin kicks out at two of the Chokeslam, Taker grabs a steel chair. Flair takes away the chair, Austin low blows Taker but Taker big boots Austin. Another two count for Big Evil, spinebuster by Austin. Two count for Austin, Austin looks for The Stunner. Undertaker shoves Austin into Flair and Taker flattens Austin with a chair shot. Flair revives and counts but Taker only gets a two count. Taker looks to apply his dragon sleeper, Austin counters for a clothesline and locks in the sleeper on Taker. Taker powers out of the hold.

Taker has the chair, Austin dodges and unloads on Taker. Austin grabs the chair and Flair tries to take the chair off Austin. Austin eats a big boot from Taker, Taker pins Austin and Austin’s foot is on the ropes. Flair does not see Austin’s foot on the ropes and your winner is The Undertaker. Austin Stunners Taker after the match and that’s all folks!

Ok, I hated this match. I know that is hard to believe but this was a long and hard match to watch ladies and gentlemen. First, you have Austin vs Undertaker, two legends and two people who have all the ability to have phenomenal matches. Yet, these two have never had the tremendous match with one another, something is off and the chemistry just does not appear to be there. Secondly, you have the pacing of the match which was slow to begin with but then, it never picked up when they got into the nitty gritty. The fans responded to the match by sitting on their hands, sitting on their hands for an Austin match! I almost could not believe that this is what we got when Austin fought Undertaker. Lastly, you have The NWO appear for no reason other than watch the match, they did not get involved with the finish, they just stood in the rampway. You had two referee bumps which led to two false finishes, one bump is cheap enough but two? And no finish from either? Taker grabs a chair from ringside, the fourth time in the night this has happened! It did make me laugh that it was the same chair three times but come on, do they expect no one to notice that there are using the same spot time and time again?

The finish plays into the story of whether Flair intentionally ignored Austin’s foot for his past assaults or Flair made an honest mistake. However, that match sucked so much life out of me for this pay per view, I could not care for anything between Flair and Austin. Now that I have got that out of my system, let’s keep this train running…

Winner: Undertaker over Austin via Shenanigans!

Flair and Coach

Coach shows Flair the footage of Austin’s foot on the ropes and replies with a simple yet effective “Shit”. Flair knows that he screwed up and Austin will have some interesting words for Flair on Raw.

(WWF Tag Team Championship Match) Billy & Chuck © W/ Rico vs Al Snow & Maven

Consequences of the brand split? Vince wanted to separate all the tag teams. Faarooq and Bradshaw, Bubba and D-Von and soon Matt and Jeff. This meant we had matches like this, Al Snow and Maven battling the tag team champions.

Billy & Chuck try to jump the challengers but the challengers get the better of the champions, Snow & Maven’s advantage does not last as Billy & Chuck beat down on the rookie Maven. Maven takes a beating for about a minute before Snow gets the hot tag, back body drop to Chuck. Ten punches on Billy,  Snow is whipped into the ropes and Chuck gets in a cheap shot, swinging neckbreaker by Billy on Snow. Tag to Chuck, Snow walks into a belly to belly suplex. Tag to Billy, Billy misses a stinger splash. Chuck tries to save Billy but Snow drop toeholds Chuck into Billy’s balls. Tag to Maven who cleans house.

Maven walks into a FameAsser, Snow drags Maven out of the ring, Snow runs into a Superkick from Chuck. Rico is in the ring and Rico nails Chuck with a spinning heel kick. Spinebuster by Snow on Billy, Maven is climbing to the top rope. Crossbody by Maven gets a two count, Rico distracts Snow and Maven. Snow gives chase to Rico, and Chuck wallops Maven with a Superkick. Billy crawls in for the cover and the champions retain.

Fine match, quick and does it job as to serve as a breather between the big matches and the main event. Rico and his feminine like tag team were very entertaining despite the facts that they were supposed to be heels based solely on the fact that they were seen as gay. This would not fly in today’s overly-sensitive world but I think this could be a good thing that this would not be allowed anymore.

Winners: Billy & Chuck over Snow & Maven via Superkick!

(WWF Undisputed Championship Match) Hulk Hogan vs Triple H ©

Hulk Hogan turned face after his match against The Rock at Wrestlemania, Hogan’s reception from the fans was something nobody could have anticipated, Hogan was over like rover and it was like it was 1987 all over again brother. So, here is Hogan challenging for the championship for one more feel good run against Triple H, the hero babyface who came back from a severe injury to become champion. Yet, Triple H is easily the heel in this match. It is hard to feel bad for Triple H with the amount of power he holds in the company but this is a rare example of Triple H being out politicked by The Hulkster. Hogan had convinced Vince that there was one run left in Hogan and Hogan is going to go over Triple H, the young lion.

Lock-up, Triple H shoves off Hogan, Triple H shoves off Hogan for a second time. Third lock-up and Hogan shoves off Triple H, cue the poses and Triple H pouting like a child. Triple H looks for a test of strength, Hogan seems to be in control but Triple H fires back with his own power. Hogan fights back with Triple H taking the low road by elbowing Hogan right in the face, side headlock by Hogan and a massive shoulder block. More posing and Triple H looking like he found out the tooth fairy does not exist. We lock-up once more and Triple H backs Hogan into the corner, bitch slap from Triple H. Kick to the ribs of Hogan and Triple H stomps all over Hogan. Triple H chokes Hogan and taunts Hogan. Irish whip by Hogan, back body drop and two clotheslines. Right hands from Hogan, chops in the corner and ten punches on The Game. Hogan lowers his head off an Irish whip and eats a kick from the champion but Hogan recovers to elevate Triple H to the floor. Triple H rakes the eyes of Hogan, Hogan blocks a suplex on the floor and suplexes Triple H on the floor, that looks like it sucks.

Triple H regains control with an eye rake, chops by Triple H. Hard Irish whip by Triple H, Triple H looks for The Pedigree. Hogan reverses and catapults Triple H into the top turnbuckle, schoolboy by Hogan brings a two count. Corner clothesline by Hogan, cutter by Hogan. Right hands from Hogan, Triple H slides out of a scoop slam and chop blocks Hogan. Triple H begins working the leg to huge boos from the crowd. Hogan counters a figure four leglock but Triple H is working the leg of Hogan to perfection. Hogan shoves off Triple H but Triple H lays into Hogan with huge right hands and more choking. Figure four by Triple H, Triple H uses the ropes for extra leverage. Hogan reverses the hold and Triple H breaks his grip.

Sleeper by Triple H, Hogan survives the onslaught and back suplexes Triple H. Double axe handle by Hogan, big boot and a leg drop by Hogan. Jericho is here, Jericho lays out the referee and whacks Hogan with the chair. Triple H gets up and goes after Jericho, facebuster and clothesline to Jericho. Hogan hulks up, big boot and a leg drop but Triple H dodges the leg drop. Triple H nails The Pedigree, cover and Taker bumps the referee. Taker has a chair, shot to Triple H in the face. Undertaker pulls Hogan for the pin but Hogan refuses Taker’s help. Taker is knocked down but Hogan leg drops Triple H for the win!

