Welcome to the first (and hopefully not only) of my retro reviews.
To give a little background: I’ve been a proud subscriber to the WWE network for the last 4-5 months. At first, I’d just watch scattered matches/ppvs with no real method to my madness. In more recent weeks, I began watching the ECW ppvs in chronological order. After awhile, I figured I’d start doing written reviews for each event to give myself a little chore/hobby. Wrestlepalooza is actually the 5th of 21 ppvs. Depending on how things go, I might go back and retroactively review the first 4 ppvs at some point.
Now this is the first time I’ve ever watched these ppvs. I got into ECW back in 99 and have seen many individual matches, but few full events. I know standards are different now-a-days then they were in the late 90s, so I’ll do my best to critique aspects of the show with that mindset. All match scores are based on a 5 star scale. No negative star ratings.
Wrestlepalooza 98 – Cobb County Civic Center. Georgia. 1998.
We open with Joey Styles in the ring welcoming us to the show. That leads into a general ECW video package. Feels more like the beginning of a tv show then a ppv. It’s very non feud specific.
1) FBI vs BWO
We cut back to the FBI midway into their entrance. FBI = Little Guido and Tracy Smothers w/ manager “the Don” Tommy Rich. They’re taking on the BWO (the Blue Meanie and Super Nova). The Don gets the most generic of heel heat.
Guido and Nova start off as we get an awesome “where’s my pizza” chant from the crowd. Nova w/ a chokeslam atomic drop into a spinning heel kick. In a comedy spot, Smothers ducks getting tagged in.
More comedy as Smothers, Meanie, and the ref have a dance off. Smothers Pearl Harbors Meanie. Tons of comedy included a spot where the ref goes for the pin on Smothers and Meanie counts the fall (1 count). Things break down even more and Nova takes a top rope dive to the outside onto the FBI.
Heels take control. Lovely straight kick from Smothers to Nova. Hot tag to Meanie who gets caught on the rope trying to enter the ring. Sloppy double team action. Meanie with a beautiful moonsault (that he misses). Sloppy finish as Nova picks up the win with the Novacane. Faces do some sort of YMCA celebration.
**1/4. Fairly poor match but it had some fun moments and the crowd was hot for it.
Credible makes his way to the ring with “the sexiest man on earth” Jason and Chastity. I hate Jason, he sucks. Whipwreck comes out looking like the indie-est of the indie wearing a massive graphic tee. He’s a bit on the chubby side as well.
Fast start as Whipwreck hits a spear on Credible. Whipped into the corner, Credible takes a Flair bump to the outside. Credible then takes a bump over the guardrail onto a child that can’t be more then 8. If anyone’s wondering why Heyman got sued so often…. More brawling as both men make it back into the ring.
Whipwreck takes a nasty bump from the apron onto the outside guardrail. Nothing fancy as Whipwreck has his face smashed into a chair. Crowd does some stupid chant about Chastity. Fuck off crowd, pay attention to the match. Whipwreck eats a sit out power bomb onto the chair. Crowd hits Credible with an “Aldo” chant.
At one point, Whipwreck no sells the beating he’s taken to throw a chair at Credible…. But misses…. And Credible sells like it connected. Back on the outside, Credible takes a suplex off the guardrail through a table.
In the ring, Credible gets a chair shot to the head. Then a slingshot into a chair on the corner turnbuckle into a school boy. Kick out. Franken-Mikey. Kick out. Whipper Snapper to Credible and Jason. Top rope Whipper Snapper to Chastity. Credible hits that’s incredible onto a chair for the 3 count.
***1/2. Much better match then I thought it would be. Very indie garbage wrestling but both guys worked hard and the action was fluid for the most part. It felt like a heated feud.
Axl Rotten/Balls Mahoney cut a shouty face promo. It’s fine. They challenge Chris Candido and Lance Storm and yeah… they get the match…. Right now.
3) Axl Rotten and Balls Mahoney vs Chris Candido and Lance Storm
Candido/Storm come to the ring together but then Candido goes back…. and comes out solo. Awesome stuff. He’s playing the cocky heel. They start to get introduced “Lance Storm and Chr…” but then Candido has a world with the ring announcer. ” Chris Candido and Lance Storm.” Bit of an awkward moment as Balls and Axl look confused and head to the ring. Candido cuts a fun selfish promo.
Axl and Candido in the ring. Straight wrestling to start. Tag to Balls. Crowd chants “balls whenever he connects with a move. Double team torture rack/smash combo by Balls/Axl onto Storm.
Balls, Storm, Candido to the outside. Axl with a sling shot Senton to the outside. Back in the ring, Candido tags himself in and chucks Storm to the outside. He’s awesome. Incredible stall suplex on Axl. A “Chris takes steroids” chant. Yes, yes he does. Pro Flair crowd as Candido gets a pop for doing the Flair Strut but eats a clothesline right after.
Sunny comes out of nowhere and slaps Balls. Balls hits the nutcracker suite onto Candido but the idiot face goes for a chair instead of the pin. Balls eats a spring board drop kick from Storm as the chair gets pushed back into his face. Storm goes for the pin but Candido hits him with a chair. Candido gets the pin. Heels continue to scuffle post match.
***1/2. Another pleasant surprise. Much more in-ring work then I would have expected. A tag match is the perfect environment for the likes of Axl and Balls since they’re both fat windy dudes. And Storm and Candido are just great.
Back in the ring, Joey Styles introduces some Georgia wrestling legends: JYD, Dirty Dick Slatter, the Masked Superstar, and Bullet Bob Armstrong. A nice segment meant to pop the live crowd.
Next up, Styles introduces Shane Douglas. Douglas cuts a “Douglas” promo. He shoots on Flair, Michaels, and the WWF. He has a (shoot?) elbow injury but says he still plans to wrestle.