I’ve spent the past two years reviewing some of the best wrestling matches of all time for this site and I’ve enjoyed myself while doing so. I love (re)watching classic wrestling matches and sharing them with you, the dear readers of TJRWrestling. But for this review, I want to do something different. I want to go in the opposite direction and review something in wrestling that was bad. Not just bad, but historically bad. Heroes of Wrestling is widely regarded as the single-worst wrestling PPV in history.
It was so bad that it spawned special ratings for some of the matches it presented. One match on this show was officially rated MINUS FIVE STARS by the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer, the first-ever match to receive such an abysmal rating. But Meltzer’s unofficial rating for it was ‘absolute zero’, which in scientific terms translates as -237.15 (Celsius) or -459.67 (Fahrenheit). And Bryan Alvarez of Figure-4 Weekly, before he merged his publication with Meltzer’s, rated that same match as ‘minus-more-stars-than-there-are-in-the-universe-and-the-universe-is-infinite’.
They weren’t the only ones to lambast this event. Snippets of this show have been immortalized as memes, parodies and as parts of Botchamania. So clearly this is seen as an abject failure of a wrestling show.
Now, over twenty years later, we look back at this historically-dreadful show to see just how awful it really was. Did it really deserve such scathing reviews from pro-wrestling’s most (in)famous journalist, or was his lambasting of this show nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to what was put on display for him and the rest of the world?
Heroes of Wrestling
October 10th, 1999
Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
Attendance: 2,300 (yeah, ok)
Pre-show notes: There was a last-minute change for the commentary team that ended up making this show even worse. Gordon Solie, a legendary and respected wrestling commentator, was originally supposed to call this show. But he canceled at the last minute because he was diagnosed with throat cancer. The people behind this show panicked and put some random guy named Randy Rosenbloom on commentary instead. Rosenbloom had absolutely zero knowledge of pro-wrestling so Dutch Mantel had to basically call this whole show by himself. Rosenbloom will show you exactly why he didn’t belong in this spot.
Anyways, there’s a pre-show video with King Kong Bundy cutting a promo but he gets interrupted by an almost-spherical Yokozuna and they have a quick pull-apart confrontation. I guess that’s supposed to excite the viewer for the main show.
The actual show opens with a brief in memoriam for Gorilla Monsoon, and then the opening video compares the impact of this show with the impact of Hurricane Camille, which almost destroyed the city completely. I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere that makes for an appropriate harbinger for what’s to come.
Match #1: Marty Jannetty & Tommy Rogers vs. The Samoan Swat Team (Samu & The Samoan Savage [Tama/The Tonga Kid])
The announcer introduces the Samoans but the visual shows what are clearly NOT Samoans. Sika accompanies the Samoans to the ring, as does some scrawny manager named Paul Adams who cuts a really bad promo about him talking to himself and his ‘self’ answering his questions. He drones on about mocking the local crowd but there’s no confidence in his voice. Jannetty and Rogers make their way down as the exact same music that played for the Samoans plays for them.
The bell rings and Samu poses for the fans for the umpteenth time and then Jannetty does the same. Samu powers him into the corner but eventually, Jannetty fights out and lands an arm drag. A dropkick (or as Rosenbloom calls it, ‘a flying leg kick’) sends both Samu and Tama out of the ring. Tama tags in and there is LOTS of stalling and playing to the crowd. Tama goes to hit Jannetty but hits Samu instead. Jannetty lands a ‘reverse slam takedown’, a.k.a. an arm drag, and tags Rogers. In comes Samu who offers a handshake, but Rogers sees through it, catches Samu’s leg and lands a low blow behind the referee’s back. Despite being, you know, the babyface. He tags Jannetty and they double team both Samoans. Samu fights out of a chinlock and whips Jannetty, but Jannetty lands a crossbody for two. After talking at ringside, the Samoans return and Jannetty gets kicked against the ropes and Samu goes low. Jannetty gets launched into the corner and then double-teamed by the Samoans as the ref gets distracted with Rogers. Samu hits Jannetty in the back with a chair. Some senseless ringside brawling ensues and Jannetty gets tossed back into the ring, only to avoid a big corner splash from Samu. Rogers gets a hot tag and dropkicks Samu. The Samoans overpower him by double-head-butting him. Rogers ducks a double clothesline and lands double DDTs. Jannetty lands double bulldogs. Samu gets dropkicked out of the ring and Jannetty flies onto him with a plancha. In the ring, Tama regains control and lands a TKO. The ref counts to three very fast. The match ends after ten minutes.
Winners: The Samoan Swat Team (Samu & The Samoan Savage [Tama/The Tonga Kid])
Analysis: *1/2 Technically this was an okay match but it was hampered by an incredibly slow pace and dreadful commentary. Rosenbloom was an utter atrocity on commentary. He wasn’t even bad in a funny way like Art Donovan from WWE King of the Ring 1994 or Dusty Rhodes on Botchamania. As for the action itself, it was okay but exactly what you’d expect from wrestler who hit their in-ring peak many years earlier. It was plodding, predictable, and uninspiring. And yet, this is actually one of the better matches on the show.
The camera cuts to and earlier shot of George ‘The Animal’ Steele as he enters the building alongside ‘Sensational’ Sherri. Both he and the camera keep focusing on her dress, which he then opens up and the two of them disappear into a side room. Then we pan to a backstage area and Sherri cuts a promo on how much of an animal Steele is. Then he makes a quick appearance ready to fight, but she has to lead him in the right direction.
Match #2: Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine vs. George’ The Animal’ Steele
Valentine enters to no music and then cuts a promo demanding a standing ovation. He brings up his now-retired father and his long feud with Steele and how he’ll finish it for his dad and then he’ll be leaving the arena with Sherri.
Analysis: Still a better promo than most people on RAW.
The bell rings and Valentine leaves the ring to stalk Sherri but she finds protection in Steele’s arms. Steele bites Valentine’s arm and goes to bite off a turnbuckle to barely any reaction as the ref tries to stop him. Nothing happens for a good thirty seconds until Valentine rushes Steele as Steele takes his shirt off. He stomps on Steele and then backs off as Sherri turns on Steele and chokes him from behind (which gets ZERO reaction). Slowly, the fans start reacting to Sherri as she attacks Steele when he can’t see. Valentine lands elbows to Steele’s head as Steele sits there helpless and apparently incapable of removing his own shirt. He eventually gets it off, headlocks Valentine and hits him with a foreign object. The ref tries to find it but Steele gives it to Sherri who hides it in her chest. They choke each other and Steele lands a low blow right in front of the ref and he does nothing. Steele goes to rip off a turnbuckle pad as Sherri hands Valentine Steele’s weapon. Valentine clubs Steele with it and hides it in his trunks. But Steele basically no-sells and fights back with slow punches. The match basically comes to a stop as Sherri argues with Dutch Mantel on commentary and Steele gets some mild chants behind him. Steele knocks Valentine down and the weapon falls to the mat beside him. Steele grabs it right in front of the referee and Valentine escapes to safety. Sherri ‘consoles’ Steele and then whacks him in the back of the head with a steel chair. Valentine pins Steele and gets the win after 6:37.
Winner: Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine
Post-match, Steele ‘goes nuts’ and tosses both Valentine and Sherri out of the ring.
Analysis: -** This is the kind of cringe-inducing stupidity that tends to appear on rushed episodes of RAW or in intentionally bad comedy skits. It was six minutes long but featured less than two minutes of actual action. Steele was at least halfway competent at portraying his gimmick correctly and Sherri knew how to be a heel manager at a time when managers were basically nonexistent. But that threadbare story was told through absolutely terrible action and completely illogical sequences. It was pretty damn obvious neither guy could do much, and the referee came across as completely amateurish. It was supremely disappointing, and that sense of disappointment would become a recurring theme as the show went on.
After some replays, the camera pans to the backstage area where some dude tries to interview Julio Fantastico but there are some audio issues at first. Fantastico ends up cutting a generic wrestling promo, but still shows a surprising amount of heart and commitment to what has been a pretty lackluster show thus far.
