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The Wrestling Observer Newsletter

PO Box 1228 Campbell, CA 90210-2342 February 3rd, 1997


After nearly 7 months of negotiating and speculation, and in what’s just as much as a blow to it as could be a benefit to Extreme Championship Wrestling, HBO Sports finalised a deal to fund a wrestling promotion, hiring Paul Heyman as ‘Executive Advisor’, along with booking duties, and Antonio Inoki & Keiji Mutoh in a similar consolatory basis to the booking team. The debut show is scheduled for November 3rd in Las Vegas, and will be televised on HBO2. Said HBO’s Ross Greenberg at the press conference, “It’s about time HBO SPORTS stepped into the Wrestling World. And on November 3rd, that realization will manifest right before the world’s eyes.” The named of the promotion is, ‘World Of Wrestling’, and officially listed as ‘World Of Wrestling, LTD’, owned by HBO SPORTS.

Heyman’s involvement with the company is really uncertain, though it has been stated that HBO SPORTS is taking care of his travel, allowing him to still concentrate his own promotion. For obvious reasons, Heyman is not expected to do house shows -- if there are house shows. At first, it was erroneously reported here last week that Heyman was approached by Ole Anderson to do colour commentating for TV, but it is now clear that Heyman’s role is far more significant than just announcing. I’m sure they are keeping it very quiet, so that the ECW boys don’t get the idea that Heyman is abandoning ECW.

Many believe that the card, airing right after the 8pm-10pm Sunday night boxing replay, that features a World Title tournament, a special attraction match of Antonio Inoki vs. Ken Shamrock in some sort of shoot style match, and a 4 or 6 team Tag Team tournament could put a real eventual dent in the wrestling world if done right.

World Of Wrestling, or ‘WOW’, is running with the slogan “ Where the bigger boys play”, an obvious knock at WCW, in what has been a heavy television advert campaign. What’s very interesting is the booking team lured to this startup with the written HBO SPORTS money contracts that’s been offered to talent. The booking team consists of, Ole Anderson, Sgt. Slaughter, & Teddy Long along with Antonio Inoki & Keiji Mutoh in between their Japan work.

“ No offense to Heyman in the least bit, but this is a company that’s already showed that their devoted to the promotion. I mean, not only were we offered guaranteed contracts, but look at the guys who’s running this; Anderson, Long, Slaughter, Inoki…that’s a lot of knowledge, right there, alone. And the best part of it all? I’m still going to be in the good hands of that man, right there, Paul Heyman.”, said Storm who was one of 5 who attended the press conference representing WOW ( Slaughter, Inoki , Heyman & Anderson being the others)

Judging from the adverts, HBO seems to be promoting this as they would one of their boxing cards. And as seen from going with the boxing reply lead in on Sundays, it’s clear that they are gong for the boxing crowd – Something that both WWF and WCW (and ECW for that matter) have always failed to do. They are pushing two ‘feature’ matches big time. 1996 Olympic Gold medalist, Kurt Angle, who was made an offer by ECW last year and declined, will make his wrestling debut against the returning Ultimate Warrior, or The Warrior as he’s being built. Angle, who refused to sign with ECW, said that he saw this as more of a ‘sporting’ event, whereas he saw ECW as rather barbaric (the show that he attended was during the crucifixion angle with Dreamer and Raven). I’m not sure what’s ‘sporting’ about Warrior, but he does have a point that this does look like a ‘cleaner’ product that ECW, especially when you put HBO’s name and money behind it. Warrior’s name, whilst somewhat damaged from his short WWF return, (Warrior was fired last year for not missing a couple of house shows), still has the star power to at least bring viewers and seat fillers to the debut show, which I’m sure is the main point, here.

Kurt Angle, the highest paid in WOW at $2.9 million a year, has been brought in to do an eventual match with Ken Shamrock, the 2nd highest paid at 2.6 million a year. This shows clearly, Inoki’s influence, and the influence of the shoot style in this promotion. A good thing about this is that it gives the promotion a more ‘athletic’ look. How Kurt Angle will develop as a wrestler, especially in a start up will be interesting to see.

The other match that’s being heavily pushed, is Antonio Inoki vs. Ken Shamrock, in some sort of shoot rules match. This, on paper looks really good. I expect something to happen during the debut show to advance that Shamrock – Angle programme.

Also, amongst the short list of those who have been hired as of press time are Terry Funk, Rick Rude (who will be used in some sort of managerial role) Rhino Richards, Lance Storm, “The Real Crippler” Chris Candido – I’m serious, that’s the way it’s listed on the roster, New Jack, and Balls Mahoney, all purged from ECW. No longer jobless are, Tully Blanchard and Ole Anderson, which points to a sign of some sort of Horsemen tie in, Hawk, Brian Lawler, Bryan Clark, Kris Kanyon, Curt Hennig (also hired for a managerial role) Jeff Farmer (nWo Sting), The Haas brothers, and former CBS journalist, Michael Coulthard (Michael Cole).

What does this all mean for wrestling? Well, we’re really not sure yet. One of three things will happen – all very quickly. With the backing of HBO SPORTS this really has a chance to take off. I expect the company to revolve around the Shamrock – Angle feud; and if done right this could really take this company to the top. Inoki for obvious reasons will be the spearhead in the creative for this feud. Where the other top guys end up in all of this, I’m not too sure.

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I'm actually excited about this idea and concept. The set up is nice and is relatively easily done in terms of realism.

The only thing I'm not liking, is Inoki in the main event of the debut show. Sure, I get why he's there, but I still don't like it too much. I guess that the boxing crowd (who had seen Foreman and the like climb in the ring at 50+) won't mind, but wrestling fans looking to a 'new' product probably wouldn't want to see a 50 year old against Ken Shamrock. If it were Flair, it would put the butts in the seats and get the desired reaction, but the American audience just won't wouldn't respond to Inoki like you'd hope for for this show.

Aside from that, I like it and am looking forward to where this goes.

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This seems like a very interesting, unique, and creative idea. The best part about it is that while it is very different, it does not seem unrealistic at all. I'm not quite sure what exact year this is all taking place is in, but I'm guessing 1997-1998 ... However, I can definitely picture going back in this time period and seeing this style of wrestling promotion formed. What I'm going to be really intrigued by is seeing the younger superstars that you give pushes. I expect Kurt Angle to get pushed through the roof, and there's no problem with that. The vets like Shamrock, Inoki, Rude, etc are all good, but it's going to be very fun seeing the new faces that you give pushes and how lesser known characters develop. I'm looking forward to this.

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I like the fact that you still sell Kurt Angle as big business (which he was, considering his gold medal win). However, it just seems like a coddling together of old WWF/WCW talent and ECW top guys, a strategy that screams TNA. I like the pickup up of the Haas brothers, though, because of the preemption. All I can say is to revert Kanyon's first name back to Chris and give him a monster push.

'Cause really.

Who bettah than Kanyon?

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The Wrestling Observer Newsletter

PO Box 1228 Campbell, CA 90210-2342 August 26th, 1997


With just a bit over 2 months before the inaugural World Of Wrestling show on Nov 3rd at the Palladium Air Centre in Las Vegas, WOW released what they called the final round of new signings and entries for the WOW tournament. Captain Lou Albano, Dr. Death Steve Williams, Ax & Smash (must be for nostalgia purposes), Abdullah the Butcher, Surge (Matt Hardy) and Willow The Wisp (Jeff Hardy), both from OMEGA.

Of those signings, the trump card(s) could be the Hardy Brothers, given a huge shot here at national exposure. I haven’t seen too much of these guys, but Jeff has been deemed the next coming of Shawn Michaels, if he can remain healthy. I just hope they don’t keep that ridiculous Willow the wisp gimmick and outfit. Williams will do great to put on stiff quality matches, since they seem to be going for that style. Abdullah, though pushing 61 is one of those wrestlers who can really rely on his gimmick, in that he can still do at 61 what he did at 30. Albano, like Rude & Hennig has been brought in a managerial role to get over new talent, in addition to helping get over the new promotion as a whole.

It seems that the heavy advert campaign by HBO SPORTS on HBO2 during it’s boxing programming is indeed generating the buzz that they had hoped for. While Inoki’s name on the card means very little if anything to the US, Shamrock himself is a huge UFC and boxing fans draw. From what I’m hearing the WOW tourney will be throughout the card with the championship match on top, most likely Mutoh against either Hawk, Funk or Williams. I can’t see them giving the title to any of the younger guys as they need name value to get the champion over. There are some that are speculating Sandman to win – but the clear drawback with that is that WOW doesn’t want a fresh out of ECW guy on top, I’m sure. Of all the varied promo adverts that are running, the best so far are the Albano and Hennig vignettes, with both men promising to bring in top guys. Albano’s, by far is the best. It’s nice to see Albano involved with wrestling again. Fresh after becoming a vegetarian, Albano looks to have lost a ton of weight and seems to be in great shape. His adverts are him talking in front of a black screen with the WOW music playing in the background;

How you doin’ out there, now if you don’t know who I am then get out of your rock over there! I’m the manager of champions baby! Captain Lou Albano! And I’m back and better than ever, and this time I’m bring a couple of guys – a couple of guys that like to bite! A couple of guys that like to maim! A couple of guys that like pain! I’m talking about MASS DESTRUCTION!!!! [*fade out*]

Not too sure on how Michael Coulthard from CBS is going to be as the play by play guy, but Heyman on colour commentary should be a gem. Mostly because it is believed that HBO SPORTS and WOW has given him the green light to say almost whatever he wants, with the idea that WOW has nothing to loose at this point, so early in the game. Heyman is one of those guys who can work with anyone, really, and can really carry the broadcast. This looks to be his goal in this situation – to carry Michael Coulthard (Michael Cole), who I’m sure is rather unfamiliar with wrestling and it’s history.

The list of official Heavyweight title tournament entries is as follows; Buh Buh Ray Dudley, Hawk, Rhino Richards, Tommy Dreamer, Steve Williams, Vampire Warrior, Terry Funk, Johnny Ace, Lance Storm, Balls Mahoney, The Sandman, Dlo Brown, Tully Blanchard, and possibly Brian Lawler (though I’m hearing they don’t want him to job as they have big plans for him)

The tag team tournament entries, also just released, is as follows; Bad Breed (Ian & Axl Rotten, The Demolition (Ax & Smash), The Southern Boyz (Bobby Duncum Jr. & ??), The Belmonts ( Kanyon & Adam Clark’s new gimmick with James Vandeburg), The Hass Brothers (Russ and Charlie), The Psycho Circus (This could be Abdullah the Butcher’s role), and MASS DESTRUCTION (Captain Lou’s team).

As of press time, both WWF and WCW have not acknowledged WOW.

** *** ****** ********** ******* ********8

WWF: WWF continues to see struggling ratings, as they delivered another bad RAW this past week. Even the Pillman stuff isn’t helping matters….

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What they don’t see

Date: 15th Sept 1997

Time: 13:45

Place: WOW Offices – Time Warner Building FL 7

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Sgt. Slaughter sat in his office reading the wrestling dirt sheets, as well as HBO2’s ratings numbers following the advert that he taped, which will run for the next two weeks. Slaughter almost dosing off, after being up late yesterday doing some final writing for the show, was awoken by his assistant via the intercom.


" Excuse me sir, are you there?"


"Yea, Hi Christy."


" I have Mr. Anderson on the phone."


" Ah, our head of acquisitions! Put him through!"


" Hiya how you doin’ Bob."


" Not too bad, Ole. Got good news for me?"


" As a matter a fact I do! First off, Steamboat accepted our offer to become the figurehead owner of WOW. We’ve cleared everything with him and his wife, and he will indeed be in Las Vegas for the opening segment."


" Excellent! How long is that segment supposed to run? Not too long, right? I want his appearance to add to the ‘name value’ of the promotion – but I don’t’ want him to overshadow wrestling…and I also don’t think he should be out there too long anyway. Keep his appearances special."


" You’re right. I think we penciled him in basically just to introduce you, as the commissioner and to greet the fans. That’s it for Vegas."


" Great. And what about Hellwig?"


" Hellwig is also confirmed. I hope he’ll be ok with our planned finish. McMahon won’t let us use ‘The Ultimate Warrior’. So we may just have to call him the Warrior, or ‘The Ultimate One’"


" That’s fine. As long as he doesn’t no-show. Even if we just get him for one show…this first show is important. I want this to be special. I want it to seem like a re-union of the stars. A culmination of old and new."


" This is going to be a good one, boss. I also spoke with Heyman -- he has the rosters, match list and finishes along with writing plans for the next couple of months. So he'll be able to carry that Michael Cole guy. He's really excited about the event."


" Well of course he is. I'm sure he'll get some plugs for ECW in there, not to mention we are paying him a very nice consulting fee. Well, thanks Ole. We'll chat in the morning. "


" Right you are boss. Oh, Steamboat asked me to say the name ‘Don Kernodle’ – ring a bell? "


" Um…hmmm..oh..Hahaha!!! He was my partner in the NWA in the early 80s. Steamboat and [Jay] Youngblood beat us for the tag titles! Oh..that Steamboat! He’s got a rib coming his way…Hey is everything set up for next week’s press conference where we announce the matches?"


" Everything is set, chief. It’s almost game time. "

HBO Advert:

Ricky Steamboat’s


Hey puke! Slime! Maggots!! Atttteeeentttion!! Hey there couch potato, it’s me, The Commish - Sgt. Slaughter!! And I’m here to tell you about the newest, hottest, baddest wrestling promotion out there!! Are you sick and tired of the same ol’nonsense! Tired of people claiming that their wrestling is RAW, when it really isn’t!! Or others that say they got the big boys, when all they got are second rate left overs! Well, on Nov 3rd, 1997 live from Las Vegas and televised right here on HBO2, your long overdue wait is over!! Because at 10pm, The World Of Wrestling is here!!! See wrestling superstars like, Terry Funk, The Great Mutoh, The Road Warriors, Curt Hennig and “Ravishing” Rick Rude! You’ll see a World Heavyweight Title tournament where the first ever WOW champion will be crowned!! Not only that, but in a special attraction match, UFC fighter Ken Shamrock will go head to head with Japanese submission specialist, former world champion, Antonio Inoki!! And yes…the rumours are true!! The Warrior is back!!! And he’ll have a stiff challenge ahead of him against last year's Olympic gold medalist, Kurt Angle!!! It’s WOW Sunday Night! Live on HBO2! It’s the World Of Wrestling; Where the bigger boys play!!!!!!!!!!!!

At ease. ”


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I'm definitely looking forward to the first show. The promotion seems very fitting for the year 1997, and I like how you've gotten a lot of older superstars, who would have been vets in that era. By the "I hope Hellwig's ok with the finish," comment, I get the feeling that Kurt Angle is going over, which is fantastic. I'd love to see Angle get a major push and carry WOW. The preview was golden, too, with Sgt. Slaughter giving a little preview. I think he'll serve as a fantastic commish.

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  • 3 weeks later...


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Ricky Steamboat’s


Presented by HBO Sports on HBO2

Nov 1997

Palladium Air Centre, Las Vegas - Nevada

In its inaugural show, the booking team of Sgt. Slaughter, Ole Anderson, Paul Heyman, and Antonio Inoki put together a show far better than any of the big two had in months. ECW seems to hold an edge with overall wrestling skill, but the exposure that HB02 gives World Of Wrestling allows them to use gimmicks or other forms of distraction to keep the wrestlers who are need protection, from being exposed in this level of exposure.. In addition to that, though Heyman is consulting for the promotion his roster has taken a big hit. Though most will work ECW on a limited basis, it’s all up to HBO SPORTS. With just a bit over than 3,000 in house (about 1,000 paid), the show was without a doubt a success in the overall picture. The crowd, which was announced at 5,000 started off rather quiet, but then became more and more interested as the show progressed. Of course, earlier on, there were some missed spots, mishaps, and other errors that would more than likely happen during a round 1 showing.

Aside from the steady wrestling, the other main talk amongst those within was the announcing. Heyman and Hyatt seemed to have legitimate heat from the beginning (and could be a reason why the decision was made mid-show to remove Hyatt from the commentary team, but Heyman did well in carrying Cole. By the middle of the night, Cole and Heyman developed almost a natural combination by the end of the night. Also, the ECW – NWAA angle came off great, however and really made Heyman look like a star. But in the end it was the surprise of Scott Levy’s early selfmade gimmick, and alter ego Scotty The Body in his new split personality gimmick for WOW.

After the opening music video montage, the show opened up with the crowd popping big time for Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat, standing in the ring in a suit and tie. He was introduced as the owner of WOW, which prompted a ‘Ricky’ chant before he began. Here come the figureheads. Steamboat said that it was great to be back in wrestling with all of his fans and quickly introduced The Commissioner of WOW, Sgt. Slaughter. Slaughter came out to a great pop as well. Slaughter saluted the crowd and began the big WOW push;


" AT EASE! [*crowd pops*] Now lemme tell ya somethin’! This is the World Of Wrestling – where the BIGGER BOYS play!! And tonight, we’re gonna see who’s the best in the World Of Wrestling, in our 8 man heavyweight tournament! We’re gonna crown a champion tonight in, Las Vegas!!!! [*Crowd pops*] And I wanna thank each and every one of you who have supported us, here tonight! You’re in for a great show!! "

Suddenly some sort of heavy metal music began to play, and out came Ax & Smash, sporting the blue and yellow paint tonight. Afraid of a lawsuit? Smash looked to be in ok shape, but Ax put on some weight. After the pop crowd calmed down Ax and Smash stopped playing to the crowd.

