Standing At The Edge: Torture By Wrestling

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Exactly what sent me on this foolhardy path, I do not know. I do know, however, that it certainly can't be healthy. It's probably some latently masochistic desires, and blatant repressed self-hate. Maybe I should have gone and done something healthier, like drinking myself to death, or carving the word 'spatula' into my arm. But no. I chose this.

Torture by wrestling.

The idea is quite simple. I have sought out some of the worst wrestling, some of the worst ideas, some of the worst booking that I can find - and then I forced myself to watch them. I've had this idea for some time, and I've spent a fair amount of money picking up tapes. But, I mean, there really has to be something wrong with me, doesn't there? I mean, normal people don't walk into charity shops, and breathlessly give thanks because they found a tape with 'Sycho Sid vs Diesel in a Lumberjack match', do they?

Anyway. I forced myself to watch them, and then decided to give you, my faithful readers, my demented rants and raves that were inspired by these. They're not really going to be a review, and they're not really going to be a journal. There's no format for this - primarily because, having watched some of these matches, I am now incapable of doing anything as coherent as a format.

The first part of my journey was actually pretty simple, and gave me a great introduction to my torture. You see, I went down to my local comic shop a while ago. As a quick aside, just over four years ago, I met my fiancee in a comic book shop, so I have a history with them, and with making good decisions. But really, nothing could have beaten this, and in my deranged mission, this easily beat my fiancee*. A WCW PPV Collection, specifically five Pay Per View's from 1999. Yes, I started with the downfall of WCW. But, it gets even better...you see the five PPV's that were meant to be in this boxset were : Spring Stampede 1999, Uncensored 1999, Bash at the Beach 1999, Starrcade 1999 and Souled Out 2000. However, whoever had owned this boxset had obviously lost some, and replaced them with others. So, strike out Uncensored, and Starrcade, and replace them with a generic 'best of Starrcade and Slamboree' video (unwatched, since 'best of' anything has no place in this column), and....the big one.

Slamboree 2000. If the mention of that PPV doesn't send shivers down your spine, you don't know what I'm talking about. Don't worry. You will.

Now, before I get too into this, I'll point out that WCW PPV's were an unknown quantity to me, especially this late. I kept up with WCW, but I didn't have cable, and it was difficult to get to watch WCW - whereas I could watch WWF quite easily. I've watched a lot of Nitro in my time, but up until now, I had only read reviews of WCW PPV's. (I have, however, seen a lot of single matches from PPV's).

The first tape I slipped into the VCR was chronologically the earliest of the group that I had. Spring Stampede 1999. This proved to be a terrible, terrible mistake. You see...it wasn't bad at all. Totally against my rules. In fact, overall, it was a decent PPV. There was little overwhelmingly good....but there was plenty of good. There was bad, but nothing overwhelmingly, either. Sure, Scotty Riggs absolutely sucked, and Hak/Bigelow was below average...but they weren't torture. And a fourway, involving Sting/Flair/Hogan/DDP with Savage refereeing was....totally entertaining. And a tables match with Raven/Saturn and Benoit/Malenko was great fun. I came away from this one with a good feeling.

At this point, I was beginning to worry about my mission. The first tape I'd watched was good. It was the worst possible start. And really, I was upset. I mean, how could I have gone wrong? I mean, if I go into the streets, and scream out '1999/2000 WCW', the majority of people would look at me weirdly. But eventually, I'd find someone willing to cry 'Sucked!'. It wasn't like I hadn't done my research. Hell, I was reading 'Death of WCW' at the time. You'd have thought five WCW PPV's from the time would have been like a visual accompaniment. But no, here I was with good wrestling. Stupid WCW. But it was okay....my faith was rewarded with the next tape I put in.

Bash at the Beach 1999.

When a pay-per-view opens with helicopter shots of a junkyard, you know you’re probably not looking at PPV of the year. When it opens with Earnest ‘The Cat’ Miller vs. Disco Inferno, you’re definitely not. I mean Disco Inferno dancing was bad enough, but The Cat as well? In a dance-off before their match? Well, somebody spank me, I must be dreaming. This was originally going to have the stipulation that whoever lost wouldn’t be able to dance again (which, as stipulations go, was up there with Three-count’s Record Contract on a ladder), but, as the match was about to begin, the commentators explained that the stipulation had been dropped! Yes, the first thing you got in a PPV was a bait-and-switch, since it had been built up as that. They could have at least gone through with usual WCW style and aplomb, and actually had the match, and then weaselled out of it later. After all, weaselling out of things is what separates us from the animals. Except the weasel. (© Homer Simpson). Still, while this was bad, it wasn’t truly, brain hurtingly, stupid. Nor, astonishingly, was Van Hammer vs. Rick Steiner. Yeah, it was crap, but it wasn’t that crap. West Texas Rednecks vs. No Limit Soldiers? Stupid, stupid angle, but not that awful….no, what I was after was a combination of stupid and awful.

Something like, for example, taking a hardcore battle royale, sticking it in a junkyard, and filming it through a layer of grime, from a helicopter, while having half your talent get legit injured. If only I could get something like….WAIT A MOMENT! By Jove! My prayers have been answered!

This match may sound cool – after all, a real junkyard, full of weapons, and loads of wrestlers hurting each other. It was supposedly created by Hak (formerly The Sandman… I don’t know, maybe Neil Gaiman complained), and the rules were…well not clearly defined. Basically, the first person to get over the fence, and leave, won the match. Simplistic, you may have thought, but unfortunately, nobody appeared to have told any of the wrestlers beforehand, because friggin’ nobody tried to win the match. Instead, we just got people wandering from spot to spot, most of them dangerous. It’d have been a good idea, as well, if they’d actually filmed it in such a way that it was watchable. But they didn’t. First of all, with that much space to wander around, and without people knowing exactly where the cameraman is, it pretty much destroys Kayfabe. You can see people calling spots, not knowing what to do, wandering around, no-selling the wrong stuff, so on and so forth. Well, I say you can ‘see’…you actually can’t. It’s too dark to properly tell what’s going on for most of it. Jimmy Hart turns up at one point, and it takes ages to tell where he is. Although you can still hear that annoying voice. I spent most of this match going ‘Regal? Nasty Boys? Does anyone know how to win?’ Oh, and the rest of it going ‘why are they showing so many shots by helicopter? Didn’t anyone realise that visibility is going to be practically nil?’

Eventually, Hak gets put in a car trunk, and the car gets crushed, and then explodes – or it may have been someone else, I don’t know….and eventually Fit Finlay saunters slowly to the fence, and climbs over it. Nobody knows what’s going on, so nobody tries to stop him. Yeah, this was awful. I can see how it may have seemed good on paper, but it was just stupid. The only redeeming thing was a great line from Bobby Heenan to Tony Schiavone – ‘Hey Tony, you’ve been to junkyards before, haven’t you?’ ‘Yes I have, Bobby, have you?’ ‘No. What the hell were you doing in a junkyard?’

Now, in any regular pay-per-view, this would be bad. But, and you have to understand me here, Bash At The Beach 1999 was no regular PPV. Oh, no. You see, there was more to come, but I’m going to go in reverse chronological order on the next two, because…well, while the third one is stupid, it’s not as stupid as the second one, and I don’t want to build you up, then deliver a damp squib (that would be the people who book WCW PPV’s).

The main event that night was a lesson for all of us in how to take a simple match, and overbook the hell out of it with an extra sprinkling of stupidity. You see, the main event was Kevin Nash (yikes!) tagging with Sting (yay!), taking on Sid (double yikes!) and a random homeless old man accompanied by hookers (Hookers, yay! Oh, and the random homeless man could possibly have been Macho Man Randy Savage). Now, while it’s not the kind of main event that immediately cries ‘Money! Money now!’, at least it makes some vague amount of sense…well, about as much sense as a main event involving Kevin Nash and Sid can have. But no, an extra stipulation was added to this match. You see, Kevin Nash was the defending World Champion in this match, so if either Sid or Savage pinned him, they could become the new champion. Now, that’s bad, but it still makes sense, right? Yes, that’s right. However, to take things one step further, if Kevin Nash were to be pinned by his tag-team partner Sting, Sting could become Champion as well.

