Recaps (PPV/Event)WCW PPVWCW PPV 1999

‘WCW SOULED OUT 1999’ Recap + Review – Goldberg vs. Hall, Flairs vs. Hennig & Windham

DATE: January 17, 1999
VENUE: Charleston Civic Center (Charleston, WV)
COMMENTATORS: Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, & “The Professor” Mike Tenay
VIEWING METHOD: Peacock (ugh)

One month after losing both his World Championship and his streak, Goldberg seeks revenge at Souled Out as he takes on the man who cost him everything, Scott Hall, in a Ladder Match. Also on the show Ric Flair teams with his young son David Flair to take on Curt Hennig & Barry Windham, Perry Saturn and Chris Jericho battle in a “Loser Wears a Dress” match (yes that happened on a major PPV in 1999), and the cruiserweights try their best to save a cratering PPV by having a four corners match full of nonsense.

CHAMPIONS

  • WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: Hollywood Hogan
  • WCW UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
  • WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION: “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner
  • WCW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPION: Kidman
  • WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Vacant

LINEUP

  • Chris Benoit vs. Mike Enos (**1/2)
  • Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Norman Smiley (**)
  • Van Hammer vs. Fit Finlay (*)
  • Wrath vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (*1/4)
  • Konnan vs. Lex Luger (*)
  • LOSER WEARS A DRESS: Perry Saturn vs. Chris Jericho (**1/2)
  • Kidman [c] vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psicosis vs. Juventud Guerrera for the WCW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (***)
  • Ric & David Flair vs. Curt Hennig & Barry Windham (**1/4)
  • LADDER MATCH: Goldberg vs. Scott Hall (**1/2)

*****

WCW SPECIAL REPORT

WCW President “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair tells a TOTALLY REAL crowd of reporters that WCW is united and stronger than it’s ever been, ready to push back against the New World Order and anyone who’d go against them. The video fuzzes out at random points either because it’s the 90s and that was seen as edgy OR as a nod that maybe WCW isn’t as in control as they want to believe. Subdued Ric Flair is a weird Ric Flair.

-Schiavone welcomes the home audience as the arena crowd enjoys all the pyro and ballyhoo it can handle. Schiavone talks about the continued threat of the nWo as the camera cuts to him, Heenan, and Tenay at the announce table. The nWo part of the WCW/nWo logo is crossed out. Very hip and also probably less expensive to do than create a whole new logo. That’ll be a few months from now and I can already tell you I am firmly pro-pointy logo.The trio go over tonight’s event, which will feature Goldberg vs. Scott Hall in a Ladder Match, Ric Flair’s son David Flair makes his in-ring debut in a tag team match, and much more. You can look at the lineup a few paragraphs up, I don’t need to regurgitate it for you. Schiavone tries to take it to the ring but first they cut to the back for some BREAKING NEWS: Goldberg has been attacked in his dressing room, specifically his knee. BUT HE NEEDS THOSE LEGS FOR LADDER CLIMBIN’.

“The Crippler” Chris Benoit vs. “Mean” Mike Enos

Enos is best known by most as one half of The Destruction Crew (AWA)/Beverly Brothers (WWF) with Wayne Bloom, but at this point he now on his own trying to make a go of it. To his credit he looked intimidating AF here. Benoit rejoined The Four Horsemen in the Fall of ‘98 in one of the greatest segments in Monday Nitro history and…that’s it, really. Oh the old days when talking about how WCW misused Benoit was one of the only things to discuss about him, huh?