" Sgt. Slaughter, ain’t no chance in hell you should be walking around the back alone! In the ring, or anywhere for that matter – alone! You’re the commissioner! Someone’s always going to be looking over your shoulder! So you gotta keep your eye on it, too! And that’s where WE come in!"

Smasher "That’s right! We’re one of the greatest tag teams in the sport! We like to demolish’em! And anyone get in you’re way, we’ll SMASH’em into smithereens! Ha! Ha!"


" Axer!! Smasher!! You got it!!! ATTENTION!!!"

Slaughter marched out with Ax and Smash. I could’ve sworn he called them Axer and Smasher. It could be copyright issues with the WWF, I’m not really too sure. Can they really copyright an object used for cutting trees and a verb? Segment was good. They went straight with the early nostalgia. Good move. All got strong responces, as well. 75%


Joel Gertner, filled in the ring announcing duties at the event. Gertner introduced Michael Cole and Missy Hyatt who was at the broadcast booth in booth up in the second section of the crowd.


" Hello everyone and welcome to The World Of Wrestling Sunday Night!!! My name is Michael Coulthard – call me Cole – And I’m joined by a woman who needs no introduction! The one and only, Missy Hyatt!!"


" That’s Queen Missy Hyatt to you, pipsquirt! Who are you, anyway?!"


" I just told you, I’m Michael Cole – And what a night we are in for ladies and gentleman! Tonight, a first ever World Of Wrestling Heavyweight Champion will be crowned! Missy, you saw the list of entries! You saw the names – Keiji Muta! Dr. Death Steve Williams! (who wasn’t on the card) [*Hawk’s music begins to play*] Like the man who’s coming to the ring right now! Road Warrior Hawk! Who do you give the nod too!?"


" I don’t know! I can’t pick just one man! But I really think the winner of this match will go on to win the tournament! Fit Finlay is a strong, strong man! He’s going to take it, ya!"


" What a night we’re in for! We will be here each and every Sunday Night, so you know where to find us! Joel Gertner is standing by at ringside to make the announcements, take it away, Joe!"

And, that wasn’t the first time that Cole called Joel, “Joe”.

1. Road Warrior Hawk w/ Paul Ellering d. Fit Finlay in 9:54 of a round 1 WOW Heavyweight Tournament match

Hawk got an absolute grade a pop coming out, coming out with Ellering. No mention of Animal. While the crowd popped for everything Hawk did, they died when Finlay put on any offence because they didn’t buy into him hurting Hawk too much. They missed a few spots, but made up for it toward the end of the match, when the crowd had already lost interest. More unfortunate because they worked hard, here. Hawk won with a murderous lariat at 9:50 as Finlay was coming off the top rope attempting an axehandle. Finlay went nuts after the lost, kicking the ropes and turnbuckle. *3/4

Overall: 64.32

Crowd: 49.89

Match: 69.2

Commentary Aftermath

Cole: " What a great start to WOW!! Wow! I hope Finlay’s ok! He is livid!"

Hyatt: " He’s got --"



Crowd started to stir, as from the crowd emerged Paul Heyman, cell phone in hand. Not sure if Vegas is an ECW town, but there were a few ECW chants. Paul sat in between Cole & Hyatt.

Heyman: " Yeah!! Hello Michael Cole [*as he’s fixing his jacket, looking around the crowd*], my name is Paul Heyman, and now I have given all the people out there a reason to watch this show! [*Jumps out of his seat as he notices Hyatt*] My god, it’s an NWA reunion! Who the hell have you been fuckin’ to get this gig?"

Hyatt: " You bastard! Nice seeing you, too Paulie!!"

(There’s an interesting story behind the NWA comment. According to several sources, when arriving backstage, those were the first words out of Heyman’s mouth (Is this an NWA reunion?) when he met a lot of former NWA wrestlers backstage, such as Tully Blanchard, Terry Funk, Funk, Jimmy and Ronnie Garvin, Ole Anderson, Hyatt, and Paul Ellering & The Road Warriors. He could’ve said something along the lines of it being more like Georgia, but that would probably be too dated for anyone to catch.)

Heyman: " Yes! Yes! That’s right! Ok! What’s next! [*Tatanka’s native American music started to play – proceeded by a 30 second Cherokee chant over the p.a. system*] Oh no! Oh no! It’s running duck! Running duck!"

Cole: " Excuse me? [*laughing*]"

Heyman: " It’s The Spirit of the Cherokee Horse, Tatanka!"


2 Spirit of the Cherokee Horse, Tatanka d. “Hard Stuff” Brian Lawler. 7:04

Tatanka came out in all sorts of new garb that took forever to take off. While Tatanka was doing so, ‘Hard Stuff’, as he’s being billed, got in a jawing match with Jim Neidhart, who was put on camera during the ring entrances as being a notable in the crowd. Also in there was Jimmy Snuka and George “The Animal” Steele. These two really didn’t work well, together. Heyman was hilarious in on commentary with the Indian jokes. Cole couldn’t hold back his laughter. Hyatt became almost a mute at this point. Chavis won with a top rope tomahawk chop with Lawler sold big time. Heyman linked the tomahawk chop to the Briscoes. Tatanka made the title gesture around his waste. Crowd wasn’t much into this one, as Tatanka had most of the offense – boring, at best. *

Overall: 55.45

Crowd: 54.34

Match: 56.92

Commentary Aftermath

Cole: " Tatanka, the winner of that round one match up!"

Heyman: " Oh, how I would love to just say, AND NOW WOW WORLD CHAMPION – RUNNING DUCK!! Hahah! Running Duck, WOW champion! Running Duck! Hahaha!"

Cole: " [*pressing his earpiece*] Ok, I’m just getting word – Missy!? Missy please go to the back, there’s something happening! HBO cameras are standing by!! Terry Funk – he’s banging on the commissioner’s locker room!"

Heyman: " Soon she’ll be doing the banging in the commissioner’s locker room!"

Hyatt went to the back, and at this point the big screen lowered from the ceiling showing Hyatt’s trail through the lockeroom. After a few rights and a left, there was Funk banging on the Commissioner’s office. Heyman probably had the best line of the night, here as the camera was following Missy Hyatt run to the back.

Look at that waddle. Look at her go! Cole, she’s running like she just got banged up by the world’s tallest Black man! [*long pause*] Hey - C’mon, it’s HBO!

In nothing short of a coincidental miracle, Slaughter opened the door just as Hyatt got there with the mic and camera. Slaughter was hot;

" You listen to me!! You wanna talk to me? YOU KNOCK!! You knock once like a normal human being or else!!!"


" Or else, what? Whattaya gonna do? Ya see lemme tell ya somethin! I gotta a round one match with that piece of crap Buh Buh Ray Dudley!! Ya see this is WOW, and I’m gonna bring this place to the top of the hill!! And I’m gonna do it my way! The Funk way! And ya see, when I was coming up in this sport, beating the greats, I did it the Funk way…the hard way!! And tonight I wanna do it a first blood way!!"


" Oh my gosh!! He wants a first blood match!"

Slaughter said that it was ok as long as Buh Buh Ray agreed. Buh Buh, already in the ring nodded his head and smiled as Funker raced to the ring for the next match, to begin after the adverts.


3. Terry Funk w/ Dory Funk Jr. d. Buh Buh Ray Dudley in 20:51 of a First Blood round 1 Heavyweight Tournmanet match

Good match, here. And the crowd even woke up for most of it, cheering for both men until the final moments of the match. Dory was out there until getting in a fight with ‘a fan’ about 5 minutes into the match. The fan was a wrestler from a local training camp in Las Vegas. Heyman called Buh Buh Ray a rising star in the ‘Philadelphia circuit’. Philadelphia circuit? What is it, 1975? At 7:33, Funk went outside the ring to get the ring bell from the attendant. This was actually pretty funny, because the ring attendant was really giving Funk such a hard time, I supposed not clued in on the spot, that Funk really had to wrestle it from the guy. Funk got back in the ring and tried to use it, but Buh Buh ducked underneath the attack and landed the Dusty punches on Funk. The bell became a non-factor until 10:38. Dudley, who was tossed into the turnbuckle, stopped short, picked up the bell that was underneath the buckle, and went to hit Funk. Funk ducked out of the way, causing referee Jack Doan to be clobbered with the bell. And so began what looks to be the start of one of the main WOW programmes. At 12:13, Tully Blanchard, led by Ole Anderson came running into the ring and immediately jumped Dudley from behind. The crowd, just beginning to get into Dudley, quickly turned against Blanchard & Anderson, and quickly Funk once he started directing the traffic of the attack. Dudley, however, managed to fight them off. Cole and Heyman noted that Blanchard would be facing Keiji Muta in their own round 1 tournament match, later on. Cole slipped up and called Muta, Muta, which points to signs of frequent ‘Great Muta’ appearances. Just after Dudley fought off Blanchard and Anderson, Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson, Dory Funk Jr hit the ring, and quickly smothered Dudley. Blanchard hopped back in the ring and quickly had his way with Ray, no pun intended. Heyman, here, was going nuts on commentary, saying that he couldn’t believe that Funk would align himself with these ‘rejects’. He called Funk a product of the Extreme, his first and only blatant reference to ECW of the night. What followed next was a big sell job from Dudley. Blanchard, Morton, Gibson, Anderson, then finally the Funks all took turns blasting Dudley in the head with the ring bell, busting him open. Crowd was really hot at this point, and seemed to turn against Funk in unison by now. Everyone left the ring, and allowed for Funk to lock on the figure four until the referee slowly got back up. Upon seeing Dudley’s face, bloodied, he quickly called for the bell awarding this tournament match to Terry Funk. **1/4

Overall: 69.31

Crowd: 63.55

Match: 77.77

The New Wrestling Alliance of The Apocalypse


"Terry Funk advances through the first round of the tournament! But he did it with the help of this alliance!"


" [*screaming*] I cannot believe that Terry Funk would align himself with these men! These NWA rejects!!! I can’t believe he turned his back on -- [*throws down headset and stands up*]"


" Paul, what are you doing?"

At this point, Heyman rose, to a small pop. A loud cough over the PA system showed that Heyman’s headset mic was now working as a house mic.


" Tully Blanchard…Old Anderson…don’t you too have some sort of ‘Horsemen that never went anywhere’ reunion, or something? [*crowd laughs*] Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson…let’s give them all a round of applause! And Funker!! My oh my Terry Funk the lows that we have gone to get a title…something that you’ve been unsuccessful at doing in your most recent travels! I mean, what is this? An NWA rejects party? I mean, I’ve heard of the Who’s Who of wrestlers, but is this the ‘Who’s Left?’ [*crowd laughs*]"

The crowd was laughing pretty hard at this stuff until Funk started screaming into the mic


" Argghhhbarrahaha!! Oh look it’s Paul Heyman!!! Paul Heyman everybody!! Mr. cell phone! Mr. Funny man behind the mic!!! Mr. extreeeeme!!! Well guess Heyman! The only reason that you became Mr. Extreme is because of the blood, sweat, and tears of guys like ME! Guys like my brother, Dory! That’s right! So, little extreme boy! I left your little ‘extreme’ bingo hall party, and I’ve joined a Worrrrrrrlllld Of Wrestling that I’m gonna dominate like I did your little nickel and dime pony show!!"

The crowd immediately turned against Funk, here. Not only was Funk degrading the good name of ECW, but he was clearly working heel, here. Though there can’t be much of an ECW market in Vegas, it seems the fans did react to the ECW references, I suppose through waves of the internet.


" Heyman!! This goes to you, as it does all of these HBO lowlives watching at home on TV [*crowd booes*], and especially the ones, here live, tonight! [*crowd booes even louder*]

" Wow, how disrespectful!"


" Ok, ‘Funker’…now it’s my turn! Let’s talk about you! Terry Funk! Legend! Self-proclaimed, I might add…but a legend!!! Without ECW where would you be? Oh, yes…that’s right…unemp---"


" Ok, ok, ok….I think that’s enough Paul E. ‘not so dangerously’!!! You’re looking at The World Of Wrestling! And I’m talking about the group you’re looking at right now! Right here…two former horsemen!! These men…right here…the best…Tully Blanchard, and our advisor, Ole Anderson!!!!! And, right here – you’ve got me an my brother Dory, who are always lookin’ for a fight!! You want a fight! We’ll give ya a fight! Ya want a brawl!! We’ll give ya a brawl! Ya want a street fight!! We’ll give ya a street fight!! Ya want a challenge? WE’LL give you that challenge!! We are the N.W.A.A.! That’s right, we’re a new alliance in the world of wrestling! We’re the New Wrestling Alliance Of The Apocalypse!!!!!!!!!!!"




" What???!?!"


" So, Heyman? If you don’t mind? Why don’t you just sit back in your little broadcast seat…and do what you do best – TALK. That’s right. Talk about me defeating The Great Muta!! [*sarcastically*], in a great struggle, to meet Terry Funk in the finals of the WOW Heavyweight Tournament!!

With that, the newly formed alliance of Terry Funk, Dory Funk Jr., Tully Blanchard, , and advisor Ole Anderson, exited the ring, to a rather nice heel response of booes, as Heyman angrily sat himself back in the broadcast booth beside Cole. 77%



4. ‘The Crippler’ Chris Candido & Jeff Farmer d. The Hass Brothers (Charlie & Russ) in 10:04

The crowd was buzzing over the NWAA deal, and ignored a really good match. Cole didn’t know half of the moves. Even worse, Heyman who could’ve helped out here at least for the TV audience continued to talk about the NWAA angle. Well, if anything, that is a good thing to show that there’s interest in one of the main angles as judge from a live crowd. Heyman sold the idea that Funk was a traitor to all of his fans of the Extreme. Before you knew it, Candido won the match for his team with a Cobra Clutch on Russ Hass.

Overall: 56

Crowd: 37

Match: 75


Crowd popped for Alfred Hayes appearing on the screen, stationed outside The Great Muta’s lockeroom. Hayes last announcing job was on Tito Santana’s short lived American Wrestling Federation, last year. After standing for a few seconds, Great Muta poked his head out of the locker room, and stormed right by Hayes.


5. The Great Muta d. Tully Blanchard W/ Ole Anderson in 18:22 of a round 1 tournament match.

Some kind of country music sounding Van Zant song began to play and out came Ole Anderson to a round of booes, thanks to his earlier actions. Blanchard came out and got the response that they had hope he would get - another round of booes. On the way to the ring, Anderson snatched an ‘ECW’ sign from a fan at ringside and ripped it up. I’m hoping that Funk isn’t the only mouth piece of the stable, as Blanchard during his early days was obnoxious enough get heat from an air conditioner. Muta’s entrance was rather extravagant, very similar to his theatrical New Japan entrances as Great Muta. The match started off very slow until Muta hit Blanchard with a sudden springboard elbow after being thrown into the turnbuckle. Muta began to work quickly here, with two quick follow up elbow drops, for a near fall. Muta then came off the ropes 3 times with legdrops, covering Blanchard after each. Blanchard made the comeback when Muta missed his Moonsault, at 11:02. Throughout the match the announcers got over the idea that more alliances could be formed as a result of the NWAA formation. At 13:01 nailed Muta with an atomic knee drop. This lead to a long figure four spot, until Muta struggled to the ropes at 16:01.Cole, all night was overdramatic. He’ll have to work on that. But he did well.

" Could we have just seen a turning point, here in the World OF Wrestling!? Alliances are being made! It’s all about trust! The NWAA – Terry Funk, who’s already advanced in the tournmament, Dory Funk Jr., advisor Ole Anderson, and that man - Tully Blanchard; it just doesn’t get any better than that, does it?"

Heyman replied that Cole was delirious and that he could round up any group of guys to take down the NWAA, which points to signs of a Heyman group for direct opposition to the NWAA. Probably planting the sees for an ECW vs. NWAA programme.

At 7:13, after 3 consecutive suplexes, Blanchard gave the cutthroat sign, signaling the end. Looks like Cole did his homework, and said that it was going to be Blanchard’s finishing slingshot suplex. After Muta blocked two brainbuster attempts, he allowed himself to be lifted up on the third, reversing himself in the air and landing behind Blanchard. Crowd popped as Muta surprised Blanchard with a german suplex from behind, for a near fall. Muta picked up the speed of the match which got the attention back from the waning crowd, with a couple of quick leg dragonscrews on Blanchard. After a head mashing spot on each of the four turnbuckles, Muta planted Blanchard with his running bulldog, for another near fall.

Heyman " Whether you love’em or hate’em, and I happen to hate Blanchard – but both of these men know what it is to be champion!! And you can see both men, here giving it their all to add another major championship belt under their wing! You have Tully Blanchard! One of the original Horseman! Here, now in WOW in the Newwww Wrestling Alliance Of The Apocalpyse!!!!! And The Great Muta! A world renowned wrestler! His unorthodox style is one that cannot be matched, and barely prepared for! He debuted in the 80s in the NWA, conquered America, then conquered Japan! We’re looking at a dream match, right here!!"

That lead the two announcers to talk about the dream match coming up next between Inoki and Shamrock. Yea, that’s it. Let’s push the next match during an all important tournament match. Final moments of the match began at 11:55, Blanchard had side stepped an oncoming shining wizard, from Muta causing Muta to collide nastily into the second turnbuckle. Blanchard began here to jaw jack with Heyman up in the announcer’s booth. He must have supersonic hearing to hear what Heyman was saying; either that or Blanchard reads lips well; Really well. Referee Teddy Long pulled Blanchard to re-focus his attention on the match. Blanchard, thinking that it was Muta touching him, quickly turned around with a punch clobbering the referee, for the second ref bump of the night. This made Blanchard irate, as he started to really scream at Heyman to the point where now Heyman could actually hear what he was saying. Crowd slowly started to stir as The Sandman, signapore cane in hand, where a suit, ala his heel ECW days, dolted toward the ring, and slid underneath the first rope into the squared circle. As Blanchard and Heyman continued to go at it, Sandman made the ‘batter up’ gestures right behind Blanchard, continuing the stir of the crowd. Finally Blanchard gave Heyman the ‘up yours’ hand gesture before turning around into a loud cane shot to the forehead, knocking him back and tangling his arms into the ropes. Heyman replied, “ Yea, fuck you, too” on air. Sandman was wearing what looks to be a new shirt that read, “Mr. Sandman” Muta slowly started to recover, and was happy to see Blanchard stuck in the ropes. Muta caught Blanchard with the green mist in his eyes before untangling him out of the ropes. This brought Blanchard to his knees and a sitting duck for a Shining Wizard. Long slowly got up and made the 3-count on Blanchard, advancing Muta to the next round of the tournament where he will now face Terry Funk in the 2nd round of the 3 round tournament...**1/4

Overall: 68

Crowd: 69

Match: 66

Commentary Aftermath

Cole: " Who was that man!?!?! He clobbered Blanchard with that cane!!!!"

Heyman: " That, my friend, Cole – is Mr. Sandman!!!! And you see, Mr. Sandman loves to wield the cane of Singapore!! And Blanchard just saw that, head on, shall we say!?!?!!"

Cole: " What’s your connection to Mr. Sandman??"

Heyman: " I have just shown Blanchard that you don’t mess with me! Funk wants a war, well he’ll get one!!"

Cole: " Well, we will be right back!! But up next – it’s one of our Triple Main Event!!! It’s Ultimate Fighter Ken Shamrock against the one and only – Antonio Inoki!!!!"


Next, they aired a 4 minute segment (which played on the big screen) with a quick chronicle of the careers of Ken Shamrock & Antonio Inoki. Shamrock was in the back with Hyatt and said he was waiting for an opportunity to take the wrestling world by storm, and what better place than the ‘World Of Wrestling’. The video package made Shamrock seem like a monster, but the crowd didn’t react much to Inoki’s stuff.


6. Ken Shamrock d. Antonio Inoki at 24:01 via submission.

First off, crowd popped big for Gertner announcing this as the first of the ‘Triple Main Event’. It gave the impression that the event was far from over, rather than being half way done as it really were. It was the last half of the card that saved the show. What’s also very apparent here is the old-school type of booking, at least in terms of match placement. Shamrock came out to music that could best described as a ‘Halloween’ movie remix. Inoki came out to his New Japan “Inoki Bom Ba Ya” ring music. Both men started off slow here doing a lot of amateur stuff, mixed with a shootfighting style. Inoki surprised Shamrock with some stiff looking slaps and kicks, which was the first to garner some reaction from the crowd, as they didn’t know how to react. With the entrance that they gave Inoki, Inoki came across as someone ‘important’. So that, coupled with the video entrance was enough to at least get over to the live crowd why this 50+ year old man was able to shake Shamrock with his strikes. Inoki seemed to be getting the better of Shamrock, until Shamrock locked Inoki into a long arm bar spot at 7:11. It took Inoki a few minutes to make it over to the ropes which went over nice with the crowd. They reversed spots 5 minutes later, with Inoki struggling to the ropes out of a leglock. There were some ‘boring’ chants throughout, but the majority of the live crowd were starting to ‘get it’ – luckily for WOW being in Vegas – a UFC-rich market. At 15:01, the match really started to pick up with some great in ring psychology. Heyman proved valuable, here.

Heyman " [*as the crowd starts to stir*] Look at what we have here, Cole! We are well over 15 minutes into this bout, and both men are standing up face to face – they are hurting, yes – but they are true warriors!!"

Heyman managed to get a knock on the Warrior, in there as well. Shamrock here, tried to be the aggressor, lunging for Inoki’s legs. Each time, he was denied by the quick blocks of the NJPW legend. Suddenly, Shamrock surprised all with a spear out of no where, bringing Inoki crashing down. After a near fall, Shamrock really started to but the boots to Inoki. He was now wrestling. Crowd actually responded well which says good things for Shamrock’s future in the company. Shamrock pulled Inoki up and teased a belly to belly suplex. Inoki blocked the first attempt, and started chopping at Shamrock. Shamrock, trying to withstand the chops, attempted the belly-to-belly once again – also to no avail. Inoki really started to hamper in some stiff chops here. Inoki finally broke the hold with a flurry of chops that forced Shamrock to release the hold, clinching his shoulder. Inoki followed up with a really stiff knee to the side of the kneeling Shamrock’s head, followed by a kneed to the face. Crowd seemed to turn on Shamrock here, cheering the old man’s comeback. It should be noted that there were tons of Japanese press at ringside. Inoki pulled Shamrock back up, nailing him with a suplex. He then quickly charged the turnbuckle and landed his favourite 2nd tunbuckle knee drop onto Shamrock. After a near fall, Inoki pulled Shamrock back up, and after some body shots got him with a single arm DDT quickly followed by a long arm lock spot. Heyman put over Inoki’s Octopus Stretch saying that Inoki was working on that shoulder to force Shamrock into submission. Shamrock sold the shoulder well, which split the crowd into seeing Shamrock as the struggling face against this old foreigner. Finally, at 20:33 Inoki locked in the Octopus stretch hold onto Shamrock signaling the end. Shamrock, whilst in the hold tried to struggle to the ropes. They were really working hard, here. After a short while after the rope reach was unsuccessful, Shamrock managed to tire Inoki out of releasing his leg from atop his head; so, now he was in an ordinary abdominal stretch. This allowed Shamrock to power out and hip toss Inoki causing what was the loudest short pop of the night. The ref issued a 10 count before both men struggled to their feet using the ropes. Inoki charged Shamrock with a shoulder block, and went to the second rope again. This time he thought he was in New Japan and gave the fist / elbow pump to the crowd. Some popped. Inoki did it a second time trying to really fire up the crowd, and besides, he needed a breather. Inoki went for the knee drop off the second turnbuckle, but Shamrock moved, popping the crowd again. Inoki sold his knee being hurt big time. Shamrock saw this and quickly went for an ankle lock submission. In the center of the ring, with know where to go and no legs to use, Inoki tapped out at 23:58 of a great match. This made Ken Shamrock’s debut overshadow Kurt Angle’s, to no fault of Angle. ****

Overall: 74

Crowd: 64

Match: 85

Commentary Aftermath

Cole: " My oh my!!!! What a contest!!!!!!!!"

Heyman: " Shamrock has just beat a legend! That was an incredible match! Inoki’s already proven himself! But Shamrock! Shamrock, tonight proved that he is going to be a force to reckon with here in the World Of Wrestling!! "

Cole: " Wow!"

Heyman " Cole, don’t forget a little bit later on today Kurt Angle makes his wrestling debut against the Ultimate One! The Warrior!"

Cole: " That’s right, one wrestling debut was quite a match! And I’m sure the second of our triple main event will not disappoint, either!"


Ken Shamrock wins a tough one in his wrestling debut.



After a 5 minute interval, where the at home viewers were treated to a video recap of the first half of the show, followed by a great piece on Kurt Angle’s background, Perry Saturn was in the ring in a suit and tie with microphone in hand. Saturn wore dark shades and was joined by Shannon Moore, who was wearing this ridiculous looking power ranger looking outfit. Dressed in red, Moore sported a cape that read “Pluto”, across the back. The lights dimmed and Saturn yelled, “ Ladies and gentleman, Saturn has been stationed and in retrograde -- welcome to ‘ Planet Saturn’ And my guest at this time will make his wrestling debut, tonight! He won an Olympic gold medal, just last year! Kurrrt Anggleee!!!

Kurt Angle came out with a serious demeanor on his face sporting the Olympic wrestling trunks and robe. Saturn asked Angle if he knew who the Warrior was. Angle answer by asking if Warrior knew who he was. Angle answered his own question;

Well, let me tell you who I am, Warrior! My name is Kurt Angle! And unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere, or in Warrior land, where ‘Parts Unknown’ is [*some laughter*], you know that I won GOLD, last year! You know what that means? That means I was the best! And because I’m the best, I needed a new challenge! And here it is! It’s WOW! And tonight, I’ve got my first ultimate stepping stone!

Angle walked off as quickly as he came in. Not bad for a first segment, especially the pressure of being live. It’s kinda funny how less freakish Perry Saturn looks with a suit and microphone. 78%

Kurt Angle gained overness from this segment.


7. Road Warrior Hawk w/ Paul Ellering d. Spirit of the Cherokee Horse, Tatanka in 7:37 of a round 2 Heavyweight tournament match.

This match was a lot better than these two earlier individual matches. The crowd energy level was much hire at this point of the show than earlier. There were a few botched spots in this one. Heyman kept calling Tatanka ‘Running Duck’ which was hilarious because each time he got Cole to laugh. Finish saw Tatanka teasing a superplex on Hawk, but Hawk blocked the suplex attempt and really clobbered Tatanka with a lariat from the top. Still no mention of Animal. **

Overall: 61

Crowd: 69

Match: 66

Commentary Aftermath

Cole: " My oh my, what a clothesline! It’s like a lariat from hell!!"

Heyman: " It is the Lariat From Hell, Cole! That is what Hawk calls it, and when that comes crashing across your face, there’s no getting back up!!"

Cole: " What a powerful move, The Lariat From Hell!! What a powerful man, Road Warrior Hawk of The Legion Of Doom!"

Heyman: " He will face the winner of our other 2nd round tournament match, in the finals to determine the first ever WOW Champion! We’ll see if the Great Muta, who looked great earlier, can take down his second NCAA victim! Or will he have to face Terry Funk in the finals!?"

Cole: " NCAA? That’s’ NWAA; The New Wrestling Alliance Of the Apocalypse! "

Before cutting to break, they did a spot in the ring where Hawk put his hand out to shake Tatanka’s hand. Tatanka took the mic and said “ I’m not shaking the hand of the white man that took away my people’s land!” Well that wasn’t quite the expected response. Looks like Tatanka’s going to be on a heel programme.



Coming out of the break, Heyman took off his headset and said that he had more important things to do, like run his own promotion. Heyman then suddenly went to house mic, and went into building up what what looks to be Scott Levy’s gimmick of essentially being a Jekyll and Hyde character through his high voice pitched Scott The Body persona and his dark Raven persona. " Now..now, in the interest of The World Of Wrestling, and all of the WOW fans – I made sure that I had a very, very competent replacement! Now…[*speaking low*] I must ask, he will look very familiar…but whatever you do..don’t call him ‘Raven’. Shhhhh. " As anticipated, the crowd popped when they found out who it was. And as WOW wanted, the crowd chanted. Finally Heyman introduced Levy, noting his announcing accomplishments, I guess in Mid Atlantic (w/ Bob Claude). “ Ladies and gentleman!! He’s called many of the greats! Scotty The Body!!!!

Out came Levy in a Scotty The Body meats Johnny Polo outfit that only he can get away with wearing. Levy hugged Heyman before covering his ears to the ‘Raven’ chants. Levy looked over to Cole and asked him who he was. There’s actually story behind that one. Apparently in the back, Levy was asking around as if anyone knew who Cole was. Heyman was the one to fill him in. Hyatt acknowledged the same inside joke at the start of the show. Cole asked Levy if he heard the fans chanting his name and what was the story behind this whole concept. Levy went into his high pitched goofy banter yelling at Cole, “ First of all let me tell you something, little man! I still don’t know who you are! So as far as I’m concerned you shouldn’t even be talking to me! Secondly, it’s only been 30 seconds and I’m sick and tired of these Las Vegas fans, already! Where’d we find these losers, anyway! They are still chanting! Paul has asked them nicely! I’m here by popular demand, Cole! And my man Terry Funk is making his way to the ring! If he wins, he’s going to face Road Warrior Hawk in the finals!

According to my sources this is going to evolve into Levy switching between Raven and Scotty the Body gimmicks in a split personality gimmick of some sort. It was nice to see Levy smile again. Seeing him clean shaven definitely takes off some years, especially for the camera.


8. The Great Muta d. Terry Funk w/ Dory Funk Jr. in 21:53.

Strong match here. Funk started tossing chairs in the ring right away ala vintage Funk., which popped the crowd. Scotty was really funny here, especially when making fun of Muta for wearing face paint. The ‘Raven’ chants died down as they locked up with Funk gaining the advantage right away, with an eye-rake. Funk then, kicked Muta and followed up with a DDT for a quick near fall. Funk, then went for one of the chairs that he threw in the ring. Referee Edward Monroe, who looks like he’s about 19, grabbed the chair, from behind, preventing Funk from using the chair. Muta then attacked Funk from behind as he argued with the ref. After a snap mare, and a quick kick to the back Muta followed up with his one of his crazy elbow drops for a near fall. Just 5 minutes into the match, Tully Blanchard & Ole Anderson made their way to the ring to a chorus of booes. Muta eyed them both down, until Funk school boyed Muta for a near fall. At 9:33, great series of chop for chop shots, as both Muta and Funk no sold each other’s shots until their chests were beat red. Finally, Funk went with the two fingers the eye, before tossing Muta into the turnbuckle. Muta bounced right off with his handspring elbow drop, surprising Funk, backing him into the turnbuckle. Muta quickly followed up with a frankensteiner for a near fall. Muta then went to the top rope, nailing Funk with top rope leg drop, and another near fall. Blanchard hopped on the apron, followed by Anderson jumping up on the other side, now that Muta had the advantage, once again. Monroe immediately called for the bell, sending everyone into confusion. Scotty kept screaming “ He disqualified Muta for that unnecessary face paint!! Yes!! He’s been disqualified”. Cole said that Scotty didn’t know what he was talking about and that Muta was awarded the match by DQ for Blanchard and Anderson hopping on the apron.. All of this speculation was going on as Monroe had a very long discussion with Gertner and ringside guys.

Finally, Gertner made the following announcement;

Ladies and gentlemen, your attention, please. After extensive discussion with ringsides, WOW referee Edward Monroe has ruled that both Tully Blanchard & Ole Anderson must leave the ringside area, immediately, so that the match CAN CONTINUE!!!

Crowd popped as Blanchard and Anderson left in anger with a couple of minutes of protest. Dory had to leave with them, too. This did well to rile up the fans, as well as give Funk and Muta a breather. At 16:44, Funk started pushing around Monroe after planting Muta with a DDT. Scotty, here kept yelling “ Punch’em out! Go ahead, Funker!”. Funk lost it, and almost just flat out starting picking on the ref following him around the ring. After Funk kept pushing Monroe, Monroe finally ‘had it’, and gave Funk a shove into a Muta schoolboy for the win. **3/4

Overall: 65

Crowd: 71

Match: 76


Commentary Aftermath

Scotty: " Cheap win! Cheat win, really! Referee Edward Monroe should be fired!! "

Cole: " Terry Funk didn’t agree with Monroe ruling that his outside ring help leave, so he started giving Monroe a problem!! You can’t do that, here in WOW.!"

Scotty: " Oh please, Cole! Monroe attacked Funk!!"


They started putting building up the Warrior – Angle stuff as the crowd started to stir. Crowd was actually chanting ‘Warrior’. At this point stripper music hit the P.A. and out came Rick Rude. He even came out in a robe, but had some sort of French stylish suit on underneath. Crowd gave him a big baby face pop coming out. Rude grabbed a mic and was eyeing the 3,000 or so fans as they gave him a standing ovation and a small ‘Rude’ chant. Fans popped even louder when Rude gave his familiar “Cut the music!!” line. Rude then turned heel in a mere matter of seconds.

What I’d like to have right now….[*crowd cheers*].is for all of you, fat, ugly, sleazy Las Vegas strip lowlives!! [*crowd booes, preceded with a gasp in unison*] To stop pretending you give a crap about me! For all these years, you’ve booed me, you’ve called me names, you’ve always cheered for the other guys, and you expect me to pretend that I suddenly care about you losers! [*crowd booes*] And I know why it’s always been like that! Because each and everyone of you are jealous!. Jealous of The Ravishing One – Rick R.U.D.E!

Rude got some incredible heat here. He went straight to business, and it worked. At this point, Commissioner Slaughter came out out with a notepad, accompanied by Demolition, Lance Russell, some fat guy who’ve I’ve never seen before (Don West), Alfred Hayes, Tito Santana, Ronnie Garvin, Jimmy Garvin, Teddy Long & Jack Doan. Slaughter was off mic shouting that Rude wasn’t to come out now, or that he had to get out of the ring. I really couldn’t tell. This was a really good atmosphere because the crowd was buzzing noting who all of the faces were around Slaughter. There was a fat guy I’ve never seen before. It was Don West, host of "The Sports Collectibles" show on the "Shop at Home" network, hired for interviewing duties. Last that was seen of Hayes was doing announcing duties for last year’s short lived promotion, Tito Santana’s American Wrestling Federation. Alfred Hayes was the one with the mic, yelling with his unique voice, and approaching the ring whilst saying, “Ravishing one, we’ve seen what you’ve done in the other promotions during your career! And quite frankly, it’s no secret among most in the locker room that you’re not really…er ‘popular’, per se. So I ask. For the thousands in attendance – And the millions watching at home on TV. [*now Hayes was entering the ring*] What brings you to the World Of Wrestling?” I guess this was some sort of impromptu interview, though it was pretty funny seeing both Hayes and Rude holding mics.


