Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Monday Nitro - November 8, 1999

Monday Nitro #213
Date: November 8, 1999
Location: Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 8,134
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

With less than two weeks to go until Mayhem, we have a long stretch of tournament matches to still get through. The question now is can any match break ten minutes. I don't remember the last time we reached that point, but it's a very rare sight in Russo Land. Hopefully things start to make a bit more sense but I wouldn't get my hopes up. Let's get to it.


We open in the production truck with Sid telling a production guy to play a tape when he gives him a cue.

Here's Sid in the arena with something to say. I can't see this ending well. The Outsiders think he's dumb, but he's not as dumb as he looks. This brings him to Goldberg, who quit at Halloween Havoc. The tape is cued up and we see Goldberg beating on Sid as Sid shouts I QUIT. That's it. Seriously, that's it. This brings out the Outsiders with Hall carrying the US Title.

Wait a minute. Hall took the belt from Sid, who wasn't champion when he took it from Bret. So does that make Bret Bad News Barrett, Sid R-Truth and Hall Dean Ambrose? Suddenly my life makes so much more sense. (That's a Wrestlemania XXXI reference if you're reading this ten years from now).

Hall brings up beating Sid last week but Sid says Hall was supposed to lay down. Hall doesn't lay down for anyone, because that's how the Kliq works. Nash wants Sid to call out Bret, but Hart saves Sid the trouble. Apparently Bret thinks Goldberg is the real US Champion and he's going to give Goldberg his belt back tonight. Cue Goldberg to spear Sid and challenge him to an I Quit match. Goldberg also challenges the Outsiders to a game of hide and seek. They hide, he seeks and destroys. Isn't that the name of Sting's theme song?

Here are the updated brackets. Sting and Luger have both advanced due to injuries.

Bret Hart
Perry Saturn

Norman Smiley
Kidman

Total Package
Sting

Chris Benoit
Madusa

Scott Hall
Lash Leroux

Buff Bagwell
Vampiro

Curt Hennig
Jeff Jarrett

That is one lame tournament.

Sting isn't sure he can trust Luger and thinks Lex has a lot of splaining to do.

Luger and Liz arrive in Indiana Pacers gear and try to sneak into the building without being noticed. The camera on them doesn't help this.

We look at Kimberly running David Flair over last week.

Kimberly arrives and tells Doug Dillinger that David has been harassing her all week. So why is she here? Dillinger gives her extra security.

Kevin Nash has his security license and that's all we hear as we go to commercial mid sentence.

The Filthy Animals are in the ring for all their sex based catchphrases because Russo thinks they're like DX. The insults bring out the Revolution, with Dean challenging Rey to a mixed tag with Torrie and Asya. Rey says it's on.

WCW World Title Tournament Second Round: Norman Smiley vs. Kidman

Norman is officially Screamin Norman Smiley. As he comes to the ring, Tony announces Hall vs. Sid vs. Hart vs. Goldberg in a Texas tornado ladder match for the US Title. This would be different from all those ladder matches where you have to tag. Since Norman is hardcore now, Brian Knobbs and Jimmy Hart come out for commentary. Kidman rips off the helmet Norman is wearing and it's fighting time.

Norman can't quite take his gloves off though so Kidman takes him to the ropes for a spanking, only to get kicked low. Something like an inverted powerbomb gets two on Kidman and Norman does his spanking (what is with Russo's obsession with spanking?) dance while Kidman screams for Torrie. There are so many connotations there, I don't know where to start. Knobbs sneaks in with a hockey stick to lay out Norman, giving Kidman the pin in barely two minutes.

To recap, Kidman is now in the final eight of the World Title tournament after needing the help of Brian Knobbs to defeat Norman Smiley in a two minute match that saw both men being spanked. This is the brilliant Vince Russo's grand solution to Rock, HHH, Austin, Angle, Undertaker and company.

Sting searches for Luger.

David Flair is lurking around with his crowbar.

Kevin Nash is getting a rainbow turban put on. Nash as the Grand Wizard would be....well it would be stupid actually.

Here's an angry Sting to call out Luger. He gets Liz instead, who, after tripping on the ramp because of her heels, says that Luger would never do anything to hurt their cherished friendship. Sting puts his arm around her and says she can be the female Total Package. Now Luger comes out and says he's here in friendship and apologizes for what happened last week. Sting chokes him against the ropes and says he'll rip his throat out if that ever happens again. As we've known for years, Sting can be a bit of a psycho.

Kimberly goes into her dressing room when the lights go out. David Flair's voice says she won't feel a thing. What am I even watching anymore?

WCW World Title Tournament Second Round: Chris Benoit vs. Madusa

Madusa actually puts on a hammerlock but Benoit calmly brushes it off. He tells her to leave and talks to the referee but Madusa fires off some kicks and a hurricanrana. That's it for Benoit as he rips off a chop to put Madusa on the mat. Cue Evan Karagias to get in a fight with referee Johnny Boone, who easily holds his own against Evan. Jeff Jarrett runs in and lays out Benoit for the DQ, because this isn't the WWF and we don't hit women.

Madusa freaks out on Jarrett for costing her a shot at the title.

Chavo Guerrero Jr. comes in to ask the Powers That Be for his opportunity for winning the battle royal on Thunder. Russo tells him that the opportunity around here is selling Amway, so get out of his office. So yeah, no reward and the battle royal was a waste of time.

Jim Duggan is cleaning toilets.

TV Title: Rick Steiner vs. Disco Inferno

Steiner is defending and Disco is Cruiserweight Champion. A quick Steinerline sends Disco to the floor, where the kid who has been hanging around Disco is carrying a bucket. He's officially named Tony Marinara and says he's been carrying Glenn since they were kids. Tony says he wants his money and it turns out the bucket is full of concrete. Rick takes it away and hits Disco in the head with it, setting up a German suplex for the pin. We're getting a mafia angle aren't we?

Nash is indeed the Grand Wizard of Wrestling and has powder, chloroform and brass knuckles. He and Hall are ready for Sid and they have riot police following them around.

We see the Nitro Girls finalists do a mini routine until AC Jazz comes out and throws out all the Nitro Girl wannabes. They're skanks and various other insults so here's Spice to call AC a ho, triggering a fight. Who looks at the Nitro Girls and says they need a story? Who looks at the Nitro Girls and says they need to exist actually?

Kimberly is hiding in the boiler room. David is there with her and says his master needs another bride. In case you're wondering, we've had about five and a half minutes of wrestling time so far but this is the third or fourth bit about these two.

Here's Dustin Rhodes as Seven for his debut promo. With the floor covered in smoke, he flies to the ring with the help of some not very well covered wires. “I want everyone here to take a good long look at this crap I'm in.” He rants about leaving the WWF because of gimmicks like Goldust, which completely sucked. It nearly ruined his wrestling career and he wanted to come back home and just be Dustin Rhodes. The Powers That Be think Dustin is boring though, so he's dressed up as Uncle Fester. “My new name is Seven by the way.”

He won't have any of this or Goldust and they know where they can shove it. Last week, WCW fired Dusty Rhodes so now his mission is to make the Powers That Be, WCW and TNA all suffer the consequences. You will never forget the name of Dustin Rhodes. To recap, Russo came up with this character and now has written a promo where he calls it stupid. He's already bored of burying the talent so he's going to bury himself I guess.

David is still on the hunt.

Luger and Liz have a plan to make up with Sting.

Sting vs. Goldberg

Just a match and Goldberg's first match of the night. After a two minute entrance, Goldberg slugs Sting up against the ropes but gets caught in a sleeper. Cue Luger and Liz as the referee goes down. They mace Sting (clearly intentional) and it's the spear and Jackhammer for the pin in 2:13. These two should have been the biggest match all year and Russo has run it twice in fifteen days in 5:21 total. That's borderline criminal. Also, in case you have hope for the future, this is their last singles match ever.

And now, after that huge match, the Outsiders offer Sid the riot squad when Rick Steiner comes up and demands Sid make time for him tonight. So Rick is the clingy ex?

Luger and Liz see Duggan mopping floors and steal his “wet floor” sign.

Kimberly finds a security guard and, say it with me, it's David Flair. What happened to the extra guards she was given earlier?