Whu? Eh? What? Yes, you read that right, in a tag team match, Nash could be pinned by his partner, and his partner would become World Champion. I’m not making this up, Michaels Buffer announces it, and the announce team talks about the stipulation – although in their minor defence, they couldn’t exactly work out how such a thing could happen. No, nobody’s confused either, it’s not actually a four corners match – it’s a tag team match. It makes NO sense, does it? Seriously, if anybody can make sense of this stupidity, please email me and explain it. While this is going on, I should also point out that Gorgeous George, Savage’s valet, has a black eye, and is hanging out with Kevin Nash. Because Kevin Nash is obviously a gentleman – just the kind of gentleman to hang around someone that’s been beaten up by their boyfriend, and then prey on them while they’re vulnerable. The match is slightly worse than it sounds, which is impressive when you consider that Nash and Sid are in it…and it ends when Gorgeous George low blows Nash (very….very…slowly….and carefully…and tenderly…and slowly. In fact, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear she was giving him a handjob. Now, obviously, that I’m suggesting Gorgeous George knows ANYTHING about that kind of thing…), thus proving that George was wise to Nash’s really sick attempt to get her on the rebound, handing Savage the title. Sid doesn’t bother breaking up the count, and the announcers suggest that they’re teaming up. Personally, I prefer to imagine that he was trying to compose a limerick containing the words ‘Squirrel’ and ‘Squeegee’.

‘There once was a wrestler named Sid,
Who Pillman thought ran away and hid,
But ‘Sycho’ returned,
With a Squeegee, he turned,
Squirrel squirrel squirrel squirrel’

Yeah, this sucked, but there was worse. Oh lord, there was worse.

You see, WCW decided to capitalise on the runaway success of ‘Judge Mills Lane’. On the (admittedly tiny) off chance that you have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, Judge Mills Lane was a boxing referee/personality, primarily famous for being the referee who disqualified Tyson for biting Holyfields ear, and who later got his own Television show. Now, as far as I’m concerned that does not make this guy a household name, but then, I’m not a boxing fan. However, he was also the referee in ‘Celebrity Death Match’, which always makes him welcome on my television. Unless, that is, he’s refereeing a ‘sports entertainment’ boxing match between Buff Bagwell and Roddy Piper. Oh God.

Mills gets both guys into the middle of the ring, and spouts off some incoherent catchphrases ‘ledsgiddidawn’. For about a minute, there’s some regular boxing, or if not actually boxing, something like it, just shittier. Then, at the end of the first round, Ric Flair (Piper’s Second) sprays some kind of illegal substance onto Piper’s gloves. So, during the second round, when Piper hits Bagwell, Bagwell’s eyes bother him! The referee checks Bagwell, while Flair cleans Piper’s gloves! How this didn’t make it into Flair’s autobiography, I don’t know. He could have skipped all the sour grapes, and done a riveting play-by-play of his devious shenanigans in this match instead. Piper uses this as an advantage to hit his now-blinded opponent, and he knocks Bagwell down for the end of round two. Now, as famous a heel as Piper is, I can’t believe what he did next…he attacked Bagwell before the bell! Oh, the Humanity! Luckily, there was a hero.

The legend.

The myth.

The Man. (probably).

Judy Bagwell! Yes, Our Judy saw what was happening, and decided enough was enough. She, bravely, and without a thought for her own safety, leapt into action, and BIT PIPER’S EAR!!! Do you see? Do you? It’s like what Tyson did with Holyfield, since it’s the same ref, and….do you see? And then…she put a bucket over his head! Yes, because that’s not a tired, played out spot in comedy hardcore matches. The referee, of course, obeying the rules of boxing….allows this. Flair runs in to try and save it, but gets fought off by Judy Bagwell.

I’ll repeat that. Flair runs in to try and save, but gets fought off by Judy Bagwell. This, incidentally, followed the pre-match bit, in which Flair made clear that while he respected Buff’s mom, he didn’t respect Buff. Meanwhile, Bagwell hits Piper with the Block-Buster, and covers for the pin. In a boxing match. With a legitimate boxing referee. Who counts the pinfall. While Judy Bagwell chases Ric Flair off.

I feel stupider for having recapped that, but not as stupid as I felt while watching it. And I watched it twice, people. I rewound, just to make sure that I hadn’t suffered from temporary insanity, and imagined what I’d seen.

Having seen this, I have only one question. How the fuck did WCW stay in business as long as it did? Hmm, let’s put on ‘Souled Out 2000’ and find out.

Oh, wait, they stayed in business by having great, bold ideas. Such as….Booker T and Stevie Ray feuding! The inevitable! And yes, with Big T, the former Ahmed Johnson thrown in for good measure (because he’s….black. That genuinely seems to have been the thinking). Now, that alone might not have been awful, but the segments building up to them were. You see, Stevie Ray went back to ‘the streets’. He was doing this to get back in touch with his roots, and to show that he’s ‘keeping it real’. If you haven’t seen this, imagine someone doing a comedy version of Shelton Benjamin’s promo’s from this time last year. In other words, Stevie Ray in ‘the ghetto’, with a line up of homeless people waiting to shake his hand, and commiserate about how ‘Booker don’t come to visit no more, Stevie’ ‘I know, lifelong friend, he’s forgotten where he’s from’. It’s awesome, because Stevie Ray comes across as being about as ‘thug’ as John Cena.

