After writing out reviews for the previous two WCW pay-per-views (Fall Brawl & Halloween Havoc) rather quickly, I decided to keep up the momentum and found World War III '98 to take a look at. I wasn't as much of a fan of Fall Brawl '98 (only one match recommended), but I thought Halloween Havoc '98 was one of the best WCW shows I've seen. So where will World War III fall? I was always a huge fan of events like this one, where a bunch of wrestlers fight it out until the last man standing. Hopefully, this one is worth watching.
WCW World War III '98 |
Posted by the Accelerator, May 17th, 2012
- For the record, this is the second time in three pay-per-views that Bill Goldberg, the WCW World Heavyweight Champion, doesn't have a match. I still don't get the logic of keeping your most popular wrestler off the event, as it must have affected bye rates. I even went as far as to check for injuries, but it doesn't appear that he was hurt at the time. Just strange.
- This does, however, explain the cover of the video, which has Diamond Dallas Page and Bret Hart going at it. You can't show the WWIII match easily in one picture, so it makes sense to take your next most high profile match: for the WCW United States Title. Again, why not Goldberg vs. Wrath, or Goldberg vs. Chris Jericho (who was regularly mocking Goldberg for the previous few months)? Ok, time to get off the soap box. I've got a PPV to watch.
- Dangit, one more Goldberg note... the intro has Bret Hart and DDP... but then shows Goldberg, making it seem like he's part of the match. *cough* Anyway, they also show us, in rapid fire, every contender in the 60-Man World War III Battle Royal. If you're quick, you can pick out every other name.
- The announcers, as per usual at this time period, are Tony Schiavone, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, and "The Professor" Mike Tenay.
- Goldberg... arrives. Yep, we get to see him walk with suitcases and everything. The announcers say he's there to see the winner of the Battle Royal, who will get the title shot against him at Starrcade '98. And, uh, he couldn't just watch on PPV like everyone else?
- The announcers also mention that Hollywood Hogan is not there for World War III. Apparently he's not going for the title shot. Did the battle with The Warrior cost him that much? Actually, yes, it probably did. Hogan would be announcing his 'retirement' for a time, while The Warrior would just fade away (and get kicked out).
- Mean Gene talks about the Battle Royal, thinking how a 'little guy' is going to win it. He says Bobby Heenan's pre-recorded statements about the match are available on the WCW Hotline. Amazing what they did to make money back in the day. Now they charge you for Internet information instead.
Glacier Vs. Wrath:
Backstory: Glacier had once been given a huge push, having a long undefeated streak, but that's long in the past here. This is Glacier's first PPV appearance after undergoing knee surgery. He made his return earlier in the month with a new finisher (The Ice Pick), and was in a match against Kanyon, when Wrath (who was upset over Raven refusing to wrestle him) destroyed both men. Kanyon came back to win their match, so Glacier blamed Wrath, who was currently in the midst of his own winning streak. Both men were part of the "Blood Runs Cold" storyline, so they're definitely familiar with each other.
The Match: They actually gave this one more time than I expected, as I was waiting to see Glacier get squashed. Wrath mostly dominated, throwing Glacier around and showing off his strength with no-sells, but Glacier wasn't completely shut down. They fought their way into the crowd at one point, with the fans loving it, then fought back, with Wrath, again, mostly in control. The announcers spend most of the match praising Wrath, even talking about his future movie career (so much for that). At one point, Wrath choked out Glacier with the ring rope, almost getting DQ'ed. Honestly, the ref should have done it, since Wrath didn't drop it in the 5 count. Near the end, Glacier finally made a comeback and got a slight impact from his Cryonic Kick, but even the announcers are saying he mostly missed. Glacier calls for the Ice Pick (think Umaga's finisher as a submission), but Wrath blocks it, sets Glacier up, and lands the Meltdown pumphandle slam for the victory. "The Body Count continues".
Ace Thoughts: I remember being a big fan of Wrath at the time, but this was nothing more than a long squash. Glacier was on his way to the bottom of the heap, only a couple of months away from selling off all his equipment and returning as "Coach Buzz Stern". As for Wrath, his mid-card singles push soon faded out, with losses to Bam Bam Bigelow at Souled Out and a torn ACL in his future during the next year. At least Wrath would have a comeback, though, wrestling as Bryan Clark and teaming with Bryan Adams in Kronik.
- A hype video plays for Bret "Hitman" Hart, where Hart insults other wrestlers like Booker T, Lex Luger, and Chris Benoit, before talking about Dallas Page. He called DDP a punk and said he was 'unprepared' to defend the US Title against him (Page won the belt). He is going to make DDP an example, and that he's the People's Champion.
Konnan vs. Stevie Ray w/ Vincent:
Backstory: Stevie Ray had turned on his brother, Booker T, months ago and had been a key figure of the nWo Hollywood as of late. He calls himself "The Enforcer" for Hollywood Hogan, a shot at Arn Anderson and the Four Horsemen. Konnan had joined up with the nWo Wolfpack, becoming a low-card member (compared to Kevin Nash, Lex Luger, & Sting) but also a fan favorite. Konnan routinely was the man chosen to battle the black 'n' white nWo Hollywood.
Konnan does his normal speech before the match, trying to hype the crowd up. It seems more stale when you're watching show after show and he's saying the exact same thing.
The Match: The two wrestlers exchanged a lot of shots early on, with neither dominating the match. Vincent, "The Head of Security" for the nWo, helps turn the momentum to Stevie Ray's side, as he pounds on Konnan outside the ring before throwing him back in. Stevie Ray capitalizes on this with... lots of rest holds. Stevie Ray keeps Konnan down for a while, but K-Dawg makes his comeback, causing Stevie Ray to need Vincent's help again. But it backfires later on, when Stevie Ray calls for Vincent to use the slapjack, only to have Konnan reverse and cause Vincent to hit Stevie Ray instead! An incensed Konnan clobbers Vincent, then loses it, just slugging away at Stevie Ray until the ref, with no choice, calls for the disqualification. Stevie Ray wins on his back. Post-match, Konnan keeps the hitting up until Booker T surprisingly comes in to make the save, calming down Konnan and protecting Stevie Ray, who isn't very appreciative of the help.
Ace Thoughts: Konnan landed his usual moves, and Stevie Ray got in a few chinlocks. Eh, nothing wrong about this match, but nothing I'm too excited about, either. Both men would continue in their respective roles in their nWo factions (at least until the shift at the beginning of the next year), not getting title opportunities but definitely getting to wrestle a lot.
- The announcers kept talking about the 60-Man Battle Royal. People, the buyers have already paid, and you don't lose their money if they leave.
Ernest "The Cat" Miller & Sonny Onoo vs. Kaz Hayashi & Saturn:
Backstory: Onoo is Miller's manager, but he's also been fighting lately, 'winning' matches thanks to Miller's involvement. At the time, Onoo was claiming he was undefeated in pro wrestling, with a whole 3-0 record. At one point, Onoo was looking at managing Hayashi, appearing at ringside during his matches. But when Hayashi lost a match to Miller, Onoo switched sides, joining the heel. Hayashi and Miller feuded, with Hayashi even surprising Onoo by wrestling him at one point as the masked "El Gringo" (Miller made the save once it was discovered it was Hayashi). The tag-team match was set up for the PPV, but Hayashi had to find a partner. Enter Saturn, who needed a challenge after being somewhat stagnant the last few months since he helped break apart The Flock.
The Match: Miller, as he always does, gives his opponent (Hayashi) 5 seconds to leave before attacking. While Miller's back is turned, Saturn tags in and cleans house. As you would expect, Miller did most of the wrestling for his team, while Onoo applauded. Onoo only came in when Hayashi was down, although Hayashi no-sold everything Onoo threw at him (causing Onoo to first try offering money, then slipping away to tag back in Miller). Saturn is the powerhouse, and he's still getting big cheers from the crowd. I still don't understand why his career crash-landed after the great angle with Raven & The Flock. The writers just had no idea how to capitalize on him. Miller takes control and tags in a reluctant Onoo, who quickly gets taken down and put in a submission hold, with Miller having to make the save.
The rest of the match goes about the same, with Miller getting in the cheap shots and hard kicks, while Onoo comes in for a few hits and then runs for his life when possible. Near the end, the ref-face bias hits, as all four men are in the ring, and the ref chooses to only get rid of Hayashi. Saturn, meanwhile, gets a front face-lock on Onoo, possibly for a suplex, but he's wide open for the Feliner. Embarrassingly for Saturn, Onoo pins him, keeping his undefeated streak alive.
