While I will forever credit Bobby Heenan for my love of pro wrestling, my fandom actually began on of all places MTV. I was a HUGE MTV viewer in the mid 1980s, almost since the network began with the Buggles’ Video Killed the Radio Star. From Duran Duran to Def Leppard and more, I was simply glued to the set jamming along with my favorite tunes during my high school days. I absolutely loved it.
Therefore when the WWF and MTV got together, it was an alluring mix. I watched the early stuff like Piper and Hogan, then Prime Time Wrestling set the hook and I’ve never been able to escape. Guessing I never will (although the toxic tribal environment of recent times has had me more than once pondering an escape route). But as I graduated college and entered the workforce, MTV faded into the rearview mirror for me. To be honest, I can’t even recall the last time I watched anything on that network (guessing it was for Wrestling Society X?), and since I cut the cable years ago I honestly have no clue if MTV even still exists.
So imagine my surprise when someone sent me along this tape (ok ok, file) that featured pro wrestling on MTV in 1998…but this time it wasn’t the WWF being featured but instead WCW. Entitled MTV Ultimate Music Video Feud, this train wreck was one of the most WCW things you could possibly imagine, with nothing making any sense and everything that could possibly go wrong doing just that.
Now you’d think you’d want to kick things off with a big name to get folks excited. But this being WCW, the first act to be featured is none other than High Voltage! Yep, Robby Rage and Kenny Kaos, WCW Saturday Night‘s favorite pairing! Look closely and you will see they are representing Will Smith, as the gimmick of the show is that various wrestlers are tied to various recording artists. You may ask what on earth Will Smith and High Voltage would have to do with each other, but thankfully Kenny explains: “How can you go wrong with Will Smith and Rage and Kaos? We’re all gonna get jiggy wit it!” JIGGY WIT IT!!!
No idea where this is being filmed, but everyone is wearing ponchos and tons of umbrellas are on display amongst the maybe 40 or so fans in attendance. Seeing this I just realized – RD Reynolds once drew a bigger crowd than WCW. In Hope, Indiana (population 2,100) no less! I’d say that’s impossible, but this company seemingly never saw a bar they couldn’t sink below.
To the announce crew we go, with an MTV exec (Matt Dingo? Matt Pinwheel?) hanging out under a tent with Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyzsko. Incredible corporate synergy is on display here: Larry is sporting a WCW baseball cap, while Tony has a WCW covering his dome. While others may have seen the weather and decided to phone it in, Larry is at the top of his game noting that…now follow me here…water is a great conductor of electricity and thus High Voltage should be concerned.
Their opponents would be none other than Public Enemy, backing up LL Cool J. They explain to us that they talked to LL’s mom, and she told them to KNOCK THEM OUT. This is so absurdly 90s I almost feel like I should be drinking a Crystal Pepsi while wearing Zubaz as I am writing this.
And wait a minute, shouldn’t Public Enemy be repping, I dunno, PUBLIC ENEMY? Wouldn’t that make more sense?
The “action” in the ring is what you’d expect – just a garbagey brawl with trash cans, dog food, and other junk. The sole interesting thing is how it’s being shot, with cameramen literally on top of the action inside the ring! Pretty sure World Class used to shoot like that and it’s kinda interesting to me that no one really does that in the business today. With camera rigs you’d think that it would be easier than ever to bring the action closer to fans than ever before.
The finish comes with Rocco flipping over the top to poor Kenny who’s been laid out on the table. A windbreakered Nick Patrick shows up to give the weirdest three count ever on the outside. Dude can’t even be bothered to get on his knees! If this was to entice me to think WCW was somehow cool, well, mission not accomplished.
Regardless, we are told that LL Cool J is now advancing to the next round. Good for him I guess, I am sure winning whatever this tournament is would be a tremendous honor!
The breakneck pace of this show is on full display, as we head immediately to our next match, with Barry Darsow is representing Run DMC.
Stop, RD, stop. Take a breath and consider what you just typed. Let that sink in and appreciate what you’ve been given.
BARRY DARSOW IS REPRESENTING RUN DMC.
In fact, he even cuts a PROMO on their behalf!!!!
Booker T is out next, and he’s representing Canibus! Apparently they are an overnight success just like Booker, although Larry notes he is old school and is thus against Canibus. This show is getting more surreal by the moment.
But Barry ain’t done hyping his homeboys yet, as he and Booker get into a promo battle for the ages. I don’t care that this clip is nearly a minute long, y’all need to do yourselves a favor and get to clickin’ this here link. You can thank me later.
Before the action begins however, Carson Daly tells fans at home they need to call in and vote for who should win this battle. Wait, WHAT? I thought the winner of the match advanced who they were representing? Now we are spending $.95 a minute (on our touchtone phones only!) to play fantasy booker? Glad I never saw this live, I know I’d have wasted a good $29 repeatedly calling in for Demolition Smash to score the upset.
Not that it would have mattered, as Run DMC gets slaughtered on the phone lines. Speaking of which, anyone think Slaughter will be part of the tournament? I sure did love me some Fly to the Angels back in the day! Anyhoo, this moves Booker to the next round. I think. I could be wrong, Carson Daly attempted to explain the rules and honestly only made me all the more confused.
Booker continues his trash talk, putting over Canibus as best he can with Rocco looking baffled and Nick Patrick trying to do everything he can to not bust out laughing. Dudes, I don’t blame you, I have zero idea what the hell is going on and I can only imagine this being WCW none of you did either.
Regardless, Booker and Canibus get the very close victory. I should note that’s two victories in a row for the guy and he hasn’t even locked up with anyone yet!
A “six string shootout” is next, with Brad Armstong who is naturally representing Metallica. No, I have no idea why either, just roll with me. The announcers explain to us that Brad is a second generation wrestler, but has a family curse. Sure enough, this image is number 13 (!!!) so apparently he has a WrestleCrap curse as well.
His opponent for this encounter would be Diamond Dallas Page, and since his song is a complete ripoff of Smells Like Teen Spirit, he is of course representing Van Halen. See – I can be just as nonsensical as this company!
Never has an animated GIF been more appropos.
DDP tells us he doesn’t care if it’s David, Sammy, or Gary, as long as they got Eddie they got the axe and they are JACKED! (For the record, I’m in the same mindset. I may be the only person that absolutely loved Van Halen III featuring Gary!). Brad of course puts over Metallica as only the most southern redneck could possibly do. If I didn’t have video evidence to the contrary, I’d swear he was sipping from a moonshine jug during this. Regardless, Van Halen picks up the duke 54% to 46% over Metallica.
Randy Savage is out next, but he’s not part of the tournament, he’s just there to talk about his upcoming matchup at Slamboree with Bret “The Hitman” Hart. That match sounds great, but this being WCW I bet it was a **1/2 snoozer. Carson asks what Randy is doing to train and he notes he is, and I am just quoting here, “drinking adult beverages.” Carson is so excited to hear they share the same training regimen that he flexes his own muscles!
Back to the tourney we go, as we get a “Battle of the Davids” with Hugh Morrus and Jimmy Hart repping for David Lee Roth (Jimmy: “It’s our patriotic duty to step in the ring for David Lee Roth!!”)…
…going up against Sick Boy (whatever happened to that guy?) standing up for the rights of David Bowie. Carson notes that Bowie is one of the most original people in music to which Sick Boy responds “He is? What’s he done?”
Carson, dude…”you ever see that crappy movie Labyrinth?” was RIGHT THERE.
Former WrestleCrap Radio TNA correspondent Diamond Dave picks the up the duke as Jimmy jumps into Hugh’s loving arms and our ever accelerating decent into utter madness continues.
Wait, did I say “utter madness”? I should have said MATERNAL madness (that’s what the announcers called this next ’bout’), as Kidman is out fronting for Salt-n-Pepa against…
….Madonna’s main man, Ultimo Dragon. I should note that Dragon then cuts a promo putting over Salt-n-Pepa while Kidman talks about his love for Madonna. Wasn’t it supposed to be the other way around?
