20 years ago, MTV and WCW brought us SnowBrawl. Featuring Booker T, Stuttering John, commentary by Rob Zombie, nu-metal music, Nitro Girls, and more!
When I was a kid, I watched a lot of MTV in the late 90s and early 2000s. I remembered a lot about this era. But as far as MTV’s Snowed In? I didn’t remember this at all until now.
On February 6th, 1999, MTV aired a winter-themed program block called MTV Snowed In. The block consisted of various shows taped during a weekend in January 1999 at Snow Summit Ski Resort in Big Bear Lake, CA, where there wasn’t any real snow. Each show featured celebrities, musical acts, snow sports competitions, and various competitions involving average people.
To give you an idea of what MTV Snowed In was about, here is an overview of the shows that aired on this block:
- MTV Undercover Snowed In: Sorta like what the Jersey Shore became. A bunch of people staying in a ski cabin and spent their weekend partying.
- Say What? Karaoke: Hosted by Shawn Wayans. A panel celebrities judge a karaoke contest with regular people. Super thrilling. I know.
- Meltdown to 98 Degrees: Hosted by Ananda Lewis, 98 girls competed to win a chance to be serenaded by 98 Degrees. For those of you too young to remember 98 Degrees, they were the third most popular major boy band group of the late 90s behind N’Sync and the Backstreet Boys. N’Sync was like the WWF. BSB was WCW. Then there was 98 Degrees. Basically, they were the ECW of boy bands. I’m talking about the popularity of course.
- “Cruel Intentions” Snowed In: Hosted by Carson Daly, this was a half-hour advertisement with the stars of the film Cruel Intentions (Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, and Selma Blair). You were basically watching a commercial with commercials.
- MTV Sports Presents Boardblast: Hosted by Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray along with a performance from his band as well as OutKast. Boardblast was focused on various snowboarding events.
- Cram In A Tram: Taped in Telluride, CO, people were put in a moving gondola for 12 hours. During this time, they watched music videos. Think of it as a more tolerable version of Ridiculousness.
- Total Request Snowed In: A condensed spin-off version of MTV’s flagship show at the time, Total Request Live. This was comprised of videos picked by skiers and snowboarders.
And of course, in the middle of all this, there was WCW SnowBrawl.
This wasn’t the first time MTV got involved with pro wrestling. In the 80s, MTV and the WWF teamed up to produce two famous special events that helped kickstart the 80s boom. Then there was the Ultimate Video Bash in New York that saw WCW wrestlers represent music artists, with fans calling a 900-number to vote for a winner. It was also held outdoors in the rain. Only 50 people showed up though. Needless to say, it was a disaster.
WCW also teamed with MTV again later in 1999 for Beach Brawl, which was held during MTV’s Spring Break week that year. Months later, MTV began working with the WWF again to promote Summerslam. MTV later became the home of Sunday Night Heat and Tough Enough. Funny how life works out.
But before we got the spring break special and WWF reunion, we got this.
Filmed on January 23rd, 1999, WCW’s SnowBrawl was a half-hour special that featured a battle royal with workers from WCW. At the time, WCW had a wide variety of stars and talented performers under contract. Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, Goldberg, Sting, DDP, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Bret Hart, Chris Benoit, Raven, Bam Bam Bigelow, Ric Flair, Scott Steiner, Rey Mysterio Jr., Curt Hennig, Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, Juventud Guerrera, Chris Jericho, Ralphus, Lex Luger, La Parka, Meng, The Barbarian, Jerry Flynn, Fit Finlay, Glacier, Billy Kidman, and Booker T just to name a few.
Only two of those names appeared on this show. Most of the rest worked a house show in Jackson, Mississippi that night. Glacier wasn’t one even one of the guys at SnowBrawl! Nope. He worked that house show instead.
WCW SnowBrawl opened with the Nitro Girls dancing in the ring to Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) by The Offspring. Believe it or not, people actually use to like that band. Our host for the show was singer-later-turned-horror movie director Rob Zombie. Joining him was Jimmy Hart and Larry Zbyszko. Yes, Jimmy Hart and Larry Zbyszko co-hosted a show on MTV. I’m sure they did a really great job at connecting with MTV’s target audience.
For the event, MTV went all out and got the biggest star they could get to be ring announcer: “Stuttering” John Melendez of the Howard Stern Radio Show. There wasn’t any actual mention of the Stern show though. Before he introduced each worker, he made a bunch of lame jokes about each guy. This was bad. Not because people will look back and think “oh that’s so offensive!” when watching it. The jokes just sucked!
For the match, we had the following seven guys involved.
- Konnan: Stuttering John said Konnan would “love to kick Marylyn Manson’s ass” for some reason. I really hope MTV had some nerdy college intern write that line for him. I’d hate to think that someone got paid to come up with that shit. A person in a bear costume was shown dancing as Konnan made his entrance on a snowmobile while Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Brain” played in the background. Konnan cut a quick promo where he said his catchphrase. Yes, this show is as ridiculous as it sounds.
- Kenny Kaos: At the time, Kenny Kaos was some random dude who appeared mostly on WCW’s secondary TV shows. He’s probably best known for being a part of the team High Voltage with Robbie Rage. I had to look up Kenny Kaos on Wikipedia because I have no memories of him. Turns out he was actually a tag team champion in WCW with Rick Steiner once. Stuttering John said Kenny Kaos had Sandra Bullock’s phone number but refused to use it. What?
