Souled Out 1999 (2014 Redo): Like An Ugly Jigsaw Puzzle
Date: January 17, 1999
Location: Charleston Civic Center, Charleston, West Virginia
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan
It’s three weeks after Starrcade and a lot has changed in that short span of time. However, as much as things have changed, it feels more like we went back in time two years instead of reaching a new place in WCW. The main events tonight are Ric and David Flair vs. Curt Hennig/Barry Windham in David’s in ring debut and Goldberg vs. Scott Hall in a tazer on a pole (it’s hanging above the ring but same idea) match as Goldberg is out for revenge on the people that cost him the World Title. Let’s get to it.
We open with a President Flair press conference, saying they’ll stay the course against the NWO. Nothing to see here other than flashbulbs and media applause.
As we go to the arena, we see that the NWO logo now has a big red X over it anywhere the logo appears. Why Flair didn’t just make it a regular WCW logo is probably some legal issue that WWE thinks we would care about.
Tony says it’s a night of revenge for WCW. The announcers talk for a bit as they always did to open a show.
Call the Hotline! I actually did that once and it took forever to get to anything and the trivia game, the one thing I wanted to do, wasn’t available.
We cut to the back and Goldberg is down holding his knee. He’s conscious though and throws the cameraman out of the room.
Mike Enos vs. Chris Benoit
After main eventing Thunder for two weeks in a row, this is the best Benoit can get? Feeling out process to start with Benoit taking him up against the ropes and chopping away before getting taken down by a running clothesline. The muscular Enos hammers away but gets chopped and clotheslined by the Canadian to take over. Enos gets whipped down into the corner and dragon screw leg whipped for good measure.
More chops have Enos reeling but he counters the Crossface into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a very delayed two. A powerslam gets a much more timely two and we hit the bearhug on Benoit. Off to the chinlock on Benoit which is quickly switched over to another bearhug. Benoit elbows out of it but gets kneed in the ribs to put him down again. Benoit counters a suplex into a cross body for two. The Rolling Germans have Mike in trouble and there’s the Swan Dive but Benoit can’t cover. Back up and Benoit slaps on the Crossface for the submission.
Rating: C. The match was fine but I’m not sure this should have opened a PPV. Benoit looked good, though it’s against Mike Enos so how much does it really mean? This was a good sign that WCW didn’t know what to do with Benoit at the moment, but at least he got a nice win.
Clips of Hall costing Goldberg the title and the announcement of the tazer match.
Norman Smiley vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Norman comes out carrying a small urn with the remains of Pepe. He taunts Chavo with the remains to start before running outside for the opening bell. Back in and a single clothesline sends Smiley out to the floor. Another clothesline sends him outside again and a big dive takes Norman down. A springboard bulldog has Norman in even more trouble and a spinning top rope cross body does the same.
Norman sends him into the buckle and hits the spinning slam followed by the Big Wiggle. Off to a figure four neck lock on Chavo but Guerrero fights up, only to have his moonsault hit knees. Norman drapes him over the top rope as Tenay and Heenan get into an argument over Mrs. Guerrero’s chili. Smiley hooks a modified surfboard followed by a bodyscissors as this is a nice display of submissions.
Back up and a swinging neckbreaker gets two on Chavo before he gets caught in a kind of ankle lock. Chavo counters into a leg hold of his own but Norman easily rolls out and elbows Chavo in the face. Back to the mat with a seated Norman putting his feet on Chavo’s shoulders and pulling on his arms. The fans think this is boring because they don’t understand technical wrestling. A top rope superplex to Chavo appeases them a bit and the Big Wiggle makes them even happier.
Norman starts getting more physical with a back elbow to the jaw getting two. Off to a kind of seated abdominal stretch before Chavo fights up with a belly to back suplex. Smiley fights back up again and puts on a Gory Special for some humiliation. Chavo escapes and tries a rollup but Norman blocks it and spanks Guerrero a bit to the biggest reaction of the night. Chavo spins out of the Norman’s Conquest but can’t hook the tornado DDT. Smiley throws the sawdust in Chavo’s face, setting up the Conquest for the win.
