Similar to the WCW Worldwide 2000 series, I decided to checkout another forgotten show that was WWF programming. The show I’m referring to was WWF Metal. Metal aired late on Saturday nights in Upstate New York. I maybe watched one or two episodes when it was airing. Perhaps I’ll stumble across some good matches or at least interesting matches that I have watched via the WCW Worldwide 2000 series.
Without further delay, lets check out some WWF Metal!
Match #1: Crash Holly vs. Taka Michinoku
Reason Reviewed: I mostly remember Crash wrestling in the hardcore division and not normally competing in a regular match with someone his size. I’m expecting this to be more Taka’s style. This is also the rare opportunity for Taka to actually work a match instead of being used as a comedy wrestler.
Crash takes Taka down to the canvas early on with a side headlock but Taka gets out quickly. Taka works over Crash in the corner and misses a shoulder in the corner but Crash locks in another headlock. Taka gets out of the headlock with a back suplex. Taka continues to work over Crash but gets backdropped over the top to the floor. Crash hits a baseball slide head scissors on the floor! Crash rams Taka head first into the corner from the apron. Taka punches his way back into the ring and dumps Crash to the floor. Taka takes Crash out with a springboard moonsault on the outside! Taka decides to take his time and taunts the fans on the middle turnbuckle. Taka dropkicks Crash on the upper back before hitting a dropkick right to Holly’s face. Taka clotheslines Crash and maintains control of the match. Crash counters a hip toss with a rollup but Taka gets up to knock Crash down with a spinning heel kick. Taka punches Crash from the middle rope and attempts a tornado DDT only to be shoved off. Holly clotheslines Taka several times but Taka delivers a knee in the corner followed by a missile dropkick. Taka signals for the Michinoku Driver but Holly counters with a nice DDT! Taka avoids a German suplex and counters a hurricanrana with a power bomb. Taka comes off the top but is drop-kicked in midair. Holly hits the Crash Course to pin Taka! (**1/2. That was a really solid match with Crash showing he’s capable of a lot more than just hardcore brawling. Taka was heavily underused in WWF, in my opinion. This was refreshing to see these guys working a good style and getting good action.)
Match #2: Dudley Boys vs. Headbangers
Reason Reviewed: I haven’t watched a whole lot of Headbangers in action aside from their 1997 run, for the most part. I believe this takes place in Philadelphia, which would likely motivate the Dudley’s to perform a better than expected match on Metal.
Mosh gets on the microphone and taunts the Dudley Boys, including a make stutter. All four guys brawl in the ring to start the match with the Headbangers isolating D-Von and Thrasher hits a hurricanrana on Mosh off the top to land onto D-Von. Mosh kicks D-Von in the corner and drops him with a clothesline. Mosh chokes D-Von over the middle rope for a few moments before tagging in Thrasher, but he gets taken down by D-Von rather quickly. Bubba tags in and hammers away on Thrasher in the corner. Thrasher stops from running the ropes and Bubba gets a near fall with a DDT. Thrasher backdrops Bubba and connects with a clothesline. Bubba gets driven down by the Headbangers and stomped by Mosh until D-Von enters the ring to make the save. Bubba slams Mosh and D-Von goes to the top to hit a diving head butt to the groin area. D-Von misses a middle rope head butt as Mosh rolls out of the way and tags in Thrasher. Thrasher cleans house with right hands and backdrops D-Von. Thrasher nearly pins Bubba with a rollup. Mosh comes off the top to clothesline D-Von but Bubba breaks up the pin attempt. Bubba sends Mosh into the ring steps and shortly afterward the Dudley’s hit the 3D on Thrasher for the win. (*1/4. There was a couple of entertaining spots by Mosh, but this was rather boring and the fans just didn’t care about the Headbangers.)
Match #3: Joey Abs vs. Val Venis
Reason Reviewed: I seem to recall hearing that Joey Abs was the most promising guy in the Mean Street Posse. I’ve just never watched Abs in a singles match until now. I’m interested to see if Venis could carry him to something decent.
Venis avoids Abs at the start and hammers away on him. Venis boots a charging Abs in the corner but Abs avoids a backdrop only to run into a drop toe hold. Venis sends Abs over the top to the floor. Venis pummels Abs with strikes but gets tossed into the ring steps by Abs. Pete Gas and Rodney attack Venis while the referee was distracted. Venis drops Abs with a neck breaker and continues to punch Abs. Abs sends Venis face first into the middle turnbuckle as Val appears to have slipped running into the corner. Abs stops Venis with a sleeper hold but Venis gets out with a sit out power bomb. Venis clotheslines Abs followed by a backdrop. Venis delivers a few knee strikes and side Russian leg sweep. Venis taunts Joey and continues with strikes. Abs gets out of a suplex with a DDT and manages a two count. Abs tries for the Razors Edge but Venis gets out and knocks both Rodney and Gas off the apron. Venis hit a fisherman suplex for a two count. Venis plants Abs with a spine buster and goes to the top rope. Venis gets the win following the Money Shot. (*. It’s safe to say that Abs was not an impressive wrestler and was really sloppy.)
Match #4: Headbangers vs. Tracy Smothers & Rick Michaels
Reason Reviewed: Another Tracy Smothers appearance this time in the WWF! I’ve grown to really appreciate Smothers after watching so much of his SMW stuff. Rick Michaels helped train AJ Styles, so he has that going for himself.
Thrasher and Smothers kick off the tag match. Thrasher elbows Smothers into the corner and hammers away briefly. Smothers ducks a clothesline and hit a leaping forearm smash followed by a kick to the face and a kick to the back of the head. Mosh gets met with a kick as well. Michaels tags in and hammers away on Thrasher’s arm. Mosh tags in and clotheslines Rick after leaping off the middle rope. Smothers pummels Mosh from behind but gets thrown to the floor. Headbangers hit the Stage Dive for the win on Michaels. (*1/2. That was a quick three minute squash match, but at least Smothers got a moment to shine before his team lost. Even a lower level team like the Headbangers need a win every once and awhile.)
Match #5: WWF Lightweight Champion Essa Rios vs. Funaki
Reason Reviewed: Growing up, I was a big Essa Rios fan and I’m not entirely sure why I was. This is another example of getting to see a guy, Funaki, wrestle in a non-comedy role and see how well he does.
Lita is managing Rios at this point in her career. Funaki starts off with a kick to the midsection and a few right hands to stagger Rios. Funaki misses a clothesline and Essa dropkicks Funaki on the leg. Rios plants Funaki with a sit down power bomb for a two count. Rios shoulder rams Funaki in the corner a few times but runs into a double boot. Funaki comes off the ropes to hit a bulldog for a two count. Funaki slides to the floor to avoid being sent into the corner. Rios hit a baseball slide head scissors on the floor. Lita performs the same move that Rios just did. Lita rolls Funaki into the ring and Rios hit a power bomb for a near fall. Funaki forearms Rios in the corner and attempted a tornado DDT but Rios countered with an atomic drop. Rios plants Funaki with a wheelbarrow face buster. Rios comes off the top with a moonsault for the win. After the match, Lita hit a moonsault, too. (*1/2. That was certainly a disappointing match. Lita performing the same moves that Rios did kind of hurt the match, I thought. Funaki wasn’t presented as a serious threat, either.)
On the next installment of the series the following matches will be covered…
Gangrel vs. Tazz
Essa Rios vs. Billy Fives
D’Lo Brown vs. Julio Fantastico
Tazz vs. Tracy Smothers
Dean Malenko vs. Stevie Richards
Thanks for reading.