Ace Thoughts: My main thought is, did Saturn sleep with the boss's wife or something? I mean, wow, did they drop the ball on him. From a huge angle that had the fans loving to him to fighting Lodi and losing to Sonny Onoo, that's just depressing. Not much to see here, as it was almost all chops and kicks (as you would expect from most of the combatants). Saturn would continue to feud with Miller over the next month, facing him at Starrcade, while Hayashi, the cause of the whole feud, would all but get dropped. Hayashi would next gain attention by purchasing the wrestling gear of Glacier and wearing it to the ring, becoming a joke character. Too bad, he had charisma, but the booking was awful for most guys here (except for, of course, Bischoff's personal friend, Ernest Miller).
- Lee Marshall interviews Chris Jericho at the internet spot, bringing up Jericho getting hog-tied by Bobby Duncum Jr. Jericho calls it WCW propaganda, and gives other excuses to why it doesn't count. He's going to be the true killer of WCW. Hmmm, a couple of paths I could go with that, but all of them are dark, so I think I'll stay away.
- The Cruiserweight Title match is next. Kidman's already in the ring, as Juventud Guerrera comes out, only to be followed by Mean Gene Okerlund. Okerlund gets him to reveal the shirt on his back that reads "lWo", showing that Juventud has joined The Latino World Order. Eddie Guerrero is quickly out there to take over the interview spot, saying that Juvy has seen the light. Unfortunately for Eddie, another lWo member, Rey Mysterio, comes out and realizes that this is why Kidman, and not Rey, is fighting for the title tonight. Eddie tries to calm him down, saying that the lWo are like a family, and sometimes family members have to make sacrifices. Mysterio storms off to the back, and I think we're about ready for our next contest.
Juventud Guerrera(c) vs. Billy Kidman, WCW World Cruiserweight Title Match:
Backstory: The main story to this match became the lWo connection. In October '98, Eddie Guerrero had formed the Latino World Order, bringing together most of the cruiserweights under one banner. Rey Mysterio was the unwilling participant, forced into the stable after losing (via cheating) to Guerrero in a match. Guerrera and Kidman seemed to be separate, trading the WCW World Cruiserweight Title back and forth, but Guerrera joined up after winning the belt again. As Mysterio deduced, he was denied a title shot due to this development, with Guerrero taking his place in the #1 Contenders match on the previous Thunder against Kidman. Kidman had had a successful run as champion, capitalizing on his popularity after the demise of the Flock. He had lost the belt to Guerrera only a week before the PPV.
The Match: The crowd is more quiet now, possibly due to the sudden turn of Guerrera. The two put on a typical WCW cruiserweight match, doing a lot of high-flying maneuvers. Some of them don't work as well as others, but I'm still enjoying myself. Both rings and the ringside area get used for various moves. A Guerrera hurracanrana off the top rope to the outside goes pretty wrong, with Guerrera landing hard on the apron. Afterwards, the fans are chanting "Juvy sucks! Juvy sucks!" Yep, the fans have officially turned on him. Really, unless I'm calling every move (which I'm trying not to do), it's hard to describe how many spots we have in this one. Some go well, and some do not. In the end, after both men failed finisher attempts, Rey Mysterio reappeared and came down to the ring. As Guerrera went for a hurracanrana off the top rope, Mysterio grabbed Kidman's trunks, keeping him from going. This allowed Kidman to hit the Shooting Star Press and win, taking the Cruiserweight Title back.
Post-match, the rest of the Latino World Order rush the ring, with Guerrero keeping the rest of the guys back. Guerrero tells Mysterio that he's either in or he's out. Mysterio takes off the lWo t-shirt, and Guerrero warns him to think about it. "United we stand, divided we fall!" It doesn't work, as Mysterio throws the shirt at him. Guerrero immediately gives the order: "Get him!!" and Mysterio runs for his life, with all of the lWo on his heels.
Ace Thoughts: Good match between Kidman and Guerrera, although I've seen better from both. Honestly, the story-telling took a little bit away from the action, I think, as the fans weren't sure what to do about the lWo. They knew to cheer for Mysterio, but that was about it. Kidman, as the champion, would continue to get drawn into the Mysterio/lWo feud, leading to a "Triangle" Match at Starrcade between Kidman, Mysterio, and Guerrera for the belt.
