As I think everyone knows, Matt over at Dinosaur Dracula (formerly x-entertainment) and I have been buddies for years. I mean, it’s not like we talk all the time, or even have each other on speed dial…so maybe “buddies” is a stretch. Still, we’ve respected each other’s work since I started WrestleCrap.com back in 2000. I consider him, in many ways, a genius, an absurdly talented writer who uncovers something new just when you think he’s strip mined every last possible piece of pop culture of the last 30 years. And he does so in a satirical, humble, nearly self deprecating style that I truly admire.
Every few years he and I start kicking around the idea of doing a book together. Ok, it’s really more of me asking him to do one with me, but you catch the drift. In fact, one of the original ideas for a follow up to the first WrestleCrap book was to do a book with Matt that I basically dubbed ToyCrap: The Very Worst Toys from Our Childhood. It never came to pass (I wound up penning Death of WCW with Bryan Alvarez instead), but it’s always something I’ve had in the back of my mind that I’d love to pursue one day if Matt and I could find the time.
I bring up DinoDrac today for a very specific reason: I’m going to blatantly steal an idea Matt came up with over there. It’s a feature he runs called “Deadsites”. He unearths old websites that have long since expired and explores them, finding healthy doses of nostalgia contained in nearly every single one.
Today I am going to do the same thing…with a little site called WCW.com.
Just looking at that gives me about a thousand avenues I could drive down.
A dude bent over in front of Norman Smiley!
A banner ad calling me SLAPPY!
To say I am palpitating would be an amazing understatement.
I mean seriously, the banner ads that populate this thing are jaw dropping. I bet I could have done an induction just on those alone. Not only do we get references to Slapnuts Blvd, we get Buff Bagwell shilling credit cards!
Yeah, get stuff! With a WCW MasterCard! Somewhere, John Thomas of Chase Meridian Mastercharge is thinking about what could have been.
And that ain’t Ryback – it’s Bill Goldberg shilling the Nitro Grill in Vegas!
Poor Lee Marshall doesn’t get his proper respect, though – he just gets a boring text hyper link. On the plus side, I have updated my Facebook page once again pleading for the WWE Network to do a behind the scenes documentary of his Road Reports.
How many different ways can I call Bobby Heenan a weasel? Would you believe 537?
Man. This is just good times.
Unfortunately, a lot of the links no longer work, but that’s not going to keep me from TRYING them all out. In fact, let’s just start at the top left and work our way down!
We start out with Pay-Per-View, and learn that our next event is Fall Brawl. I love that the page not only has my eyes bleeding (a red background with yellow and orange text??), but that it lists “ANNOUNCED MATCHES” and reminds us that “all matches subject to change.”
You’ll note there’s just one match listed…so don’t get your heart set on Kevin Nash versus Booker T, cuz it may not happen. Watch Nitro and Thunder to find out, kids!
Speaking of Nitro, a recap of it is next on our agenda. And when I say “recap”, I literally mean that; it looks identical to what you see on many wrestling sites even to this day. Well, for Raw and shows that are actually still on the air, that is. Anyhoo, this show sounded stupendous. Or maybe just stupid. I’ll let you make the call with these highlights:
I could be mistaken, but I am pretty sure Goldberg was a babyface at this time. A good, old fashioned, woman beating babyface apparently.
Also, I really hope one day WWE.com does a “Where are they now?” with David Flair and he is still wearing muddy clothes.
I’m also wildly intrigued by this sidebar ad:
Yep, the Nitro PRE-show, the one before the event, was call REload for some reason. I’ve been staring at that graphic for over a week and still can’t even begin to comprehend how anyone thought that made a lick of sense. So I guess I’ll just, nod, smile, and say that’s a delightfully WCW thing to do.
Speaking of delightfully WCW, let’s move onto Thunder!
I won’t lie – I have zero interest in attempting to make with the ha ha on Jeff Jarrett hitting 27 people with a guitar over the course of two hours. Especially when there were other more pressing matters on the show including…
…a match with SMOKEY MARK MADDEN. I’d write more about this, but I’m going to pass for two reasons:
1) Years ago, I inducted that match and Mark Madden himself was so furious he sent me about a half dozen hate mails defending himself and telling me how I was an idiot.
2) Madden did not, in fact, dress up like the REAL Smokey, Sheriff Buford T. Justice, for the match.
Actually, let’s make it…
3) Something far more important needs discussion time:
Holy crap, I had almost forgotten about Kwee Wee!
How that gimmick has never been given a solo induction here borders on criminal. Like if IPD showed up at the Reynolds Ranch and put me in cuffs citing me for such a crime, I doubt I’d even hire a lawyer to try to get me out of the pen.