In case you think I’m all loopy and hitting the cough syrup again, here’s their promo for you to enjoy. And Ultimo wins somehow as he is with Madonna even though Kidman said HE was with Madonna. Look, I have no idea what on earth is happening at this point, but as is the case with any good train wreck, I can’t tear myself away.
Finally…FINALLY…we get to round two with Kimberly showing up to escort DDP to the ring for his bout with Hugh Morrus. Morrus is so upset he starts screaming about how he should be wearing a top like Kim is wearing (um, no) whilst Jimmy is equally furious to the point that he starts singing a song about how HE WANTS TO BE A NITRO GIRL.
This means we are getting a David Lee Roth vs. Van Halen matchup. It’s almost like this was pre-planned or something! Which is a good idea honestly – if you weren’t around for this, take my word for it that the whole saga of David Lee Roth leaving Van Halen was a HUGE deal.
So much so we get a RECAP OF THE FEUD prior to this pro rasslin’ match to settle it!
And by pro rasslin’ match I of course mean 1-900 calls to settle it!
For the record, the next time your old geezer friends start squabbling about which version of Van Halen is best, here is your empirical evidence that it is in fact Van Halen featuring GARY CHERONE. HECK YEAH. I’d take Dirty Water Dog over Jump any day of the week and twice on Sunday!
So glad we are in the final rounds here, as I think Madonna will be taking on Canibus next.
No no no – of course not. Instead, here comes Glacier – I dunno, maybe he got a bye or something and thus is in the quarterfinals. And he is, with the good Lord above as my witness and I am not making this up, representing PEARL JAM!!!!! I totally see my pal Craig Proper was doing backflips over this.
Glacier is going to be battling Courtney Love’s main man Raven, who is out to defend her honor. I’d say this is the weirdest bracket in pro wrestling history, but this company would have that 32 man (well, 31 man plus a woman since Madusa was in there (and I am pretty sure she was in it twice for some reason)) world title tournament coming up in less than two years and that thing made this look like the most logical booking since Bill Watts in Midsouth.
Shockingly, Glacier wasn’t enough to propel Pearl Jam over Courtney Love. Never in a million years did I think I would write such a sentence. Blood runs cold indeed.
And then poor Ultimo and Madonna job out to Courtney Love. This despite Raven literally urging folks at home to vote for Madonna so he could go home! He follows this up by saying, and I quote, “they’re both whiny tramps, who cares who won?”
Oh, and if you’re asking what happened to all the animated GIFs, you know, the ones showing the action in the ring? Well, I can’t do any when there is NO WRESTLING, and that’s been the case the last hour or so. This despite the rain having seemingly stopped altogether. I’m all for safety, but not sure how that applies here when Public Enemy was out there getting soaked and DDP is just leaning back doing a Diamond Cutter gesture as his boys lays waste to Canibus.
I’m pretty sure this means just one thing: we are getting Raven with Courtney Love versus DDP and Van Halen in the finals! Can the incredibly underrated Gary Cherone take Eddie and the boys to everlasting glory?
But what’s this? Raven doesn’t even bother to show up, instead sending out Kidman (or as Carson calls him Kid Man) in his stead. Billy tells us that he’s there because Raven decided this was all stupid so he left.
Oh how I love this completely idiotic company. Where else would you get something like that?
It turns out that dastardly Raven hadn’t actually left, but instead tries to sneak attack DDP. That doesn’t go well, and instead he winds up in a hangman’s noose gasping for his last breath. I’d say that’s a bit over the top, but at least we didn’t get a cross involved. Consider it progress for Scotty.
With DDP getting the duke, this means your undisputed champions of music are…VAN HALEN FEATURING GARY CHERONE!!
Screw them giving that thing to DDP, let’s make it official!
Said it before, I’ll say it again – GARY CHERONE ROCKS!!!!