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20 Days of Battle Royals: Day 7

January 13th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Date: November 22, 1998
Company: WCW
Show: World War 3
Rules: 60 men compete in three rings. Once it’s down to 20, they all converge into one ring.
Stipulation: #1 contender for WCW Championship at Starrcade
Roster (60): Chris Adams, Chris Benoit, Bobby Blaze, Ciclope, Damien, El Dandy, Barry Darsow, the Disciple, Disco Inferno, Bobby Duncum Jr., Bobby Eaton, Mike Enos, Scott Hall, Héctor Garza, the Giant, Glacier, Juventud Guerrera, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Eddy Guerrero, Hammer, Kenny Kaos, Kaz Hayashi, Horace Hogan, Barry Horowitz, Prince Iaukea, Chris Jericho, Kanyon, Billy Kidman, Konnan, Lenny Lane, Lex Luger, Lizmark Jr., Lodi, Dean Malenko, Steve McMichael, Ernest Miller, Chip Minton, Rey Misterio Jr., Kevin Nash, Scott Norton, La Parka, Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker, Psychosis, Scott Putski, Stevie Ray, The Renegade, Scotty Riggs, Perry Saturn, Silver King, Norman Smiley, Scott Steiner, Super Caló, Johnny Swinger, Booker T, Tokyo Magnum, Villano V, Vincent, Kendall Windham, Wrath and Alex Wright

I didn’t get into WCW until sometime in 1998, shortly before this event. I actually didn’t start watching WCW simply because I’m a wrestling fan, but because I was a huge fan of the Nintendo 64 game WCW/nWo Revenge. Me and my best friend rented that game so many times that it gave us enough familiarity with the product to want to start checking it out. While I didn’t watch this match on PPV, I did watch it scrambled, back when that was a thing.

World War 3 was a rather short-lived match gimmick in WCW that sounded outright epic to someone who hadn’t seen one before. Royal Rumble has 30 men? World War 3 has 60. Royal Rumble has one ring? World War 3 has three rings! Having watched them all a few years ago, I discovered that sometimes bigger isn’t exactly better. The ones for 95, 96 and 97 were complete clusterfucks. Like with that Battle Bowl match, there’d be picture-in-picture, only for that we’d see the different rings while so much battle royal brawling is going on that you can’t even keep track of what’s what and who’s who. There’s no drama and nothing worth paying attention to.

Then when you get to the end of it, there’s always some kind of dumb swerve that kills it. Real life situations makes this edition of the World War 3 match infamous, but yet it’s still easily the best one. It’s too bad that it’s the last one because they really started to get a good handle on things. No picture-in-picture. Just constant focus changes with it explicitly saying which ring it is on the screen and a tendency to not have anything too important going on in two rings at the same time. There’s a counter of how many guys are still in the rings at any given time, making things easier to follow.

Not only that, but there’s actual story going on throughout the match instead of only getting interesting once there are 20 left.

Prior to the match, we get over five minutes of introductions as nearly the entire WCW roster empties out the back and into the ring. There’s one Turnertron video playing throughout that zips through all 60 names in different fonts. The commentators keep bringing up that Hollywood Hogan isn’t there. Cute thing in there is that some of the guys had matches earlier in the night and this includes Jericho, who’s selling his match against Bobby Duncum Jr. from minutes earlier.

Finally, the rings fill up and we’re off. Ring 2 is a ring where nothing is really going on, despite being where most of the big names are. They’re just killing time so most of them can stick around for the final round. Ring 1 is made up of a lot of smaller wrestlers with name value, such as Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Alex Wright and Disco Inferno as they share the ring with the Giant. Giant remains in the corner for most of the match, choosing to stay to himself. Then you have Ring 3, where it’s Kevin Nash and 19 jobbers. Nash decides to just go to town and clears the ring in less than three minutes.

Before he gets around to that, there is a funny moment where El Dandy and La Parka eliminate Tokyo Magnum. Then La Parka leaves El Dandy hanging.

Who are you to not high-five El Dandy?

Van Hammer is the last challenge to Nash and puts up enough of a fight, but he too is thrown out of there. That allows Nash to sit back for the next fifteen minutes or so, hanging alone in Ring 3 to catch his breath. Amusingly, his nWo Wolfpac comrade Konnan gestures to him from the second ring that they’ll catch up on things later.

Neat moment in Ring 2 is when former long-time tag partners Stevie Ray and Booker T cross paths. They decide that it isn’t even worth the effort in fighting.

Wow, Alex. Way to show some effort. You’re like me when I’m helping someone lift a couch.

Meanwhile, back in Ring 1, Giant starts going to town on everyone. This leads to everyone in the ring going after him all at once. It doesn’t work out so well.

Disco Inferno tries to rally the troops, but Chris Benoit figures he’d be safer in attacking Disco and hoping that they survive long enough to be in the final 20. Ring 2 whittles down enough that they get that. Everyone converges onto Ring 2, although Saturn and the Cat get themselves disqualified by leaving the ring and fighting to the back. A lot of the smaller guys are removed in one fell swoop and soon we’re down to various factions sticking together. nWo Hollywood has Scott Steiner, Scott Norton and the Giant. nWo Wolfpac has Kevin Nash, Lex Luger and Konnan. The Four Horsemen has Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko and Mongo McMichael. Scott Hall is out on his own. Then you have other independent wildcards like Booker T and Wrath.

One of the stories going on in the match is the status of Scott Hall. He’s been kicked out of nWo Hollywood and they’ve been doing some awesome teasing of he and Nash getting back together. One of the better instances is when they team up to beat on the Giant together and would have him out if not for the interference by the other Hollywood members.

When they’re down to ten, WCW newcomer Bam Bam Bigelow runs out and tries to enter the ring. The survivors fight him off until security pulls him out. Soon Goldberg rushes out and they start going at it until a dozen or so security guards pull them apart. During all this, the competitors in the ring take a break a watch on.

With only a handful of guys left, Nash steps forward and points at the Giant, who has since lost his Hollywood allies. Giant is ready to fight them all off on his own, but he’s overwhelmed and gets thrown over the top by his remaining enemies. Scott Hall makes sure to wave him off as he leaves the ringside area.

Our final three are Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Lex Luger. Nash and Luger make a friendly, “What happens happens,” gesture and it becomes a three-way brawl. Luger is the first person to knock Nash over the whole match and it allows him to take apart Hall. For this final World War 3 match, they added a stipulation that pins and submissions are allowed. On one hand, it’s a moot point as nobody is shown getting pinned or submitting, but I guess it’s just there for the sake of having Luger pick up Hall in the Torture Rack. That opens him up for Nash to get back up and take both of them out with a running boot. Nash is the last man standing and wins a shot against Goldberg at Starrcade.

Did I mention that Kevin Nash was booking this? Because he was. Nash wrote that he should dominate this 60-man match so that he could go on to main event the biggest show of the year and end Goldberg’s streak. It’s something that in hindsight it’s easy to gnash at the teeth about (no pun intended, seriously), but at the time, I was all for it. People talk about how nuts WCW was to ever end Goldberg’s streak, but here’s the thing: Goldberg’s streak was boring as hell.

They refused to ever book him properly in the first place and only put him in midcard matches against guys who had zero chance. His streak and ho-hum title reign started to make him a borderline heel because they were running low on interesting challengers and whenever he fought another face (ie. Sting and DDP), it was too easy to root for them. Personally, I thought that when it was Nash’s time to step to the plate, the whole streak concept had run its course.

Unfortunately, they went about it all in the most convoluted (AKA “WCW”) way. The match ended in a clusterfuck and led to the amazingly stupid Fingerpoke of Doom where the nWo came back together under Hogan’s leadership. And that was the beginning of the end for WCW.

Tomorrow, we return to the WWF for Vince McMahon’s foolproof plot to escape Steve Austin’s wrath.

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The Summerslam Countdown: Day Two

August 5th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

I guess before I continue the list, I should do some kind of filler intro thing first. Maybe on a later day I’ll go through the matches of this year’s show or whatever. I can’t really think of much in terms of Summerslam trivia outside of an interesting factoid I noticed involving Hulk Hogan. Basically, Hulk Hogan is not only undefeated, but he’s never had a single title match his entire time at Summerslam. Check it out.

Summerslam 88: Is in a tag match with champion Randy Savage against Andre and Dibiase.
Summerslam 89: Hogan is champ, but he’s in a tag match with Beefcake against Savage and Zeus.
Summerslam 90: Singles match against Earthquake while Ultimate Warrior is champ.
Summerslam 91: Is champ again, but he and Warrior are in a tag match against Slaughter and his cronies.
Summerslam 05: Is brought in for the dream match of Hogan vs. Michaels. Neither one is champ.
Summerslam 06: Is challenged by Randy Orton. Again, neither one is champ.

Now that I think of it, Ultimate Warrior’s undefeated at Summerslam too. Hell, he even showed up more often than Hogan until all the post-WCW hoopla.

Good, that filled up enough space. Back to the list!

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The Survivor Series Countdown: Day Three

November 13th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Survivor Series trivia isn’t nearly as entertaining as Wrestlemania trivia, but I thought I’d give it a shot to fill up some intro space.

- Only two shows failed to include any elimination tag matches. 98′s “survival” had to do with its tournament setup while 02′s “survival” was mostly about the introduction of the Elimination Chamber. 02 also featured an elimination tables match and a three-way elimination tag match, which I suppose are close enough.

- Mick Foley has never been in an elimination tag match at any of these shows. Steve Austin has only competed in one during the 01 Series.

- The first non-elimination match at a Survivor Series is Hogan vs. Undertaker at the 91 show.

- John Cena is 6-0 at Survivor Series. Randy Savage is 5-0, though he did get eliminated in a match where his team won. Savage also went two years in a row where he was at the show and cut a live promo, but didn’t actually wrestle. The Ultimate Warrior is 3-0.

- Triple H lost his first seven Survivor Series appearances, though one of them is a no contest.

- Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels have been in four Survivor Series matches together. They teamed up in 88, fought for Bret’s title in 92, fought against each other as team captains in 93 and had that more well-known title match in 97.

- The first team to ever win with a shutout is the team of “The Model” Rick Martel, the Warlord, Paul Roma and Hercules at the 1990 Series. The first man to ever be the sole survivor will be brought up later in this installment.

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The Wrestlemania Countdown: Day Eleven

March 28th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

This was supposed to be up last night, but the stupid website was down until about an hour ago. Bullshit. I’ll have to post Day Twelve tomorrow instead.

For one last Tales of Wrestlemania, we might as well look at the guy whose name is synonymous with the show. Shawn Michaels, who calls himself “Mr. Wrestlemania” has a ton of Wrestlemania appearances and it makes for a good synopsis of his storied career.

Wrestlemania 5: He and Marty Jannetty lose decisively against the Twin Towers.

Wrestlemania 6: He and Marty lose another match, but at least it’s because of cheating.

Wrestlemania 7: Finally, he and Marty win a match.

Wrestlemania 8: Michaels is on his own as a heel, managed by Sensational Sherri. The commentators can’t stop talking about how Michaels is destined for the Intercontinental Championship.

Wrestlemania 9: Michaels is now the Intercontinental Champion as predicted. He keeps his title despite losing his match. Also, Sherri is now out to get him.

Wrestlemania 10: Michaels starts going down the road of being a dick, which is what ultimately causes the ladder match against Razor Ramon for the undisputed Intercontinental Champion. Michaels loses the match and the title.

Wrestlemania 11: A year after the ladder match, Michaels has moved up the ladder and gets a world title shot. It isn’t the true main event and he does lose, but he’s made it this far.

Wrestlemania 12: Take two! Half of the show is dedicated to Michaels winning the belt off Bret Hart. When he wins, he continues to be a dick towards Bret.

Wrestlemania 13: Speaking of being a dick to Bret, he ducks out of wrestling at the show and dropping the title to Bret because he lost his smile. Still shows up with a big intro anyway and commentates the main event. Puts over the Undertaker huge, even though they haven’t met in the ring yet.

Wrestlemania 14: His back is messed up and he has to retire. He drops the title to Steve Austin, though there are rumors that he was reluctant to do so. He steps away from wrestling for the most part and the Attitude Era begins.

Wrestlemania 15: Just because he can’t wrestle doesn’t mean he can’t make an appearance. He appears prior to the main event to tell off Vince McMahon with threats to take him down physically if need be.

