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This week with Caliber

For those that have WWE's Classics On Demand, you know it's WCW Month. In honor of that, for the next 4 weeks, each column is going to have something related to the late World Championship Wrestling.

Next week, I team up again with Mike Bradley as we take a look at SuperBrawl 1999. So, this week, I'm taking a look at the Nitro 6 days before SuperBrawl. Specifically, when masked men beat the hell out of Ric Flair in a field.

So, Ric arrives via a plane, along with three friends. Bischoff is his limo driver.

Driving along, Ric's friends are talking, proving to the world that the greatest actors aren't always on movie screen or stage. One of them says, with a straight face, might I add;

"What about this big show, TV. this is gonna be the biggest hit of the day! Will Sasso vs Bret Hart!". Did this guy hang his head out of the airplane on the flight over?

Flair's phone rings, and shows the world that his friends are insane, as they don't bat an eye to hearing;

"when did that happen? I asked him to stay from Disco....Arn Anderson got to the Disco Inferno....6 cops?! Oh man..."

I mean, if I were his friend, I'd be thinking to myself that his friend Arn Anderson went insane at the Disco Inferno, and killed six cops. 

OK, now the limo is driving down an empty road, with a helicopter shining a spotlight on it. Oh snaps, Flair's limo is now surrounded by a few hummers. Some masked thugs exit said hummer, and proceed to approach the limo.

A masked man pokes his head in, who has a HUGE blonde fu-manchu poking out from his mask, tells the other guys to leave. Flair starts doing battle, knocking down a masked man, and backing away
from another, for about 2 miles it seems, while the masked man tosses a stick back and forth between his hands. Where did he get a stick? Is he 6? Is another thug gonna have a dirt clod?

The hummers are circling the two, when oh snaps! Flair is jumped from behind. The hummers empty
out as about 6 or so masked men jump him, and continue giving him an ass beating. They're whipping him with a weight lifting belt.

Now that the beating is over, they unmask. Well what the hell was the point of even wearing a mask?! They really beat the hell out of him, and honestly, it looks like what could be the start of a cool angle.
Like if Flair were to work his way through each member who did this to him until he reached Hogan or something. Again, why did they even wear a mask at all? Does Nash wear a condom when he makes out with a chick? Does Buff Bagwell wear a seat-belt when using armor all on his dashboard?

What happened to Flair's friends? Are they just running around a pitch black desert, lamenting about missing the biggest show of the day?

The hummers are back at the arena. Hogan gets out, with the mask on,  blond hair showing, fu-manchu poking out, wearing the world title, and Tony just CAN'T figure out who that is.
Hogan won't take the mask off. He looks like the World Heavyweight Champion of Rape.

They hit the ring, and Hogan says he isn't worried about SuperBrawl. He then offers Ric Flair a shot at the title. He gets to a count of 8, but then instead we get Roddy Piper. I mean, Piper vs Hogan in 1999, and Piper comes out with a Reality Check t-shirt without a sense of irony.

I am shocked that Stone Cold & The Rock's stuff was beating this. I mean, Piper just had Hogan's head between his legs as he did a Rick Rude type hip-swivel. They brawl outside of the ring, before Piper
returns it to the squared circle. An eye-poke is the lead into an atomic drop, followed by some boxing of the ears. Pin attempt gets 2. If I was a betting man, I'd say this match ends with a clean pin. Hogan
finally gets some offense in with a flurry of punches. But then begins the real fight with his own shirt, as he struggles to get it off, a fight he almost looses. A steel chair to Piper does nothing but fire him up. Hogan answers Piper's boost of energy with the weight lifting belt. Back in the ring, Hogan whips him some more, then chokes him. The ref gives him a 5 count. That's like saying you can't use a closed fist with brass-knuckles, has to be open hand. Hogan chokes him in the corner, then takes him to the center of the ring and levels him with a punch. Some show-boating proves a mistake as Piper gets up and returns the favor
by beating Hogan with the belt. He slaps The Hulkster with the sleeper, to which Scott Hall responds with the tazer! [did you know that spell-check doesn't know the word "tazer"?] Are you kidding me?! A DQ? Well now I look a fool. Honestly, how were people sick of seeing matches end like this? It's only been 3 years. Then there's Horace. A hero for all those who hope to practice the art of nepotism someday.

It goes to commercial, and as we come back we find a guy driving up to find a wounded Ric Flair, and helps him into the truck. So, am I to believe that the camera crew was just sitting there, watching him die? While Flair's other friends continue to run around a blackened desert, pissed off that they're missing, well, you know, the biggest show of the day.

So, the guy helps Flair, and they're off to the arena. An hour later, Hogan comes out with the nWo Elite. I like that it's the Elite, yet still has Bryan Adams, Horace Hogan, and Stevie Ray. Now, much like earlier, Hogan calls out Flair, but says he won't show up, because he's in the back, afraid. He's obviously not in a field, bleeding to death, because Hogan was wearing a mask at the time. Now, get this. The announcers, for some reason, weren't allowed to see the earlier clips. So Tony has no idea what this pick-up truck is, or why Ric Flair is falling out of it, looking like hell. Flair grabs an axe-handle, as he stumbles to the arena.
Hahah, Bobby Heenan wants to know if he's drunk. Why the hell weren't they allowed to see the earlier footage? This is hilarious. Flair just keeps falling, and I'm forced to hear some moron scream "You're the man, you're the man, you're the man" over and over. I'd seriously rather be beaten half to death in a field than watch this.

Flair FINALLY gets in the ring, amazingly hits Stevie Ray, and isn't forced to sell for him. Of course, the Horsemen hit the ring, which means they have to get the crap beat out of them.

Our final shot of the night is Scott Hall, backstage, handing a tazer to the camera man and saying "now that you've seen how it's done, don't mess it up". Well, it may not have made sense, but at least he wasn't in a mask. Or a field.

Truly, the show of the day.

Hope you guys enjoyed the review, thanks for reading.

- Caliber Winfield
Str8 Gangster, No Chaser - Man Movie Encyclopedia, editorials, movie reviews, Top 4's, pro-wrestling
WCW In The Year 2000 - A recap of the absolute worst year in any wrestling promotion's history.
email: - any questions, comments, stuff for the mailbag.


  1. For all the terrible stuff that WCW did in 1999, definitely one of the strangest was that sometimes the announcers had no clue what was being shown to the audience, and sometimes they did. Stuff like the beating in the field they couldn't see, then around this same time there were also the mysterious meetings between Kevin Nash and "Samantha", the woman who would later become Torrie Wilson, as they were using her to get close to David Flair in order to get him to turn on his father at SuperBrawl. I think the announcers were also unable to see those clips, or at least sometimes they could, and sometimes they couldn't, so occasionally when there would be one aired that they could see, they would have no idea who this woman was and why this bit was being aired on a wrestling program. 

    You have to wonder if this was something that was discussed in a production meeting at some point. Someone comes up with the idea, "Hey, wouldn't it be awesome if Flair showed up all beaten up and the announcers had no fucking idea what had happened to him, like you know, they either weren't watching the first hour, or maybe they were watching but we just don't let the announcers see everything that the fans see. Wouldn't that be awesome?" Everyone else in the room thinks that's the stupidest thing they've ever heard, but then Bischoff, or Nash, or whomever the hell was in charge at the time says "Whoa, that would awesome and truly revolutionary! No wrestling show in history has ever aired footage and expected their own announcers to be completely unaware of it. This could change the business as we know it! Let's do it!"

    Or maybe the explanation is much simpler, and the announcers were just watching Raw anytime there wasn't a match going on in the ring. Like, you know, everybody else.

  2. Yeah, I think stuff like not letting the announcers in on things really caused a lot of the mess they got themselves into.  A lot of their ideas around this time were fun in theory, but the execution was so poor due to how disorganized everyone was.  Nothing ever came across the way it was intended to on television.

    I remember Bobby Heenan complaining a lot in his book (or maybe it was in his shoot interview) about Tony withholding information from him and Mike Tenay about finishes, angles that were coming up later in the show, etc.  Stuff like that probably didn't help get everyone on the same page with these angles.

    It's too bad politics were as much of an issue as they were -- things like Goldberg never getting another honest to god run with the title is mind blowing.  Or a rematch with Hogan.  Or a real feud again after the seeds of the Bret Hart feud were planted in Canada.  I don't know why they didn't just give him the title and let him run with it for like a year.  They had a whole host of guys on the cusp of the uppercard (Benoit, Jericho, Booker T), plus name guys like Bret Hart and Sting that could still go and could have put on really good matches with him, plus helped him hone his craft ala Luger in 1989.

    What did they have to lose anyway? WCW was main-eventing cards with * and ** matches for years during their glory period, it would have gone a long way to making them look legit in 1999 if they had young, athletic guys who were over on top of the card putting on respectable matches instead of Hogan putting on a weight-lifting belt whipping exhibition. 

  3. THREAD JACK: A lot of people leaving TNA these days. Shelley, Morgan West and Flair and now rumored to not be renewing his contract Chris Sabin.

    MCMG reunion in WWE?! I can only hope so.

    I said a while ago that pretty soon theres gonna be a radicalz type of departure in TNA. Anyone think there is gonna be more people coming soon?

  4.  This is plagairized from Austin Poole's WCW IN the Year 20000 blog.

  5. If Samoa Joe were smart, he'd leave, especially after seeing the matches that Punk and Bryan are having.

  6. i would have jumped once umaga died. sure he would have been in fcw/nxt but it did wonders for bryan.

  7. Seriously, how many people even remember Bryan was on NXT? I can barely remember Cole burying him on commentary anymore.

  8.  The sad thing is Joe re-upped his contract last year, so he's locked in.  Guess he must be making pretty good money on a very limited schedule.  It's a shame though, would love to see Punk-Joe again or Bryan-Joe even if it's a 10 minute throw away match on Smackdown.

  9. Can't help it. That Austen Poole [he spells his first name with an E] is just too damn creative. A bit sexy too....


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