No Worldwide this week because my copy is completely corrupted. It’s unfortunate, because apparently, Sting returned, walking down the ring and saying “sorry brothers, I was just upset, we’re cool again!” and returned to doing absolutely nothing to combat the nWo. The remaining 56 minutes were filled by Glacier’s entrance. I don’t care if you don’t believe me.
Street lights are exploding EVERYWHERE, because WCW is LIVE in Memphis, Tennessee, for what TONY SCHIAVONE calls “two red hot hours!” One of these weeks, I want them to admit “yeah, you’re good to skip this one, ice cold folks, ice cold.” LARRY ZBYSZKO is around too, but I’m thinking you don’t care any more than I do.
DEAN MALENKO (with Rey Mysterio Jr’s mask) vs. BRAD ARMSTRONG
Tony introduces Malenko as “Dean Armstrong”, which just terrifies me. The Bullet has produced enough crappy children, I don’t need him sapping the life out of other midcarders. As you may be aware, these guys have been paired on all the syndicated G-shows multiple times, and the announcers fill their shorts with excitement every time that these guys met in the initial Cruiserweight tournament. Tonight is no exception. A heavily neckbraced NICK PATRICK is your referee, and he’s selling more than Mr. Perfect in his prime. The fans show their appreciation for this quality Cruiserweight matchup by erupting in an “nWo!” chant, and waving their propaganda in the air. Tough crowd. Armstrong plants Malenko with a dropkick, and Deano rolls to the safety of the floor. Back in, Dean slams Armstrong’s head to the buckle, and takes over with a grounded abdominal stretch. He releases, and hits a waistlock side suplex. Armstrong manages to get a shot into Malenko’s face, giving him a chance to head up and connect with a missile dropkick for 2. They trade pinfall spots, and then Brad hits the side Russian legsweep – but he takes too long to cover and it only gets 2. He ain’t winning, that was his move. Lo and behold Malenko manages to squeeze in a full nelson cradle out of nowhere and scores the pin at 5:24. **
MEN WHO KNOW USE VALVOLINE!
Backstage, THE NWO arrive in a pair of limousines. Looks like the gang’s all here.
M. WALLSTREET vs. JIM DUGGAN
This is allegedly a return match from Saturday Night, but I don’t remember seeing any “M. Wallstreet”. One of my favorite WCWisms is their own inability to keep people’s names straight from show to show. How many N’s in Konnan this week? Is it Rey Mysterio or Misterio? Why don’t I ever see JL and Jerry Lynn together? And what of Buddy Valentino? WCW assigned a referee who wasn’t Nick Patrick to this one to try and get a legit winner. I have an idea – why not do this ALL THE TIME? The fact that the company isn’t taking any action, ever, against a group of thugs who have taken over, vandalized, and effectively made a mockery of their show means one of two things. Either they are the dumbest group of executives in the history of the universe (don’t bet against it with this crew), or someone on the inside is behind this whole thing. Duggan winds up taking a pounding, and responds by wildly swinging his fists at absolutely nothing because he’s so discombobulated. Wallstreet works a headlock with his feet on the ropes, because he’s such a slimeball. Duggan fights out, and pounds Wallstreet with his giant ham fists. Duggan pulls the roll of tape out of his tights, but Wallstreet clotheslines him from behind and tapes up HIS fists! As he does that, Duggan explodes out of the 3 point stance and gets the win at 4:38. *1/2
HUGH MORRUS vs. JIM POWERS (with Teddy Long)
Maybe I didn’t lose my copy of Worldwide after all, because all 3 matches we’ve seen so far ain’t no Nitro quality, that’s for damn sure. I’m just waiting for appearances from Maxx, and Braun the Leprechaun. NICK PATRICK has been re-assigned to this one. In an absolutely bizarre moment, Tony sends a big thanks to one “Mr. Lawler” for helping them sell out the Memphis arena and getting the word out about tonight’s show. Now what the hell is THAT about? It reeks of snarkiness, but I’m gonna defer to the old school RSPW folks to hopefully help me out here. The boys trade leapfrogs for awhile, but Morrus spends too long yukking it up and he gets slammed. A crossbody from Powers gets 2. A clothesline is enough for Morrus to take a powder, while Teddy long throws his arms in the air in disgust for this awful stall tactics. Back in, Morrus clotheslines Powers, and chokes him out in the ropes. Larry interjects if you use the bulk of your 5 second count, you’re “more better off”. His commentary is less crappy awful. Morrus threatens No Laughing Matter before deciding it’s not time yet. Instead, he chooses to miss an elbowdrop, and Powers takes over with some head shots to the buckle. A sunset flip gets a slow 2, and that sets Long off. Powers hits a running knee while Long barks at Patrick. A powerslam gets the world’s longest 1 count, because Patrick’s too injured to keep counting, and the fans lose their business. Powers shoves Morrus to the corner, and Patrick has to rush to miss it, and that tears a muscle in his neck so he’s not remotely present to count during Powers’ schoolboy. Tony figures it was at least a 4 count. Morrus hits a backdrop suplex, and heads up for No Laughing Matter, and Patrick manages all his energy to make a quality 3 count at 6:34. Long gets all up in Patrick’s grill about his slow counts. They wind up nose to nose, feeding it to each other. *
GREG VALENTINE vs. LEX LUGER
I met Greg Valentine about 7 years ago. He was appearing at a small indy show with all sorts of big names, like Kamala, Koko B Ware, and Johnny Devine. Sid was there too, but if I had mentioned him it would kill the lustre of mediocrity I’m trying to present here. Anyway, he had an autograph table, and I noticed he didn’t have a lot of visitors. Well, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to approach him and ask the question that had been on my mind for years. “Hammer!” I greeted him. “Does it still take you an hour to get warmed up?” He looked at me, with those old veteran eyes, and without breaking character, informed me it would cost $20 for an autograph and a picture. Anyway, I guess WCW realized RAW was about to start, because VINCENT and TED DIBIASE have arrived in the crowd near a giant nWo banner. Tony starts crying for a leader to emerge from WCW, and it sure as shit doesn’t appear to be Luger, who has spent the first 4 minutes of this match getting his ass kicked by a 90 year old man who looks like Triple H’s grandfather. Eventually they knock each other out, and when Luger comes to, he hits Valentine with an atomic drop. Valentine comes back with a clotheslines, and tries a pin with his feet on the ropes, but the referee won’t count. As Valentine argues, Luger sneaks behind with a Rack for the win at 6:36. 1/2*
TONY SCHIAVONE has NICK PATRICK on the sidelines, and suggests if he’s not 100% that perhaps he take some time off. Regarding his fine for Macho Man’s assault on the referee, the WCW committee has decided on one, and it’s not $1,000,000 unfortunately, but in fact $500. Savage will also be suspended for the first 5 matches of 1997. Hah! Patrick calls the committee a group of spineless jellyfish, and says WCW’s about to wind up at war with his lawyers. Tony then calls him out for being the referee during nWo’s tag-team match on Saturday Night. Patrick denies it, he says he’s in better shape than the guy in that match, and thinks it’s actually Randy Anderson. Patrick says they haven’t heard the last about Macho’s actions.
MIKE TENAY and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN take over in hour #2.
MIKE ENOS vs. RANDY SAVAGE
On Savage’s way to the ring, ERIC BISCHOFF stops him to get a word. Savage just wants to go kick “that guy’s a… I can’t say it!” I like that Mike Enos is “that guy”. That’s probably not far off the truth. Bischoff asks what the deal with Liz is. Savage orders him not to go there. Bischoff plays a video from Elizabeth.
She’s sitting on a swing in a park, and she says the only thing left for her to do is make this video. She says she’s been a coward, and she’s now alone. She’s sitting in a place they used to share everything, and she wishes she could change things. She begs for his forgiveness. She understands the worst decision she ever made was signing up with Hulk Hogan’s nWo. She can’t lose Randy, she still feels the same way about him today as she did when they got married.
Bischoff asks for Savage’s thoughts. Savage is near tears, and walks off, pie-facing Bischoff. That doesn’t stop our favorite Ken Doll look-a-like, as he keeps on Savage all the way to the back. Savage doesn’t say a word as he hops in his white limo. The fans, clearly intrigued, chant for the nWo.
I guess Enos wins!
Back from the break, Heenan gives Bischoff a pile of shit for messing with Savage’s already messed up mental state just 2 weeks before he’s supposed to be representing WCW against the nWo.
EDDIE GUERRERO vs. THE CHEETAH KID
Eddie has a match against DDP at Halloween Havoc, and anyone messing with Page is obviously messing with NICK PATRICK, who will referee here. Is it safe to say this is the worst card in Nitro history? You can dress Prince Iaukea up any way you want, but he’s still Prince Iaukea, and he’s taking up precious real estate on the one show I count on for quality match ups once in awhile. Anyway, he hits Eddie with a Samoan drop, and follows with a powerbomb. A second powerbomb attempt is blocked with an armdrag. Eddie is sent to the floor, but the Cheetah kid is all over him. They head back in, where Cheetah is cut off on the top rope and hit with a super Frankensteiner. Frog splash ends it at 2:31. *
Bischoff apologizes to the Poffo family. He should be apologizing to all of us for this awful Nitro.