Short story…shorter…Kwee Wee was a violent wardrobe designer. And those aren’t MY words, they are straight from WCW themselves. Here’s a recap of his match from Nitro that week:
And Papaya…who the heck was Papaya? Legitimately could not remember. I thought maybe it was Chiquita, but nope.
Reason #9,743 that this company went out of business: having so many people on the roster they had not one, but TWO women named after fruit.
Ok, I am looking at that picture, and I am not entirely sure who it even is. My gut reaction is Torrie Wilson, but she doesn’t look QUITE like Torrie Wilson. I mean, if Torrie Wilson had OD’ed on Smylex, yeah, maybe.
I’d click through the entire roster to find out who it is, but seriously, look at this thing:
And poor Papaya didn’t even get a page!
She didn’t, but someone named CHAMELEON did:
I’d always thought a Chameleon character in wresting would be great – a guy who would do the moves of whomever he was facing. Then Damien Sandow kinda did it, and well, God bless the poor guy, but it got old pretty quick.
Clicking on Chameleon actually takes me to ANOTHER site, this one dedicated solely to the Nitro Girls. A quick glance at that site tells me there’s enough material for another whole induction if folks like this one, so I’ll let it be for now, instead choosing to focus on the banner ad at the top of the page:
You know how WWE likes to plug their second screen experience like they are trailblazers or something?
WCW was doing it FIFTEEN YEARS AGO.
I rue the day that I didn’t take advantage of it. I don’t have a lot of regrets in my life, but not utilizing this earth shattering technology during the episode where Nash and DDP talked about Scott Hall (whose name got repeatedly beeped out) while they stared at a swinging light is now one of them.
Speaking of, I like that Hall and Nash not only got individual pages, but The Outsiders got one as well, which contained this precious nugget I’d never heard before:
Guess we can put the kibosh on the idea that the glory days of tag team wrestling are over due to Vince McMahon. Nope, it’s all due to Hall and Nash obliterating every other tag team in the world.
Let’s check out the gimmick table!
Somewhere, Paul Kraft is salivating.
I’ll leave most of this for future Someone Bought This, but I can’t see these items and not comment on at least a few of them.
Seriously, this was the front page of WCW Gear.
These were the hot items they thought people would want to fork over real money to obtain. I mean, I get that the New Blood was a top act being pushed (agreed that I need to write about that atrocity with the blood that could never hit anyone being tossed from the ceiling). And yes, Norman Smiley was…well, ummm, a thing as well for a few months.
But that Sting Teddy Bear…look, we’ve covered a ton of stupid wrestling bears on this site over the years, ranging from ones with hand prints on its boobies (here) to ones that looked like cocaine dealers (here) to that goofy one from the WrestleMania in New Orleans (here) to the legit greatest thing we’ve ever done on the site, and that was reuniting a young girl with a teddy bear she’d lost (here).
I’ll need to watch the happy video on that last one about 500 times to get past the horrifying Sting Teddy Bear. Really, that may be the scariest thing I’ve ever posted on the site, and we’ve had GIFs of Blade Braxton, Vincent Verhei, Sean Carless, Dr. Keith, and myself attempting the Das Wunderkind dance (here).
Sadly, the link doesn’t work for me to find out what the Battle Royal Nitro cologne set is all about. I’d like to think three bottles of cologne with a free CD wherein Brian Knobbs screams proper application directions.
I generally believe that Brian Knobbs screaming anything makes life better.
There is a small section at the bottom with some general stuff, such as feedback. It goes to firstname.lastname@example.org. I sent them an email requesting that they update their site. I’ll keep you posted on any response. Key to all of these items, though would be VIDEO STORE LOCATOR.
Let’s give that a whirl!
I thought that was the end of the website, but OH NO! There’s even more goodies at the bottom:
Ain’t no weekend like a WCWeekend, I always say. In this section, we get an interview with Chavo Guerrero called Rough Cut:
Don’t feel bad, Chavito – it ain’t making much impact on our lives either.
BUT…with that said…this section of the site is perhaps the most bizarre of all of them. You get the expected interviews like the ones above, but let’s say you wanted reviews of Andy Sidaris films?
THIS SITE HAS YOU COVERED!
In fact, there is so much downright wacko stuff here that I am definitely going to leave it for a future column. So if you hate this induction, odds are you going to hate that one too. It will give you something to look forward to!
There’s also a section for the Nitro Grill, but unfortunately, Father Time has not been kind to this area as we get lots of broken links and missing images. So while we do find out that a Goldberger is essentially a one-way trip to the hospital for under $10…
…I still lack the photographic evidence I’ve long searched for proving that I once had a Booker T Bone with a side of Onion Rings of Saturn.
One day. One day.
So there you have it – the first ever Deadsites at WrestleCrap.com.
Voice your opinions below!