Wrestlemania 16: Michaels is relegated to just showing up for Fan Axxess and signing autographs while one overzealous fan yells at the camera that they should bring him back. He vanishes from the scene for the next two Wrestlemanias.

Wrestlemania 19: Michaels has made a shocking recovery from his back problems and is back in the ring. He’s no longer the young up-and-comer. He’s now the veteran, facing Chris Jericho, who is essentially the younger version of Michaels.

Wrestlemania 20: Swerves his way into the main event title match, but it isn’t meant to be. He loses without being involved in the finale.

Wrestlemania 21: Wrestles Kurt Angle in what is essentially callback to Wrestlemania 12. Angle is angry that Michaels’ 1996 showing trumped him winning a gold medal.

Wrestlemania 22: Michaels faces Vince McMahon and destroys him in an angle that could be portrayed as Michaels destroying a representative of what kind of man he used to be.

Wrestlemania 23: Michaels goes to the main event against the champion, but Michaels doesn’t win. At his level, he no longer truly needs the title.

Wrestlemania 24: Defeats Ric Flair and, as part of the stipulation, Flair has to retire. An important landmark in Michaels’ career.

Wrestlemania 25: Puts his own legendary list of Wrestlemania accomplishments against the Undertaker. He fights hard to get to this match, beating JBL and Kozlov for the right, but falls just short of victory.

Wrestlemania 26: It all comes to a head. He can’t let that loss stand. Defeating the Undertaker at Wrestlemania is all that’s left for him to do. If he can’t succeed, he will do like Flair two years before and walk away from the squared circle.

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Royal Rumble Week: Day 3

January 21st, 2009 Posted by Gavok

The other night on Monday Night Raw, they started showing a video reel about all the statistics in the Royal Rumble. Most eliminations in total, most eliminations in one Rumble, longest time in the ring, shortest time in the ring, etc. It’s funny how they sidestep some of the information. Like how they say that as many people have won after drawing #1 as those who have drawn #30. They show Michaels, Undertaker and John Cena but seem to ignore a certain murderer. Heh…

They also don’t talk about who’s been in the most Rumble matches. Why? Because Kane has the record and including him on the list would likely bring attention to his old gimmicks of Isaac Yankem and Fake Diesel.

Now back to the list, starting with what I feel isn’t going to be a popular choice.

16) Royal Rumble 2000

I don’t know what strikes me as stranger. Undertaker being on there despite having nothing to do with the show or Big Boss Man being featured along with all those main eventers.

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Secret War Games: The Marvel WCW Comic Part 1

April 3rd, 2007 Posted by Gavok

Chances are, you already know what World Championship Wrestling was. If not, you at least remember the days when World Wrestling Entertainment was referred to as the World Wrestling Federation. WCW was the WWF’s competition and for quite a long while, relegated itself to being a distant second.

Though the company leaked money for many years, it stayed afloat because it was billionaire Ted Turner’s pet project. He kept the fed around because it amused him. Sure, it had its talented wrestlers and a couple personalities like Big Van Vader and Cactus Jack that I admired, but I could never really get into it at that age. I was strictly WWF. Maybe it was just a sense of being loyal. Maybe it was the feeling of blandness that clouded a show that didn’t have the Undertaker and Ted Dibiase. Maybe I was turned off by the rules that dropped the entertainment potential like a rock (like being disqualified for throwing someone over the top rope, being on the top rope or even backdropping your opponent).

That’s in the past. The product would finally get the shot in the arm it needed in the mid-to-late-90’s and would, for a while, dominate the WWF. This lasted for only a few years before the WWF got its act together and fought back, using wrestlers that WCW discarded. Two of which appear heavily in this series I’m about to review. WCW lost its momentum thanks to a lot of amusingly bad decisions, many of which came from hiring the wrestling equivalent of Chuck Austen to write the shows. It eventually drowned on its own suck and was bought by Vince McMahon, who incorporated WCW and fellow beaten wrestling fed ECW into his own company, like some kind of Crisis in Infinite Arenas.

I’m getting ahead of myself. This 12-issue comic, released by Marvel, took place during 1992-93, years before the New World Order would turn the tide. At the time, WCW had its share of problems. Their golden boy Ric Flair was off in the WWF. Another mainstay, Sid Vicious, was also playing for the winners. WCW had talent, but it didn’t have much in terms of big names.

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