The match as a whole was ok, Triple H did his best to make Hogan look good without showing the weaknesses of the aging Hulkster. The story they told, I am not a fan of for a few reasons. The match was built as Hogan’s last shot at a championship, it is babyface vs babyface and Triple H takes shortcuts, goes after Hogan’s injured leg and cheats… Why would I want to cheer this man after this match? Jericho’s interference was pointless, it did not play into the finish and had no impact on the finish. Jericho did not pull Triple H on top of Hogan so I could not even say Triple H refused Jericho’s help. Undertaker comes down and plays into the finish as Undertaker felt Hogan would be easier to beat than Triple H. I understand Taker’s motive completely but Jericho interferes for the simple reason that he is not on the show. Would it not make more sense for Jericho to cost Triple H the match? The man who robbed of his titles? No, Jericho wallops Hogan with the chair.

And what a redemption story for Triple H right? Wins the rumble, win the title and loses his first title defence. To make matters worse, Triple H shakes Hogan’s hand after the match like “Fair play, you were the better man and won fair and square” So, I am just meant to ignore the two run-ins?

Winner: Hulk Hogan over Triple H via Undertaker Chair Shot!

My final thoughts on Backlash 2002 was that it was a good show with a lacklustre ending. The brand split had made it possible for more stars to break out and have standout performances, it also would give more time to develop characters and flesh out storylines and there are little glimpses into this brad split future on this card. You have the cruiserweight division on Smackdown with a paranoid Tajiri as champion, you have the beginning of a women’s division on Raw with Trish as the main babyface and the likes of Ovroy, Molly Holly and Jazz. You have a mid-card filled with the likes of Edge, Angle, Guerrero and RVD who can all have great matches when they want to so the first half of this pay per view, I have to say, I really enjoyed a lot of the matches.

The second half of the pay per view was a big disappointment for me, Austin vs Undertaker was not the match I was looking for, the referee bumps, the NWO just standing there and the slow pace of the match made me want to watch something else. Austin’s babyface run after The Invasion Storyline has been a big disappointment for me, I feel like I am watching a man who’s passion for the business is gone and who knows his days as the man are coming to an end, it makes me sad watching Austin like this. The main event was slow, had more interference and Triple H working the match like an utter heel which is not a good image for someone who is meant to be your young, top babyface. Hogan was almost immobile by this point in his career and this match could not match the atmosphere and electricity of the Wrestlemania match Would I recommend this pay per view? It has Hogan’s final WWF world championship win so there’s that combined with some entertaining mid-card matches as well as a great match from Edge so I’d say check it out!

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Thursday 22 December 2016

WCW Souled Out 1997 Review

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Welcome one and all to another vomit-inducing edition of the only wrestling review series on the internet that tells Droz to puke: Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews. Life can be filled with what-ifs? What if I did not come up with that terrible opening? What if I tried for a different career? What if Shawn Michaels faced off against The Rock? The questions, possibilities and outcomes are endless. Today’s what if comes in the form of What if I did not review pay per views from the past? The answer: Well, I would miss out on infamous pay per views like WCW/NWO’s Souled Out 1997! I will be blunt: one of the dumbest ideas ever where WCW are made to look like chumps while the biggest heel group in the company presents a pay per view complete with its own announcers, referees and theme. This could be one of the worst shows I ever cover on this site so I am thoroughly ready to have my mind blown by what I am about to see, sit back and grab a cold one for this NWO’s Souled Out 1997!

Opening Promo

We have black and white footage of an escort going through town, we see The NWO hanging out of the back of a garbage truck? They have NWO flags but is this meant to be cool? This is beyond cheesy and enters the realm of cringy. Bischoff and the NWO enter the arena with The Dallas Cowboys. It keeps going and going like when a sex scene is on in your sitting room and you are there with your parents. Classic NWO style vignette promotes the pay per view, lots of WCW sucks and soundbytes from all the wrestlers. Not bad, much better than the opening of the convoy.

Stage is unique, we have NWO on the ring, on the stage and Eric Bischoff stands atop a podium in the middle of the stage. Bischoff goes to Hogan, Hall and Nash on three separate cinema-like screens. They do not say much or say long so I am not sure of the point of this segment. It seems we are going to have Eric Bischoff and Ted Dibiase as the commentators for the evening (They might be better than Dusty Rhodes but that is still a huge maybe).

Chris Jericho vs Masahiro Chono

Jericho and the rest of the WCW stars will have phoney introductions and no music for the evening while NWO members will have the NWO B-Theme which depending on who you ask, it is a good or bad thing. Chono comes out looking pimptastic, Chono was a huge star in New Japan Pro Wrestling, one of the three musketeers alongside Keiji Mutoh (Great Muta) & Shinya Hashimoto. Chono was the leader of NWO Japan which was more successful in Japan as it would be the lead angle in the company well into 2000. That is not really important in terms of this match but it is about The NWO.

Anyways, the match begins with Chono tossing Jericho to the floor, we cut to WCW stars coming to watch the match. Chono and Jericho continue to talk trash to one another, test of strength with Chono kicking Jericho low to take control, there is a bunch of women on motorcycles by ringside who look good if you are drunk. Russian legsweep by Chono, Chono begins climbing the top rope and nails a diving shoulder block. Jericho blocks a suplex and nails a spinning heel kick, springboard plancha by Jericho. Chono is on laying against the ringpost and Jericho misses a huge spinkick which results in Chono working the leg of the injured Jericho. Side headlock by Chono, Jericho survives a shoulder block so Chono chop blocks Jericho. The crowd chant USA at Chono yet Jericho is from Canada. Enzuigiri by Jericho which Bischoff calls a jump back flipkick.

Chono fires back with a dragon screw, STF is blocked by Jericho. Spinning back elbow by Jericho, German suplex for a two count. Lariat by Jericho, two count for Jericho. Falling reverse DDT by Chono, Chono climbs to the top and dives but Jericho kind of just hugs Chono, it looks awful. Chono nails an inverted atomic drop and Chono has a table? Chono looks for an apron suplex to the floor, Jericho suplexes Chono into the ring. Missile dropkick by Jericho, cover and Chono gets the foot on the ropes. Fisherman Buster by Jericho and a Lionsault, cover and it’s another two count. Jericho climbs to the top rope, Chono crotches Jericho. Massive Yakuza Kick and shove through the table for Jericho, Chono finishes Jericho with The Yakuza Kick.

Meh, that’s my feelings towards it. I like Chono and I like Jericho, I did not like this match, it was slow and dull. They were a few moments in there too which looked sloppy like the table spot and the shoulder block that came off all wrong, not good stuff.

Winner: Masahiro Chono over Chris Jericho via Kick!

Ms. NWO Contest

Sweet Jesus, pictures of women that range from beautiful to oh my god I would rather be gay, they are sitting on motorcycles while an awkward host asks a few women some awkward questions. This segment is dying a slow, slow death and I can’t tell if they are trying to be ironic or not, it will continue throughout the night.

(Mexican Death Match) Hugh Morrus W/ Jimmy Hart vs Big Bubba Rogers

Why is it a Mexican Death Match? Honestly, I have no answer for you. Why is Big Bossman in the NWO? Thin out the ranks but really Bossman? Why is Dungeon of Doom still a thing? Screw you that’s why! Morrus is dressed like a reject from The Dudley Boyz. They lock-up, Bubba pushes back Morrus and tells Morrus to kiss his fat ass. More lock-ups with Morrus shoving down Bubba, clothesline by Morrus. Bubba eats the steel steps after a huge Irish whip, low blow by Bubba (Not sure if illegal or Patrick is allowing it, both are possible). Huge clothesline by Morrus which sends Bubba to the floor, Jimmy Hart attacks Bubba. Bubba is whipped into the corner and pulls a chain out of his coat, Morrus eats it to the face and Bubba proceeds to whip Morrus until Morrus dodges and pays Bubba back for the chain shots.

No Laughing Matter Moonsault hits the mark and Nick Patrick begins to count. You see to win this match, you have to keep your opponent down for a count of ten. Nick Patrick does everything to delay the count and Bubba rises to his feet. Morrus nails two clotheslines and asks Patrick to begin counting. Bubba is nailed with some object that Morrus has in his hands. Eye rake by Bubba and Bubba begins teeing off on Morrus. Flying forearm by Bubba, right hands to the heart and face. Bubba rakes the eyes of Morrus, low blow by Morrus. Make it two and Bubba is hurled to the floor. Bubba is slammed on the stage and Morrus is looking for a Moonsault. Morrus does not go for an actual moonsault, more like a twisting splash. Bubba grabs a motorcycle and runs over Hugh Morrus. Morrus does not answer the count.

Thank god it was brief, I shall tell you that much. It was slow, plodding and goofy-looking at times. The finish and setup for the finish looked so corny and Bischoff, the heel is screaming the whole time that Bubba should not run over Morrus because that’s illegal and not allowed. I do not think Bischoff understands what it means to be a heel. Two matches in and this is all garbage.

Winner: Big Bubba Rogers over Hugh Morrus via Vehicular Homicide!

Jeff Jarrett vs M. WallStreet

Double J battling IRS, somebody hates me (I am sure of it). Collar and elbow tie-up, knee by Wallstreet who runs to the ropes like a true heel. Another lock-up, Nick Patrick pulls away Jarrett before Jarrett nails Wallstreet with a right hand. Side headlock by Jarrett, shoulder block and a hiptoss. Right hand by Jarrett, Jarrett ascends to the top rope and nails a crossbody. Cover and a slow two count from Patrick, roll-up by Wallstreet with a noticeably faster count. Wallstreet is rammed face first into the mat before Jarrett chokes Wallstreet using the ropes. Jarrett looks to nail a knee across the ropes but Patrick drags Wallstreet out of the way. Jarrett is clotheslined into the barricade. Wallstreet drops Jarrett across the guard rail. Jarrett tries to fight back but Jarrett is sent flying into the crowd. Sleeper by Wallstreet, it looks Debra is asking Mongo to help Jarrett. Sleeper by Jarrett, Patrick makes Jarrett break the hold. Wallstreet takes over with a kick to the head and an elbow drop.

Reverse chinlock by Wallstreet, Wallstreet uses the ropes for leverage which Patrick sees and compliments Wallstreet for his brilliance. Jarrett fires up, inverted atomic drop but Jarrett cannot take control as Jarrett misses a fist drop from the middle rope. Jarrett drops two elbows on Wallstreet’s knee and applies The Figure Four, Patrick drags Wallstreet to the ropes and it seems Mongo has enough of the blatant cheating. Abdominal stretch by Jarrett which is reversed by Wallstreet, Mongo cracks Wallstreet with his briefcase and forces Patrick to count the pin for Jarrett.

Better than the other two matches but it is not a great achievement by any means, I was entertained by the antics of Patrick as the slimy, heel referee but that would be all I have liked about this match. It was as average as a match could be so let’s keep on motoring through this snorefest.

Winner: Jeff Jarrett over Michael Wallstreet via Briefcase Shot!

Buff Bagwell vs Scotty Riggs

The announcers continue to bury WCW talent while they enter the ring (Smart move guys, that won’t come back to bite you in the ass at all). There is a bit of a story to this match though, Buff and Scotty were The American Males with the one of the worst themes in the world. Anyways, Bagwell stabbed his friend in the back and joined the ranks of The NWO. We not have a match between these two former friends, Buff is entertained with his own looks which allows Riggs to beat up his former partner. Huge clotheslines and a back body drop make Buff powder to the floor, kick to the ribs by Buff and a clubbing blow to Scotty. Side headlock by Buff, shoulder block by Buff but Riggs fires back with a dropkick. Patrick distracts Riggs which allows Buff to beat down Riggs, belly to belly suplex by Riggs. Buff has a tantrum and slaps Riggs, Riggs smashes Buff to return the favour, Riggs hiptosses Buff to the floor. Plancha by Riggs, Buff recovers quickly to Irish whip Riggs into a guard rail. Buff smacks Riggs with a huge forearm and a pose for good measure.

Riggs hotshots Buff and nails a crossbody, Buff blocks a suplex and drapes Riggs across the top rope. Buff drives Riggs to the floor with a knee. Riggs takes some big punishment from Buff. Riggs eats an inverted atomic drop and some nasty elbows to the back of the head. Cover and a two count for Buff, Buff makes Riggs do The American Males Dance before Riggs attacks Buff with his ass. Riggs does not have buns of steel as Buff powerbombs Riggs for a two count. Sunset flip by Riggs, exposing Buff’s thong (Oh god I am blind). Buff drills Riggs with a right hand and applies a camel clutch. Riggs counters the camel clutch into an electric chair drop, small package by Riggs brings a two count. Atomic drop and an enzuigiri by Riggs, Buff walks into two boots from Riggs. Riggs drills Buff with a tornado DDT.

Two dropkicks floor Buff, crossbody by Buff out of nowhere brings a two count. Riggs counters a neckbreaker for a backslide, two count. Riggs nails a powerbomb, Buff kicks out at two count. Riggs prepares for a superplex but Buff fights off his former partner. Blockbuster by Buff and we have a winner. Decent match, I see potential in Buff as a slimy, self-loving heel. Crowd did not care much for the match though, they have been silent throughout the night and while the match was not bad, I am wishing and hoping for something to entertain me.

Winner: Buff Bagwell over Scotty Riggs via Buff Blockbuster!

More NWO Women Crap

I cannot believe this I still going, they actually find one hot woman among all the older women and she says she would flash with Scott Norton. I am a fan of this woman but this contest is dog shite. They are women supposed to be dancing in an attractive way, surprise, they are not good dancers.

DDP vs Scott Norton

DDP had rejected previous offers from The NWO so Norton is here to teach DDP a lesson, you do not mess with The NWO. Norton outpowers DDP on multiple occasions before DDP grabs a side headlock. Swinging neckbreaker by DDP, DDP grabs a front chancery to keep Norton down but Norton is too strong. Big chops by Norton but DDP reverses the big man and drops Norton with a facebuster. Norton nails a jawbreaker and a huge clothesline, Sting is here in the crowd. Shoulderbreaker by Norton, DDP rolls out to the floor. Norton flings DDP into the guard rail and ringpost, DDP’s arm is the focus for the main gaijin of New Japan. Headbutt by Norton, DDP dodges a short-arm clothesline and drills Norton with a discuss clothesline. DDP attempts a sunset flip but Norton punches DDP in the nose, Norton looks for a hip splash but DDP dodges being squished.

DDP is on the top rope, clothesline and a cover which brings a two count. Irish whip by Norton does not end well as DDP DDTs Norton. Buff Bagwell and the B Squad come down to the ring, they want to induct DDP into The NWO. DDP says he is joining before dropping Norton with a Diamond Cutter and bailing into the crowd. Good angle because the fans were buying into DDP at this stage and it looks like WCW might be on the verge of making a new star. Good angle but as for the match….

The theme of the night is average, nothing of note, nothing memorable and now we have a no finish to a match on a card that sorely needs something, anything at this stage. I cannot believe there are no cruiserweights on this show, they are needed.

