By RYAN ROBSON — For SLAM! Wrestling

VANCOUVER — In the first ever WCW pay per view in Vancouver, many patrons were not very sure what to expect. Most of us had been to WWF shows, and only seen WCW on TV. It is quite obvious that with the reception that Vancouver gave WCW, that the city will be a usual stop on the WCW tour.

Miss Hancock grabs the hair of Major Gunns in the mud pit during their match at New Blood Rising.
— Photo by Rik Fedyk

Things started out very slowly at the PNE Coliseum; as Mean Gene Okerlund was previewing the matches, things were fairly quiet besides the occasional “U.S. sucks” chants. As the evening progressed, and the bigger name stars came out, the house started to rock. I noticed that the fans had more of a quiet appreciation for the double-ladder match, but things started to pick up when the clothes went flying in the ROTC match, and carried on until the end of the evening when Booker T retained his title.

Of course, nothing could have topped the match between Lance Storm and Mike Awesome. Fans were quite disappointed when Jacques Rougeau showed up as the referee instead of Bret Hart. We were all very surprised when Storm had ‘lost’ the match in the eyes of the American referee. We clearly voiced our displeasure, until Rougeau decided to inform the crowd of the actual rules. It was very funny when Storm kicked out after a four-count, but I am sure that the American fans will truly hate Mr. Storm even more after this match because of all the rule changes. And in the end, our Canadian hero, Bret Hart made his appearance to satisfy the Canadian crowd after Storm successfully defended his title.

Other notes, 3 Count seemed to be quite upset with Tank Abbott running away with both the record contract and the gold record. Kanyon gave the Kanyon-cutter to Arquette after the match. In the match between Miss Hancock and Major Gunns, Miss Hancock seemed to have hurt herself pretty badly. David Flair came running out to check on her, and Major Gunns had a very concerned look on her face before paramedics came and took Miss Hancock out on a stretcher. There were no dark matches, and nothing happened after the Jarrett/Booker T match. I don’t know if the cameras caught it, but when Goldberg pushed away from the Nash powerbomb, he headed to the back, and was met at the ramp by Vince Russo; they yelled a little bit, and both went to the back.

Best face pops: Bret Hart, Lance Storm, Kronic (mentioning the B.C. Kronic), Major Gunns, and Miss Hancock.

Best heel pops: Jeff Jarrett, Goldberg, Shane Douglas, Kanyon, and Mike Awesome.

I should say that I have always noticed a mixed reaction for a lot of the wrestlers at the live shows. I remember for Rock Bottom, the crowd was roughly divided in half for people chanting “Rocky sucks” or “Rocky, Rocky.” Tonight was no exception. Kanyon got a fairly neutral reaction until he called the country second-rate, I could also hear a lot of people booing Booker T (well maybe that was just my section). And just like the Rock had, Goldberg had his traditional “Goldberg, Goldberg” chant along with “Goldberg sucks” chants. I seriously doubt that there was anyone that wasn’t cheering loudly for Storm or Hart.

Finally, if you thought you heard ‘E-C-Dub’ chants, you were right only once. During the Storm/Awesome match, there was an ‘E-C-Dub’ chant when Awesome brought the table out. If you thought you heard it during Kronic’s matches, you were mistaken; the chant was actually ‘B-C-Bud.’

Overall it was a great show, a little slow at times, but lots of fun. The crowd was reserved in the beginning, but was very much into the show in the last half. The buzz after the show was around the Goldberg situation. And obviously, we will need to tune in to Nitro to find out more.