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  Feb 25, 2002

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WWA PPV fun but not Revolution-ary

By NICK TYLWALK -- SLAM! Wrestling

What do you do when one half of your main event doesn't show up for your pay-per-view? If you happen to be the World Wrestling All-Stars, you roll with the punches and keep going. On Sunday night, the Aladdin Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas played host to Revolution, the first live, televised WWA event on American soil - an event that was supposed to feature Randy Savage taking on Jeff Jarrett for the promotion's top title. Savage's absence made improvisation an important ingredient in an inconsistent yet game effort from the young wrestling company.

The talent roster of the WWA has gone through massive changes since The Inception, its initial pay-per-view in January, leaving no obvious choice for Savage's replacement. Fortunately, the new performers on board for Revolution represented a healthy talent upgrade - with the possible exception of Brian Adams and Bryan Clarke of Kronic. The result was a product that had its share of moments worth watching for the sake of the wrestling, even if the overall structure lacked the coherency most viewers expect in the era of sports entertainment.

After an electrifying six-man cruiserweight elimination match kicked off the show, WWA Commissioner Bret Hart came out to address the crowd. Citing Jarrett's status as a second-generation wrestler, the Hitman picked another grappler's son to get the title shot: Brian Christopher. Hart backed up his decision by explaining that Christopher had paid his dues on the WWA's overseas tours.

Christopher came to the ring to his old Too Cool entrance music and was introduced as Brian "The Grandmaster" Christopher. The early going saw Jarrett mocking his opponent's dancing and giving the audience a double dose of the Jarrett Strut. Christopher clotheslined Jarrett over the top rope and actually lost his pants while busting some dance moves.

The action moved into the crowd where Jarrett took control. The champ moved things back to the ring, hitting a top rope cross body that Christopher rolled through to earn a near fall. Jarrett slowed the pace with his trademark sleeper, and then saw it reversed. Firing off a series of moves, Christopher nearly scored the fall before hitting a sunset flip power bomb to the floor.

Jarrett used an eye rake to buy time and fetched a steel chair. The referee stopped him from using it, and then got taken out by an errant Christopher superkick. The Grandmaster used the chair to give himself the upper hand, followed by a Hip Hop Drop back in the ring. As a second ref came from the back and tussled with the first, Jarrett struck with his infamous guitar and grabbed his title belt.

Christopher ducked a belt shot and looked for a piledriver on the gold, but Jarrett escaped with a low blow. The Chosen One hit The Stroke on the belt just before the original ref returned to make the three count.

The next WWA pay-per-view is The Eruption on April 14th.

WWA Revolution Results

  • CEO Andrew McManus welcomes us to the show, promising a mix of pyro, beautiful women and wrestling action. Sounds good to me. Sadly, he also gives us the bad news about Savage, blaming his absence on stalled contract negotiations.

  • The band Tantric performs a song that sounds like it's called, appropriately enough, "Revolution." The opening montage and pyro are well done, setting the stage for tonight's show, announced by Jeremy Borash and Mark Madden. Yes, that Mark Madden.

    Nova vs. Low Ki vs. Shark Boy vs. A.J. Styles vs. Tony Mamaluke vs. Christopher Daniels (Cruiserweight Elimination Match)

  • You couldn't ask for a better opener than this. For pure in-ring action, this is the best match I've seen in 2002. This bout has innovative offense, creative double-teaming, stiff kicks and chops... a little bit of everything, really. And it's all delivered at a frantic pace. Low Ki, Styles and Daniels are especially impressive. Shark Boy is out first, pinned by a cartwheel kick by Low Ki. Daniels' Angel's Wings sit-down pedigree sets up a Styles Clash (like a pedigree with the attacker falling on top of the victim) to pin Mamaluke. Moments later, Styles looks like he nearly kills himself on a Shooting Styles press to the floor. Low Ki falls to a one-arm slam from the top rope by Daniels, who becomes the next one out when his top rope hurracanrana is reversed into a Styles Clash. Nova wins the match with a flipping head-and-shoulders superplex. Hats off to the WWA for giving this match the time it deserved.

  • Winners: Nova at 19 minutes and 40 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 9.5/10.

  • Bret Hart gets a big reaction from the Las Vegas fans, and he seems genuinely glad to be there. After he breaks the news on Savage and the main event, the Hitman goes on a weird tangent by saying he's glad that Team Canada won the ice hockey gold, but America will get something better when it catches Osama Bin Laden. I must have missed a segue there.

  • Alan Funk is now known as The Funkster, an imitation of you-know-who. Sigh... it's been done before. The Funkster promises to teach two midgets some wrestling moves, including his devastating legdrop finisher.

    Reno vs. The Funkster

  • Not a horrible match, but the Hogan imitations don't help. Reno hits his Roll the Dice finisher but goes up top instead of covering. Hogan, I mean Funk, gets a boot up, "Funks up" to no-sell some punches and finishes with a big boot, piledriver and legdrop combo to get the win.

  • Winner: The Funkster at 7 minutes and 34 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 4/10.

  • A limo pulls up, revealing six young ladies and Scott Steiner. Out at the ring, Disco Inferno is upset because he was scheduled to wrestle Christopher and now has no match. He issues an open challenge and bides his time by joining the announcers for commentary.

    Native Blood versus Kronic

  • A politically incorrect gimmick (Native Blood consists of two guys dressed as Native Americans) plus Kronic equals a real mess. Mostly a showcase for Kronic's numerous power moves, it's confusing because we never find out which man is Navajo Warrior and which is Ghost Walker. Mercifully, a High Time ends it for one of them.

  • Winners: Kronic at 4 minutes and 53 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 2/10.

  • An angry midget tells Terry Taylor he's out to destroy all other midgets. The other midget from the earlier segment joins him on the stage to start their hardcore match.

    Tio vs. Puppet - Midget Hardcore Match

  • I don't make this stuff up. Actually, the two little guys can wrestle and they sure do take a lot of punishment. The whole thing is strangely fascinating. Madden and Disco are continually annoying throughout, calling for the midgets to kill each other. Puppet gets the win by hitting a facebuster on the stage into a bunch of thumbtacks.

  • Winner: Puppet at 7 minutes and 53 seconds .
  • Match Rating: 6/10.

  • Big Poppa Pump throws around the poor midgets. Miffed at not getting the main event spot, Steiner takes out his rage on poor Disco.

    Juventud Guerrera versus Psicosis versus Eddy Guerrero (Cruiserweight Title Match)

  • Entertaining, though we've seen better from these three. Eddy looks like he's in terrific shape. Juvi gets the drop on both of his foes after a double inverted neckbreaker, but he can't pin either one. Eddy escapes a top rope hurracanrana and hits his frog splash to score the pinfall.

  • Winner: and new WWA Cruiserweight Champion... Eddy Guerrero at 12 minutes and 44 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 6.5/10.

  • Eddy doesn't get much time to celebrate, as Jerry Lynn arrives to mock him. A fight ensues, ending when Lynn gives the new champ a cradle piledriver on his own belt. JL tells Eddy he'll be back for his title.

    Devon Storm versus Sabu (No DQ Match)

  • The crowd is unusually quiet, a shame since these Storm and Sabu really bust it in this violent encounter. It's been a long time since I've seen the Arabian Facebuster or the Triple Jump Moonsault, and tables and chairs play a prominent role. Neither man will stay down for the other's finisher, so manager Bill Alfonso gets involved with a chair. Fonzie's chair shot gets his own man though, and Storm is able to roll up Sabu for the three count. On his way out, Storm is again assaulted with a chair by Sabu. Alfonso sets a table up on the stage, and Storm is driven through it by a chair-aided legdrop from the bottom of the WWA's video screen.

  • Winner: Devon Storm at 20 minutes and 38 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 8/10.

  • The Living Legend, Larry Zbysko, plows through the ubiquitous "What?" chants to lay down a challenge to Vince McMahon. Somehow I expect Vinnie Mac's chances of showing up at the next WWA pay-per-view to be roughly the same as those of a rogue comet destroying the Earth before I finish this report.

    West Hollywood Blondes versus Rick Steiner and Ernest "The Cat" Miller

  • The Cat promises to kiss Madden's rump if they lose. They don't, destroying Lenny in record time. Lodi never even makes an appearance. Miller beats up Madden just for good measure. I like The Cat, but this is a waste of everyone's time.
  • Winners: Rick Steiner and Ernest "The Cat" Miller at 57 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 1/10.

    Brian Christopher vs. Jeff Jarrett (WWA Heavyweight Title Match)

  • Winner: ...and still WWA Heavyweight Champion... Jeff Jarrett at 13 minutes and 18 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 7/10.

  • Total Event Time: 2 hours and 53 minutes.
  • Overall Event Rating: 6/10.

    WWA's Revolution a snorefest

    By DONNIE ABREU -- SLAM! Wrestling

  • Starts with a statement by WWA owner Andrew McManus. Randy Savage will NOT be appearing.

  • Broadcast Team is Jeremy Borash and Mark Madden

    MATCH #1

  • Tony Mamaluke, Shark Boy, AJ Styles, The Fallen Angel, Nova, Low Ki in a 6 pack Cruiserweight 'Survival' Match.

  • The camera work is very distracting. A lot of corner and overhead shots. Not how we're used to seeing things. A lot of the action was missed -- especially when some of the guys in this match to their fight to the outside. The lighting was also horrible. Mamaluke's nose was broken, but we couldn't see how it happened. Shark Boy had a pin on Mamaluke -- 1-2-3 and the ref Slick Johnson waived it off!! A minute later he was eliminated by AJ Styles.

  • AJ Styles then eliminated Mamaluke after Tony was hit with Daniels' finisher “a sit out-pedigree and Styles finisher -- a face first piledriver/slam. Pretty cool.

  • Daniels and Nova then teamed up to take out Low Ki.

  • The match is now down to three men, and seems to have turned into a three way dance.

  • AJ pinned Daniels after his crazy piledriver move off the top rope. Wow. The match ends after Nova hits a sloppy top rope German on Styles. As a whole, a decent match – your typical spot fest, with very little pacing.

    Winner: Nova
    RATING: 6/10

  • Great line by Madden 'Backstage Shark Boy has eaten creative consultant Terry Taylor'.

  • Bret Hart comes to the ring to talk Uh oh -- here we go, Bret starts talking and is being interrupted by 'WHAT?' Hart comes out to announce to the crowd that the 'Space Cowboy' Randy Savage will not be in the main event, and has been replaced by Brian Christopher. Apparently he's 'paid his dues more than some of the other guys back there'.

  • After being cheered through out the promo (other than the part where he mentioned Christopher's name) Bret then gets booed for congratulating Team Canada's hockey team. Madden: 'Aww come on -- it was fixed!'

  • The former Kwee Wee, Allan Funk showed up backstage with a couple of midgets. Funk was working his indy gimmick as the 'Funkster', a Hulk Hogan parity.

    MATCH #2

    The Funkster VS Reno
  • Two minutes into the match and Allan Funk has executed more moves than Hogan has over the last two decades. Much like Hogan's greatest matches of the 80's, this one was slow and very difficult to watch. Reno seems to have lost a step from his WCW days.

  • Madden: 'I haven't seen the Funkster take this much punishment since Hellwig beat him down at the Skydome a few years ago'.

  • The Funkster hits a piledriver and then, of coures, the big leg drop. The comedic value of this one wore off quickly.

    Winner: The Funkster
    RATING: 3/10

  • Big Pappa Pump has just arrived with a few freaks. Godfather's Escort Agency? Perhaps.

  • Disco Inferno joins the broadcast team -- complaining that he no longer has an opponent since Grand Master Sexay has been moved to the main event. A long, and awkward verbal exchange between Disco and Madden. In a battle of hits, Inferno is undermanned. Furious DI makes an open challenge to anyone in the back. I'm sure that'll come back to haunt him.