" Well, The Ravishing One is here!!! Alfred Hayes, The Garvin Goons Ronnie and Jimmy, Santana and all the rest of Slaughter’s little toy soldiers – NEXT WEEK! RIGHT HERE IN LAS VEGAS! The Ravishing One brings to the World Of Wrestling; THE NEXT BIG THING! Hit the music!!"

With that, Rude brushed by Hayes with his WWF heyday swagger leaving to some incredible heat. Slaughter and the rest of the officials all followed Rude to the back asking him questions about next week. I guess that was Hayes’ job, who was much behind everyone, else and still holding the mic. Good stuff here by the veterans. 88%

Rick Rude gained overness from this segment.


What is Rude’s next big thing?


9. Kurt Angle d. The Warrior with the fisherman suplex pin. AT 8:33

Talk about styles clash. From what I understand they wanted Angle to go over on a ‘wrestling’ star so that he is instantly seen a star power “wrestler”. Warrior looked pretty bad, and the crowd pretty much turned on him after his second botched spot where he was to clothesline Angle over the top rope – but he missed terrible, and there was no way that Angle could sell such a horrible looking shot. At 5:11 Warrior hit his patented shoulder block on Angle, and Angle rolled out of the ring. I’m hearing that the spot originally was for Warrior to follow that up with missing a big splash coming off the ropes, but Angle was frustrated with the Warrior’s botch spots that he ducked out of the ring to get himself back together. The crowd very quickly lost interest in this aside from the occasional sparse nostalgic ‘Warrior’ chants. Finish saw Angle give Warrior a fallaway german suplex. He then pinned Warrior for the 3 count at 8:33, when referee Tedd Miller did not see Warrior’s foot on the ropes. Cole and Heyman tried to put over Angle as beating the great Ultimate Warrior. This match was cut about 4 minutes because the crowd wasn’t paying much attention past 5 minutes – also buzzing about the Rude stuff that went on, earlier. After Angle celebrated as if he had won the lottery – er, Olympics, Warrior started pushing around ref Jeff Jones. This brought the crowd out of life support as they were cheering Warrior to get on the ref for the screwup. Suddenly, Warrior whalloped Miller with a haymaker, and followed up to his patented Gorilla Slam and press to a nice pop.

Overall: 47

Crowd: 55

Match: 50

Kurt Angle gained overness from this match.

Commentary Aftermath

Scotty: " Wha…what the hell was that!?"

Cole: " The Warrior! Letting his anger be felt!"

Scotty: " This is uncalled for! Why did he have to do that to the ref! What were you saying a little earlier, Cole about giving referees problems!"

Cole: " Well Ted Miller didn’t have his eye where it should’ve been – In any event up next is our WOW Championship final!! The Great Muta goes one on one for the WOW World Title against, Road Warrior Hawk!!"


10. The Great Muta d Road Warrior Hawk w/ Paul Ellering to win the WOW World Heavyweight Championship in 17:03

Muta came out in his Great Mutah gear, and was announced as ‘The Great Mutah’. The announcers noted that ‘former NWA World Champion, wrestling great’ Ronnie Garvin was ref, also noting his refereeing experience in the WWF. Scotty called him a sham referee, as his gimmick in the WWF was that he always favoured the faces. Yea, that’s it. Let’s bring up a nearly 10 year old angle of another promotion. Garvin actually looked to be going over rules with the wrestlers. It should be noted that Garvin, 57, is the step father of Jimmy Garvin and held the NWA Florida titles with Ole Anderson in the early 70s. He also teamed with Blanchard and the Road Warriors many times before. Inoki accompanied Hawk to the ring. They really made a big deal about this noting several wrestlers who were in by the curtain watching on. Some of the people that were there were, George Steele, Jim Neidhart, Steve Williams, Jimmy Snuka, Mr. Fuji, Paul Heyman and Mr. Sandman, along witih Tommy Dreamer, owner Ricky Steamboat, along with Commissioner Slaughter and the staff that came out with him during the Rude segment. Crowd was up for this one and cheered both men during the early moments of the match. The two traded stiff forearm blows until Muta stumbled back from the forth or fifth exchange. Hawk quickly went for his lariat from Hell but Muta ducked, surprising Hawk with two dropkicks, the second of which, knocked him down. Hawk sprung right back up into a hip toss, followed by a running forearm for a quick near fall. The two stood up head to head, getting an applause from the crowd. They really did a good job of building up this tournament, and this immediately came across as something special. The match began to pick up in pace as Muta started to go into his full on attack after Funk missed an elbow coming off the ropes. Muta quickly backed Hawk into the turnbuckle and really crushed him with a running missle dropkick. The announcers put over Muta big time noting that he made his debut in the NWA (true), feuding with many greats such as Sting for over 10 years (true), and conquered Japanese wrestling for almost another 10 years, after debuting in America (true). Scotty, then added that Muta was the only wrestler to simultaneously hold the NWA title, along with both Japan Tag Team and World Titles (not true). Really tough spot at 7:23, Muta went for an Irish whip on Hawk, but Hawk reversed, with Muta re-reversing Hawk into the turnbuckle. Muta quickly followed up with a knee to the mouth which busted Hawk’s mouth open. Quickly thereafter Muta charged Hawk with his handspring back elbow smash and one handed bulldog spot. After a very near fall, Muta got Hawk into a long figured four spot. After teasing submission for a couple of minutes, Hawk with the help of fan support, slowly tried to reverse the figured four. At this point, Inoki hopped on the apron, causing Garvin to run over. He quickly hopped off the apron, but not before Muta spit green mist into Hawk’s eyes, stopping the reverse. Well, this quickly established Muta as the evil foreign mist spraying heel with the live crowd. Cole started screaming, “ Doesn’t the referee see that green mist all over Hawk’s face!” Scotty cleverly replied, “ Cole! You’re obviously seeing things! That’s just Hawk’s smudged face paint!


" And by the way, what was that that you were saying about men hiding behind face paint? What about the Great Muta? Is he hiding--"


" The Great Muta is GREAT! Do you know what Hawk is? Just as his name implies. A dumb bird."


" A dumb bird, huh? What about the Raven? That’s a bird, too."


" Don’t make me get Raven out here, Cole! The Raven is amongst the most intelligent of birds. The Hawk is among the most observant! That’s right, the Hawk just sits and watches all day – just as Hawk is watching his WOW championship dreams drift away!"


" Oh, I see. That’s for the clarification. I didn’t realize that the Raven was held in such hire regard than the Hawk."



After several near falls in the figured four spot, Hawk somehow made it to the ropes, popping the fans. However, as soon as he tried to sit up, he fell back down, selling the figure four spot. Hawk’s mouth was really bloodied, here. Muta set up for the shining wizard, a move that could spell the end. However, as Muta was setting up, he seemed to have a change heart. The crowd gasped as Muta went to the outside and grabbed a chair. But, before he could get back into the ring, Ellering raced over trying to pull the chair out of Muta’s hand. As the were wrestling, Muta changed gears, and re directed his focus back to the ring. Once again he began to pivot himself, getting ready for the shining wizard. For the second time of the night, Muta missed, as Hawk cradled him in counter for a near fall. Hawk then nailed Muta with some punches before nailing Muta with a nasty looking brainbuster for a near fall. After the 10 count punch spot in the turnbuckle by Hawk, Muta went straight face first down into the mat. Hawk then gave the sign for his top rope flying lariat, that he won his earlier matches with. Crowd popped as this signaled the end of the line for Muta. However, as Hawk was getting ready to leap, referee Ronnie Garvin stepped in front of Muta, not allowing Hawk to complete the move. He kept screaming for Hawk to get off the turnbuckle. Cole wondered why, while Levy just kept screaming “ Yes! Yes! That’s right! Don’t let him do it!

Finally, Garvin began to implement a count, causing Hawk to jump down after 4 wanting to avoid a dQ. Hawk questioned Garvin’s actions. Garvin and he continued to exchange words, until Ellering hopped on the apron to join the argument. Garvin got really angry here and shoved Ellering off of the apron, which didn’t win him any fans. He then pointed to his shirt noting that, yes, he is a referee. Hawk continued to argue until Muta locked him in a full nelson, from behind. Hawk, with blood literally pouring out of his mouth at this point, tried to fight it, until he was quickly thrusted into a german suplex pinning combination. After a very near fall Muta nailed his crazy elbow on Hawk, for another very near fall. Here, the crowd started chanting ‘USA’ after the kick out. Muta gave the cutthroat sign and nailed Hawk with two consecutive moonsaults for the cover, and the win at 17:03 of a really good championship final. ***1/2

**The Postmatch**

Ellering was livid and hopped into the ring to continue his words with Garvin. Garvin kept turning his shoulder to Ellering and in English football fashion, called for assistance. Quickly to the ring, came officials Jimmy Garvin, and Don West. Ellering shoved West aside to a nice pop, but was quickly blocked off by Jimmy. Finally, after the medley was cleared, ring announcer Joel Gertner made the following announcement;

Ladies and gentleman!! Here is your winner, and the first ever World Of Wrestling Heavyweight Champion….The Great Muta!!!!!!!! And, before you can say WOW top heel stable, down the isle led by Ole Anderson & Tully Blanchard, Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk to congratulate the Great Muta. Cole noted that Muta defeated both Funk and Blanchard in the tournament. Muta held up the World Title to an array of booes, as the NWAA joined the celebration. Funk was the first to hug Muta. The decision to have them face each other in round 2 of the tournament was made at the last minute. Everyone felt they needed a strong match in that slot, and the best bet was Funk – Muta. That explains Muta’s schoolboy win over Funk. The event went off the air with (From left to right) Terry Funk, Great Muta, Tully Blanchard, and Ole Anderson all raised their hands in unison as the camera panned across the building for fan reaction shots. Though Muta has his hands raised with the NWAA it was never made clear as to if he actually joined them. Also pictured were

1.Commissioner Slaughter and his officials, by the isle entrance

2. Rick Rude up by the balcony

3. Paul Heyman in the locker room, with The Sandman and Tommy Dreamer (who wasn’t acknowledged) and

4. Ronnie Garvin, making a quick exit to the back with Jimmy Garvin.

Overall: 71

Crowd: 77

Match: 81

Commentary Aftermath

Cole: " Wow, what a match that was! What a night this was! What crazy World Of Wrestling we are in!! Scotty, you and I will be here with the fans at the same time, next week! It’s going to be the WOW Tag Team Tournament – but tonight, we crowned our inaugural World Champion, it’s the Great Muta! However, there are some questions that need to be addressed!!"

Scotty: " Like what?"

Cole: " Like, why did Ronnie Garvin stop Hawk from finishing off the Great Muta with his top rope lariat!? Is the Great Muta part of this despicable group of wrestlers, the NWAA? What does Commissioner Slaughter think about all of this!? What does Ravishing Rick Rude have in store for Commisioner Slaughter! What about Paul Heyman! Will he finish off what he started with Terry Funk?"

Scotty: ""

Cole: " Well?"

Scotty: " Well, maybe if you ask one question at a time, you’ll get some answers. But, the big thing next week is that, RAVEN, will make his WOW debut!! That’s what also has to be on everyone’s mind!"

Cole: " Well, I am Michael Cole, thank you so much for joining this historic event! Please join us next week, same time, same channel!! It’s The World Of Wrestling, where the bigger boys play!!!"


The Great Muta is WOW Champion. Did he win it for the NWAA?

Next WOW Sunday Night – Preview!

Mr. Sandman vs. Tully Blanchard!


Rick Rude’s Next Big Thing!

The WOW Tag Team Tournament!

WOW Champion The Great Muta!!

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Ricky Steamboat’s


Presented by HBO Sports on HBO2

Nov 23th 1997

Cherry Red Centre, Las Vegas - Nevada

Announcers Michael Cole & Lanny Poffo

Attendance: 1,200 (383 paid)

WOW Sunday Night on Nov 23rd (taped a few days earlier) opened up with Michael Cole running down the card, noting, the beginning of the WOW Tag Team Tournament with Chris Kaynon & Adam Clark (Adam Bomb) debuting their new tag team of The Belmont Brothers, against Raven and his mystery tag team partner. He also noted that Rick Rude would be introducing his ‘next big thing’ to the promotion, an interview with Ronnie Garvin to explain his actions at last week’s championship match, as well as the Main Event of The Sandman against Tully Blanchard.

Cole then turned mute as the crowd started to buzz at the sight of ‘Leaping’ Lanny Poffo coming down the isle. Cole acted like he was the second coming god. Poffo, sporting his ‘Genius’ gear, joined the broadcast booth and announced that he was the new permanent colour commentator for Saturday night, saying that Cole needed someone like a genius to carry him. Funny, because it’s true.

The general feeling from those within the company is that though they are trying to make somewhat of a subconscious connection to the NWA with the NWAA stable and a lot of the staff (The Garvins, Anderson etc.), the show itself comes across as a newer American Wrestling Federation – Tito Santana’s short lived promotion from last year. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, for two reasons. First off, the AWF’s only downfall was a poor television deal. Not only were they on in few markets, but they were also in a poor time slot which didn’t help matters. Secondly, most people watching this did not see Alfred Hayes, Tito Santana etc. and the AWF because of that poor television deal. So, in turn, many are seeing this AWF-esque promotion for the ‘first time’. The general feeling from the staff is that, while the first show was good, they need to keep up with consistent and logical booking to keep the ratings significant and HBO happy. According to many sources, HBO were indeed happy with the first show, but are said to be watching the weekly trend with a magnifying glass.

This weeks show did an 1.83 rating with an announced crowd of 2,000. In reality the crowd was more like 1,200 with a bit under 400 paid. Cole seems to have gotten a little better from last week, not over reacting as much as he did before. However, with only an hour, how can he over react?

**Mr. Sandman challenges the Great Muta**

After a video package pushing the next Sunday Night 3 hour special on Dec 14th entitled “WOW IN LAS VEGAS!” crowd popped as the lights dimmed and out came Saturn & Shannon Moore to some really funky space music. Shannon, once again was sporting a truly colourful outfit as Perry Saturn sported his suit and shades. Once in the ring, Saturn yelled, “ Ladies and gentleman, Saturn has been stationed and is in retrograde -- welcome to ‘ Planet Saturn!!! He then introduced Mr. Sandman as he came down the isle led by Paul Heyman. Heyman, who flew in from Philadelphia the previous night of the taping was sporting an ECW hat, though it was not acknowledged on the broadcast. Saturn asked Heyman if the Sandman was worried that he may have to face more than one member of the NWAA during his match with Tully Blanchard, due to his actions last week on the WOW Sunday night special, caning Blanchard.


" While I would be happy to answer your question, Pluto…I ---"


" Pluto’s over there! *[points to Moore*] This is Saturn!!! [*points to himself*] Everybody knows that Pluto is 9.7 million miles from the Sun! And if Saturn is right here, how can Pluto possibly be HERE!?!?"


" [*stares at both men*] Um. Right. Anyway, I think it would be a better idea, if you ask Mr. Sandman that question!!!"


" Well? Mr. Sandman?"

Mr. Sandman

" I gotta tell ya, your suit is nice, but it ain’t as nice as mine! And do you know what I had to go through to get this suit? Bar fight. 3 weeks ago. Some preppy New Yawk city slicker looked at me the wrong way! So you know what I had to do? Put him on the right track! So nooowwww, let’s think about this. You’re asking me if I’m afraid Terry Funk? Ole Anderson? Tully Blanchard? The Great Muta?!?"


" Now, you do know that if you win this match, Commissioner Slaughter could put you in title contention since Tully Blanchard made it to the later round of the tournament!"


" That’s right!! And after I give Blanchard a little caning action, Great Muta is going to find out what it’s like to get in the ring with The Sandman! I’m gonna send him right back to China, and take that beautiful looking WOW belt!"


" China?"


" Taiwan!!! "


" Taiwan?? "

[*Heyman wispers in Sandman’s ear*]


" Ohhh!! [*burps*] Well, when all is said and done, I’m gonna cane The Great Muta right back to the Middle East---er…FAR EAST!!! Get it? Got it! Good it!"

Sandman acting drunk got some laughs, and it’s clear that they are trying not to get Heyman to over since he is, ultimately, their competition.



Prior to going into the first round of adverts, they showed Lord Alfred Hayes hanging around referee Ronnie Garvin’s locker room, vowing to get an explanation as to why Ronnie Garvin stepped into the path of Hawk as he was about to finish off the Great Muta last week during the WOW Heavyweight Championship final match.



‘Dr. Death’ Steve Williams d. Charlie Haas

This was a pure squash as Williams just threw Haas around dropping on his head all over the ring. This match served as a back drop for the announcers to push ‘WOW IN LAS VEGAS’ on Dec 14th with the big two matches being the World Championship match (which at press time will be Sandman vs. The Great Muta), and the Tag Team Tournament final (Legion of Doom vs. ? ? ?). Williams won at 7:37 with the Oklahoma Stampede.

Overall: 48

Crowd: 37

Match: 72


Before they cut to break, Alfred Hayes tried knocking on the door of Referee Ronnie Garvin to no avail. As Hayes was knocking, Jimmy Garvin walked by and asked Hayes why he kept knocking on the door. Hayes said that he, along with the WOW fans wanted answers. Garvin said that maybe Ronnie is sleeping, and walked off, bumping Hayes. This is actually an inside joke as in the Monte Carlo Hotel, Ole Anderson was knocking on the door of Ricky Morton (signed but hasn’t debuted) at about 7am Thursday morning. The wrestlers didn’t have to report to the arena until about 1pm. Morton was sleeping, but Anderson was worried that he was out partying, and as a result woke him up.




Rhino Richards d ‘Cowboy’. Bobby Duncum Jr. w/ Bob Orton Jr. via DQ

Good TV match, here. The two brawled outside of the ring for most of the match. The bell actually rang after their initial 3 minute brawl on the outside when Duncum Jr. finally threw Richards into the ring. Poffo put over Duncum big time, noting the legendary Boddy Duncum Sr. It was nice seeing Orton at ringside, as he sported street clothes and a cowboy hat. Poffo said that he’s wrestled many classics with Orton, which of course, is not true. Orton was never in Poffo’s father’s promotion, ICW. At 8:11 Orton threw Duncum’s bullrope into the ring for him to use. After a short time of wrestling with the referee, Duncum began to whip Richards with it causing the immediate DQ. Additional referees hit the ring and ushered Duncum Jr. & Orton Jr. to the back.

Overall: 56

Crowd: 48

Match: 79


We go to the back where, finally, referee Ronnie Garvin came out of his locker room, and was startled to see Hayes pretty much camped outside of his locker room. Hayes asked Garvin why he stood in the way of Hawk, and didn’t allow him to give The Great Muta the lariat off of the top rope, last week. Garvin said that he didn’t have to answer to anyone as he is the senior referee in WOW. He then explained himself, anyway, saying that he used referee’s discretion and ruled that Hawk was in to worse shape to climb the turnbuckle.


" You mean you did it for Hawk’s safety?"


" Aren’t you English? You’re supposed to understand the language. Do I have to spell it out for you? That’s right. If you watch the reply, airing right here on HBO2 at 2am eastern, you’ll see that Hawk’s mouth had blood pouring out of it. You don’t let a man like that climb to the top rope! I mean…maybe I could’ve let him go and he would’ve been fine. But that, Alfred Hayes, is a risk that I just couldn’t take. Now, excuse me. I have a match to officiate."


" Well there you have it folks! He said he did it for safety. Because of his mouth? But—Anyway, we’ll be right back with tonight’s main event after this!"




**The Uzbekistan Giant Kurg The Mighty**

Coming out of the break, Rick Rude’s music hit, and out he came with (another ex AWF’er) Missy Hyatt. I guess they are a couple, now. Rude got a great heel reaction, and was quickly shadowed by Commissioner Slaughter, Demolition, Jimmy Garvin, and Terry Taylor. Slaughter kept pointing to his watch from the isleway signaling that they are running short on time.


" Cut the music!! What I’d like to have right now…[*crowd booes*] Is for all you, fat, ugly, pot bellied, casino junkees to keep the noise down and wipe the drool of off your mouths, as you look at my new main squeeze, Missy Hyatt!! And Commissioner Slaughter, you can come out here and try to cut me off like you did last week, but I’d think you want to see this! You see, you say you don’t want me in the promotion! Well pretty soon, I’m going to be running the promotion!! You see, you have your ‘bodyguards’ over there in Demolition! Well I have a BIG BIG demolisher of my own! Ladies and gentleman, I give you, over 7 foot tall! 400 pounds!! Slaughter – you and your stooges get out of the way, you might get stepped on! This is The Uzbekistan Giant! KURG THE MIGHTY!!!"

Out came the monster formally known as Kurgan in the WWF. Cole made a funny comment saying how Kurg definitely won’t be competing with Rude for looks. Kurgan got a great response coming across as a giant. Rude then concluded by hyping what will most likely be the next big event after the Tag Champions are crowned. When Kurg got into the ring, referee Ronnie Garvin actually jumped out of the ring through the second rope.


" Ya see, Slaughter you’ve got this STABLE WARS contest coming up. And I see it all! I see the NWAA coming together! I see Paul Ellering’s got his Legion Of Doom here! I saw Captain Lou Albano in the back! [*crowd pops*] I see Paul Heyman got his Sandman and his little ‘Extreme crew’. But you see, I need only ONE MAN! One BIG MAN! Only ONE FORCE to defeat all! And that’s THIS MAN – KURG THE MIGHTY! Now – Hit the music!"

Good segment here. Slaughter and his staff looked absolutely stunned. 88%

Rick Rude gained overness from this segment.



A vignette played for Dec 14th WOW in Las Vegas hyping The Great Muta defending the WOW title for the first time. I think Don West was doing the voiceovers announcing that next week on WOW Sunday Night, The Bad Breed (Ian and Axl Rotten) will face the Rock N Roll Express (Robert Gibson & Ricky Morton). “Manager of Champions” Captain Lou Albano will also debut the Psycho Circus, whomever that is.



Mr. Sandman w/ Paul Heyman VS. Tully Blanchard w/ Ole Anderson

The announcers noted right away that Ronnie Garvin was the referee, here. With what Garvin did last week, Sandman had a few staredowns with him. Garvin tried to ignore him and instructed him to start the match. Cole said that they were running out of time, but that they will keep the cameras rolling. He said that owner Ricky Steamboat had ok’ed for the show to go past one hour. As in, one hour and five minutes. As Sandman eyed Garvin for the 50th time at 1:22 after a few lockups, Blanchard knee’ed Sandman from behind sending him tumbling out of the ring. Blanchard quickly followed behind him eventually trying to suplex Sandman on the outside. After two unsuccessful attempts, Blanchard gave Sandman a single arm DDT, then broke the 10 count. Anderson and Paulie were yelling at each other trying to keep each other away from the wrestlers. At 2:57 when they got back into the ring Sandman began to mount a comeback. After an Irish whip Sandman prepared for the overhead toss, but Blanchard got him with a boot to the shoulder. Sandman no sold it and laid Blanchard out with the big boot. Crowd was really behind Sandman here. Sandman then picked up Blanchard for his Piledriver. This is when Anderson got up on the apron, causing Sandman to release – well throw Blanchard to the mat, instead. Sandman invited Ole to get in the ring, and after teasing, he actually did. Ole charged Sandman, who ducked, then leveled Ole with some boxing jabs, which backed him into a turnbuckle. Here, Heyman threw in the kendo stick. Sandman grabbed the stick and motioned to hit Anderson with it. Garvin quickly stepped in front of Anderson. Cole started shouting questions as to why Garvin is now protecting Anderson.

Leaping Lanny Because he’s not in the match, Cole! Why is Sandman attacking the advisor of the NWAA? Sandman provoked him, inviting him into the ring! And now he wants to beat on him, and he’s not even in the match!! And he’s retired!! ” Whilst Garvin was in front, the crowd actually chanted ‘Hit Him Too!’ Garvin’s facial expressions were priceless. Finally, Blanchard got up a schoolboyed Sandman with a handful of tights for the victory at 6:56. Sandman got right up and started swinging his cane wildly at both Anderson & Blanchard until they scampered out of the ring, to the announcement of Blanchard as the winner.

Overall: 58

Crowd: 65

Match: 66

Sandman was livid, and began to eye referee Ronnie Garvin again – this time with the cane. He teased caning the ref as the show went off of the air.

Commentary Aftermath

Cole: " And Tully Blanchard steals a victory!!"

Leaping Lanny: " Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a second!! The Sandman..he’s not going to hit the ref is he?"

Cole: " I think he is!! I think he is!! The fans want him to do it!! Heyman wants him to do it!! He should do it!!"

Leaping Lanny: " What are you talking about, Cole! Ronnie Garvin is a WOW official! He can’t do it! He’d better not do it!!"

Cole: " Well, we are out of time! But we will keep the cameras rolling folks!! WOW! Next week, more information on STABLE WARS!! The WOW tag team tournament continues when The Belmonts take on RAVEN and his mystery partner! Who could it be! Plus, Captain Lou Albano comes to WOW with the Psycho Circus!! WOW Champion The Great Muta WILL BE HERE!!!"

Leaing Lanny: " Don’t do it Sandman!!"

Cole: " Wow! W..O..W Wow!! See you next week!! He’s gonna hit him, he’s gonna---"


Next WOW Sunday Night – Preview!

An 8 man specialty tag match!

Mr. Sandman’s team vs. Tully Blanchard’s Team!

The Belmonts vs. Raven and his mystery partner in round 1 of the tag Tag Team Championship Tournament!

The debut of Kurg The Mighty!!

The WOW Tag Team Tournament continues: The Bad Breed vs. The Rock N Roll Express!


A special interview with Captain Lou Albano and his new tag team, as the Tag Team division heats up!!!

And, Much, Much, More!

The World Of Wrestling – Where the bigger boys play!

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Ricky Steamboat’s


Presented by HBO Sports on HBO2

Nov 30rd 1997

Cherry Red Centre, Las Vegas - Nevada

Announcers Michael Cole & Lanny Poffo

Attendance: 1,223 (397 paid)


WOW Sunday night began with the faceless Don West running down the highlights of last weeks show into plugging the big Dec 28th card. He narrated still shots of the Sandman – Blanchard match leaving off where the show did; As Sandman was positioned to hit referee Ronnie Garvin with his Singapore cane, Commissioner Slaughter with several officials, came darting out of the back to restrain Sandman. For the first time, Slaughter got booes, which looks promising for Sandman as he looks to be the top face in the company. Slaughter grabbed the mic and told the Sandman to get 3 other guys, and for Blanchard to get 3 other wrestlers for an 8 man tag ‘next week’ on WOW Sunday Night. Fans were chanting “He wants Garvin”, here. If Sandman’s team wins, he will get a shot at the WOW Heavyweight Title.


Show began with Michael Cole making two important announcements. First off, it was announced that the big Dec 14th big show will now pushed back to Dec 28th due to WOW being pre-empted next week for boxing. Ah, welcome to HBO. This actually is better for WOW, allowing them a bit more time to build the tag team tournament and the matches for the event. The show, now entitled “THE WOW HOLIDAY SHOW” now has Sandman vs. Great Muta on top (I suppose their going to come up with a reason as to why Sandman should still get a title shot), the Tag Team Tournament finals and semi final rounds, The Uzbekistan Giant Kurg The Mighty against Demolition (Ax and Smash), and Raven vs. The Ultimate Warrior. It was also announced that Kurt Angle & Ken Shamrock along with The Funks have thrown their hats into the Tag Team Tournament.

Two notes. Because of the pre-emption HBO2 has allowed WOW to go an extra half hour this week. All they will be playing is the replay of Welterweight boxing from Saturday Night, at 11:30pm EST. Secondly Both Ricky Morton & Warrior were not at the card. Morton for being sent home (more on that later), and Warrior for reasons unknown, until they got word during the show that he was sick. Show did a 1.85 a handful of viewers more than last week, which is great news. Highest rated segments seemed to be the CAGE GAMES match, and Psycho Circus stuff.

The Legion Of Doom w/ Paul Ellering d. ‘Hard Stuff’ Brian Christopher Lawler & ‘Prime Time’ Brian Lee

This show revolved around the Tag Team tournament, until the last half hour. Cole and Poffo ran down all of the teams in the tournament. In about 5 minutes through this match, Poffo said that he had an exclusive, and that Raven’s tag team partner was The Ultimate Warrior. He then said that that was great since both of them are nuts. I’m not too sure if Poffo was actually supposed to do that. He apparently got in hot water for doing so. Strong opener here as the crowd really got into Animal & Prime Time trading blows. There is talk of Ellering adding more wrestlers to the Legion Of Doom stable ala the NWA days, especially due to Hawk’s (and Animal’s) popularity. Closing moments of the match came at 8:33 when Prime Time & Animal gave each other a double clothesline leading to a 10 count by the ref. Both men struggled to their corners making the hot tags. Hawk and Lawler went at it until Lawler gauged his eyes, and followed up with a drop kick. Lawler then went to the top rope for the top rope legdrop, but Hawk moved out of the way and got him with a near fall. Hawk then, threw Lawler against the ropes but was surprised with a spinning heel kick by Lawler. Lawler went to the top rope for a flying body press, but Hawk caught him coming from the air. He then nailed him with two running power slams. He then tagged to Animal who just recovered and they finished Lawler off with the Doomsday device at 10:59. Lee tried to get into the ring, but his feet were being held by Ellering. LOD got the biggest pop of the night.

Overall: 72

Crowd: 70

Match: 74


As they were cutting to break Captain Lou Albano, who looked a bit slimmer as it’s not a secret that he’s recently become a vegetarian, came storming about talking in his usual gibberish.



**Captain Lou & Mr. Fuji**

Coming out of the break Alfred Hayes was in the ring with Captain Lou Albano. He asked Captain Lou who his team of The Psycho Circus was.


" First off, lemme just say this! Look at me, baby! I look great! I feel great! And it’s time for the manager of champions to do what he does best! Don’t you think I look great, Hayes?"


" You look just marvelous."


" Don’t ever call me marvelous again. I ain’t no tooty fruity like you! Now lemme tell ya who we have, baby! I ain’t gonna tell you who it is, you’re just gonna have to find out in two weeks when we return on television, baby! We’ve got one man – he’s---"


" Wait a minute. Did you say we?"


" That’s right you little tooty fruity fairy boy! I said ‘we!’"


" Surely you must know that my managing days are over. I appreciate the offer but--"


" Not not you, you flower boy! I’m talking about my managing partner!"


"Managing Partner?"


" Yes! Managing partner! Not the type of partner you’re used to, you sissy boy! You see it takes two of us to control these men! Do you want him to come out, right now? Fans, do you want him to?"

Crowd popped for Albano as he started to wave to the curtain. Kiss’ Psycho Circus song hit the PA system. After about 10 seconds, out came to everyone surprise, out came Mr. Fuji with his cane and hand and sinister smile on his face. I’m sure Tito Santana also had something to do with Fuji being brought in as Fuji also made some brief appearances, last year for the AWF. The cheers instantly turned to jeers. Cole could not believe that Captain Lou would align himself with Mr. Fuji. I guess Cole didn’t know that Albano actually began his career as a heel.


" Mr. Fuji!!! No!!"


" YES! That’s right, baby! The manager of champions, joins with the mastermind of champions baby! Tell’em Fuge! [*to the fans*] Shut up!!!"


" Hee. Hee. Hee. Hee. That’s right. Master Fuji is here in da W. O. W!! Here to deriver with Captain Lou da next W.O.W Tag Team Championshipsu. Hee. Hee. Hee. And we bring two men. Maybe three. Men dat we both manage before! And man dat only we can control oh yes! Heh. Heh. Heh. Nooo team is safe! Heh! Heh! Heh! Not even TONIGHT!!!"


" You mean we may see these unruly men, here tonight?"


" You’re gonna do more than see it, baby! You’re going to experience it!! No team will be able to stop us. NO TEAM!!!"

And before you can say Ken Resnick, Kiss’ Psycho Circus hit the P.A. system as Captain Lou & Mr. Fuji made their exit. The tag team division just got interesting. 70

Mr. Fuji gained 2 points of overness from this segment. Captain Lou Albano's turn was completed, and he is now a heel. Captain Lou Albano gained 3 points of overness from this turn.

We now go to the back where Ken Resnick was standing by with Raven. Resnick asked Raven who his tag team partner was, and how did he feel about the Psycho Circus. According to several sources, I’m hearing that Raven is going to be dropping the Scotty The Body gimmick all together, to instead focus on program with Wayne Ferris. In what capacity, I’m not entirely too sure.


" As it’s always been all my life…the odds are stacked up against, me…Raven. But what do I do? I move forward. I get someone just as sick as me. Just as demented as I. I get a Warrior. I get an Ultimate Warrior…." The crowd was heard exploding for this. I’m hearing Poffo got in a bit of hot water, also, for calling The Warrior, ‘The Ultimate Warrior’, as the announcers were told that they can only allude to the Warrior being ‘ultimate’ to prevent big Vince from raining on their parade. 82%



Bad Breed (Ian & Axl Rotten) d. Robert Gibson & Johnny Ace

This was pretty bad, which was ok, since the crowd didn’t pay much attention to this match, and instead were chanting ‘Warrior’. If Warrior performs like he did at the first event, then I’m sure the fans will turn against him here, again. Gibson’s partner, Ricky Morton was found passed out backstage at about 2pm, a few hours before the taping. Apparently he had a long night. Slaughter, who for all intents and purposes is the ‘real’ GM of the company sent Morton home. Morton is said to now be in the doghouse, especially after Anderson thought that he was passed out drunk a few weeks ago in his hotel room. The announcers said that Morton had the flu. Yea, a Johnnie Walker flu. Ace is the brother of Animal, so there’s no surprise here. I’m hearing Laurinaitis is trying to get into American wrestling again, as a booker. Anyway, the only thing that kept the crowd someone attentive was Ronnie Garvin as referee. He got the biggest heel reaction of the match, here. Finish came at 6:07 when Ian nailed Ace with brass knux unbeknownst to Garvin.

After the finish Jeff and Matt Hardy hit the ring. Crowd actually booed them as they are well known jobbers for the WWF. They tried to tell Garvin what happened, which got the crowd on their side. Bad Breed quickly scampered out of the ring as the Hardy’s continued to argue.

