Heroes of Wrestling

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Heroes of Wrestling
Information
Promotion Heroes of Wrestling
Date October 10, 1999[1]
Attendance 2,300
Venue Casino Magic[1]
City Bay St. Louis, Mississippi[1]
Pay-per-view chronology
N/A Heroes of Wrestling N/A

Heroes of Wrestling was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event that took place on October 10, 1999 from the Casino Magic hotel and casino in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, USA. The event featured stars from wrestling's past and was intended to be the first in a series of pay-per-views, but circumstances surrounding the event's buy rate and the performance of some of the participants in the matches, most notably Jake Roberts, precluded any future events.

Overview[edit]

Playing off the resurgence in popularity of pro wrestling at the time, Fosstone Productions president Bill Stone conceived a series of events consisting of wrestling stars from the 1980s and early 1990s. Stone booked the initial pay-per-view with the intent of having three more, run on a quarterly basis, if the initial target of 40,000 buys was reached.[2] The event came up 11,000 buys short of the target, causing Stone to reconsider his original plan.

In addition, the quality of the matches put on during the show were heavily criticized and ridiculed by the wrestling press.[3] Wrestling Observer rated it the worst major wrestling event of 1999,[4] with its editor Dave Meltzer giving a rating of "absolute zero" to a tag team match featuring Luke Williams and Butch Miller facing Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik. Meltzer's colleague, Bryan Alvarez of Figure Four Weekly, has repeatedly referred to this match as the worst he has ever seen and rated it "minus more stars than there are in the universe".

Another match on the card that proved problematic was the singles contest between former Horseman Tully Blanchard and Stan Lane of Midnight Express fame. The two did not seem to know what the finish of the match was supposed to be or did not communicate this properly with each other; Blanchard kicked out of what was supposed to be a finishing maneuver by Lane, who celebrated his apparent victory not realizing what happened. Later, Lane fell victim to a back suplex by Blanchard and did not kick out until after the referee had counted the fall.

Controversy[edit]

The most memorable and controversial moment of the show involved what proved to be the last match of the evening.

Heroes of Wrestling was supposed to feature a double main-event, with Jake Roberts scheduled to face Jim Neidhart in the first match while King Kong Bundy was to take on Yokozuna in the other match. Before his match, Roberts was to cut a promo in which he was supposed to taunt Neidhart. Roberts showed up to deliver the promo in a highly intoxicated state. As the interview progressed Roberts became hostile towards the interviewer Michael St. John and struggled to finish his promo because he was so intoxicated his words were slurred. The interview became infamous not only for its unscripted nature but for Roberts' only fully intelligible sentence, an attempted analogy about playing cards as the event was being held at a casino:

"You don't want to play cards with me because I'll cheat. Okay? I cheat. You wanna play 21? I've got 22. You want to play blackjack? I've got two of those too. You wanna play...Aces and eights, baby, I got too many of those too!"[5]

After the interview, Roberts walked to the ring with the snake he was going to use for that night's match. However, once he got to the ring, he put the snake down and walked back up the ramp for no apparent reason. Roberts then reversed course and came back down the ramp, staggered around the ring to greet the fans, and then grabbed a female fan and had her rub her hands across his chest. Later during the match, Roberts pulled the snake out of the bag, stuck it in between his legs in a suggestive manner, and began stroking it as if he was masturbating. While he was doing this, the home audience instead saw wide shots of the crowd as the producers did not wish to show Roberts' actions. He eventually collapsed in the middle of the ring with the snake draped over his body and tried to kiss it with his tongue.

In an effort to salvage the match with Roberts in no condition to wrestle, the promoters announced on the fly that the match had been changed from a singles bout to a tag-team match, and sent out Bundy and Yokozuna to team with Neidhart and Roberts, respectively. Bundy pinned Roberts by hitting him with a splash after Roberts had staggered and fallen around the ring several times, despite Roberts not being the legal man in the ring.[6] Yokozuna then dragged the show's promoter into the ring for Roberts to hit him with his patented DDT, but Roberts was so drunk he did not pay his partner any mind. While Yokozuna took matters into his own hands by hitting a Samoan drop on the promoter, Roberts began to disrobe in the middle of the ring and the producers cut the feed immediately thereafter.

The show also suffered from changes to the advertised show. In addition to the announced main event (Bundy vs. Yokozuna) not occurring, Gordon Solie was advertised as the show's commentator, but did not appear due to declining health. No announcement was made of the change before the show, and Solie was never mentioned at all during the broadcast. Critics panned the performance of Solie's replacement, Randy Rosenbloom.[7] Rosenbloom repeatedly made mistakes during the broadcast, including calling Luke and Butch Australians rather than New Zealanders and having to be repeatedly corrected on basic wrestling terminology by his broadcast partners Dutch Mantell and Lou Albano, such as when he called a simple arm drag performed by Marty Jannetty a "reverse slam takedown". A particular source of criticism was Rosenbloom's inability to identify a dropkick by its proper name, repeatedly calling it a "flying kick" or "flying leg kick" and even once calling it a "leg drop".[8]

Results[edit]

No. Results Stipulations Times
1 The Samoan Swat Team (Samu and The Samoan Savage) (with Paul Adams) defeated Marty Jannetty and Tommy Rogers Tag Team match 10:00
2 Greg "The Hammer" Valentine (with Sensational Sherri) defeated George "The Animal" Steele Single match 06:37
3 2 Cold Scorpio defeated Julio Fantastico Single match 09:37
4 The Bushwhackers (Butch Miller and Luke Williams) defeated The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff (with Nikita Breznikoff) Tag Team match 08:42
5 Tully Blanchard defeated Stan Lane Single match 07:04
6 Abdullah the Butcher (with Honest John Cheatum) fought One Man Gang to a double count-out. Single match 07:34
7 Jimmy Snuka (with Captain Lou Albano) defeated Bob Orton, Jr. Single match 11:46
8 Jim Neidhart and King Kong Bundy (with "Mini Bundy") defeated Jake Roberts and Yokozuna Tag Team match 16:34
  • (c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match

Other on-air talent[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]