This might be a throwaway opener but the crowd is RED HOT and Enos soaks it in, heeling at them to start. They lock up and jockey for position around the ring, Benoit dodges a cheap shot in the corner and lights Enos up with a chop. Enos responds with a host of strikes in the corner, spitting at Benoit out of anger. Enos drops Benoit with a shoulder tackle and poses for the crowd before they lock up once again. Benoit tries to counter a whip, Enos clubs him to the canvas with a double axhandle. Benoit escapes a slam attempt and wrecks Enos with a pair of chops followed by a clothesline so stiff he hurts his own arm. Benoit works Enos over in the corner, stomping him down as the crowd goes legitimately WILD. Benoit catches a kick, sending Enos to the canvas with a Dragon Screw Legwhip followed by ANOTHER chop, Enos’ chest turning purple. Benoit goes for the Crossface, Enos counters into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, but decides to pose and can’t get the pinfall. Enos drills Benoit with a powerslam off an Irish whip and this time immediately covers, but Benoit kicks out at two. Enos slows things down with a standing bearhug. Benoit fights back with a series of kicks and a chop, Enos puts a stop to it with a clothesline and covers for the 1…2…shoulder up. Benoit counters an inverted atomic drop with a sunset flip for the 1…2…Enos kicks out and immediately stomps him to prevent follow-up, settling into a neck vice to further wear his opponent down. Enos locks in another standing bearhug, Benoit elbows out and runs right into a knee to the midsection, Enos once again posing for the crowd and soaking in the boos. Enos connects with vertical suplex, lateral press for the 1…2…Benoit gets the shoulder up once again. Enos goes for a suplex, Benoit redistributes his weight into a lateral press for the 1…2…Enos kicks out. Benoit connects with a pair of German suplexes and a Flying Headbutt which takes as much out of him as it does his opponent. MAYBE DON’T HIT YOUR HEAD SO MUCH. Enos drives Benoit to the canvas with a goofy clothesline and goes for another suplex, Benoit suddenly counters into a Crippler Crossface for the submission!

Chris Benoit defeated Mike Enos via submission (10:35)

  • No idea why WCW decided to run with this as the opening match, or why they gave them so much time, but outside of the bearhugs I ended up liking this one a lot. Benoit and Enos did NOT pull any punches in this one, Benoit turning Enos’ chest into a host of uncomfortable colors by the end there. Seemed to be a little bit of a miscue at the end, not sure if Benoit was supposed to turn that clothesline into a Crippler Crossface or not, and Benoit did not seem very celebratory after the victory. Still though a surprisingly cool match and probably the one MIke Enos match to watch from his WCW run. (**1/2)

Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Norman Smiley

Smiley comes to the ring with an urn filled with the wood chippings of Pepe, Guerrero’s former best friend/a wooden horse. 

Bell rings and Smiley takes a powder after a flurry of offense from Guerrero. Smiley stomps Guerrero as they reenter the ring, Guerrero responds with a European uppercut and a clothesline right back to the floor, following up with a slingshot plancha. Back in the ring Guerrero hits a springboard bulldog and teases giving him a Big Wiggle, Smiley grabs the trunks and sends him crashing into the buckles. Guerrero catches a patiently waiting Smiley with a top crossbody and continues going to work, stomping him in the corner. Smiley pops Guerrero up and into the top turnbuckle and drives him to the canvas with a clothesline. Smiley teases a Big Wiggle which the crowd boos HEAVILY. Smiley sends Guerrero into the corner and drills him with an AWESOME wind-up slam, teasing another dance before covering for a two-count. Smiley slows it down with a figure four headscissors, transitioning into a rear chinlock. Guerrero almost steals a win with an O’Connor Roll, Smiley counters a slingshot splash with a pair of knees and regains control, transitioning quickly between submission holds as the crowd chants “NORMAN”. Guerrero escapes, surprising Smiley with a clothesline, but Smi-LAY regains control with a swinging neckbreaker for the 1…2…Guerrero kicks out, Smiley hooks the leg and applies a submission hold (keylock for the leg). Guerrero escapes and grabs a leglock of his own I guess but it looks like they’re just kinda…f*cking around because they forgot what to do. Love it. Guerrero rolls Smiley up for a two-count, Smiley drops him with a back elbow and teases the Big Wiggle once again, leaving the crowd hanging. 

Smiley and Guerrero fight it out on the buckles, the former connecting with a top rope superplex but dazes both men. Smiley wakes up and WE GET A LITTLE WIGGLE AS THE CROWD POPS. Wrestling fans are so easy, man. Smiley connects with a back elbow and covers for the 1…2…Guerrero kicks out and Smiley IMMEDIATELY traps the arms and wraps him up in another submission hold. Guerrero breaks out and grabs a sleeperhold, Smiley immediately breaks out with a belly-to-back suplex. Smiley dodges a corner splash, Guerrero cracking his head off the top turnbuckle, Smiley follows up with a backdrop and lateral press for the 1…2…Chavo kicks out. Everyone camera-side looks at something happening off-screen as Smiley throws shade at Chavo’s family by locking him in a Gory Special. Guerrero escapes and goes for a wheelbarrow, SMILEY GIVES HIM A BIG WIGGLE but Guerrero rolls through for the 1…2…Smiley kicks out. Guerrero with a Victory Roll for the 1…2…Smiley kicks out. Guerrero connects with a flying corner forearm, Smiley escapes a waistlock and goes for the Cross Face Chicken Wing, Guerrero blocks and goes for the Tornado DDT, Smiley blocks THAT and throws the urn full of sawdust in Guerrero’s face (IN FULL F*CKING VIEW OF THE REF) before getting the tapout win with the Chicken Wing.

