Tuesday, August 11, 2015

WWA: The Revolution (2002 Australian PPV)

Yesterday, I posted musings from a 2001 Pay-Per-View produced by the long-defunct World Wrestling All-Stars, a promotion out of Australia that gathered most of the former WWF, WCW, and ECW stars not working for Vince at the time. Since I'm trying to maintain some semblance of a theme here, let's do the next one.

The Revolution is the second WWA PPV and also the first to emanate from the U.S. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only WWA show to grace North America; a bad sign for a company that wants to be the wrestling alternative to what the only big-name promotion is presenting.

Live from Las Vegas, your commentary team comprises Jeremy Borash and Mark Madden, who replaces Jerry Lawler (by this point happily employed by the WWF). Somehow, that seems like more of a downgrade as Madden has something of an irritable quality to his commentary. Fortunately, he only does this one PPV.

So the promoter, Andrew MacManus, tells us that Savage won't be appearing at the show as advertised for reasons that are either unspecified or unremembered. As a result, fans won't be getting the main event of Jarrett vs. Macho Man for their World Title... Not sure if that's considered a bad thing or perhaps a blessing, because I don't know how that would've fared... but hey, Savage got a part in Spider-Man, putting ol' Web Head over big. Instead, we're getting the awe-inspiring main event of WWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett defending the gold against his toughest challenger yet... Grandmaster Sexay, otherwise known as Jerry's Kid.

Oh, boy.

Nova defeated AJ Styles, Tony Mamaluke, Christopher Daniels, Shark Boy, and Low Ki in a six-man elimination match. This was young, small guys (and a couple small, less-young guys) bouncing around the ring, hitting their high-flying, fast-paced spots, and generally keeping the crowd engaged. For what it was, this was a fun little match that showcased the talents of at least four guys who would find themselves as the workhorses of the future NWA-TNA promotion when that becomes a thing somewhere down the road.

So I guess Bret Hart is still "commissioner" of WWA because that's a thing. Unfortunately, they don't seem to follow up on his actions from the prior PPV where he refused to let people end matches with a Sharpshooter. Instead, he just cuts a rather rambling promo talking about hockey and terrorists... this is sad to watch and, dare I say, the saddest thing I've seen Bret be involved in. Yes, even sadder than "wrestling" McMahon at Mania 26... Oh, and he officially makes Brian Christopher the no. 1 contender to Jarrett's WWA Championship... because sure, why not? Not like there were any other worthwhile contenders you could've used.

Alan Funk (best known as Kwee Wee in WCW and Miss TNA in NWA-TNA... I'm serious, by the way) defeated Reno in an almost forgettable match. Funk was in this phase where he was doing the Hulk Hogan imitation (the moves, the mannerisms, calling himself the Funkster, cutting a similar backstage promo on two midg-- er, I mean "little people") and it's cute for what it is... but that's about it, really. It's just a imitation for the sake of imitation and the "joke" runs its course long before the match even begins. It was probably funnier back then, but looking back at it now, it feels rather lame.

Kronik (Brian "Crush" Adams and Brian "Adam Bomb" Clark) defeated Native Blood, a generic Native American tag-team gimmick - think Tatanka but less interesting and with far less catchier music. My mind blanked out while watching this... probably for good reason. After all, this was Kronik post-WWF (the less said the better) and this Native Blood team isn't all that great.

Puppet beat Tio in a hardcore "little person" match... can we toss in Hornswoggle for good measure? This did nothing for me, but it might do something for somebody, so... eh, they tried. I'll give them that much, but that's about all I'll give them. Certainly doesn't help that Mark Madden keeps rambling like an idiot and effectively kills the groove for me.

Scott Steiner defeated Disco Inferno in a squash match. Next.

Eddie Guerrero defeated Juventud Guerrera and reigning Cruiserweight champ Psychosis to win the title. All three have seen better days, I'm afraid, as this lacked the energy of the opening match; quite surprising given how awesome these guys were back in WCW. Eddie would cut a promo berating the crowd which prompts former ECW guy Jerry Lynn to show up and tease a potential feud... Eddie would shortly resign with WWE and enjoy a resurgence in his career until his untimely passing in 2005.

Devon Storm beat Sabu in a near-thirty minute Copperman hardcore match. Seriously, this match went on for HALF AN HOUR... and it's not that great, to be honest with you. I suppose it has to do with tastes changing over the years, but I can sit through an ECW garbage brawl or WWF Hardcore equivalent and could get a kick out of those just fine. This felt like it was dragging for far longer than necessary.

Oh, look. It's Larry Zybysko... he's challenging McMahon to a fight for some reason. A little over a decade later, he's in the WWE Hall Of Fame. What a guy.

Ernest Miller and Rick Steiner (a rather odd pairing, I must say) beat the "West Hollywood Blonds" (Lenny and Lodi) in about a minute... next.

WWA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett beat Brian Christopher, who did the whole Grandmaster Sexay thing with the dancing and - this is the best part, dude - THEY GOT HIS TOO COOL ENTRANCE MUSIC IN THERE. THE SAME MUSIC HE HAD IN WWF. And this is live television, emanating from the United States. How the fuck did these guys not get fucking sued? Was Jerry McDevitt on vacation or something? 'Cuz this is surreal.

Anyway, here's the deal; as far as the match goes, it's alright. It's mostly brawling with some bits of wrestling. Nothing to write home about, but the thing is when BRIAN CHRISTOPHER, a guy who spent most of his time in the years preceding this as a tag-team champion and mid-card comedy act, is competing for the WORLD TITLE... how the fuck do you take that seriously? Because even the densest of viewer would know that the guy is no threat to the champion. You really can't buy into that possibility. That does not compute.

So that was WWA: The Revolution... and it was pretty bad.

Whereas the previous show, The Inception, was more about goofy gimmick matches and comedy matches, this show was more about bad wrestling. Other than the opening six-man, which was awesome stuff, the rest of the show was either fairly bad or entirely forgettable. And while Randy Savage going AWOL is a thing that happened - again, either a blessing or a curse - they could've put on a more compelling main event if they had given Jarrett someone a little more credible than Brian Christopher. No disrespect, but pitting Brian Christopher against Jeff Jarrett is akin to pitting David Arquette against Brock Lesnar; it is firmly NOT believable. This isn't even hindsight; even watching this back in 2002, I thought this was stupid.

It amazes me that this company was able to put out another PPV after this... much less THREE MORE.

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