Rating: B-. Good match but the ending brought it down a bit. This is a good example of the difference between someone like Chavo and Iaukea from Thunder. Iaukea was repeating moves late in the match whereas Chavo has a far more entertaining and interesting match that ran five minutes longer. WCW would be smart to listen to those reactions Smiley is getting.
Konnan wants revenge for the NWO turning on him.
Fit Finlay vs. Van Hammer
This is the third straight unannounced match. Van Hammer is a hippie here in a gimmick which never went anywhere. They stall a lot to get going until Van Hammer clotheslines him down. A slam off the ropes gets two on Finlay but he rips at Hammer’s face to take over again. An elbow drop gives Finlay a near fall of his own and a jawbreaker (called a clothesline by Tony) has Hammer in trouble.
They trade some forearms with Hammer getting the better of it until he misses an elbow drop. Finlay rips at the face some more but gets punched in the ribs to put him back down. Hammer cranks on the leg and the fans are just dead for this. Back up and Hammer slams him down and we head outside. That goes nowhere so Finlay punches him in the face and kicks him throat first into the ropes. Hammer escapes a sleeper but charges into a boot in the corner. A powerslam gets two on Finlay but he comes back with the rolling fireman’s carry into the tombstone for the pin.
Rating: D. Unlike the opening match which was watchable but shouldn’t have been on PPV, this was really boring and shouldn’t have been on PPV. Finlay is a talented guy but I have no idea why he’s the go to guy when you need a spot filled in on a pay per view. Why not throw Booker T. out there to keep up his hot streak? Probably because this is WCW and they don’t think in that much detail.
We look at the Flairs vs. Hennig/Windham.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Wrath
This was set up over a few brawls they’ve had over the last few weeks. They shove each other to start until Wrath gets poked in the eyes. He’s still able to nail a big boot though and Bigelow is knocked to the floor. Back in and Bigelow misses a headbutt before getting hammered in the back. A HARD chop in the corner has Bigelow in trouble before it’s off to a wristlock.
Wrath hits a nice middle rope clothesline for two as the fans are only slightly more interested than they were in the previous match. Bigelow comes back with a shoulder and chinlock followed by some choking. Back to the chinlock as Tony promises to give us the results of the coin toss before the four way Cruiserweight Title match tonight. AND THEY’LL TELL US BEFORE THE MATCH! They actually treat this like a big deal.
The hold stays on WAY too long so Heenan starts with tattoo jokes. Back up and Bigelow shrugs off some knees to the ribs so Wrath nails a dropkick to take Bam Bam down. A powerslam puts Wrath down but he’s quickly back up for a double clothesline to drop both guys. Wrath misses a charge and hits the post, setting up Greetings From Asbury Park to kill Wrath’s push once and for all. Tony says that’s just one blemish on his record as he can’t remember something that happened about six weeks ago.
Rating: D. That chinlock killed whatever this match might have had but the fans were already done by the time it went on. Wrath had a nice little run for a few months but at the end of the day he was a guy that had potential to be something interesting and was getting over so the old guard had to beat him in his two biggest matches. We wouldn’t want someone new getting over would we?
Konnan vs. Lex Luger
Konnan has lost that new shirt with the NWO logo on it. Before the match Konnan babbles about dressings and tossing salads. This is fallout from Luger turning on Konnan and throwing him out of the Wolfpack. Luger says Konnan just couldn’t make the A team and offers him a change to leave. Konnan nails him in the jaw and we’re ready to go as the fans are FINALLY awake and actually going nuts for this. Imagine that: you have a match with an interesting story behind it and the fans care.
Luger is easily knocked to the floor to start and things settle down a bit. Konnan brings him back in and stomps away but Luger holds the ropes to avoid a dropkick. Even Luger’s stomps to the back are getting booed here. Luger starts working on the back with knees and forearms to the spine. Konnan comes back by ramming him face first into the buckle until Luger stomps him down again. Off to a bearhug followed by some elbows to the back. Konnan rolls outside as the match slows down again.
