The computer tournament was a fun issue. They "selected 16 top wrestlers and plugged their stats into a Pentium 133-MHZ processor with 32 megabytes of RAM, a 1 gig hard drive for storage, and Windows 95 as operating system." I distinctly remember wanting a computer after reading this issue so I could get this program and run computer tournaments of my own.
Yeah, I should have went outside more. In a neat touch, first round losers from last year are disqualified from entering this year. Each match is under Best of 7 rules with all wrestlers coming in healthy and without managers. They run different arenas which effects the wrestlers 'stats.' Man, this stuff is the best. Vader won the 1995 tournament.
over Jeff Jarrett 4-2
: JJ pins Jack with a small package in 47 seconds at the ECW Arena. Could you imagine if this happened in real life?
JJ would have received nuclear heel heat.
over Sid Vicious 4-2
: Are you kidding? It's Ahmed vs. Sid. I'm not even going bother looking for highlights in a fictional series between these two.
beat Randy Savage 4-1
: Razor won Match 5, and the series, when Savage's submitted to an abdominal stretch.
You know, all these goofy finishes almost makes me think this program is real......almost.
over Dan Severn 4-2
: Dan Severn? I had forgotten the long-reigning NWA champ was an Apter Mag darling for a while. Anyway, highlight is this line- "In three consecutive losses, Severn only executed a total of 12 scientific moves." Beautiful. Their devotion to kayfabe makes me weep for a bygone age.
beat Sabu 4-3
Where to begin? The writers went all out for this and now I kind of want to see a Diesel vs. Sabu match. There was blood (in one case, 12 seconds in!), chairshots to heads, giant swings, rock attacks(!), Sabu suplexing the big man, and something of a one man Conchairto.
Big Van Vader
over Eddy Guerrero 4-0
Nothing stands out. This was pretty squashtastic. But I wish this had happened in real life.
beat Undertaker 4-3
: Taker is down in the deciding match when this happens..."Bearer raised the urn. Undertaker shot up. This time, Michaels was waiting right beside him. His (sp) connected with another amazing superkick just as Undertaker reached the sitting position. For the first time in his career, Undertaker couldn't find life after death." Loved that finish and it always stuck with me.
over Lex Luger 4-3
: "If this series was best-of-99, the final score probably would have been 45-44."
over Cactus Jack 4-2
: This being not just believable, but the probable result at the time just goes to show how quickly things changed. I also like how they referred to Jeff Jarrett as "a scientific wizard."
beat Razor Ramon 4-1
Quite a few, actually, but you can't top, "Down 2-0, Ramon dipped into his scientific grab bag at the start of match three, but he found the contents wanting." Gold.
defeats Big Van Vader 4-3
Man, this would have been huge at the time. They hype each man's powerbomb throughout and plant the seeds for the story of "Can Diesel jackknife Vader?" Of course he does just that to win the deciding match seven.
I'm starting to think this is worked.
beat The Giant 4-3
: This would be a dream match within a few months. Really. Giant takes a 3-0 lead but the comeback kid Shawn Michaels...umm....comes back to win.
over Ahmed Johnson 4-1
It's the nauseating no selling muscle man of the past vs. the nauseating no selling muscle man of the future! Highlight is Hogan pinning Ahmed after.....a missed dropkick.
beat Diesel 4-2
: This was another fun read. Michaels gets a win via sunset flip. Diesel hits a Razor's Edge. Match six has blood.
wins the tournament by defeating Hulk Hogan 4-2
It's past vs. present in the battle for Vince's boner! It's also my least favorite WWF wrestler at the time vs. my least favorite WCW wrestler at the time. Good grief! Mid-90s Michaels won't even job in fictional computer tournaments. "This series was held at 80,000 seat Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on a series of cool, dry spring nights. Children and most older men supported the 'Hulkster.' Younger men and women cheered for 'The Heartbreak Kid.'" I can't help using a John Facenda voice when I read that in my head. The writers must have been gassed after that. Not that I can blame them. Michaels scored pins off a sleeper and a dropkick.
The Hogan & HBK posters which came with this magazine were never removed. Frankly, I'm surprised (and kind of proud) that I never defaced them.
Of course I filled out my own brackets in pencil. It's always nice to see who I was digging at any given time. I'm guessing I filled this out in March 1996. Here is what I had. (Commentary is new)
Jarrett over Cactus
- Cactus was MIA for over a year as far as I was concerned. Out of sight, out of mind. Plus JJ was one of my faves.
Sid over Ahmed
- Couldn't stand Ahmed and Sid wasn't too far removed from his cool team with Kid.
Savage over Razor
- I'm sure I held my nose and went with what I thought was the lesser of two evils.
Hogan over Severn
- I didn't really know who Severn was so I had to hold my nose and vote for my orange nemesis.
Diesel over Sabu
- More nose holding. Sabu was still new to me. The hype put me off at first. ECW was just some weird, barbarous place existing only the magazines where the wrestlers had weird names and sometimes didn't even weigh 200 pounds.
- Vader had already become a made man for attacking Michaels and squashing Gorilla. Eddie was Tom Zenk with cooler moves.
- 30 second squash.
over Lex Luger
- I may not have been a Giant guy yet but Luger was an evil sellout.
- Ain't he great?
- Only a weak bracket could put Savage in a Final Four in 1996.
- Squash. One of my favorites vs. one of my least favorites.
- We're likely only a few weeks away from this being a huge dream match.
- I'm hoping this took place for real. I'll have to look it up after this post.
- Dream match. Too bad they never hit the heights I believe they could have when they finally locked horns for real.
- It would have been a different story just a few months later but the world's greatest singer, the world's greatest entertainer, and the world's greatest wrestler won my 1996 favoritism tournament.