Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Saturday, October 05, 2013

My Favorite Wrestling! WCW Worldwide 2/13/99

By this point Worldwide the WorldWide format left a lot to be desired, as the first 45 minutes were recap, with a couple short matches at the end. You think it would have been more successful to have the matches scattered throughout the show, but lets be honest they did not care about the WorldWide format at this point. So most of it is Shiavone and Larry Z recapping events, with occasional exclusive promos and interviews.

Vincent cuts an awesome promo with Gene about how Hollywood left him in charge of the nWo because Stevie Ray was a little slow. Before starting this project I would not have predicted that '99 Vincent would be one of the guys I most look forward to.

1. Kenny Kaos vs. Bobby Eaton

When did this tag team superpower break up!? As you (likely don't) recall, after Rage got hurt Kaos asked Eaton to be his tag partner, because who has more tag team experience in WCW than Bobby Eaton (in kayfabe that storyline actually makes sense) but clearly it was a short-lived partnership (or this match was taped 16 months in advance of air date). And Tenay and Hudson are awesome as they sell total shock that these partners are now fighting ("I'm gonna get to the bottom of this in the locker room!"). Eaton looks really great here, not just his punches (which Kaos really sells like bombs), but in the way he covers up Kaos' botches with big snap bumps. Kaos goes for a press slam at one point but clearly can't get Eaton up, so Eaton wisely starts struggling to make it look like he escaped from the slam (as opposed to getting dropped, which is what happened). To his credit Tenay picks up on it and sells it as such. Match could have actually been really good as Eaton was on fire and Kaos was at least trying, but it goes barely 2 minutes, ending with Kaos' (always cool) springboard clothesline.

2. Konnan vs. Chad Fortune

Boy, when you get two matches on a show and one of them has Konnan vs. the less famous member of the WCW Pit Crew, you know you're deep in the shit. But you know? I kinda dug Konnan vs. Chad Fortune. There were flaws in execution, and there were general weaknesses that both guys have, but the match was laid out way better than I or anybody could have expected and in 4 minute matches the layout is really important. You have a limited time to work, but a bad layout can really make a 4 minute match drag. If you have one guy control for 3 minutes and the other guy make his comeback and win in the last minute, then not only does the match stink because the winner brushed off all the loser's offense because it was his turn, but more often than not we get some lying around and chinlocks because the eventual loser can't logically fill 3 straight minutes of time.

So in Konnan vs. Fortune we have a back-and-forth 4 minutes, but it wasn't worked your move-my move, it was actually worked super smart. Fortune ambushed Konnan to get an early advantage, Konnan made a comeback by craftily reversing a Fortune move, Fortune himself made a comeback by doing the same, and Konnan won when Fortune got too cocky. So in 4 minutes they were able to tell numerous stories, have multiple control shifts, have believable and logical transitions, and end with a satisfying, competitive match. That's more than you can say about 80+% of WCW syndicated matches.

They have a lot working against them: Konnan is a candidate for worst worker of the WCW syndicated era. I believe he could be better than he normally came off, but was usually too focused on getting his shit in instead of making things interesting for the viewer. His syndicated matches are usually short, selfishly worked, with his moves usually done in the exact same order with the only thing changing from match to match is how smoothly or awkwardly his opponent gets into position for those same moves. Fortune is a tall guy with a shaved head wearing horrible baggy pants (think Kevin Nash pants, but not leather/pleather) and an anal bead necklace.

Match starts great with Fortune doing an awesome running dropkick while Konnan is fiddling with his pants or something (how do those things stay up during his matches?). Konnan transitions back by reversing an irish whip, but eventually Fortune rakes the eyes to go back on offense, and hits an awesome Dibiase-style fist drop. He goes up top and Konnan gets up, but in a nice twist Konnan doesn't run over to catch him (avoiding that annoying thing where a guy only does top rope offense when he gets caught and thrown off), nor does Fortune still try to do the move he was originally going to do when it's obvious to everybody but the guy on the top rope that the move is going to miss. Instead Fortune just jumps down and runs at Konnan with a clothesline. It naturally misses, but I appreciate them mixing things up. From here Konnan hits a nice bulldog (none of that silly hand on the back of a guy's head garbage, but an actual headlock driving a guy's dome into the mat) and locks on the Tequila Sunrise.

Was the match epic? No. Were all the moves super smooth? No. Did Fortune ever look like he had an actual chance of winning? No. But did I enjoy it? Yes, way way more than I could have anticipated. One of the better miracle matches I've seen in awhile.

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