HOUR ONE Hosted By: Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler.
- Vince McMahon announces to the crowd that Brian Pillman has died, and
that all the wrestlers in the WWF have agreed to stand side by side in
honoring his memory. Pillman's picture is displayed on the Titan-Tron as
most all the current WWF wrestlers and officials stand on the stage
beneath the screen at the top of the ramp. The ring bell tolls ten times.
For one brief moment the WWF's good guys stopped being good guys, the bad
guys stopped being bad guys, and the officials stopped being officials.
They instead stood shoulder to shoulder as friends, family and co-workers
honoring his memory, stepping completely out of character to openly
display their emotions over his loss. It was a powerful moment, and a
fitting tribute to a man who should be remembered as so much more than a
"Loose Cannon". This was a tribute to a man who had friends who cared and
a wife and five children who loved him.
Before I continue with the rest of this Recap, I've got to take this
opportunity to address a few individuals (who I won't name) who have
attracted my attention over the last day on the wrestling newsgroup
(r.s.p-w) and a few of the wrestling websites. This may not be the best
time for it, but it's certainly the best place for it:
SHAME on you clueless idiots who rushed to post saying Pillman's death
was all a "work", and was being done to boost "Badd Blood"'s buyrate and
the TV ratings. Hoping that the man is alive is one thing. Skepticism is
another. What you few did was neither: it was plain ignorance, and in the
process you squashed on the legitimate emotions of those who had posted
their thoughts of shock in dismay. You had no right to trample on the
feelings of these people by declaring that their genuine, heartfelt
emotions were misplaced because this was "obviously an angle". Even had
it somehow turned out that you were right, this did not justify your
trampling on these people's legitimate emotions.
SHAME on these same people who now try to defend their actions by
declaring "at least I was hoping he was still alive", or try to divert
attention by accusing those people of somehow being "happy" now that it's
proven that Pillman is dead. The simple fact is that you thought you were
a "smart" and wanted to show off that knowledge by being among the first
to "see through the ruse" and declare it all a "work". You were wrong,
and have no one to blame but yourselves for public sentiment to backfire
against you. You can call them "marks" all you want, but at least they
weren't the ones being ugly about it.
SHAME on those who have jumped to the conclusion that Pillman was a drug
addict, died of a "cocaine overdose", killed himself, and so on. There is
at least one prominent poster to the group who has declared that it's
"obvious" Pillman died due to cocaine abuse. At least one newsletter
stated that heroin may have been involved (while another was more
judicious in quoting a Hart family friend in saying they feared heroin
may be involved). When confronted by the fact that the police apparently
found no such drugs, the above mentioned poster stood by his assertion,
saying that there may have been sufficient time for Pillman to hide the
drugs before he died. (What, did he put them under a rock in the parking
lot-just on the off chance that he might die before he woke up?!) In
the race to have the "right answer" as to his death and to condemn him,
some have latched onto the wildest rumors and magnified the smallest
details until rumor has become truth and fiction has become fact.
I won't even get into the Goldust theory.
For those who have remained sensible and level-headed about the whole
affair, here's where things stand right now: the autopsy was performed on
Monday and the results were inconclusive. However, it may have turned up
the fact that Pillman had a damaged heart. Pillman's wife has said that
there is a history of heart problems in Brian's family. The authorities
found-in Pillman's room-some empty prescription containers, as well as
empty alcohol container(s). What affect these, or a combination of the
two, had on him and his heart is at this time uncertain. Tests which
should tell what drugs he had in his system and how much of them will be
back next week. At this time nothing can be assumed, but all reasonable
evidence thus far suggests that Pillman died of heart failure, possibly
brought on by either an accidental overdose of pain pills, the mixing of
pain pills and alcohol, or both. Yes, I am aware of his past, but that
doesn't support needless speculation that isn't supported by the facts
I also have some comments about the WWF's handling of his death, which I
will address in later portions of the Recap.
- Shawn, Hunter and Chyna come to the ring for an interview conducted by
Michael Cole. Shawn gives him the official "Kliq" hello by having Chyna
give him a wedgie. Shawn then brags about how he beat the Undertaker,
then asks for footage containing highlights of his victory to be played.