Norman Smiley defeated Chavo Guerrero Jr. via submission (15:45)

  • Ah the good ol’ days of pro wrestling, where a feud built around the murder of a wooden horse would lead to an almost SIXTEEN MINUTE MATCH on PPV. I was a little surprised Benoit/Enos got so much time to open the show but I am VERY surprised Smiley/Guerrero got the time they did. There was a good match in here, Smiley working through his submissions was fun to watch (also BIG WIGGLE of course) and Guerrero wrestled with the intensity of a man trying to avenge his fallen friend, but they padded it out way too much. Also the finish with Smiley cheating right in front of the ref’s face was kinda dumb. Fix the ending and shave off like 5 minutes and you’ve got a sleeper. As it stands it was just okay. (**)

Mark Madden interviews Konnan at the WCW.com booth. Konnan wants to know who decided he was out of the nWo and who turned former Wolfpac friends Lex Luger and Kevin Nash against him. It was me, K-Dawg. Glad I could finally get that off my chest.

Van Hammer vs. FIt Finlay

Hammer made his debut back in 1991 as a faux-glam metal musician who didn’t know how to play the guitar he brought to the ring with him. Cut to eight (!!!) years later and now Hammer is a hippie who promotes peace (but still wrestles because why not), having mellowed out from his brief stint as part of Raven’s Flock. Finlay spent 1998 having kickass matches over the Television Championship with Chris Benoit and Booker T and for a while was one of my favorite wrestlers as a kid. 

Finlay cares more about jaw jacking with the front row fans, which I can’t blame him for honestly. Hammer escapes a side headlock and drops Finlay with a clothesline, following up with a slingshot and a lateral press for a two-count. Finlay brings Hammer to one knee and drives an elbow right to the bridge of the nose, then drives him to the canvas with a European uppercut. Finlay drops an elbow, covers but Hammer shoves him off at two. Finlay connects with a short-arm clothesline, Hammer shoves him away to try and create distance but the Belfast Bruiser refuses to let up, slamming his much bigger opponent with ease. Hammer fights back with some weak-ass offense, Finlay dodges an elbowdrop and drives another elbow to the nose, Hammer brings him to the canvas with a double leg takedown and goes to work on the left knee. Finlay rips at the face to break it, Hammer responds by sending Finlay to the floor with a baseball slide. Finlay rolls back in and sends Hammer face-first into the apron with a dropkick to the legs. Finlay sends himself shoulder-first into the post, Hammer clotheslines him in the corner. Both men trade big boots, Hammer connects with a powerslam for the 1…2…Finlay kicks out. Finlay ducks a clothesline and connects with a rolling senton followed by a Tombstone for the 1…2…3!

Fit Finlay defeated Van Hammer via pinfall (7:54)

  • Fit Finlay is great but he could not carry Van Hammer to a good match (I think Cactus Jack is the only one to have actually done this successfully). Finlay’s offense looked great but everything Hammer did felt phony and awkward, which after EIGHT YEARS is maybe something he should’ve improved upon at this point. Plus his gimmick sucks. Anyway this match happened and I can feel this show slowly falling off a cliff. (*)

Wrath vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

Wrath had a good thing going in 1998, going on a win streak and getting over a dorky Pumphandle Slam (Meltdown) as a big time finishing move…only to get railroaded by Kevin Nash who was ending streaks on his way to ending Goldberg’s at Starrcade. After that it was pretty much over for him which is bullsh*t. Bigelow came to WCW in late-1998, seemingly to challenge Goldberg for the WCW World Title but that never happened and he’s also just been kinda…hanging out and collecting paychecks, I guess. For 12 year old me this match was a ***** classic the second it was announced, but let’s see how it actually goes down.