    MATCH #3

    Native Blood VS Kronik
  • This match was originally advertised as Kronik versus Lenny and Lodi. No mention as to why that didn't happen. Native Blood gets totally squashed.

  • Kronik hits all their standard moves. Full nelson slam -- meltdown -- double shoulder block and then the high times. Match over.

  • Madden repeatedly made reference to 'back room politics' being the only reason why Kronik isn't the top team in the world today. Might also have something to do with the fact that they suck.

    Winners: Kronik
    RATING: 1/10
  • The Nitro girls, errr -- 'Starettes' show up to dance a little.
  • Madden: 'I'd like to thank Kimberly Page for taking the 15 seconds required to choreograph this number'.

    MATCH #4

    Midget Hardcore Match

    Teo 'The Midget Killer' VS Puppet 'The Psycho Dwarf'

  • Puppet looks like the mini-me version of Ontario indy star Geza Kaulman.

  • Trash cans and brawling on the ramp is how the match begins Teo jumps from the top rope to the outside onto Puppet. Madden: 'There's a lot on the line in this match -- elevator shoes to the winner'. 'The loser becomes a lawn ornament'.

  • Amidst all the comedy there were one or two moments that resembled a typical hardcore match.

  • Both men brawled to the outside -- where Puppet opened up a bag of thumbtacks. He hits a TKO on Teo to get the win.

    Winner: Puppet

    RATING: 4/10

  • Immediately following this match, Big Pappa Pump showed up and took a page out of King Kong Bundy's book by clobbering both midgets.

  • Steiner cuts a promo complaining about not being put into the main event. He decides he wants a fight so he pulls Disco Inferno out of his broadcast position and we have an unofficial -- impromptu match.

  • Steiner did the crowd and the home audience a favor by beating the hell out of Disco. After the Steiner Recliner, Big Pappa decided he had made his point and walked out.

    MATCH #5

    International Cruiserweight Championship

    Psicosis (Champion) VS. Juventud Guerrera VS. Eddy Guerrero

  • Borash that explains that even though Juvi won the title at their last pay per view, Psicosis won the strap at a recent non-televised show.

  • This should be a spectacular match. Eddy looks to be in terrific shape. I don't think I'll ever get used to seeing Psicosis without a mask -- and that backstreet boys haircut is just too much.

  • As the match progresses it seems clear Eddy can't keep up with the other two high flyers in terms of speed – so he is working a slower, power-offence. I will admit, he does that really well.

  • Psico hit a sweet double leg drop off the top rope onto both men. Eddy holds onto the top rope to avoid a hurricanrana. He tosses his man to the matt and hits a frog splash for the win.

    Winner: Eddy Guerrero

    RATING: 6 ½ / 10

  • Eddy grabs the mic to cut a heel promo. The fans start chanting 'WHAT?' and Eddy says 'Is that the extent of your vocabulary morons?'. Eddy talks how his life has been a mess for a year, but starting tonight -- everything is going to change. Scott Hall speech #112.

    MATCH #6

    Hardcore Rules

    Sabu VS. Devon Storm

  • A surprise! Look who's with Sabu -- it's Fonzi, Bill Alphonso! Fans are surprisingly silent for this match. Sabu with a few of his traditional jaw-dropping spots. Announcers constantly refer to Storm as a more serious, cerebral version of himself. And he is certainly working a slower, more methodical style.

  • Sabu controlled most of the action early on. Fonzi set up a table on the outside. Storm tried to go over the top rope and put Sabu through the table with a sunset flip -- problem was -- they misses. The only thing that hit the table was Storm's foot. Sabu gets a chair passed to him and just hurls it at Storm's face.

  • Sabu sets the chair up in the ring and nails the Triple Jump Moonsault! Very nicely done. Storm puts Sabu's head through a chair with a Death Valley Driver -- but it wasn't enough for the win.

  • Storm seems to be getting frustrated. He is slowly moving back to his old style -- reckless high spot wrestling. Storm hits several finishers but couldn't put Sabu away.