And then….Oh Gods. And then….Oklahoma vs Madusa. Now, some people won’t know what this means. If you don’t know, please, for your own sanity, skip the next two paragraphs. You see, while Vince Russo was running WCW, he came up with a plan to make fun of WWE. Instead of targeting, say, Vince McMahon, or HHH, or Stephanie, even….Our Vinny decided he was going to target Jim Ross. Yes, the overweight announcer with the drawl. Yes, the overweight announcer with a drawl and a cowboy hat. Yes, the overweight announcer with the drawl, a cowboy hat and Bells Palsy. Thankfully, this was after Ed Ferrera (for it was he) had stopped pretending to have Bells Palsy, because it was pointed out how inappropriate it was to make fun of somebody who was working through a disability….and boy, I wonder if JR ever feels hypocritical supporting Eugene?

Now, having Oklahoma be an announcer/character wasn’t enough. No, he had to get in the ring. For the Cruiserweight title, no less. Against Madusa (formerly Alundra Blayze, for non-WCW fans). Now, I’m going to let you take a wild guess how bad this match is, and no matter what you guessed, you lost – because it was still worse. It ends up with a couple of other Diva’s (or WCW equivalents) coming down and pouring Barbeque sauce all over ‘Oklahoma’. So, yeah, we got some stupid slapstick coming out of a stupid match, coming out of a stupid angle, that was offensive to begin with. Oh, and anyone that wants to bitch about Paul London losing the cruiserweight title to Nunzio? This was worse. This was even worse than Jacqueline beating Chavo. This was the absolute pits.

Great stuff, eh? Other than this, this wasn’t a terrible PPV, although it is notable for a brilliantly stupid decision – this is the PPV in which they gave Benoit the title, the day he handed his resignation in. They thought the title would bribe him into staying, but he wouldn’t. WCW decided that keeping Kevin Sullivan was more important. Weird, eh? The PPV does have one very bizarre match though, in Dean Malenko’s last match for the company. He was in a Catch-as-catch-can match (first person to touch the floor outside the ring loses), and, in the first two minutes, instinctively rolled out to the floor to regroup. Oops. Poor guy – they should have continued the match, but they ended it there. By all accounts it was a genuine accident on Malenko’s part as well – difficult not to feel sorry for him when it happened.

But…now, we get to the highlight of the boxset. SlamBoree 2000. This has something so terrible on it that the cover of the box lies about it. I’ll explain shortly.

But first, I managed to get an extra bonus helping of pain. You see, this PPV was built around the New Blood versus the Millionaires Club, for the most part, with one very notable exception. I was expecting bad, but this was joyously awful. I had no idea it was on here either, because it’s covered on the box as being one of the ‘And MUCH MUCH MORE’ matches. No, it’s not Shane Douglas vs Ric Flair, as bad a proposition as that sounds (WATCH! Shane Douglas prostitute his values! SEE! Jiggling man-boobs, as Ric Flair has to wrestle in street clothes!), or even Kidman vs Hogan (WATCH! Hulk Hogan trying to be a new Stone Cold! GASP! At the ‘FUNB’ catchphrase! WONDER! How many years taking a hurracanrana took off him!). No, this is far worse.

The Hardcore Title Division was based around ‘Screamin’ Norman Smiley, who would have matches while wearing football padding. You see, he screamed if he was going to get hurt….yeah, anyway. He wasn’t a totally untalented wrestler, but the gimmick was sheer comedy. He was, at this point, feuding with Mad Old Terry Funk, and the match was your typical backstage brawl, more or less. Lots of pointless weapon shots, and entertaining enough. But that’s not what brought the crap. No, what brought the crap was Norman Smiley’s mystery backup, who was helping him beat up Mad Old Terry Funk. Well, I say helping – I actually mean standing vaguely around, looking lost, wearing full football gear, including helmet. And he’d occasionally throw something useless at Funk, and Funk would return the favour. (If you ever want to see Terry Funk sell shots from cardboard boxes, here is your chance). And then, he eventually gets unmasked….yes, ladies and Gentlemen, IT’S RALPHUS!!! My mental state was at the point where I was pointing and clapping as soon as I realised. And it gets better, because Ralphus then becomes the focus point of the match! Funk becomes enraged at the virile young Ralphus (well, compared to Funk…..hey, I’m just saying), and, while exchanging pathetic weapon shots with Smiley and Ralphus…rips the majority of Ralphus’ clothing off! Yes, not only do we have Ralphus, we have MOSTLY NAKED RALPHUS!! Man, I was geared up for awful, but I was really beginning to think I’d gone too far. Man, I still had the main event to go.

