by Solie's UK correspondent Tom Mayne
"Capital Carnage" was held at the London Arena on December 6, 1998. Earlier in the year negotiations between UK's Sky TV and the WWF had fallen through to broadcast the 'Mayhem in Manchester' event on PPV TV. I think the original idea was that Davey Boy was to win back his European title in England. But a double-cross, a contract release and 14 months on and that was obviously not on the cards. So again there were problems with the booking. For a time an X-Pac (he was the Euro champ at this time)/ Regal match was touted, but Regal never had the UK support that Davey Boy did, and I think Regal was in rehab at the time anyway. The card was actually changed around on the evening itself; Pat Patterson announcing HHH would not take on The Rock for the championship as previously stated, but X-Pac would, with HHH to meet Jeff Jarrett.
Gangrel and Al Snow kicked things off. The crowd were behind Snow, but to no avail as this fairly lacklustre opener ended in 5:53 after an interfering Edge hit a top-rope drop-kick on Al Snow. The crowd, hardly set alight by the first match, had worse to endure as Droz and Animal took on the Headbangers, the end coming in just over three minutes when the glory-hunting Droz rolled Animal out of the ring, only to be rolled up by Mosh for the three count. Afterwards Droz and Animal brawled for the first time.
Next up on the list were Val Venis and Goldust who just managed to scrape into "passable" with their matchup. Venis blocked the Shattered Dreams by pulling the referee in front of him, then rolled up Goldust for the count. Afterwards Goldust got one of the biggest pops of the night with his infamous crotch (read turnbuckle) shot.
Tiger Ali Singh was then wheeled out for the night's worst encounter with Edge, pulling off the victory in 2:51 by turning a cross body block into a powerslam and hooking his feet on the second rope. Next Vinnie Jones, the soccer star who played the part of Chris in 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' came out for an interview. His appearance was simply an attempt to bolster sales as he was totally out of his depth. His interview was terrible as was his later appearance in the main event (see below).
Next up (I'll keep it short): Christian and Sable v Marc Mero and Jacqueline. Mero was supposed to retire on the previous episode of Raw after losing to Dwayne Gill, and had also fired Jacqueline as his valet/manager. Christian and Sable had never tagged or been in a storyline together on TV. A supposed 'comedy' match (i.e. Christian pulls down Mero's shorts, Sable powerbombs her husband) ended in under five minutes when Christian chased Mero away for his weakly trained partner to get the pin after the TKO on the well-trained Jacqueline after just 35 seconds of participation by the latter. Jackie attacked the referee, who hoisted her on his shoulders. Sable then ripped off Jackie's top -- she had nothing on underneath. It doesn't say much about the wrestling when I say that this was probably the most exciting thing to happen all night.
The mediocrity continued: Shamrock beat Blackman, who surprisingly got a good pop on his ring entrance, with the ankle-lock submission after Ken's then tag-team partner, The Big Bossman hit "The Lethal Weapon's" leg when the referee's back was turned. One of the endings I hate most in a wrestling match is the screw-job when the heel could have easily got the win anyway, and here we had a prime example.
In an interview The Rock then debuted his run through of other wrestlers' catchphrases. HHH then beat Jarrett after Chyna took away JJ's chair, giving HHH enough time to get the Pedigree. There's something wrong, I think, with a card where not one of the first seven matches lasts longer than seven minutes.
The Outlaws took on the combination of D-Lo Brown and Mark Henry. I think that federations should use the "...one man gets injured during the match, will he recover in time?" storyline in tag-team wrestling more, instead of doing the usual "...the referee didn't see the face team's tag" which has always seemed to feature in the majority of tag matches. However, in this encounter the injury was real, and it provided the contest's only interest. It occurred when the Road Dog hit his head hard in a Brown short powerbomb and was then leg dropped and splashed by Henry. It wasn't a work because not only did Gunn have to drag his partner to the corner to make the tag, but Road Dog took no further part in the match, and when worried glances from Brown and Gunn to the corner showed that James could not do the ending, Gunn hit a weak piledriver for the pin. The Road Dog at least managed to stagger out.
X-Pac v The Rock -- the best match of the night - was a replay from the episode of Raw which aired two weeks before this event (which ended when Michaels hit X-Pac with a chair). Here, The Rock tried to leave after three minutes - HHH and Chyna came out to prevent this cowardice. The match continued at a fair pace, The Rock setting up for the Rock Bottom only for HHH to distract the referee so that Chyna could get in the low blow. X-Pac rolled his opponent up for a two count. The referee took a hit, which allowed HHH to hit The Rock with the Euro belt - resulting in another close two count. But just as the match was really heating up, this pathetic ending ensued: outside the ring at 12:33 Maivia pushed Chyna. HHH attacked him, and the referee, now recovered, called for the bell.
It was then time for the so-called 'Main event' - a 'Fatal Fourway' between Austin, Mankind, Kane and The Undertaker, with The Bossman as the referee. We were then treated to about 10 minutes of ring introductions, where Gerald Brisco was introduced as the referee instead of the Bossman. The problem I had with this main event is that the Austin 'against all odds' storyline had run its course in the summer. Vinnie Jones came down only to push the Bossman and get sent back to the locker room. The match itself was quarter of an hour of lame brawling, only remotely hotting up at the end. "The fans must be loving it," said guest commentator Vince McMahon.
Mankind hit Kane with a chair. UT hit Mankind with a chair. Austin hit UT with a chair. Austin stopped a Kane chokeslam with a kick and gave him the Stunner. But Brisco refused to count, so Austin punched him out, causing Earl Hebner to come to the ring and make the count after a second Stunner on Kane. Jones came out again and kicked the Bossman once, before celebrating in the ring with Hebner and Austin. Looking at house shows in America around this time, cards similar to this were put on, with the exception of matches featuring Mankind v Shamrock with falls-count-anywhere rules. But house shows usually are inferior in quality to American PPVs, so why should UK ones be any different? Whatever the story of the ring-action, this event drew 87,000 buys, nearly twice as many as for the vastly superior "One Nite Only" event. The WWF were already planning another UK PPV for May '99. Surely it couldn't be worse, could it?
Wrong again. (To be continued...)
Tom Mayne is a 20 year old student from Manchester, England, who is studying Russian and Czech at Oxford university. He became interested in wrestling when he was about 12, taping WCW's weekly show which was used then as a late-night filler on England's ITV channel.
As with most programs these days, this one starts out with a round of recap videos. I guess the promoters figure that nobody really watches this stuff...Road Wild is on the air live from Sturgis, North Dakota.
Tony sounds like he's losing his voice already and the show is just beginning.
Vampiro/Insane Clown Posse (w/Raven) vs. Rey Misterio, Jr./Eddie Guerrero/Kidman - 6 man Grudge match - I would have expected the Miller/Bagwell match to open this show - but I guess the promoters wanted something that someone was interested in... The Guerrero faction decides to get things started with a bang by attacking before the bell. Kidman faces Vampiro when the dust clears. He downs his opponent then his partners come in in rapid succession to dominate the proceedings. Guerrero is left to carry on, still against Vamp who finally gets a snap drop-kick in to turn the tables. Eddie is dumped out where Shaggy 2-Dope and Violent J work him over. VJ takes over as they return to the ring and continues to pound on Guerrero. He tags in Shaggy and the mayhem continues. Guerrero is being isolated as the Dead Pool functions quite well as a team (although Vampiro is doing most of the work). Guerrero finally upsets Shaggy's balance on the top corner and gets some distance. He manages to tag in Rey who is doing well until Raven interferes. He drags Misterio to the ground where Vampiro spikes him in a flash. Kidman tries to help but the referee sends him away. Vamp picks Rey up bodily and tosses him back into the ring where Violent J goes for the pin and gets a 2 count. Fans are revving their engines to encourage Misterio but he is getting creamed. ICP is really showing us something in this match. As the contest goes on they are more and more involved in the action. Misterio is knocked to the ground again right in front of Raven who, strangely, doesn't get involved this time. Back in the ring, Shaggy misses a rush to the corner and gives Rey the chance to escape. Kidman is in the two of them are cleaning house. Vampiro tries to get involved and kicks Shaggy down by mistake. Kidman hits the Shooting Star and pins the clown.
Kanyon/Bam Bam Bigalow vs. Harlem Heat - World Tag Team Title match - the brothers look like they mean business - I expect the titles to change hands tonight. They both run into the ring and clear it to get things started. Kanyon faces Stevie to start the real match. He feints a test of strength then goes for the eyes. This slows Stevie down for about 1/2 second - the big guy comes back with a gorilla press slam followed by the same on Bigalow who tries to interfere. Kanyon re-enters the ring gingerly as Stevie tags out. Booker dominates his opponent from the get-go. It should be noted that Ric Flair's pet official Charles Robinson is the referee here, though without Flair's authority to back him up he has been rendered ineffective for the Triad. Now Stevie and Bam Bam face off and the motorcycle engines are revving up again.
Stevie continues to dominate for the first eschange but Bigalow comes back and then tagd in Kanyon who fares better against the big guy this time. He tags in Bigalow and Stevie is on the receiving end. Bam Bam slips on a reverse chinlock and bears down with his full weight. Stevie struggles to escape, regains his feet then buries his elbow in the considerable gut of his opponent but Bam Bam buries a knee and Stevie is down again. Kanyon is back in and signalling for Bigalow who climbs to the top but Stevie catapults Kanyon into his partner and then gets the tag to Booker. Booker is all over Kanyon. He springs off the rope for the axe kick, but Bigalow pulls down the top rope and sends Booker to the floor. He pounds on Booker then tosses hbim back into the waiting arms of Kanyon. Kanyon comes off the top and drops Bookers face to the mat. He goes for it a second time but gets powerbombed instead. Both guys exchange and Bigalow faces Stevie again. He is gaining ground when Diamond Dallas Page runs out. Bigalow is thrown into him and then rebounds right into Stevie's clutches. He is pinned and Harlemn Heat are the 8 Time Tag Team Champs!!
The West Texas Rednecks vs. Dean Malenko/Saturn/Shane Douglas (the Revolution) - Kendall Windham will sit this one out...not that he will actually not be involved in the match... all six start out in a wild melee as the bell rings. The Rednecks are ejected and then Malenko faces B. Windham and is all over him to start. Saturn tags in and continues to cominate then tags in Douglas. He is dragged to the enemy corner and is isolated for a moment. Then he faces Duncum and bests him. He tags in Saturn to continue the attack. Duncum gets a foot to the side of the head and tags in BW. But Saturn is ready for him and continues to dominate until KW hits him from the outside with a cowbell. Hennig comes in now and Saturn is in deep trouble in no time. He is tossed to the floor and ganged up on then rolled back inside where he immediately turns the tables and tags in Malenko. Malenko and Douglas team up to dominate Duncum but then, as Douglas goes for his Pittsburgh Plunge, he is waylaid by Hennig and knockes to the floor. Hennig follows him out but Douglas turns the tables and rams Hennig into the corner post. Back in the ring he faces BW and is back on the receiving end. Duncum tags in then Hennig and Douglas is in trouble. The Rednecks continue to tag in and out as Douglas guts it out.
Barry Windham downs his opponent as he comes in and goes for a cover but it is cavelier and fails. He rushes the corner and eats leather to give Douglas ther chance to tag out. Saturn explodes into the ring and then another melee breaks out. In the confusion Malenko goes for a Cloverleaf on Duncum but KW runs in to interefere. Saturn comes back and gets the DVD on Duncum to win it but the battle rages on until the Rednecks are chased away.