  • In the end, Fonzi tried to clobber Storm with a chair -- but he ducked out of the way. Sabu was hit instead, and Storm rolled him up for a big upset win.

  • When Sabu came to, he went after Devon. Alphonso set up a table by the entrance. Sabu climbed up to te top of the big screen, and hit an Arabian face buster through the table. Must have been about a twenty foot drop. Would have been even better if the camera had a decent shot of it. What a shame.

  • Quick cameo by Ontario star Scott D'Amore -- who was checking on Storm.

  • There were a ton of missed spots in this match, and Sabu didn't sell for Storm the way he should have, but you could tell there was an effort to tell some sort of a story.

    Winner: Storm

    RATING: 6/10 (would have been higher if not for all the missed spots)

  • Madden in the ring now to introduce the 'Living Legend' Larry Zybysco. Larry's looking a lot like Phil Collins. Larry is talking about how he started in the business -- working for the WWWF and Vince McMahon Senior. The crowd is answering Larry with a 'WHAT?' after every line. Oh my.

  • Larry goes on to talk about how the WWF was taken over by Vince Jr. He rips McMahon Jr. Calling him every name in the book. 'Vince is spitting in the face of the wrestling business.' Larry talks about some personal incident between he and Vince Jr. that occurred twenty years ago. Says he should have “stretched” him back them. Says Chris Jericho is too short to be a superstar or a living legend. Zybysco challenges McMahon to a match in the WWA (so-called neutral ground). He is now awaiting Vince's reply to his challenge. Oh boy. Have these guys not learned anything from WCW?

    MATCH #7

    Lenny and Lodi VS Surprise Opponents (Rick Steiner and Ernest 'The Cat' Miller)

  • Miller says if Lenny and Lodi beat them, he will kiss Mark Madden's fat ass. This match was horrible, Steiner threw Lenny around for a minute and then tagged Ernest. 15 seconds later, the match was over. Lodi didn't even get a tag. Immediately following the match, Miller attacked Madden. Why? Some old WCW feud that nobody remembers?

    .Winners: Miller and Steiner

    RATING: 0 / 10

    MATCH #8

    WWA World Title Match

  • 'The Grandmaster' Brian Christopher VS. Jeff Jarrett

    .Christopher came to the ring to his WWF music (No copyright? This is still Rikishi's tune!) And his old 2 Cool threads.

  • Borash informs us that on recent house shows Christopher has scored pins on Jarrett in tag team action? Where were those matches? Same building where Pat Patterson won the Intercontinental Title?

  • This match featured several rest holds right from the onset. I guess BC must have blow up with all that dancing. Christopher hits a tornado DDT, but Jarrett throws his leg over the top rope. He follows that up with a sunset flip into a powerbomb over the top rope to the floor. Botched spot on the outside, ends up with Christopher super kicking the referee. Back in the ring -- Christopher hits the Hip Hop Drop -- but there's no ref. Slick Johnson shows up to make the count, but the first ref pulls him out of the ring before the count of three. Jarrett hits The Grandmaster with his guitar and goes for the pin. Slick Johnson breaks up the count this time.

  • The refs are brawling in the ring. Jarrett brings his belt into the ring -- BC with a kick and goes for the Lawler piledriver. Jarrett gets out and hits the stroke onto the belt (same finish as the last pay per view) on Jerry's kid for the win.

    Winner: Jeff Jarrett

    RATING: 4/10

  • I really like the fact that the WWA continued the trend they set on their first pay per view, by having the play by play men on the house PA -- so that the live crowd would get to hear them. For several matches, I'm sure Madden's quips were the only thing keeping the Vegas crowd awake. I know he kept me awake.

  • Production values were way down from their first pay per view. None of the slick graphics, and really whacky camera angles with a few short outages.

  • For the time that McManus announced Randy Savage would not be appearing -- and all the way through the night, we were told to 'expect the unexpected'. Aside from Larry Z's verbal tirade -- I was seriously disappointed. They're going to have to put together a spectacular card to get me to watch their next show.

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