Now, I mentioned how the box cover lied about this main event. The cover has Diamond Dallas Page, and Jeff Jarrett, and, in the background, some large metallic structure. The tagline says:
THREE CAGES. TWO WARRIORS. ONE BELT. Spot the deliberate mistake?

If you have, you already feel my pain. If you don’t – you will feel it shortly. You see, this wasn’t a one-on-one match, like it sounds. This was a triple threat match, in a triple cage.

FEATURING DEFENDING WCW CHAMPION, DAVID ARQUETTE!

Yes, David Arquette. In a moment of sheer madness, Vince Russo decided to make David Arquette the champion in order to catapult from the guaranteed huge success of the movie ‘Ready to Rumble’ (HA!). Vince Russo, by the way, still defends this as a move of utter genius, that people just didn’t understand. You see, it got mainstream news coverage – problem being, whenever you utter the words ‘David Arquette’, the mainstream starts mocking. The moment you start talking about wrestling, generally speaking, the mainstream starts mocking. By combining the two, the mocking doesn’t double – it squares. But Vince Russo still defends it. Probably because it meant that Courtney Cox turned up on Nitro once in a backstage segment (‘but you’re not a wrestler, David, you’ve got to retire!’). But I don’t care. Frankly, I want to find out what drugs Vince Russo has been taking, and I want some.

The Triple Cage isn’t, to be honest, the best structure. If you haven’t seen it, imagine a Hell in a cell, with a smaller cell above it, and then a smaller cell above that. The rules are simple. Well, actually they’re not. First, you have to exit the lower cell, using a ladder, in order to go through a cell filled with weapons – once you exit there, you have to go up, and, for no particular reason, into another cell, filled with guitars. And then, if you get there, you have to stand on top of the top cage, and grab the belt, which is hanging from the ceiling. In other words, it’s a Hell In A Cell On A Clockwork Orange House of Fun On A Pole Ladder Match. Not convoluted at all. Defending Champion, David Arquette spends most of the match hiding from Jeff Jarrett, and immediately scurrying (I like that word) up to the top of the cage. Jeff and Page, on the other hand, have a rather fun brawl up – I won’t take away from them on this, they busted their asses to try and get this over. Meanwhile, Defending Champion, David Arquette run past them, in order to hold the top safe for Page, while part of the cell (one of the side walls of the middle section) collapses, which I’m pretty sure was meant to happen. There are no huge bumps – not even the obvious falling from one cell to the next – but it’s a fun brawl, and it’s a unique visual. Defending Champion, David Arquette stands under the belt, in easy reach, for about five minutes, leading to heart palpitations while people realise that he could easily retain. Russo probably argued for that.

Eventually, Page and Jarrett make their way to the top, and Defending Champion, David Arquette shockingly, shockingly, turns heel on Page, smashing him ineffectively with a guitar. Jarrett then shows him how it’s done with a much better guitar shot, and takes the championship. The commentators hype up what a terrible thing Former Champion, David Arquette has done, as if he was an integral part of the match. Hey, at least he didn’t, like, get pinned or anything. Former Champion David Arquette’s reign remains untainted. Mike Awesome also pulls interference at one point, but it’s not hugely effective. What is cool is that Awesome turns up out of nowhere on the middle cell - but that’s not as important as what happens next.

Kanyon comes in for the save, and attacks Awesome, and Awesome throws him off the second cage, through the entrance ramp, in a HUGE bump. It was kind of lost on the first showing, because the commentators were busy talking about Former Champion David Arquette’s heel turn, but they soon took the solemn tones, as they talked about the huge bump Kanyon took. This was a seriously stupid, and offensive, move. Huge fall, hushed tones, and a worked major injury as a result of a fall. This show took place in the Kemper Arena, the site of Owen Hart’s death just under a year previously. Chances are that quite a few of the audience members were at Over The Edge ’99 as well, so I’m sure they appreciated having old wounds reopened. Personally, I’d have thought that an incident like that would have been traumatic enough, without pulling a stupid stunt like that in the same building.

Oh, the WCW championship changed hands, but that wasn’t discussed by the commentators. Obviously it wasn’t deemed important during this huge relaunch. Man, WCW was dumb at times. I mean, come on. David Arquette?**

But, WCW wasn’t the only company capable of being dumb. WWE had more than its fair share of moments, especially during some of the early/mid ‘In Your House’ shows. I managed to get a bunch of these from a local charity shop, which I’m beginning to think has mystical powers. I recently moved to York, and one day, in order to keep researching his column, I decide that I’ll have a search through charity shops, and see if anyone has donated any old WWF videos, since they’re difficult to find. First one I go in has three IYH’s. Awesome. I go back in a week later, it has one more – and the same thing two weeks later. I’ve got quite the little collection now.

Now, I could go through a play by play of Sycho Sid vs Diesel in a lumberjack match. I have the tape, after all. But there’s no point – it’s as bad as you think, especially since the main point seemed to be building Mabel as a threat, but depressingly, Mabel in 1995 is preferable to Viscera in 2005, in the ring at least. I could point out that the solitary high point comes from watching Shawn Michaels doing a great dive onto the opposing Lumberjacks. But I won’t. It was more dull than genuinely upsettingly bad,

I could riff about Dok Hendrix’s ‘reporting’ backstage after Jeff Jarrett and The Roadie seemed to split up ‘ANDTHENTHEYCAMEBACKHEREANDJARRETTSHOVEDROADIEANDTHENROADIESHOVEDJEFFAND
…..ahuh ahuh ahuh…ANDTHENTHEYWENTINTOTHATROOMBACKTOYOUVINCE’, but it came off the back of that rarest of beasts – a great Jeff Jarrett match against HBK. And also, the whole concert gimmick actually worked (Jeff Jarrett was supposedly a great country singer, and so lip-synched, pretty well, Road Dogg singing). I will point out that the commentator on the bonus matches (Stan Lane, I believe) manages to destroy the story, by pointing out that there’s a rumour JJ was lip-synching, which was meant to be kept secret. But while that segment was silly, the match itself was fun.

But then, much like Robert Langdon, I found the Holy Grail. I was looking for it, and I knew I’d find it. I thought it was going to be Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs Duke ‘The Dumpster’ Droese, but that was surprisingly awesome. I thought it was going to be returning Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, but it wasn’t that terrible. Yokozuna and Owen Hart vs British Bulldog and Lex Luger was very sad, realising that three of the four guys are dead, and the other ….well, let’s not get into the whole Elizabeth situation…but I was never expecting it to be a terrible match, and it was okay. Owen Hart vs HBK was a surprising let down, incidentally – Owen was there to firmly put Michaels over, so there wasn’t much competition. I thought The Godwinns would be bound to be the holy grail of crap, but no.

And then, I found my saviour. One man, standing tall, willing to complete my mission of finding ultimate crap. The ultimate segment in terrible booking/wrestling/acting, whatever.

I found The Ultimate Warrior, and I was saved. My quest was at an end. It really doesn’t get any worse than this. Hassan/Undertaker? I’ll take it. Dusty Rhodes/Ric Flair in a Kiss My Ass match? I’ll eat it down and say yummy. JBL as champ for another year? Can I have another, please sir?

Because I’ve seen Ultimate Warrior vs Goldust at In Your House: Good Friends, Better Enemies. Because I have done this, I can do anything. Please bear in mind that what you’re about to read is true. Totally. And not only was it true, it was a heavily hyped match on a Pay Per View. People paid money, and they got this. And it was for the prestigious Intercontinental Championship.

The story opens on the Free for All, where Warrior is backstage, making a speech to the camera. I could have sworn he said ‘where’s your Turban’ and ‘Queering don’t make the world work’, but I could easily have been wrong. While he’s giving this speech, Marlena turns up, and blows smoke in Warrior’s face. Warrior is thrown by this, and is about to shout at her, when Goldust turns up, and blows glitter in Warrior’s face. Warrior reacts, by looking intensely at the camera, and making the noise: Blearghearrrrrgggghhhheararghahrheeaardjghgfh!!!!’. Basically, imagine someone doing an impersonation of Taz (the cartoon, not the wrestler), but they, like, really meant it. This noise scares off Goldust enough that he runs away, and, clumsily, manages to slip and hurt his leg.

Yes, this was the story, explaining Goldust having injured his knee. Later on, we come to the match itself. We cut to widescreen, and we get the typical Goldust entrance, as we see him accompanied by Marlena, and some bodyguard that we’d never seen before or since, and we see that, yes, Goldusts knee is bandaged up. Then we cut to Loony-vision, and Warrior himself comes out. Goldust bails. Warrior follows, and Marlena drops her cigar. Warrior picks up the cigar, and starts smoking it, strolling back to ringside. He then takes Marlena’s chair, and sets it up in the middle of the ring, puffing on the cigar. Goldust hovers, not sure whether to get in the ring, and fight, or just wait for Warrior to get lung cancer from the cigar. Warrior decides to add to all of this, and puts Goldusts robe and wig on the chair as well – then sits down and continues smoking. Match time so far, about five minutes.

Warrior taunts him. Goldust bails again. Warrior does the only thing a good, positive role model can do. He starts a chant of ‘Faggot’, or at least, if he doesn’t start it, he heartily sings along (after all, queering don’t make the world work, right, Warrior?). Goldust begins to leave, but then changes his mind, and gets on the microphone, and explains that ‘if you don’t shut up…I’m going to come up there and KISS each and every single one of you’. The mere suggestion of man on man tongue-kissing brings out the homophobic rage in Warrior, but he hatches a more subtle plan. Goldust slowly gets back in the ring, but is all flustered, and is hiding behind Marlena.

Match time so far, about eight minutes.

Warrior decides to show Goldust that, actually, he’s his friend. He hands Marlena her cigar back, and holds out Goldusts coat for him to put on. Goldust isn’t totally sure he can trust Warrior, and with good cause! You see, whenever Warrior holds his robe up over his head, so Goldust can’t see his face, he starts making faces at Goldust. Yes, I’m serious. He pulls faces. Either that, or he was breathing, it’s difficult to tell with Warrior. After a couple of minutes, Goldust puts the robe on, and sits in the chair.

We’re now at over ten minutes. Marlena starts primping and preening Goldust, while Warrior smokes the cigar again, pretending to be Goldusts friend. Goldust (who, don’t forget, has been portrayed as a master of mind games up til this point) falls for it completely, and puts out his hand for Warrior to subserviently kiss.

But no fool Warrior! Warrior was only pretending, and instead, he puts out his cigar on Goldusts hand! And then, he clotheslines him out of the ring…..where he gets counted out, at about fifteen minutes. Then, Goldust leaves, and Warrior beats up the random bodyguard for about twenty seconds, stealing his hat. Then, Warrior puts on the hat, and Goldusts wig, and poses on the turnbuckles. Oh, Warrior is still wearing his own manly robe, which he never neded to take off.

That was, in total, about twenty minutes. Twenty minutes of, essentially, Warrior and Goldust doing a silent comedy, and doing it badly. And this was on Pay Per View, for the Intercontinental Championship, and it was a heavily hyped match. I don’t care if Goldust got injured for real earlier that day, THAT was the best B-plan they came up with. Man, I wish I could have been a fly on the wall for that booking meeting.

‘Guys, Dustin’s injured, what are we going to do?’
‘Tell the truth, and have Warrior face someone else?’
‘No, wait….I’ve got a better idea. How about mime?’
‘Brilliant! You’re a genius!’

After that, and, as I said, every word was true….nothing else really compares. That was me. I was done. After this, I visited a doctor, and I found out that I had done serious damage to my liver, my heart, my arteries, and my sex drive as a result of my binging on bad wrestling.*** As a result, I have been forbidden to ever try this kind of exposure to awful wrestling again.****

Please, kids. Don’t try this at home.

*Not True.
** In the interests of fairness, I actually really like David Arquette. The guy’s obviously a huge fan, and he still turns up to Raw events and PPV’s, unacknowledged in the front row on a semi-regular basis, one time with a sign that said ‘former WCW champion’. Also, he argued against being made champion, but agreed to do it when the bookers made clear what a good idea they thought it was, so he actually did it against his own judgement. And, finally, he did get a fairly handsome fee for doing all of this – one that was split between Darren Drozdov, and the families of Owen Hart and Brian Pillman. So, while I’ve been making fun, I actually like the guy.
***Actually, that was Supersize Me.
**** Unless I get more tapes.

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