Ernest "the Cat" Miller (w/Sonny Oono) vs. Buff "the Stuff" Bagwell - the crowd uses their motorcycles to try and drown Miller out, which pisses him off but doesn't quite shut him up. He eventually does give up and abandons his rant. Buff starts his rant but Miller grabs the mic - then the engines rev up again. Forget it Ernest... Bagwell has the mic and they quiet down so Miller grabs the mic again and the same thing happens a third time. Buff tells Miller to give it up because he's not "a crowd favorite" and invite him to "kiss our a$$..." the crowd revs up again in response. Finally the match gets started. Miller gets a hiptoss out of the initial lock up but then pauses to pose and spoils the moment. They lock up again and Miller gets a scoop slam. The crowd starts chanting, "Pussy Cat!" They lock up again and Buff gets two scoop slams and then a clothesline - Miller bails. The bald Miller claims a hair pull...
Back in the ring, Miller finally gets the upper hand then goes to work on his opponent's previously injured neck. Buff responds with two standing drop-kicks, but Miller comes back with an uppercut then distracts the referee so Oono can interfere at the edge of the ring. Now Miller is hitting on all 8 with karate blows and eye gouges. Again he pulls the referee away so that Oono can strangle Buff against the bottom rope. Every time Buff tries to comes back he gets his eyes raked. He gets a big suplex but both are down. Both get to their feet about the same time and Buff is in the ascendancy again. Oono is on the apron eith his briefcase when Bagwell reverses a whip and sends Miller into it. He rolls the Cat up and pins him then turns his back. Miller attacks after the match and lays Bagwell out.
Chris Benoit vs. Diamond Dallas Page - No DQ match for the US Title - a win here tonight would make Page a three time US Champ. Page comes out and insults Benoit's mother again, suggesting that she makes her living on a phone sex line. Charles Robinson is again the referee. Page gets in Benoit's face to start and gets creamed right out of the chute. Page tries to come back with a powerbomb but Benoit hammers him about the head and escapes the move. The fight goes right to the outside where, of course they are legal because this is no DQ. They return to the ring and Page is in control for the first time in the match. He puts the boots to his opponent then elevates himn into a fireman's carry then pancakes him to the mat. Now he is chiding Benoit before gut wrenching him into a a side breaker on his knee. Page is really fired up for this one.
No sooner than I say that Benoit comes back briefly but Page is on a tear and retains the advantage after a short flurry from Benoit. Benoit isn't out of it - he just can't get anything going for any length of time. Page continues to dominate his opponent. Benoit finally gets loose but climbs the corner and gets trapped there. Page hangs him up in the corner then turns to intimidate the referee. He slaps the official and takes his belt then starts whipping the Champ in the corner. No DQ, remember..? He loops the belt over Benoit's neck and starts choking him with it. Page goes for a cover but gets only two. He gets up and uses the belt to snap mare the Champ. He then puts him in a back breaker position and hangs him with the belt. That pisses Benoit off and he comes back to life. He gets a series of three German suplexes but can't get the pin out of it. He climbs for the headbutt but Kanyon runs in and interferes. Page is back in charge and we see Benoit's friends watching on the monitor in split screen. Bigalow shows up and splashes Benoit. Why are his friends watching this but not coming out to even the odds??? Benoit conitinues to dominate Page despite the odds. He gets the big headbutt and the pin. I am so glad to see that. I was afraid they meant to give that title back to Page.
That was a great match.
Now they go to the backstage area to give away a motorcycle. The winner is named as Darnell Potter of Cleveland, Ohio.
Sting vs. Sid (don't call me Chris Jericho) Vicious - I expect to see Sid's winning streak interrupted here tonight. It seems to me that Sting is being pushed back into the spotlight these days, whereas Sid is really an unknown quantity, not to be relied upon. A sign in the audience reminds us that this is the last Road Wild before the Millenium. In the background we can see cars and RV's driving by since this ring is apparently right next to the main drag of town. Sting dominates the early going as he hits the Stinger splash and clotheslines Sid to the ground outside the ring then follows him out and dumps him into the crowd. They brawl at ringside with Sting still in command then back into the ring. He goes for another splash in the corner and misses. Now Sid is in control and as usual, is relentless once he's on top. He gets a big powerslam and a two-count.
Sid continues to dominate as he smashes his opponent against the second rope then hits a back breaker. The sun is setting as the match continues and Sid grabs a reverse chinlock. Sting struggles to his feet so Sid releases him and lays in kicks to the gut. He whips Sting to the corner and clotheslines him on the rebound. He tosses him to the floor and follows him out then drops him on the railing. Rolling him back inside he goes for a cover but his legs are still in the ropes. He drags Sting to the center of the ring and grabs the chinlock again. Sting escapes and hits a tackle but is reeling anf falls on Sid's midsection. Sid seems unaffected and goes to climb to the top but Sting was playing possum. He downs Sid then goes to the corner but Sid sticks a leg out and trips him themn is all over him again. He gets another two-count.
Sid is in control again for a moment then Sting starts to come back. But Sid gets a boot to the face and tries to climb to the top again. Sting recovers and beats him to the punch. He gets a superplex and two Stinger splashes but then goes for a third and launches himself right in to a chokeslam. Sting is pinned and I am surprised. This was a pretty good match as well. I didn't think Sid had it in him.
Rick Steiner vs. Goldberg -a lot of people aren't expecting much from this match but I expect Steiner will give the monster a run for his money if anyone can. Tony echoes my sentiments in introducing the match. Steiner is deceptively powerfull, a master grappler and a suplex machine. Seems like the perfect foil for Goldberg's power and relative inexperience.
Steiner goes right on the attack but Goldberg clotheslines him to the mat. They criss cross and Steienr is downed again. Goldberg appears invulnerable but it is early in the match. Steiner bails out to regain his composure then lays in a kick as he returns. He removes Godberg's knee brace then pounds on his kidney befoe using the brace as a weapon. Goldberg suddenly doesn't look so impervious. The referee is letting this go on, Tony explains because Goldberg wore it to the ring thus making it a legal object (huh?? This ia apparently an obscure rule that I never heard of) Steiner has wrapped the brace around his arm and is using it to beat on his opponent. He continues to attack the recently injured knee then hits a big belly-to-belly. Goldberg is reeling as Steiner hits a DDT and takes him back to the mat. Now they stand toe-to-toe in the center of the ring and slug it out. The Goldberg whips him and press slams him. He follows up with the big spear as the engines rev up. Goldberg gets the Jackhammer and the pin. Short but intense.
Man - I just have to compare Goldberg's spear to that wimpy version that Edge uses in the rival promotion. But there is no comparison...
Now we get the promos for the Rodman/Savage match. This could be good if Rodman puts forth the effort he did during his very first PPV appearance a couple of years ago. I don't expect that to happen however...
Dennis "the Worm" Rodman vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage - Rodman comes out wearing a boxing style ring robe complete with hood - except that it is red with a gold floral pattern. I wonder if this guy ever looks into the mirror... Savage comes to the ring on his own as usual lately. It is clear that he is a big favorite with this extremely rowdy crowd. Tony keeps commenting on his "ride home" whenever the camera focuses on a lovely lady on a bike in the crowd. Right away Rodman tries to rile up Savage by asking "where's my B*tch" Savage says, "tonight, you're my B*tch" and invites the crowd to share "sloppy seconds" Savage leaves the ring to chase Rodman who jumps back in then back out to go right on the attack. Actually Rodman is putting in some considerable effort here - apparently trying to earn his rumored million dollar paycheck. Back in the ring he gets a big back elbow and then executes a credible Russian leg sweep. He gets a two-count then pauses to intimidate the referee, even pushing him down then decking him as the official gets back to his feet. He drops an elbow on the referee!! A new referee comes down as Rodman stalks his opponent but Savage hasd had a little time to recover and he gouges the eyes of the basketball player then goes on the offensive.
Savage is fully in charge now and Rodman is taking some big bumps. Savage knocks down a photographer at ringside (WCW Magazine editor Ross Foreman) and uses the camera as a weapon on Rodman. Now he downs the new referee! A third official comes to the ring and is immediately creamed as well, but the distraction has given Rodman a chance to recover and he is bqck on the attack. But Savage is knocked to the floor where he again gains the initiative. Rodman is down and Savage is looking for another weapon. He fails to find one right away so back to his assault. The fourth referee makes his appearance as Savage drags Rodman towards the backstage area. Rodman gets a beal and escapes but Savage regains control and stuffs Rodman into a porta-potty then tips it over!! This is great stuff.
The athletes are coaxed back toward the ring by security at this point. Rodman climbs the ropes and goes for a flying lariet but connects with the referee and that's four down. Here comes Gorgeous George. She enters the ring and hands Savage a chain. As Rodnman gets back to his feet, GG puts on a low blow then Savage hits him a follow up and gets the pin (the fifth referee is Nick Patrick).
That was a surprisingly good match.
More promos set up the main event then Michael Buffer performs the introductions. His "Let's get ready to rumble..." call seems perfectly in place here.
Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. Kevin Nash - Career vs. Career match for the WCW World Heavyweight Title - there are a lot of Hulkamania t-shirts in the crowd - some of them advertise there age by the amount of threadbare condition they exhibit. Hogan enters to the old Hulk music and wears yellow and red for perhaps the last time. I wonder if Kevin Nash understands the extraordinary opportunity he has tonight. This is the biggest match of his career simply based upon the stipulations involved.
Bobby Heenan actually seems to be on Hogan's side in this one, even though he again states that "I never liked the guy but..." They lock up and Hogan is shoved away twice, causing the ring to shake big time. The third lockup sees Hogan win the shoving contest and then they get down to business. Nash grabs a headlock and holds on for dear life. Hogan tries to throw him off but Nash is clamped down like a vice - so Hogan suplexes his opponent to escape. Nash bails to compose himself as the engines roar. Nash re-enters and wants a test of strength. He grins as Hogan hesitates, then they lock up Greco-Roman style. Hogan goes to his knees and the crowd starts to scream and chant his name. Then Hogan stuggles back to his feet so Nash lifts a knee to regain control. Nash bludgeons Hogan in the corner then attacks the small of his back. Now Heenan is rooting for Nash under his breath.
We have sen this pattern many times before - Hogan being pounded for an extended period then Nash starts to showboat and it proves to be his downfall as he misses a rush to the corner. Hogan is back on the attacks and pounds Nash in the corner then takes him to the center and puts him down with a fist to the forehead. Nash recvovers and hits the small of his back again to retake the initiative. Now Nash has Hogan cornered and chokes him with a boot to the throat.
Nash takes the fight ot the floor and runs his opponent into various objects at ringside before dragging him back inside. He drapes Hogan over the second rope and crashes down on him then signals for the Jack Knife - but changes his mind and attacks some more. He whips Hogan and hits him with a boot to the face. He pauses to jack up the crowd and the engines roar. He hits the Jack Knife but Hogan kicks out and starts to Hulk up!! Nash is pounding on him but ut has no affect on the Hulkster as he circles the ring, knocks Nash down with a boot to the face, hits the big kleg drop and takes the pin. Hulk Hogan has retained the World Title against all expectations.
That's the show. I'll be back on Monday with the Monday Night Wars Edition. Until then...
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie.
Copyright 1999 - Jump City Productions