- Disco Inferno: I just realized this was around the time I stopped watching WCW on a regular basis. It was after the Finger Poke Of Doom, and the WWF was more exciting at the time. Disco Inferno being in NWO Wolfpac didn’t help either. Stuttering John said Disco’s favorite bands were *inset generic 70s disco groups here* because it was low-hanging fruit. Jimmy Hart made fun of Disco being in NWO Wolfpac by saying he carries Hall and Nash’s bags. It was funnier than anything Stuttering John said.
- Billy Kidman: Kidman was the WCW Cruiserweight Champion at the time. Stuttering John said the last book Kidman read was Miss America by Howard Stern. The only more cringy than Stuttering John trying to shoehorn a Howie reference was Kidman coming out to I Am The Bullgod by Kid Rock. They tried to hype Kidman as some teen heartthrob by showing close-ups of girls screaming for him like he was Nick Carter or Justin Timberlake. The only time they showed dudes was when two guys were laughing at him. I’m sure that was good for his image!
- Brian Adams: At the time, Brian Adams was in NWO Hollywood. Stuttering John said Adams wanted to “get his hands on those little Hanson kids.” At this point, “MMMBop” had been out for a year and a half. Hanson wasn’t really relevant anymore. This joke sucked so much. Especially since there was no context to the joke. Adams got on the mic and threatened to slap John in the mouth. If only he did. Adams cut a promo on the crowd. He called them geeks, punks, and weenies. Then he said after the battle royal, he was going to practice clotheslines on “snowboarding, skiing geeks” coming down the hill. This generated tons of heat and was actually sorta awesome.
- Wrath: Also known as Bryan Clark, who went on to form the tag team KroniK with Brian Adams. He was also Adam Bomb in the WWF. What a career he had.
- Booker T: As he was making his entrance, Rob Zombie commented on how this looked like a big joke to Booker T. Well, this was WCW. Booker came out to “O.P.P.” by Naughty By Nature.
After everyone made their way into the ring, Jimmy Hart said these were “some of the biggest stars in WCW” going at it. Yeah. Stars like Wrath, Kenny Kaos, and Disco Inferno who were on the same level as Hogan, Goldberg, and Ric Flair in terms of notoriety. As we headed to a commercial break, Booker T got into a shoving match with Kenny Kaos while the mullet-wearing referee tried to keep order as the Nitro Girls danced to Can I Get A… by Jay Z.
The show came back from a commercial break and we saw a shot of Snow Summit mountain and someone falling after a jump. Backstreet’s Back by the Backstreet Boys is playing in the background as well. We see the Nitro Girls dancing at ringside while the guys in the ring stood and watched. If this happened in 2019, there would be so much outrage on Twitter from fans and people in wrestling. Half of it would be genuine. The other half wouldn’t and mostly be workers trying to appear progressive just so they can make money off fans. The 90s were a more simple time.
After the performance, Rob Zombie tried to go over the rules before a Nitro Girl fed him something. He had no idea what he had just eaten. Then he pulled out a pistol and fired it in the sky to start the match. I’m not making any of this up.
Once the match started, instrumental versions of songs by The Deftones, Korn, Rob Zombie, Limp Bizkit, and various nu-metal acts plated in the background. The actual match itself was a mess. It started out with the babyfaces ganging up on Disco. Moments later, everyone attacked Wrath as he went after Disco and proceeded to eliminate him. Why? Because it was WCW.
As the match went on, Kenny Kaos and Konnan were eliminated. The final four ended up being Kidman, Booker T, and the two NWO members, Disco and Adams. Defying all pro wrestling logic, Kidman went to attack Booker T after they took out Disco and Adams. He was then eliminated for his efforts, making him look like a total dork.
Booker spent the next few moments taking heat from Disco and Adams before getting a hope spot in. Disco and Brian Adams eliminated Booker and celebrated as brothers in the NWO. The celebration didn’t last long as Brian Adams ended up attacking Disco. Brian Adams would win the match by throwing Disco into a snowbank at ringside. Disco was then pelted with snowballs as he crawled at ringside. This was the best thing Disco Inferno has ever done in his career.
After the match, Brian Adams was joined by Rob Zombie, Stuttering John, and Jimmy Hart inside the ring. Then he was presented a trophy that was shaped like a giant snowflake. Adams got on the mic and cut a promo where he degraded the audience some more and put himself over. During the promo, Konnan ran into the ring wearing a security disguise, attacked Adams, and dropkicked him out of the ring. Konnan got on the mic and said the next time he sees the NWO, they could bow down, toss his salad, and peel his potatoes. Yup. The show closes with Konnan standing tall in the ring with the trophy in his hand.
If you’re wondering if WCW capitalized on this, you’ve probably never watched or heard of WCW.
After this aired, Brian Adams lost two tag team matches while partnering with Horace and defeated Bobby Eaton on an episode of Worldwide. Adams later lost to Horace on an episode of Thunder, jobbed to Booker T several times during a house show loop in late March, and lost a battle royal for control of NWO Black & White, He would pick up some wins on WCW’s secondary TV shows, but nothing notable. His most prolific match that year came against Sid Vicious for the WCW United States title on an episode of Nitro in October despite not having won a TV match since May. Sid went on to win that match in under three minutes.
Brian Adams left the NWO and played the KISS-themed character The Demon twice before Dale Torborg took over the gimmick. He then teamed up with Bryan Clark to form a team named KroniK. Their finishing move was called the “High Times” because Vince Russo.
So yeah. WCW SnowBrawl was a giant waste of time. This show was very campy and had so many camera-cuts that would make Kevin Dunn jealous. The number of crowd shots was also ridiculous. Nobody watched it though so it really didn’t matter in the end, just like everything that ever happened in WCW.