At this point, Kiss’ Psycho Circus music hit the P.A. system and all hell broke loose.

Overall: 53

Crowd: 56

Match: 48

Ian Rotten gained 1 point of overness from this match. Axl Rotten gained 1 point of overness from this match. Jeff Hardy's turn was completed, and he is now a face. Jeff Hardy gained 4 points of overness from this turn. Matt Hardy's turn was completed, and he is now a face. Matt Hardy gained 1 point of overness from this turn.



Cole: " Waaiiiit a minute!! Waiiiit a minute!! "

Leaping Lanny: " I think those WWF loosers had better get out of the ring!

Or they’re going to get a big zing!"

Cole: " These guys! They are high flyers! But I dunno about…oh my! There’s Mr. Fuji!!"

Leaping Lanny: " And there’s Captain Lou!!

Who are the mystery two!?"

Cole: " I don’t believe it…"

At this point, George ‘ The Animal’ Steele came to towards the ring. There had been talk of Steele coming out of retirement to return to the WWF in some sort of ‘human oddities’ stable. However Steele did not want to commit to something where he had to be on the road a lot. 60 year old Steele started throwing chairs at the ring toward the Hardy Brothers, who were finally identified by name on TV by Cole.

Leaping Lanny: " He’s throwing into the ring those metal chairs!

This cannot be good for those young hares!"

Cole: " Waittt a second!! That’s not it!! It’s…wait a minute? Is that, Evil Doink? That’s Doink! Evil Doink is here!!! This is the psycho circus!!"

Evil Doink hit the ring as Steele remained outside, still tossing chairs into the ring at the Hardys. Evil Doink, then went head to head with both Hardy’s. Crowd popped as the Hardy’s got the better of Doink, throwing him against the ropes and nailing him with a double dropkick. The two high flyers then went to the top rope, nailing Doink with a double missle dropkick. The crowd started to get behind the Hardy’s, here. The Hardy’s went up once again, as Doink lay on his canvas, but Steele pelted Matt with a chair causing him to stumble forward on his back to the mat. Jeff, then switched gears, causing the crowd to pop as he was now aiming towards Steele on the outside. However Steele tossed a chair at Jeff’s head, as he was coming down., then kept on yelling “YOU! YOU! YOU!” Both Hardy’s lay as Albano and Fuji, still by the curtain, again waived toward the back.

Leaping Lanny: " Oh my did you see that chair hit his head!

And I think there’s still more to be said!!"

Cole: " Right you are, Poffo! They’re waiving toward the curtain! Who else could it be! Who else…..OHHH MY GODDDD!! OH MY GODDD!! That’s, that’s, Abdullah The Butcher!!!"

Leaping Lanny: " This man is a nut! One of the most violent men in our sport!

The Hardy’s are as good as dead! They’d better head for the fort!!"

Cole: " They can’t! They can’t!! Matt Hardy is laid out in the ring! Jeff is down on the outside! And here comes the Wildman from the Sudan!! That’s Abdullah The Butcher!!!"

Captain Lou & Mr. Fuji shadowed Abdullah as he waddled down the ring with a bag in hand. It looked like some of the fans knew who Abdullah was, but everyone knew that he was bad news. Abdullah came in and immediately clobbered Matt with his elbow drop. As Fuji and Albano coached, Abdullah emptied the bag of thumb tacks all over the ring. Doink got up at this point and started putting the boots to Jeff on the outside. The Vegas crowd began chanting ‘This is crazy’ as Adbullah gave Matt sidewalk slam on the thumbtacks. Steele and Doink, then threw Jeff into the ring to Adbullah, who greeted him with his elbow drop. Mr. Fuji then went into his jacket pocket, pulling out a fork and handing it to Abdullah!

Leaping Lanny: " It’s the fork, Adbullah’s favourite weapon of choice!!

The bloodthirst demons in the Psycho Circus will now rejoice!!"

Cole: " As if they haven’t been rejoicing already…this is carnage!! This is disgusting! This…I can’t believe this! Would someone get out here…wait a second…no…no…no!!!!!!!"

With that, Abdullah quickly started raking the fork across the forehead of Jeff causing him to juice instantly. The fans were very slow to react as they were almost disappointed when just George Steele, followed by Doink came out. When Abdullah came out they actually began to get heat and the fans behind the Hardys. Abdullah then held both Hardy’s up for some brutal chair shots by Evil Doink, as Cole and Poffo were now referring to him as. Finally, officials hit the ring, albeit reluctantly, but they did it, and got Albano & Fuji to stop the mauling

With that, just the start of Kiss’ Psycho Circus hit the P.A. system, sparking an array of booes as they left the ring.

Cole: " Look at these despicable men! Mr. Fuji! Captain Lou! Evil Doink! George Steele! And THAT man! Adbullah the Butcher!"

Leaping Lanny: " These men have just taking WOW by storm!!

So much so that he Tag team division has just changed form!"

Matt Hardy gained 3 points of overness from this segment. Jeff Hardy gained 2 points of overness from this segment.


Music Plays:



Here I am!

Here we are,we are one

I've been waiting for this night to come

Get up!

Now it's time for me to take my place

The make-up runnin' down my face

We're exiled from the human race.

You're in the psyyyyyy….

You're in the psycho circus

You're in the psyyyyyy…

You're in the psycho circus

I say welcome to the show!!



The Belmonts – Bryan Simon Belmont (Bryan Kaynon) & Adam Trevor Belmont (Adam Clark) d. Raven

This match was actually taped from last week, but due to time constraints had to be cut off. The Warrior actually did no-show this card, not surprisingly so, as he’s not bound to a written contract. Raven introduced the Warrior, to no avail causing the crowd to actually boo each successive time Raven called out Warrior. Wow, talk about a second unintentional heel turn. They are going to make the best of this by pitting a Warrior vs. Raven revenge match at The WOW Holiday show. Kanyon and Clark just can’t get away from these cartoon looking outfits. They wore silver boots which went up high as their kneecaps with attire that looked from a vampire costume show. They also each bought whips to the ring, Adam with a chain one. Raven managed well for a few moments, but soon fell to the odds of numbers. Finish saw Bryan Simon put Raven in the torture rack, holding him for a top rope leg drop from Adam Trevor. After the show it was said that Warrior was legitimately stricken with some kind of food poising.

Overall: 58

Crowd: 54

Match: 76



The Sandman, Tommy Dreamer, Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka & Ken Shamrock d. Terry Funk, Dory Funk Jr., Tully Blanchard, & Ole Anderson

The NWAA hit the ring first, and Terry Funk announced that the forth wrestler would be Ole Anderson!. Anderson said he wanted to get his hands on the Sandman punk and beat him “Minnesota Wrecking Crew style”. To the smart, (very) long time fan, that was a great reference to George Wrestling. It did seem to get acknowledgment in the crowd. But to the average or newer fan it sounds like Anderson just renamed the NWAA. Sandman did the honours along with Paul Heyman in introducing his team…


" Yo! [*crowd imitates*] I said, Yo! [*crowd imitates louder*] Ya’ll wanna know who my partners are tonight, huh?! [*crowd cheers*] Hey, [*toward NWAA*] Yo! I know ya’ll wanna know who my partners are tonight! "


" What I want you to do, son, is for you quit yappin’ you mouth. Because I got two wild Texan’s and a Golden Ace with me who’s fixin’ to give you a whippin’. [*crowd booes*]"

Sandman responded by pulling a Budweiser out of his pocket and chugging it, popping the crowd. Budweiser, one of WOW’s sponsors, I’m sure loves the Sandman, especially seemingly the top face.


" Ah. That was good. My first partner! I’ve known him for a long time! He’s up for any fight and’ll take you down with his fight! My drinking partner, Tommy Dreamer!!"

The lights dimmed, and heavy metal music with the background company of motorcycle revving hit the P.A. system. Dreamer wore all back with a slick leather jacket and bandana, and was actually seated on a motorcycle. On each of his sides were two bicker woman, also on smaller motorcycles. They really took Tommy’s ECW persona and injected kryptonite into it. Either that, or testosterone. Tommy’s entrance got a great pop. The two biker girls were a model from Los Angeles, Stacy Keibler, and Torrie Wilson, whom has had some training at the WCW training facilities.

Sandman continued after sharing a cold one with Tommy.

Mr. Sandman

" Next, we have a man that kinda reminds me of…well me! Haha! Ya see this man loves to beat people up! And that’s the kinda guy I want on my team….KEN SHAMROCK!!!"

Again, with the boxing-esque entrances. The lights dimmed and large flash spots ala a light show of a cage began to flash all over the crowd, and displayed via holograms as his music played. Shamrock got a great reaction after his strong bout with Antonio Inoki on the first show. Sandman handed Heyman the mic to introduce the final partner.


" And now, for the final wrestler! A former WWF star!! A former NWA Champion! A former Extreme Champion, a legend, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka!!"

Crowd gave Snuka a great response. Snuka is one of those wrestlers that everyone knows. Paul Heyman is not allowed to mention ECW by name, but he can allude to it using the word ‘Extreme’. And that the cage lowered to the ring. The WOW CAGE GAMES , were about to commence.



Cole: " Well let’s make sure we’re clear on the rules of this match, Leaping Lanny. The only way to win this match is when one team has climbed out of the cage completely! So the interesting part in this kind of match is that as a team draws closer to winning, their in ring advantage suffers as they become outnumbered!"

Leaping Lanny: " That’s right, so we could see The Sandman’s team getting the advantage when Tommy Dreamer, Jimmy Snuka, and Ken Shamrock are all out of the ring, waiting for the Sandman to escape to win the match!

But instead Terry Funk, Dory Funk Jr., Tully Blanchard, and Ole Anderson beat the sandman into a bloody pulp, completely reversing the hatch!! Hahaha! "

Cole: ""

Leaping Lanny: " Don’t be jealous just because I’m a Limerick Legend."

The match started off as a tag, with a one on one in the ring. Lot’s of stalling with Ole Anderson starting off with Ken Shamrock. Michael Cole announced that they had just gotten clearance to go an extra half hour. Anderson paused and said that he wanted Sandman to get in the ring. For a while Shamrock refused, until finally Sandman put out his hand. Sandman jumped in the ring, causing Ole to retreat into the ropes, forcing referee Teddy Long to step in between them. Ole then complained that Sandman smelled like beer and tagged out to Terry Funk. Funk and Sandman, after trading lockups began to go blow for blow. Funk got the better end of it, capping it off with a quick headbutt. After tossing Sandman into the turnbuckle and following up with a clothesline, Funk nailed Sandman with a swinging neckbreaker. Funk, then tagged out to Dory Funk Jr. The both put the boots to Sandman for about 20 seconds until Dreamer ran in and fought Terry off, outside of the ring. Dory continued to work on Sandman inside the ring, whilst Tommy continued on Terry on the outside. In the meantime, Ole Anderson started to climb the cage! Poffo was screaming about how this was perfectly legal in the WOW CAGE GAMES. Any wrestler can try to escape the cage at any time. Snuka saw this and went after him. At this point you had Shamrock and Blanchard eyeing each other down, the only two still standing on the apron. Suddenly, they charged each other inside the ring, with Shamrock getting the better end of it with a spear. He began to pound Blanchard with pummel punches which popped the crowd. Cole kept screaming about how Shamrock likes to beat people up.

On the outside, Snuka grabbed Anderson by the back of his jeans and slowly brought him back down. Ole seemed to have slipped on the way down, and hurt himself legit. He and Snuka traded punches until he quickly limped away. Meanwhile, in the ring, Shamrock was having his way with Blanchard, nailing him with a body to body off of the ropes. Shamrock then quickly went to climb the cage, and did so successfully at 8:33, putting the Sandman’s team up by one man. Poffo mentioned how now the NWAA had the clear advantage now being one man up. Well, actually that one man up has been down on the outside for a while, in Anderson. A few moments later, Snuka made the save in the ring for Sandman attacking Dory from behind with a knee to the back. As Snuka, now began to battle it out with Dory, Sandman went to Heyman to get his Singapore cane. After two unsuccessful attempts at throwing the cane over the top of the cage, Heyman put the cane through the cage, wising up. Snuka threw Dory into the ropes, and Sandman met his coming off with a cane shot to the chest. Snuka now teased going up to the top for his Superfly splash. There were some fans chanting ‘From the Cage’, but at 51, I doubt that’s a jump Snuka’s going to take. Sandman pulled Dory up, and clobbered him with a cane shot as Snuka climbed the top. At 14:53 Snuka nailed Dory with the splash from the top rope to a nice ovation. He then climbed the cage as Sandman continued to beat Dory down.

Meanwhile, on the outside, Terry juiced, after Tommy through him into the cage, several times. Tommy looked good, here in his debut. At 18:33 both Tommy and Terry began to climb the cage until a slugfest ensued at the top. Tommy began to get the better end of the brawl when Terry teased falling off the cage. With both men crouched atop the cage, and after a few loud slaps, Dreamer motioned for Heyman to do something outside the ring. And within minutes, Heyman cleared the ringside table that had Gertner and the ring attendant sitting by it, and brought it along side Dreamer and Funk. Here, Sandman began to throw his cane up to Dreamer for him to use it on Terry. Dreamer missed on catching it the first two times, but got it on the third. Funk, still crotched on balance atop the cage quickly nailed Dreamer with a jab to the face. Dreamer, stunned, tried to fire back but was blocked, and nailed with a left. Funk then, hastingly wrestled the cane out of Dreamer’s grasp and quickly nailed him atop the head with the cane! Funk started laughing and leveled Dreamer again.

Cole: " He’s trying to knock him off of the cage! "

Dory Funk struggled to the outside, and gave Sandman a running elbow across the side of the face, crashing into the cage. This was the final straw, as Dreamer tumbled to the outside and through the table set up by Heyman. Some of the fans at ringside chanted ‘W.O.W.’ It’s kinda funny to hear that, then hear Cole scream ‘Wow!’, on commentary.

Anderson, who seemed somewhat recovered but still limping joined the fray giving the Sandman an axehandle, from behind. He, then started choking the Sandman, now the only one of his team who needs to leave the cage to win the match. At 22:01, The Great Muta came down to the ring with the WOW Championship belt. The Title reminds me a lot of the literally purple WWF Intercontinental Title Belt that Ultimate Warrior wore, with a mix of the WCW World Title style and cut. Funk continued to climb to the outside, now leaving, officially, Tully Blanchard, Dory Funk, and Ole Anderson of the NWAA. Anderson kept choking Sandman and stomping him as Blanchard began to make the escape. Anderson and Dory continued the onslaught until they began to pull Sandman up. They began to hold Sandman up to The Great Muta. Great Muta put the purple WOW Title up to the Sandman’s face, quickly pulled it away, and spit in the Sandman’s face. That’s one way to get heat. It was pretty funny some guy actually threw his soda at Muta, and in the background you were able to watch him getting tackled by security and carried out. Sandman’s face into rage as Muta spit the green mist at Sandman. Sandman ducked out of the way, and both Dory and Anderson sold the mist being spit in their eyes. Sandman grabbed his cane, which was dropped by Dreamer, and nailed Funk with a loud cane shot. He gave Anderson a gut shot with the cane, and he went right down. Sandman then kicked Dory, and held him up in his Piledriver spot for a while, also glancing at Muta on the outside, in the process. Sandman, then planted Dory with the Piledriver on the outside, then escaped the cage at 26:01 to win it for the faces. Sandman had a stare down with the World champion as WOW went off the air.

Overall: 69

Crowd: 67

Match: 72

Commentary Aftermath

Cole: " What a match that was! WOW CAGE GAMES! Wow! W.O.W, wow!"

Leaping Lanny: " We just saw an incredible battle, here tonight! We asked Owner Ricky Steamboat if we can go an extra half hour, and he said yes! For the fans!"

Cole: " Now remember we are not on next week, but we will return with a 2 hour special right here, on HBO2!"

Leaping Lanny: " That’s right! So right after Sunday Night at The Fights, leave it right here for W.O.W. Sunday Night!"

Cole: " Now, if you are going to be in the Las Vegas area ON Dec 14th, we will be taping, at the Palladium Centre the first WOW STABLE WARS show. It begins STABLE WARS, and I..I don’t know what it’s all about, only Commissioner Slaughter does!"

Leaping Lanny: " And not only that, but there will be a 20 man Battle Royal to determine who will get a shot at the WOW World Title at The WOW Holiday show!!"

Cole: " Wow! W.O.W, wow! See you in two weeks folks!"


Mr. Sandman, Paul Heyman, & Tommy Dreamer

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Guest Makegamesnotwar

Javert, I'm going to do an extra special length feedback post for you(Isn't that just special?) Considering how your previous work pretty much got me into EWR diaries and encouraged me to start my own(short-lived and short on quality) diary, you're a bit of an inspiration. Okay, before I spend this post gushing, I'm going to cut myself off. Ok. I'm doing this as I read it.

First Post- Good idea behind the diary, HBO at it's height going against WCW at it's height and the not yet attitude filled WWF, not to mention ECW. I'm a bit wary about the idea of HBO venturing into a crowded arena in wrestling in 97', considering how hard it would be to make a dent, with most of the top American talent signed by the Big Three, though one is assuaged by WOW going to the foreign markets a bit with Inoki and Mutoh. I'm also curious on how much input the conflicting booking styles of Heyman, Inoki and Mutoh will have and how they will interact.