Back in and Konnan hits a quick cross body followed by the rolling clothesline to start his comeback. There’s the low dropkick but here comes Liz, clearly fresh off some surgical enhancements, to break up the Tequila Sunrise with hairspray to the face. The referee sees Liz leave and doesn’t question why Konnan let go of the hold and is now holding his eyes. Either way, the Torture Rack gets the easy win.
Rating: D+. This was better than I was expecting with the crowd actually carrying it to a better result than expected. They really liked Konnan here which again should be grounds for a push for the guy. He couldn’t back it up in the ring or anything like that, so WCW should put him in a team with some more skilled guys, which I believe is what they did.
Chris Jericho vs. Perry Saturn
Loser wears a dress. Heenan: “I’d like to see Ralphus in a dress.” Scott Dickinson, the crooked referee, is in charge of this match because Ric Flair or whoever makes these decisions isn’t all that smart. Saturn quickly shoves Jericho to the floor before Jericho hides in the corner a lot to continue the stalling.
Jericho grabs a headlock but gets slammed down for a quick escape. Saturn hammers away in the corner as Ralphus takes the leopard print dress out of a bag to taunt Perry a bit. Jericho takes over with a hot shot and the springboard dropkick to send him into the barricade. A nice plancha takes Saturn down again and a big boot of all things gets two for Jericho.
We hit the chinlock for a bit before Saturn comes back with some right hands. The Lionsault hits knees and Saturn nails a t-bone suplex. Chris comes back with a modified butterfly powerbomb but Saturn blocks a dropkick and catapults him to the floor. A baseball slide knocks Jericho down again and a top rope splash gets two for Saturn.
They trade a sloppy looking pinfall reversal sequence until Saturn avoids a charge in the corner to crotch Jericho on the ropes. The Death Valley Driver and Liontamer are both countered and Saturn grabs a small package, but Dickinson blatanly shoves it over and makes the fast count to give Jericho the pin.
Rating: C-. The match wasn’t all that great but the ending made it even worse. As stupid as it is, the result makes even less sense when you consider there are two face authority figures. There’s no one watching this in the back that could come out here and say hang on a second? The match wasn’t as good as you would expect from these two.
Jericho smacks Dickinson and tells him to make Saturn put the dress on. Saturn does it anyway and Dickinson zips him up. The interesting thing here is news had leaked out that Jericho was leaving when his contract was up in the fall, so this should have been an obvious result. However, why go with what makes sense when you can humiliate Saturn even more?
David Flair says he isn’t a wrestler but he’ll be in the ring anyway out of respect to his father. Since this is WCW, you can start the countdown until he turns on his dad.
Cruiserweight Title: Psychosis vs. Billy Kidman vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Juventud Guerrera
TONY LIED TO US ABOUT THE STARTERS! How can I ever survive by having to last a full hour without knowing what’s going to happen? How do I know if I should stay tuned if I don’t know if this will be one of the biggest nights in the history of our sport??? This is one fall to a finish, Kidman is defending and will be starting with Juvy. Psychosis is a substitute for Eddie Guerrero after Eddie had a horrible car wreck at the beginning of the year. Tony apologizes for giving us wrong information then says it doesn’t matter anyway.
Kidman and Mysterio get things going but all four are in within fifteen seconds. Things settle down before they get more interesting and we get the starters alone in the ring. Rey shakes Kidman’s hand before taking him down with a headscissors but Kidman hooks one of his own. Both guys try cross bodies at the same time and everyone is down. Both other guys come in without tags before Kidman and Rey tag them in a few seconds later.
They trade cradles in a nice sequence but the fans still don’t seem to care. A sloppy looking sequence results in some standing switches as the silence here is very strange. The fans usually love these cruiserweight matches. Everything breaks down and the fans pick up a bit as Rey throws Kidman into the BK Bomb for no cover. Rey sidesteps Psychosis so Kidman can hit the top rope cross body for two. Juvy trips up Kidman (Psychosis: “THANK YOU JUVY!”) so Psychosis can hit a nice front suplex to put the champion down.
A running clothesline puts Kidman on the floor with Juvy throwing Rey onto the champion. Psychosis and Juvy get in an argument over who is going to do an Asai Moonsault so Rey and Kidman powerbomb them off the apron to the floor. Back in and a springboard Doomsday Device with Rey playing Hawk gets two on Guerrera. Rey and Psychosis fight on the apron with Mysterio monkey flipping Psychosis over the post and onto the floor in a nice spot.
Kidman hits a nice cannonball off the top onto Psychosis but might have hurt his own shoulder. A great looking Air Juvy takes both guys down and Rey follows him out but only hits Kidman. Juvy clotheslines Psychosis by mistake so he heads back inside for a springboard seated senton from Mysterio. A Juvy Driver gets two on Rey with Psychosis making the save with a springboard missile dropkick. Psychosis hooks a mostly botched middle rope victory roll for two on Guerrera before Kidman counters a powerbomb for two.
Mysterio spins into a bulldog on the champion for another near fall and everyone is sent outside save for Psychosis. Juvy lays the two good guys on the floor next to each other and Psychosis hits a BIG suicide dive to land on both of them. A second attempt hits floor instead of Mysterio but Kidman counters the Juvy driver into a reverse DDT. Rey sees that Kidman is loading up the Shooting Star but hits a springboard hurricanrana on Psychosis anyway. The Shooting Star is good for the pin on Guerrera to retain the title.
Rating: B-. Good but not great match here with some awesome high spots. Unfortunately there wasn’t much besides though and it really brought the match down a few notches. Guerrero would have been better in there but thankfully the division was deep enough that you could just throw in another name like Psychosis to fill in the spot. This would have been better if they cut out about three minutes to tighten things up a little bit.
Booker T. talks about the dress match when Jericho comes in and challenges him to a match on Nitro. That should be awesome.
Barry Windham/Curt Hennig vs. Ric Flair/David Flair
Windham turned on Flair during the Bischoff feud and Hennig cost Flair the Bischoff match. Ric wanted a handicap match but his son offered to have his dad’s back, despite not having any in ring experience. Ric grabs a chair and calls the villains Horsemen rejects. Curt promises to beat up the father and then the son before ordering Anderson to go to the back. The boss (Ric) threatens to send Hennig to the WWF if he doesn’t get in here to fight. We’re still not done talking as Barry wants to start with David.
We finally get going and David drives him against the ropes but gets taken down by a right hand. A headscissors puts Barry down and all four get in the ring for a few seconds. Things settle down with Barry kicking him in the ribs but getting chopped down with ease. Former NWA World Champion Barry Windham of course begs off from a 19 year old guy who looks to weigh 175 soaking wet because he can hit a few chops.
Barry slams him down but misses an elbow drop, allowing for a tag off to Ric. More chops set up a quickly broken chinlock and it’s off to Hennig to slap the boss and talk some trash. They trade more chops and there’s the Hennig neck snap before he knocks David off the apron. The Flair Flip puts Ric on the floor but the evil ones don’t follow up. Ric goes up top and deserves that slam off the top for trying it so many times. Barry’s superplex gets two with no reference to it being his finisher. Windham hammers away in the corner but gets caught in an atomic drop to put both guys down.
More chops give Flair a breather but he swings so hard that he falls back to the mat. Hennig comes back in for a spinning toehold followed by the Figure Four. Barry comes in to try a Figure Four of his own but Ric small packages him for two. The elder Flair is scared to tag so Windham hammers away even more. Ric fires off chops but the double teaming is too much for him to fight off.
Anderson pulls Hennig to the floor and Ric is able to slap the Figure Four on Barry. Curt hits Arn in the bad neck and sends him into the barricade as everything breaks down. Ric falls down from exhaustion as David stays on the apron. David finally comes in with a low blow to Curt to break up a double suplex but Hennig nails him with a right hand. Anderson comes in with a tire iron to break up the PerfectPlex and Curt very clearly pulls David on top of him for the pin.
Rating: D+. Refresh my memory. Aren’t there three other Horsemen that Flair could have picked or that Arn could have suggested? I really don’t get why David was in there when all those other guys were available. Ric wanting his son in there makes sense for a story, but from a creative perspective this was the worst idea they possibly could have gone with. The story was acceptable enough and the match could have been worse, but you have Benoit and Malenko available but we get a glorified handicap match instead.
Post match we’ve immediately got almost all of the NWO to attack the Flairs. Benoit comes out to help but there are like twelve NWO members out there. Ric is handcuffed to the ropes and the big beating is on. David is surrounded as the fans chant for Goldberg to come make a save.
After being tripped to the mat, David actually lunges at Hogan so it’s time for a beating with the weightlifting belt. There’s the EZ E spray painted on David’s back as this just keeps going. A Sting chant has no effect either. The NWO finally leaves after like seven minutes of beating up David. Now we get another two minutes of Hogan talking trash to Ric and the father holding his son and saying he’s sorry.
Long, slow motion, black and white video on Luger turning on Goldberg after the Fingerpoke of Doom.
Scott Hall vs. Goldberg
The tazer is hung above the ring and ladders are provided to pull it down. You have to shock the other guy to win so there are no pins or submissions. Hall talks about taking away the Streak and the title to kill some time before the match. He takes credit for Goldberg’s knee injury because Goldberg slipped in fear. Tony immediately refutes it but here’s Goldberg. Buffer actually apologizes for the “false announcement”. Goldberg’s knee is in a big brace to compensate for earlier but he’s still badly limping.
Hall is knocked to the mat to start but Goldberg isn’t following up due to the injury. They circle each other for a bit until Goldberg finally knocks him down again. Hall gets taken down a third time as we’re somehow five minutes into this. A powerslam drops Hall again but the knee gives out. Hall wraps the knee around the post and goes to get the ladder but Goldberg continues the age old tradition of not letting anyone else bring in the ladder despite it meaning nothing at all.
Goldberg tries to bring the ladder into the ring but Hall baseball slides it into his face to draw some blood. The fans are dead again. Hall goes up but drops a bad looking elbow for no apparent reason. Scott climbs again but gets suplexed down with ease. Goldberg’s climb is quickly stopped with a ladder to the leg and the match stays slow. This time Hall is shoved off the ladder and goes throat first onto the top rope. Tony: “That may have been a break for Goldberg.”
A clothesline puts Hall down and Goldberg whips him into the ladder, sending the ladder falling down onto Scott. Goldberg’s slow climb is countered with a dropkick before Goldberg shoves Hall off the ladder. I’m not skipping anything between most of these saves as there’s no transition between them at all.
Disco Inferno runs out for a save and shoves the ladder over to stop Goldberg and Hall pulls down the tazer. Hall misses his shots though and gets superkicked to knock the tazer outside. Goldberg rolls outside and gets it, shocks Disco, tosses the tazer into the air so he can spear and Jackhammer Hall before the shock gives Goldberg the win.
Rating: D-. They made A LADDER MATCH BORING. Do you have any idea how hard that is to do? The match was really dull and slow because they decided to have Goldberg be injured and take away all of the stuff that got him over in the first place. It didn’t help that you had two power guys out there and no one who could do high spots, leaving us with seventeen minutes of shoving the other guy off the ladder. Goldberg getting a win to stand tall to end the show is the right move, but I don’t see why we needed to have a long and dull match before we got there.
Post match Bam Bam Bigelow runs in to beat up Goldberg. Hall is up thirty seconds after being shocked (and sixty seconds after being speared and Jackhammered) to zap both guys to end the show. Remember at Starrcade when Goldberg got shocked and stayed down for about the last five minutes of the show, including falling out of the ring at one point? Apparently neither does Scott Hall.
Overall Rating: D. The worst part about this show is they were trying at some points. That makes it harder to criticize because it looks like the guys on top are the ones making it such a horrible show. The opening part of this show is good stuff (albeit not the most interesting) before the main event and the long NWO beatdown after an acceptable (all things considered) match really hurt things. The show wasn’t good, but it did have good parts which is more than I can say about a lot of WCW PPVs around this time.
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