I headed to the World Championship Wrestling section of the WWE Network’s pay-per-view catalog and fired up Uncensored 1999. I was about to watch Mikey Whipwreck’s WCW debut against Billy Kidman, which I hadn’t seen since it originally aired. Then I got sidetracked and had to watch it the next night before RAW. But, anyway….
WAY BACK in 1999, I didn’t even have internet access at home. It wasn’t until the next year (my sophomore year of high school) that I had a computer class at school that allowed me to surf the net for wrestling stuff. So, imagine my surprise that night when I saw Whipwreck stroll to the ring with no entrance music to kick off the show against Kidman. I didn’t even know he had left Extreme Championship Wrestling.
Growing up in a small Arkansas town, I didn’t have access to ECW television in its earlier years, so at the time, I hadn’t seen much of Mikey’s older stuff, when he was ECW’s loveable underdog. Nonetheless, I was interested in seeing the match, which turned out to be pretty damned bitchin’! (Is that Mark Jindrak working security at the 5-second mark of the first video?)
So, these guys go out there and have a really fun opener that was given more time than just about anything else on the show?
Mikey’s debut goes about as well as can be expected and he puts in an impressive performance?
He and Kidman go on to have a nice feud for the Crusierweight Title and Mikey gets to show a larger audience what he’s capable of?
BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! False. This was WCW, after all.
The Internet Wrestling Database lists 12 televised matches for Whipwreck between March 14 and Aug. 23, 1999. Of those matches, he was victorious in ONE of them, a WCW Saturday Night match against Bobby Blaze.
I honestly didn’t even know he had that many matches in WCW. I even forgot about him being in the infamous Junkyard Invitational at that year’s Bash at the Beach. Aside from his debut, the only other Mikey Whipwreck match from WCW I really remember is this one:
He even lost to VAN EFFING HAMMER! And they put that on pay-per-view!
By October, Mikey was back home in ECW. The next summer, he formed a kick-ass tag team with Yoshihiro Tajiri under the guidance of the Sinister Minister and the two teamed until ECW closed its doors in January 2001. Side note: I was actually at the very last original ECW show in Pine Bluff, Ark. I’ll have to write about that one day.
In retrospect, the Whipwreck signing was a truly bizarre one for WCW. Those odd signings had been a habit for years (yet another possible blog topic in the future) and in the mid/late ’90s, WCW signed seemingly EVERY SINGLE professional wrestler who wasn’t under contract somewhere else. At one point, the roster had to be close to 800 people, including 770 luchadores from Mexico.
This signing, though. WTF?
This has nothing to do with Whipwreck’s ability. I like Mikey’s work. When he used to get his ass kicked in every single match and come out to Beck’s “Loser” in ECW (such a great song choice at the time), he was an entertaining guy to watch. And he really did improve a ton over the years. His stuff with Cactus Jack in ECW ruled.
He was just one of those guys who seemed to be perfect fit for ECW and a lousy fit for either of the bigger companies. He wasn’t a musclehead. He couldn’t fly as high as many of the other cruiserweights. He wasn’t a technical wizard. He was just fun to watch. And often, that quality isn’t appreciated.
I don’t know what WCW was expecting when they signed him. I highly doubt they thought they could market him and make him into a megastar. What they got was a really good – and for the higher-ups, likely very surprising – debut that ended up being completely wasted. He and Kidman did well and they shat on him. I’m not going to act like he could have been a top guy there, but the Uncensored match, alone proves he was capable of having good matches in the cruiserweight division.
It was WCW, though. Enough said.