As the summer solstice winds down, it brings great change. Change can be seen in the leaves, it can be felt in the temperature, and can be experienced in the WWE. What can we expect from the world-wide leader in sports entertainment as we come into the autumnal equinox? Read on, little padawans, and come to understand some hard truths.
I’m Brian Andrews. Let’s get started.
8. Wake Me Up When December Ends
It is no secret that the programming belonging to the WWE has it’s high points and it’s low points. Sometimes the programming has lulls in quality that can last months at a time. There seems to be a certain period of time that invites the worst in the WWE creative and management team each year, and we are stepping into it right now.
The WWE has a tendency to scale back on it’s quality control at the end of each year. Why is that exactly? Perhaps they are putting all the talent in “holding positions” leading up to WrestleMania Season starting in January. Perhaps the cast and crew collectively start getting burnt out during the fall. Whatever the reason, the WWE seemingly systematically shifts into low gear for the last few months each year.
This week I would like to highlight some of my favorite terrible ideas over the years that the WWE brings us during the “Autumn Woes” season.
1. Big Boss Man vs. Al Snow, Kennel From Hell – Unforgiven 1999
How could this not be at the top of the list? I had no intention of doing this in any order, but when the idea of writing about terrible WWE matches in the fall came up, there was nothing else I could even think about until I got this down on paper.
Lamenting his loss of Pepper (he ate him) at the hands of the Big Boss Man, Al Snow vowed revenge in the most brutal match ever to be (ill)conceived, the Kennel From Hell. A steel cage would be affixed to the ring, with the Hell in a Cell structure lowered around it. Not only that, but there would be vicious dogs guarding the intermediate area between the ring and the Hell in a Cell structure. On paper, I’m sure it seemed a decent idea, but the dogs ended up stealing the show. Dogs peeing, dogs pooping, dogs humping… It made for a memorable example of just how terrible the Autumn Woes can get for the WWE.
2. Jerry Lawler, Cheesy, Sleazy, and Queasy vs. Doink, Dink, Pink, and Wink, Survivor Series Match – Survivor Series 1994
This actually happened. No typos or photoshop here. “Who are these people?”, you may be asking yourself in a tone reminiscent to Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery. Midgets. They were midgets. You see, Jerry Lawler decided to entertain himself during one of his “King’s Court” segments by popping all of Dink’s balloons during an interview with Doink. This would ignite a heated feud between these two must-see Superstars, with The King bringing out his own midget, Queasy, to even the score against Doink and Dink. Week after week, more midgets were brought in until we reached the apex of this monumental feud, Survivor Series.
I realize that sports entertainment is a three ring circus of sorts, and this is during the cartoon-y period of the New Generation Era, but this has every cringe-worthy trope of that period turned up to eleven. Sure, a few points of the program as a whole made me titter, but this is overkill to the most ridiculous degree. SPOILER ALERT Lawler takes a pie to the face. ‘Nuff said.
3. Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Sergeant Slaughter – In Your House: D-Generation X
I’m not saying having Sergeant Slaughter as WWE Commissioner was a bad thing. He was a perfect foil for the first iteration of D-Generation X. Taking the rivalry to the ring, in 1997, not good. The Sarge was dated and over the hill going into WrestleMania VII for God’s Sake. Fast-forward six and a half years and it’s not looking good going into In Your House.
The match itself was God-awful. The Sarge was slow, unimpactful, and confused. This would accurately describe this match as well. The two most note-worthy things about this match were Slaughter coming out to Kurt Angle’s future theme music, and Sarge’s botched attempt at a body slam. He botched a body slam. If you can’t execute a body slam, you should have stayed retired.
Well, ladies and gentlemen. That about covers it for this week. There are so many more terrible things to come out of the Autumn Woes of the WWE history books, and perhaps we’ll get into more as I get to catch up on my missed sleep in the coming months of predictably awful WWE programming. But until then, this is Brian Andrews typing LIVE in the Temple of Infinitude, signing off.