Vampiro is now a full on member of the Misfits. Well sweet goodness I totally want to watch the show, buy the merchandise and order the pay per views now. This totally changes my perspective on the company and wrestling as a whole and I can't put into words how excited I am to have seen this thrilling turn of events.

WCW World Title Tournament Second Round: Vampiro vs. Buff Bagwell

The Misfits jump Bagwell during his entrance and the referee has no issue ringing the bell during a 5-1 beatdown. Vampiro takes him inside for a running clothesline but completely misses a top rope flip attack. Bagwell fights off all of the Misfits but the referee gets poked in the eye and Vampiro hits a missile dropkick. I don't see why we needed a ref bump for that but I'm still reeling from the announcement that Vampiro has joined the Misfits so I probably missed the subtext. Berlyn comes down and nails Vampiro with a chain, setting up the Blockbuster for the pin. Five people, a ref bump and a chain. Match time: 82 seconds.

The Bodyguard beats up the Misfits post match. Creative Control comes up and beats Berlyn down as well. As terrifying as this is to me, I'm starting to understand these stories.

Luger is on the bathroom floor holding his knee. After a break, the EMT says there's nothing wrong with it.

WCW World Title Tournament Second Round: Bret Hart vs. Perry Saturn

Bret's knee seems to be fine and Shane Douglas is on commentary. Hart goes after the arm first but gets caught by a forearm to the face. Saturn gets smart and kicks at Bret's recently injured knee which Bret quickly remembers to sell. A t-bone suplex drops Bret but he avoids the Lionsault. Must be the Canadian instinct.

We hit the Five Moves of Doom (Shane: “I've seen this before!”) but Asya distracts the referee as Bret puts on the Sharpshooter. Shane gets up and hits him in the head with a cast, setting up the Death Valley Driver for a surprising kick out. Saturn throws him outside so Malenko can get in some cheap shots but Benoit runs out for the save. Bret gets thrown back in but escapes a sunset flip and puts on the Sharpshooter for the win to advance.

Rating: C-. Another potentially good match ruined by too much overbooking. Hart kicking out of the Death Valley Drive surprised me a bit, even though I know how this tournament ends. The bad side of that is I fully expected there to be a screwy finish if Bret was eliminated because that's the standard operating procedure around here these days: be screwy for the sake of being screwy.

Kimberly asks Creative Control for a meeting with the Powers That Be.

Nash does Johnny Carson's Carnac bit, meaning he gives the answer to a question and then reads the question. The answer is 316 and the question is how many times Undertaker and Austin have worked a pay per view against each other. Oh get over yourselves WCW. That shouldn't be hard given how low you are in the ratings.

Here's Booker T. with something to say. He's alone this week as Stevie Ray has been suspended. Booker has three things on his mind: Jeff Jarrett and Creative Control. He wants all three of them out here right now for a Harlem street fight.

Booker T. vs. Creative Control/Jeff Jarrett

Jeff sits on commentary because Creative Control can handle Booker on their own. Booker backdrops one of them to the floor and forearms the other so Jarrett comes in with the guitar for a threat, allowing Creative Control to hammer on Booker. Cue a woman who looks like a black Chyna....and gets hit with a guitar a few seconds after she gets in. That's the end of the so called match as Jarrett and Creative Control walk out.

The Powers That Be tell Luger that he has to face Sid or he's out of the tournament.

Asya/Dean Malenko vs. Torrie Wilson/Rey Mysterio

Torrie is in a swimsuit top, the bottom half of a dress and very high heels. She tries to take the dress off but Rey stops her for some reason. Asya handcuffs Torrie to the ring five seconds in and Rey gets double teamed. Torrie was really that big of a threat? A suplex gets two and it's off to Malenko for two more off a clothesline but Rey comes back with a one legged dropkick. He knocks Asya off the apron but Dean kicks him in the knee, only to get sent hard into Asya. Rey misses the Bronco Buster, setting up the Cloverleaf for another fast ending.

The Animals come in for the save as Tony says this was a grand plan. There was nothing grand about this Tony. Well except Torrie.

Kimberly goes into the shower and David is waiting for her. Good grief just leave the arena already. Then again David seems to have superpowers tonight so it might not matter.

