JEFF JARRETT! DEAN MALENKO! STEVE AUSTIN! and other things I watched for the mountain of tape to arrive!


Welcome to Death Valley Driver Video Review #10!

I finished the last match of the last mountain of tapes I got, which means a little down time between deliveries. I gotta a bunch coming in soon, including enough for a Lucha Librathon III – which will be twenty six hours if my math is right. I’ll keep the yammering to a minimum because I’m sure I’ll be wearing out my bandwidth welcome after all that and the batch of All Japan gets in.

I watched Clash of the Champions: Miami Mayhem, which was at the end of the Kingsized Bulldogs – Rougeaus – Quebecers tape that Paul (the no-longer ECW-chasted) traded to me, and it was pretty choice in spots. Barry Windham vs Brad Armstrong was pretty good, but it just made me wonder how far Windham would have gone if everything hadn’t gone wrong for him. By the time this was on the air, he was a thoroughly amazing wrestler- even if he was using a claw as a finisher. The Fantastics carried the Sheepherders to a good match, thus sealing their fate as the greatest forgotten tagteam of recent times. The main event was a highly unsatisfying Sting/Dusty vs Tully/Arn. I hadn’t watched a Dusty match in a while and had forgotten that he wasn’t as bad as Duggan is; heck, he actually threw a dropkick. Sting no-sold enough to be a New Japan Heavyweight contender, but still seemed to have enthusiasm for his chosen field. The endless Horsemen screwjob booking ruined the ending and made me want to punch someone- my guess, a certain Virgil Runnells.


Jeff Jarrett rules the fucking earth. His match on Nitro this week was beautiful. I don’t know who is the best in WCW now at getting opponents over – Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho or Jeff Jarrett. The Argument for Jericho would be his recent match against Mike Enos, the houseshow reports of him pulling very good matches out of Disco Inferno, and the >hell!< miracle match against Steve Armstrong Saturday on WCWSN, which I was amazed at seeing. I actually forgot for a minute that Armstrong was jobbed into oblivion prior to this match and was just being carried by Jericho with such absolute perfection. Jarrett might have it over Eddie because Eddie couldn’t drag a decent match out of Bubba like Jarrett did Monday and Jericho may have it over Eddie because Chris pulled a good match out of Enos, unlike Eddie. Of course, the true proof is when they are in with real, honest to God workers. I’m guessing sooner or later we’re gonna get the ass-stomping Benoit/Jarrett feud and then we’ll see double J’s true workrate colors. Benoit/Jericho was great, the elevenish Guerrero/Benoit matches RULED, and I’m guessing that the heat in a Benoit/Jarrett match may be enough to take to that same level- though Jarrett isn’t quite in the other two’s league, physical talent-wise- though he does have a flawless grasp of old-school American selling and psychology, and GOD! can anybody work a match better in the US?


The Steve Austin/Shawn Micheals match SHOULD have been one of the highlights of the year, but God! did it suck. I glad Austin has kicked it into gear lately but it really is useless to work that hard for such a crappy ending. Shit! Savio Vega got a clean pin over him, but Micheals can’t? Geez, how about a 45 minute time-limit draw? And the split screen crap with Vader, Cornette, and Sid didn’t thrill me either. I don’t know. WWF should be glad that it only pulled a 1.8 during this match, because the mass frustration over something that high on the top of the card could have caused irreparable damage.


The other highlight of the wrestling week- for me at least- was the very good Malenko/Brad Armstrong match Monday. The NWO crap hovered over it, but the solid wrestling prevailed. I loved the inverted cradle with a leg scissors on the legs finisher.


The WTF section this week is the mask vs mask challenge by the Great Sasuke that was accepted by Dos Caras. I don’t want to figure this out. Sasuke isn’t dropping his mask, at least not to Dos, and I’m guessing the Dos Caras is gonna be buried wearing his mask like El Santo, so I’m truly baffled by this one.



Dean Rasmussen, Jerichoiac!