Wrestler of the Day – July 10: Sean Waltman

Make some noise. Today is Sean Waltman.

The Kid debuted in 1989 and got his big break with a rivalry against Jerry Lynn on the independent circuit. Here’s one of those matches in the GWF on January 27, 1991.

Light Heavyweight Title: Jerry Lynn vs. Lightning Kid

This is 2/3 falls and Kid is defending. There are special rules here: you have to win with a set finisher or the referee won’t count. The Kid has to use something called the Lightning Strike and Lynn has to use the sleeper. That’s very different. Kid grabs a headlock to start before they trade some arm work. Lynn comes back with a springboard armdrag to escape and it’s time for a test of strength.

Kid breaks Lynn’s bridge but the referee won’t count. These stipulations are going to get annoying in a hurry. Jerry grabs an amateur hold and agrees to let Kid try the same, earning him a kick to the ribs. A headscissors sends Jerry to the floor and a big dive crushes him again. Back in and Kid misses a guillotine legdrop and Jerry slaps on a quick sleeper for the first fall.

We take a break and come back with Lynn down off something we didn’t see. Kid gets rolled up but it doesn’t count either. Some kicks have Lynn in trouble but Lynn backdrops him out to the floor. A spinning cross body from the apron to the floor crushes Kid but he comes back with a tombstone out of nowhere for the pin. Apparently that’s the Lightning Strike.

Another break and we come back Kid hitting a corner dropkick but missing a charge. Lynn escapes the Lightning Strike and hits a cross body for no count. The referee goes down and Scott Anthony comes in to knock out Lynn but hits Kid with a chain by mistake. Lynn puts on a quick sleeper for the win and the title.

Rating: C+. This was the top indy feud at this point and it holds up pretty well over twenty years later. The stipulations really hurt here and it brings the match down a bit, but at least the spots didn’t hurt things too much. The Kid was a heel here despite not being big enough to make the tombstone look that effective. Good match.

The Kid would head to the WWF under various names, such as the Kamizake and Lightning Kid. He eventually went with just The Kid and looked to get squashed by Razor Ramon on Raw, May 17, 1993.

The Kid vs. Razor Ramon

Razor shoves him down to start and Savage says this is as good as Kid has ever done. Some hard chops have the Kid in trouble and a HUGE beal sends him flying. An abdominal stretch sets up the fall away slam and Kid looks dead. Back up and the Kid avoids a charge in the corner before hitting a moonsault press, with his knee smacking Razor in the head, for the pin in what still may be the biggest upset in WWE history.

One of the Kid’s first big pay per view matches was at Survivor Series 1993.

Team IRS vs. Team Razor Ramon

IRS, Adam Bomb, Diesel, Rick Martel
Razor Ramon, 1-2-3 Kid, Marty Jannetty, Mr. Perfect

IRS and Ramon are feuding over Razor’s IC Title, Martel was the guy Ramon beat for the title, Diesel and Adam Bomb are just there to fill in spots, Jannetty and Kid are a semi-regular tag team and Perfect….isn’t here. Ramon talks about Perfect leaving (his back messed up again and he just kind of left for five months) but he’s got a treat for us. He’s got a surprise partner and it’s……RANDY SAVAGE! Heenan LOSES IT and the crowd does too. This is when Savage wanted to murder Crush, who is in the main event tonight.

Heenan apparently called Perfect no showing this and Vince says Heenan was right for once. Bobby: “FOR ONCE???” Oh yes Bobby is feeling it tonight. Ramon and Martel start things off with Rick working on the arm. They fight for the arm and hit the mat for a bit before popping back up. Razor slaps him in the face and rolls through a cross body for two. Martel gets caught in the fallaway slam (BIG pop for that) for two.

Razor hits a pair of atomic drops and a clothesline for two. Off to Adam Bomb who shoves Ramon into the corner with ease. They collide and Razor is knocked down in something which shouldn’t surprise anyone. They have a test of strength with Bomb controlling again before Ramon fights up and suplexes Bomb down.

Martel tries to save but elbows Bomb by mistake. Harvey Whippleman (Bomb’s manager) gets up on the apron and is knocked down, causing a big fight between IRS’ team. Ramon’s team, somehow thinking coherently given how many drugs must be in them, actually uses common sense and lets them fight. We get things settled down and it’s the Kid vs. Bomb. Kid tries a sunset flip and Bomb (about 6’8 and 300lbs) is like boy please.

Off to Diesel who throws Kid around even harder. Who thought it was a good idea to put the Kid in there against the biggest and strongest opponents? A gutwrench powerbomb from Diesel leaves Kid laying and a big boot does the same. Kid finally hits a spin kick and it’s off to Savage who destroys the entire team, including sending Bomb into Diesel. A slam puts Diesel down and the flying elbow makes it 4-3. Write that down as you may never see Nash do another clean job.

Martel charges in and rams Savage face first into the buckle. Since it’s 1993, Martel’s offense has almost no effect and Savage takes over. Off to IRS who has a bit better luck as he takes Savage into the corner but gets cross bodied for two. Back to Ramon who works on the arm but as he hits the ropes, Martel hits Razor in the back to slow the Bad Guy (Razor’s nickname) down.

Bomb comes back in to power Razor around a bit but it’s quickly back to Martel. Make that IRS who works on Razor’s back. We hit the chinlock and the heels switch a few times without tagging. Off to Macho Man again who knees IRS into the corner. A slam looks to set up the Elbow but here comes Crush. Savage sees him and immediately goes after him but is sent back into the ring and rolled up by IRS for the pin and elimination.

Savage chases Crush into the back and looks for him in the locker rooms as the match is still going on. Savage doesn’t find him so we’ll continue this game later. We come back to the ring to see Adam Bomb choking away on Jannetty and stomping him in the corner. Martel hooks an abdominal stretch for a few seconds but a corner charge hits the post and it’s back to Ramon.

