I’ve been wanting to do this one for a little while now. I was starting to grow tired of wrestling during the early 90s. WWF gimmicks were trainwrecks, WCW was scattered all over the place, trying to replicate what WWF was doing (badly), and…
We spun the wheel (well, JC blurted out the suggestion a few podcasts ago), and today's Retro Rasslin takes us to 1999 WCW, specifically to one of the company's major pay-per-views, Halloween Havoc. The 1999 Halloween Havoc was significant as it was the first WCW pay-per-view after the removal of former WCW boss Eric Bischoff from power, and the first under the regime of head writers Vince Russo and Ed Ferrera.
It was a mess that was going to get messier, but a challenge is a challenge.
I’m going to try to do a weekly (or so) segment where I take an old show from WWE Network and recap it. It’s going to be called “Retro Rasslin”, and it’s not always going to be WWE Pay-Per-Views – sometimes it’ll be a RAW or Smackdown, sometimes it’ll be a WCW PPV, and maybe I’ll throw in an ECW show or something else random. If you’ve got any ideas for future “Retro Rasslin” recaps, let me know in the comments, or hit me up on Twitter at @MrWorkrate.
Yes, today's Retro Rasslin is another Royal Rumble, because they're fun to write about, but so many words. This will probably be the last Rumble for a little while at least. We're going with the 1996 Rumble, because it's an interesting time for Vince McMahon's organization. The WWF was in this weird sort of metamorphosis where they weren’t quite in the “Attitude Era” yet, but they were somewhat breaking away from their cartoonish act of the 80s and early 90s that had gotten really played out and set the table for WCW becoming the #1 promotion. So let's get started!
TV-14 for violence, so maybe color? (Ed. note: nope. Just good ol’ fashioned violence)
Open to Sunny in a bathtub warning us that there may be content of a graphic nature. Tammy Sytch would sadly give us that graphic nature 20 years later, and from what I’m to understand – you don’t want it.
Just try to remember the good times.
Opening package plugs the two title matches – Bret Hart defending the World belt against Undertaker (with creepy bone mask), and Razor Ramon defending the Intercontinental belt against Goldust, who was at the top of his heel game here. Oh, right, and the Rumble too.
WE ARE LIVE TWENTY-PLUS YEARS AGO from the Selland Arena in Fresno, California where we are joined by tonight’s commentators Vince McMahon and – Mr. Perfect? I forgot Curt wasn’t wrestling at this time, though he’d jump to WCW the following year and start wrestling again.
I'm going to try to do a weekly (or so) segment where I take an old show from WWE Network and recap it. It's going to be called "Retro Rasslin", and it's not always going to be WWE Pay-Per-Views - sometimes it'll be a RAW or Smackdown, sometimes it'll be a WCW PPV, and maybe I'll throw in an ECW show or something else random. If you've got any ideas for future "Retro Rasslin" recaps, let me know in the comments, or hit me up on Twitter at @MrWorkrate.
The Rumble has always been one of my favorite PPVs, with just a jumbled mess of a main event that ends up seeing one-shot gimmicks, thought to be retired wrestlers, and shocking debuts along with a card that otherwise is pretty decent most years. I’ve pretty much forgotten anything about this card (outside of the fact that it’s during the WWE “Attitude Era”), so I’ll write as I watch, with recollection and surprise coming through.
Recap package leading in was of the Steve Austin/Vince McMahon feud which was nuclear hot at the time. McMahon screws over Austin by making him #1 in the Rumble, and Shawn Michaels returns the screwjob by drawing #2 for McMahon, meaning we’re going to open the Rumble match with Austin/McMahon. That’s it – that’s all the background. The subtitle for the Rumble is “No Chance In Hell”, so Vince’s theme has been playing in the background through the whole opening package.
WE ARE NOT VERY LIVE AT ALL FROM THE ARROWHEAD POND IN ANAHEIM AND BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM cripes those damn fireworks. I used to go to a decent amount of WWE tapings during this time and the fireworks never failed to be INCREDIBLY LOUD. Fireworks should not be shot off indoors. Tonight’s Rumble is being brought to you by 10-10-220, which was something you’d dial for collect calls or cheap long distance and I’ve already lost anyone under the age of 25. Your announcers are Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler.