Sunday, July 1, 2018

WCW New Blood Rising

So this is a double whammy of sorts for Canada Day and I wanted to get this show out of the way while it was still somewhat fresh. Later on, I'll be posting the musings for the Canadian Stampede In Your House event (alongside a couple non-wrestling bits), but for today... heh, heh, heh.

It's New Blood Rising, WCW's other PPV taking place in Canadian soil and on this night, the event is held in Vancouver, BC. Featuring Calgary's own Lance Storm defending his prestigious Canadian championship against Mike Awesome in what may very well be the greatest match of Lance Storm's professional wrestling career.

3 Count defeated the Yung Dragons in a ladder match featuring a contract. Good match. Lots of flying bits, lots of action, high energy, exciting, all the usual tropes you'd expect from a ladder match featuring really young guys who want to get noticed. So yeah, good match.

Ernest "The Cat" Miller defeated The Great Muta with a bunch of kicks... not so good match.

Buff Bagwell defeated Chris Kanyon in a Judy Bagwell On A Pole match... with the role of the pole being played by a forklift, because god forbid they try to get Buff Bagwell's large-sized mother hanging on a pole.

Next we have a four-team match for the tag-titles where there's a shitload of people and I have no clue what the fuck is going on. For the sake of completionists, I'm going to copy and paste the results from a Wikipedia page and be done with it.

Billy Kidman defeated Shane Douglas in a strap match... this was a month or so after their infamous Viagra On A Pole match that has made the Wrestlecrap waves. Really, once you have THAT match, is there any reason to care beyond this point? Anyway, this was a strap match... it wasn't very good... it was kinda lame... and just a week after I saw a really GOOD strap match in Vader vs. Sting at Superbrawl III.

Fun fact: I have never watched Viagra On A Pole... because I didn't watch a whole lot of Nitro in 2000. Apparently, I didn't miss much.

We have the Kiebler/Buck match where the two ladies eventually fight in the mud and Kiebler starts getting stomach pains and we're supposed to take this seriously because.... WHAT?

See, this is the kind of shit that Vince Russo didn't stick on WWF walls... and that got record ratings while this did not. Even that one point (one WHOLE point and one less hour of ad revenue, which cancels each other out). See, I barely remember this stuff, but even back in the day, I thought this was kind of stupid.

Sting defeats the Kiss Demon in a "special main event" that lasts about a minute. How sad is it in hindsight that Sting was able to dispose of the Demon faster than he did a stoned-out-of-his-mind Jeff Hardy years later?

I'm glossing over all those matches because none of them matter... because ladies and gentlemen, all of that is the road to THIS next match...

Yes, my friends; this next match is the reason I wanted to watch this show; the incredible ten-star contest featuring the reigning and defending WCW United States Canadian Heavyweight Wrestling Champion from Calgary.............................

Alberta, Canada, the almighty Fence Builder himself LANCE STORM, going one on one with the former ECW World Heavyweight Champion, the 70s Guy Fat Chick Thrilling Giant Among Minis MIKE AWESOME... who is no longer with us... and I am sad... but not for long.

Lance Storm gets the full Goldberg treatment; the backstage escort by security (presumably to keep women away from him so that he wouldn't build any fences around them) and then he cuts a promo running down the American Institution (whether this is a work or a shoot is anyone's guess.) And then he invokes Rule 32B of the Canadian Rulebook (yes, a CANADIAN RULEBOOK), which allows him to appoint a special referee. And that referee turns out to be JACQUES ROUGEAU. THE MOUNTIE.

And they play the Canadian National Anthem. And we start the match with Awesome getting the upperhand on Storm before hitting a power bomb and pinning Storm for the win... except not quite. Because according to Canadian Rules enforcer Jacques Rougeau, pinfalls are won on FIVE COUNTS. Tony Schiavone openly wonders if this happened in Toronto the year prior when they had the Mayhem PPV and the answer is no, but this is just fucking hilarious.

Awesome slams Storm for a three count and then slaps him in a sleeper hold that prompts Storm to tap out... except NOPE! Because according to Canadian Rules enforcer Jacques Rougeau, a title match can only be won by pinfall only. Meanwhile, poor Bret Hart is in the back asking himself where the fuck was Jacques Rougeau two years ago to enforce the Canadian Rules in his match with Shawn Michaels.

After a couple more minutes of action, Awesome pins Storm for the five-count and surely that's a win... except TABARNAC! According to Canadian Rules enforcer Jacques Rougeau, after a five-count is scored on a pinfall - wait for it - TEXAS Death Match rules go into effect, so Storm has to beat the 10-count to stay in the match. At some point, both guys fall through the table and Canadian Rules Enforcer Jacques Rougeau tells the ref that whoever stands up before the count of ten wins the match and while the other ref is checking on Storm, Rougeau clocks Awesome with a punch, allowing Storm to beat the count, win the match, and retain the title.

And then Bret Hart shows up, everyone hugs, and the crowd pops. Holy balls, this was the most brilliant wrestling match in the history of our great sport. This was pure joy and one of the few moments where something absurd in wrestling was actually pretty well done. Mind you, a regular match between Awesome and Storm would've been okay-ish... but it would never have top THIS. This match may very well be the best match in Lance Storm's career.

I gave this match a gazillion stars. Match of the Universe honors! Forget Omega vs. Okada, put Flair vs. Steamboat to bed, HBK vs. Undertaker need not apply, THIS is the greatest wrestling match ever made!

Yeah, so the match sucked.

Vampiro and the Great Muta defeated WCW Tag-Team champions Kronik (Bryan Adams [not that one] and Bryan Clarke doing the APA rip-off gimmick) in a pretty terrible match. That's as far as I'll go.

Kevin Nash defeated Scott Steiner to earn a World title shot. This started with Nash and Steiner because Goldberg didn't show up for some reason, and then Goldberg showed up, did a couple moves. And then Nash was going to do the Jacknife on Goldberg, but Goldberg pushed himself away from Nash... which is actually a smart escape to any power bomb type move from that position. And then Goldberg walks off, argues with Russo and tells him to fuck himself before walking off. And then the announcers try to pass this off as Goldberg going against the script and... shit. This match was RUSSORIFFIC!

Look, I'm not going to lie. New Blood Rising is a one-match show and that one match isn't the main event; it's the Canadian title match and that was more due to the cheese factor than any semblance of great wrestling. That match is a guilty pleasure and the only thing worth watching... that and the ladder match. But the rest of the show? Fuck it.

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