Many sites have a match of the week but ours is a little different. These matches are the ones that are fun to watch… in the non-traditional way.
This week, we’ve chosen Mike Awesome vs. Lance Storm from WCW New Blood Rising. Members of the site @TimWelcomed, @typicalROHfan and @TomBlackett give their (lack of) expertise on the only PPV match in wrestling history competed under ‘Canadian rules’.
Part 1: The Introductions
First we get Mike Awesome coming out. My favorite part of this is when they show the crowd you can see a Juggalo kid pop out from behind someone for a split-second and it’s absolutely terrifying… actually, maybe he was just wearing Sting facepaint. Next we have a serious Lance Storm coming to the ring. He’s frowning because Big Bang Theory didn’t exist at this time.
Lance Storm gets the mic and talks and talks and talks. Most of it about him being Canadian, of course. He says that he’s a marked man in the USA. He says it has him worried about a terrorist attack and that it’s not his fault the American’s think they rule the world. What a heel! He then invokes Rule No.32-B so he can name a special referee for this match. I was worried he was going to call out Rule No.49-C, but it is hard to have Judy Bagwell and a pole always on hand. His referee is Jacques Rougeau so that’s something. We sit through the Canadian National Anthem out of respect. The incredible encounter of strength and wit begins.
This is one of my favorite WCW matches ever. It’s so out there. As a child wrestling fan, I HATED Canada. It started with the Hart Foundation and Bret waging war on my favorite wrestlers (Stone Cold and Shawn Michaels) while waving a Canadian flag. I was so into it, I took a mini USA flag to a WWF RAW show, despite sitting in the nosebleeds. This came back to life during the Lance Storm WCW push. To top it off, I loved Mike Awesome! This was basically my WCW version of Wrestlemania. Needless to say, this took years off my 11 year old life.
Storm calls the American wrestling fans rude and obnoxious. As a lifelong American wrestling fan, I can’t deny this statement. Amazing all these years later, I’ve defected to Team Canada. Commentary is not good. I’ll never understand why Mark Madden and Scott Hudson replaced Bobby Heenan and Mike Tenay. The Heenan, Tenay and Tony Schiavone team was so underrated.
I’ve watched very little WCW from the Russo Era, and believe me, I know what a serious character flaw that is. What’s immediately striking about this is the silence as Mike Awesome’s ‘Beautiful People’ rip-off music plays. Like, not that the crowd is silent, but literally no-one on the commentary team talks for almost a solid minute. Did that happen a lot in WCW? it’s disorientating!
Lance ‘Bazinga!’ Storm with all the titles is quite a sight to behold. It also took me a few years to realise the Saskatchewan Hardcore Invitational Title was only called that so Russo could have some giggles about there being a SHIT title. I thought it was just a weird little touch that added nicely to Lance’s Canada-obsessed character and yes, I am extremely innocent.
I don’t know who the non-Tony Schiavone announcers are, but the one screaming “SAY IT! SAAAAY ITTTT!” as Lance prepares to cut his promo is clearly the more obnoxious of the two. As his speech goes, on you can feel the crowd ACHING for the special enforcer to be Bret Hart, and oh man, poor old Lance knew it. Seeing him shake his head as he prepares to disappoint everyone with Jacques Rougeau is something I could watch all day. In case you’re wondering, this is the face of a man who knows he’s about to let down thousands of people: