I never need anything ever again.
A kind young lad has sent me a hard drive with the entire run of WCW Thunder. Now I’ve watched all that before live, saw lots of it again as Bryan and I wrote both Death of WCWs (and yes, this is where I ask you to pick up the new version by clicking here).
But I never had unlimited access to everything it contained at my fingertips.
Now that I do, I cannot stop watching it.
What a delightfully, absurdly, never-ending train wreck it is. I just started randomly watching random episodes, and in the span of about a half dozen shows I found…
– Vince Russo as WCW Champion
– Jim Duggan: Canadian
– Norman Smiley, Backyard Champion
– The horrific title tournament where Madusa was in, lost in the first round, yet was somehow in the second round
– Elizabeth attempting to seduce Meng (?!) for some reason
– Nitro Girls turning on each other in what may have been the worst acting ever recorded on film
– Lots of absurd Sid promos
– Coach Buzz Stern
– Virgil as COWBOY CURLY BILL
– Ric Flair being literally buried in the desert
– Unmasked Rey with devil horns glued to his head
– Scott Steiner being sprayed in the face with mace…MACE!!!…which he no sold
…and the most amazing one yet:
– Mike Tenay, again, MIKE TENAY, interviewing an amazingly wooden Stacy Keibler on what appears to be a porn set, complete with MOOD LIGHTING, where he notes that she sleeps around constantly with everyone and if it wasn’t for the fact he was a married man and had some morals, he’d have “taken a shot” at her.
Seriously, now that I have it all, I can’t quit watching this show. If WWE were really serious about making money on the Network, they’d just run every episode of this show from 1999-2000 on the live stream repeatedly.
So yeah, lots of stuff coming in the near future from this treasure trove I can now access. Let’s start today, why don’t we, with the fun Chavo Guerrero experienced during this glory period in WCW’s existence!
It all started on what was called an “Opportunity Knocks” Battle Royal. For the record, the competitors in this bout were Steve (William) Regal, Chavo Guerrero, Scotty Riggs, Dave Taylor, Prince Iaukea, El Dandy, Chris Addams, and Jerry Flynn. I tell you this just so you can impress your wrestling friends. Seriously, go up to your geek wrestling pals, and ask them to name the folks in the Opportunity Knocks Battle Royal. They won’t stand a chance. But you, you my friend, will be KING OF THE NERDS.
Up for grabs is…well, we aren’t told. What we are told is that the losers of said match were likely going to be looking for other gainful employment because they are all “on the bubble”, which leads announcer Scott Hudson to tell us that these men “may start looking for employment up north!” Willing to bet that everyone in the company was doing that by the end of 1999, jobber royal combatant or no.
But yes, Chavo wins, and we are informed that he is going to get a “golden opportunity” on the next Nitro. Fast forward four days and a few hours and sure enough, we find Chavito in the office of…
Ok, actually, it’s Vince Russo in the role of one half of the unseen “Powers that Be.” Same thing, just more cartoonish. (And I’ll leave it up to you to determine if I mean the wrestling show or Inspector Gadget.)
Russo (or Claw, you call it) congratulates him thusly: “Oh, yeah, you’re that Chavo kid. You did a hell of a job in that ham & egger battle royal, so here’s your opportunity.” Chavo is then handed a briefcase.
A contract for a title match?
No silly – it’s full of Amway products for him to go sell!
From the very first WrestleCrap book (which you can get here super cheap and I’ll even sign it for you):
Think of it this way: if Russo was managing the local Pizza Hut, you’d order a pizza and they’d deliver a newspaper. Sure, it was a surprise, but it didn’t make much sense, nor did you want to order from them again.
I was probably watching this when I wrote that line.
Anyway, ah, Amway…how can I explain this dated reference?
Basically, it’s a company that would get people to pay them for the opportunity to go sell crap for them. Crap in the form of everything from car wax to eyeliner. While they remain in business to this day, in the 1970s they were seemingly always in controversy, from being called a pyramid scheme in the US and then in criminal cases in Canada in the 1980s.
But their salesmen were everywhere. I’d attempt to explain it further, but just go find someone who is like 55 or older and say Amway, then kick back as they go off for an hour and a half about being hassled by these folks back in the day.
So yeah, that’s the opportunity Chavo received for winning his match.
And yeah, he tries to make the best of it (likely mirroring his real life situation). Here he attempts to sell laundry detergent and bug spray to one of the Villanos. “You know, for la cucharachas!” he joyfully explains.
Then just in case anyone didn’t find that offensive, he finds another minority, this time Kaz Hayashi, and asks if he eats. He explains the concept of EATING while pantomiming putting food into his mouth. He also sells him twelve cases of diapers, despite the fact that Kaz tells him he has no children.
Sadly, his attempts to sell Booker T hair care products fail, despite stating, “I have what you need!!!”
Fortunately, he runs into Jim Duggan, who isn’t a Canadian yet. However, he is a JANITOR.
A janitor in need of FUSES.
Which, of course, Chavo just so happens to sell.
Ok, now this is starting to make sense: those old Amway reps moonlighted at Radio Shack.
Also on the plus side – this means in the series run, we’re getting close to Janitor Jim Duggan winning the TV Title by finding it in a garbage can. And if you think I am joking about that for even one second, go back and take a look at the list that started this induction.
Ms. Elizabeth is next on the hit list, as Chavo pitches her cleaning products, as well as pots and pans. She has zero interest in any of this, noting that she doesn’t cook much. Undeterred, Chavo says he has “what every woman needs – jewelry!”
This causes Lex Luger, who was working out in the background to come running over and wanting to buy in, even though he notes the stuff in the Amway catalog isn’t as nice as his Rolex.
Get out, really?
If you were worried that Chavo wouldn’t be wrestling due to his new occupation, don’t you fret! He kept doing that as well, attempting to sell items to fans in stands as he headed to the ring as well as his opponents.
It even caused the Barbarian to speak, as after he pinned Chavo in 10 seconds, he noted “I take three! I pay you later!”
The Crapometer would soon pop a coil as we got a match between Amway Chavo and Buzzkill. I’ve inducted Buzzkill (head to the archives, kids!), but in short, it’s Road Dogg’s brother who was basically instructed to copy Road Dogg as absolutely closely as possible without being legally liable. I’m guessing that eventually Jerry McDevitt did give Turner a call, as the outfit was tweaked slightly to a Rastafarian stoner look. Poor Brad Armstrong, first the CandyMan (also in the archives) and then this.
Anyway, prior to the match, Chavo once again started his sales pitch, this time offering tye dye shirts, incense, and a “lava lamp” (looked more like some Spencer party gimmick to me, but far be it to me to argue with the WCW announce crew) that didn’t work.
Seriously, despite having a power cord plugged in, the thing just didn’t work at all.
It didn’t stop Buzzkill from staring at it for 90 seconds though.
WELCOME TO THUNDER!!!
And yeah, Buzzkill beat him too.
After a while, Chavo just kinda vanished. He tried to sell a few things, lost some more matches, and then was run off by a midget in a Scream mask.
Really. You think I’d make that up?