Hereos Of Wrestling 10/10/1999
Written by: Arnold Furious
During my run of WCW shows in 1999 I was reminded that the worst show of the year didn’t even come from WCW. The email in question teased me by asking me the question; do you know what the worst show from 1999 was? I scoured my archives for a really bad WWF show. I figured it was something I’d forgotten about because 1999 had a lot of bad shows. St Valentines Day Massacre perhaps, or Armageddon, or Survivor Series? Then it came to me in a flash. 1999, wasn’t that the year they ran that Heroes of Wrestling show? Bingo. Heroes of Wrestling, a debacle from start to finish is famed for having a main event that ranked at minus five stars and an infamously bad drunken promo from Jake Roberts. Well, if there’s a show that sucks worse than WCW I have to see it. And here it is…
October 10th 1999. We’re in Bay St Louis, Mississippi at a casino. Hosts are Randy Rosenbloom and Dutch Mantell. It was supposed to be Gordon Solie but he was too ill to take part. Sadly he passed away not long afterwards.
BACKSTAGE King Kong Bundy cuts a promo on Yokozuna who shows up to cause a weak pull apart brawl. Yoko looks enormous. He must be 700lbs. A long and embarrassing black screen follows. Rosenbloom plugs the 2000 crowd and reminds me of Michael Buffer. That’s a bad thing. Mantell stresses this is “one night only” and runs down the card. Creator Bill Stone intended it to be a series of events but the show came off SO badly that he had no chance of doing more events. Dutch is a touch excitable.
The Samoan Swat Team (Fatu/Samu) w/Paul Adams v Marty Jannetty/Tommy Rogers
Ok, first up the announcer reads a horrible “tonight someone’s getting their ass whooped in here tonight” introduction before flubbing the “Argle of Samoa”. Then the production guys put Marty Jannetty’s name up as the SST come out here. Fatu isn’t Rikishi but rather the Samoan Savage, Sam Fatu. Adams is some bush league manager who delivers a LONG cookie cutter promo pre-match. Dutch reminds us how old everyone is out here. This instantly feels like a cheap ass Indy show. How’d they get 2000 people to watch this? Oh and if you were interested the casino we’re in is Casino Magic (1-800-5MAGIC5). Jannetty dislodges that piece of advertising in the early going so someone comes out to stand it up. Yeah, let’s get our priorities right here. The faces hit a bunch of dropkicks and clear the ring out. The commentary on this is pretty bad. Seriously now, couldn’t they afford a decent PBP guy? I know Solie wasn’t available but come on. Lance Russell could have done it. Dutch starts correcting Rosenbloom a few minutes in and then starts talking all over him because he’s useless. Jannetty goes blatantly low behind the referee’s back. That’s not very babyface like. Maybe the cocaine told him to do it. The Samoans spend most of the match outside the ring walking around, which you’d think would cause some sort of dive but Jannetty is in no mood to earn his money tonight. He eats up a heat segment, zzzzzzz. Crowd looks like its anticipating something interesting happening. I’d give up on that. Rogers gets the hot tag and the crowd goes mild. I seriously doubt they even know who he is. Samoans take a really convoluted double DDT off Rogers followed by a double bulldog. Jannetty hits a pescado on Fatu so I apologise for the earlier crack about him being lazy. Samu pulls out the TKO on Rogers though for the pin at 10.00. ¼*. Yeah, whatever. Put the heels over in the opener? Are they fucking INSANE? It probably didn’t help that the match was boring as hell. That was not a good idea for the opener of a PPV. Rosenbloom calls the finisher a “Samoan drop” while Dutch points out if you include replays Rogers lost three times. Kill me now.
BACKSTAGE George Steele and his manager Sherri Martel w/enormous amounts of fake tan, run a little angle at the hotel. The commentators talk over what they’re saying. The backstage interview guy, Michael St John talks to Sherri who says that Steele is “certifiably insane”. “Let’s go fight, FIGHT, FIGHT” – George Steele. Great.
