In the months following the collapse of WCW and ECW, Australian rock promoter Andrew McManus put together a new would-be major league called World Wrestling All-Stars, complete with its own pay-per-view, titled Inception. Unfortunately, by the time this bush-league effort made it to the US airwaves, it was already more than two months old.
If the WWA were to compete with the WWF on its home turf, it would have to host a show live from the States.
It would not have to feature terrible thrown-together matches, obnoxious commentary, or one of the worst live audiences in PPV history; all of those things were just an added bonus.
The show, which emanated from Las Vegas, Nevada, opened inauspiciously with a band that everyone was pretty sure was Creed until Jeremy Borash informed us that they were called, “Tantric”.
They were on tour with Creed.
WWA: Revolution thus started on a proverbial sour note (while Tantric finished on a literal one).
The good news was that, as far as commentary went, WWA had learned from its first pay-per-view debacle; instead of the announcing being blasted throughout the arena at all times, the announcing was blasted throughout the arena only between matches (and sometimes arbitrarily during the matches).
Unfortunately, replacing Jerry Lawler on commentary this time around was Mark Madden, whose smarky commentary and prostitution jokes amused Mark Madden to no end.
The pay-per-view opened to a decent enough start: Nova emerged victorious in a six-way elimination match, last eliminating AJ Styles.
I know AJ Styles now says that he didn’t know anything about ring psychology back in the day, but both times that he executed the devastating Styles Clash in this match, the other guy didn’t kick out.
There wasn’t much to complain about in the opener — unless you had epilepsy, as WWA insisted on presenting the action in Seizure-Vision™.
In total, the event featured 6 video screens, which were present on camera at almost all times: three screens for flashing colors, two for displaying the company logo, and one for showing the action, as if there were fans in the rafters who couldn’t see the ring.
Oh, and we can’t forget about the entrance videos, most of which were just the wrestlers’ names…
(and not always spelled correctly).
Sometimes there was a photo to go with the name.
Commissioner Bret Hart’s entrance video, for instance, appeared to show him dangling his Sharpshooter.
Speaking of the Commish, Hart was trotted out tonight to disappoint the crowd…
…announcing that the legendary Randy Savage would not be on tonight’s card…
….and that his worthy replacement would be Grandmaster Sexay. Brian Christopher, explained Hart, had earned the world title shot by virtue of being Jerry Lawler’s son and having been on the previous tour.
In case this ringing endorsement of WWA’s Plan B didn’t ingratiate Commissioner Hart enough to the live crowd, he expressed hope that Osama bin Laden would get his “frickin’ ass” kicked.
Mark Madden, always curious, asked what would happen if bin Laden were in the main event.
(The answer: Osama would have no-showed at the last minute and been replaced by Ernest “The Cat” Miller.)
“An amazing, amazing announcement,” said Jeremy Borash. If I had paid to see Randy Savage and ended up with the less-popular member of Too Cool, I certainly would have been amazed.
Next up was WCW’s Kwee Wee, now known as Allan Funk, who wrestled WCW’s Reno, still known as Reno.
Mark Madden dropped tons of hints, brother, that “The Funkster” Allan Funk was in fact imitating Hulk Hogan, brother. Hopefully, a few fans caught on and recognized Madden’s genius.
And speaking of dropping…
…Funk and Reno took turns dropping each other on their heads…
…before Funk picked up the victory.
A disgruntled Disco Inferno, whose match against Brian Christopher had been cancelled, arrived on the scene to do commentary and, more importantly, bicker with Mark Madden on a live mic.
In the next match, the tag team of Native Blood wrestled Kronic (spelled with only one K to skirt copyright issues) in the latter’s first pay-per-view bout since their match against The Brothers of Destruction. If you’ll recall, that match was so bad it got Adams and Clark fired from the WWF.
Their match at WWA Revolution proved to be a step down from that.
It was as good a time as any for an appearance by the famous Starettes dance troupe, whose numbers had dwindled to three.
Next, the midget wrestlers Puppet and Tio wandered out to the ring for an impromptu hardcore match. Both men risked broken bones and concussions, all to no reaction at all from the crowd, who were distracted by the snide comments from Disco Inferno and Mark Madden being piped in over the speaker system.
Remember all those corny short jokes Jerry Lawler used to make, like how Dink the Clown played handball against a curb? These jokes were a lot like that, except they were all about how the midgets should both just die.
Puppet won the match (which never officially began), but his celebration was cut short by the arrival of Scott Steiner, who disposed of both men like sacks of garbage.
But Steiner’s night wasn’t over. To really earn his paycheck, he roughed up Disco Inferno in what was either an extremely long beat-down or an extremely short match.
In a decent three-way dance, Eddie Guerrero defeated Psicosis and Juventud Guerrera for the cruiserweight title.