Bigelow backs Wrath into the corner and connects with a series of rights, Wrath fights back with rights of his own. Wrath ducks a clothesline and levels Bigelow with a pump kick, sending him to the floor to rethink his life choices. Bigelow misses a headbutt, Wrath misses an elbowdrop but slams him face-first into the canvas. Bigelow splashes Wrath in one corner, Wrath catches him with a boot in another and follows up with a flying clothesline for the 1…2…not yet. Bigelow goes back on the offensive, using his head as a weapon and slowing things down with a rear-chinlock, yelling at a mouthy guy in the first row. Am I about to witness a murder? Nah I would’ve remembered that, probably. Wrath breaks free, Bigelow stops the offensive with a back elbow. Wrath dodges a corner splash and connects with a dropkick (!) followed by a shoulder tackle. Bigelow reverses a whip and connects with a powerslam for the 1…2…Wrath kicks out and Bigelow tells the ref to learn how to count. Bigelow drills Wrath with a DDT, covers again for the 1…2…Wrath gets his foot on the rope and almost puts it through the camera. Schiavone and Heenan start arguing awkwardly but thankfully Wrath and Bigelow get them to focus with a double clothesline. Wrath mounts a brief comeback, Bigelow sends him into the ringpost and hits the Greetings From Asbury Park for the 1…2…3.

Bam Bam Bigelow defeated Wrath via pinfall (9:25)

  • Wrath showed some hops and I love Bam Bam Bigelow with every fiber of my being, but this match beefed it. Lots of lumbering and a chinlock spot that felt like it lasted half the match. The few times they crashed into each other was cool but it didn’t happen enough, DAMMIT. Poor Wrath though, I think this might be his last PPV match until he forms KroniK. (*1/4)

Konnan vs. “The Total Package” Lex Luger

Konnan and Luger used to roll together as part of the nWo Wolfpac, but K-Dawg didn’t make the cut when the two groups merged back together so now he’s out for REVENGE on both Luger and former Pac leader Kevin Nash. Before the match Konnan tells Luger to get ready to toss his salad and peel his potatoes, which is…look, K-Dawg was considered cool back then, okay? I can’t pretend otherwise. I wish I could. Luger also decides to cut a pre-match promo, offering to let K-Dawg walk instead of beat his brains out. Konnan answers with a series of rights and we’re off to the races.

Crowd goes wild as Konnan goes on a flurry of offense, including an inverted atomic drop and clothesline. Luger takes a powder as Schiavone brings up his recent attack on Rey Mysterio Jr., a friend of Konnan’s. Luger tries to leave, Konnan attacks him and throws him back in the ring, connecting with a pair of heavy kicks to the ribs followed by a series of stomps. Luger goes on the offensive and works over Konnan’s neck and back area to weaken it for the Torture Rack. Konnan dazes Luger with a series of buckle shots, Luger powers through and clubs and stomps him all the way to the floor. Luger slows it down, grabbing a bearhug on a clearly blown-up Konnan (I’m sure he’s gassed too but K-Dawg almost fell over trying to run a whip). Konnan escapes with forearms, Luger drops him with a clothesline and K-Dawg rolls back to the floor to catch his breath. Luger doesn’t let him, connecting with a double axhandle and rolling him back inside. Luger clobbers him with a forearm drop, Konnan rolls back to the floor and Luger stalls for time as K-Dawg tries to catch whatever breath he can to get back into the match. Konnan surprises Luger with a crossbody and rolling lariat, followed by a seated dropkick as Miss Elizabeth makes her way out to the ROAR of the crowd. Konnan locks in the Tequila Sunrise, Liz blinds him with black spraypaint and runs off, Luger locks in the Torture Rack for the win.

Lex Luger defeated Konnan via submission (9:31)

  • First couple of minutes were hot both from an action and crowd perspective but this one lost steam REAL quick as both men struggled not to pass out from being blown up. Lame. Konnan especially seemed f*cking out of it here, taking multiple attempts to catch his breath, and it really took away from the intensity of the match. Not very good. (*)

LOSER WEARS A DRESS
Perry Saturn vs. Chris Jericho [w/ Ralphus]

This is Jericho’s last feud before his departure from WCW en route to his legendary WWF/E run. Not sure what started it or why a dress came into play other than WCW at its heart being a Southern wrestling company that still liked dipping into its tropes whenever possible. WWE Network (or Peacock now I guess) dubbing Jericho’s knockoff theme with Break the Walls Down is never not terrible. Schiavone points out that the ref is Scott Dickinson, who has had his problems with Saturn over the weeks and whom Jericho has been kissing up to leading up to this match.

Jericho sends Saturn to the mat using a handful of tights, Dickinson calls it down the middle and admonishes him but Saturn is not satisfied because he’s a little baby. Jericho controls things with a side headlock takeover, they get to a vertical base and Saturn throws him off, earning complaints from his opponent. Jericho misses a clothesline, Saturn belts him with a back elbow followed by a lunging right and an MMA kick in the corner. Saturn whips Jericho chest-first into the corner and levels him with a clothesline to the back of the head. Saturn tries a spinning kick but it misses completely but the gust of wind created knocks Jericho over anyway and Saturn follows up with a springboard legdrop for a two-count. Ralphus pours the two-piece dress from his paper bag, showing it off for everyone to see. Saturn gets sent to the apron, Jericho knocks him off and into the guardrail with a springboard dropkick, following up with a splash for an exclamation. Jericho tries a one-foot cover, Saturn pulls him to the canvas and buries a series of strikes to the back of the head. Jericho powers through and hits a running boot followed by a senton for the 1…2…Saturn kicks out, Dickinson still calling it down the middle like a referee should, and Jericho decides to slow it down with a chinlock. Saturn counters the Lionsault with a pair of knees, Jericho catches him charging with a bit boot and comes off the buckles, Saturn catches him and hits a T-Bone suplex. Saturn catches Jericho’s floatover and drives him face-first on the canvas for the 1…2…Jericho kicks out. Jericho blocks a backslide and hits a double underhook slam, Saturn dodges a dropkick and slingshots Jericho all the way to the floor. Saturn follows up with a dropkick through the ropes followed by a top rope Superfly Splash back in the ring for the 1…2…Jericho gets the shoulder up. Jericho and Saturn trade near-falls, Jericho connects with a bridging German suplex for the 1…2…Saturn kicks out! Saturn trips up Jericho on the buckles and tries a super back suplex but Jericho sorta lands on his feet. Both men counter each other’s finishers, Saturn rolls Jericho up with a small package BUT DICKINSON PUTS JERICHO ON TOP AND QUICK COUNTS 1,2,3!

Chris Jericho defeated Perry Saturn via pinfall (11:44)

  • After the undercard we’ve had so far I’ll f*cking take it. Saturn gets more and more criminally underrated as the years go by, a believable asskicker who could also fly around and have tremendous matches with just about anyone. WCW Jericho is my favorite Jericho but that’s mostly sentimental reasons if I’m being honest with myself, and also because Ralphus ruled. Engaging enough with some cool moments but as soon as they brought up Scott Dickinson I couldn’t help but wait for when the screwjob would happen instead of lose myself in the contest itself. That’s the danger of making things obvious like that. (**1/2)

Jericho hands Dickinson the paper bag and bullies him into giving it to Saturn. Saturn snatches the bag out of his hands and reluctantly puts the dress on as Jericho celebrates like he’s won the Olympics. Saturn and the commentators are embarrassed but honestly he looks fine to me. Dresses are cool, man.

David Flair gets interviewed at the WCW.com Booth. Flair says he’s 19 years old and not a wrestler but he’s doing this out of respect for his father (nothing says “I respect you” more than being bad at the profession your father has been a big part of for decades).

Kidman [c] vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psicosis vs. Juventud Guerrera for the WCW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

Kidman and Mysterio won a coin toss backstage earlier in the show to start the match off, but Schiavone gets confused and forgets who or what is happening and it’s hilariously awkward. Write this stuff down man. I’m so happy to see the Cruiserweights though, SAVE US FROM THIS SHOW YOU BEAUTIFUL SKINNY BASTARDS.

Bell rings and things break down almost immediately, putting referee Charles Robinson in a stressful predicament. I’m pretty sure the crowd is chanting “USA” which is the WORST; y’all know Kidman is NOT the best wrestler in this match. Kidman and Mysterio show off their hops, the latter snapping a headscissors off and Kidman connecting with one of his own from the apron. Mysterio floats over Kidman, ducks a clothesline, Kidman ducks one as well, and they collide in midair with crossbody attempts, Guerrera and Psicosis get some shots in just because. Psicosis gets tagged in without consent, which he’s mad about for some reason (Schiavone doesn’t get it either), Kidman then tags in Guerrera which is also a bad idea if you’re trying to win the match. Guerrera ducks a clothesline and walks up Psicosis, leading to a victory roll for the 1…2…Psicosis reverses for the 1…2…Guerrera kicks out and they stare each other down. Guerrera lays into Psicosis with a series of chops, Psicosis responds with chops of his own, standing switches and it ends in a stalemate. They hug and try to tag out but Kidman and Mysterio drop off the apron to avoid it. Kidman and Mysterio team up on Guerrera and Psicosis to the joy of the crowd but it doesn’t matter because they didn’t tag in who cares. Kidman somehow tags in and catches Psicosis with a flying crossbody for a two-count. Guerrera trips Kidman up, Psicosis thanks him then hits Kidman with a suplex. Psicosis clotheslines Kidman to the floor, Mysterio charges and Guerrera backdrops him onto his friend. Psicosis and Guerrera trip each other up, both wanting to take flight. They shove each other on the apron, Kidman & Mysterio F*CK THEIR DAY UP with stereo sunset bombs to the floor. Jesus.