Match #3: Julio Fantastico vs. 2 Cold Scorpio
Once again, both guys enter to what might as well be the same entrance music. Scorpio also has a championship belt with him but there is no mention of what it is. Then out of nowhere, Captain Lou Albano joins the commentary team and he immediately inject some much-needed life into this show and starts correcting Rosenbloom for his horrid commentary thus far.
The wrestlers start off with a chain-grappling sequence, albeit a SLOW one. They hit some flashy moves and reversals here and there until a miscommunication occurs and Scorpio covers it up with a dropkick. Scorpio lands an armdrag and works Fantastico’s arm but Fantastico escapes, knocks Scorpio down and starts dancing. They do another sequence and Scorpio lands a spinkick, and a second kick knocks Fantastico out of the ring. Scorpio dives onto Fantastico, which gets a decent reaction.
In the ring, Scorpio whips Fantastico but he holds onto the ropes and sends Scorpio flying to the floor and then lands a Jericho-style triangle dropkick. Fantastico goes for a dive but then decides to skin the cat instead and then lands a running dive, only for Scorpio to barely catch him. Scorpio gets whipped into the barricade but ducks Fantastico and sends him flying into the crowd. They brawl deeper into the crowd but it’s impossible to follow the action because this show is being shot with potatoes.
Both guys return to the ring and Fantastico hits a low blow and a bridging pumphandle suplex for two, followed by an elbow drop for another two-count. They slide in and out of the ring, Scorpio trips Fantastico up and lands a slingshot splash for two. Scorpio slams him and goes to the top rope for his finisher. Fantastico pushes the ref into the ropes, but Scorpio clearly sees this and braces so that it does nothing. And yet, Scorpio still lands a diving RKO for his own two-count. Scorpio starts his comeback with a running kick that barely connects. Scoop slam. Scorpio goes to the top rope and lands a somersault leg drop. Then he goes for a second one. He dives off and misses Fantastico completely but Fantastico still sells it. Scorpio gets the pin and the win after 9:37.
Winner: 2 Cold Scorpio
Post-match, they show replays of Scorpio’s biggest spots and even show his completely missed finish in slow-motion. Great job.
Analysis: *3/4 The effort was there but this was just sloppy. They did some solid moves at first but most of the moves looked off. This came across as the opening match you’d see at an indy show but in slow-motion. Scorpio landed his finisher twice for who knows what reason and completely missed on the second, which was caught on camera and on the replay. Not even Albano’s over-the-top commentary could make this any better than what it was.
Speaking of Albano, they cut to the commentators and Rosenbloom announces that Albano has been named the Commissioner of Heroes of Wrestling. Albano sells this like he’s Ric Flair at the 1992 Royal Rumble and gets emotional (because, Albano). This never amounts to anything as Heroes of Wrestling never gets a second show, thankfully.
Then the camera cuts backstage again and the interview guy (apparently his name is Michael St. John) interviews King Kong Bundy again, who cuts a generic big man promo on Yokozuna.
Match #4: The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff vs. The Bushwackers (Bushwacker Butch and Bushwacker Luke)
God help us all.
Sheik and Volkoff enter first and Sheik can barely walk. They’re accompanied by some dude named Nikita Breznikoff as the crowd chants ‘U-S-A’. Sheik tries to cut his typical promo but the mic doesn’t work. Breznikoff announces that Sheik will do an Iranian club demonstration, but Volkoff immediately interjects by singing the Soviet national anthem. It takes a while but Sheik eventually does do his Iranian club demonstration to shockingly no reaction. At least Sheik knows how to get heat because the Bushwackers come out next and they get the loudest reaction of anyone thus far.
The Bushwackers approach Breznikoff but get ‘attacked’ from behind by Sheik and Volkoff. Volkoff lands some SLOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW knees to Butch as Sheik tosses Luke out of the ring. Seconds later, both Bushwackers land the lightest double-team clothesline I have ever seen on Volkoff, Sheik, and Breznikoff. The heels recollect themselves outside the ring as the crowd chants ‘U-S-A’. In a match that does not involve any Americans.