Greg Valentine v George Steele w/Sherri Martel
Valentine is 48 by this point and has been half retired for five years. Steele is 61. Enough said. Greg gets a promo saying he’ll win this match and walk out with Sherri too. Oh, no one has entrance music, which is a throwback I guess. Or a cost cutting exercise. Steele was in the WWF the year beforehand in the Oddities and he sucked something fierce. Valentine chases Sherri around and she hides behind Steele. His facial expressions are confusing. Is he happy or just retarded? Steele’s approach is basically biting Valentine and threatening to bite the turnbuckle as well. That’s about all he’s good for. Crowd doesn’t give a fuck. At all. Steele gets his shirt caught over his head so Sherri chokes him with it because she’s turned heel before we even start. Steele is lying around looking confused. Hammer with a bunch of elbows. They look like shit. This match is horrendous. Steele pulls out some form of International Object and bashes Hammer in the neck with it. Now Steele can see Sherri is being supportive and hides the object in her dress. Then she gives it to Hammer. Hah. Well George, you’re getting a taste of your own medicine there. Hammer uses it repeatedly because the referee is incompetent and doesn’t notice. It’s lying in the ring and Steele picks it up and the referee still hasn’t noticed it. Jesus, how incompetent can you get? Sherri chair shots Steele and the referee doesn’t notice THAT even though he’s looking right at it and Valentine gets the pin at 6.37. -****. One of the most incompetent attempts at wrestling I’ve ever had the misfortune to see. Sherri is the only competent person involved in this although Hammer at least tried. The referee has to be the worst I’ve ever seen, which is saying something.
Too Cold Scorpio v Julio Fantastico
Scorpio got fired by the WWF around the time of Wrestlemania 15. Fantastico went on to wrestle as Julio Dinero in ECW but was best known by this point as being a jobber in the WWF. Scorpio has some sort of belt but no one bothers to explain what it is and why he’s carrying it. Lou Albano joins the commentary team. Albano rambles about how this is one of the greatest events of all time. He says Dutch can have another couple of grand a week (what? This is a one off show. And is he supposed to be in charge?) Albano calls Julio “Sanchez”, which was the name he wrestled under in WCW where he was also a jobber. Rosenbloom infamously calls a dropkick a legdrop. That’s Tony Schiavone bad right there. They start fucking up some really simple stuff in the ring. Like Julio thinking Scorpio is going for a leapfrog and essentially runs head first into Scorpio’s chest. Shoulderblock from Julio called an “elbow” by Rosenbloom. I guess it was close to the elbow. All of this is blatantly pre-planned and Scorpio looks like shit. He’s blowing more spots than he’s hitting. In fact all he’s done that’s looked decent so far is armdrags. Julio springboard dropkicks Scorpio off the apron. Julio fucks up a slingshot then they re-do the spot to groans from the crowd. Dutch tries to cover it by saying he “skinned the cat”. He fucked up is what he did. Scorpio backdrops Julio into the audience and we can’t see anything out there because there are no house lights and no mobile cameras. Julio comes back with a few dropkicks and whatnot. They don’t look particularly good. Scorpio with a slingshot splash for 2. Scorpio goes up top and they blow a ref bump before Julio hits a bulldog off the top for 2. Scorpio comes back with the Hurricane kick and barely connects with it. Julio had to lean right into it. Tumbleweed scores but Scorpio goes back up for another one, which he misses for the pin at 9.37. Shouldn’t have gone back up. Or rather, should have gone back up, should have done the 450 Splash. ½*. Too much fucked up stuff. They even replay the fucked up second Tumbleweed. Albano gets named the commissioner of Heroes of Wrestling, which presumably he already knew because he was talking about giving Mantell a raise but still acts really surprised. It also causes him to ramble on incoherently for another couple of minutes.
BACKSTAGE Bundy comes back to do his promo again. St John says the Bundy-Yokozuna match is coming up later. No, it really isn’t.