- We see a segment from Monday Nitro, where a drunk Scott Hall had punched Eric Bischoff, then had been getting beat up by the nWo Hollywood members, until Kevin Nash surprisingly made the save. Nash then simply told Hall he'll see him in Detroit before leaving.
Rick Steiner vs. Scott Steiner w/ Buff Bagwell & the nWo Referee, Grudge Match:
Backstory: Rick and Scott have been feuding since Scott turned on his brother and joined the nWo months and months before. Rick's been trying to get his hands on Scott for a while, with Scott and Bagwell pulling various tricks to avoid him. Last month at Halloween Havoc, they tried another swerve, but it back-fired, with Rick winning the WCW World Tag-Team Titles from Scott & The Giant, then fighting Scott afterwards and pinning him. They're scheduled to fight again tonight, with Scott blaming the WCW referees, which allowed Eric Bischoff to appoint a guy as the nWo referee (who will, of course, call everything for the nWo).
The Match: Before Rick can even make his entrance, he gets attacked in the back by Stevie Ray, The Giant, Bryan Adams, and Vincent. Security gets rid of the rest, while The Giant drags Rick down to the ring. Scott and Bagwell work together, beating Rick down. Rick makes a one-armed comeback (his right arm is apparently hurt), and when the nWo ref tries to stop him, Rick slugs him as well... leaving himself open to a low blow. Scott smashes him some more and puts on an early version of the Steiner Recliner, but before the nWo ref can count Rick out, Bill Goldberg is suddenly running to the ring! Scott, predictably, flips him off and audibly curses him out before going back to Rick, but Goldberg's having none of that, so Scott attacks him. Of course, you don't attack Goldberg, who spears Scott out of his shoes! Bagwell hits Goldberg with a chair to avoid the jackhammer, then gets saved himself by the nWo ref, who jumps on Goldberg's back. The ref gets press-slammed over the ropes and far to the other side of the ring, taking him out, as Goldberg hugs Rick. Apparently the match is a no-contest, if it ever even started.
Ace Thoughts: The only reason for this was a Goldberg appearance, really. We could have easily built to a Steiner/Goldberg match for tonight that would have been huge, but instead this is what we got. Nothing, again, was settled between Rick and Scott, and really never would be. They should have ended it at Halloween Havoc, but then they clearly had nothing else for either Steiner. Great pops for Goldberg, and that spear on Scott was incredible, but otherwise, meh.
Scott Hall vs. Kevin Nash, Return Grudge Match:
Backstory: Hall and Nash were former tag-team partners who had formed the new World order with Hollywood Hogan. Hall turned on Nash several months back, staying with nWo Hollywood instead of coming to the Wolfpack, so the feud of friends had commenced. Hall had been going downhill mentally and physically, regularly coming to the ring drunk. At Halloween Havoc, the two former friends went at it, with Nash emphatically beating down Hall, then leaving him in the ring, with Nash losing by countout when he just walked away. This made things even worse for Hall, who started taking out his feelings on everyone, including punching Eric Bischoff on the previous Nitro.
The Match: Yeah, not much 'match'-wise to write about here. Hall came to the ring with the entire nWo Hollywood (minus Hogan). Eric Bischoff then came out to do his own 'survey', having the nWo members beat Hall down. Nash made the save once again, and the crowd gives a loud "Outsiders!" chant. Hall tried to signal for a reunion, putting out the Clique sign. But Nash turned it down and left, obviously not trusting Hall. No match takes place, so we don't even get a no-contest, really.
Ace Thoughts: Pure angle, not much to talk about here. I can't blame Nash for not accepting Hall's attempted reunion, after all the many tricks that the nWo has played over the previous few years. I wouldn't trust him, either. But this at least built up an angle for later in the night.
- The announcers speculate heavily on why Nash wouldn't rejoin Hall. Uh, people, remember the last time Hall joined him? He betrayed him a few weeks later. Yeah.
Chris Jericho(c) w/ Ralphus vs. Bobby Duncum Jr, WCW World Television Title Match:
Backstory: Duncum Jr, the son of a well-known wrestler, made his first appearance in WCW in a match against Jericho for the Television Title, with Jericho having to escape the match via countout to keep his belt. The two would meet again a few days later at Thunder, with Duncum Jr hogtying Jericho with his bullrope. Now, they face off again, with the belt back on the line.