Sid Vicious vs. Total Package

Liz wheels Luger down and Lex says his knee is too banged up to compete, but he'll be fine for the tournament match next week. This brings Sting out to beat Luger up and throw him in to face Sid. Sid hammers away but has to move Liz to get at Luger again. Luger actually sells the knee (still wrapped in ice) as Sid stomps on it. A big boot puts Luger down and the riot squad comes out. They stop an invading Goldberg, then step aside so he can come in and spear both guys for the no contest, even though it should have been a DQ on Luger since Goldberg got speared first.

Brian Knobbs vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

Hardcore of course and the winner will face Norman Smiley for the Hardcore Title. Norman comes down to do commentary and asks if Bigelow has dental insurance because he's been missing that tooth for years. He's already the funniest commentator this company has. After some trashcan shots they fight into the back with Norman playing Road Dogg as roving commentator.

They knock each other into a wall and Norman wants to know where Doug Dillinger is when you really need him. Knobbs hits Bigelow with a chair and drives him through a table as Norman screams a lot. Kimberly shows up and has Bigelow come with her, meaning Knobbs wins by countout. Backstage. In a hardcore match. This was a way for Kimberly to get some protection but Norman continues to be hilarious.

Norman beats up Knobbs and Jimmy and throws them in trashcans.

Kimberly and Bam Bam Bigelow are looking for David. Bigelow: “If you want to pick on a girl, pick on me!”

WCW World Title Tournament Second Round: Scott Hall vs. Lash Leroux

Nash is with Hall and in the Grand Wizard garb. The riot guard is with them as well to really overbook things. Heenan thinks the guest referee for the ladder match is going to be from another organization. We start with a toothpick throw and Lash is tossed into the corner. Hall drives in the shoulders and puts on an armbar to slap Lash in the back of the head. Back up and Lash scores with some forearms and a dropkick as Tony is really putting Lash over. The Outsiders have a meeting on the floor and Nash offers chloroform.

Back in and Scott offers a test of strength and pokes Leroux in the eye. Tony talks about the tournament and Heenan says he sounds like Dick Vitale. Tony: “Really?” Heenan: “No.” A chokeslam sets up the Giant imitation, because it makes sense to mock someone who left nine months ago. Tony tries to cover for him by saying it's climbing a ladder, which is better than most ideas he's had before.

Hall puts on an abdominal stretch and lifts Lash's leg to make it even worse. As Lash makes his comeback, Tony promises a recap of everything that's happened earlier in the night. The fact that that's a featured attraction tells you how messy this show has been. Hall stops the comeback with a discus punch and the fallaway slam. The Outsider's Edge is good for the pin.

Rating: C. You know what? This wasn't half bad. Maybe it's my shock that they had a match end clean, but this was a totally acceptable six minute (longest of the night) match. It's nothing great and nothing I'll think about by the time this show is over, but this was such a nice change of pace from the other “matches” all night that it was pretty entertaining.

Nash calls the riot squad into the ring and one of them is Goldberg. You can figure the rest out for yourselves. Before the double spear, Nash tries to throw powder in Goldberg's face. I'm sure Nash had a plan to get it past the helmet and visor.

Recap of Hennig having to avoid getting pinned to keep his job. We still have no idea why this stipulation has been put into place.

WCW World Title Tournament Second Round: Curt Hennig vs. Jeff Jarrett

Hennig jumps him in the aisle to start and they head inside with Jeff grabbing a quick small package for two. They head right back outside for a slugout with Jeff going after the knee as is his custom. Cue Creative Control to watch from the stage as Hennig kicks out of a Figure Four attempt.

Curt fights back and naturally we get a ref bump. You can feel the ratings triple as fans just know the referee has gone down in a five minute match and the excitement cannot be contained! The PerfectPlex doesn't matter because no one is there to count, allowing Creative Control to beat Curt down. They slam him through the announcers' table and it's a countout, meaning this stupid angle MUST CONTINUE!

Rating: D+. Somehow this might have been the second best match of the night. I'm already getting bored of telling Russo that there's no need to have a match this overbooked when you have two talented guys in there, but this was more of the same problems over and over again. Boring match but at least they had some time to set something up.

Jeff gives Curt the Stroke post match.

Here are the updated brackets:

Bret Hart
Kidman

Sting
Total Package

Chris Benoit
Scott Hall

Buff Bagwell
Jeff Jarrett

Kimberly comes to the ring and says she's tired of running from David, so come get her. This brings out David but Bam Bam Bigelow jumps him. David hits him low and gets in a crowbar shot though, sending Kimberly running away again.

Post break, Kimberly is trying to get in her car with David Flair behind her. She drops her keys but gets in anyway, only to have David break out a window. Creative Control comes up and chases him off, saying the Powers That Be will see her now. Why she hasn't CALLED THE FREAKING POLICE all night is never made clear.

US Title: Sid Vicious vs. Goldberg vs. Bret Hart vs. Scott Hall

Ladder match with Goldberg defending. During the entrances, Tony recaps the evening and my goodness it sounds even worse. Hall and Sid start fighting before the other two get there and it's clear that Sid could easily reach up and pull down the title without a ladder. Bret and Goldberg come in with no music as we're reminded about the special referee. We could also use a ladder, so here comes Nash with a ladder and a referee's shirt.

Goldberg and Hall slug it out in the aisle and we're told it's Kimberly vs. David Flair at Mayhem. So it's Kimberly vs. a man stalking her and potentially trying to rape her earlier. No, of course Russo doesn't have issues with women. All four get inside as the fans chant for Goldberg but they get Rick Steiner instead. He plants Sid with the bulldog and slugs it out with Goldberg. Hart pulls down the belt but Nash hits him in the bad leg with a pipe and picks up the belt. Hall climbs one rung and is handed the belt to make him the champion.

Rating: D-. Why did I expect anything else here? It was an overbooked ladder match and that's the best idea they could come up with, but at least Hall is the champion now and....what exactly does that change? Nothing of course, because titles mean nothing in this company and are nothing more than a plot point. That's one of those Russo ideas that has stayed around, despite the fact that it's rarely made things even better.

Overall Rating: F+. At what point did this stop being a wrestling show? Somewhere recently this turned into a bunch of direct to video movies spliced together. Kimberly was all over this show more than the Filthy Animals had been recently, which makes for good scenery but some STUPID moments. She had no reason to be there tonight as she quit the Nitro Girls and Page is allegedly hurt, but she showed up for the sake of the plot. Bad show with some watchable matches when they were given time, but we needed more shenanigans with Luger's knee or Kimberly being stupid. Standard WCW fare in other words.


Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon authors page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

38 comments:

  1. How was this even allowed to air at the time?

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  2. You had to resort to calling a Scott Hall/Lash Leroux match watchable? Why are you putting yourself through this again?

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  3. kbwrestlingreviewsApril 1, 2015 at 12:29 PM

    I didn't sit through all of this to just give up now. It's like a quest at this point.

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  4. It's gotta be like that feeling of just having to know what's on the other side of the mountain, no matter what kind of bullshit you have to endure.

    Yes, I watched both WCW and WWE around this time as well. I guess I just mentally checked out on a lot of this stuff because WWE was so immensely watchable, whereas this... wasn't.

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  5. They should show this episode at interrogation camps

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  6. I thought Seven promos started airing a few months before Russo had left the WWF?

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  7. "At what point did this stop being a wrestling show?" When Russo signed on.
    Mock current WWE all you want but geez, Nash taking shots at WWF when they were totally kicking WCW's ass was seriously petty.

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  8. The answer is 316 and the question is how
    many times Undertaker and Austin have worked a pay per view against
    each other.

    That is pretty funny though.

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  9. The Seven thing...okay, not like the child molestor character would have been good at all but geez, throwing out a massively expensive entrance just for a "shoot" of quitting? That's pure WCW in a nutshell.

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  10. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogApril 1, 2015 at 1:54 PM

    WCW was already dead, just nobody had tapped them on the shoulder to tell them yet

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  11. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogApril 1, 2015 at 1:58 PM

    Nitro was pretty much unwatchable at this point. WWF got AWESOME just in time, with 2000 feeling like a new world for wrestling

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  12. someone get some adderall for russo, jesus christ. my head is just spinning reading this recap.

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  13. The Ghost of Faffner HallApril 1, 2015 at 3:05 PM

    This isn't the WWF and we don't hit women!


    (black Chyna gets blasted with a guitar)


    Never mind!

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  14. (That's a Wrestlemania XXXI reference if you're reading this ten years from now)

    Yeah, you don't need to worry about that.

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  15. Russo didn't come up with Seven.

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  16. This sounds horrendous.

    thank god I'm too young to have seen any of this.

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  17. kbwrestlingreviewsApril 1, 2015 at 3:40 PM

    I knew someone was going to say that and I knew it would be you. Thanks for never letting me down chum.

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  18. kbwrestlingreviewsApril 1, 2015 at 3:40 PM

    How do you think it is watching it?

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  19. kbwrestlingreviewsApril 1, 2015 at 3:41 PM

    Weeks maybe but I don't think it's months.

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  20. kbwrestlingreviewsApril 1, 2015 at 3:42 PM

    Doesn't really matter as he blamed it on the Powers That Be. The story and writing say he made it up and then buried it.

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  21. I hope this proves Russo hurt WCW far more than he helped it.

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  22. Jorge SteinbrennerApril 1, 2015 at 6:35 PM

    Radiolab, a public radio show on WNYC in New York, just did a story that used the Montreal Screwjob as a jumping point for how smart fans try to find the "real" in pro wrestling. There was a tremendous Fleetwood Mac analogy.

    Anyways, they had Vince F'ing Russo contributing, talking about Bret's WCW years and what caused WCW's collapse. You're not going to believe this, but the pink elephant in the room wasn't brought up.

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  23. unfortunately im not. I cant believe as a kid (and die hard WCW fan) I subjected myself to this shit on a weekly basis and still thought that things will get better...

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  24. funny thing is they were still getting ratings at this time that are better than what WWE is getting today.

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  25. Nash could care less he was still making over a mill a year working a limited schedule on a guaranteed contract, heas well as many other vets were phoning it in when they saw these garbage scripts.

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  26. WWE was not that good in '99 either to be fair, but it was still better than wcw.

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  27. kbwrestlingreviewsApril 1, 2015 at 8:30 PM

    Yeah but it's such a different scene now that it's not a fair comparison to make. I don't know why so many people still care about the ratings today. It's just totally different these days.

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  28. kbwrestlingreviewsApril 1, 2015 at 8:31 PM

    That's all it had to be too. Also, at least their main players were under 40 and not terrified of having an actual match.

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  29. It made sense at the time or I was just desperate college kid thinking this crap would get over.

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  30. kbwrestlingreviewsApril 1, 2015 at 8:40 PM

    I was watching as an 11 year old and it only kind of made sense back then. It still does to a degree today, but there's so much on it that either is WAY too convoluted or just delivered in a horrible way.

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  31. Because I thought if you replaced this with WWF talent - this stuff would be comedy gold.

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  32. Really? No offense to Thomas Hall, but if we need this recap to PROVE that Russo hurt WCW more than help, we're in serious trouble.

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  33. kbwrestlingreviewsApril 1, 2015 at 10:16 PM

    None taken. I think we all knew it was bad. I'm just not sure how bad people remember it getting. We remember the pole matches and the the wrestling disappearing, but it's astounding me to see how truly horrible this gets, especially with the little details like the four ref bumps a night and Kimberly just being an idiot.

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  34. It's funny that WCW could have done good business (like having Goldberg chase for the title or doing a big blowoff for Goldberg v Sting) but either due to incompetence or politics, WCW wasn't producing a show fans wanted to see.

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  35. What was the analogy? I assume that Mac fans want to read the real-world relationships and break-ups of the band into their songs, to find out who is whom in them?

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  36. ah, the infamous "Goldust SUCKED" promo. Even Mick Foley publically trashed Dustin for saying that, as "Goldust was about the only SUCCESSFUL thing Dustin ever DID". And he's pretty much right. Goldust gave him a new lease on life, and he basically owes his career to the guy. No way was a big, gawky, chubby-looking guy like Dustin getting a push anywhere after 1992 or so.

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  37. You're the equivalent of Elaine Benes trying to finish off her sub card to get the free sub when she readily admits they are awful.


    Great work by the way. You old school reviewers do what I am way too lazy to do.

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  38. kbwrestlingreviewsApril 2, 2015 at 12:07 PM

    Much appreciated.

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