Lots more stalling ensues and Sheik threatens to leave if the crowd keeps chanting ‘U-S-A’, so they do and he does. They tease leaving and then return after only a few seconds. Volkoff lands some punches and kicks…with the air around Luke and then goes for some stomps that completely miss Luke’s whole body. Volkoff knees Luke in the groin and yet that’s not a DQ. Sheik comes in and gently taps Luke as the ref is ‘distracted’ by Butch. Rosenbloom called Breznikoff out for helping attacking Luke behind the ref’s back, which I guess makes sense if you don’t understand a single thing about wrestling, which seems to be the case with Rosenbloom.
Sheik tags in and hits the worst kick/knee to the head I have ever seen and then tags Volkoff, who hits his own slow kick. Luke saves Butch from being choked by Volkoff but that amounts to nothing as Volkoff continues to gently tap Butch with his foot. Butch takes a surprisingly hard bump in the corner and then takes the worst backbreaker ever from Vokloff for two as Luke makes the save. The referee struggles to maintain any semblance of order as Luke just stands there staring at Volkoff. Meanwhile, Sheik tags in and applies a camel clutch but Luke makes the save again. Volkoff comes in and…lands a knee drop? It’s hard to tell if he landed or not but he goes down too. ‘Hot tag’ to Luke who makes the WORST ‘superstar comeback’ ever. He makes Volkoff and Sheik head-butt each other and all four guys ‘fight’ in two opposing corners. Sheik counters an Irish whip so Butch goes into Volkoff and they both fall down in an embarrassing heap. Volkoff and Sheik double-team Luke and Volkoff grabs some foreign object. He swings it but hits Sheik instead. Sheik gets pinned. Mercifully, this match ends after 8:42.
Winners: The Bushwackers (Bushwacker Butch and Bushwacker Luke)
Analysis: -**** Dreadful, irritating, depressing, embarrassing display of nonsense. I can’t even call it a wrestling match. It was a nine-minute shit-show featuring four wrestlers with a combined age of 215! It was just so sad watching these old guys try to wrestle knowing full well that none of them should’ve been in the ring at all. Sheik couldn’t move, Volkoff nearly killed himself executing a backbreaker on Luke, and both Bushwackers did next to nothing the whole time. This wasn’t exciting, dramatic, nostalgic, or even funny. The only mildly interesting part was seeing Sheik to his shtick successfully as he managed to get people riled up enough to chant ‘USA’ even though it was unnecessary.
(Author’s note: Small side story to lighten the mood. A few years ago, I met the Iron Sheik in Kingston [that’s about three hours away from Toronto] while I was attending university. He was there to promote his documentary and it attracted a surprising number of attendees for the screening. Sheik’s handlers [and the ones that actually tweet for him] needed someone to keep him company as they helped set up the venue for the screening; and since I got there early they asked me if I could talk to the Sheik for a bit and I said sure. So I spent 30 minutes talking to the Sheik about wrestling and I showed him my copy of a book called ‘WWE Legends’ and he was on the cover on it. His face lit up as I showed him the passage on him and he told some cool stories about his wrestling career. Then when his handlers returned [and brought a case of beer], Sheik offered me one as thanks. So yeah, I drank beers with The Iron Sheik. Fun times, which is way more than what can be said about this match.)
Anyway, back to the show.
After seeing some replays of that embarrassing tag match, we go backstage again and the interview guy approaches Tully Blanchard as he exits a limo. But before Blanchard can say anything, Stan Lane attacks him and tries to stuff him into the trunk of the limo. Then they cut to another ‘earlier today’ segment with Blanchard again that took place after that surprise attack. This time, he cuts a terrific promo on Stan Lane that seems completely out of place on this show. Everything up to this point has been utter garbage and here’s Blanchard showing passion, emotion, and realism in his promo. This is probably the best thing on the show thus far.
Match #5: Tully Blanchard vs. Stan Lane
Pre-match, Lane cuts a generic ‘I’m better than you’ promo and mocks Blanchard some more. Blanchard enters the ring all fired up as Lane escapes the moment the bell rings. Blanchard chases Lane around the ring as the camera cuts to some fans looking BORED. Lane clotheslines Blanchard but Blanchard fires back with a hiptoss. They brawl ringside until Lane tosses Blanchard into the ringpost and then chokes him using an electric cable. Lane lands an ax handle and poses for the fans in the ring some more. Lane gets two off a neckbreaker and maintains control until Blanchard lands a big right hand. But Lane cuts him off and applies a grounded cobra clutch and then hotshots him into the rope. Lane maintains control with a body block on Blanchard into the ropes followed by a Russian leg sweep for another two-count. It’s hard to really get into this match because some guy backstage with a trigger finger keeps cutting to random women in the crowd. And none of them look all that happy about what they’re watching.