After a lengthy delay (during which Shawn rags on McMahon) the tape
finally plays ... only instead of it being "Badd Blood" footage, it's
handheld camera footage from Madison Square Garden. May 19th. Last Year.
The "MSG Incident" in which Hunter Hearst Helmsley broke "kayfabe" by
coming to the ring to celebrate with his "Clique" friends Shawn, Nash,
and Hall. This is what supposedly lead to Hunter being "de-pushed" for
the better part of a year (because the action directly defied McMahon's
orders). Shawn and Hunter make goofy faces and sputter about "how can
that be ... you were a 'good guy' ... I was a 'bad guy' ... how could we
be friends?" When the picture is cut Shawn begins to lay in on McMahon
about how he and his friends "ruined" McMahon's big moment of selling out
the Garden for the first time. This goes on for a bit until McMahon says
"we've heard enough of this crap" and they clumsily cut to a commercial.
Once back Hunter is just about to gripe about how he's been held back
when the Hart Foundation music starts. Shawn and Hunter start "ooh"-ing
about how McMahon needs Hart to come out and save him.
Bret says this is typical of America's heroes, then breaks form and says
the "H" in "HBK" stands for "homo". He also calls Hunter a "homo". "I'm
no homo!" says Hunter. Bret says Shawn and the "two guys with him"
(meaning Hunter and Chyna) are all degenerates. Bret says he makes more
money than all of them combined. He also says he ran Shawn's pals Diesel
and Razor out of the WWF. He says he'll take out Shawn's "Kliq", and will
start with Hunter later tonight, challenging him to a match.
Shawn responds by saying Bret works harder to earn his money, as Shawn
wrestles much less and is always in the main event. Shawn says until Bret
gets in the main event he's a "paper champion", and that the only way
Bret is in the Survivor Series main event is because he's wrestling HBK.
Shawn also tells Bret not to confuse "destruction" with "expansion",
indicating that Diesel and Razor left so that they could continue the
"Clique" elsewhere. Shawn says he and the "Kliq" (or "Clique"-even I'm
confused now) dominate the business of professional wrestling. In other
words, the NWO is just an extension of Shawn's "Clique", and that they
combined run wrestling. (Rick Rude was at ringside, and the allegation is
that it was he who forced the production people to play the MSG tape).
- The next installment of Sable's Lazer Tag adventure is shown.
- They show still of the Godwinns beating the Head Bangers for the titles.
- THE GODWINNS (w/ Uncle Cletus) vs. THE HEAD BANGERS
This is a "Lumberjack Match", with dozen or so of the other wrestlers
surrounding the ring. Lawler tries to goad McMahon into addressing some
of Shawn's comments. Vince declines. Lawler then says Vince should start
firing some guys. Ross quips that's already happened to him.
Not much of a match. After the lumberjacks get a couple of chances to
beat on both teams they all spill into the ring (much to the delight of
the crowd). Somewhere amidst all the chaos one of the Head Bangers pins
one of the Godwinns.
They show a live shot from the Pillman home in Walton, Kentucky, just
outside Cincinnati. (They also did this going in to a previous break).
McMahon will get a few comments from Brian's wife, Melanie, later in the
show. The various shots over the course of the show focused on old photos
and magazine covers of Pillman.
They also show Jim Cornette being prepped for a little "diatribe" he will
be delivering later in the show. Cornette tells someone off camera not to
have a heart attack when he gets to Eric Bischoff. (Maybe I'm just being
picky, but he could have used a better line than "heart attack", given,
well ... you know).
- Comments from Los Boricuas are played.
- MARC MERO (w/ Sable) vs. MIGUEL PEREZ
Mero's entrance music is a generic, pulsing rock number. His look is like
a boxer. His ring work is explosive, as he quickly takes out Perez with
his new finisher: a Fireman's Carry into a Diamond Cutter ... more or
- Jim Cornette rips into a few things that are making him "cranky" these
days. In brief:
* How some talent in this business is treated by the wrestling promotions
and the fans. Prominently mentioned are Arn Anderson, Ric Flair and
Mankind/Cactus Jack/Dude Love. These guys are ignored in favor of ...