Razor pounds away on IRS and hits a chokeslam followed by the Razor’s Edge for the pin and the 3-2 advantage. Everything breaks down and as Razor loads up the Edge on Martel, IRS hits him in the ribs with his briefcase. Ramon rolls to the floor and gets counted out to tie things up again. So it’s Jannetty/1-2-3 Kid vs. Martel/Bomb. The Kid gets sent to the floor and slammed down by Bomb who hits a slingshot clothesline to take the Kid down back inside.

Off to Martel as the Kid is in a lot of trouble. Martel drops some knees on the back for two as Vince says the Kid has a lot of heart. Heenan: “THEN KICK HIM IN THE HEART!” Martel jumps into a right hand to the ribs and there’s the tag to Jannetty who cleans house. Back to the Kid way too soon for a double back elbow and a sunset flip to eliminate Martel. Kid immediately tags in Jannetty who sunset flips Bomb for the pin ten seconds after Martel was eliminated. REALLY hot ending here.

Rating: B. I really liked this match as it was fast paced and a ton of fun. If you cut about five minutes from this, it’s a classic. Having Jannetty and the Kid be the survivors was a very nice surprise and it gave the fans something to cheer for. Really liked this one and it puts the show off on the right foot.

If you ever need proof that a four minute match can be amazing, here’s King of the Ring 1994.

Semi-Finals: Owen Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid

Owen looks almost chipper here. Kid is injured as heck to say the least. I’m not all that into this announcer. He was the guy at Mania 10 and I just didn’t like him that much. Gorilla says Kid was hammered earlier. How appropriate of a line that is. Macho recaps “for those who just tuned in”. Well ok then. Usually what I’ll do is watch a few minutes of a match then pause it or type during downtime like a chinlock or something like that.

This was a four minute match, and I think they weren’t going after each other for about 4 seconds in their longest stretch. This was on FIRE and was more or less a lucha libre style match. I’ve always thought Owen was a bit overrated but this was awesome. Kid was awesome too as I still say he was better against smaller guys. This was awesome with Owen winning with the Sharpshooter. Kid taps, but we don’t know what that means yet so he has to say he gives up which is just odd to see.

Rating: A. This was short but awesome. This style was so far ahead of its time that I don’t think anyone else on the roster, other than MAYBE Shawn could have pulled off something like this. Why in the world do we have to have Piper vs. Lawler take up 12 minutes when we could have more of this?

Back to Survivor Series with the Kid trying to go back to back as an underdog.

Teamsters vs. Bad Guys

Diesel, Shawn Michaels, Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart, Jeff Jarrett
Razor Ramon, 1-2-3 Kid, British Bulldog, Headshrinkers

Diesel and Shawn are tag champions but they’ve having issues. Owen and Neidhart are a semi-regular tag team. This version of the Headshrinkers is Fatu and Sione, more famous as Rikishi and the Barbarian. Razor is IC Champion. I didn’t know that for sure but it’s the mid 90s so I took a shot in the dark. Shawn keeps slipping in front of Diesel to steal the spotlight. That’ll become important later.

It takes awhile to decide who starts before we get Kid vs. Owen. This should be good. The fans chant 1-2-3 which sounds something like RVD. Before there’s any contact it’s off to Neidhart which won’t be as interesting. Neidhart hits a shoulder block to start but gets dropkicked down. Another shoulder gives the Anvil control though and it’s off to Jarrett. Things speed up a bit and Jarrett loses the advantage Neidhart got him.

Off to Sione, who is someone I’ve talked about before but I’ll do it again here. This guy continuously had work for nearly fifteen years, which is impressive when you consider how basic the main character he played was. The guy was always around though other than in the dying days of WCW. Anyway here he gets dropkicked in the back but powers out of the cover with ease.

Off to Owen who wants the Bulldog. Davey comes in to a big ovation and they trade insane counters to wristlocks. Owen gets catapulted into the good guy corner, which is actually the Bad Guy corner, but the Bad Guys are the good guys in the match if that makes sense. Bulldog gets kicked in the face by Hart and it’s off to Neidhart for a double clothesline. Then Bulldog hits a double clothesline on Hart and Anvil, followed by the delayed vertical on Neidhart.

Fatu hits a top rope headbutt for no cover. Instead he tries to take his own boot off because he’s used to wrestling barefoot. Jarrett comes in and is immediately powerslammed before it’s off to Razor. Jeff immediately bails and it’s Razor vs….Jarrett still. Double J takes Razor to the mat and MESSES WITH HIS HAIR! Oh he’s so EVIL! A big right hand by Razor staggers Jeff and a clothesline puts him on the floor. This is a very hot crowd so far.

Back in and Jarrett escapes an atomic drop and punches Razor in the face to get himself in even more trouble. Off to the Kid who Razor gives a fall away slam to send him straight into Jeff in a cool move. Jeff hooks an abdominal stretch with some cheating from Shawn. That eventually gets caught and the Kid hooks a stretch of his own which doesn’t last long. Off to Fatu vs. Owen but all of the Canadian offense results in Samoan dancing.

A blind tag is made to Diesel and it’s a clothesline and a Jackknife to take out Fatu. Kid runs in and hits a dropkick but a top rope sunset flip is easily countered into a chokebomb. Jackknife finishes Kid a second later. Here’s Sione to pound away but he can only stagger the big man. ANOTHER Jackknife makes it 5-2. Diesel put out three guys in 70 seconds. Bulldog comes in and pounds away but a big boot puts Smith on the floor where he brawls with Owen to a countout.

So it’s Ramon vs. all five guys and he starts with Diesel. A discus punch puts Diesel down as does a middle rope bulldog. Diesel gets a clothesline in to take Razor down and Shawn screams for a Jackknife. The future Outsiders slug it out but Diesel drops him on the buckle in a snake eyes. Ramon comes back with a slam and calls for the Edge but Diesel easily backdrops him down. A big boot puts Razor down and there’s the Jackknife.

NOW Shawn wants in but he asks Diesel to hold Razor. Those of you paying attention should know what’s coming, and there it is as Shawn superkicks Diesel by mistake. Apparently this has happened a few times before and Diesel is MAD. Diesel destroys the rest of his team and stalks Shawn up the aisle. Ramon is the only one left in the ring and somehow the countout eliminates EVERYONE on the Teamsters to make Razor the sole survivor.

Rating: C. This was all angle and not much wrestling. This was the big face turn for Diesel which would result in the world title incredibly soon after this. It was a face turn that made sense too as he was tired of Shawn telling him what to do and getting hurt as a result, so he gave up and went after Shawn. Ticked off giants are very fun, so the first few months of Diesel Power were fun stuff. It was the other eight or nine months that stopped being fun.

Razor and Kid would get a Tag Team Title shot at In Your House 4.

Tag Titles: Smoking Gunns vs. 1-2-3 Kid/Razor Ramon

The Gunns are defending while the challengers aren’t getting along all that well. They swear they’re fine though. The challengers both slick back their hair instead of shaking hands with the Gunns. It’s the Kid starting things off with Billy and is easily shoved down. Since power doesn’t work, the Kid opts for speed with a leap frog and an arm drag but Billy comes back with an armdrag of his own, giving us a stalemate.

Off to Razor to crank on Bart’s shoulder, only to be taken down by a fireman’s carry. Now it’s Bart working on a wristlock but Razor comes back with a big right hand, sending him to the ropes. With the referee and Razor’s backs turned, the Kid pulls the ropes down, sending Bart out to the floor. Back in and it’s off to the Kid legally with a dropkick to take Bart down again. Some running legdrops keep Bart down and it’s back to Razor for some power. There’s the fallaway slam and it’s already back to the Kid for some kicks.

Razor comes in again but Bart scores with a clothesline as Dean Douglas is watching in the back. Apparently Razor will be the one getting an Intercontinental Title shot against the new champion Douglas later tonight. A double tag brings in Billy and the Kid with Billy cleaning house and getting two off an elbow drop. Back to Bart for some backbreakers but Razor comes in to break up the pin.

The Gunns hit a nice dropkick/suplex combo for two but the Kid avoids a Stinger Splash in the corner. The referee goes over to check on Razor so Bart pulls Billy on top of the kid for two. He gets caught, so Razor comes in and puts Kid on top of Billy for two. Now it’s a hot tag off to Ramon who cleans house with right hands and the Razor’s Edge to Billy, but the Kid asks for the tag. The Kid takes forever to cover and gets cradled for the pin out of nowhere to keep the belts on the cowboys.

Rating: C. This wasn’t bad but the match was mainly about the angle at the end. Kid just wasn’t working as a good guy for the most part so the turn and feud with Razor was the logical ending. The Gunns weren’t great champions but they were the best that the company had at this point. Not a bad match here though.

How about three in a row? From Survivor Series 1995 with the Kid now a heel after turning on Ramon.

BodyDonnas vs. Underdogs

Skip, Rad Radford, Tom Prichard, 1-2-3 Kid
Barry Horowitz, Hakushi, Marty Jannetty, Bob Holly

The idea here is people that care about their looks vs. jobbers. Horowitz scored one of the biggest upsets ever over Skip. Jannetty needs no introduction as a jobber. The Kid is a mystery partner who is freshly heel here. By freshly I mean this is his first match as a heel. Razor comes out to go after the Kid who screwed him over on Raw on Monday. Yeah Raw is finally a big deal at this point too. Razor is IC Champion of course.

Prichard and Jannetty start things off and Marty has to fight out of the heel corner. The Kid holds him there but Prichard hits Kid with a knee by mistake. The BodyDonnas huddle on the floor until it’s off to Radford (Louie Spicolli) vs. Marty. Radford is called BodyDonna in training because he’s pretty fat. Here’s Holly to face Rad and he takes Radford over with a rana. Radford tries the same thing but gets powerbombed down.

Off to Hakushi who is pretty freshly face I believe. He gets behind Radford but walks into a spinebuster. Off to the Kid who hits a top rope splash on Hakushi for two and it’s off to Captain Skip. Hakushi escapes a belly to back superplex and it’s back to Holly who speeds things up. Prichard comes in as the fans want Barry. A powerbomb counters a rana from Holly but Tom misses a moonsault. Holly hits a top rope cross body for the elimination. Skip immediately comes in and rolls up Holly to tie it back up.

Hakushi comes in again and trips up Skip before elbowing him in the face. A Vader Bomb hits knees though and Skip gets control back. A shot to the chest takes Skip down so here’s the Kid again. The fans want Barry but it’s Hakushi taking over with a Muta Elbow in the corner. A top rope shoulder takes Kid down for two but Hakushi misses a springboard splash. Razor is watching in the back. Kid kicks Hakushi in the back of the head and Radford gets the easy pin.

Barry comes in and gets pounded down and the fans almost explode. Naturally this match would be the end of his push because that’s how it works in the WWF. Radford and the Kid double team Horowitz but he comes back with a jawbreaker to Radford. Skip tells Rad not to pin Barry yet because Skip wants to get the pin himself.

Radford hits a Hennig neck snap as Hennig is stunned at the reaction to Horowitz. Rad stops to exercise and gets cradled by Barry for the pin. It’s Skip/The Kid vs. Barry/Marty. Horowitz gets distracted by a double team and the Kid dropkicks him in the back, setting up a legdrop for the elimination. So it’s Marty down two on one but he avoids a charging Skip in the corner.

A sunset flip out of nowhere gets two for Marty and the Rocker Dropper (a fancy Fameasser) puts Skip down and Marty goes up. Sunny crotches him (it’s 1995 so I can still call Marty lucky for that) but Skip gets countered into a Superbomb (powerbomb off the top, which would be Skip’s finisher in ECW) for the elimination. It’s one on one now and a missile dropkick gets two for the Kid. A moonsault misses Marty though and they’re both down. Jannetty dropkicks him down for two and here comes Sid. A Rocker Dropper takes the Kid down for two but Sid guillotines Marty on the ropes and Kid steals the pin.

Rating: B. This was a good match to open things up with, especially since I don’t think anyone would have been able to buy Barry Horowitz captaining anything but an opening match team. Other than that though, the action here was good and it set the Kid up as a somewhat big time heel which is what he needed so soon after a turn. Good opener.

It was off to WCW after this with the Kid being renamed Syxx as the sixth member of the NWO. Here he is at Halloween Havoc 1996.

Chris Jericho vs. Syxx

The commentators having to ignore the NWO being cheered is always funny. Patrick is the referee again which has to be leading somewhere. This is before the neck injury for Waltman so he’s incredibly fast here. The Dungeon of Doom is at ringside. This is a very fast paced match as we talk about Jericho’s dad for no apparent reason.

This is one of those matches that is hard to comment on as it’s pretty good. Waltman could go against small guys and this is no exception. It wasn’t until he because X-Pac and became the giant killer or whatever that he became so annoying. We crank it up after a good deal of Syxx dominance.

Tony and Heenan get in an argument over whether or not Nick Patrick made a fast count. Oh that’s funny. Allegedly he’s counting slow for Jericho and there may be something to that. Dusty wants him arrested. Even Heenan gets on him for being slow. Ok now you know it’s serious. Jericho gets what should have been a five or so and yells at Patrick about it. He walks into a spinkick for the regular speed pin.

Rating: B-. This was about Jericho vs. Patrick which would happen at WW3 and would be the first match where an NWO guy would lose on PPV since their inception. This was very fast paced and fun though, but the referee thing was just annoying by the end of things. Other than that it was good though.

He would get a Cruiserweight Title shot at SuperBrawl VII.

Cruiserweight Title: Syxx vs. Dean Malenko

Syxx has the belt itself but Dean is champion. There’s a huge space between the entrance and the aisle. Dean is all ticked off to start and hits a leg lariat for two but pulls Syxx up. Brainbuster gets two. Powerslam gets the same as this has been one sided for the first few minutes. Syxx gets caught in the Tree of Woe as this aggressive Dean is kind of cool. Doesn’t suit him at all but it’s kind of cool.

Cloverleaf doesn’t work so a cross body sends both guys to the floor. Back in the ring and Syxx finally gets a kick to the face to take Dean down. Syxx hits that three kick combination of his in the corner to set up a Bronco Buster. We hear about Barry Bonds coming to San Francisco which doesn’t mean much but the match is going kind of slowly and I need something to talk about.

Sleeper goes on for a bit as Malenko counters with a belly to back for two. Dean’s neck is messed up so Bobby suggests neckbreakers or piledrivers. Syxx goes with a brainbuster instead and follows with a guillotine legdrop for two. Love that move. Back to the sleeper as we talk about Hogan and Piper now and how everyone is concerned about Piper. Dean throws on a sleeper for irony I guess but they ram into each other and down they go.

The announcers debate trains for awhile and how they crash which is annoying as my grandmother is currently heading to Washington via train. Syxx gets crotched on the top but reverses a belly to back off the top into a cross body to put Dean down. Syxx goes for the belt and Eddie IMMEDIATELY sprints out to stop him. Tug of war winds up sending the belt into Dean’s head for the pin and the NWO’s third title.

Rating: C. Pretty good match here which set up Eddie vs. Dean later I think. This was fine with the Cruiserweight formula of mat based guy (well kind of) being a heel vs. the fast paced guy (again kind of) being the face. Nothing very good here and not the best choice for an opener but I’ve seen far worse before.

We’ll wrap up WCW with WarGames at Fall Brawl 1997.

Team WCW vs. Team NWO

WCW: Ric Flair, Chris Benoit, Steve McMichael, Curt Hennig
NWO: Kevin Nash, Konnan, Syxx, Buff Bagwell

WarGames here and here are the rules for the two of you that have somehow never seen this match. You start off with a guy from each team for five minutes. After that a coin toss will be won by the heels and they get an advantage for two minutes. After those two minutes are up another person comes in from the team that loss the coin toss. You alternate like that every two minutes until all eight are in and then it’s first submission (no pins) wins it. Also in a double cage of course.

This is more or less a revenge feud for the Horsemen after the parody that the NWO did on Nitro which was so dead on that it was hilarious while being totally disrespectful. The teams are at ringside here which would go back and forth. Not that it means anything but these entrances are long so I need to fill in space. Also this is the final traditional WarGames match, meaning it’s more or less destined to suck.

No Hennig here due to the beatdown earlier. Bagwell vs. Benoit to start. This should be a massacre and very fun. This is for five minutes remember. Tony brings up a great point: is there NO ONE else in WCW that could be out there? They waste like thirty seconds before Bagwell slaps Benoit. This is young and violent Benoit so how do you think this is going to go for Bagwell?

All Benoit here since Bagwell kind of, uh, sucks. Swan Dive misses so Bagwell unleashes his variety of stomps and sends Benoit into the cage. Bagwell is really weak on offense here. Surprisingly enough they haven’t messed with the clock yet. They’ve stayed in the same ring here for the most part. Bagwell backdrops him into the cage and yells at Flair a bit. Shockingly enough: the NWO wins the toss. Literally, no face team EVER won a coin toss in WCW. Ever. Not even once.