The Match: Interestingly, the crowd wasn't really behind Duncum Jr (the newcomer), and instead popped a lot for Jericho's moves. Duncum Jr kept looking like the strong contender, nearly putting Jericho away a couple of times, but Jericho came back fighting and almost got the Liontamer on the bigger man. Near the end, Ralphus (Jericho's overweight security guard) got involved, distracting Duncum Jr long enough for Jericho to clobber Duncum Jr with the TV Title belt, knocking him out. Jericho then got the pinfall victory, retaining the championship.
Ace Thoughts: They tried hard to make Duncum Jr an instant threat, but you just can't get someone over in a week. This push hurt him more than anything else, especially when he didn't win the belt. Duncum Jr would later join Curt Hennig & The Windhams in the West Texas Rednecks, becoming a heel singing cowboy group (yep, you read that correctly). Jericho went on being awesome. Just sayin'.
- The entrance of the 60 (make that 59, since Hogan's supposedly out) wrestlers takes a while. I'm glad I went through previously and got all their names a while back, so I don't have to do it again.
World War III Three-Ring Battle Royal Match:
Winner gets WCW World Title shot at Starrcade '98. Wrestlers can be eliminated by getting thrown out of the ring and to the floor, getting pinned, or submitting. Participants include:
nWo Hollywood (The Giant, Hollywood Hogan[absent], Horace Hogan, Scott Norton, Scott Steiner, Stevie Ray, Vincent)
nWo Wolfpack (Konnan, Lex Luger, Kevin Nash)
lWo (Ciclope, Damian, El Dandy, Hector Garza, Juventud Guerrera, Eddie Guerrero, La Parka, Psicosis, Silver King, Villano V)
The Four Horsemen (Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Steve McMichael)
WCW (Chris Adams, Bobby Blaze, Booker T, Barry Darsow, Disco Inferno, Bobby Eaton, Mike Enos, Glacier, Chavo Guerrero Jr, Scott Hall, Hammer, Kaz Hayashi, Barry Horowitz, Prince Iaukea, Chris Jericho, Kenny Kaos, Kanyon, Billy Kidman, Lenny Lane, Lizmark Jr, Lodi, Ernest Miller, Chip Minton, Rey Mysterio Jr, Buddy Lee Parker, Scott Putski, The Renegade, Scotty Riggs, Perry Saturn, Norman Smiley, Super Calo, Johnny Swinger, Tokyo Magnum, Kendall Windham, Wrath, and Alex Wright)
The Match: We have a countdown number (counting down how many are left in the match), which is nice. I won't even attempt calling eliminations, there are going to be too many (and a lot out of camera range). Nash went nuts early, throwing out a bunch of cruiserweights and low-card wrestlers. Eventually, he boots out the last guy (Van Hammer) to clear Ring #3, standing there on his own. Jobbers are flying out one by one, and we're quickly down half the wrestlers. No surprise eliminations yet, since we had a big supply of low-to-mid-carders.
Hall is fighting on his own, trying to survive, and Ring #2 is taking a while to clear out. Horace and the Disciple eliminate each other. The crowd doesn't notice. The Giant takes charge of Ring #1, sending people flying. This causes the remaining members to gang-attack him, realizing the main threat. The Giant fights them all off. We're down to 24, and Juventud goes out, so we're down to 23. Only 3 more before everyone goes into the main ring. Nash has been just standing there for a while now. Two guys disappear, and they don't even bother to show us. Mysterio's the last guy gone, so they bring everyone to the center ring.
Miller and Saturn are quickly out, fighting their way to the back. Mostly factions remaining, with a few scattered WCW guys. Chavo Guerrero, Disco, Wright, and Eddie Guerrero all head out fast, followed by Kidman, who's easily tossed out by The Giant. We're at 13, and most of the riff-raff are gone. Nash and The Giant go at it to the huge cheers of the crowd. Let's see, we've got all of the Wolfpack representatives (Nash, Luger, & Konnan), most of the nWo Hollywood guys (The Giant, Norton, Steiner, & Stevie Ray), all three Horsemen (Benoit, Malenko, & McMichael), and a few scattered individuals (Booker T, Scott Hall, and Wrath).