I like Ole's involvement and how he would act, considering some of the horror stories about his time in WCW and whether he would follow that trend and just bring in his friends and push them to the top regardless of whatever is best for the biz. Inoki vs Shamrock is a match I'd pay to see now, let alone back in 97 when they were much more in their primes. Clear sign that WOW is going to try and become the big fourth in their slogan "Where the bigger boys play", which I'm both glad to see in that HBO always tries to be the biggest, most controversial boy on the block when they go into a new field whether or not it succeeds. However I'm also unhappy about as it poses the question- would it make business sense to go right at WCW, instead of following the path of ECW and building up an ultra-loyal cult fan base before challenging the big boys?

I don't know whether a company as business savvy as HBO would hire conflicting influences in the booking team in old school guys(Ole and Slaughter) with a renegade wrestling maverick in Heyman, Teddy Long(who I don't really know much about how he books), and Japanese influence in Inoki and Mutoh. Interesting idea in HBO going for the boxing crowd that the big 3 have failed to do, in 97 boxing was very hot. Kurt Angle vs The Warrior? That's a bad mismatch of styles though a potentially interesting match.

Nice use of the ECW affair with Angle, though Kurt working with the man who booked the crucifixion angle that he was so upset about in Heyman requires some suspension of disbelief. Then again, to quote the Million Dollar Man- everyone has their price. Little typo referring to Warrior as being fired for NOT missing a couple of house shows, though it did make me laugh which I guess is a good thing. Weird that Angle is higher paid as an unproven prospect than Warrior who was still very over in 97. Hopefully we can get some crazy Warrior promos.

Always wanted to see a Kurt Angle- Ken Shamrock iron match, pure technical prowess. Shoot style matches are rarely seen in US based diaries and so are very interesting and potentially very entertaining. Don't know about the mass of ECW pick ups, and how Angle would react to that in addition to having Heyman on the pay roll. Especially in contrast to the comments about a "cleaner product."

If it's a cleaner product then what is New Jack going to do? To mean, cleaner sounds like ECW-ECW to WWE's ECW. One can just see the response WWE's ECW has received. Lance Storm is in so I'm already waiting for some sort of Storm-Shamrock-Angle feud.

Candido is in, having fond memories of the Storm-Candido team and feud, I hope you incorporate that. New Jack and especially Balls Mahoney I am not so sure about. Tully Blanchard and the comment about a Horsemen tie in I'm not so sure about, it's not the Horsemen(anytime, from 97 to today) without Ric Flair to me. Kris Kanyon! That's all I've got to say about him.

Curt Hennig and the Haas brothers are very smart pickups, wrestlers who were never pushed to the amount they should have been(though Charlie Haas still has a small chance to be wrestling Benoit for the championship in somewhere other than my dreams and EWR games.) Michael Cole I've never really liked but I guess you have to have someone to do the interviews.

Despite my concerns this is just the first post, and I'm sure a healthy amount of Javertness will be included and assuage my doubts.

Second Post-

Let's look over the signings, shall we-

Captain Lou Albano-More recognized by wrestling fans in 97 than now but still a weird pickup, considering the managers you could use instead of him but I'm sure you'll find a use for him.

Dr. Death Steve Williams- People will be dropped on their heads. And it will be good. Hopefully we get a Steve Williams- Rhino match in which they totally destroy each other.

Ax and Smash- Wha? Lawrence of Arabia is on and I'm doing this at the same time and I almost turned away from this diary after reading that. Then I calmed down and thought about how your best diary took Wha? guys like the Mountie and made them legitimate main eventers. I guess tag teams are in short supply. I always have a problem building up a tag division in my EWR games so I sympathize if that is why you've used them. Then again, I'm sure you have some master plan for them.

Abdullah the Butcher-My concern is the same with New Jack, Balls Mahoney, etc. With this supposing to be a "cleaner" product, will Abdullah still be Abdullah? Then again, a death match here and there won't hurt with the show being on HBO.

Surge- I hope you don't make the Hardys into the brothers of Hardyz. Maybe use the Scar gimmick?

Willow The Wisp- Pre-drugs in the OMEGA days, Jeff Hardy kicked major and I hope you put him with some over high fliers in some crazy ladder matches. Maybe make OMEGA into a faction?

Jeff the next coming of Shawn Michaels, oh I remember those days, that potential. Now Nitro is being called the next coming of Shawn Michaels. When I read the line "I just hope they don't keep that ridiculous Willow the Wisp gimmick and outfit" I chuckled and then greatly hoped that you would keep it. Oh, Abdullah with his style vs. Steve Williams is a rather interesting match up and I hope to see it. This diary has so much potential, like Jeff Hardy did one day. Hopefully it doesn't turn out like Jeff Hardy.

With all the diverse talent, I'd love to watch the adverts for WOW. I think Inoki's name would mean at least something in the US with the infamous Ali situation. I don't know about a tourney for the title as that's a bit over-done and you're constricted in who advances in that heel vs heel matches can kill a card. Hope you don't put the title on Hawk. Good points on why Sandman might be a bad choice for the title. Ooh- describing the adverts. Something you don't see much but is very well done and allows for characterization outside of the card.

Albano becoming a vegetarian and losing weight- pretty nice idea. Mass Destruction!!!!! Yes, four !!!!s are not at all excessive. Oh, Michael Cole on play by play- yeesh. Not liking that, though it would be funny to have Heyman be the heel and mock him constantly. Big plans for Brian Lawler? Sure, he's underrated but that's weird to have big plans for him compared to some of the other talent you have.

Nice tag division, even with it being a bit over the hill on average.

3rd post- Ooh, backstage stuff! The time being 13:45- are you going to be referring to every time like that from now on? I like that Slaughter reads the dirt sheets and that they are referred to as such. When I read that he was awoken by his assistant I was expecting Sophie but instead you introduce us to Christy. Ricky Steamboat as figurehead- I'm not sure about that, considering how he's not that great on the stick but maybe we'll get a match between Steamboat and Mutoh and make it all better.

McMahon and his trademarking of names(or is it copyrighting) is a nice little detail. Yeah, Heyman's really going to have to carry that Michael Cole guy. I like the idea of Heyman plugging ECW. So he's not leaving ECW. Don Kernodle. Funny name- Kernodle. Hey- Advert!

Rather well done, Slaughter addressing us maggots. Good dig on RAW and the WWF. I'm not sure about Inoki being referred to as a submission specialist from what I've seen of him. Oh, and given Warrior, I'd be surprised if he was okay with the finish- if it's Angle going over that is.

Fourth Post-

Who's Haw and Fit Finaly? If you mean Hawk I know him but I don't know Fit Finaly. TANAKA! What you gonna do brothers, when the Spirit Of The Cherokee Horse comes riding all over you?

I'm not sure what "Hard Stuff" means as a nickname for Brian Lawler. Funk vs Buh Buh looks good, as does Muta vs. Tully.

Fifth Post-

I think HBO would mainly do shows in Las Vegas though I don't know how if having all those temptations around wrestlers is a good idea. Nice point on how the exposure that HBO2 gives WOW allows them to use distraction and gimmicks to protect wrestlers. Marvelous turnout for a first show with 1000(paid) in house. Also another nice bit about the fudging of the audience numbers.

Hopefully you build on the heat between Heyman and Hyatt. Scott Levy! Yes! Split personality gimmick, something that pretty much tips the scale in your favor as far as my favor for this diary. Sorry if that's confusing but the message is thus- me likely.

Lawrence of Arabia- "Aqaba. Aqaba. By land."

Hopefully Ricky Steamboat eventually changes out his suit and tie for wrestling tights. I'd be going along with the 'Ricky' chant. You already have Slaughter locked in, totally getting the character. Ax and Smash in blue and yellow paint- that lawsuit loving McMahon! Ax has done a reverse Albano and gained weight. More of him to mildly tolerate.

Axer that is. Along with his partner Smasher. Chuckalage from the cutting trees and a verb comment. Nice bit of nostalgia.

Gertner's here, always good. Great bit with Cole being the object of ridicule and showing his lack of wrestling knowledge.

Hawk(who I'm surprised to not be called Hawker) d. Finlay- Thankfully this only lasted around ten minutes. Well, a paragraph. Yeesh, Finlay got a bad reaction. Nice to see a mention of missed spots, most guys don't refer to the bad things in a match but you can write both bad and good matches. Hopefully Finlay- "OHMYGOSHLOOKWHO'SHERE!" Wait. Paul Heyman? Is that supposed to be a surprise or is that just Cole not reading the press report where everyone was told that Heyman would be doing announcing.

Heyman's given everyone a reason to watch the show- wait, I thought we were supposed to be tuning in for the comedy styling of Fit Finlay and Michael Cole? What about the vaudeville routine they planned? Heyman saying my god is funny, he has such a big ego I thought he was his god? Who the hell have you been fucking to get this gig, Cole? Oh, that was meant to refer to Hyatt. My bad. I don't think Georgia would be that dated, I would catch it. And ten other people. So yeah, it would be dated.

It's running duck! Running duck! Hopefully we can get Tanaka hitting people over with a rubber ducky. I'd mark out for that. The Spirit Of The Cherokee Horse(not exactly a catchy, short nickname)


Oh, I'm back. I like how you put the match winner in the title of the match, makes it easier to skim. Even though I'm obviously not skimming, so it doesn't apply to me. I would have liked to get a description of Tanaka's new garb(love that word.) Neidhart in the crowd- hopefully he'll be joining up(unless I misread it and he has already) as one always can find use for a good manager.

Again, you write the best * matches. Well, thankfully it's now confirmed that Hard Stuff doesn't mean we'd see Brian Lawler doing a Val Venis type hardcore porn gimmick. I was worried for a bit about that. Running Duck for champion! The interaction between Cole and Heyman is rather funny, much better than I anticipated.

YOU KNOCK!! That made me laugh. Is Funk supposed to be a heel or a face? First blood match- wait- 20 minutes? Hopefully this will be good- Dory Funk Jr. is in. Nice to know, maybe even Dory turning on Terry and getting a major heel push? Nah. Good match here, and I even woke up for most of it.

Wonder who that fan is- maybe at the end of the diary that fun turns out to be someone we know, before they were famous. Trying to think of who trained in Las Vegas. From now on, I think I'll refer to ex-ECW wrestlers as stars in the 'Philadelphia circuit' Heh, Funk wrestling the ring attendant. I don't remember Bubba using the dusty punches in 97 but I'm probably wrong. And so begins what looks to be the start of one of the main WOW programs.

Funk is a heel! You've always been good at writing stables and we have an interesting one here with the Funks, Ole,Tully,Morton and Gibson. More of Cole messing up= more chucklage, Muta, Mutoh, potato, potatoh, it's not like they're two freakin' totally different characters! Wow, Heyman had the incredible self-discipline to hold himself to the third segment of the next to refer to ECW in a blatant manner.

Not much to say about the NWAA, Heyman and Funk stuff except- awesome. Vegas getting the ECW references is a bit of a stretch but I'm willing to suspend disbelief as the internet allows people to know about promotions on the other side of the country easily. I'm surprised by the 77% rating, I'd think it would be higher.

Nice to see the Hasses and Candido being used, even if Farmer has to tag along. Hey- Alfred Hayes. You could pick worse. Good decision to have it be The Great Muta instead of Mutoh, as Muta was the one who was over after his WCW days(I think they were pre-97.)

Muta d.Blanchard-

Weird to have a hot new debuting stable's second match involving their members to have one job. Still, Muta is the better decision to go over. Some kind of country music sounding Van Zant song is good, though I'd think that HBO would go all out on production- including entrance music. Whatever. Anderson ripping up the ECW sign- to bad for that fan that there is no Shane O Mac to give him a hundred bucks. Obnoxious enough to get heat from an air conditioner- I'm not sure about that, I guess I'll have to youtube some of his promos if he's that good. Maybe we'll get an opposite to the NWAA, as the announcers commented on alliances. Cole being overdramatic- haven't heard him like that before.

I'm liking the World OF Wrestling. Ooh- ECW vs.NWAA. I'm loving that idea. Hey- Cole doing his homework. Maybe hope for him yet. Wait- I don't think Muta used the shining wizard in 97. I might be wrong, as I said before. I'm not good with dates. Or numbers. Or faces. Or names.

What- you didn't know that Tully Blanchard has super hearing? He can also transmute himself- Blanchard form- bowl of soup activate! Little known fact. Dramatic finish, not the cleanest yet not totally overbooked. Yeah- a cleaner product with "up yours" gestures and the use of the word Funk with a C instead of an N. Sandman as a potential part of the ECW stable- this is just getting better.

Lawrence Of Arabia- He's taken Aqaba.

Cole is so ignorant- "Who's that guy?"

"Sandman, you dunce. Shut up."

Ok, maybe that was for non-ECW fans as a way for Heyman to introduce MR. Sandman to them.

Inoki Bom Ba Ya! Nice to see that the crowd at least sort of reacted to Inoki. I guess his over is less than I would think it would be. You wrote the match well, coming up to my expectations- which were high.

Crowd reacted well to Shamrock- good, I'd think they would. So I guess Shamrock is a heel or a tweener and Inoki is a face, at least for this match. Nice little spot with Shamrock turning the Octopus Stretch into an abdominal one. Definitely getting the feel of good technical wrestling, along with good shoot style. I thought Inoki was going to go over for a second there, but you made the right decision and gave Shamrock the win. Very well written, though you seem to have wrote it as more of a *** 1/2 star match than a **** but that's nitpicking. I do that.

Planet Saturn- Shannon Moore as Pluto. Hilarious stuff, along with the 'Parts Unknown' comment. That Angle interview seems to be an indication that he is a heel.

Hawk d.Tanaka- Running Duck takes the fall, and still no mention of Animal. More chucklage in the Cole-Heyman stuff. Tanaka as the anti-us heel could be good but I like him better as a face personally. Scotty The Body/Raven in his Scotty The Body meets Johnny Polo outfit(along with Tanaka's garb, just begging for a description.) Nice little backstage stuff, seems like Levy to joke like that. Raven smiling? Blasphemy. The nineteen year old referee- more good stuff on top of everything. At least he took initiative, taking the chair from Funk. Very good match considering the different styles on show, which were contrasted very well.

Unnecessary face paint is actually a misdemeanor in some parts of the country so Scotty was right to worry about hazard it poses. You got me- I thought that was the finish with the DQ. Good to see a ref getting revenge on a cheating wrestler. Rick Rude's promo was good, expressing what was needed. Though I think he was more over as a face than a heel(something that EWR has yet to introduce but in real life makes a big difference) it allows us to have heel Rick Rude promos.

Some fat guy who I've never heard of(Don West) is nice to see, are the guys who accompanied Slaughter his sort of group, enforcing his decisions? Guess we'll have to wait and see. Slaughter-Rude when Slaughter was a face and they were in his prime would have been a great match but you should keep any heat between them to interviews and angles.

Lawrence Of Arabia-Intermission.

I didn't know about Tito Santana's AWF, I'm going to wikipedia it. To say that Alfred Hayes has a unique voice is an understatement. So I guess Rude won't be in a wrestling capacity but he's a good manager with that charisma(real life and EWR) that can keep a crowd on the edge of their seats. Not to mention his wonderful swagger, as you have noted.

Kurt Angle d. The Warrior- Good to see him going over as he should. The styles clash is as bad(in the match) and as good(in your description of it) as I expected. Again- a good "bad" match that you have done. Angle getting frustrated at Warrior botching his spots. Good one. Oh, Angle wins in a way that allows Warrior to save face- I was expecting that and I guess you have to, given Warriors ego. Wait- I thought the crowd was supposed to be on the referee's side and boo when he's attacked. Whatever. Still Warrior lays out the ref(seemingly a heel move) and gets pops?

The Great Muta d Road Warrior Hawk-

Well, needless to say I wasn't expecting Hawk in the finals. Anyway, Scotty referring to the 10 year old angle is odd, I think he'd be better on commentary with his charisma and knowledge of wrestling. Or maybe he's just setting up Ronnie Garvin using that gimmick. Good info on Garvin. Hey- Mr. Fuji. I guess I missed when he was signed. George Steel the same.

The announcers putting over Muta "big time" gave the winner away, even though most reads the "blah d. blah" on the top, for those who want a bit of suspense it's a tinch annoying. Not a big deal but it's something to think of. This match is turning out to be better than I thought as I forgot that Hawk could wrestle a stiff match well.

Is Scotty saying that untruth about Muta supposed to be just a mistake, purposeful to build him up more, or what? Maybe part of his gimmick? We'll see. Oh- Muta as heel, I thought he was going to be a face. Well, my predictions have never been that good. The Scotty-Cole dynamic is just as good as the Heyman-Cole stuff which is very funny. Good match.

I like the reference to English football with Garvin. Is Muta with the NWAA? If not, why would he allows his hand to be raised? Hey- Tommy Dreamer. Give him a nice push while you're handing them out. Raven next week! That's going to be fun.

Sandman vs Tully- Maybe we could get an old school knock down, drag out fight between them.

Rick Rude's Next Big Thing- I'm waiting in anticipation, wondering what or who it might be.

WOW Tag Team Tourney-As I said before, your tag division, while older, is good.

Muta-I'm guessing Muta is a heel but not with the NWAA.

Oh- two more shows? I'm sorry Javert, but this takes a lot out of me and I have other things to do. Hopefully I'll do the next two shows like this too, this diary really deserves it.

