|Wednesday, February 17, 1999||
Volume 64, Issue 95
UH pulls out miracle in Austin: 12-9 in 12 innings
top ten stars, bad gimmicks and all
The Wrestling Report
It finally happened. The WWF put on its best pay-per-view since Summerslam with its St. Valentine's Day Massacre. It only took six months.
The PPVs haven't been bad, but until Sunday, the WWF had taken to using WCW's endings, basically making fans say "What?"
The evening didn't look promising, especially with Bossman taking on Midion. The Hardcore title match between Bob "Sparky Plug" Holly and Al Snow, though well-paced, was marred by Holly's win. You could give him the world title, and I still wouldn't care.
Then came the Val Venis vs. Ken Shamrock match for the I-C belt. The wrestler who thinks he's a porn star won the title in this wrestling clinic. This was followed by the team of Kane/Chyna beating HHH/X-Pac in a bout that had Chyna showing Sable what taking bumps is all about.
It's too bad she doesn't want anything to do with the Women's division. Then again, neither does Sable....
Mankind held on to the belt (at least for one more night) in the world title match against The Rock. The Rock gave an impromptu Elvis impersonation while in the act of "laying the smack down" on Mankind, changing "Heartbreak Hotel" to "Smackdown Hotel".
Both guys were laid out after giving each other chair shots in the Last Man Standing match. Since neither could stand up before the "10 count," the Mick came away still champion, until The Rock won the ladder match on RAW the following night.
The cage match to decide the No. 1 contender for the world title bout at Wrestlemania XV had Steve Austin defeating Vince McMahon after interference from newly acquired Paul Wight. Vince got his ass kicked up and down the arena before the bell sounded. Serving as a demonstration of "the sell-factor" (see last week), McMahon took a 15-foot bump from the top of the cage that probably made Mankind smile.
Eric Bischoff will <I>never<P> take a bump like that. Hell, most of WCW's roster won't do it either. WCW marks: Are the Turner boys still better?
<B>Wrestling's Top 10<P>
This week's feature is a spotlight on the top 10 wrestlers (bad gimmicks and all) in the "Big Two" federations. (Extreme Championship Wrestling isn't included since we don't get them locally.)
<I>No. 10 Goldberg<P> -- The former world champion has turned into a decent wrestler. There's talk that he may join the Four Horsemen after Mongo is forced out. This would make a lot more sense if Goldberg's name was Bret Hart and he was about as "over" as Barry Horowitz.
<I>No. 9 The Undertaker<P> -- Oh, though the dead man walks in the deepest caverns of space and time, speaking in tongues, using dark and mysterious words that we know not of, nor why they are being uttered in such a strange and deadly monotonous tone, which serve to work their dizzying spell, forcing us all to cower beneath his mighty goatee....
<I>No. 8 Diamond Dallas Page<P> -- Bang! Have you ever been watching <I>Nitro<P> when DDP comes out really "jacked up" and thinks his interviews would be a lot better if he had a mute wrestler gimmick? He's popular with fans for the same reason Hulk Hogan was in the '80s. Just when you think he's beaten, out comes his Diamond Cutter. Wow, how thrilling.
<I>No. 7 Hunter Hearst Helmsley<P> -- HHH was placed in the spotlight when Shawn Michaels' back injury kept him from his active role in Degeneration X. His ladder match with The Rock at Summerslam, in which he won the I-C belt, seemed to cement his superstar status. Then, a knee injury kept him off main events. HHH has the skills and charisma to be the next big star after The Rock.
<I>No. 6 Ric Flair<P> -- Whoo! The 13-time former world champion got his ass kicked on <I>Nitro<P>. If this isn't leading to a 14th title reign, there is no justice in this world.
<I>No. 5 The Rock<P> -- The WWF's version of Ric Flair broke the color barrier at Survivor Series, becoming the federation's first African-American world champion. After a series of matches against Mankind, the big feud with Steve Austin can finally begin. Now if he would just change his damn entrance theme...
<I>No. 4 Kevin Nash<P> -- Nash, as head booker, had to come up with an angle in which Hogan got the title back, meaning he had to lay down for "Mr. Nanny." The Wolfpac was a lot cooler before it let the senior citizens and jabronies in.
<I>No. 3 Hulk Hogan<P> -- I'm sick of this bald, steroid injecting, retirement home escapee. Die already. Wait... that's a little harsh. Oh, that's right. I meant it.
<I>No. 2 Mankind<P> -- WCW had the nerve to make fun of Mick Foley's title reign after it had a man drop its belt at the touch of a finger. Foley is a legend, because he does what Hogan, Nash, Hall and most of "Dubuh-Ya-See-Dubuh-Ya" won't do. He sells.
<I>No. 1 Steve Austin<P> -- Austin could be wrestling the Pope and fans would still cheer for him. The fact that he's a Texan has nothing to do with his appeal. Really.
<I>Notables not on the list<P> -- Bret Hart, the most sought after talent 15 months ago, is now thought so little of that he was told to job to Booker T. in a series of matches. He refused, since a Hogan/Hart match is scheduled for Halloween Havoc, and he didn't want to go into that with a string of losses.
He was then forced to drop his U.S. belt to Roddy Piper, a man badly in need of a second artificial hip. WCW still doesn't know what to do with him.
Sting. Uhh ... Where the hell is he?
<B>Flair's last dance<P>
WCW will try to put on a good PPV with Super Brawl IX (Sunday, 7 p.m.).
Matches include Hogan vs. Flair for the world title, Scott Hall vs. Roddy Piper for the U.S. belt, Goldberg vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, DDP vs. Scott Steiner, Lex Luger/Nash vs. Rey Misterio/Konnan and the finals for the tag team title tournament, likely to pit Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko against Curt Hennig/Barry Windham.
It's been rumored that Flair's going to win the title. Hogan, however,
doesn't want to drop a belt he worked so hard to get. Surprise.
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