We have a lot of fighting for a while and no eliminations, so you can tell the crowd is getting restless. Nash and The Giant attack each other, and the fans love it, especially when Hall joins him in the beatdown. The Outsiders try to get rid of The Giant, but Norton makes the save. On the other side, Stevie Ray gets tossed by Luger, so we're down to a dozen. McMichael throws out Norton, but then immediately gets thrown out himself by Nash. We're at the final 10, and we get an interruption, as Bam Bam Bigelow (not affiliated, supposedly, with anyone) suddenly storms the ring and tries to attack everyone. Goldberg rushes the ringside area, and Goldberg and Bigelow fight it out to an enormous roar by the audience.
As they fight, with tons of security trying to get both men out, two men get eliminated off-camera: Steiner and Wrath. So we're down to 8, and the fans want Bigelow and Goldberg to keep fighting, giving us a "Goldberg" chant. Booker T gets tossed, so no more WCW members are left. Three Wolfpack, 2 Horsemen, The Giant, and Hall. The groups fight, and surprisingly Konnan goes after Hall, only to blow a leap and send himself flying out. Nash then regroups everyone and points towards The Giant. Everyone attacks to the roar of the crowd, and The Giant fights them off. But it's too much, as they 'swarm' the Giant (according to Schiavone) and lift him up, sending him out! We're down to 5.
The Horsemen attack Hall, while the Wolfpack just watch, resting. Hall fights his way out, knocking down both men, and the Wolfpack members finally come in, with Nash throwing out Benoit and Hall throwing out Malenko. So much for those guys. It's Luger, Nash, and Hall. The Wolfpack members talk it out for a second and shake, and then split into separate corners. It's every man for himself now. They all brawl, trying to win the contest. Luger knocks down Nash with a flying forearm, followed by Hall. He calls for the Torture Rack, trying to put it on Hall. But Nash nails both men, sending them both out, and Kevin Nash is your Battle Royal winner! Nash celebrates afterwards, knowing he's got a World Title match coming up with Goldberg.
Ace Thoughts: Actually this wasn't half-bad, although I must admit it ended a little slower than I expected. Strangely, all the major heels were gone by the time we got to the final five, which really lowered the crowd enthusiasm. Nash's dominance brought back to mind when he did the same thing in the WWF Royal Rumble, which I'm sure is what they were going for. He was the fan favorite to win, and he was definitely the right choice. I especially liked that there were no swerves at the end of this one, unlike the previous two World War III matches.
Diamond Dallas Page(c) vs. Bret "Hitman" Hart, WCW United States Heavyweight Title Match:
Backstory: Page had one of the biggest matches of his career at Halloween Havoc '98, coming up short against the WCW World Champion, Goldberg. On the same event, Hart defended the US Title, beating on Sting with a baseball bat and putting him out. The two wrestlers faced off on the next Nitro for the title, with Page getting the surprise win to become the United States Champion. Hart, furious, went after DDP with a steel chair afterwards, with Goldberg making the save after Page had taken a lot of abuse. DDP returned a few weeks later to save various wrestlers from Hart attacks, leading to the match tonight.
The Match: This one was a fight from the beginning, with DDP smashing Hart out of the ring right at the beginning. The two fought hard, trying to keep the crowd into it, but you could tell the audience was tired after the Battle Royal. Late in the match, Hart tried to cheat, grabbing some brass knuckles from his trunks, only to get caught by the ref. Page used that distracted to go for the Sharpshooter, but Hart managed to escape via the ropes. The fight continued, with the ref eventually getting taken out, leading to the nWo ref trying to come in (only to get taken out by Page). Hart finally nailed DDP with the knuckles and applied the Sharpshooter, with the nWo ref calling for the bell. But a WCW ref charges down and stops it, continuing the match. A distracted Hart got caught by the Diamond Cutter and was pinned, enabling DDP to retain the US Title.
Final Thoughts: This had some feel-good moments for the fans, no doubt. Goldberg cleaning up on Steiner & Bagwell, Kidman's triumphant victory over Guerrera (with Mysterio's help), Nash winning World War III and Page defending his own title all went over well. That being said, the wrestling on this card was definitely not that impressive. Honestly, you could skip most of the matches easily and not miss much. Even the main event was hurt due to its placement (it would have been better before the battle royal), having a weak crowd to go with what could have been a great match. It just felt like more of a 'storyline' PPV than a wrestling one. Bummer.