Review, T.V. Series

Heroes Ain’t What They Used To Be. (Strong Language Ahead).

So last time we got together I ended by saying that something especially bad was coming up, well it’s now a week later and I’m sorry to say, not really, that it’s arrived. Now it’s no secret how big of a wrestling fan I am, and it’s also no secret how much I prefer the classic stuff from the 70s and 80s over what’s being pumped out today. Which is why I’ve pretty much been straight bingeing the Best of Memphis Wrestling on YouTube lately, and damn, was Jerry Lawler so much better than he’s given credit for. But every now and again my masochistic side rears its ugly head, instilling in me and undeniable need to sit through something truly heinous and terrible. So, without further adieu, let me present to you what was possibly the worst event in the history of pay-per-view wrestling, and that is the travesty known as Heroes of Wrestling, and it’s a must watch for all the wrong reasons.

To set the stage, Heroes of Wrestling was originally conceived to be the first in a series of shows to feature the stars of yesterday, and by that, I mean any WCW and WWF castoff the promoters could get their hands at the time. Thankfully, this proved to be their one and only event, as for reasons that will soon be revealed it flopped harder than a fat guy in an empty pool. This disaster took place at some shit casino in Mississippi in 1999, and your commentators are “Dirty” Dutch Mantel and some buffoon named Randy Rosenbloom. It was supposed to be Mantel and the late great Gordon Solie, but Solie was battling cancer at the time and couldn’t make the show, dodging one hell of a bullet because of it. The crowd is announced at two-thousand people but the building is super dark to hind the fact that less than half the seats are actually full. The cameras make a point to get closeups of all the kids in the crowd, as the announcers point out that Heroes of Wrestling is bringing family friendliness back to the sport. This becomes VERY important later on. I’m going to skim over the garbage matches which there are a lot of and hit what I would call the highlights in detail, if you can actually call anything here a highlight, that is. So take a deep breath and let’s jump on in, because this is going to be rough.

Poor bastard on the right had no idea what he was in for.

Opening Match: Marty Jannetty and Tommy Rogers VS The Samoan Swat Team. Jannetty is of course Shawn Michaels lesser successful partner from the Rocker days in the WWF and Tommy Rogers is a former member of the tag team the Fantastics. The Samoans are the lesser talented members of that particular family, which should tell you all you need to know about how this thing is going to go. This is perhaps the most generic opening match of opening matches and does absolutely nothing to get the crowd hot, which should have warned them about what they were in for the rest of the night. I’m reasonably sure that Marty was pretty coked up here, as he was going through a really bad time at this point and was usually always coked up. It quickly becomes obvious during this match exactly what Randy Rosenbloom can do on commentary, which is fuck all as he’s s never called, let alone actually seen, a wrestling show before. He gets the name of every damn move wrong, and put that next to Mantel’s incoherent play by play, and it’s like listening to two drunken bridesmaids at a discount wedding reception, and it’s only the first match! The Samoans cheat to get a cheap victory, which putting the heels over in the kickoff is always a no-no.

Match Two: Greg “The Hammer” Valentine VS Gorge “The Animal” Steele with Sensational Sherri Martel. This is bad, and I mean really bad. Everyone here is way past their prime and struggling to get through, which is pretty much the theme of this whole three-hour shindig. Sherri almost immediately turns on George to help Valentine steal a win, beyond that, go take a piss or grab snack, you’re not missing much.

Match Three: Julio Fantastico, whose hero is he again? VS 2 Cold Scorpio. Scorpio is the former Flash Funk from the WWF and was let go from there because of a bad drug problem, so if you’re picking up yet another theme here, good on you. Scorpio is announced as the champion of absolutely nothing yet comes to the ring with a very cheap looking WCW championship belt replica. It’s never mentioned at all, it’s never addressed by the announcers, so fuck it, it’s just a big ass piece of jewelry as far as anyone is concerned. Best spot of the match is when Scorpio hits a picture perfect flipping leg drop from the top to finish things off, but then his dumbass immediately climbs back up to do the same damn spot again and misses by a country mile this time around, and that’s the shot they use for the slow-mo replay. Mid-way through this display of ineptitude Captian Lou Albano wanders down and joins Mantel and Rosenbloom on commentary, which he was supposed to do for the next match but screwed up his cue and they just said to hell with it and let it roll. If you thought the other two were bad you ain’t heard nothing yet, as the Captain’s inaudible babbling is an assault on every auditory nerve a human could possess. Mercifully, Albano is gone pretty quick, but then we segue into the next pitiful display.

#82 isn’t nearly high enough.

Match Four: The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff VS the Former Bushwhackers. The Sheik can barely walk, Volkoff stopped giving two bits of a shit a long time ago, and the Bushwhackers have always sucked. Yeah, here’s a recipe for a successful twenty minutes if I’ve ever seen one. In the history of bad matches this one is really up there, and I mean towards the very friggin top. It’s like watching Frankenstein try to fight a quadriplegic, which is just a sad fucking affair on all fronts. The bright spots are the Bushwhackers trying to start a USA chant against the foreign heels and forgetting that they’re actually from New Zealand themselves, and Volkoff picking one of them up for a big slam only to gently lay him down in the middle of the ring like a big toothless baby. Rosenbloom even points out the whole exchange as a mighty soft slam, which makes me wish he would just shut the hell up even more as he doesn’t know jack about what he’s saying. Seriously, what idiot thought, yeah, he’ll do? The Bushwhackers go over with a pin on Sheik, which I think he just tripped, and they mercifully decided they’d had enough.

Okay, who let dad in the ring again?

Match Five: Stan Lane VS Tully Blanchard. This is easily the match of the night in terms of pure in ring competence. Blanchard delivers a fiery promo before hand about how he’s tired of being looked over and screwed around by the wrestling world, which takes the spot for the peak of this show and reminds me of just how underrated Tully was and the kind of heat he could draw when he wanted to. The action in the ring is put on by two veterans who know how to do exactly what they want and when to do it, even if they’re both past their primes by this point and Stan looks like your dad if he bleached his hair and thinks he can still pick up chicks in their twenties. The match by no means makes up for anything that came before it but it’s more than watchable if you enjoy and older style or either of the guys involved, and I’ve always really liked Blanchard’s work. They do a screw job double pin-fall at the end to possibly set up a rivalry for a future show, but since this was one and done, it went nowhere. Oh well.

Pretty much the highlight of this one.

Match Six: Abdullah the Butcher VS The One Man Gang. There is absolutely zero wrestling in this farce. Within about two minutes both guys have bladed and are bleeding heavily, and I’m reasonably sure that Abdullah was still dealing with Hepatitis C at this point and told no one. Poor Randy Rosenbloom, who is completely new to this I remind you, doesn’t know what to say, as both fat guys crash onto the announcers’ table and smear him with blood to lead to a double count-out and a thankfully quick ending.

Match Seven: “Cowboy” Bob Orton VS Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. I’ve never liked either of these guys when they were both actually still kinda good, so if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go visit the little boy’s room. If you like an agonizingly slow pace or a derogatory crowd chant used to belittle homosexuals then this one’s for you, otherwise skip it, I know I did. Oh, and speaking of Hepatitis again, I see you Bob, you can’t hide.

Okay, so remember how I said that most of the people in this crowd were families with children, well god help these kids.

Jake and his human crutch.

Match Eight: Jake “The Snake” Roberts VS Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. This unimaginable train wreck is why this show holds the especially bad reputation that it so rightly deserves, so thank you Jake the Snake for hitting your absolute in ring low point on live pay-per-view in front of impressionable seven-year-olds.

We start with a backstage interview with Jake, who is so fucking drunk he has to use the interviewer, who is beyond terrified I might add, as a crutch to steady himself on his feet. It’s a rambling promo where he begins slurring insults at the cameraman at one point, but even drunk as a skunk Roberts still somehow stumbles through an interview that’s better than about ninety percent of anything else on this show. One of my favorite parts is when he tells Anvil if he wants to play twenty-one then Jake’s bringing twenty-two, somehow thinking going bust is going to secure him a win. Yeah, great logic there Jake. They never should have allowed him on screen in the first place, but what the hell it’s a live show, so push his ass out there.

Down at ringside and Neidhart is out first, followed by Jake who is a staggering mess at this point who didn’t even bother to lace up his boots. Roberts promptly heads to the back again after dropping off his bag with the big snake in it on the ring apron, presumably to get the new finish to the match because he’s too wasted to do shit. I’m pretty sure he just ignores whatever he’s been told because he soon returns shirtless, picking out some lucky lady in the crowd who he forces to rub his bare chest as he tweaks his own nipples. God, I think I just puked in my mouth a little bit there.

Anyway, the Snake finally gets in the ring and the unfortunate Anvil has to carry him through, and I mean literally carry his ass as he’s too off balance to pull off even a simple wrist lock. Well the damn snake that Jake brought to ringside starts crawling out of the bag, so Roberts just says screw it and yanks the poor reptile the rest of the way out, which was supposed to happen during the damn finish. He then puts it between his legs and wiggles it around like a scaly slithering cock before feigning masturbation with it, which causes the Anvil to just bail to the floor and you can tell the man is just seething at this point. I’m sure all the parents that brought their kids to this shit show are enjoying what their hard-earned money has paid for, as wholesome family values are now on full display thanks to Mr. Roberts.

Good god, some things you just can’t unsee.

Well, Jake must have been feeling a little frisky after his reptilian jerk session because he follows that up with just laying in the ring with the snake draped over the top of him, licking its face while it seemingly returns the favor. The announcers are speechless, and Anvil is even more visibly pissed off than ever, which prompts the promoter in back to send out King Kong Bundy to try and salvage what they can. See, Bundy was supposed to be in the main event facing WWF’s former Yokozuna, but they soon send him out as well to make an impromptu tag match with Bundy and Anvil against Jake and Yoko.

As things continue to spiral out of control, they’re all fuming at Roberts, who Anvil proceeds to knock the hell out of and verbally berate, not that the man can actually feel or hear any of it in his current state of numbness. The problem with making this a tag match here is that Yokozuna is so damn obese that he gasses out just walking to the ring, which meant that the drunk off his ass Jake still had to be in there for most of the match. Thankfully, they just said fuck it after about three or four minutes and Bundy just splashed him and the ref did the fastest count I’ve ever seen, ending this atrocity well past when it should have been put down. But wait, Jake still has one more trick up his sleeve, or should I say down the front of his pants? He decides that he wants to send the kids home happy, so he proceeds to take down the old sweats, letting the real snake out of the Jockeys for all to see. The screen immediately cuts to black before he can get them halfway down, though, putting a final bullet in this long-suffering horse and marking the end of the first, and thankfully last, farting effort of this would be promotion.

So there you have it, folks, the worst pay-per-view in the history of pro-wrestling, and that takes some doing when you consider the amount of horrid garbage I’ve seen over my years as a fan, all of 1995 in the WWF comes to mind real fast. They say to sit through Heroes of Wrestling just once is akin to torture of the worst kind, well this was my third viewing and I’m proud to say it’s forged my mental constitution to levels previously unheard of. In all serious, though, Heroes of Wrestling is an unsurpassed car crash of a wrestling show, and if you and your friends want to have a good time I suggest getting a lot, and I do mean a lot, of booze together and settle in to just rip it apart, just drive responsibly afterwards. You can currently find it terrorizing the world on YouTube, as well as a handful of fan docs that detail all the wheeled shit that happened behind the scenes that are all well worth the watch. If you’re a wrestling fan and want to see how much you can take then I challenge you to give this one a look, just don’t say I didn’t fully warn you about what was coming. Now I think I need a shower just to wash off the filth of remembering this trash. Later, gang. I feel dirty.

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