(WCW Tag Team Championship Match) The Steiner Brothers vs The Outsiders ©

The Outsiders have had one of the most boring runs as tag team champions, they have had multi-man matches and heel vs heel matches. In the Steiner Brothers, we have a popular face team that hopefully, can get a good match out of these two. By this point in the show, I am sick of Bischoff and Dibiase on commentary, they are up there with Mike Adamle and Josh Matthews.

Hall and Scott tie-up, Scott pushes back Hall. Hall throws his toothpick at Scott, shoulder block and series of shots to the arm by Hall. Hall slaps the head of Scott before Scott firemen carries Hall to the ground. Hall cuts off Scott with a few knees to the ribs and an abdominal stretch. Scott reverses the stretch and powers down Hall, overhead belly to belly suplex by Scott on Hall. Nash runs in and Rick DDTs Nash which leads to The Steiners standing tall in the ring. Hall and Rick begin a slugfest, Rick peppers Hall and slams Hall hard. Elbow drop by Rick, Rick looks for a double axe handle but Hall catches Rick and nails a fallaway slam. Hall wrenches the arm but Rick escapes and in comes Scott Steiner. Scott walks into a chokeslam from Hall, tag to Nash and Nash tees off on Scott. Trademark knees and elbows by Nash in the corner.

Corner clothesline by Nash, Scott blocks the second clothesline. Belly to belly by Scott for a two count, Scott makes the tag to Rick. Bearhug by Rick goes awry as Nash clubs Rick. Rick battles back and powerslams Nash, Hall clubs Rick from the apron and eats a big boot from Big Sexy. Hall clotheslines Rick hard on the floor, Nash goes for the cover and gets a two count for his efforts. Tag to Hall who stomps all over Rick, big knockdown by Hall. Nash is in, snake eyes and cheap shot from Hall. Nash misses an elbow but tags to Hall, Hall works on Rick in the corner. Hall smacks Scott and the referee holds back Scott as Nash drops Rick on the ring apron. Sidewalk slam by Hall, sidewalk slam by Nash for a two count. Nash chokes Rick across the second rope and Nash nails Rick with a running knee. Scott has had enough, Scott clubs Hall who is seeing stars. Nash plants Rick with a clothesline, Nash talks trash and wastes time instead of jumping on Rick.

Rick low blows Nash behind the referee’s back, we could have a hot tag. Tag to Scott, Scott mows down Hall and Nash with clotheslines and suplexes. Rick and Scott take down Hall and Nash, Rick and Scott motion for their bulldog. Nash low blows Rick and Nick Patrick is knocked down, Hall nails The Outsider’s Edge on Scott. Rick flattens Nash and Rick nails a bulldog on Hall, referee Randy Anderson comes into the ring and makes the count, we have new tag team champions.

Solid tag team match, Scott had returned from injury and looked good in the ring, The Outsiders were very over and established as a threat to all other WCW stars so they lay their shit in and the fans eat all of it up. The finish is fine but ridiculous in the sense that the referee just jumped through the crowd to make the pinfall. It was part of an angle and it would play out on Nitro but a referee without any of his gear counting the pinfall? Sorry, you cannot expect me to buy into that!

Winners: The Steiner Brothers over The Outsiders via Top rope bulldog!

(WCW United States Championship Ladder Match) Eddie Guerrero © vs Syxx

Eddie Guerrero had defeated DDP at Starrcade to win the vacant championship after Ric Flair was forced to vacate the championship. Eddie was not in possession of the belt at the time, The Giant had stolen the belt from Flair and now Syxx held onto the belt, you got all of that?

Eddie knocks down Syxx quick before Syxx reaches into his bag of tricks to kick Eddie back to El Paso, more right hands and forearms by Syxx. Eddie uppercuts Syxx and nails a headscissors and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Syxx bails to the floor and turns around as Eddie soars through the air to wipe out Syxx. Syxx recovers to nail a spinning heel kick from the second rope, chops in the corner by Syxx. Syxx nails the bronco buster and taunt over Eddie, Eddie swats Syxx with a dropkick. Syxx suplexes Eddie from the ring to the floor is a scary bump. Syxx nails a tope con hilo to keep down Eddie. Syxx reaches for a ladder, it is a good thing because I thought they forgot about the stipulation. Syxx batters Eddie with the ladder, Syxx and Eddie have a tug of war with the ladder before Eddie see-saws the ladder into Syxx’s face. Eddie smacks Syxx in the lower back to keep the challenger down. Eddie props the ladder in the corner but Eddie is Irish whipped into the ladder.

Syxx flapjacks Eddie onto the ladder, Syxx suplexes Eddie and climbs to the top of a ladder in the corner. Eddie and Syxx are on the ladder, Syxx drops Eddie and it seems the spot is over. However, Syxx looks to drop the ladder on Eddie but Eddie springs up and dropkicks the ladder into Syxx. Eddie drops Syxx with a top rope superplex, Eddie and Syxx race towards the championship and Syxx manages to dropkick Eddie off the ladder, Syxx falls in the process. The two climb the ladder again, slugfest on top of the ladder. Syxx punches Eddie off the ladder but Eddie tips over the ladder with Syxx falling onto the ropes. Eddie tries climbing but Syxx grabs Eddie’s leg. Smartly, Eddie lays waste to Syxx to give himself more time, Syxx struggles up the ladder.

Both men have the belt in their hands with Eddie smacking Syxx with the belt, Syxx falls to the mat and Eddie holds the championship high above his head. Good match, the first half was all wrestling with both men showing what they could do without the stipulation. Second half consisted of bumps involving the ladder, you have to think of the time and not what you see with today’s ladder matches. This match does not hold up well with today’s matches but at the time, you had yourself a damn, good ladder match. Ending may have been a little quick in the sense that they setup the ladder and proceeded to do two big spots in a row only to get up immediately for the finish. The tug of war for the championship was an interesting idea, I could only think of one other occasion I have seen that and that was many years later. Execution could have been better with Eddie dropping the belt in the process of hitting Syxx but I am juts nit-picking. This was the only match I could give a damn about so far on this card.

Winner: Eddie Guerrero over Syxx via Retrieval of the belt!

Ms. NWO Crap Contest

We have stats ladies and gentlemen, my favourite include detailing pickup trucks and cooking french-fries (I wish I was joking). I hope number eight wins, she is the only woman who looks attractive and not in her 40s. I think Eric Bischoff’s obsession with motorcycles had gone too far with every woman looking like a biker chick. Eric Bischoff is going to decide the winner, Bischoff talks and talks about women and their motorcycles. Apparently, there is a tie as I gasp in anticipation in what Eric’s question could be and the fans won’t hear. The winner is number seven, she kisses Bischoff and I am repulsed, mortified, embarrassed, and questioning my sanity. Miss Becky, our winner, gets a tiara, flowers and steps into the ring.

(WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match) Hulk Hogan © vs The Giant

The Giant had won World War 3, the sixty-man battle royal which meant that a championship match was in The Giant’s future. However, Giant was not happy with his NWO comrades as they would not back up Giant in his match with Luger, the arguments continued and soon, The Giant was standing against The NWO. The last time these two met it was at Hog Wild 1996 which is one of the worst matches I have ever seen. Giant is still green and Hogan is not the greatest carrier in the world. Will it be any different several months later?

Hogan punches and kicks Giant, no effect as Giant stalks his prey. Big chops by Giant and Hogan powders, Giant is lured in by Hogan. Hogan begins clubbing Giant, chops by Giant and big right hands. Huge clothesline by Hogan that wipes out Giant, Giant is back on his feet. Hogan is rammed into the turnbuckles, Hogan is out on the floor. Hogan rakes the eyes but Giant overpowers Hogan and Vincent. Hogan shoulder blocks Giant with no effect. Giant slams Hogan hard, elbow drop by Giant. Giant clubs Hogan to the apron, Hogan bails to the floor. Hogan throws powder in the eyes of Giant, back rake by Hogan. Hogan chokes Giant with wrist tape? I think so, Giant gets in the ring and backbreakers the champion. Giant decides to go to the top rope (Why?), Giant looks to deliver an elbow and misses an elbow drop. Reverse chinlock by Hogan to wear down The Giant.

Giant is slammed by Hogan, Leg Drop but Giant sits right up. Hogan taunts and Hogan taunts and Hogan taunts while Giant looks like a jabroni. Finally, Hogan turns into The Chokeslam and Patrick refuses to count three. Giant decides to kill Patrick, Buff is killed as is Vincent with Chokeslams. Bischoff hands Hogan a guitar, Hogan botches the guitar shot resulting in Hogan being smacked at least four times. Hogan breaks a chair over Giant’s back and spray-paints the lummox too.

Garbage, pure and utter garbage. The Giant is not ready for big matches that has been clear but to not try and protect The Giant is just suicide. Hogan dominates Giant and the big guy hits two moves the whole match, one backbreaker and one Chokeslam. He’s The Giant! The Giant is supposed to lay waste to everyone and everything, Hogan should be taking shortcuts to take down this big man not easily kicking the monster’s ass. What the hell was that match? Could you call it that? Hogan’s heel work is cartoony as can be yet, Hogan is not acting like a chicken-shit heel when he is dominating The Giant like he’s a chump. And the finish, sweet lord above how does that finish help anyone? It is just like another episode of Nitro, people paid to see a definitive outcome to Hogan vs Giant and you have Hogan and his buddies lay out Giant for a no-finish in the main event with no comeback or rematch in sight? The match was a joke, the finish was a joke, the booking is a joke and I think WCW are just trying to test my patience.

Winner: Nobody, Absolutely Nobody!

You know when a friend asks you about a movie and whether you have seen it or now? You know when the friend tells you do not see it, it is that bad? You never take his advice do you? You have to see for yourself because you are too full of your own crap to take someone else’s advice. Well, this is how I feel right now, Souled Out is considered one of the biggest flops in wrestling pay per view history and for good reason. There is but one shining light on this show and that is the ladder match, everything else was a nightmare and an endurance test. Matches were slow, boring and overly average. That host and the contest were cringeworthy, the whole concept is ridiculous because Bischoff and his buddies continue to bury their talent and make WCW inferior. I cannot see why anyone would support WCW but my god, this show is awful so let’s erase it from our memory and meet back here next time for another show ok? I am the Seanomaniac and there is always another night!

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Tuesday 20 December 2016

My top 6 of WWE in 2016, Who's Yours?

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2017 is almost here which means The Royal Rumble is coming, a new year for the WWE and a chance to set in motion storylines and angles for Wrestlemania and beyond, 2016 had been a year of up and downs in the WWE so, I am here for my own countdown of what I believe to be the most important superstars of 2016 for WWE and the reasons for my choice. Why 6? Because I like to be different damn it! Disclaimer: These are my choices, it does not mean they are going to be everyone's choices and you certainly do not have to agree with me so without further time wasting, read on....

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                                                      Number 6: The New Day

The former tag team champions have been one of the main highlights of 2016, winning a legion of fans before they turned face, The New Day continued to dominate the tag team division while also entertaining the fans. It is remarkable how WWE took three guys who were doing nothing on the main roster and turn them into one of the hottest acts in wrestling. Their antics and matches have ranged from solid to awesome and they certainly deserve their spot as the longest reigning tag team champions so clap for your former two-time champs and let the power of positivity wash over you! 2016 was the year of The New Day!

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                                                    Number 5: Dean Ambrose

Dean Ambrose began 2016 by being inches away from winning the WWE championship on two occasions, many people believed Ambrose should have been champion but creative saw otherwise with Reigns having his moment at Wrestlemania. Wrestlemania was a disappointing pay per view for Ambrose who had one of the worst matches on the card as Lesnar trampled and decimated The Lunatic Fringe. However, in the months that followed Ambrose would climb to the top of the WWE, Ambrose would win Money In The Bank, capture the WWE Championship and score a win over John Cena. Ambrose may have soured at certain points (His reign as champion did not play out to its full potential) but Ambrose is now the top babyface on Smackdown in John Cena's absence and The Lunatic Fringe continues to be  a ball of energy on the blue brand. Perhaps a heel turn could help Ambrose reach even greater heights? Is it a long overdue? 

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                                                     Number 4: Chris Jericho

Chris Jericho's returns have been hit and miss, some contain memorable moments and others may have been wasted in hindsight. 2016 began with Jericho returning as a face and forming a tag team with Styles, things were not clicking until Jericho turned heel. In the span of a year, Jericho has managed to get the phrases "Drink it in man", "Stupid Idiot" and "You just made the list" over to the point where fans are disappointed if they do not here at least one of these phrases from the man of 1004 holds. Many fans will argue that Smackdown Live has been superior to Raw (Myself included) but I do see Jericho and his bromance with Kevin Owens as a highlight each and every Monday. The eventual split between these two could be something very entertaining but Jericho even at the age of 46, proved that he is a valuable part of the company and is unselfish as ever as he continues to put over the likes of Ambrose, Rollins and more than likely, Kevin Owens.

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                                                           Number 3: The Miz

Heels are meant to be booed, they are meant to be the villains and in wrestling, you pay your money to see them get their asses kicked. In 2016 when heels are cheered more so than the babyfaces, The Miz consistently is one of the most hated people on the roster. Make no mistake about it, I bought into the Miz since the fatal four way with Cesaro, Zayn and Owens. The match was great between the three I just mentioned, I would have been happy with anyone of those winning the match but Miz just had to sneak in and steal the win, it pissed so many people off and everyone wanted to see Miz get destroyed, it was perfect. And then Miz had to sucker me and everyone else with the Talking Smack segment with Daniel Bryan, Miz and Dolph Ziggler had a great feud of the Intercontinental Championship and I still want to see someone destroy The Miz. The chemistry with his wife Maryse is fantastic too, I love the pairing and maybe just maybe, we could have Daniel Bryan vs The Miz at Wrestlemania. Picture it now: Miz kisses Maryse at the apron and walks into a Flying Knee from Bryan just like what happened to Bryan when he fought Sheamus. Kudos to you Miz one of the few true heels still left in wrestling!

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                                         Number 2: Sasha Banks/Charlotte Flair

I could not include one without the other and there is no way I could rank one above the other so I am putting thee two together as one. What can I say? Two women who have had so much tv time, main events, first-time matches and wars that will be talked about for years to come. This generation's Trish vs Lita, Sasha and Charlotte have had some great matches, great chemistry and a feud that has sucked in a lot of wrestling fans. Yes, you may be sick of them fighting one another and that the Raw's women's division is lacking due to the focus being solely on these two but it did lead to some incredible matches, made even more special by the short amount of time that both these women have been on the main roster and the fact that they survived that shambolic start to the so-called Diva's Revolution. Hats off to these two warriors who have made their mark on wrestling history! Charlotte continues to have an undefeated streak in singles matches on pay per view so hopefully, it will be a big moment when Bayley topples Ms. Flair at Wrestlemania (Don't you screw this up Vince!)

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                                                         Number 1: AJ Styles

Could it be anyone else? Styles has been WWE's MVP. Styles' rookie year in WWE has to be up there with the likes of Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar. Styles can be serious, can do comedy, can be a babyface and can be a heel. Styles has excelled at everything, Styles came in with the biggest buzz in recent memory and the man has owned every event he has been on, no doubt about it. Ambrose may be the top babyface on Smackdown but Styles is the top star on Smackdown. Styles put over Roman Reigns when he was champion and Styles pinned John Cena, the kingpin of WWE clean in the middle of the ring. The biggest endorsement I have ever seen, it was the ultimate vote of confidence and Styles has repaid that faith with quality matches month after month. If the plan is for Cena to beat Styles for the 16th world championship, I cannot think of a more fitting place than the main event at Wrestlemania and Styles deserves that main event as he is my choice for WWE's top superstar of 2016.

WCW Starrcade 1996 Review

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Good evening loyal followers to another satisfying edition of the only wrestling review series on the internet that Barry Horowitz slaps on the back: Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews! And when we are not busy thinking of awesome introductions for you to read, we are reviewing old pay per views in chronological order. Tonight is no different as I will be diving in deep to WCW’s Starrcade of 1996, The NWO were running wild because they were too sweet brother and there was not a thing anybody could do about it! The problem with The NWO killing everyone was nobody was really getting over on the WCW side of things. Flair and The Horsemen were off feuding with The Dungeon of Doom, Savage was MIA and Sting was continuing to stalk the entire roster from the rafters. As 1996 drew to a close, it seems WCW had another hero ready to battle Hogan and his band of villainous outlaws, up steps Roddy Piper. Starrcade is WCW’s Wrestlemania so they have pulled out all the stops as it will be Piper vs Hogan, we will have the cruiserweight division firing on all cylinders as Ultimo Dragon faces Dean Malenko and Jushin Liger takes on Mysterio. We also have The Outsiders vs The Faces of Fear and much, much more. Could there be a big victory on the horizon for WCW or would be another night to remember for The NWO? Read on…

Opening Promo

It is all about Piper vs Hogan, Hogan promises to break Piper in half and Piper says bring it on as the granddaddy of them all for WCW begins, we are in Nashville, Schiavone, Heenan and Dusty Rhodes welcome us to the action. Rhodes is beginning to get on my nerves as a commentator, Dusty is not suited for commentating, too much personality and has not a clue of most of the move names. I love you Dusty, just not on commentary!

(WCW Crusierweight Unification Match) Ultimo Dragon © vs Dean Malenko ©

The Iceman Malenko battling the J-Crown Champion Ultimo Dragon. Nine championships are on the line in this match, Mike Tenay joins the commentary table to help the other announcers or are way out of their depth when it comes to this style of wrestling. Malenko and Dragon feel one another out with some nice mat wrestling, Dragon grabs a leg grapevine. Malenko battles to a vertical base and takes down Malenko with a kimura lock. Reset and stiff kicks to the spine by Dragon, Malenko counters with a massive back suplex. Dragon fires back with a snap suplex, Dragon slaps on a sleeper while the crowd chants USA in support of Malenko. STF by Dragon, shoulder block by Dragon and hard chops in the corner. Irish whip is reversed by Malenko, Malenko peppers Dragon with a forearm to the floor. Malenko misses a baseball slide and Dragon scores with a scoop slam. Fake into a suicide dive by Dragon!

Big elbow by Dragon gives us a two count, Malenko blocks a suplex and nails a suplex of his own. Sunset flip by Malenko gets a two and Dragon is back on top in this match. Hangman’s neckbreaker by Dragon for a two count, abdominal stretch is in deep. More kicks to the back of Malenko by Dragon, Malenko fires back after countering a sleeper into a back suplex. German suplex by Malenko, two count for the champion. Heel hook by Malenko, Dragon reaches the ropes after a prolonged time in the hold. Shin breaker and dropkick to the knee by Malenko, Malenko transitions from an inverted atomic drop into a leg lock. Malenko tees off on Dragon in the corner, stomps before Dragon blocks with the boot. Malenko comes back with a powerslam, spinning heel kick by Dragon. Powerbomb by Dragon for a two count, both men are spent at this point in the match.

Malenko counters Dragon for a tombstone, two count for Malenko. Dragon crawls to the ropes to block The Texas Cloverleaf, Tigerbomb by Malenko. Jacknife cover brings Malenko a two count, crossbody by Malenko puts both men on the floor. Malenko throws Dragon into the ring, Dragon knocks down Malenko and nails his signature Asai Moonsault. Malenko catches Dragon on the top rope, Dragon fights off Malenko but misses a moonsault. Texas Cloverleaf by Malenko, Onoo is on the apron which stops Malenko. Small package by Dragon for a two count, clothesline by Malenko. Brainbuster by Malenko, Dragon kicks out at two. Standing switches until Dragon pins Malenko with a tiger suplex.

Tremendous technical match between Dragon and Malenko. Both have wrestled in NJPW so Malenko is able to work the type of match that Dragon can excel in and this leads to some fantastic reversals, good psychology and interesting manoeuvres that you do not see every day. Dragon was also put over like a boss in this match, Malenko nailed Dragon with every big move and the false finishes were entertaining and sucked me in, good stuff from the cruiserweight division which has been a highlight since I have begun covering WCW!

Winner: Dragon over Malenko via Tiger Suplex!

(Finals of WCW Women’s Championship Match) Akira Hokuto W/ Kensuke Sasaki vs Madusa

No Mike Tenay for this match but we have Lee Marshal who I hope is commentating due to some extensive Joshi knowledge but I think I am going to sadly mistaken. Hokuto is a legend in Japanese wrestling while Madusa is no slouch. Hokuto decides to hairpull Madusa all around the ring, Onoo trips Madusa for Hokuto to stay in control. Corner choke by Hokuto, Madusa nails Hokuto with a handstand hurricanrana (Think of Trish Stratus). Onoo distracts Madusa and Hokuto applies a number of holds. Sharpshooter into an STF by Hokuto, Madusa bridges out of a pin with two forearm smashes. Scoop slam by Madusa but Hokuto lifts up Madusa with a throat toss. Knee across the throat by Hokuto, northern lights suplex by Hokuto. Cross armbreaker by Hokuto before Madusa nails a floatover DDT.

German suplex by Hokuto for a two count, tornado DDT by Madusa. Madusa nails a powerbomb for a two count, Madusa tries a second powerbomb but Madusa’s back gives out on her. Hokuto is dropped on her head by a German suplex, Madusa climbs to the top rope but Hokuto crotches Madusa and nails a superplex. Onoo intereferes and slams Madusa with an American flag, missile dropkick by Hokuto and a Northern Lights Bomb for the win by the toughest housewife in all of Japan!

It was a solid match, the crowd were dead quiet for the match which is disappointing. Both women worked hard and I wish they were given more time. I hope there is more to come for women while I continue to cover WCW pay per views.

Winner: Hokuto over Madusa via Northern Lights Bomb!

Piper Promo

Piper goes insane, I am not sure of a whole lot about what he says but he puts over Hogan, puts over the match and puts over the fact that he is going to take the fight to Hogan.

Rey Mysterio vs Jushin Liger

Is it Christmas? It seems like it as we have another great cruiserweight match on the card (Christmas has come early). Mysterio sweeps the legs of Liger, Liger wrenches the arms but Mysterio mule kicks out of the hold. Shoulder block by Liger and a big scoop slam. Vertical suplex by Liger, vicious headbutt by Liger. Flapjack by Liger who is toying with Mysterio, powerbomb spikes Mysterio. Huge chop by Liger, Mysterio comes back with a nice hurricanrana, make it two with the second sending Liger to the floor. 619 fake angers Liger who does not appreciate being made to look stupid. Liger suplexes Mysterio from the apron to the floor which looks very painful for Mysterio. Powerbomb on the floor by Liger. Liger swats away a Mysterio dropkick, tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Liger. Romero special by Liger, Mysterio is in deep trouble.

Release German suplex by Mysterio, standing moonsault. Mysterio looks for  his West Coast Pop, nope it is a springboard dropkick. Mysterio tries a second springboard but Liger annihilates Mysterio with a dropkick. Release German suplex for a two count, Liger applies the half-crab. Dragon screw legwhip and rolling Koppu Kick by Jushin Liger. Moneky flip by Mysterio, spinning wheel kick and a headscissors by Mysterio. Basement dropkick by Mysterio and a beautiful asai moonsault by Mysterio. Rope-hung guillotine leg drop by Mysterio, Liger puts his foot on the ropes to survive. Slam by Mysterio, Mysterio misses a springboard senton. Liger nails a diving headbutt for two, Mysterio is elevated to the apron. Liger trips Mysterio to the floor, Mysterio tries a hurricanrana from the top rope. Liger blocks and delivers a Ligerbomb for the win.

Good match, Liger is one of the all-time greats. Liger is more power based by this time in his career after his brain tumour but Liger can still work with the best of them and Mysterio held his own there with the best cruiserweight in the world. I am guessing Liger went over to have Liger ready for his match against Dragon for what would have been NJPW’s precursor to Wrestle Kingdom.

Winner: Jushin Liger over Mysterio via Ligerbomb!

Chris Benoit W/ Woman vs Jeff Jarrett

Ric Flair’s endorsement Jeff Jarrett battles Chris Benoit, collar and elbow tie-up with Jarrett pushing back Benoit. Benoit shoves Jarrett to the mat, side headlock by Benoit with Jarrett escaping the hold. Benoit slaps Jarrett, kicks and chops by The Rabid Wolverine. Back elbow by Benoit, drop toe hold and slaps to the head by Benoit. Benoit steps all over Jarrett, Jarrett unloads on Benoit, drop toehold and strut by Jarrett. Series of standing switches, monkey flip by Jarrett but Benoit kicks Jarrett in the ribs and tees off on Jarrett. Spear and punches by Jarrett, Woman distracts Jarrett and Benoit clubs all over Jarrett. Chops and headbutts by Benoit, Benoit prepares for a superplex. Jarrett holds onto the turnbuckle to block the move, Jarrett chokes Benoit using the rope. Jarrett lands groin first on the ropes after Woman saves Benoit. Jarrett is tossed to the floor like a jabroni.

Both men trade turns smacking one another onto the guard rail, sleeper in the ring by Benoit. Jarrett survives the sleeper, back suplex by Jarrett. Small package by Jarrett for two, Jarrett eats a boot from Benoit. Hard chops by Benoit, Jarrett turns the tide and nails a dropkick. Overhead belly to belly suplex, Jarrett suplexes Benoit onto the top rope. Woman pulls Jarrett’s hair to stop The Figure Four, Arn Anderson is at ringside. Jarrett battles back against Benoit, back body drop by Jarrett. The Dungeon of Doom are here to attack Woman, Kevin Sullivan is in the ring and Sullivan cracks Benoit with a chair. However, Jarrett is the victim of a DDT by Arn Anderson. Jarrett is rolled into the ring and pins Benoit by pure fluke.

I liked the match, the finish not too much. From what I can gather, Jarrett was endorsed by Flair but nobody likes Jarrett. Anderson clearly does not want Jarrett nor does Mongo. Jarrett was supposed to be the babyface but not one person was giving a damn about Jarrett. The finish does Jarrett no favours either because Jarrett won by a fluke. Jarrett does not look better because of the finish and it seems The Dungeon of Doom is still a thing and are feuding with The Four Horseman.

Winner: Jeff Jarrett over Benoit thanks to Kevin Sullivan chair shot!

(WCW Tag Team Championship Match) The Outsiders W/ Syxx vs The Faces of Fear W/ Jimmy Hart

I must say that Hall and Nash’s run as champions has been largely boring and unforgettable, the fun segments and good matches must have been on Nitro because working with the likes of The Nasty Boys had done nobody any favours. What does not help The Outsiders’ run as champions? They face heels like The Faces of Fear, we are not in NWO country, these guys are heels (It seems Vince Russo was not the only fan of this crap). Meng grabs Hall’s arm and begins wrenching before Hall wrenches the arm before meeting a huge clothesline from Meng. Meng chops Hall hard, diving bulldog by Hall to cut-off Meng. Meng is back on his feet, tag to Barbarian. Hall spits at Barbarian and tags in Big Sexy, Nash knees and cracks Barbarian with elbows and knees in the corner. Barbarian had Nash reeling but Nick Patrick put his hands all over Barbarian which leads to a big war in the ring. Nash is knocked around the ring by the two hard-headed monsters. Backbreaker for a two by Barbarian, Barbarian misses a second rope elbow.

Snake Eyes by Nash and cheap shot by Hall, tag to Hall who runs wild before Meng decides to involve himself in this match. Big boot by Barbarian, Meng scores with a huge piledriver. Cover and a two for Meng, chops by Barbarian. Powerbomb by Barbarian, Nash makes the save. Tag to Meng, inverted atomic drop and big boot combination by The Faces of Fear. Nash cheap shots Barbarian and Hall nails a clothesline, Syxx chases Jimmy Hart out of the match. Barbarian continues to choke Hall, Hall fights up to his feet and drops Barbarian with a back suplex. Tag to Nash, right hands by Nash, big boot to Barbarian, Meng makes the save. Hall and Meng slug it out, Hall is dumped on the floor. Hall drags out Meng, Nash drills Barbarian with The Jacknife Powerbomb for the win.

A fine tag team match but what are WCW trying to do with Hall and Nash? Why have Nash and Hall face other heels? Why have Nash and Hall come off as the good guys? Why have Nash and Hall as babyfaces when they are terrorizing your company and trying to destroy it? That is the thing about WCW, it seems they were determined to bury their own talent by having Nash and Hall bury them on the mic or have Hall do his surveys where he asks the crowd if they want to see WCW and the crowd boos. I do not understand this company.

Winners: The Outsiders over The Faces of Fear via Jacknife Powerbomb!

Hogan Promo

Trillonaire Ted Dibiase and Miss Elizabeth stand around as Hogan promise to beat up Piper, it was nothing special.

(Finals of United States Championship Tournament) DDP vs Eddie Guerrero

DDP and Eddie Guerrero have been feuding on and off for the past number of months with DDP decisively beating Guerrero at a prior pay per view. With Flair’s injury, the United States Championship was vacated and these two battle it out for the championship. Collar and elbow tie-up with DDP pushing back Guerrero, side headlock by DDP. Guerrero outwrestles DDP which leads to a third lock-up. Hard slap by DDP, Guerrero slaps DDP back in the chest. Guerrero nails a dropkick and hurls DDP into the guard rail. DDP returns the favour by slamming Guerrero into the steel steps. Guerrero hotshots DDP and lands a tope, armbar by Guerrero. Guerrero goes for the ten punch in the corner and DDP drops Eddie on the top turnbuckle. Reverse tombstone by DDP, DDP stomps all over Eddie Guerrero.

