Heroes PPV a disappointment
GREG OLIVER -- SLAM!
On paper, it looked like so much fun. All the old stars that I grew up
watching having one last go on pay-per-view. Bundy, Snuka, Orton, Abdullah.
It wouldn't produce four-star matches, but it would be a good time.
In reality, Sunday night's Heroes of Wrestling PPV was painful to watch,
with most of the wrestlers embarrassing their legacies. The production for
the event seemed at times like amateur hour, with many missed shots, bad
lighting and microphones not working.
To properly review an event like this, I felt that I had to make like it was
the late '80s. So, I went home to where I grew up and watched the show there
with my old 'rasslin buddy Jamie. But now instead of talking about upcoming
parties, parents and school work while watching wrestling, we talk about our
hair going grey, jobs and old friends all the while still watching
We went into it excited, and came out extremely unsatisfied.
The primary reason is that this is 1999, not 1985, and as a fan, I do not
want my intelligence insulted anymore. The men in the ring are performers.
George 'The Animal' Steele is not in fact insane. Should the producers have
treated the event like more of a 'Heroes of Hockey' or 'Baseball Hall of
Fame' show, with nicely produced vignettes celebrating the wrestlers'
careers and their influence on today's wrestling scene, then it might have
Instead, a brutally lame storyline of Sherri Martel being The Animal's
girlfriend, and later turning on him had me wishing I could turn to channel.
We had The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff doing their old schtick again -
which was great - but with some new manager (Nikita Brastikiff) working the
crowd, and to whom we had no emotional connection.
And to top it off, the main event of King Kong Bundy versus Yokozuna didn't
happen. That alone is enough to consider this show a failure and a rip-off.
By far, that was the one match that had appeal. Everyone wanted to see what
Yokozuna was like, whether the rumours of his weight gain had, well, any
Well the rumours are true.
The main event ended up being Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart and Bundy against
Jake 'The Snake' Roberts and Yoko. Simply put, Yokozuna looked like he
weighed in at over 600 pounds, like someone who would appear on the Jerry
Springer Show, not a pay-per-view in a pseudo-athletic main event. He really
had no business on any wrestling show. We just wanted him to seek help for
his obvious problem, not an after-match meal or two (or eight).
Speaking of problems, Jake Roberts still seems to have them. In a pre-match
interview, he seemed more than a little out of it, and even a little tipsy.
In the ring, in his singles match against The Anvil (which later became a
tag 'match'), The Snake wasn't any better. He looked weak, out-of-shape and
flabby. The Anvil, to his credit, while never a main eventer in his career,
at least looked like he belonged on a pay-per-view and didn't look any
different than his recent turn in WCW.
During the Anvil-Snake match, the python Damien escaped its bag, and that
brought the match to a halt. Then Bundy came down to the ring, followed
shortly thereafter by Yokozuna. After a half-hearted five or six minutes,
Bundy splashed Roberts for the win (but only with a three count). To end the
pain, The Snake and Yokozuna beat up a Bundy lookalike who was at ringside,
yet was never introduced to the crowd, and the announcers had no clue as to
who he was.
Then everything abruptly went off the air at 10:30 pm ET, with no wrap-up,
no warning, no credits. Now, that is obviously a timing problem, and it can
happen to any promotion. But added to the other technical glitches like bad
camera selections, terrible lighting, a lacklustre crowd (shown in
ill-chosen crowd shots - if someone is on camera, at least make sure they
are enjoying themselves), it is the proverbial crowning achievement in bad
There is talk of doing more Heroes of Wrestling PPVs, which isn't
necessarily a bad thing. But please reconsider the in-ring product. If
someone is not in shape to perform, like Sheik and Volkoff, Yokozuna, and
others, then make their matches REAL short. Or don't use them at all.
Today's fans are not morons. Treat us with respect. Use the show to
celebrate and educate today's fans while showcasing yesterday's stars for
the fans that remember them. And most importantly, deliver what you
advertise. (What happened to the advertised Dean of Wrestling Gordon Solie,
It was quickly obvious that announcer Randy Rosenbloom and colour man Dirty
Dutch Mantell would be playing it straight. The various matches were
run-down. An angle was run where Sweet Stan Lane attacked Tully Blanchard
and threw him in a trunk.
The Samoan Swat Team - Fatu & Samu beat Fantastic Tommy Rogers and Rocker
The SST came out with some schmuck named Paul Adams who tried to work the
crowd, and Sika, an original Wild Samoan who should have been given more of
a presence. Jannetty and Rogers both looked in decent shape and this was an
okay match. Rogers was pinned following a Samoan Drop.
3 / 10 (Note: All matches graded on a curve. We know this ain't the WWF
or WCW, and expectations are certainly different.)
A George Steele - Sherri Martel skit aired
Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine pinned George 'The Animal' Steele
There was one shot in the match that sums up the whole show. The Hammer had
just used a foreign object on Steele, and had put it in his tights. The
camera then zoomed in on Valentine's flabby butt. In the end, Sherri turned
on Steele and hit him with a chair which allowed Valentine to score the pin.
After, The Animal tossed 'Sensuous' Sherri from the ring in what was one of
the best bumps of the night. Then he took his frustrations out on a poor,
3/10 + 1 for Sherri's bump after the match
Too Cold Scorpio beat Julio Fantastico
This was the only match of the night that could have been on RAW or Nitro
and not have been out of place. Scorpio put on a very modern match with the
youngster Fantastico, who will likely benefit from the PPV exposure. At one
point, the action went into the crowd, and they hit a kid at ringside and
the security was obviously unprepared for anything like that. For at least a
minute, the cameras showed the crowd, but never got a shot of the wrestlers.
Scorpio hit a Tumbleweed from the top rope for the 1-2-3.
Captain Lou Albano was named Heroes of Wrestling commissioner. Does
anyone care? Albano's lost a lot of weight but looked terrible.
Luke & Butch, formerly the Bushwackers, beat The Iron Sheik and Nikolai
We laughed and laughed at this one because it was soooo bad. Missed moves,
too much light, and slow, slow, slow. The Bushwackers had blatantly obvious
sprayed-on hair colouring. In the end, Volkoff accidentally hit Sheik with
a foreign object (for old-timers, I don't have to call it an international
The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff
1/10, and only for the laughs
Tully Blanchard beat Sweet Stan Lane
This one was pretty decent, all things considered. Both are still great
cutting promos and look to be in fine shape. In the ring, they were
professional and kept things at a decent pace. The referee counted both men
down at the end in a simultaneous pin, but for some reason awarded the match
to Blanchard, even though the arm he lifted at the last second was the one
he had on Lane.
A Neidhart - Bundy promo aired
Abdullah the Butcher versus One Man Gang ended in a double DQ
Oh what fun it is to bleed and be hit with chairs. Great fun to watch and
brought back tons of memories.
After the match, both men beat up security guards. The crowd was into this
match more than any other.
A lame video aired of Cowboy Bob Orton cheating at cards with Albano and
Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka beat Cowboy Bob Orton
Orton didn't have the cast on. He was showing serious gut. This was a
boring, sloppy match that discredited what both had done during their
careers. 'Commissioner' Albano interfered to allow Superfly to hit a
cross-body-block leap for the pin.
A bizarre Jake Roberts interview aired
King Kong Bundy & Jim Neidhart beat Yokozuna & Jake Roberts
A few chairshots couldn't save this one.
Overall rating: 2/10
Heroes of Wrestling headlines
Oct. 11, 1999: Heroes PPV a disappointment
Oct. 8, 1999: Orton-Snuka to clash once more
Oct. 5, 1999: One Man Gang still going strong
Sep. 30, 1999: Reasonable goal for Heroes of Wrestling