Some crazy news, courtesy of Sports Illustrated; The Undertaker, arguably the most WWE guy to ever WWE, has been booked for an appearance at the Starrcast II wrestling convention, happening during AEW Double or Nothing weekend. The inaugural Starrcast took place over All In weekend back in September, featuring all sorts of wrestlers and podcasts and pretty much everything you could want at a wrestling convention. But although he does some work for AEW, including hosting its Double or Nothing launch event earlier in the month, podcast host/insurance salesman/guy who apparently never sleeps Conrad Thompson made it a point in the article to mention that Starrcast is its own thing and not an AEW-branded event. Undertaker, real name Mark Callaway, started taking non-WWE bookings as of last week and this is his first big appearance that’s been announced to my knowledge.
While Starrcast II runs all weekend (May 23-26) leading up to Double or Nothing, The Undertaker appearance will only happen on May 25th. Bracelets go on sale for the convention this Friday, but they mentioned Platinum and Gold in particular so I guess you’ll need one of those to meet The Deadman. I don’t know how conventions work, being around people is gross. Visit the official Starrcast II site for more info if you can stomach being in crowds though, sounds like it’ll be a good time. Meanwhile I’m just going to sit back and try to process THE UNDERTAKER being part of a non-WWE event. That’s going to take some time to get used to.
Yesterday tickets for AEW’s first official event as a company, Double or Nothing, went on sale for the people who weren’t able to get a pre-sale code…and promptly sold out in FOUR minutes. AEW took a victory bow courtesy of Twitter, which is totally justified:
Double or Nothing takes place on May 25th live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV (the former home of WCW’s Halloween Havoc PPVs during the height of the Monday Night Wars). Here is the announced lineup thus far, according to a quick Google search:
Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho
SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, & Scorpio Sky) vs. CIMA & Two Partners from CIMA’s Oriental Wrestling Entertainment (OWE) Promotion
Hangman Page vs. PAC
Dr. Britt Baker vs. Nyla Rose vs. Kylie Rae
It’s also rumored that The Young Bucks will take on The Lucha Bros (Pentagon Jr. & Fenix) but that isn’t official yet as of this writing.
I’ll be honest: AEW hasn’t really done a lot to excite me; it’s got its segment of the pro wrestling fandom frothing at the mouth at the idea they’ll be competition to WWE but I want to see them actually put on a show first (All In, the proto-AEW show from September that also smashed all sorts of records, was fun and well-produced for what it’s worth). The fact they’ve got wrestling fans excited is a good thing, as is the fact they’ve got some big money backing which means more places to work, but I’m not about to call this thing a success until I see it with my own eyes. Fingers crossed though, I would love to be won over.
ECW Guilty as Charged 1999 is the only ECW PPV I ever watched live so it holds a special place in my heart. And what a show it is to as Taz finally gets his shot as ECW World Champion Shane Douglas, both Tajiri and Super Crazy make their American debuts, and a whole lot more. Unfortunately this is the WWE Network version so the music is going to be generic and terrible but hey can’t win them all. I haven’t watched this since it first aired, bootleg copies I had of it always had technical issues for some reason, so I’m excited to see how it holds up. Will it still be good or will it be like most ECW shows and have aged poorly? Let’s find out!
ECW World Heavyweight Champion: ‘The Franchise’ Shane Douglas
ECW World Television Champion: ‘The Whole F’N Show’ Rob Van Dam
ECW World Tag Team Champions: Sabu & Rob Van Dam
Three Way Dance:Axl Rotten & Balls Mahoney vs. The F.B.I. vs. Danny Doring & Amish Roadkill
Yoshihiro Tajiri vs. Super Crazy
John Kronus vs. ???
New Jack & Spike Dudley vs. The Dudley Boyz
Rob Van Dam [c] vs. Lance Storm for the ECW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
Stairway to Hell:Tommy Dreamer vs. Justin Credible
Shane Douglas [c] vs. Taz for the ECW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Date: September 17, 1995 Venue: Asheville Civic Center (Asheville, NC) Commentators: Tony Schiavone & Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan
The third annual Fall Brawl features Hulk Hogan’s first time in a War Games match, as he leads his team into battle against The Dungeon of Doom. Also on the show Ric Flair takes on Arn Anderson for the first time, Johnny B. Badd and Brian Pillman fight to become #1 contender to the United States Championship, and Harlem Heat tries to win back the WCW World Tag Team Championship from Bunkhouse Buck & Dick Slater. Let’s goooo.
WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Hulk Hogan
WCW United States Champion: Sting
WCW World Television Champion: The Renegade
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Bunkhouse Buck & Dick Slater
#1 Contender’s Match:Johnny B. Badd vs. Brian Pillman (****1/4)
Cobra vs. Craig Pittman (SQUASH)
The Renegade [c] vs. Diamond Dallas Page for the WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP (**)
Bunkhouse Buck & Dick Slater [c] vs. Harlem Heat for the WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (*1/2)
Arn Anderson vs. Ric Flair (****1/2)
War Games:Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger, Sting, & Randy Savage vs. The Dungeon of Doom (*)
Date: March 19, 1995 Venue: Tupelo Coliseum (Tupelo, MS) Commentators: Tony Schiavone & Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan
The first-ever Uncensored set the tone for the soon to be annual PPV event, featuring a whole host of matches considered ‘unsanctioned’ by WCW. That meant no rules, no mercy, and NO TITLES ON THE LINE. It was a cool idea on paper but this is WCW we’re talking about so the execution left a lot to be desired. Like “a lot” a lot. I’ve never watched this one before after reading so much bad press around it but you know what? I’m game to give it a shot. What’s the worst that could-wait Jim Duggan is competing in a MARTIAL ARTS match? And this is the debut of THE RENEGADE? Oh no. Oh no oh no oh no.
WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Hulk Hogan
WCW United States Champion: Vader
WCW Television Champion: Arn Anderson
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray)
King of the Road Match:Dustin Rhodes vs. The Blacktop Bully (*3/4)
Martial Arts Match:Jim Duggan vs. Meng (DUD)
Boxer vs. Wrestler:Johnny B. Badd vs. Arn Anderson (*1/4)
Randy Savage vs. Avalanche (*1/2)
Sting vs. Big Bubba Rogers (*1/2)
Texas Tornado Match:The Nasty Boys vs. Harlem Heat (**)
Date: February 21, 1993 Venue: Asheville Civic Center (Asheville, NC) Commentators: Tony Schiavone & Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura
The war between Sting and Big Van Vader continues into 1993 as the two headline WCW’s first PPV of 1993. It’s not just any match, however, it’s a ‘White Castle of Fear’ match. What does that mean exactly? Strap match. It’s a strap match. Also on the show The British Bulldog makes his debut, Ric Flair makes his PPV re-debut, and Maxx Payne of all people gets a shot at the United States Championship.
WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Big Van Vader
WCW United States Champion: ‘The Natural’ Dustin Rhodes
WCW World Television Champion: Vacant
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat & Shane Douglas
NWA World Heavyweight Champion: The Great Muta
Erik Watts & Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs. The Hollywood Blondes (*3/4)
2 Cold Scorpio vs. Chris Benoit (***3/4)
Davey Boy Smith vs. Bill Irwin (**)
Falls Count Anywhere: Cactus Jack vs. Paul Orndorff (**1/2)
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express vs. The Heavenly Bodies (***1/4)
Dustin Rhodes [c] vs. Maxx Payne for the WCW UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP (DUD)
The Great Muta [c] vs. Barry Windham for the NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (***)
White Castle of Fear:Sting vs. Big Van Vader (****)
Date: February 29, 1992 Venue: Milwaukee Theatre at the MECCA (Milwaukee, WI) Commentators: Jim Ross & Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura
The second edition of SuperBrawl moves the PPV to February where it would remain for the rest of WCW’s life. It’s a pretty important show too, as Sting finally gets his shot at WCW World Champion and former best friend Lex Luger, Jesse Ventura returns from Hollywood to debut for WCW, and the American wrestling fans get their minds blown out the back of their skulls by Brian Pillman and Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger. Let’s see how it holds up.
WCW World Heavyweight Champion: ‘The Total Package’ Lex Luger
WCW United States Champion: ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude
WCW Television Champion: ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin
WCW Light Heavyweight Champion: Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Arn Anderson & ‘Beautiful’ Bobby Eaton
WCW United States Tag Team Champions: ‘The Taylor Made Man’ Terry Taylor & Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine
Jushin Liger [c] vs. Brian Pillman for the WCW LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (****)
Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs. Terry Taylor (*1/2)
Ron Simmons vs. Cactus Jack (**1/4)
Van Hammer & Tom Zenk vs. Richard Morton & Vinnie Vegas (*3/4)
Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham vs. Steve Austin & Larry Zbyszko (***)
Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton [c] vs. The Steiner Brothers for the WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (**1/2)
Rick Rude [c] vs. Ricky Steamboat for the WCW UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP (***1/2)
Lex Luger [c] vs. Sting for the WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (**1/2)