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GSR

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  1. The graphic on screen reads ‘Halloween Spectacular’ so that gives us a rough idea of the date and when this took place as that can be an issue with some of these WWC matches. A rematch from last month then and again Invader I is bleeding just like at the Anniversario show. This is nothing but a fairly half-hearted brawl on the floor from what we see, both get their heads rammed into the ring post, both use the wooden ring steps as a weapon. Sierra is in control of things when he heads off to collect a metal chair which he jabs into the Invader. He then opens the chair out, places it over his upper body and sits on it, trapping him underneath. The Cuban was busted open himself and as he leans over his blood is dripping onto Invader’s face, not nice at all. When the referee tries to get him off, Sierra gives him a shove and that’s the DQ. Yup, yet another DQ. Sierra does get pelted with a bit of rubbish by the fans for refusing to get off him and, having no luck himself, the ref ends up gesturing for some help which comes in the shape of three guys from the dressing room who’re out just as our footage ends.
  2. Hail’s offense here looks better than against Abdullah the Butcher, some effective knife edge chops and punches that actually look like they connect. Jimmy Hart is again providing interference from the floor, putting the boots to Gonzalez after he takes a bump over the turnbuckles to the outside from a whip to the corner. Gonzalez with a dropkick to the knee followed by a big slam. Hail kicks out of the cover and responds with a bodyslam of his own. He heads up top, however Gonzalez falls into the ropes causing him to lose his balance and crotch himself across the top rope. Hart gets decked when he climbs onto the apron and with Gonzalez mounting a comeback, he signals for the troops, Thunder & Lightning running out for the DQ. Carly Colon makes the save and the two see the heels off. Less than four minutes of footage here which was not only joined in progress but also clipped too. I wonder if Hogan had it written in Hail’s contract that he wasn’t allowed to do jobs so we got these non-decisions in Puerto Rico?
  3. The Prototype, who comes out to the Rocky theme, attacks Russ from behind so he’s playing the heel here. It sounds like he’s aligned himself with WCW, after they recruited him, according to what Les Thatcher is saying. Haas ducks a swinging right and comes back with a flying forearm. Cena does bump and feed well for Haas’ offense. He counters a huracanrana with a powerbomb before opening up, although his punches look quite raggedy. Russ avoids a standing splash and Cena is back bumping and feeding for him again. Modified uranage by Haas, when Kwee Wee runs out and attacks Russ for the DQ. Charlie rushes from the dressing room to help his brother and they quickly clear the ring of Kwee Wee. He doesn’t bother sticking around or even attempting to try and help Prototype who falls to a double chokeslam, his recruitment by WCW already over it would seem. Always interesting to see where John Cena is at in his development; good poise, bumping and feeding, poor punches, not sure he’d be cut out to be a heel from what we saw here.
  4. Matt Stryker, as in ‘Unibrow’ Matt Stryker, that unibrow evident in all its glory. No Jim Cornette this week, Brock Guffman joining Les Thatcher on colour. Guffman with implications that the WCW wrestlers are all gay because they don’t have any women with them. Come back Corny all is forgiven! Nice side headlock throws by Stryker, the former HWA Cruiserweight champion who recently lost the strap to Jamie Noble. Shannon deliberately dropkicks the leg and despite Stryker trying to shield it out of his grasp as he hobbles around, Moore eventually gets him down and starts stomping away on it. He continues targeting that leg, wrapping it around the ropes before kicking it some more. Stryker with a one footed dropkick but his leg gives out on the powerslam. Single leg crab by Moore, manoeuvring position so that he can get hold of the top rope for additional leverage. Helena Heavenly, Stryker’s valet, is up on the apron and Shannon lets go of the hold to snatch her. Schoolboy for a near fall. After kicking out of the German that followed Moore returns to the half crab, this time using the ropes right in front of the official. Referee David Hoffen counts to five and when Shannon doesn’t break he calls for the bell for the DQ. Guffman says that he can’t remember ever seeing anyone getting DQ’d for not breaking on the five count, while Thatcher thinks that he wasn’t bothered about getting the win, WCW were just wanting to take Stryker out to save Jamie Noble a title defense. Weak finish obviously, but at least there is reasoning behind it. The work between the two and the selling by Stryker was very good up until then.
  5. Add another WWF developmental territory to Steve Bradley’s resume with the HWA. The WCW vs WWF feud has morphed its way across to developmental, although Jim Cornette points out that Bradley is his own man who calls his own shots and makes his own decisions. Jindrak rolls out the way of the moonsault and lands a butterfly suplex. Some great looking lefts to the jaw. He telegraphs the backdrop but Bradley can’t capitalise and Jindrak takes his head off with a clothesline. It’s his turn to miss the target after heading upstairs, Bradley avoiding a ropey looking twisting splash. Swinging neckbreaker by Bradley, however Jamie Noble is out and distracts the referee from seeing the cover. Missile dropkick and now Noble is upon the apron. Bradley takes his eyes off his opponent and gets caught with a double underhook, Jindrak dropping him face first onto his knee, for the win. Mike Sanders joins Corny and Les Thatcher in the commentary booth and has some words for Bradley, telling him that’s what he gets for putting his hands on a true champion and he just found out who his daddy is! A completely different Mark Jindrak to the one we saw in WCW; gone are the athletic high spots replaced with rear chinlocks. The one athletic move we saw out of him (the splash) looked bad and he needs a new finisher too. Bradley vs Noble looks like the kind of feud I would enjoy, certainly in the ring, but it looks like Bradley vs Sanders is where we’re heading, something that would certainly test “the Baddest Mo’Fo’s” abilities far more.
  6. You may remember Big Hail from WCW where he wrestled a few matches under his real name, Emory Hale, wrestled DDP on an episode of Thunder as the masked ‘Machine’ and showed up towards the end run of Saturday Night in 2000 as Hail. If you’ve not seen him before he’s a big jacked up dude. Meltzer wrote that Hulk Hogan ended up having him under contract, basically in that if he ever got his own promotion off the ground, he was going to be his big rival. I think he does turn up in the XWF later in the year. Abby is carrying some gold over his shoulder, well it’s hardly fitting around his waist is it? Hail’s punches look terrible and he’s pulling them badly. Jimmy Hart, managing Hail, uses his megaphone to bust Abby open, they haven’t even made it into the ring at this point. While this isn’t joined in progress, it is clipped, and next we see Hail choking Abby with some cable. ‘The Butcher’ is really struggling to climb the wooden ring steps, confirming my thoughts from last year in regards to him. Hail applies a bearhug and while he can surprisingly wrap his arms around the big ball of blubber, when he tries to lift him off the floor he immediately drops him back down. Hart is working harder than either wrestler, running interference and sprinting around the ring to avoid the clutches of Abby’s second. After some thrusts to the throat drop Hail, Abby pulls a fork out of his curly toed boots. He drops a big elbow and Hart is in the ring to stop the count, the referee immediately calling for the bell, DQ’ing Hail. A bunch of guys run out to attack Abby, Konnan making the save and clearing the ring with a baseball bat. The fight restarts on the baseball field, the “tough” Butcher avoiding the wrestlers and picking on little Jimmy instead! It ended up being better than the infamous Abby/Zeus match which I thought it may end up rivalling at one point, but the Butcher’s run of dire performances in WWC continues.
  7. The action is joined in progress with both wrestlers, as well as the referee, down. As the bloodied Invader gets to his feet, Fantasy, Sierra’s valet, lightly taps him in the head with a chair. He kicks out of the cover and while I’m reluctant to use the words “sympathetic babyface” about Invader I, that’s pretty much what he is here, bloodied, beaten, but not giving up and constantly trying to fight back. Sierra’s punches fire him up, only for his jumping headbutt to take more out of him than it does his opponent. With Fantasy distracting the official Sierra grabs his Cuban flag and cracks it over the Invader for a near fall. After ducking under a clothesline, a heart punch staggers Sierra who ends up falling to the mat, convulsing slightly, as Invader covers him for the win. A typically short, clipped, WWC match, but it was okay for what we saw.
  8. I had no idea Show ever worked in Puerto Rico for IWA-PR. He gets a huge ovation from the crowd and vaults into the ring over the top rope. Bruno and Lobo talk tactics on the outside, trying to figure out a game plan for their much larger opponent. They decide to rush him, one from either side, but he just palms them off. Their shots are having no effect and he’s manhandling them with ease. A Lobo dropkick to the knee brings him down to his knees and Bruno follows up with one of his own. Double shoulder tackle off the top. Diving headbutt, both cover Show, but he presses them off him. Show runs through the double clothesline and comes back with one of his own. Chokeslam for Lobo, one for Bruno and that’s all she wrote.
  9. Jerry Lawler has worked some miracles when in there with non-workers in the past, this however was not one of those occasions. For posterity the participants of this "celebrity", and that word is being used extremely loosely here, Battle Royal are Bo Smirnow (the bosses’ son), Keith Kennedy (a local DJ), Keith Young (no idea, an overweight tub of lard referred to as a "sex symbol"), Nick Andrews, Ballz (two more local DJ’s), DJ Dan (yet another DJ), Dan Mason (have a guess? A local DJ), Chef Meeker (presumably a local chef), Even Colder (a Steve Austin lookalike) and finally ‘the King’ himself. The moment this starts Young just lies on the mat and wraps himself around the bottom rope, gripping for all he is worth. Lawler dumps one of the DJ’s on the back of his head with a great looking belly to back and then kills another with an even nastier looking one. Thesz press from Even Colder, although I would hardly call what follows ‘rapid fire’ piston like right hands! We’re down to five and Lawler looks to orchestrate things so that the four of them work together to try and eliminate the big 400lb chef. That plan works and then Kennedy immediately dumps Colder and one of the DJ’s. He starts celebrating thinking he’s won, not realizing that although Lawler is on the apron, he hasn’t been eliminated. When he does realise he thinks about eliminating himself before trying his luck against ‘the King’. This was only ending one way, a Lawler piledriver before he tosses Kennedy out of there. Post-match Even Colder gives Kennedy a stunner and then collects some beers, alcohol free for Lawler no doubt, which he dishes out with some of the participants.
  10. Damn copyright laws mean that we don’t get Lazz’s Britney Spear’s music as he makes his entrance, just some generic gubbins instead. This big fella is getting a bit too involved for securities liking and they are straight over to stop him from having his fun. The event looks like it is being held in a garage, this match the semi-finals of the SCW Internet tournament. Parker is not too keen on being touched by Lazz. I know that’s a common theme with gay/effeminate characters in wrestling, but I always find it laughable when the wrestler does this considering they spend their days rolling around on a mat in nothing more than a pair of trunks! He’s a fairly big guy is Parker, although pretty cumbersome, almost like everything he does is in slow motion. His unnamed manager’s interference allows him to gain the upper hand and the manager remains a feature for the rest of the match, at one point even slugging Lazz right in full view of the official. Parker chokes Lazz and the OTT screaming is probably the one thing I really dislike about his act. Lazz holds onto the ropes as Parker’s dropkick connects with only air. Falling headbutt to the crotch. Neckbreaker off the middle and the manager pulls the referee from the ring at two to stop the count. The manager decks the ref and then Lazz decks the manager. Some masked dude runs out but he gets clobbered by another dude who’s wearing a Fez. ‘Britney Spear’ to Parker and with no-one to count the cover, Fez guy takes it upon himself to do so. That counts, maybe he’s an actual official in the company, as Lazz moves onto the final.
  11. The WWF debut of the future Batista (who would also work the following night’s tapings in Louisville, also against Nick Dinsmore). Leviathan grabs Dinsmore around the neck and throws him into the corner where he unloads with shots. A high beel out of there and now Dinsmore is in the opposite one, struggling to get to his feet. He avoids the charge but his shots are having no effect on the ‘Demon of the Deep’. Leviathan easily shakes off an up-kick after telegraphing a backdrop and we get some good facials from Dinsmore, looking out to the fans, his face saying “what do I have to hurt this man?” Press slam into a powerslam. Dinsmore rolls out the way of this horrible looking elbow drop, only for the Irish whip to be reversed and Leviathan then plants him with a spinebuster. Running lariat in the corner. The nerve hold kills the crowd though, it’s bad judgment on someone’s part thinking folk want to see that in 2001. Leviathan accidentally straddles himself across the top rope when missing a scissor kick, before Dinsmore clothesline him across it. Missile dropkick gets a huge pop from the fans. Dinsmore plays to them for too long and is floored by a clothesline. Big slam and big Dave gets the win. Smart booking from whoever made this match, putting Leviathan in there with one of the best workers in OVW and someone who he would’ve trained with plenty down there (even if he did come across as a regulation jobber due to how things were laid out). Bar the match killing nerve hold, pretty much how it should’ve gone, although Leviathan looked greener here than what he has done so far in OVW.
  12. Primarily a showcase for the Stretching Crew who get to demonstrate their speed, athleticism, power and agility in front of a new, and larger audience than usual. In what may come as a surprise Shelton looks the better prospect of the two here, and by some way. After the shine the usual formula of the heat section on Shelton before the hot tag to Brock. At least something was learned from the Christmas Chaos show as it’s the 450 splash broken up as opposed to the Shooting Star press. Payne is a long way away from Lesnar on the SSP, over half way across the ring, and Brock lands on him perfectly.
