Wrestler of the Day – August 13: Crash Holly

Time for comedy in the form of Crash Holly.

Crash would wrestle under the name Erin O’Grady and get a developmental spot. Here he is in WWF developmental company Memphis Power Pro Wrestling, defending the Young Guns Title at some point in November 1998.

Young Guns Title: Erin O’Grady vs. Derrick King

The title is represented by a trophy here. Before the match former champion Kid Wicked says he should get a rematch instead of King. That goes nowhere and it’s King getting the shot. They trade some fast reversals on the mat until Erin runs him over with a shoulder. A hiptoss puts the champion down and an X Factor puts O’Grady down again. King misses a top rope splash though, allowing Erin to hit White Noise for the pin.

Crash would head off to the WWF about a year later as Bob Holly’s cousin. Here they are at Rebellion 1999.

Edge/Christian vs. Holly Cousins vs. Acolytes

Elimination rules here. Yeah I don’t care either. Edge and Christian are the number one contenders here but this is a number one contenders match. Sure why not. Ross tries to validate the logic here and of course it makes no sense but whatever. GOOD NIGHT I DO NOT CARE ABOUT STEPHANIE!

The Hollies are the superheavyweights at the moment which was a gimmick I always liked to an extent. And they’re already fighting. Edge and Hardcore start us off. With everyone else on the floor, Crash escapes a powerbomb and takes the Clothesline From JBL for the pin and we’re down to the Acolytes and Edge and Christian.

You can hear a lot of called spots tonight. I wonder if that’s a British thing. Guess what we’re talking about now? Just take a guess. When Vince decides to make it about his family, stay clear of him if you care about your life. I love that Farrooq spinebuster.

And the rest is nothing but run of the mill stuff. Christian stays in the ring forever and gets beaten up, hot tag to Edge, Clothesline From JBL, Christian saves, tornado DDT and it’s over. Seriously, that’s it and it took nearly 5 minutes to do that.

Rating: D+. Seriously, I could not care less at this point. This show hasn’t been bad per se. It’s just been so boring and I couldn’t care less if my life depended on it. No one is interested, likely due to jet lag or something like that, the matches mean nothing, and no one is going to talk about this show later on. Why should they put in much effort?

They would get a title shot on Raw, October 18, 1999.

Tag Team Titles: Hollies vs. Rock N Sock Connection

Mankind is upset at Rock for allegedly throwing his book in the trash and is sitting on the steps instead of getting on the apron. The cousins double team Rock to start until it’s Crash taking over. Rock’s ribs are banged up and the challengers are all over them as Mankind looks over his shoulder into the ring. Hardcore comes in and kicks at the ribs before a dropkick gets two.

A suplex puts Rock down and Hardcore heads outside to call Mankind worthless. Crash puts on a sleeper as Mankind has taken off his mask. Rock fights back with a Samoan drop and Mankind stands up on the steps. Some right hands put the challengers down and a DDT gets two on Crash. Hardcore dives into a Rock Bottom but HHH comes in and Pedigrees Rock with Crash distracting the referee, giving Hardcore the pin and the titles.

Rating: D+. This didn’t have the time to go anywhere and was much more about the angle than anything else. This also gets the Tag Team Titles back down to earth as there’s almost no way Rock and Mankind could lose to any regular team when they’re on the same page. Not a good match or anything but the energy was there.

As mentioned, the team thought they were super heavyweights around this time. Here’s a match where they tried to prove that at Armageddon 1999.

Hardcore Holly/Crash Holly vs. Viscera/Rikishi

Simple idea here: two guys calling themselves super heavyweights vs. two super heavyweights.¬¬ He’s hanging out with Too Cool already but is still serious so it’s bearable. Rikishi is just killing them both here. Tag for Viscera and it’s the same result. This is as much of a squash as you could ever ask for.

They get Viscera down though so there you are. Dang Hardcore could throw a dropkick. Hardcore hits a DDT but since this is pro wrestling and he’s a Samoan, you can guess how effective that is. Anyway, the I guess faces double team and just massacre them as Rikishi hits his AWESOME over the shoulder piledriver.

When he was debuting, this guy was all kinds of awesome. And then Viscera accidentally kicks him in the back of the head and literally sits there and watches him get pinned. Rikishi is up a second later which looks stupid as all goodness. The big guys fight afterwards and of course the Samoan wins for a bit before the big pull apart.

Rating: C. Seriously, what did you expect here? Again, this was a way to get Rikishi some in ring time and that worked fine. The ending set up his first feud so that gave him something to do. Nothing wrong here but it could have been on TV somewhere. Hard to really complain though as it’s like 4 minutes long and not bad or anything.

It’s time for Crash to enter his element. From Smackdown on February 24, 2000.

Hardcore Title: Test vs. Crash Holly

Test is defending and starts with a backdrop but Crash bails to the floor. They quickly head into the crowd with the fans chanting ELROY at Crash. Test wraps a trashcan on his head and nails him with a chair. Cole: “This is what it’s going to be like inside Hell in a Cell at No Way Out.” No Cole, actually the Cell match won’t involve them going into the crowd because THEY’LL BE IN A CELL. Crash comes back with a fire extinguisher blast and a hurricanrana off the apron back at ringside.

Cue Crash’s cousin Hardcore, who was originally supposed to get this shot. Crash uses the steps as a launching pad but dives into a chair to give the Canadian control. Back in and Test sets up two chairs but opts to kick Crash in the face instead. The pumphandle slam is countered with a low blow and Crash sends him to the floor for a big dive. Hardcore comes to ringside with a chair but nails Test by mistake, giving Crash the title.

Rating: C-. Basic hardcore match here with some fun spots. Crash would bring the comedy that the title had been needing and it made things so much easier. You can only hit someone with a chair so many times while trying to be serious, but then they went the completely opposite direction with the comedy. Still though, it was fun while it started.

Time for an insane title defense from Backlash 2000.

Hardcore Title: Crash Holly vs. Hardcore Holly vs. Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Perry Saturn vs. Tazz

Matt was defending against Jeff when Crash came in and stole the title. You can only win here by pinning Crash or Crash can win by pinning anyone. That’s a unique twist on multi-man rules. Crash runs into a cameraman during Saturn’s entrance. Saturn immediately suplexes Crash for two. Hardcore powerbombs him for the same. The idea here is pretty clear: everyone is going after Crash one at a time and then they’ll fight each other. Northern lights suplex gets two for Tazz. Remember there’s no point in anyone covering anyone but Crash.

Crash runs up the ramp and climbs the structure (it’s the cool one with the swinging hooks). He’s followed by Matt and winds up getting hung upside down by his knee. Everyone gets him down so Matt dives on all of them. The fans are impressed. Saturn does something to Matt that we miss and a piece of the structure breaks off. Jeff dives off part of it as well to take down Saturn. Matt and Crash head to the ring and Jeff joins them for some double teaming.

This is one of those matches where you can’t really keep up with what’s going on. Saturn hooks a freaky arm bending hold on Crash but Matt breaks it up. Even the announcers can barely keep up with what’s going on here. Tazz gets a clothesline and Matt covers for two. The Hardys beat up Tazz and Hardcore on the floor. Hardcore suplexes Crash out there for no cover. There are some signs being used as weapons now.

Back in the ring and Crash dropkicks Tazz down for two. There’s an extension cord in the ring now and all six guys are in as well. Tazz pops the Hardys with a sign and gets two on Crash. C rash barely has any offense at all for the most part here. Saturn suplexes Hardcore and gets two on Crash. The Hardys both have cookie sheets and they clean a few rooms. Jeff hits a Sabu style moonsault on Crash so Saturn can get two. Hardcore superplexes Crash for two. A Falcon Arrow onto a chair gets the same.

Jeff brings in a ladder (JR: “The ladder gets a pop!”) and beats up everyone in sight not named Matt with it. This has already gone on way too long. Hardcore gets thrown into the ladder while Saturn is outside on the announce table. Jeff Swantons Crash from the top of the ladder and Matt steals a two count, leading to a brotherly fight. Tazmission to Crash but Saturn clocks Tazz with a stop sign. Jeff dives on Saturn and Crash steals the pin on Tazz to retain. The Hardys music plays for some reason.

Rating: D+. You can’t say Crash didn’t earn it after a beating like that. The match went on too long though, clocking in at over 12 minutes. The problem was they ran out of stuff to do about 8 minutes in, so from about that far in until they bring in the ladder, this was a lot of laying around and doing nothing of note. It would have been better with less time.

Another, similar match with Crash challenging at Unforgiven 2000.

Hardcore Title: Steve Blackman vs. Al Snow vs. Test vs. Perry Saturn vs. Crash Holly vs. Funaki

This is a Hardcore Invitational which means it’s like Mania 2000: there’s a ten minute time limit and the last person to get a fall over the champion wins the title. Blackman is champion coming in. This was during Snow’s reign as European Champion and what I thought was a hilarious gimmick as he would come out dressed as someone from a different European country every show, in this case Italy, complete with a fish and a portrait of Tony Danza.

They cover the 24/7 rule as that rule is taken away for 24 hours so the champion has a day of rest after the match is over. Everyone goes after Blackman to start and it’s a big mess as you would expect. Saturn takes Trish down and Test is mad. He clocks Saturn so Snow takes Test down with Head. Crash totally botches a rana and is more or less powerbombed. Funaki hits a cross body for two on the champ.

Saturn hits a decent moonsault to take out Crash and Snow on the floor. Everyone is on the floor now with seven minutes to go. Crash and Snow are still in the ring and doing nothing interesting. Test is the only one going after Blackman at this point. Scratch that as Crash gets a shot in and pins him with just over 6 minutes left. He runs down the aisle and right into a trashcan shot by Saturn for the pin. Most of everyone fights into the crowd and Saturn isn’t smart enough to run for the hills.

There isn’t much to say here as everyone is fighting in the same place and there isn’t much to say. With three minutes left everyone is still in the same place they were in a few minutes ago. Saturn and Blackman are at ringside now as is Snow. Saturn is in the ring alone with a stick. Blackman grabs his two sticks while Snow grabs….a pizza box? Snow is back in with two minutes left. Steve gets the kendo stick and beats up everyone, winning the title after a shot to Saturn with it at a minute left. Everyone goes after him but they’re running out of time. Blackman hangs on because no one covers since they’re stupid.

Rating: D. This was boring. At Mania it was at least fun but this had a total of three changes. At Mania there were 11 in just five extra minutes. There was no insanity here and it wasn’t fun at all. That’s not good for a match that is supposed to be designed around total insanity, which this was supposed to be.

Crash would get a non-hardcore title match at Rebellion 2000.

European Title: Crash vs. William Regal

Well if nothing else we can look at Molly whose looks are so overlooked. Regal is defending here if I didn’t mention that earlier. Bigger pop for Crash which says a lot about Regal’s ability to draw heat. Regal talks some more and more or less is the British version of Kurt Angle, claiming to be the British hero but being a total jerk about it the entire time. Crash jumps him (see what I was talking about?) while he is wrapping up and here we go.

Regal hits Cena’s spin out slam and takes over, throwing out that stereotypical British wave. Regal throws out a big boot. Does that move make any sort of sense at all coming from him? There’s a running joke in this match about Taz not knowing if England is a city or a country. We praise Crash for a bit to mess with my head somewhat.

Crash starts his comeback and hits a jumping back elbow and a rana for two. Regal counters a headscissors and we get a Dusty Finish with Crash getting his foot on the ropes but the three going down anyway. Molly hits a missile dropkick while the referee is explaining things to Chimmel and Crash gets the pin and the title. Regal steals the belt back and leaves with it. He’d get it back properly at Raw in two days.

Rating: D. Not a very good match as it just kind of flew by. The ending was to do nothing but give the fans a feeling like something happened, but I kind of wonder how much they really liked it. This was more or less a Raw level match and nothing of note happened in it until the very end. Didn’t like this.

Crash would get a shot at the pretty meaningless Light Heavyweight Title on Heat, March 13, 2001.

Light Heavyweight Title: Dean Malenko vs. Crash

Feeling out process to start until Dean sends him shoulder first into the post to take over. We hit the chinlock as we see the fans watching this from WWF New York. Dean stomps away in the corner and gets two off a belly to back suplex. Crash fights out of a superplex attempt and nails a missile dropkick. Malenko comes right back with a slam into the Cloverleaf but Molly offers a distraction, only earning her a kiss from Ladies Man Dean Malenko. The referee gets distracted, allowing Molly to hit the Molly Go Round, allowing Crash to grab a rollup for the pin and the title.

Rating: D+. Dean dominated here but there comes a point where you can’t have Crash beat him clean given how solid Dean had gotten. The Ladies Man thing really didn’t work for Malenko but at least it was a try for him. Crash wouldn’t do much with the title, eventually dropping it to newcomer Jerry Lynn.

We’ll go back to tagging for a big here on Raw, May 21, 2001.

Dudley Boys vs. Hollies

Molly isn’t tall enough to be the Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress and I don’t know of any Bus Stops in Dudleyville. That’s all the Hollies songs I know so no more references. Big brawl to start and Hardcore is sent outside so double teaming ensues. Bubba vs. Crash officially gets us going. Off to Bob vs. D-Von as the fans want tables. Spike and Molly are near each other on the floor which distracts D-Von, giving the Hollies the advantage.

Heyman is making Jewish references which are probably pushing the limits a bit too far. Suplex gets two. Hardcore’s dropkick is still sweet to watch. Crash gets a DDT for two. Bubba gets the hot tag and there’s What’s Up to Bob. It’s Table Time and JR asks why it’s always D-Von that has to get the tables. Spike tries to convince Bubba not to use it but Crash hits a baseball slide to send it into their faces. Crash tries to use the bell but Molly breaks that up. The bell winds up in the ring and upside D-Von’s head for the pin.

Rating: C-. The Hollies were an interesting team that were actually former tag champions, having a totally forgotten two week reign back in 1999. That being said, they were interesting in that they were rarely put into storylines other than hardcore matches or against each other but they were a fairly decent tag team. Fun little match here with a nice surprise at the end, which is usually the best part of a match.

Crash was assigned to a dark match on November 5, 2001. It didn’t go well.

Crash vs. Brock Lesnar

It’s always weird to see these completely raw matches with no commentary. Lesnar is still an unknown monster at this point. He takes Crash into the corner and nails him with a running clothesline as the beating is on early. Brock runs to the corner for what looks to be a Vader Bomb but he just jumps down with a stomp instead. A delayed vertical suplex gets two on Crash but he’s able to score with a missile dropkick. Brock’s power kickout gets a gasp and it’s time for choking. Lesnar shrugs off a dropkick and puts on a bearhug. Crash escapes after two arm drops but walks into a wicked powerslam for the pin.

Rating: D+. This was your usual dominance by a new monster and Crash was the guy that could make anyone look good. I remember getting to see him do the same thing against a guy named John Cena about six months later. Brock still needed some polishing but the base was there and that was the main part.

One more WWE match, from Smackdown on April 24, 2003.

Crash vs. Rey Mysterio

Crash is a Moore-on here, meaning he follows Shannon Moore, who is an MF’er (Mattitude Follower) of Matt Hardy, who is feuding with Mysterio. Rey dropkicks Shannon to the floor as Matt sits in on commentary. Crash cranks on Mysterio’s arm to start as Matt’s mic isn’t working. Mysterio finally spins out of the armbar and stops a charging Crash with a boot in the corner.

The masked man is thrown to the floor where Shannon gets in a shot with Matt Hardy’s book to take over. Back in and we hit the arm work again but Rey comes back with the sitout bulldog. A springboard seated senton and tornado DDT get two for Rey but he has to take care of Shannon. With Moore down, the 619 sets up Dropping the Dime for the pin on Crash.

Rating: C-. This was much slower paced than you would expect with Crash spending forever on an arm that didn’t seem to have any major injuries coming in. If Rey had an arm injury, Cole and Tazz didn’t let me know about it. Mysterio was still awesome at this point though and could fly around with anyone.

We’ll wrap things up with some of Crash in TNA as Mad Mikey, including this match from August 2003.

Austin Aries vs. Mad Mikey

The fans are behind Mikey as Aries is a no name at this point. A hiptoss puts Aries down and a flapjack does the same. In a funny bit, Mikey shouts PRE SCHOOL and walks the bottom rope for a shot to Aries’ back. Aries sends him into the ropes for some of his only offense, only to get caught by a top rope cross body for two. A powerslam gets two more for Mikey but Aries plants him with a reverse DDT. Austin dives into a boot to the face though and a lifting double arm DDT gives Mikey the pin.

Rating: D. It’s always interesting to see guys like Aries when they were total no names. Can you imagine Crash Holly being a big deal compared to a guy that has headlined TNA’s biggest show of the year? The match was just a squash though so there isn’t much to talk about with this.

Crash Holly is a guy that wasn’t anything special physically but took what he had and turned it into quite a successful career. People think of him as only being a hardcore guy but he was also a Tag Team, Light Heavyweight and European Champion. That’s not bad for a long running comedy guy.

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