Blanchard avoids getting smashed into the turnbuckle and tosses Lane out of the ring. Blanchard applies a Figure-4 leglock outside the ring but Lane quickly escapes by raking Blanchard’s eyes. Lane somehow makes it into the ring before Blanchard but Blanchard applies a sleeper. Lane escapes by hitting Blanchard’s head into a turnbuckle and goes for a piledriver but Blanchard powers out. Lane ducks a clothesline and lands a back suplex. The ref counts to three. But everyone’s confused. Who won? I think Blanchard got his shoulder up at two, but Lane’s the one raising his hand. Then the ref announces that Blanchard has won.
Winner after 7:04 (apparently): Tully Blanchard
Post-match, Lane attacks Blanchard but Blanchard quickly over-powers him and he decides to leave the ring.
Analysis: * They tried hard here but this match still sucked. Both Lane and Blanchard did great telling a story and playing their respective parts, but the audience did not care AT ALL. The action was bland and overly simplistic. The crowd was DEAD for this match and barely reacted whatsoever to any of the big spots. The finish was stupid because no one could tell what was going on, which sucked whatever excitement there was left out of this building. They shouldn’t have done the ambiguous ‘double pin spot’ on a show as poorly shot and badly lit as this one.
The audio assassin strikes again as Michael St. John’s microphone keeps cutting out as he attempts to interview Bundy and Neidhart. They eventually fix them and the wrestlers cut generic lines on Roberts and Yokozuna. At least they’re trying to get this garbage over.
Match #6: One Man Gang vs. Abdullah The Butcher (with Honest John Cheatum)
One Man Gang (OMG hereafter, and ironically that’s an appropriate acronym for him given it’s the ideal reaction to the sheer awfulness of this match) throws some chairs into the ring as a pre-taped promo is shown. OMG rushes Abdullah as the bell rings and then starts hitting and choking him with his chain. They follow with some absolutely dreadful brawling and stomping by OMG. This goes on FOREVER until Abdullah lands a throat thrust. Abdullah hits OMG with his fork and OMG goes down and visibly blades as Abdullah licks up his own blood. Lovely. Abdullah continues to maim OMG with his fork as the ref flails his arm around haplessly. They miss Abdullah’s elbow drop because the camera cuts to some guys drinking in the crowd. Both wrestlers continue to brawl around the ring. Then suddenly the ref rings the bell. The match is a double count-out, but that doesn’t stop them from brawling. They even knock some ‘officials’ out and brawl to the back.
Match result: Double countout after 7:34
Analysis: -**** F**ING ATROCIOUS MATCH! There was nothing redeemable about this. It was nothing but awful brawling and senseless bloodletting. I’ve never been the biggest fan of hardcore wrestling, but there have been some cases when it could work (e.g. TLC II). But this was straight up embarrassing and disgusting. In what demented universe is stabbing someone with a fork ‘wrestling’? And as if the overuse of blood and terrible actual action weren’t enough, the finish was completely stupid. They had a double count-out for a once-ever match. Why? Whom does that protect? This was a failure on every level, easily the worst ‘hardcore’ match to ever take place.
Match #7: Bob Orton Jr. vs. Jimmy Snuka (with Captain Lou Albano)
They show a pre-taped video of ‘inside a casino’ of Orton, Albano, and Snuka playing cards. Albano uncovers Orton’s cheating which leads to a brawl between Orton and Snuka. That’s followed by two promos, one from Snuka (well, actually Albano, who sells this like only he can), and one from Orton.
They lock-up and Snuka’s “quick” to land a second-rope crossbody and then gets a two-count off a small package. Orton cuts him off and clotheslines him over the ropes, but Snuka can’t go over and just falls forward instead. Orton elbows Snuka’s forehead against the ropes and then suplexes Snuka over the ropes and into the ring. A kneedrop gets him a two-count, then lands a back body drop and gets two again. Dutch Mantel does his best to sell this match as a big deal but his partner Rosenbloom is just dragging everything down. Mantel calls Orton “methodical” (call of the night) as Orton spends a very long time working Snuka’s arm as some fans start chanting “Bob is a f***ot” at him and it gets caught on camera. That chanting gets so loud that the announcers acknowledge it and Orton yells at those fans for it. This show just keeps getting worse and worse. Orton goes for another back body drop but Snuka answers with a head-butt that completely misses. Snuka makes his comeback with some awful strikes but Orton lands a shoulder tackle that somehow sends Orton collapsing onto Snuka for a very close two-count. Orton cuts Snuka off on the top rope and goes for a superplex but Snuka holds on and Orton falls. Upon closer inspection it looks like Albano held onto Snuka to keep him on the top turnbuckle. Orton charges at Albano but misses. Snuka lands a top-rope crossbody. One, two, three! Snuka gets the win after 11:46.
Winner: Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka
Analysis: *1/2 Depressing match. Orton was the best worker of any match thus far in the show (there’s a collection of words I never thought I’d ever write), but this was still underwhelming. Orton did 95% of the work while a tired and clearly apathetic Snuka did basically nothing. And the crowd was merciless towards Orton. I guess they were so incredibly bored with this match they decided to entertain themselves in any way they could. And Snuka did absolutely nothing to deserve to win this match. His entire comeback relied on Albano helping him (like a heel) and hitting a handful of bad moves. If they were going to bring Orton in to wrestle, they should’ve gotten someone more capable to be his opponent.
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the infamous main event.
The show was supposed to have nine matches and a double-main event: Jake ‘the Snake’ Roberts vs. Jim Neidhart and King Kong Bundy vs. Yokozuna. But that was changed to a tag match because, Roberts was, to put it lightly, completely blitzed out of his goddamn mind.
Aside from cutting a historical promo, it’s clear that Roberts isn’t all there at this point. He has to use interviewer Michael St. John to hold himself up, which must’ve freaked St. John out.
Neidhart enters the ring looking menacing and professional. Then, out staggers Roberts who barely makes it to the ring. He places his snake Damien in the ring and then disappears. Neidhart poses to stall for time as Roberts returns, now shirtless, and saunters around the ring. Then he proceeds to play with the crowd and grabs a woman’s arms and makes her fondle his manboobs. I’m amazed she never sued him for sexual assault. Roberts finally enters the ring and the match begins.
Match #8: Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart vs. Jake ‘the Snake’ Roberts
Roberts plays to the crowd and then a frustrated Neidhart circles around the ring, clearly upset that Roberts is so plastered. They lock-up and Neidhart basically tells Roberts everything to do, which leads to some horrible attempts at wrestling. He starts working Roberts over in the corner with some very basic maneuvers until Roberts ‘fights back’. I use that term very loosely here because Roberts looks like he’ll fall to the floor and pass out at any moment. Somehow he wriggles his way into a DDT attempt but Neidhart escapes, as Damien the (literal) snake escapes his bag. Roberts isn’t done making an ass of himself as he proceeds to play with Damien in front of the crowd. And by ‘play with it’, I mean place it between his legs like a literal trouser snake and wave it around and point to it over and over. In front of an audience that includes many young children. Neidhart leaves furious (and rightly so) as Roberts sinks to the mat and tries to French kiss Damien as the camera constantly pans to crowd shots because they can’t show what Roberts is doing.
Suddenly, out comes Bundy, who approaches Neidhart and then they both enter the ring. You can clearly see Bundy saying ‘bulls**t’ as he stares daggers at Roberts. Bundy distracts Roberts allowing Neidhart to hit him from behind and lock in a sleeper. Roberts ‘pushes Neidhart into a corner’ when in actuality it’s obvious Neidhart is doing the work for two people here. Neidhart misses a corner splash allowing Roberts to somehow hit a clothesline. Roberts signals the DDT as Bundy gets on the apron, so Roberts flips him off. Neidhart takes Roberts down and Bundy enters the ring and stomps on Roberts while the referee does absolutely nothing. Suddenly, out comes Yokozuna who looks horrifyingly obese. Yokozuna protects Roberts and charges Bundy but quickly gets overpowered as Roberts sinks to the floor. Suddenly the referee announces that this has now become a tag team match.