* The NWO. Jim calls them "childish and obnoxious". They have a "fixation
on trying to act macho".
* Kevin Nash: "40 year old-trying to act like a teenager. The biggest
'no-talent' in the business. He's got six moves, no mobility, and
enough talent to cover up for some of it!" Jim says the WWF made him a
star then Nash lied about staying, then left for a big money contract
* Scott Hall: the WWF made him a star after he wrestled for ten years
"without putting three asses in a seat".
* Syxx: "Syxx, 1-2-3 Kid-his names Shawn Waltman, whatever you want to
call him. As far as I'm concerned the only reason he's employed is
because the other guys think he's funny when he gets drunk and throws
up on himself!" Waltman is the only guy since the "wrestling war"
started who was actually released from a contract to get rid of him.
* Jim says the only reason these guys are in the spot they are is because
Eric Bischoff-who Jim points out is the boss of WCW, not the NWO ("look
at the credits of their pay-per-views, if you can get one for free")-
uses a "billionaire's money" to hire guys who he thinks is macho, so
that he can hang around them, hoping some of it will rub off on him.
Jim calls Eric a "mark".
Cornette says it's time for the fans to stand up and start applauding
guys (like Arn, Flair and Mankind) who work hard-not those who get where
they are by sucking up to the boss.
WCW's response? As expected Bischoff has already tried to save face in a
Prodigy chat session. He makes the ridiculous claim that this rant
somehow served as advertising for WCW. (Oh yeah, like someone heard
Cornette and thought "NWO ... maybe I better check these guys out."
*click!*) Bischoff also attacked Jim's business acumen, insinuating that
he was responsible for all that money WCW lost several years ago. Many of
WCW's fans have tried to rebut this rant by saying similar things. What
they all ignore is the fact that dumping on Cornette doesn't disprove
anything he said! Bischoff says Cornette is jealous. Maybe he is, but
does that mean Kevin Nash is suddenly a talented wrestler? Hell no!
WCW and it's fans can fume about what Cornette said all they want. They
can also trash Cornette all they want. Neither detract from the fact that
pretty much everything Cornette said was right on the mark. Killing the
messenger doesn't kill the message.
This was apparently taped last Friday so McMahon could review it. A lot
of WWF critics have griped that it was nothing new: that it was the same
stuff he said a few weeks ago on "Byte This" on the WWF's website. My
only response to this is "big deal!" So now it was heard by a few million
instead of the few hundred that heard it on the Internet. Just because
YOU heard it before doesn't mean everyone else did.
- THE BRITISH BULLDOG (w/ the Hart Foundation) vs. ROCKY MAIVA (w/ the NOD)
An okay match, but I couldn't care less. Man, did the crowd hate Rocky.
The Bulldog wins following a powerslam. As the Harts celebrated Faarooq
starts whipping on them with a leather belt. The other Nation of
Domination members come in and it's a four-on-four brawl until the
referees can break it up. Obviously the various "factions" in the WWF
can't get along ... which works out great for Survivor Series: "Gang
HOUR TWO Hosted By: Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler.
- Recap of the first hour. After a shot of the live crowd they show more
stills from Sunday's "Badd Blood".
- Everybody ready? Grab hold a something ...
"Stone Cold" comes to the ring. Just to blast through this, we saw the
usual witty repartee between Austin and McMahon. Austin refused to tell
McMahon why he helped Owen win the Intercontinental Title. When asked
about a doctor's release he said he didn't have one because he hadn't
seen any doctor. He goes on to say that he'd be a fool to not sign the
WWF's injury waiver and get himself fired. Austin says he'll sign, but
that he'd need a document from the WWF first: one that assured him of a
title match with Owen Hart. McMahon immediately agreed and offered his
hand, but Austin said to put it in his pocket or he'd shove it up his
ass. Faarooq then appeared on the Titan-Tron and chewed out Austin for
interfering in Nation business. Austin responded by telling him to "shut
up!" On his way out of the ring area he went over and pestered Jerry
Lawler, took his crown and booted it into the crowd.
Comments from Road Warrior Hawk on the way to commercial.
