On This Day: WCW Prime – September 2, 1996

Before we get started
(and mournfully acknowledge that Prime is down just 6 episodes), I had
mentioned at the end of the Nitro-cap that I wanted to discuss the Giant’s turn
a little.
Look, it’s not the first
stupid heel turn I’ve ever seen, and in terms of execution, it was done ok. My
issue is that as a viewer, however, I want to be rewarded by slick writing.
This was lazy, akin to the Booty Man working as a secret agent on behalf of Hulkamania
for 2 years inside the Dungeon of Doom.
1)  Giant was brought in specifically to eliminate
Hulk Hogan. Giant had spent over a year, working on exclusively that goal.
2)  Giant had managed to become a mega-star, capturing
the World Heavyweight championship and going on an absolutely dominant run.
That came to an end, when he was cheated out of his glory by one Hollywood Hulk
Hogan just 3 weeks ago.
3)  They sold it that he was promised movies and
money, but that violates at least one part of his character arc; which is he’s
a demented freak along with the rest of the Dungeon loons, and their motivation
is clearly not for individual personal gain. I’m not opposed to character
growth, but we were led to believe that this guy was buddy buddy with Braun the
goddamn Leprechaun in his spare time.
4)  I know the long-term plan is clearly to expand (as
Hogan promised 8 men total), but could they not have tapped in to any of the
other suspects instead? I realize the Colonel and Sherri are probably too
campy, DDP is probably too obvious, and Booker and Stevie are probably too
black, but there really was no rush here. DiBiase would have been a fine start,
and they could have just waited for the 1-2-3 Kid (oops, spoiler) so as to keep
the WWF-exclusivity alive for the time being.
Some people are able to
point out that Giant did hint to it a little. He was frustrated that Savage did
nothing to help him at Hog Wild. Which, if he’d cited on Nitro, I’d find it a
LITTLE easier to stomach. But the writers seemed to forget their own prep work,
because Giant immediately started carrying on about owning a million cars and
getting movie parts, which would not seem to appeal much to the man. His pride came
from dominance. Nevertheless, here we are – The Giant is nWo, and Prime is
still on the air. Also still on the air? Johnny B Badd’s mug in the opening
credits.

CHRIS CRUISE and DUSTY RHODES can’t
wait for Fall Brawl where we’ll see the nWo against WCW! Dusty is concerned
about the well-being of this 100 year old company (here we go…). Dusty insists
that this is the final chapter. He also challenges them to try and show up on
Prime. Which of course would be impossible, since most of these matches were
taped a decade ago.
MAXX vs. ICE TRAIN
Train announces “I’m
WCW!” on the way to the ring. I’m starting to see where the company went to
hell. Dusty promises we won’t see no twists and turns and flip flop n fly’s in
this match. NICK PATRICK is
refereeing here, though he’s clean shaven, despite the fact we just saw a giant
bushy moustache on Nitro. Also captivating is the “WCW WORLDWIDE” sign that
keeps sneaking into the frame atop the entranceway. I’m really going to miss
WCW Prime – where they couldn’t give less of a shit about any kind of
continuity or regular taping schedule, but STILL insisted the announcers try
and glue it into ongoing storylines. We have a double clothesline spot, but
Train recovers first and hulks up. Train Wreck finishes at 3:24. 1/2*
HIGH VOLTAGE vs. THE PUBLIC ENEMY
You know what jobber team
I loved? Disorderly Conduct. THEY should be on every show, NOT High Voltage. I
would ask the WCW booking committee to please stop putting them TV. Unless of
course they’re prepared to rip off the Festrunk brothers, what with their extra
tight singlet that enhances their bulges. Then I can go for it, ONLY if it
means Kimberly is back on TV. Rock uses a series of armdrags on Kaos
(“whirleeburlee!” announces Dusty), and Grunge hits a short arm clothesline for
2. Rage takes a double clothesline, but a Kaos distraction lets the neon green
team take over. Butterfly suplex gets 2. Kaos nearly scores an upset with a
dropkick on Rock, but Grunge saves. Rage calls for some high flying, but he
misses a pretty good looking swanton bomb. Grunge comes in with the hot tag,
and runs High Voltage over. Drive By finishes at 4:58. This was about 4:58 too long for my liking, though Dusty
salvages it by trying to sing TPE’s theme song. *
HUGH MORRUS (with Jimmy Hart) vs. LEROY HOWARD
It should come as no
surprise that RON THE LEPRECHAUN
runs around the ring, because Dusty Rhodes is in the booth and he needs to
start squealing. And speaking of Dusty-isms, his calling of “The Laughing Man”
Leroy Howard gets a quality grin from me. The usual from Morrus, who refuses to
finish during the multiple times he has Howard down for the count, until he
hits No Laughing Matter at 2:06. DUD
THE STEINER BROTHERS vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Colonel
Robert Parker) (for the WCW world tag-team titles) (in the Prime Cuts Moo Match
of the Week)
Short edition this week,
as an early nWo promo (the Denver Post one), and Dungeon of Doom segment (the
intro to Braun the Leprechaun) chewed up a lot of time. And my reward, is my
9000th viewing of the Steiners and Harlem Heat in the last month,
none of which have produced any fruit for me to date. Dusty and Cruise discuss
the merits of keeping Larry Zbyszko off the program, which is a nice
distraction from the actual match. Stevie starts with Scott, which is a change
to the usual formula since Booker often starts. Scotty powerslams him, and
turns things over to Rick, who immediately locks on a chinlock. Stevie thumbs
the eyes, and has run through his move-set already, so he tags in Booker.
Booker tries a leapfrog, but gets powerslammed mid-air. He steps out for some
air from the Colonel, while Rick bites the bottom rope. Back in, Booker does
the spinaroonie and nails Scott with the Harlem sidekick. Scott doesn’t care
for that nonsense, and hits a pumphandle slam for 2. The Heat use questionable
tactics to take control back while the referee is tied up with a whiny Rick
Steiner, and a powerslam from Stevie gets 2. Sidewalk slam brings in Booker,
who hits a legdrop off the second rope for 2. He goes to the well a second time,
and misses the second rope headbutt – giving Scotty enough time to tag in Rick.
Rick and Booker wind up alone, and he hits the top rope bulldog, but as always
that draws in the Colonel for the DQ at 5:49.
Make it stop, PLEASE make it stop. *1/2

Chris Cruise promises
next week we’ll talk a lot more about the New World Order. So, basically, it’ll
be the same thing as Nitro. Dusty tells the nWo this is where the big boys
play, and offers up Chris Cruise if they have the guts to collect. PLEASE let
this happen! We’ll find out next week if my wish comes true.
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