Benoit takes over with about 20 seconds to go and it’s Konnan to give them the 2-1 advantage. Benoit seems to like the idea of being in trouble and beats them both up. This lasts two minutes remember. Somehow being down 2-1 makes Benoit do better for a minute or so until the numbers finally catch up to him. Mongo, US Champion at the time, comes in and beats up everyone.

Benoit is perfectly fine. I mean they’ve only beaten on him for seven minutes so far so do you really expect him to be beaten already? The Horsemen dominate for most of the 2-2 period and it’s Syxx in next. And that results badly for him as he gets destroyed by Benoit. Total star making performance by him so far. Crossface to Syxx who taps but it doesn’t matter yet.

The NWO finally fights back about halfway through this period. With 40 seconds left here’s Hennig with his arm in a sling. Oh just have him wearing the NWO shirt already. Flair comes in and cleans house. Nash comes in after the Horsemen dominate for a good while. He dominates the entire team and Bagwell couldn’t be happier. HUGE We Want Sting chant goes up but you all know the ending already don’t you? If not, GO READ A FREAKING BOOK PEOPLE.

The Horsemen take over again before the period ends and here’s Hennig. Flair has Syxx in the Figure Four and there goes the sling on Hennig. He pulls out handcuffs and yep there it is. Seriously, did ANYONE buy that he wasn’t turning here? Tony of course calls it this huge charade and no one but him agrees.

Benoit is cuffed to the cage as is Mongo. Again, IS THERE NO ONE ELSE IN ALL OF WCW??? Flair is destroyed and a referee brings a microphone into the ring. Nash offers the Horsemen the chance to surrender and they all say no. After a long beatdown they give Mongo the chance to surrender to save Flair from having the door slammed on his head. Mongo gives in and they slam the door anyway. This would results in a huge blood feud between Hennig and Flair and Tony walking off the show the next night. The sight of Flair writhing in pain and holding his head ends the show.

Rating: C. Not the strongest WarGames to say the least, namely due to the Horsemen never being in trouble at all for the most part and the really stupid ending. That being said, WarGames is in itself inherently cool and this is no exception. Benoit looked AWESOME in there but of course he would never go anywhere in WCW until he was about to leave. Definitely not the best WarGames, but the Benoit dominance was a cool visual.

After a neck injury, Syxx would head back to the WWF as X-Pac and join D-Generation X. One of his first solo feuds was with Jeff Jarrett. Here they are at Summerslam 1998.

Jeff Jarrett vs. X-Pac

Hair vs. Hair here and Jarrett has Southern Justice (the Godwinns) with him. They combined to cut Howard Finkel’s hair earlier tonight so he’s in Pac’s corner in case the ending wasn’t obvious yet. Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter throws Southern Justice out before we get going. In something I never thought I’d see, Fink does the crotch chop. Jeff jumps Pac from behind but a spinwheel kick and a clothesline puts Jarrett on the floor. A big dive takes him out again and the crowd is into X-Pac.

Back in and Jeff hits a pair of great dropkicks to send Pac out to the floor. Pac is crotched against the post and Jarrett pounds away in the ring. A snap powerslam gets two but Pac comes back with a tornado DDT for two. The crowd continues to be white hot as Finkel plays cheerleader. Some kicks in the corner have Jarrett in trouble but he grabs a quick sleeper to stop X-Pac’s momentum.

As is always the case when Jarrett puts someone in a sleeper, the other guy hooks a quick sleeper on Jeff but gets reversed into the corner. Pac misses a cross body out of the corner to give Jarrett two and it’s Figure Four time. The hold stays on for a very long time but Pac gets twoo close to the ropes, making Jeff let go to put it on again. The break lets Pac kick him into the corner before taking Jeff’s head off with a spinwheel kick. There’s the Bronco Buster and X-Pac rolls through a high cross body for two.

A Jarrett leapfrog is countered into a sitout powerbomb for two and Howard is starting to panic. Another Bronco Buster attempt is countered by a low blow but Jarrett stops to hit the Fink, allowing the X Factor to connect for a VERY close two. Southern Justice is back but Dennis Knight (Phineas) drops a guitar, giving Pac the shot to Jarrett for the pin.

Rating: C. Not bad here but it went a bit too long for what they were trying to do. If Southern Justice could come out at the end, where were they for the other ten minutes of the match? The haircut was the move that Jarrett needed as he changed his entire character from Tennessee Guy to chauvinist pig soon after this.

X-Pac would go after the European Title in a feud with D’Lo Brown. Here’s one of their title matches at In Your House 25.

European Title: X-Pac vs. D’Lo Brown

They’ve been trading the title back and forth for awhile and Brown is defending tonight. They talk trash to each other to start until Brown takes him down with a shoulder block. Off to a wristlock by the champion to take X-Pac down to the mat but he fights up and hits some quick kicks to take over. Brown comes right back with a clothesline (popular move tonight) for two before dropping some elbows.

X-Pac gets taken to the corner for some chops but he avoids a splash and hiptosses Brown to the mat. Some kicks in the corner put D’Lo down but he blocks the Bronco Buster with a well placed boot. We hit the chinlock by the champion for a good while before D’Lo kicks him in the face for two more. A running powerbomb puts X-Pac down again but just like last time D’Lo takes too long to cover and only gets two. X-Pac blocks a superplex and hits a high cross body but Brown rolls through for another near fall.

Back to the chinlock for a good while before X-Pac fights up again. Brown sidesteps a charge into the corner though and drops a middle rope elbow for two. A backbreaker sets up a Texas cloverleaf on the challenger but X-Pac slips through D’Lo’s legs to escape. The fans are all over D’Lo here as he goes up, only to miss a front flip legdrop. X-Pac makes his comeback with a kick to the face and a flipping clothesline to set up the Bronco Buster.