In lieu of a celebration, Guerrero delivered an impassioned promo about how he had conquered his personal demons and was making his comeback, but the fans interrupted the whole thing with “What?” chants.
Then, Jerry Lynn, newly released from the WWF and apparently a heel, mocked the promo and disrespected Eddie – just like the fans did.
After producing some fake tears with a bottle of Visine (perhaps supplied by RVD), a lexically-challenged Lynn told Guerrero to “quit your bitchin’, bee-otch” before engaging in another overly-long brawl with the new champion.
“Certainly, we have not seen the last of that story,” said Borash.
“Yes we have,” said Guerrero a few weeks later when he signed with the WWF. AJ Styles would go on to win his vacant cruiserweight title, then vacate it himself within a few weeks to sign with TNA.
After another interminable Starettes routine, a patriotic Sabu entered wearing an American flag keffiyeh.
No, not a keffiyeh with an American flag design on it. I mean an actual flag, with holes for hanging it and everything.
Sabu battled Devon Storm in the night’s first non-midget hardcore match. The level of energy from the crowd at the Aladdin Casino was such that, if you closed your eyes, you could swear you were in the ECW Arena (on a Tuesday morning when there wasn’t a wrestling show going on).
There was nothing Sabu or Storm could do to pop the crowd, not even when they took turns accidentally hurting themselves.
The fans did come to life at one point during the match to inform Sabu that he had committed an error (in so many words) in countering Storm’s powerbomb.
Mark Madden praised both men for not using weapons, just as Devon Storm was bodyslamming Sabu with a chair. “We could have sold that seat!” said a very optimistic Madden, forgetting why WWA had had to cordon off a quarter of the arena’s floor space.
Near the end of the match, Sabu attempted a plancha onto Storm through a table, only for Devon to move out of the way and let Sabu crash through. Mark Madden immediately gushed with praise for the innovative Sabu’s “unbelievable move”.
Madden then compared the 20-minute match to the Vietnam War. He meant that it was very violent, not that it lasted way too long and should have never taken place.
Unlike Nam, this match ended with an accidental chair shot and an O’Connor roll.
Sabu, always the poor sport, grabbed a chair, walked up the aisle, and flung it at the back of Devon Storm, who was not listening to Borash and Madden telegraph the move over the loudspeaker.
Backstage, a cross-eyed Lenny Lane complained to Lodi about how he was hurting his behind.
It turned out that Lodi was simply stitching up his brother’s wrestling trunks, not doing it up the butt. Hey, they don’t call it the City of Brotherly Love for nothing!
Sure enough, the West Hollywood Blondes were up next. “Oh, that’s not Lenny and Lodi, that’s a table-remover,” said Borash over the PA.
The announcers stalled on the mic for a few minutes as the ring crew cleared away debris, until Lenny and Lodi finally, ahem, came out. Not in the sense of declaring their homosexuality publicly, of course.
They always tried to keep their “gay” gimmick subtle.
Their surprise opponents for the evening were Rick Steiner and, for some reason, Ernest “The Cat” Miller, even though they had Scott Steiner right there in the building. Not that they had even advertised Rick, Scott, or Ernest.
The Cat promised the two “girly boys” that he’d kiss Mark Madden’s ass if his team lost.
Thankfully, they won, and more thankfully, the match lasted less than a minute, and even more thankfully, The Cat beat up Mark Madden afterwards.
For the evening’s switcheroo main event, “The Grandmaster” Brian Christopher, showing blatant disregard for copyright law, entered to his original “Too Cool” theme from the WWF.
The violation of intellectual property continued, as Jeff Jarrett responded to some hecklers, only for Brian Christopher to steal Jarrett’s own insult and throw it back at him.
Maybe “intellectual” isn’t the right word to use during this match.
Mark Madden took the time to make an MDA telethon joke about Brian Christopher, offering to sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” should “Jerry’s kid” win. Hey, idiot. Both Brian Lawler and Jeff Jarrett are “Jerry’s kid.”
Towards the end of the match, Christopher accidentally superkicked one referee, sparking a series of referee shenanigans.
First, Christopher pinned Jarrett, only for Referee A to pull out the newly-arrived Referee B.
Referee A insisted that only he should be able to count the pinfall.
Then, Jarrett hit Christopher with a guitar, which Referee A counted until he was pulled out by Referee B…
…leading to a brawl between officials.
Eventually, Referee A won out, counting the pin for Jeff Jarrett after some funny business involving the title belt.
And that was your main event.
If American fans were hyped up about the emerging power struggle between referees Marty Valencia and Slick Johnson, they were surely disappointed that the WWA never returned stateside; Revolution marked World Wrestling All-Stars’ first and only event in the US before it folded the following year.