It's been pretty awesome so far, and I'm hooked. Good luck.

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UH...wow?! makegames many many thanks for your insightful feedback and I DEFINATELY look forward to the remainder. I'm always very glad to here that I've somewhat inspired people to write, glad their are still some of those that saw the spark, still here. I was going to address this post in the observer style as I usually do, but in the interest of time....

Anyhow, let me address some of your comments..

I like Ole's involvement and how he would act, considering some of the horror stories about his time in WCW and whether he would follow that trend and just bring in his friends and push them to the top regardless of whatever is best for the biz. Inoki vs Shamrock is a match I'd pay to see now, let alone back in 97 when they were much more in their primes. Clear sign that WOW is going to try and become the big fourth in their slogan "Where the bigger boys play", which I'm both glad to see in that HBO always tries to be the biggest, most controversial boy on the block when they go into a new field whether or not it succeeds. However I'm also unhappy about as it poses the question- would it make business sense to go right at WCW, instead of following the path of ECW and building up an ultra-loyal cult fan base before challenging the big boys?
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Guest Makegamesnotwar

Thank you so much, Javert. It's always nice to see that feedback to diaries done by "famous"(as famous as one can be in the spectrum of EWB) is addressed, especially when it is done in such a kind and helpful way as you have. I write such long feedback(I try to always get at least a paragraph of feedback in, but sometimes it ends up just overflowing itself as it has here) because I hope that diary writers will take it to heart and respond, whether in a straight up response, in the diary, whatever. It seems to me that more and more writers respond, and in kinder and more helpful ways now than my last time on the EWB(2000 ish) and that's very good to see.

Maybe this phenomena that I am observing is an effect of the postwhoring rule making people to post longer, more helpful and insightful feedback or just people being nicer, I'm not sure and really don't care. To me, giving feedback is sometimes even more fun than reading the diary, in that you get to have an honest to Seinfeld back and forth connection with some one who seems so far away, crafting tales for your(immense) enjoyment.

So, to give you the gestalt of it- thank you so much, this diary is just getting better and better and may someday come to rival your best. I'll try to read and give feedback in the format I previously used, which was about the size of the card that was being commented on. I find that humorous, and am very honored to be able to say that I made the great Javert laugh, giving you one-one millionth of the joy your writing has brought to me.

I know this sounds like I'm sucking up and gushing, but... well I am gushing. Not so much with the sucking up. In the small category of continuing diaries that I actively read and respond to(as opposed to ones that are in their semi-beginnings that I give "report cards" on.

So far, I haven't been very critical of the diary and I'm sorry, as constructive criticism seems to be what helps me the most rather than just saying how awesome it is, but there isn't much to complain about. I'll try harder next time, when I do the rest of the shows, hopefully in one sitting. That'll take a bit, amongst the other things I have to do but it's worth it to in someway help and contribute to the great quality of this diary.

I'll be quiet now. Good luck.

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The Wrestling Observer Newsletter

PO Box 1228 Campbell, CA 90210-2342, December 15th, 1997


After just about a month in existence, Sgt. Slaughter’s & Ole Anderson’s World Of Wrestling promotion has raised a lot of eyebrows and is immediately asking some questions of its critics. With it’s first couple of TV shows (following the inaugural 3 hour card) doing a 1.83 and 1.85, respectfully, things are looking good for the new promotion, which seems to be gaining a larger fan base by the week. Aside from the product itself, a lot of the credit has to be given to Paul Heyman, who was named as Consulting Editor to the WOW website, and has graciously linked the site from his own ECW website. While Heyman is clearly helping his competition, he, in turn, is helping getting what’s left of ECW more exposure than ever before allowing it to continue to grow despite loosing several guaranteed contracts to W.O.W, including it’s two biggest stars, Mr. Sandman and Tommy Dreamer.

According to many, Anderson has already slipped into his Georgia Championship Wrestling / WCW booking mentality, barking orders right and left. Those who are familiar with him, such as most of the old NWA, and AWF guys (Bill Eadie (Ax), Blanchard, Garvin, etc.) are used to his style. However, many of the younger wrestlers who’s never crossed paths with Anderson (Anderson’s last job as head booker was during the WCW years, right as Eric Bischoff took over and helped get him fired) were taken by storm. Anderson apparently was irate when he found Ricky Morton passed out in his hotel room, drunk, several weeks ago. As this story gets deeper, in turns out that that hotel room stop was as random as was initially believed. Heyman was clued in by Lance Storm. Heyman quickly told Slaughter who passed the word along to Anderson who marched over to Monte Carlo Hotel from the WOW offices banging on Morton’s door.

Apparently the original idea was to present an old-school type of cleaner wrestling promotion. However with pressure from HBO to deliver a more cutting edge and modern day product, Bob Remus (Slaughter) enlisted the consultation of Paul Heyman, and Antonio Inoki to help build a more current program. Unlike Anderson, Slaughter was familiar with Paul Heyman’s new entity of ECW, from whence many of his signings came from. I’m not sure how Inoki factored into the hiring process other than, when Mutoh was contacted, so was he. Tito Santana, who also has a lot of booking input ran the AWF, last year – a very clean product. With the rising style of ECW it’s clear that that ‘cleaner’ style was also a contributing factor to the demise of the AWF.

The complete card for the WOW Holiday Show on 28th December was released just a few days ago. It’s going to be Great Muta vs. The Sandman on top for the WOW Heavyweight Title. Cole made a mistake on the last TV show and said that there would be a Battle Royal held to determine who will get a title shot at the Holiday show on 14th Dec. Well, that’s wrong because, Sandman’s team won that WOW CAGE GAMES match entitling Mr. Sandman to a title shot at the holiday show. Anyway, unsure of what the winner of the Battle Royal gets, but Cole messed that one up, and Anderson was the first to let him know. Also on the card will be two semi final Tag Team matches for the Tag Team belts, in MASS DESTRUCTION (Doink & Abdullah The Butcher) vs. The Hardy Brothers and The Legion Of Doom vs. Bad Breed. I suppose, then, this now gives away that The Hardy’s or LOD would defeat the Belmonts in the quarter finals, as well as Bad Breed defeating Demolition on the 21st Dec show. Or at least a combination leading to LOD, Bad Breed, The Hardy’s and MASS DESTRUCTION (of the Psycho Circus) in the semis. Raven is advertised against The Ultimate Warrior in a ‘revenge’ match for Warrior not showing up to his tag match last week on Sunday Night. However, on the 21st Dec show, “Scotty The Body” is advertised, as well as “Scotty The Body” being advertised for doing commentary on the 28th Dec Holiday Show. So, it’ll be interesting to see what they do, here. Rick Rude & Kurg The Mighty is paired against Demolition w/ Commissioner Slaughter at ringside. Looks like Slaughter and Rude are having a feud that they could’ve had in the ring years ago; But on the mics this time around. The stuff between these two have, so far, been great. Rude’s character is strong in that it’s his same heel character that made him in the 80s and early 90s, yet without the flexing that he really can’t do, anymore. I doubt Rude, with his bad back, will do much in the ring, though, making this a showcase for Kurg The Mighty. Kurt Angle faces The Rock N Roll Superstar, who, from I understand will be Robert Gibson under a mask. Lastly, “Owner” Ricky Steamboat will make an ‘important announcement, that he’s the real father of Missy Hyatt’s child, and not Rick Rude. Ok, well, I made that last part up. But he will make some sort of announcement.

The situation with Kurt Angle grows interesting. Anderson and Slaughter, disappointed with Angle’s debut, through no fault of Angle, didn’t know what to do with him. Heyman suggested that he be paired with Ken Shamrock, but Anderson was against it, feeling that two unknowns would never get over as a tag team, just because they wrestle a similar style. Slaughter also disagreed with the pairing, feeling that it would hurt Shamrock, considering he had the stronger debut of the two. A couple of days before the last taping, Heyman convinced the two to go with the team, leading to Cole making the announcement, last week on Sunday Night. However, after the card, Anderson nixed the idea again, saying that it’s a stupid idea to put two unknowns together, and he didn’t want to “Fuck up a 3 million dollar investment”. Slaughter, of course, backed him up again and took the idea out of the book. Angle is apparently going to be repackaged for his second match, and is expected to have one of those extravagant entrances as was seen during the last show. The long term plan, however will include Shamrock & Angle in some sort of program together, most likely facing each other. Shamrock is slated to be on Perry Saturn’s interview segment on the WOW Holiday Show.

In other WOW news…Wayne Ferris has been brought in for announcing duties. It appears that the line up is Michael Cole & Lanny Poffo for TV shows, Cole and Heyman for the first half of special cards and Cole and Scotty The Body for the second half. This means that it’ll be Don West on voiceovers, & Missy Hyatt, Ken Resnick, Alfred Hayes, and Wayne Ferris on interview segments…Ricky Morton, in the doghouse due to drinking problems was sent home by Ole Anderson at last week’s TV taping. Anderson told Morton, “Not to come back until he cleans himself up”. Robert Gibson, now stranded, will further serve up Morton’s punishment by wrestling under a mask as ‘The Rock N Roll Superstar’…The Hardys came out looking strong with the beating that they took from Captain Lou’s & Mr. Fuji’s Psycho Circus last week on TV. I hear that this is the first step in introducing ‘high flying’ wrestling to the WOW audience…Bill Dundee, who signed as a trainer for WOW, was quickly let go for showing up to training camp 2 hours late. Bob Armstrong, Terry Taylor, and Ronnie Garvin, also on the training task, began without him and asked him to leave once he arrived…Ole Anderson hurt himself legit, last week, when was involved in the 8 man tag. Jimmy Snuka pulled him from the cage too quickly, and he landed on his ankle wrong. It’s going to take him about a month to fully recover. If he continues to come out on TV, he will most likely be with the aid of a crutch....I’m told that the same people who directed the WOW adverts with Sgt. Slaughter are working on new WOW adverts with, Antonio Inoki, Sandman featuring Budweiser, and Raven/Scotty The Body….Sgt. Slaughter appears on David Letterman on Christmas eve. ..Bill Goldberg was approached by WOW, but the amount of money he was asking for rivaled that that Warrior had in mind. The general feeling amongst the wrestlers is that they don’t want him in, anyway, though he could give WOW that extra star power push that could get them some P.R.

WWF: Raw opened up with one of the longest DX segments since it’s beginning which saw Shawn Michael, Hunter Hearst and Chyna attack ‘a fan’, who was identified as indie worker, Michael Lockwood (Crash Holly), who wrestles as ‘The Leprechaun’ in All Pro Wrestling…

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Wow! A reason to come back here daily. JAVERT IS BACK!!! (JR's Voice) HELLFIRE AND BRIMSTONE!

Really, good stuff so far. Kids, here is the man who MADE the dairy dome. His style is the standard by which other diaries are judged. And you still got it Jav!

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I'm really enjoying this diary, it's different from most other things in the dome and uses a great incorporation of old school workers and modern day styles. I especially like the idea of a Funk led NWA faction taking on Heyman's extreme faction as that could turn out to be gold. I also like the different collections of workers you use, from Sandman to Steele and from Cole to West, some of the workers you use are not really used all the often in other diaries, people like Demolition and Slaughter etc and that only makes the diary better.

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Guest Makegamesnotwar

Let's get this started. I'm just a tinch behind, on your sixth post, Javert. However, I'm listening to the Complete Symphonic Recording of Les Miserables so it's perfect for reading a Javert(I have now learned how to pronounce that, the T is silent.) Just went and spent 20$ spontaneously on Itunes to get it and it kicks major boo-tay. I'm right after the "Building The Barricade" song. So let's hit it with my shows... er... comments.

Sixth Post-

With many an unanswered question from where I left off and frankly some laziness in not commenting.

Les Miserables- "Die a policeman, die a boy, die a spy" or at least that's what I heard. It's hard to do both of these at the same time. Ok, it's Nov 23rd, 1997 in WOW time. I like that you note how many fans are paid. Oh, great, Adam Clark. Not liking that but he's teamed with the awesomeness of "who betta than" Kanyon. Hopefully Raven's mystery partner is something cool, an ECW alumni. 'Leaping' Lanny Poffo! How can you not love him- his name is Poffo! More laughter with Cole. Never seen AWF but I'll seek it out to contrast and compare. Maybe another essay on that.

Okay, good to know the ratings are doing well.

I'm already psyched for WOW In Las Vegas. Hey- Planet Saturn. Awesome. I'm digging Planet Saturn. Mr.Sandman with the ECW hat- just begging to get a reprimand from the suits. Heh. Pluto and Saturn. Great stuff. Mr. Sandman bar fighting. When David Wells does it... China- Taiwan- the Middle East- The Far East! Muta is all over the place. He's cool like that. Lord Aflred Hayes as interviewer- that's an okay use of him.

Charlie Haas- good to see he's given a chance. Oh, a "pure squash." Great. Well, at least he's wrestling. It's also fun to imagine Dr Death having his way with a green kid, dropping him on his neck. More inside jokes- seems to be a trend. Good to- wait- who's Bobby Doncum? Lanny Poffo has less credibility than Tony Shiavonie(I just can't spell that guys name right) did after WCW! Well, Rhino gets the win, even if it's by DQ. Yeah, Duncum as a 'Cowboy' bad ass- none of those words fit except bad. Oh- 79 match, he must be worth some thing.

The Uzbekistan Giant Kurg The Mighty? What the... OK. Calm down, breathe. It's Javert. He'll do something cool with it- he made the Mountie and Max Moon cool. Whew. Ok- hey Missy Hyatt nice to see her. You have Rude down pat in how he acts. Oh- Kurgan, at least it's not The Great Khali, Kurgan had at least some inkling of talent. Ooh- Cole made a funny! Yeah, guys like that get a great response- until they wrestle. Stable Wars looks pretty fun. Love the picture of Kurgan- say "ah!"

Little thing from before- Garvin shills the replay- his excuse is also classic.

Mr. Sandman vs Tully Blanchard- just waiting for Sandman to cane the living excrement out of Garvin. Nice touch with the time actually meaning something. Pretty well done match, as usual with just the right length. Ok, just confirmed Garvin is NWAA. Thought so. Hit him too! Darn, Sandman didn't do it. Well, there's always something. And you cut away just when he's about to cane him! Low, real low. But we love you anyway.

Les Miserables- Gabvrobe is going to die within the next two minutes. Dang. Sad stuff.Dang, I like Gavrobe.First time I've ever- oh Gavrobe! Oh my god! "When little people fight" indeed. How sad. Give me a second. "When the pup grows..." This is some sad, but great stuff. First time I've ever actually experienced Les Miserables.

8 man tag match will be fun.

7th post-

Nov 30rd 1997 game time. And Lanny Poffo is still here. The faceless Don West- isn't that the best way to experience Don West? Not exactly a pretty man. Er... handsome. Aw, pre-empted. What a jiff. HBO! Oh, it's actually better for WOW, anger subsiding.

Les Miserables- still haven't gotten over poor Gavrobe. Hey- Kurt Angle and Shamrock- that's a good tag team. Maybe they'll be like Benoit-Angle and be antagonistic to each other and wrestle- that would be cool. 1.85- that's great.

LOD- they're a bit old but I know having a solid tag division is a staple of your diaries so I let it slide and plus the Lawler boy is here, even if he's stuck with Brian Lee. Hah- Poffo. Poffo + Cole= awesome. Not sure if the best thing was for the older LOD to get the win but... whatever. Lou Albono- a great example for everyone. You too can lose weight with the Captain's patented weight loss secrets- I can see the infomercial now. Tooty fruity- good stuff. Kiss' Psycho Circus- hopefully no Kiss Demon. Please let the Kiss Demon stay dead. Hey- Mr. Fuji! Fuji Vice, baby. And before you can say Ken Resnick... A bit to short as you had the opportunity for Albano and Fuji to really cut a great promo.

That Raven interview is way too short. Maybe give him 24.601 minutes? Hey- Jeff and Matt Hardy- nice to see them here. George 'The Animal' Steele- cool. Not a good wrestler but cool. EVIL DOINK! HOLY DOINK! That...is...so...AWESOME! Abdullah the Butcher too! Best Stable Ever. And he even gets to use the fork. Psycho Circus is so awesome.

Les Miserables- Javert has a great song right now- "As I stare into a void..."

Welcome to the show, indeed.

Les Miserables- Javert just killed himself. Dang, that's a good character arc. Classic plotting, just built up to the point throughout the whole thing.

Not sure about the Belmonts, even with a man named Kanyon.

Oh, that 6 man looks awesome. I actually got the Minnesota Wrecking Crew reference. Being a decidedly new school fan I'm surprised by myself. Kryptonite Tommy Dreamer- that should be his nickname. Or Tommy Dreamer On Speed. Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson- pretty nice. Snuka and a cage- we have to have a Snuka splash. Rather cool match rules also. "Don't be jealous just because I'm a Limerick Legend" More Poffo!

VERY well written match. Heh- shades of Pistons with the guy throwing soda. Would have been much more interesting if Ken Shamrock shot on the guy. Sandman is so awesome here, just caning everybody. Cage Games lived up to my expectations and more- bravo!

Les Miserables- Valjean's Confession. I was thinking about doing the rest but I just want to listen to the ending of Les Miserables. Just finished spell checking this- Les Miserable is The Wedding Chorale, with the beggars. Javert- definitely worth 20 bucks.

EDIT: Just finished Les Miserables. Totally worth 20 bucks.

Edited by Makegamesnotwar
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