Chyna gets in a cheap shot to Brown’s head for two but the referee is taken out a few seconds later. Here’s Mark Henry who has recently filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Chyna. Brown uses the distraction to hit X-Pac in the face with the title belt as Henry throws the referee in for a two count. Another powerbomb puts X-Pac down for two but Brown goes up top and dives into the X-Factor to give X-Pac the title back.

Rating: C-. This wasn’t too bad but it wasn’t as good as the previous match. The ending didn’t work for me for the most part as it was too overbooked and there was no reason for D’Lo to dive forward like he did other than to dive into the X-Factor. It’s not bad but these guys have feuded long enough now. Hopefully this wraps it up.

HHH would eventually turn on DX and join the Corporation. X-Pac was livid and wanted revenge at In Your House 28.

HHH vs. X-Pac

This is all about revenge after HHH turned heel to join the Corporation at Wrestlemania, costing X-Pac his European Title match with Shane McMahon at the same time. HHH has a new rock song as his theme music here which didn’t last long. He gets in a cheap shot to start but X-Pac takes him down with right hands and chops. A kick to the face puts HHH down again and they fight to the floor with the fans all over X-Pac, who is the good guy here.

Back in and HHH wildly throws X-Pac over the top to the floor but a Chyna distraction accidentally lets X-Pac get in a shot to HHH’s ribs. Back in and X-Pac scores with some kicks in the corner but can’t hit the Bronco Buster. Things slow down a bit until HHH realizes X-Pac’s chronically bad neck is hurting again. HHH goes on a stomping spree before getting two off a neckbreaker. We hit a front facelock for a few moments before HHH drops some knees on X-Pac’s neck for two.

HHH hooks a dragon sleeper to stay on the neck before a reverse DDT and the facebuster get two. X-Pac rolls to the floor and gets dropped face first onto the barricade by Chyna. Some elbows to the neck keep HHH in control before it’s back to the front facelock. Now it’s a sleeper hold to keep the match at a slow pace until X-Pac fights up and grabs a sleeper of his own. HHH rams him into the buckle to escape but X-Pac comes back with a belly to back suplex. A pair of spinwheel kicks put HHH down but X-Pac can’t follow up on a flipping clothesline.

X-Pac pulls off a tornado DDT for a near fall as Chyna gets up on the apron. The distraction lets X-Pac get two more off a low blow and they head outside. HHH is whipped into the steps but the referee is bumped. Back inside and the X-Factor puts HHH out but Chyna hits X-Pac low. This brings out Kane to chokeslam both HHH and Chyna and put them both in position for Bronco Busters. X-Pac busts both of them but HHH is able to get up and Pedigree him for the pin.

Rating: B. Solid match here with a nice story throughout the whole thing. The interference makes sense here and fit the story well but didn’t overshadow the match. That’s the biggest problem with this era most of the time, which is a shame given the talent the company had at this point. Solid stuff.

X-Pac would hook up with Kane and win the Tag Team Titles around this point. Here they are defending the belts at Over the Edge 1999.

WWF Tag Titles: X-Pac/Kane vs. Mark Henry/D’Lo Brown

This is another one of those standards of the Attitude Era: weird tag teams that are really successful. The tag titles are more or less meaningless already as the Dudleys haven’t shown up yet to save it for awhile. Ross says the fire Kane shoots up could burn down the walls of Jericho. Jericho wouldn’t debut for about 3 months. Henry is Sexual chocolate at this point. Pac and Brown start us off.

Brown was getting better and better at this point and would get the European Title very soon. He also had lost about 100 pounds inside of a year as he used to be about the size of Ezekiel Jackson and got down to about the size or Orton. Thankfully he avoids the Bronco Buster as I freaking hate that move. Henry is somehow more useless here than he is now. He’s wearing a black shirt and what looks like black jeans.

Allegedly he could dunk a basketball on an NBA rim. Something about that comes off as factually challenged to me. Basically everyone runs from Kane who comes in and cleans house. This just isn’t interesting at all and I’d say the fans would agree considering they’re barely moving let alone seeming to enjoy themselves. Brown gets one of those three counts where the referee is going to four for some reason and there’s nothing for the three that goes down. I can’t stand that.

In a cool looking spot Kane dove off the top and landed on all of the other three guys. I liked that. He follows it up with his more traditional flying clothesline. And now we get the Bronco Buster. That has to be the dumbest move of all time. Kane gets a decent chokeslam on Henry to get the pin.

Rating: D+. This was WAY too long. It was nearly 15 minutes. Can you imagine these four going at it for 15 minutes? I just had to freaking sit through it. It just wasn’t good and really needed to be about half as long. The shorter time would have made it WAY better but there’s only so much you can do in this kind of a match.

Like almost all teams, this one came to an end when X-Pac stole Kane’s girlfriend Tori. Their resulting feud went on forever, including this match at No Way Out 2000.

Kane vs. X-Pac

It’s No Holds Barred. We get a clip of Kane being hit with a flamethrower. You know Kane, maybe when you see a guy that hates you holding A BIG METAL GUN, you shouldn’t stand in front of him. Kane is in the reversed color outfit here, making him look awesome again. Yes I’m a big Kane mark so there you go.

They fight up by the entrance where there’s a random metal garbage can. Does anyone actually have those? We have big green plastic ones. It’s a total brawl so far which at least makes sense with the stipulation. We get Bearer vs. Tori. Ok then. Pac is wrestling in a t-shirt which is gone by the time that line is typed.

Bronco Buster hits. I hate that move. That’ll end that. X Factor barely keeps Kane down. That could have something to do with the fact that it ABSOLUTELY SUCKS. Top rope clothesline looks awesome. Chokeslam hits and you can feel Tori coming. Yep there it is. She gets a tombstone and Kane picks up the stairs for no adequately explored reason. They’re kicked into his face for the pin. The blowoff for this was of all things Rikishi and Kane vs. Pac and Road Dogg. Yeah it was an odd pick, but so was all of Mania 2000.

Rating: C+. Not bad for a brawl, but still there was no point to this after Armageddon. I mean Kane beating up Pac is always fun, but the angle just makes limited sense to me. Bearer was worthless here so at least some things never change. It’s not bad, but at the same time you scratch your head over it.

Pac would move on to a feud with Chris Jericho, including this match at No Mercy 2000.

Chris Jericho vs. X-Pac

Cage match. Before the match Jericho says they’re feuding and have been for so long he doesn’t even remember why they hate each other. He makes fun of him for never changing anything about himself but it ends tonight. New tights for X-Pac in a funny moment. Jericho hits a baseball slide to the floor to start and we brawl outside the cage to start. Pac never got in so that helps a bit.

Pac misses a huge chair shot and we finally get inside the cage. Standard stuff that you would expect from these two to start us off. Nice springboard dropkick to the leg of Pac to keep him in the cage. Mostly advantage to the non-Canadian (I try to avoid saying the same names over and over again if anyone wonder why I say such odd names at times) here as we wait for the Jericho comeback.

Sweet goodness X-Pac was just not interesting at all. BIG super bomb off the top to half kill X-Pac but Jericho is down too. Jericho goes for the cage but Pac grabs his foot. Jericho kicks him in the face to take care of that. I love basic counters like those. Pac goes for the door and manages to get the chair he swung earlier before Jericho makes the save.

He clocks Jericho with the chair but takes a shot of his own. JR says his eyes look glazed over but that’s typical for him. They go up to the top of the cage where Jericho gets the Walls or a Sharpshooter or something around one of the cables that they raise and lower the cage with. Pac throws him down but celebrates too long which standing on the door. Jericho of course dropkicks it and goes out to win as Pac is left crotched.

Rating: C-. Really nothing special here as Pac was beyond uninteresting at this point. I get that this was a feud but did this really warrant a PPV cage match? It wasn’t bad and the ending worked pretty well I thought, but the match just wasn’t all that interesting at all. Pretty bland though.

After an injury, Waltman would come back and form a lower card stable called X-Factor. Here they are in a six man tag at Backlash 2001.

Dudley Boys vs. X-Factor

Six man tag here with all three Dudleyz vs. X-Pac, Credible and Albert. Dang they go from one of the most famous tag matches ever to a six man opening a PPV four weeks later. Brawl to start with the Dudleys clearing the ring. They launch Spike onto Pac and Credible on the floor which is always fun. Spike and Credible start us off with Spike getting a crucifix for two.

Off to Albert who counters the Dudley Dog to take over. Back to Justin and the white socks of fear. Powerbomb out of the corner gets two as this crowd is red hot. Double tags bring in D-Von and Pac and Albert cheats, allowing Pac to kick D-Von’s head off to take over again. X-Factor minus Pac puts D-Von’s balls against the post as this is a rather fast paced match.

Pac gets two off a legdrop and we hit the chinlock. D-Von tries a comeback but walks into a Boss Man Slam to keep him down. Off to Albert who hits a pretty sweet delayed butterfly suplex for two. After a double clothesline it’s hot tag Bubba who cleans house on all three guys. What’s Up to Justin and it’s table time. Albert kills D-Von though and the distraction allows Credible and Pac to hit a double superkick on Bubba for the pin.

Rating: B-. Pretty solid opener here with some fast paced stuff. They got the crowd into the show (ok so this is Chicago so it’s not like it was that hard) and the ending worked. Nothing wrong with having heels win the opener as the match was good enough to get the fans over it. Also the lack of feud prevents the whole emotional damage.

X-Pac would pick up the Light Heavyweight Title and have a chance to unify it with the Cruiserweight Title on Raw, July 30, 2001.

Cruiserweight Title/Light Heavyweight Title: X-Pac vs. Billy Kidman

Title for title. Pac tries to throw him in the air but Kidman hits a great rana to take over. Pac sends him outside and hits a great flip dive to take over. They chop it out and Pac is launched into the post. Back in and Kidman goes up top. A top rope splash misses and X-Pac hits a few spin kicks. Powerbomb gets two and the Bronco Buster hits. Pac jumps into a dropkick for two and they trade rollups. Kidman’s corner walking bulldog is countered and X-Pac goes up. Kidman tries to meet him up there but Pac counters into an X-Factor off the top rope. That looked great and it unifies the titles.

Rating: C+. Another good match here from guys that know how to work together. They needed a lot more than four minutes but they could have done something interesting with more time. The unification would be gone pretty soon as there was another unification match at Survivor Series which got rid of the Light Heavyweight Title all together.

After disappearing in late 2001, with Commissioner Mick Foley saying no one cared, Waltman would head to TNA in 2002 and appear at Weekly PPV #14.

Jeff Jarrett/Brian Lawler vs. Syxx-Pac/BG James

Before the match BG does Scott Hall’s hey yo to a modest reaction at best. BG rambles about payback and Pac says he’s going to take Lawler’s woman but if Lawler wins, he can watch Pac and the girlfriend. After that nonsense, it’s time for the main event that almost no one cares about. Naturally it’s a huge brawl before anyone gets in the ring with people being rammed into various objects.

We finally start with Pac vs. Jarrett in the ring and there’s even a referee now. Jarrett takes over with a nice dropkick but Pac comes back with a spinwheel kick to the jaw. Jeff gets up a boot in the corner and it’s off to Lawler. The fans chant Jerry’s Kid which applies to either Jarrett or Lawler. Pac clotheslines Lawler down and brings in BG for some finger bending (seriously) and right hands. A Jarrett distraction allows Lawler to superkick BG down, followed by some fish hooking of BG’s jaws.