Iron Sheik/Nikolai Volkoff w/Nikita Brezhnikov v Sheepwhackers
I distinctly remember saying that I’d never recap another Bushwhackers match, ever. The manager cuts a promo in a weak attempt at Russian. Volkoff sings the Russian national anthem. Then Sheik does the Iranian fighting club demonstration. They keep fucking up the sound levels on the microphone. How hard is that to get wrong? It’s just someone in the back keeps turning it down and isn’t watching to see if anyone wants to talk or not. Sheik says something about how much he hates Hulk Hogan and Bob Backlund. Does he know what year this is? Crowd is chanting “USA” in a match featuring four foreigners. The Bushwhackers are “Luke and Dutch” according to Rosenbloom. They have music. What’s that about? This match is fucking brutal. The problem with running a card of “legends” is they’re all really old and past it. Everyone in this match is at least 10 years past their best. The Volkoff/Sheik duo can’t bump anything. Sheik just sort of keels over sideways and rolls around on the mat. The heels bail out and stay there for ages, a legitimate three minutes at least. Whatever happened to the fucking 10 count ref? Let’s just end this shit. Volkoff knees Butch in the bollocks but the referee, the latest in a line of incompetents, somehow misses it. Volkoff works a horrible looking chinlock for a while. Sheik is so deteriorated that he can’t do anything. He just about puts the camel clutch on and in strolls Luke to break it up. At least I presume he does because as he enters the ring the director cuts to the manager arguing with a fan. Then when he’s about to get clattered by Butch the director cuts away from that too. Yeah, it’d be terrible if something interesting aired. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen. Luke gets a tag but he gets beaten down too until the heels fuck up a double team. Volkoff just blasts Sheik in the neck with something and Luke pins at 8.42. -***. Almost as bad as Steele-Valentine.
POST MATCH Volkoff and Sheik argue to set up their match at…erm…forget it.
BACKSTAGE Tully Blanchard shows up but Stan Lane attacks him and beats him into the trunk of his car. That was earlier. We get a Tully promo. He said he came here to have fun because this isn’t a job for him anymore. He says that attack is bringing him back to his past and to a version of himself that he thought was gone. He says Stan Lane got carried by Bobby Eaton and Jim Cornette while he was an integral part of the Four Horsemen. He says the last ten years of anger is about to come out. He name drops Jim Herd and various people who signed contracts and pissed him off. He says it’s too late for Stan Lane to make a name for himself and tonight Tully will show him what it’s like to be a Horseman. Great promo. Easily the highlight of the show so far.
Tully Blanchard v Stan Lane
Lane retired in 1993. Blanchard in 1995 after a match with Shane Douglas. Lane introduces himself Mr Kennedy style. He should have done the whole night. Competence is appreciated. Lane calls Tully a joke because he “preaches in tents while I’m on ESPN”. This just makes me want to see Midnight Express v Arn & Tully. Lane starts with kicks but Tully elbows him in the neck. Lane takes over on the apron and there’s certainly effort from these guys. Neckbreaker from Lane gets 2. “Horsemen suck” – crowd. I think they’re missing the point of Tully mentioning the Horsemen. I blame WCW. See? They were so bad they could fuck up whole other promotions. Although this one didn’t need much in the way of help. Crowd looks bored. REALLY bored. Lane with a rope ride. We get a few more shots at the crowd because this match is boring and they look bored. BORED. I guess boring is a step up from embarrassing but it’s not quite so entertaining. Tully takes Lane over and hooks the Figure Four on the floor of the arena. Lane has to go to the eyes to escape. Lane is struggling though so Tully catches him in a sleeper. Lane tries for the corner but ends up falling into the ropes. Oh dear. He goes for a piledriver but Tully backdrops out of it. Lane with a back suplex but Tully gets his shoulder up and Lane pins himself at 7.04. Well, the crowd sure don’t care for that finish. The commentators don’t even understand it. ½*. Competent but boring, which is a different kind of bad. The finish was badly executed.
BACKSTAGE Jim Neidhart cuts a promo and he’s joined by Bundy for his third promo of the night.
One Man Gang v Abdullah the Butcher
Abby hasn’t been anywhere big in the US since his WCW run ended in 1992. He’s been over in Japan and the Indies. Gang had a try out with the WWF in 1998 but prior to that worked in WCW in the Dungeon of Doom back in 1995. The fact Vince didn’t hire a big man would suggest he was in pretty bad shape. Hell, Michael Cole thought he was dead. True story. He referred to Gang as the “late great One Man Gang” on a DVD commentary bonus match on Survivor Series 2006. This is a brawl. It would have been a crazy brawl a decade earlier but both guys are well over the hill by this point. Abby bleeds, as you’d expect because Gang uses his chain a lot. I’m assuming there’s some sort of no DQ stipulation on this match. Abby is bleeding profusely here, which is at least entertaining the crowd a little. Gang has a blade out of his wrist tape so you’d figure he’s about to be bleeding as well. And what do you know after lying down on the floor for a bit he blades off a punch. Abby uses the fork on him as much as Gang did with the chain. I just don’t like really obvious bladejobs. Couldn’t he wait till he was on the floor before breaking out the blade? Or at least attempt to disguise it? So both guys bleed buckets. Then they spill out to the floor and get counted out at 7.34. -* for not booking a finish. I had it way up at a DUD before that thanks to the sheer amount of blood combined with the sheer lack of wrestling.
BACKSTAGE Lou Albano accuses Bob Orton of cheating at cards so Jimmy Snuka attacks him while Albano shouts abuse at him. Albano gets some interview time saying he won’t call favourites in his role but he wants Snuka to kick the hell out of Bob Orton. That doesn’t sound very impartial.
ELSEWHERE Orton gets an interview as well. He says Albano made him look like a cheat by slipping a card up his sleeve. Was there any need for the daft angle?
Bob Orton Jr v Jimmy Snuka w/Lou Albano
Snuka has been working Indies since his brief run as ECW champion in 1993. Orton hasn’t worked anywhere big since 1989 and retired after this match. Rosenbloom points out managing Snuka would be a conflict of interests for the commissioner. Snuka gets a few roll up’s for near falls. He’s clearly in better condition. Orton is somewhat, well, slow. But then he is 49 at this point. Snuka gets suplexed and slammed. Orton knows he can’t keep going at that pace and slows it right up with an armbar. Oddly enough the crowd bite on that something fierce and chant loudly for “Superfly”. He stays on it so the crowd chant “Bob, you suck”. This has been a LONG armbar now. Orton lays into the arm a few times and goes back to the armbar. Albano is hobbling around at ringside like a crazy man. The chant is now “Bob is a faggot”. They really don’t like that armbar, eh? Rosenbloom calls the crowd “rude” for “talking about someone’s sexual orientation”. So he’s gay then. Orton kills some time jawing with the homophobic crowd. I imagine he’s just defending his lifestyle choices. Snuka comes back with a headbutt and some chops. Orton gets crotched on the ropes. Orton falls on top after a collision. The referee gets down there…looks at the shoulders…thinks about it…thinks about it…and then counts for 2. The officiating hasn’t even approached good tonight. It’s been consistent though. Consistently hideous. Albano prevents a superplex. Orton gets pissed off and chases after the old man but re-injures that dodgy forearm from the 80’s in the process. HAHAHA. Snuka hits him with a high crossbody for the pin at 11.46. ¾*. That sure dragged. Match of the night btw despite not even scraping over a full snowflake.
BACKSTAGE Michael St John has Jake Roberts who is WASTED. His eyes are a mess and he slurs every single word. Here’s his promo… “In a casino, you should gamble. Let me tell you something, Anvil, you don’t want to play cards with me, because I’ll cheat. Okay, I cheat. You want to play 21, I got 22. You want to play black jack? I got two of those too. You want to play aces and eights? Well, I got some of those too. Bottom line is this. You do not gamble with me … When you walk into a casino, when you want to gamble, the main thing you must do, is this, you must accept losing. I don’t accept losing, and neither does Damien. Damien, my friend! My friend Damien is right here (*cameraman pans down to the bag at Jake’s feet*). You don’t want to see this, do you? Let me show you something. I tell you what Anvil, go ahead and roll the dice. Mr. Cameraman, get your ass back up here (*Jake starts waving his arms frantically around his ankles*). Hell-oooo, I’m talkin’ to you. Get that camera back up here. That’s what you should worry about Anvil. The bottom line is this, when the DDT comes, then the snake comes out. Worry about the DDT. DDT! DDT! DDT! DDT! DDT! DDT! THINK ABOUT IT!” Imagine that only with every single word slurred and him leaning on the interviewer half the time. He ends up with one arm around the interviewer to prop himself up before staggering off camera.
Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart v Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Jake is completely fucking wasted. Christ knows what he’s been taking but I’d imagine it’s a combination of things. He’s pretty hardcore when it comes to consumption of narcotics and whatnot so he must have taken quite a bit of whatever he’s taken to be in such bad condition. He can’t stand up straight and nearly pisses himself when his pyro goes off. He goes to take the snake out but changes his mind. Then he staggers back to the locker room. Christ knows why but he comes back having taken his t-shirt off. He strolls around ringside making bizarre flirtatious motions towards some hideous woman at ringside before forcing her to touch his chest. Oh dear lord. Anvil looks worried. He decides stalling is the best option here. Jake manages a bad armdrag but I’m just impressed he could do a wrestling move at all. Jake considers getting the snake out again but Anvil hooks up with him to stop that flight of fancy. Considering how bad Jake’s condition is this isn’t terrible. I think Anvil is covering it up really well. Jake goes for the DDT but Anvil bails on it. The snake crawls out of the bag because Jake was too fucked up to tie it back up right. Jake finally notices it and pulls it out. Instead of throwing it at Anvil he waves it around between his legs and pretends to masturbate with it. Anvil is just staring at Jake as he lies on his back and licks the snake’s face. He’s high as shit here. Out comes King Kong Bundy because this match is fucked seven ways from Sunday. He figures they’ll make it into a tag match and stop the embarrassment.
Jim Neidhart/King Kong Bundy v Jake Roberts/Yokozuna
Ah the joys of improvisation. Unfortunately someone has to tell Jake he’s now going to have to job because he’s fucking clown shoes out there. Jake does a terrific job of completely ignoring Bundy for example and pretending he’s not even there. Yoko looks enormous btw. His ass must be 300lbs by itself. Anvil bashes Bundy in the jaw by mistake. Meanwhile Jake is taking a breather by lying on the floor. Out comes a mini version of Bundy who tells these guys what the new finish is. What a fucking disaster. Yoko won’t even look at Jake because he’s such a fucking mess. Speaking of Jake he manages to fall over with no one anywhere near him. Has he passed out? No, he’s moving. A bit. Anvil gets in close to pass the finish on to Jake. Few chair shots and its clear Jake doesn’t like the new finish because he ignores them. Then he falls over again. Oh dear Jesus, the very presence of this match is putting back wrestling 30 years. Bundy puts the boots into Jake and it’s like they’re out to punish him for being such a fucking shambles. Jake can’t even get in the ring. This is a fine example of why drugs are bad. The mini-Bundy looks a lot like Matt Lucas, which should create some fine surreal imagery in your heads. Jake keeps putting his foot on the rope to avoid being pinned by Bundy. He can’t get up though. Anvil is just lucky he hasn’t puked on him yet. Jake is such a mess both of his boots have come off. He decides to tag Yoko in and that allows an improvement in the action, believe it or not. Jake falls over again and Bundy pins him. The referee decides to make sure Jake stays down with a fast count at 16.34. -*****. Worst. Match. Ever. Jake is an embarrassment. To wrestling, to the promoters and to himself.
Final Thoughts: The worst PPV, ever. In fact I’ll go you one better and say it’s the worst show I’ve seen any company put on. Ever. Even that MPW show with the terrible battle royal at the end had one decent match on it. Even the LDN show I went to had a few half decent matches. This show has nothing. Just brutally awful action throughout. You can get Jake Roberts antics on You Tube. Everything else is a pass. Its not hyperbole when people called this the worst show ever. It really is. Just a complete embarrassment to wrestling. Amazing to think there’s actually a worse PPV in 1999 than all the unspeakable crap that WCW put on. But here’s the proof. Avoid at all costs.