- OWEN HART vs. ROAD WARRIOR HAWK
Owen gets on the mic and brags how he beat Faarooq without any help.
This match was like watching two guys play a wrestling video game.
*Punch*, *kick*, *bodyslam* ... *punch*, *kick*, *suplex*, etc. It wasn't
bad, it was just so formulaic that one could almost imagine a guy in each
corner hitting the buttons. Anyway, the match only goes a few minute when
the Godwinns come out and interfere, hitting Hawk once with the slop
bucket, then nailing him with a horseshoe. Owen gets the pin. Animal came
out to help, but there were still enough Godwinns to fight him off,
distract the ref AND hit Hawk with the horseshoe.
- Vince McMahon interviews Melanie Pillman. McMahon was sitting somewhere
quiet in front of a gray backdrop. Melanie was in the livingroom-the same
ring seen before during the Austin/Pillman gun incident. I really don't
want to dwell too much on this: suffice it to say this was painful to
watch. Melanie said all she knew was that he had died in his sleep from a
heart attack. From there it really dragged on, with Vince and Melanie
trying to pass along the message that athletes have to be careful when
using prescription medicine. It's a good message, but way to soon to
expect the deceased's widow to deliver it. The real point of the
interview was to make sure the fans knew that Pillman was more than the
character he played in the WWF. Him being a good father was stressed more
than once. I think it was just too soon to go ahead with an interview
like this. To put it bluntly, I think the WWF didn't want a repeat of the
Adrian Adonis situation.
They then ran a video tribute. Jim Ross does the voice-over and does a
great job of painting a positive image of Pillman. The only problem was
that they were limited to the use of WWF footage, meaning the great
commentary was accompanied by lengthy footage of the "Loose Cannon". This
was one of those moments where you wished things could be different and
the WWF and WCW could have gotten together to pool some footage.
- When they return from the break Jerry Lawler drops out of character and
comments on how much Pillman will be missed. This moment was as moving
as anything else during the show.
- THE HARDY BOYS vs. THE TRUTH COMMISSION
Suddenly Nancy Drew runs in! No, wait ... suddenly the light go out and
Kane and Paul Bearer come out. Kane chokeslams both Hardys, throws Matt
out of the ring, then throws Jeff out on top of him.
Paul Bearer then gets on the mic and dumps on the fans for not believing
him. Bearer says Kane is missing an eye, which the camera tries to show.
- TRIPLE H (w/ Chyna) vs. BRET "HITMAN" HART
Helmsley is billed as just "Hunter" on the screen, but wants to be called
"Triple H". Ross says Hart will have to battle Michaels to prove who is
the most dominant force in the WWF. Lawler again tries to goad Vince into
talking about Shawn's earlier comments. Vince says, about WCW, that they
probably wouldn't exist without the WWF. Shawn comes to the ring about
halfway through the match, making the chopping motion towards his groin
and mouthing "suck it!" Once at ringside he stuck the end of Bret's
Canadian flag up his nose.
The match itself wasn't all that great, but the finish was pretty wild.
Hart, after a back-and-forth struggle, manages to take control. He slaps
Hunter in the Sharpshooter, but Chyna pushes the rope inward far enough
for Hunter to grab it, breaking the hold. Bret then drops to the floor
and sets Hunter up for the Figure Four around the post. Chyna comes over
and SLUGS him in the face! Bret grabs Chyna and considers socking her,
but instead winds up receiving a Superkick in the head from Michaels. A
ten count later and Hunter has gotten a countout victory over the World
Heavyweight Champion. The other Hart Foundation members (having come to
the ring about halfway through the match) tend to Bret. Rick Rude showed
up as well just at the end.
In one of those moments that really make you wonder, Shawn reaches around
and GRABS HUNTER ON THE ASS! Sure, he hoists him up in a sign of victory,
but this was a bit after the initial grab. Shawn's hand was halfway up
his arse for God's sake! Even I'm beginning to wonder ...
- Next week: Nothing really announced.
A really hot show from top to bottom, but nothing much in the way of great
in-ring action. I've never heard so many pseudo-shoot comments in my life.
Almost the whole show seemed to be presented solely for the more "clued in"