Kidman tags Mysterio in and they hit a Doomsday Device, Mysterio covers Guerrera for the 1…2…Psicosis makes the save. Psicosis hits Mysterio from behind, Mysterio monkey flips him over the post and to the floor! Kidman drops Guerrera and hits Psicosis with a somersault splash on the floor. Mysterio enters the match and gets caught with a dropkick on his way in. Guerrera launches off Mysterio’s back and flattens both Psicosis and Kidman with AIR JUVI. All three get up, Mysterio takes flight but only hits Kidman with a senton. Guerrera “accidentally” drops Psicosis, Mysterio rolls Guerrera in and hits a springboard seated splash for the 1…2…Juvi kicks out! Guerrera connects with the Juvi Driver for the 1…2…Psicosis makes the save with a missile dropkick to the back of the head. Oooof. Psicosis connects with an Avalanche Victory Roll for the 1…2…Kidman breaks it up. Psicosis tries a power bomb, Kidman pulls a Kidman and counters into a faceslam for the 1…2…Mysterio breaks it up. Mysterio connects with a bulldog off a wheelbarrow for the 1…2…Guerrera makes the save. Psicosis sends Guerrera and Kidman to the floor, then slides Mysterio out to the floor as well. Guerrera lays KIdman & Mysterio next to each other and connects with a senton, Psicosis gets a running head start and connects with a senton splash on both! Guerrera rolls KIdman into the ring and connects with a missile dropkick to the back of the head for the 1…2…Psicosis breaks it up in the nick of time. Psicosis sends Mysterio back to the floor with a baseball slide but misses a senton and crashes on the floor. Guerrera goes for the Juvi Driver, KIdman escapes and Mysterio sweeps his leg, which also drops Guerrera with an inverted DDT. Mysterio hits Psicosis with a springboard hurricanrana on the floor (WHY?), Kidman hits Juvi with a Shooting Star Press for the 1…2…Mysterio can’t make it…3!

Kidman [c] defeated Juventud Guerrera, Psicosis, & Rey Mysterio Jr. via pinfall to retain the WCW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (14:24)

  • I appreciate WCW saying f*ck it and just letting these guys do their flippy moves instead of adhering to tag rules or anything of the sort. It was a bad idea anyway. Cruiserweight matches are always fun even when they’re bad and this one was pretty bad but also the most fun I’ve had watching a match on this show so far so I call it a win. Mysterio being an absolute idiot and attacking Psicosis instead of stopping KIdman from getting the win is ultimate babyface brain there, and he deserves to feel like an idiot for screwing himself over. That’s on you, boo boo. Also f*ck these fans for chanting “USA” in a match where there was no actual heel foreign menace to chant against; that sh*t was just racism. (***)

Booker T gets interviewed by the WCW.com crew, but is interrupted by Chris Jericho. Booker calls Jericho’s “excellent” win tainted and vows to do something about it. Jericho challenges him to a match on tomorrow night’s Monday Nitro. Booker is happy to oblige.

“The Nature Boy” Ric Flair & David Flair [w/ “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson] vs. Curt Hennig & Barry Windham

Hennig has been a thorn at Ric Flair’s side since September 1997 when he turned his back on The Four Horsemen to join the New World Order. Things have escalated, with Hennig bringing in former Horsemen turned chin bard enthusiast Barry Windham and Flair’s own 19 year old son David deciding to step up to help his father defend their family honor. Why couldn’t Benoit, Malenko, McMichael, or literally anyone else help? Because it’s too PERSONAL. Hennig comes out announced as part of the nWo Black & White, so I guess he isn’t A-team material either but liked well enough to not get attacked.