  13. Samoa Joe, Low Ki and now Ken Anderson, all in the space of a month for Essa Rios on Jakked. Tom Prichard and Kevin Kelly spend the opening minutes talking about what’s been happening on Raw, pretty much ignoring the two guys in the ring. To be fair to them, it’s not the most dazzling of starts to a match. Anderson with a float over, he shoots Essa chest first into the corner and then nails him with a rabbit lariat to the back of the head. He takes too long climbing the turnbuckles and Essa dropkicks him in the ass, ‘Kamikaze Ken’ taking a nice spill to the floor. Ah, that’s the set up for the awesome Rios somersault dive over the ring post. Contrived powerslam by Rios, one that started out with him grabbing Anderson’s hand, jumping to the top rope and bouncing and flipping around up there. Essa runs into a big boot, but for the second time in the match Anderson takes too long trying to head upstairs. Armdrag takedown from the top. Rios drags him into the centre of the ring, moonsault (which lands on Anderson’s face) and his Jakked winning streak continues. I never cared for Mr Kennedy, didn’t think much of ‘Kamikaze’ Ken Anderson in the brief bits we saw of him last year, and didn’t think much of him here. He comes across very awkward in most things that he does. The bump to the floor was done well, so I’ll give him that, and I always like seeing that dive over the ring post. Rios’ Lucha inspired powerslam spot was contrived as hell but he executed it immaculately.
  14. Outside of the Christmas Chaos show we have very little OVW from 2001 compared to practically every other year. Casey and Michaels are a regular tag team although neither wants to initiate things, each gesturing to the other to take the first shot at Leviathan. They decide to rush him together, however he just snatches them around the throat and even though they boot him in the mid-section to break his grip he just runs through the pair with a double clothesline. He catches Michaels as he comes off the top with a crossbody, standing dropkick by Casey, double cover but they can’t keep him down as he presses them both off. Spinebuster to Casey and a powerslam for Michaels. A double chokeslam does the job in what was an effective squash for the ‘Demon of the Deep’.
  15. Josh Lacey, Sabu’s handler, cuts a profanity laden promo taking exception to Rob Black’s claims that they’ve been ducking him, that they’re running scared and that they don’t want to defend the XPW World Heavyweight title. He says how Sabu has defended it against contenders such as Chris Candido, Abdullah the Butcher and Terry Funk, none of whom could get the job done, before going on to challenge the Messiah. Black and the Messiah are out and Black says how tonight Messiah is facing New Jack, but he does have an opponent for him, someone who wants to be in the ‘Black Army’ and someone who, when he defeats Sabu for the World title, will be in the ‘Black Army’. That person is Juventud Guerrera, arriving through the curtains to a very tepid response. Just as the match is about to get underway Kid Kaos makes his way out and informs Sabu that if anyone is fighting Juventud Guerrera tonight it is him. If Sabu is going to fight him too, “guess that makes this a three-way dance”. Could this company be any more like ECW if they tried? Black allows the three-way (like he wouldn’t?) and despite Lacey’s initial misgivings thinks that Sabu can beat the shit out of both of these jabronis. I’ll give him his due Lacey does have one funny comeback, after Black says “we’ll see your ass next month” replying, “we see your wife’s every week!” That contrived three-way lock up. The opening few minutes suffers badly from the repetitive “move, cover, third man breaks it up” trope. I had it in my head that three-way dances were fought under elimination rules, I must be wrong because the commentators talk about how Sabu can lose his title without being pinned. Juvi cuts off the triple jump moonsault with a back elbow, before laying the chair on Sabu’s face and slingshot legdropping himself onto it. Larry Rivera points out the in a match like this you must wear down one man enough so that you can then concentrate on the other, and although tricky, it is possible. A very rare piece of useful insight from the XPW commentary team. A right hand from Kaos sends Sabu under the bottom rope to the outside which he follows with a heavy looking flip dive to the floor. Juvi comes off the top with a plancha out onto both, only just maintaining his balance up there, while Sabu and Kaos have to stand there waiting for him. Sabu launches Juvi over the security railing into the front row and then hops back into the ring where Lacey throws him a second chair. Double jump springboard plancha, Sabu clearing the railing by inches as it’s too far away and you can visibly see him hesitate before jumping, unsure as to whether he could make it or not. A table is set up at ringside although that doesn’t play a part in proceedings, Juvi swiping a leg out from under Kaos who falls backwards from the turnbuckles to the mat. After a ‘Juvi Driver’ he signals for the 450 splash, all while Sabu is messing around with that table and now trying to bring it into the ring. Kaos crotches ‘the Juice’ and hits a superplex, Sabu breaking up the cover by punting Kaos in the head. A second ‘Juvi Driver’ to Kaos, but Sabu interrupts things and lays Kid on that table he’d brought in moments earlier. Arabian facebuster from the top sees Sabu retain his World title, Juvi getting their fractionally too late in his efforts to stop the count. The mic work at the start between Lacey and Black was lame, especially Lacey’s over reliance on swearing. The match was not the train wreck I expected going in, Sabu hitting everything clean, but contained very stereotypical three-way elements of the era. Okay to see the once, not something I could ever imagine we wanting to revisit in the future.
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