It was one for the record books. At the WCW Mayhem pay-per-view broadcast from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Bret “The Hitman” Hart became a member of a select group of wrestling legends by winning the WCW World Heavyweight Title. Hart joins such other mat superstars as Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Kevin Nash as being one of a handful of grapplers who have won both the WCW and WWF World Heavyweight Titles during their careers. Hart defeated fellow countryman – Chris “The Crippler” Benoit – in the finals of a grueling WCW tournament that began on October 25th and ended at Mayhem.
To gain the opportunity to wrestle for the coveted strap, Hart and Benoit had to be victorious in their semi-finals matches. The Crippler weathered the interference of Creative Control (with the help of the renegade Dustin Rhodes) to beat Jeff Jarrett by busting him open with his own guitar. Hart also had some assistance in his bout as The Wrestler Formerly Known As Lex Luger hit Sting in the leg with a baseball bat weakening him for Hart’s Sharp Shooter submission move. Sting tapped out.
The Hitman and The Crippler, who last faced each other on the October 4th edition of Nitro as a tribute to Hart’s brother Owen, shook hands as a sign of mutual respect before getting down to the nitty gritty. The canucks locked up and Hart pushed Benoit back into a corner. Referee Charles Robinson had to forcibly separate them. Benoit arm-dragged The Hitman down applying an armbar. Hart powered The Canadian Crippler into a corner to break the hold.
The two finalists locked up in the centre of the ring again. The Hitman took Benoit to the mat hammering and twisting on his shoulder. Benoit fought back to his knees pitching Hart off into the ropes. The Crippler caught Hart twice with a running knee to the gut. A snap mare and a headlock got Benoit a one count. In a quick session of moves, Benoit shoulder tackled Hart down then sunset flipped over him to attempt another pin. Hart reversed the pinning combination into a Sharp Shooter but Benoit slid out locking on The Crippler Crossface. Hart grabbed the ropes to force a break. Hart and Benoit shook hands to show appreciation for the other’s ability.
Benoit received the short end of another lock up when Hart maneuvered him into a corner and laid some machine gun punches on him. Benoit was knocked outside the ring where Dean Malenko, dressed as a wrestling fan, used a Canadian flag to wail on Benoit. Hart initiated a save punching Malenko and driving him off to the dressing room. Once they returned to the ring, The Hitman piledrived Benoit. Robinson was about to count three but Benoit placed his foot on the ropes. The Hitman pressed the heel of his boot into Benoit’s throat choking him. The Excellence Of Execution went to work on Benoit’s back with a leg drop and a series of headbutts.
Benoit mounted a comeback with chops, a backbreaker and a reverse suplex. Benoit was rewarded with a two count. Out of nowhere, The Hitman also received a two count by DDTing The Canadian Crippler. Benoit reversed a backbreaker into a Tombstone Piledriver driving Hart’s skull into the canvass. Sensing victory, Benoit dragged his thumb across his throat signaling to the crowd that in his mind, the end was near. As The Crippler hit the Swan Dive head butt, Hall and Nash (The Outsiders) dove in attacking Benoit. Goldberg came to the rescue fighting The Outsiders into the backstage area. During the run-in, Nick Patrick was knocked unconscious so Mickey Jay subbed for him.
Benoit focused his attack on Hart’s injured knee topping his onslaught with an excruciating Figure Four leg lock. The Hitman made it to the ropes. A backbreaker, a Super-plex and a Russian leg sweep by Hart had Jay slapping a pair of two counts. Knocked onto the ring apron, Benoit flipped behind Hart as he tried to suplex him back into the ring. The Canadian Cripple executed three German suplexes which stunned Hart enough so he could wrap him in the Crippler Crossface. Elbow shots to the face shattered Benoit’s grip. Hart reversed The Crossface into a Sharp Shooter. Benoit tapped out at 17 minutes and 44 seconds. Hart brought his children into the ring to rejoice in his achievement as well as clapping Benoit on the back for a job well done.
This is Hart’s sixth reign as a World Heavyweight Champion. Previously, he has held the World Wrestling Federation’s World Title on five separate occasions.
- The next WCW pay-per-view is Starrcade on December 19th. It is rumored that Hart will put his title on the line there against Bill Goldberg.READER ALERT: SLAM! Wrestling would like to give a special shout out to the dudes who were holding a SLAM! Wrestling sign in the front row to show their support for us. We appreciate it guys! SLAM! doesn’t rule. You do.
WCW Mayhem Results
Jeff Jarrett Vs Chris Benoit (Semi-Finals – WCW World Heavyweight Title Tournament)
- Creative Control lays a beating on Benoit at 8:22. Rhodes intervenes. Benoit gains possession of Jarrett’s guitar and lets him have it. Jarrett bleeds from his forehead. Benoit’s eye appears to be swollen and cut.
- Winner: Chris Benoit at 9 minutes and 27 seconds .
- Match Rating: 9 / 10.
- Disco Inferno is cutting a promo backstage. A pissed off Jarrett attacks Disco. The Filthy Animals and The Misfits pull Jarrett off Disco.
Evan Karagias (challenger) Vs Disco Inferno (champion) (WCW Cruiserweight Title Match)
- Tony Maranara pushes a staggering Disco out for his match saying he is “fighting for his life”.
- Disco mistakenly chair shots Maranara knocking him out cold. Evan Karagias powerbombs Disco for the victory.
- Winner: …and new WCW Cruiserweight Champion…Evan Karagias at 8 minutes even.
- Match Rating: 5 / 10.
- The Powers That Be are very upset with Jarrett warning him to prove himself or he’s toast.
Brian Knobs (challenger) Vs Norman Smiley (challenger) (WCW Hardcore Title Match)
- Norman comes out dressed as a hockey goalie with a Maple Leafs jersey on. Knobs and Smiley fight inside an elevator. The door closes. When it opens, Hart erroneously whacks Knobs over the head with a garbage can. Smiley covers to become WCW’s new Hardcore Champion. Knobs pitches a fit throwing both Hart and Smiley into a pile of boxes and bread.
- Winner: …and new WCW Hardcore Champion, Norman Smiley at 7 minutes and 28 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- Disco is apologizing to Maranara in the dressing room. Maranara isn’t too forgiving and promises to “bring the boys” to Nitro tomorrow. Disco puts his head in his hands and cries.
Dean Malenko, Saturn, Asya Vs Torrie, Eddie Guerrero and Kidman (Mixed Tag Team – Elimination Match)
- Malenko fights with a fan outside the ring who stabs him with a Canadian flag. It’s a swerve to blow smoke around his appearance later on. Torrie injures her ankle at 2:25. Malenko rolls-up Kidman as he is attending to Torrie at 2:58. Eddie and Billy argue. Konnan leaves with Kidman. Guerrero on the outs with the Filthy Animals. Eddie pins Malenko at 5:03. Saturn goofs and kicks Asya in the head. Guerrero Frog Splashes Aysa eliminating her at 6:32. Guerrero is about to tag Torrie, sees that she is injured and thinks better of it. Saturn dusts Guerrero with the Rings Of Saturn at 9:02. Torrie is left alone to fight Saturn. She low-blows Saturn. Saturn low-blows her back for the win.
- Winner: Saturn at 11 minutes and 16 seconds.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10.
- Creative Control and Jarrett find Bagwell in the dressing room and procede to beat him silly.
Curt Hennig Vs Buff Bagwell (Retirement Match)
- Creative Control and Jarrett aren’t done yet. They beat-up Hennig.
- Buff’s music plays twice before he clears the ring with a 2/4.
- Buff hits the Blockbuster from out of nowhere. Hennig is now history which means he will join a stable against The Powers That Be. The crowd gives Hennig a standing ovation.
- Winner: Buff Bagwell at 8 minutes and 8 seconds.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10.
Bret Hart Vs Sting (Semi-Finals – (Semi-Finals – WCW World Heavyweight Title Tournament)
- The partisan fans boo Sting. The Wrestler Formerly Known As Lex Luger takes out Sting’s leg with a bat. Hart takes the bat and hits The Wrestler Formerly Known As Lex Luger in the back of the neck. Hart puts him in the Sharp Shooter. The official wants to award the match to Hart because of The Wrestler Formerly Known As Lex Luger’s interference. Hart won’t have it. The official restarts the match. Hart reverses the Scorpion Deathlock into a Sharp Shooter. Sting taps out. Hart and Sting shake hands.
- Winner: Bret Hart at 9 minutes and 49 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- The Wrestler Formerly Known As Luger is wearing a neck brace. He says he can’t compete against Meng.
Vampiro Vs Berlyn (Chain Match)
- The fake Jim Ross (now known as Oklahoma) and Steve Williams join the announce team. Oklahoma does the play-by-play mocking Ross. The Wall walks out on Berlyn. Vampiro chokes out Berlyn with the chain. Williams punks Vampiro and a member of the Misfits.
- Winner: Vampiro at 5 minutes and 5 seconds .
- Match Rating: 4 / 10.
- Hennig is seen leaving the arena. Wrestlers applaud him as he goes.
- Scott Hall announces that since Rick Steiner was injured by Sid, he has been declared the new Television Champion by The Powers That Be. He challenges anyone in the back to wrestle him tonight for both belts.
The Wrestler Formerly Known As Lex Luger Vs Meng
- The Powers That Be make The Wrestler Formerly Known As Lex Luger wrestle with the neck brace. The announcers suspect The Wrestler Formerly Known As Lex Luger is using the brace to block Meng’s Tongian Death Grip. Liz commits and error by spraying mace into The Wrestler Formerly Known As Lex Luger’s eyes. Frightened, she runs off. Meng removes the brace and wins with the Death Grip.
- Winner: At 5 minutes and 3 seconds, Meng .
- Match Rating: 3 / 10.
Scott Hall (champion) Vs Booker T (challenger) (WCW Television and United States Title Match)
- Jarrett and Creative Control take out Booker. Hall delivers and Outsider Edge from the top rope. Midnight spares Booker another smackdown by Creative Control.
- Winner: …and still WCW Television and United States Heavyweight Champion, Scott Hall at 5 minutes and 48 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- The Wrestler Formerly Known As Lex Luger is looking for Liz. Surprisingly, she isn’t behind a door labeled “Work Room”. He says Liz will pay on Nitro.
Kimberly Vs David Flair
- That crazy man Flair wallops the ref with his crow bar. Kimberly falls on her knees in front of Flair begging for forgiveness. Kim removes Flair’s athletic protector and hits him in the head. Kanyon and DDP do a run-in on Flair. DDP is about to use the crowbar on Flair but Arn Anderson stops him before the assault can begin. Arn turns to leave. Flair hits Arn twice with the crowbar from behind. Arn is carted off on a stretcher. That Flair boy is one crazy kid.
- Winner: Kimberly via DQ at less than 20 seconds.
- Match Rating: 0 / 10.
Goldberg Vs Sid (I Quit Match)
- The fans are behind Sid and booing Goldberg. Goldberg doesn’t know what to make of it all. A Cobra Clutch puts Sid nighty-nights though he never says the words…I Quit.
- Winner: Goldberg at 5 minutes and 29 seconds.
- Match Rating: 4 / 10.
Bret Hart (challenger) Vs Chris Benoit (challenger) (WCW World Heavyweight Title Match)
- Winner: …and new WCW World Heavyweight Champion…Bret Hart at 17 minutes and 44 seconds.
- Match Rating: 8 / 10.
- Total Event Time: 2 hours and 50 minutes.
- Overall Event Rating: 7 / 10.