Ric & David rush the ring, Ric & Hennig trade barbs on the mic. Ric even mentions the “WWF” by name, the F still bleeped out on Peacock despite that whole dispute being resolved. Hate it. Windham gets on the mic next and calls out David, telling him to be a man and start the match first. Ric is not a fan but David is REAL adamant about it so The Nature Boy lets it happen. Windham grabs a headlock, David quickly counters into a headscissors with an assist from Windham who has to help him get into the right position. Ric revs the crowd up, Hennig freaks out at the embarrassment. David escapes a slam and connects with a pair of chops followed by a hip toss, infuriating Windham even more. Windham slams David, David moves out of the way out of an elbowdrop and makes the tag to Ric. Ric lights Windham up with chops and jabs, Hennig runs in and Ric wrecks him as well leading to the first great Hennig oversell of the match. Backdrop to Windham, right hand to Hennig, David smacks Windham around a bit awkwardly. Windham pokes the eye and tags out to Hennig, who lights Flair up with chops. Flair pokes Hennig in the eye and sends him flying with a chop and jab. Hennig connects with a rolling snapmare on Ric, then drops David to the floor with a chop. Best bump David ever took. Windham wants to get involved but Anderson keeps him at bay, Hennig sends Ric to the floor off a corner whip. Ric climbs the buckles, Hennig slams him off (SHOCK), Windham tags in and continues the offense while David watches, nearly helpless.

Windham connects with a Superplex on Ric, floating over into a lateral press for the 1…2…Ric gets the shoulder up and Windham IMMEDIATELY protests to the ref. Ric surprises Windham with an inverted atomic drop followed by a chop but he trips over Windham and crashes to the canvas. Hennig tags in and applies a spinning toehold, Ric uses his leg strength to fling him away but Hennig quickly runs back over and goes to work on the left knee, eventually locking in the Figure Four as Windham provides hidden extra leverage. Eventually Hennig relinquishes the hold, Windham tags in and keeps working the leg over, Ric counters a Figure Four attempt with an inside cradle for the 1…2…not yet. Ric dazes Windham with a series of strikes but can’t put weight on his leg for too long and crashes to the canvas, Windham going back on the attack. Hennig and Windham work Ric over in their corner, David accidentally distracting the ref. Anderson comes to Ric’s defense, pulling Hennig out of the ring and leveling him with a series of punches as Ric locks in a Figure Four on Windham! Hennig gets the better of Anderson and stomps Ric to break the hold. Ric drops Hennig with a shoulder tackle and falls to one knee, Windham grabs him and they go for a double suplex but David runs in and kicks Hennig in the family jewels, Ric rolls Windham up for the 1…2…not yet. Hennig brings David in and goes for a Hennigplex, Anderson hits Hennig with a tire iron and David lands on top for the 1…2…3! 

Ric & David Flair defeated Curt Hennig & Barry Windham via pinfall (13:56)

  • David Flair and his rosy red cheeks were barely involved in the match which was a smart move on their part since he only had like a month’s worth of training or something. Make no mistake though he is not going to be a prodigy like Dustin Rhodes was; this man is going to be Erik Watts-level. Match was entertaining enough I guess, essentially a handicap match but Ric and Hennig made it fun and I have a soft spot for Barry Windham so I love seeing him wrestle. (**1/4)

Scott Norton, Horace Hogan, Vincent, and Brian Adams for the nWo Black & White come out to attack, Chris Benoit attempting to make the save but to no avail. The REAL nWo (Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash, Lex Luger, Scott Steiner, & Buff Bagwell) show up and bully David as Hogan handcuffs Ric to the middle rope. Ric looks on in sorrow as Hogan whips David with his weight belt and spraypaints “EZE” on his back. Hogan yells at Ric this was for Eric Bischoff, crowd chants for Goldberg and Sting but neither man shows up because they forgot how to read suddenly.

  • Goldberg  was attacked earlier in the show but Sting has NO excuse not to show up, unless he was out getting a sandwich or something. I’ve missed a lot of moments at my job due to sandwich-related reasons so I can relate. Ric acted the hell out of this, but David sucks so it’s hard to be sympathetic. Also this feels like a show-ending angle but we’ve still got one match to go so that’s cool.

LADDER MATCH
Goldberg vs. Scott Hall

Hall cost Goldberg his streak and the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at Starrcade ‘98 against Kevin Nash thanks to the use of a stun gun. Commissioner J.J. Dillon decided to have these two settle their dispute in a ladder match, with the stun gun as the prize/goal (match can only end once the stun gun is used). Hall does like ladder matches, or at least has found himself in a fair share of them. No World Title on the line but it is the main event so Michael Buffer has been flown in to handle the introductions. Before the match Hall gets on the mic and says that since Goldberg has a boo boo on his knee there isn’t going to be a match tonight and tells the ref to raise his hand. Unfortunately for him that’s bullsh*t and out comes GOLDBERG, entrance and all, to extract his revenge. His injured knee is braced up though, so there is a limb for Hall to focus on.

