Wrestling News, Analysis and Commentary

News  -/-  Recaps  -/-  Columns  -/-  Features  -/-  Reference  -/-  Archives  -/-  Interact  -/-  Site Info

Donate to Online Onslaught!
     Daily Onslaught
     Obtuse Angle
     RAW Satire
     The Broad

     Inside the Ropes
     OOld Tyme
         Rasslin' Revue
     Title Wave
Crashing the

     Smarky Awards
     Big in Japan
     Guest Columnists
     2 Out of 3 Falls
     Devil's Due
     The Ring
     The Little Things
SK Rants
The Mac Files
     Sq'd Circle Jerk
     RAW vs. SD!:
         Brand Battle
     Cheap Heat 
     Year in Review
     Monday Wars
     Road to WM 

     Title Histories
     Real Names
     PPV Results
     Smart Glossary
     Message Boards
     Live Chat 
     OO History

If you attend a live show, or have any other news for us, just send an e-mail to this address!  We'd also love to hear from you if you've got suggestions or complaints about the site...  let us have it!

So Bad... So Very Bad... 

July 24, 2003

by Rick Scaia   
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


[NOTE FROM THE PRESENT DAY: On a day where OO is featuring big write ups on things as far separated from WWE as Kaiju and ISW, I actually went back after I had this column done and selected a different OOld School piece to run along side the others: this 1999 recap of the so-bad-it-was-ALMOST-must-see "Heroes of Wrestling" PPV.  It featured Headshrinker Fatu in his last appearance before he became Rikishi in the WWF, and Yokozuna in his last major appearance before he passed away.  Beyond those noteworthy features, though, it also featured poor announcing, distressing lacks of mobility in many matches, and a main event that was so disjointed and sloppy that I theorized it must have been rebooked on the fly to cover for the condition of one member or the other of the babyface team.

If you care, in the days and weeks after the event, I traded some e-mails with the guy who is dubbed "Mini Bundy" in this recap, and he basically confirmed my suspicions.  The "Heroes" organizers simply had to try their best to play with the hand that was dealt them.  Sadly for them -- and for those of us who paid to see it -- simply folding the rags and saving everybody some coin was not a viable option on this night.]

Heroes of Wrestling PPV --/-- October 9, 1999 

OO Recap Originally Published on October 11, 1999

I'm sorry.

I'm no angel, but I don't know if I've ever done something as evil on quite as large a scale as I did on Friday.  I (unintentionally) hyped a non-deserving product to an audience of tens of thousands of people.  If my preview of the Heroes of Wrestling PPV convinced even ONE of you to shell out $20, then I owe you a most heartfelt apology.  I really didn't mean for it to turn out this way!

So again:  I'm very sorry.  And I guess I'm also sorry if I piss anyone off with this review; I try to be civilized and not step on too many toes anymore by ragging on shows or promotions TOO hard.  Afterall, they're in the biz, and I'm just a gibbering fanboy, right?  But sometimes, you just can't find the vocabulary to skirt around the truth.  And the truth is: the Heroes of Wrestling show was not good.

Now, it's not fair to single any guys out for blame, and I'll try to keep that in mind as I continue here.  The entire "Heroes" package was just ill conceived, I think, with enough blame to be spread around.  The show came off very badly.  Bad enough to warrant the return of my World Famous "Hot Pokers Up the Ass" rating system, if I really wanted to.  But out of respect for the fact that there were some guys on this PPV who genuinely provided me with many fond memories, and thus don't deserve to be raked over the coals for deciding to make one last stab at PPV, I'll hold back.

What went wrong?

Well, mostly, the promoters just didn't have the good sense to play this as nostalgia. We were supposed to buy that this was really a grand spectacle of pro wrestling.  In other words, they tried to play it straight, complete with the announce crew (and Lou Albano, who was dubbed the new HOW commissioner) calling the night an "historic" one, or the greatest wrestling production ever.  It was almost embarrassing to watch them tell these bald-faced lies.

If you've ever seen the Old Timers baseball games they used to do over the All Star Break, you have a pretty good idea for how the formula SHOULD have worked:  you admit this isn't on the level, you admit guys are just out there to have fun and relive old memories, and you don't try to act like this is anywhere near the same league as the current players.  Have a few laughs, and in between, you go through the old motions, and everybody has a good time.  That's the direction I'd been hoping they'd go.

Instead, you got the feeling they were legitimately trying to put themselves over as a viable new wrestling promotion that will (oh please God, spare us) CONTINUE TO PUT ON SHOWS.  Jesus, didn't these people learn their lesson from watching the AWF die a quick and horrible death while wrestling fans around the world laughed and celebrated?

Other things that were wrong:

It's a "heroes" show, supposedly an Extravaganza, but then they went and did the lame indie show trick of throwing some schmucks (likely friends of the promoter, or someone equally qualified, just like in most indies) out there as managers to bona fide legends.  Why bother?  It's not like they're really bad or anything.  Just utterly unnecessary.

Another thing:  the "on-air personalities" were pretty weak.  Dirty Dutch Mantell on color did OK.  The other guys were lacking.  In particular, Randy Rosenrosen (or whatever his name was) out-Schiavoned Schiavone by displaying a greater knack for complete ignorance of wrestling holds and basic storylines/history while simultaneously insulting the audience's intelligence with pathetic hyperbole.  I'm sure Randy is good at college basketball or whatever it is he has broadcasting experience with, but you could really tell he didn't have a handle on doing wrestling.

And last:  the production values really weren't up to snuff.  Some shots looked OK, but the attempts at pyro looked pretty half-assed, and there were sound cut-outs and lots of badly chosen camera angles (causing us to miss key happenings).

Enough bitching.  How about the actual match-by-match results:

  • The opener was one of a handful of matches on the show that actually bore some resemblance to what we recognize as wrestling.  Fatu and Samu, the Samoan Swat Team, took on the makeshift squad of Tommy Rogers and Marty Jannetty.  Certainly nothing special here, but at least all these guys looked pretty competent.  Both Rogers and Jannetty look like they could cut it as undercards for the Big Two, and as you know, Fatu is coming back to the WWF with his new sumo gimmick.  But this was just thrown together spots, with Jannetty working pretty much the entire match until making a hot tag to Rogers, who was quickly dispatched with a fireman's carry into a Diamond Cutter/Stone Cold Stunner type move (when Marc Mero did it, it was called the TKO).  Call it a Samoan Stunner on this occasion, if you like.  I will, which is why I would have been a billion times better than the Rosenrosen guy who they got to do commentary.
  • Match #2 had Greg Valentine taking on George "the Animal" Steele (who was brought to ringside by his "new squeeze" Sensuous Sherri Martel).  I saw the finish coming about a light year away, which only made the torturous road to get there all the more unbearable.  After however many minutes of punching, stomping, and foreign object shots (all in slow motion, and without any actual wrestling holds in between), Sherri turned on Steele, hitting him with a steel chair so that Valentine could get the pinfall win.  Formulaic finish, which is neither good nor bad.  The match itself is what was bad, almost uncomfortable to watch in the same way that it'd be uncomfortable to saunter down to your local nursing home and try to stir up trouble in the canasta room between two grandfathers and then hang around to watch the results.
  • Could the only match on the card featuring a guy under 30 save us?  Too Cold Scorpio and Julio Fantastico (formerly Julio Sanchez) tried.  But this one was pure indie:  pretty good action, but the spots were randomly put together and didn't really have any impact on the crowd.  Scorp won after a badly-missed Tumbleweed legdrop off the top.  I wouldn't even call this one "good."  Maybe "decent."  And that's as good as it got on this night.
  • I was really looking forward to seeing the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff back together and working as heels (regardless of the realities of the post-Cold War world).  The pre-match mic work went off pretty well (except for one of the above mentioned schmuck managers blowing his lines and not introducing the Russian National Anthem), and got good heat and put a smile on my face.  But once the Bushwhackers hit the ring, this degenerated into another one of those "almost uncomfortable to watch" types of things.  The Sheik, especially, did not look like he belonged in the ring here.  The "Men from Down Under" eventually pinned the Sheik to get the win.  Not enjoyable at all.
  • Things looked up ever so slightly when the Four Horsemen vs. Midnight Express grudge match was preceded by a really good promo by Tully Blanchard, and then some decent mic work by Lane, too.  But again, once it got in the ring, everything went to hell.  These two were going for an old school match (you know, with lots of rest holds), which would have been bad enough.  But on top of that, they just did not click together, and the stuff they did was sloppy.  They did the old double-pin finish, with Lane suplexing Tully, and both men's shoulders being down until Blanchard got his up at the last second.  Tully got the win, and Stan was none too happy about it.
  • Abdullah the Butcher and the One Man Gang put to rest any thoughts that the HOW would target strictly a family audience.  As a wrestling match, this blew chunks.  There was no mobility from either guy, nothing even close to a shred of excitement or drama.  But at least they both bled like stuck pigs. Gang busted Abby open with a chain; Abby used a fork to lacerate OMG.  In all the "insanity" (which consisted of these two moving very slowly from place to place to punch each other in the head), the ref had no choice but to call for a double DQ or double count-out or something.  Sorry, but blood alone doesn't equal "good match."
  • Superfly Jimmy Snuka and Cowboy Bob Orton laced 'em up next.  This match was a fine example of what was wrong with the announcing:  vague references were made to this being a "15 year old feud," but nobody ever actually bothered to try to explain what actually happened between these two.  Read up just a LITTLE bit, guys!  This wasn't nearly as awkward as some of the other matches on the card, but it was also far from good.  Snuka hit his top rope splash after his manager, Capt. Lou Albano, caused some a distraction. Orton dove to hit Albano, but wound up hitting his arm on the turnbuckle; and as we all know (but which the announcers weren't clever enough to pick up on), Orton's arm is STILL feeling a little tender from that nagging 15 year old injury.  I heard the doctors at Casino Magic suggested he wear his cast tonight (you know, just one last time, as a precaution), but the promoters weren't having any of it.  Anyway, the jolt to the still-injured arm is all the opening Snuka needed to hit his top rope dive and get the win.
  • At this point, the show just spiraled out of control.  It started with a Jake Roberts interview in which "the Snake" was rambling semi-coherently and slurring his speech.  Once in the ring, Roberts behaved erratically, forcing a ringside woman to stroke his chest, and then making inappropriate gestures with his pet python (hey, I thought Earthquake killed Damien?).  Jake's match against Jim the Anvil Neidhart was fragmented at best, until King Kong Bundy came out unannounced.  Bundy and a guy dressed in a oxford shirt (dubbed "mini Bundy" by the announcers) conversed with most of the participants, including the ref, making me think they rebooked this thing on the fly. Eventually, Yokozuna also came out (looking bigger than ever, if that is possible), and it was announced that this was now a tag match (Yoko and Jake vs. Bundy and Anvil).  Yoko and Bundy, who were the announced main event, hooked up for maybe 30 second total, as Yoko spent the remainder of the match on the apron.  Finally, Roberts was pinned after a Bundy splash. Bundy and Anvil left ringside, as Yoko and Roberts laid out "mini Bundy" and placed Damien on top of him before the PPV inexplicably faded to black with the announcers in mid-sentence.

The whole last segment of the show was just a clusterfrick.  I don't know what the real cause was, but I have a few theories.  I hate to start rumors or make unfounded accusations, but it simply did not seem to me that Jake Roberts came to the ring in any condition to work, if you catch my drift.  A day spent at a casino (where the drinks are complimentary) may have been too much temptation for the unborn-again Jake.  So maybe they segued into a tag match to make up for the fact that Roberts wasn't on his A game.  Or maybe the same health concerns that keep the WWF from bringing back Yokozuna had the HOW promoters worried about putting Yoko out for an entire singles match.  Whatever the case, it came off very badly.

I gotta admit that in spots, it was cool to see some old familiar faces on TV again.  And all due credit to the Heroes themselves for coming out and doing something like this.  They are heroes and legends, and I still love 'em.  But here's hoping they aren't asked to come out and do it again.  At least, not until somebody with a good head for presenting this kind of product takes over the reigns.  Somebody who won't take it too seriously.

And again, I'm really sorry!  But that doesn't mean I'm sending out refund checks if you decided to take my advice!


Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.

SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




All contents are Copyright 1995-2014 by OOWrestling.com.  All rights reserved.
This website is not affiliated with WWE or any other professional wrestling organization.  Privacy Statement.