EDITOR'S NOTE: Eric Benner is SLAM! Wrestling's regular Friday columnist.
Friday, October 30, 1998
All the hype fit to print
Greetings, fans! As you know by now, those explosions mean it's time for Monday Nitraw! Replacing Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, Jerry Lawler, and Bobby Heenan, I'm Eric Benner!
You know, fans, with the big pay-per-view, Wrestlebrawl I, only one week away, you know we have a big show for you! As a special tribute to the direction wrestling has taken lately, there will be no matches, I repeat, no matches on tonight's show. Instead, we'll be featuring one long promo for this week's pay-per-view, and save ourselves the effort of trying to convince you we're actually putting on a show.
The guys in the van (they actually live in that van) have put together a great video/audio production for you tonight, detailing the feuds that have led up to Wrestlebrawl, but since this show encompasses neither, I'll just write down what I see on the TurnerTron.
We all know the big story of the night. Several weeks ago, WWF champion Stone Cold Steve Austin took advantage of Eric Bischoff's murder at the hands of Ric Flair to trespass on WCW property and wreak some havoc. Over two dozen WCW mid-carders were sent home with a stunner, and when WCW champ Goldberg came out and met Austin face to face, Austin demanded this match at Wrestlebrawl. Goldberg, who never turns down a challenge because nothing's a challenge to him, gladly accepted. The special interim booking committee for this event, consisting of Roddy Piper and Sgt. Slaughter, decreed that this match would be for the WCW/WWF unified world heavyweight title.
Oh, and the loser has to get a new gimmick. The winner gets to keep both belts, his black trunks, black boots, and bald head. Whoever gets pinned must grow hair and put on some clothes.
We'll be coming back to this story, in honour of WCW's participation in this event, fifty or sixty times this evening.
Let us take you back to last week, fans, when all of the undercard matches were hastily set in time for the pay-per-view.
D-Lo Brown and Mark Henry had come out to ringside to face the Outlaws, and they were basically making jack-asses out of themselves, Mark Henry with Chyna and D-Lo with that stupid looking head motion, when Harlem Heat came out to knock some sense into them. They caused them to lose the match (yeah, cause the Nation was really about to beat the Outlaws) and set up the opening match for Wrestlebrawl.
Following that, Triple H was making his return speech, still partially injured, when Chris Jericho came out with a mic.
"Hunter Hearst Helmsley," he said with that annoyingly but charmingly whiny voice of his, "no longer can I allow you to have the same kind of hair as me. I challenge you to a match at Wrestlebrawl!"
Triple H, who was caught off-guard by the very appearance of the two-time former Lionheart, but who was never one to back off, accepted the challenge despite his injury: "your ass is mine."
"It won't be a regular match, though. It will be a hair versus hair match. With one special stipulation: the loser doesn't get his hair cut, he just has to colour it or get it cut differently the next time he's at the salon."
And so you have it, fans. Chris Jericho versus an injured Triple H match at Wrestlebrawl, in a match sponsored by L'Oreal.
After Jericho left the arena, Triple H was still talking to the fans when Ken Shamrock came in and beat on him, just to make sure you know that he's still a bad guy. Out to make the save, though, was Chris Benoit.
"Ken Shamrock," he shouted as he ran down to ringside with a mic, "that expressionless and emotionless face, devoid of all personality, was patented by me in the early nineties! I'm here to take it back!"
They brawled in the ring for a bit, but settled nothing, as neither managed to lock on their patented submission maneuvers. It did set up the third match at Wrestlebrawl, though, a "quitter gets a personality" submission match.
When Benoit left the ring, Shamrock was still winded, as he was unused to Ric Flair-style chops in that magnitude and frequency, so he didn't see Mick Foley coming.
"Kenny!" he shouted to everyone's surprise, "I got one word for you!" Following that, he applied his own submission maneuver, the dreaded haha-my-sock-is-in-your-mouth, also known as the sockoble claw.
An even more annoying voice than Jericho's piped over the loud-speakers, exclaiming: "Foley! You're an idiot. I'm going to beat the tar out of you. My rules." With that, dozens of chairs fell from the rafters into the ring and onto Mick Foley, who was buried. The man they call Raven came out, but was unable to find Foley under the sea of chairs, so the match, which will follow the no-disqualification stipulations of Raven's rules, was delayed until the pay-per-view.
Inexplicably, the Outlaws came out to give D-Lo and Mark Henry "a second chance, a fair shot at the New Age Outlaws' titles," but just as soon as the Nation music began, sounds of a scuffle emanated from backstage and the music cut to those familiar sounds:
"N - W - O."
Taking advantage of Hogan's absence from Wrestlebrawl, enemies of late Scott Hall and Kevin Nash emerged into the arena, donning their Outsiders t-shirts from days past.
"Yo, we got a little survey for you," Hall started. "Did you people here at SLAM! come to see the WWF? [minor cheer] Or did you come to see the..." He held his microphone out to the audience, but Billy Gunn had beat him to it, leading the crowd in a chant of "s*ck it!"
With their catch-phrases utterly confused, none of the athletes had the will to put on a match, since all of their moves were just like catch-phrases anyway - very recognizable but not particularly useful. Oh well, looks like we'll again have to wait for the big pay-per-view extravaganza!
After a commercial break, footage resumes in the ring, where The Rock is doing his shtick. The crowd is going crazy as usual. Abruptly, his music stops and is replaced by the first track from Nirvana's Nevermind (minus the words) and out comes Diamond Dallas Page!
"You know, Rocky Maivia, you call yourself the People's champ, but I don't see that many people here who are actually cheering for you."
The Rock does his eyebrow thing and the crowd goes so bananas that anything other than 'ape shit' fails to describe it.
"Diamond Dallas Page, DDP, or whatever it is you want to be called, you know, it doesn't matter what you think - no one gives a rat's ass what you think - because the Rock is the People's champ, you know it, I know it, and all the people there in the cheap seats know it, too."
Page, angered by the fact that the fans really were cheering for the Rock, went after him, but Rocky shrewdly jumped out of the ring and tactfully ran to the back like a chicken.
Sting, accidentally running into Page on his way out, climbed into the ring and called out the Undertaker. "Undertaker," he said, "I'm calling you out."
Never one to back down, out came the Man from the Dark Side, accompanied by his brother Kane. "Sting, if you want to fight me at Wrestlebrawl, if you want to pit yourself against me in a match of the franchise players, that's fine with me, but it's going to be a casket match, and Kane's going to be in my corner."
"You think I'm afraid of your little brother, Undertaker? I'll have back-up in my corner, as well! Watching my back will be Konnan!"
Kane and the Undertaker, laughing hysterically, walk backstage, where the camera-man pursues them. Along the way, he passes Mr. McMahon's officem, locked. Mr. McMahon is heard repeating the same phrase, over and over: "yeeeouch! Bret, let go! Let go, Bret!" Oh, what the hell. Let's add that to the card, too.
[Broken glass.] Ladies and gentlemen! It's the rattlesnake! He's out, and he's taking care of business! Unfortunately, there's no one in the ring. He's grabbing a chair! He's sitting on it! He's opening a bruskey! I'm sorry folks, we only have one minute left! Wait, here's Goldberg! He's going after Austin! Ladies and gentlemen, we're out of time! Tune in next week for Wrestlebrawl I! Send in those emails! Pick one match, write a match report about it, with a creative and interesting finish! The most inventive ones will be posted next week, same time, same place! See you in seven! [Fade to black.]
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