BIG BUBBER (with Jimmy Hart) vs. JEFF JARRETT
Jarrett gets a good reception, since they’re in Memphis – but outside of this place, Jarrett as a babyface is a HORRIBLE idea. The fans erupt into a massive “DOUBLE J” chant, and he appeases them with a Fargo strut. Bubba ends the love fest with a shoulderblock. An uppercut rocks Jarrett, but he comes back with a thumb to the eye, and a big uppercut of his own. Hart tries to trip up Jarrett, so Jeff chases him around the ring, walking right into an uppercut from Bubba who was perched behind the ringsteps. Bubba hits a shoulderbreaker on the floor, and Hart gets in a few cheap shots of his own. Hart: “THIS IS MEMPHIS BAYBEE, MY TOWN!” They head back in, where Jarrett hits a crossbody off the top for 2. Bubba stands up and pops him in the mouth again, and puts on a headlock. A big boot leaves Jarrett a little off kilter, and he misses a dropkick, and is immediately rocked with a right hand. Bubba misses a blind charge, and eats an atomic drop. Jarrett threatens a figure four, but Hart’s back on the apron. Jarrett flattens him, but Bubba is right behind with a spinebuster! Hart tosses Bubba the megaphone, but Jarrett dropkicks it in Bubba’s face (where it explodes – nice spot!) for the win at 6:43. **1/2
TONY SCHIAVONE stops Jarrett on the ramp, and tells Jeff that he has been granted his match against The Giant at Halloween Havoc. Jarrett cackles, because he thinks he’s the smartest wrestler alive today. He vows to chop the Giant down to size, and make him tap to the Figure Four. He wants the nWo to learn a little respect for tradition.
THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart) vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri and Colonel Robert Parker) (in a non-title match)
You know, if WCW was serious about defending its property from the nWo, it would make this a title match, and let the magic happen when the Faces of Fear eat Harlem Heat alive, and do the following at Halloween Havoc to the Outsiders:
Off the bell, Meng beats on Booker like it’s the last thing he’s ever got to accomplish in his lifetime. CHRIS BENOIT, MONGO MCMICHAEL, and DEBRA MCMICHAEL appear on the ramp, distracting our island heroes. Not quite enough however, because Meng turns back to Booker and runs him over with a shoulderblock. Booker comes back with a Harlem sidekick, and tags in Stevie to double team him. Stevie misses an elbowdrop, and in comes the Barbarian to dish out a little pain. He elbows Stevie in the face about a million times, but Stevie comes back with a bicycle kick to send Barbarian to the floor. He comes back in, walking into a flying jalapeno from Booker. They issue a series of quick tags to keep Barbarian grounded. Booker goes up for a missile dropkick, but Meng casually strolls to the corner and crotches him, before returning to his corner looking bored out of his skull. Barbarian nails a superplex, and a hungry Meng gets the tag. He stops to wiggle his hips at Sherri because he is THE FRICKIN MAN, then powerbombs Booker. The referee tells Stevie to calm down, as Barbarian strolls in and slaps hands with Meng to fake a tag. These guys are so casually cool – Roman Reigns WISHES he could bottle what they have. A standing double headbutt gets 2, saved by Stevie. The fans suddenly erupt as THE OUTSIDERS stroll down through the crowd and sit in the front row, with spray paint in hand. All 4 guys stroll over to the gate, getting counted out at 7:20. **
Hall and Nash back off, wanting no part of these guys. Of course, I’m talking about the Faces of Fear, because Harlem Heat doesn’t scare anyone, except maybe the crowd at Hog Wild.
HOLLYWOOD HOGAN leads THE NWO down to ringside, complete with Elizabeth. The fans whip trash at them as they strut, and start filling the ring before the segment even starts. Vincent gets absolutely covered in soda. Hogan says now that they’re on the eve of Halloween Havoc (no they’re not), he expected Macho Man to actually fight. He points out he’s been off filming 3 Ninjas, and is clean shaven and feeling amazing. He doesn’t think Savage deserves a title shot after spending his night crying. THE NASTY BOYS, clad in nWo shirts, make their way down to the ring. Hogan tells them they’ve never done him wrong, they’ve always watched his back, and he loves them more than he loves his own family (da hell?). Hogan promises he’ll always be there for them. Knobbs has the contract in hand, and says he thinks DiBiase made a mistake because the decimal point was in the wrong place. Hogan says he never signed off on this contract, and really, they shouldn’t be wearing the t-shirts unless Hogan agreed to it. Hogan tells them they do NOT wear the colors unless the nWo says it’s ok, and with that, the entire nWo attacks. The shirts are ripped off their backs, and Hogan orders the nWo to “tag them”. Hogan says what you see here is just a hint of what he’s going to do to Savage, as the nWo spray paint the Nastys. And, in case Savage didn’t know, in all those years Liz was married to him? She was pining for Hogan, holding him as the standard for all men.
Hall, Nash, and Syxx rush the booth and chase off the announcers. Hall says the Heat aren’t from Harlem, but a couple of country bumpkins from Texas, and they’re going to take care of them at Havoc. Nitro cuts to replaying the Savage/Liz segment from earlier, and heads off the air.
Just where the heck IS Sting?