Match #8: Jim ‘the Anvil’ Neidhart vs. Jake ‘the Snake’ Roberts Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart & King Kong Bundy vs. Jake ‘the Snake’ Roberts & Yokozuna
Yokozuna ducks a big punch from Neidhart which drops Bundy. Both Bundy and Neidhart talk with some Uncle Fester-looking guy who I think is the actual producer behind this show who gives them instructions on what to do next while Roberts literally staggers and falls around the ring. Neidhart drags Roberts out of the ring and cracks him with a chair and then Bundy does the same. An ‘Uncle Fester’ chant breaks out as Neidhart stomps and kicks a drunken Roberts. Roberts’s boots comes off but Neidhart continues to stomp on him. Roberts hits blatant low blows in front of the ref to both Bundy and Neidhart and tags Yokozuna, who ‘runs wild’. Yokozuna works Neidhart over in one corner while Bundy – the illegal man – splashes Roberts – also the illegal man – and gets a quick three-count for the pin and the win.
Winners after 16:34 (combined time): Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart & King Kong Bundy
Post-match, Yokozuna grabs the Uncle Fester guy and holds him up for Roberts to DDT him, which the crowd wants to see. But Roberts is so out of it he can’t even accomplish that much, so Yokozuna lands a Samoan Drop on him. The camera fades to black as Roberts places Damien on the guy, ending the PPV way sooner than scheduled.
Analysis: -***** Truly a wretched, abysmal, mind-numbingly bad segment. That was, without a doubt, the worst wrestling match to ever take place. I had very low expectations going into this, but Roberts managed to set a new low for wrestling. I can’t even call it ‘professional’ wrestling because Roberts was in no way professional here. He was so messed up that he kept falling over himself and making an utter embarrassment of himself. I’m sure many people have lambasted this match before, but in no way is this match less bad (I can’t use the word ‘better’ here because that word implies there’s something good in this segment, which there isn’t) than the Sheik/Volkoff/Bushwackers match or the Abdullah/OMG segment. Sheik and Volkoff were at least committed to the match and did okay in eliciting the right reaction. And as much as I hate Abdullah for using a fork to cut his opponents open, at least there was a sense of seriousness in that match, however fleeting. Neither of those things was on display here. Roberts ruined not one but two matches because of his own personal problems. Sure, those matches probably weren’t going to be good anyway, but a sober Roberts would’ve at least had a passable match with Neidhart, who looked to be the most in-shape wrestler in this segment. This really was rock bottom for Roberts. Thankfully, he’d turn his life around to an extent and would leave this part of his life behind.
Five Stars of the Show
Let’s be honest here; this was a hodgepodge of the absolute worst of wrestling. The matches ranged from poorly executed, to boring, to utter failure. No one really stood out in a positive light here.
Best match on the card: Julio Fantastico vs. 2 Cold Scorpio (*3/4)
Worst match on the card: Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart & King Kong Bundy vs. Jake ‘the Snake’ Roberts & Yokozuna (-*****)
Show Rating (out of 10): 0.15
The only reason this show isn’t rated an absolute zero is because it should be seen by every wrestling fan at least once, just for the novelty of seeing the worst pro-wrestling ever. From top to bottom, this show SUCKED. There was not a single match that could be described as ‘average’. This show is the reason that wrestling bloopers series like Botchamania exist.
The only positive of any kind, though, came in the form of some surprisingly-good promos. Blanchard and Albano cut some great promos filled with emotion, passion and determination the likes of which are rarely seen in the land of the scriptwriters (meaning RAW).
That said, this is a show meant to be watched by those that love to watch stuff that’s inherently bad. Personally, I loathe that kind of stuff, but I’m sure some of you out there might find something worthwhile in this utter debacle of a show. To that end, I’ve included a link to the full show, which is available on YouTube. And once you see the video quality of this utter trainwreck of a show, you’ll understand why I didn’t bother including photos of the individual matches like I usually do.
Thanks for reading.