Hall shoves Goldberg, Goldberg shoves him to the mat and stares right through his soul. They lock up, Goldberg easily tosses Hall to the canvas, apparently this is a regular wrestling match now. NO RULES GUYS, BRAWL OR SOME SH*T. Hall goes to work on Goldberg’s arm to try and weaken it, Goldberg clubs him right off and down he goes. Goldberg connects with a bodyslam but visibly favors his braced-up knee showing a brief moment of weakness. Goldberg hurts it again with a powerslam, Schiavone says that’s why he couldn’t make a cover but manages to kind of catch it and pretends like it didn’t happen. Respect. Hall, as expected, focuses his offense on Goldberg’s knee and goes for the ladder in the entryway. Goldberg attacks Hall from behind, Hall shoves him over the ladder, his knee landing on the steel to hurt it further. Goldberg rams Hall into the guardrail and rolls him back into the ring before grabbing the ladder (DUDE DON’T PUT HIM BACK IN THE RING, WHAT’RE YOU DOOOOING). Hall sends the ladder into Goldberg with a VERY measured baseball slide and bounces his head off the steel ring steps, busting him open. Hall starts the climb, Goldberg falls down and Hall decides to hit an elbowdrop instead of grabbing the stun gun, the ladder falling on both of them. Everybody loses!

Hall starts the climb again, Goldberg brings him back to the canvas with a belly-to-back suplex; appears that it dazed Goldberg more as Hall gets to his feet first and cracks the ladder across his back. Hall tries to climb again, Goldberg shoves the ladder and Hall snaps off the top rope. Hall folds up the ladder, Goldberg swats it away and clotheslines him with his other arm. Hall sets the ladder up in the corner, Goldberg whips him into it and rides it down so he gets double the steel! Goldberg grabs the ladder and jabs it into Hall and across the back as the crowd goes wild (off-camera apparently, the camera-side people look bored as f*ck). Goldberg tries to climb, Hall DROPKICKS the ladder and Goldberg falls, landing on his bad leg. Hall shoves the ladder into Goldberg’s face and climbs, Goldberg shoves Hall off and he damn near gets split in half as his ankle gets caught on the top rope on the way down. GODDAMN. Goldberg gets close, out comes Disco Inferno who shoves the ladder down, Goldberg’s head snapping against the top rope in ugly fashion. Hall climbs the ladder and gets hold of the stun gun, Goldberg dodges the taser and drops him with a superkick, the taser flying out of his hand. Goldberg finds the stun gun and stares Hall down, shocking Inferno as he tries to interfere again. Hall pleads for mercy, Goldberg throws it up and SPEARS Hall, following up with a Jackhammer and finally he shocks Hall to get the win as the crowd loses its damn mind!

Goldberg defeated Scott Hall (17:40)

  • The Ladder match stipulation was kinda dumb and the match went way too long but it had some okay moments. Hall took some gnarly bumps making Goldberg look like a killer, and I think this was Goldberg’s first time really having to sell for a long period of time. I’ll admit I f*cking love Goldberg tossing the cattle prod and spearing a distracted Hall, that was wonderful. (**1/2)

Bam Bam Bigelow immediately attacks Goldberg, giving him no time to celebrate. Hall gets hold of the stun gun and tases both Bigelow AND Goldberg, apparently he hates both of them and he’s the one who stands tall at the end?

  • All that hype and build for Goldberg’s revenge and it’s like a 2 second shock before Bigelow runs in to…get punked out by Scott Hall. Hmmm.

*****

FINAL THOUGHTS

WCW started 1999 with the infamous “Fingerpoke of Doom”, alienating a big swath of its fanbase with one of the dumbest booking decisions they have ever made. They followed it up with Souled Out, its first PPV of the year and while it wasn’t nearly as bad as that it still isn’t exactly how you’d want to start the year off. There are a couple of okay matches but for the most part the undercard is dreadful and heatless, and Goldberg once again was made to look dumb at the end of the show by having Bigelow attack him before he even got to celebrate his victory. I won’t say this show is awful but it’s definitely dull as dishwater and you only need to watch it once, if at all.

  • FAVORITE MATCH: Kidman vs. Mysterio vs. Psicosis vs. Guerrera
  • FAVORITE MOMENT: Goldberg making Hall cower and throwing the stun gun in the air so he could surprise him with a spear.

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