There’s a bulldog for two on James and Lawler demands that April watch. Brian pounds in right hands to BG’s head but a second bulldog attempt results in Lawler being crotched in the corner. Hot tag brings in Pac to clean house, including a sitout powerbomb for two on Jarrett. Both heels get Bronco Busters but the X-Factor to Lawler is badly botched. Cue Elix Skipper to lay Pac out, giving Lawler two.

Jeff hooks a sleeper on Pac but it’s only good for two arm drops. Pac hooks a sleeper of his own but gets sent into the ropes for the break. A double clothesline takes the heels down and it’s back to BG. House is cleaned and everything breaks down with BG pinning Lawler with the pumphandle slam.

Rating: D+. This was the usual from these guys: nothing special and the fans don’t care about them for the most part. I’m not even sure why most of these guys are fighting in the first place. I believe Jarrett disrespected BG’s dad and that’s about it. No one cares about Lawler and the reactions confirm that theory. It’s not a horrible match but it didn’t help the story at all.

The run didn’t last long as Waltman would head back to the indies. He would return in 2005 for a match at No Surrender 2005.

AJ Styles vs. Sean Waltman

This should be good. Both guys have history with Lynn. He and Waltman had a huge feud on the indy circuit which got Waltman his job in WWF. AJ and Lynn used to be tag team champions. Feeling out process to start. AJ has that swagger to him here and looks all cocky. Waltman grabs a headlock to try to keep things slow. That doesn’t work since it’s AJ vs. Waltman and a monkey flip sends Waltman to the floor. SUCH VENGEANCE!!!

AJ takes over and gets a suplex for two. Bridging Indian Deathlock goes on but Waltman gets a shot in to break it up. AJ fires off some kicks but Waltman blocks a suplex. And never mind as AJ dropkicks him to the floor again. Big dive over the top takes Waltman down and the fight is on the floor. Sean gets a low blow to finally slow Styles down. Back in and a legdrop gets two on AJ.

Off to the chinlock which is fine after they’ve been going hard for a few minutes. It’s fine in a situation like that but it gets annoying when you’re a minute in and someone puts a rest hold on because they’re already tired. There’s a 1-2-3 Kid chant. Bronco Buster is countered into a Styles Clash attempt but Waltman escapes and manages to hit the Buster on the second attempt.

Spin kick sends AJ to the floor and the announcers freak out just a bit too much over it. A jumping flip off the top to the floor looks much better. Styles’ nose is bleeding. AJ manages to send him into the post though and both guys are down. Back inside there’s the forearm and it’s still awesome. AJ is all fired up now and hits the moonsault into the reverse DDT for two.

Waltman kicks him low though which Lynn seems mostly cool with. A northern lights suplex gets two for Waltman. He goes up but jumps into a dropkick as this is getting awesome with the back and forth can you top this stuff. AJ grabs a backslide attempt which he rolls through into a tiger bomb which he rolls into the Clash for TWO. Wow I thought that was the ending. Spiral Tap misses and the X-Factor only gets two. Waltman goes to the floor and grabs a chair to Pillmanize AJ’s leg but Lynn breaks it up. Waltman argues with Lynn, allowing AJ to hit the second Clash for the pin.

Rating: B+. I really got into this at the end. Lynn did change the ending but it was to keep things all fair. Good stuff here and as usual, Waltman is FAR better and more interesting when he’s not in there being the plucky underdog against a monster. This was rather good and it set up Lynn vs. Waltman at Sacrifice.

Waltman would head back to the indies and Mexico for awhile before returning to TNA for one final run in the mainstream. Here he is at Destination X 2010.

Scott Hall/Sean Waltman vs. Kevin Nash/Eric Young

The heels get no music. Ok then. Waltman is named Syxx-Pac here but that’s just not being written. Hall has a partner yet he’s a lone wolf. Figure that one out. I mean why would he be channeling Barry Windham? There’s a sign all night that says PG Sucks. That line and theory just amuses me. The Survey says the fans want Hall and Waltman to have contracts.

Why does that not surprise me? Young is just billed from Canada. Is that the best they can do? Pac and Young start us out so Pac will be bearable here. He’s always been better against small guys. I just have no reason to believe he’s this giant killer that everyone swears he is. Hall comes in and does all his old stuff. Seriously I’m sitting here calling every move he’s going to do down to the second.

Young and Pac botch the heck out of a backdrop. Waltman hits a decent over the top rope dive. No Nash at all yet as they have the whole thing so telegraphed it’s pathetic. Seriously, this is boring simply because we know what’s coming. Waltman sprays paint in Young’s eyes. Yeah I’m sure the referee sees nothing odd about that at all since he was with Nash the whole time. Nash gets the tag and there it is.

Even Taz sounds bored with it. All three finishers hit and it’s over. They do the paint outline of Young on the mat which makes the whole thing look stupid. We even get the Wolfpack theme song minus the lyrics. We’ll ignore the Young push being crushed for three old guys that were a unit 12 years ago.

Rating: D. Seriously, this was boring as all goodness. There was no point to the match as it was all about the turn that we all knew was coming. When a TNA crowd sounds bored out of their mind, you know you screwed up something bad. Also, it was so much of a swerve that they had the Wolfpack music not only ready but remixed without the lyrics. That’s a REAL swerve.

Sean Waltman is a guy that has taken a big handicap in his size and made a really nice career out of it. He wasn’t the best in the world and his battles against giants drove me insane, but it was really fun when he was wrestling guys his own size and having some solid matches. His earlier stuff is far better and worth checking out.

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