DDP clubs the arm of Guerrero, reverse chinlock by DDP. Abdominal stretch by DDP who uses the ropes for leverage, sunset flip by Guerrero but DDP drops Guerrero with a swinging neckbreaker. More abdominal stretching, the referre catches DDP and DDP breaks the hold. Abdominal stretch by Guerrero but DDP plants Guerrero with a clothesline. Shoulder thrust by DDP, Guerrero dodges the second and DDP runs into the ringpost. Guerrero uppercuts and slams DDP into the turnbuckle, suplex and floatover by Guerrero for a two count. Back suplex by Guerrero, Guerrero misses The Frog Splash. DDP covers for a two count, suplex by DDP for another two. Gutbuster by DDP, DDP is climbing to the top rope and Guerrero crotches DDP. Inverted atomic drop and small package by Eddie for a two count, backslide wields the same result. Diamond Cutter is turned into a backslide, slugfest and Irish whip by DDP into a Spiral Bomb. Two count for DDP, both wrestlers bang heads and Eddie falls to the floor. The Wolfpac are here, Hall plants DDP with The Outsider’s Edge. FrogSplash by Guerrero and we have a new champion in Eddie Guerrero.

Good match, Eddie is smooth in the ring but his personality is non-existent, I feel like Eddie Guerrero will be a transitional champion due to awkward persona. DDP was good, a popular heel that could only stay that way for so long similar to The Rock in the WWF in 1998. The future looks bright for both these men in WCW.

Winner: Eddie Guerrero over DDP via FrogSplash!

The Giant vs Lex Luger

Two men known for great matches.. Ah who am I kidding? This is going to be bowling shoe ugly but maybe, just maybe, this match could be ok. The lock-up, Giant is pushed back by Luger, big punches by Luger. Big clothesline by Giant, huge elbow. Kick to the ribs which sends Luger to the floor. Luger takes huge shots to the lower back, Giant steps on Luger. Luger attempts a comeback but cannot lift The Giant, Giant elbows Luger once again. Giant misses a stinger splash, Luger smashes Giant as much as he can before Giant boots Luger to the canvas. Giant misses a dropkick and it gets no reaction, elbows and right hands by Luger. Series of clotheslines and right hands but Giant will not fall, neckbreaker by Luger for a two count. Giant presses Luger onto the referee, Luger scoop slams Giant.

Luger goes for the Rack but Nick Patrick kicks the leg of Luger, Sting is here. Torture Rack but Syxx makes the save, Sting is in the ring. Sting shoves Patrick and drops the bat in the middle of the ring. Sting leaves and Luger crawls towards the bat. Giant steps on the bat but Luger low blows Giant and beats Giant with bat. Cover by Luger and Luger pins The Giant to win the match.

It was a decent match, I was expecting a terrible match but it was not that bad. Another loss for Giant who is the number one contender for the world heavyweight championship, I know it was the bat that laid out The Giant but if The Giant is meant to be a main event player, do not have him lose before his championship match and don’t have him play second fiddle to so many babyfaces and heels. That being said, the crowd is super into Luger which is good for him considering how it did not work out in the WWF.

Winner: Luger over The Giant via Bat Beatdown!

Rowdy Roddy Piper vs Hollywood Hulk Hogan

Here we go, the main event that had been brewing for two months, Piper came in at Halloween Havoc and called out Hogan for never beating him. Hogan thinking that he is the bee’s knees, laughs at Piper and decides to accept Piper’s challenge for the match. Piper had been laid out and assaulted by The NWO on a few occasions, there is a focus on Piper’s hip as there was a scar on The Hot Rod’s upper thigh. Hogan begins the match by slapping Piper, make it two slaps as piper stares a whole through Hogan.

Piper rocks Hogan with a series of rights and lefts, Hogan comically bails to the floor and half way up the rampway. Piper eats a kick by Hogan who unloads on Hot Rod, Piper is rammed into the top turnbuckle. Piper dodges a corner clothesline and nails a clothesline of his own, rake to the eyes by Piper. Big clothesline by Piper, side headlock by Piper. Hogan nails a back suplex but Piper does not release the side headlock. Piper is backed into the ropes and Hogan hotshots Piper, double axe handle by Hogan. In the ring, Piper knocks down Hogan, stiff kicks and a dropkick by Piper. Hogan is on the floor again and tries to leave the arena. Piper whips Hogan all over and chokes Hogan for the exclamation point. Scoop slam by Piper but Dibiase grabs the foot of Piper. Dibiase distracts Piper and Hogan takes control, Hogan puts the boots to Piper. Hogan begins working the hip of Piper, abdominal stretch by Hogan. Piper survives the hold but Dibiase grabs Piper for the second time. Small package by Piper for a two count.

Piper pokes Hogan in the eyes, suplex by Piper. Cover and a two count, Hogan misses the Leg Drop. Piper kicks the legs of Hogan and Hogan is begging on his knees, Giant is in the ring. Giant looks for A Chokeslam but Piper fights off Giant and Hogan and Hogan has found himself in the sleeper. Piper chokes out Hogan and Piper has beaten Hogan clean in the middle of the ring. The Giant and Hogan are having problems which looks like The NWO is imploding. Big Giant chants, everyone wants to see Giant kill Hogan.

As a match, mostly garbage. You’d think Hogan as a heel would be tremendous considering how many great heels he had faced and the fact that he was no slouch when he was a heel but it seems so comical and it does not work. The facials and the trash talk seem so forced like Hogan is trying too hard. Hogan powders at least three times in the match, once is enough. When you do it three times, you are either stalling or just trying to make me hate you. Piper does his best, the eyepokes, the cheating, the punches, they are all there and Piper brings life to an otherwise dead match. The ending was hampered by fan run-in, Giant hoists Piper in the air and walks in a circle waiting for Hogan to get into position, Giant takes a big bump to the floor and Piper slaps on the sleeper to no reaction. The whole turning on The Giant thing seems so half-assed too with the explanation being that Hall and Nash were not there for Giant in his match yet Syxx and Nick Patrick were out there helping Giant so his whole “Nobody helps me” does not really work. The main events in WCW have been consistently poor since I began reviewing them, I just hope I get a change of pace sooner rather than later.

Winner: Roddy Piper over Hogan via Sleeper!

Starrcade is WCW’s answer to Wrestlemania and this show felt like a lot of the Wrestlemanias from this time-period: a disappointment and not worth the price. You had your good matches, the cruiserweight matches were good. Everything else, not so much, there were just so many questionable booking decisions and finishes that made me want to stop watching the show. If Jarrett is to being taken seriously, why have him win by fluke? If The Outsiders are the true heels of the company, why are we booking them against other heels? If Eddie Guerrero is a babyface who we want to get over, why is all the focus on DDP and his eventual turn? If Giant is challenging for the championship and turning face, why are we having him face a top face in Luger and why is he losing? I am left scratching my head, trying to figure out the reason how WCW managed to not screw everything up before 1998. This show was not a good show, the cruiserweight matches were good but you could see them on any pay per view, the rest of a show was a mess so my call is giving this show a miss. I shall see you for the next review and remember: There is always another night!

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