Date: May 18, 1997
Location: Independence Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
Commentators: Dusty Rhodes, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
So you remember how Spring Stampede was a filler PPV? This one is as
well but probably moreso than that one. The main event is the Wolfpac
vs. the Horsemen in a meaningless six man. Hogan had this annoying habit
of taking the summer off and he did it again here too. He wouldn’t be
back until July with Bash at the Beach for another meaningless tag
match. To give you an idea of how dominant WCW was, the world title
wasn’t defended on PPV from February until August and they still
dominated WWF. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is about the three former football players that are
wrestling tonight. You know, because that’s what we bought wrestling
PPVs to see.
The announcers babble about tradition.
TV Title: Steven Regal vs. Ultimo Dragon
Regal is challenging. Dragon goes to a wristlock and manages to stop
Regal’s usual counter to it and hooks an armbar. Test of strength goes
on with Regal taking him down but Dragon pops right back up. They go to
the corner and Dragon does his stand on his head in the corner deal. Why
does no one ever hit him while he does that? I get the real life reason
that he might die, but in kayfabe why not hit him?
Back on the mat Dragon fires off some kicks and hooks a half crab.
Regal makes the rope and fires off some kicks of his own to send the
champion to the floor. Back in a suplex gets two for Regal. They trade
full nelsons and Dragon gets a sunset flip for two. Regal Stretch is
avoided and Dragon is all fired up now for some reason. They get into a
chain wrestling match and Regal is in his element. Regal tries the
Stretch again but Dragon grabs his own mask to block it.
Since the Stretch won’t go on it’s time for the bow and
arrow/surfboard (Dusty and Tenay call it either or) but Dragon escapes
and fires a kick to the back. Here’s the bridging Indian Deathlock and
the fans chant for Regal. Dragon switches to a camel clutch and it turns
into a brawl. Dragon dropkicks him to the floor and Sonny fires off
some kicks. Those get him yelled at by the champ so Dragon sends Regal
back in and hits a top rope rana for two.
Regal tries the Stretch again but Dragon makes the ropes. The fans
are firmly behind Regal now which is strange as this is heel vs. heel
and Dragon has been the good guy by default. Both guys try rollups for
two but Dragon takes over with a spinwheel kick. Tiger suplex is
countered but Dragon sends Regal to the floor. Asai Moonsault hits and
Sonny adds in some more kicks. Dragon stops him so Sonny kicks Dragon,
allowing Regal to take over. In the ring a reverse suplex sets up the
Regal Stretch and we have a new champion.
Rating: B. This was getting really good at the end
and was still good when Sonny got involved. Was there ever a more
useless manager now named Paul Jones? Really good opener here as they
were beating the tar out of each other. Dragon would get the title back
in a little over two months.
Madusa vs. Luna Vachon
This is the fallout from last month. Luna is billed from the Other
Side of Darkness. Lee Marshall is brought in as a women’s wrestling
expert here. Luna takes her down to start and chokes a lot. Madusa tries
to throw punches but gets beaten down again. Marshall talks about
Martina Navartilova as Madusa kicks Luna’s head off with a SWEET spin
kick. Luna comes back with a stomach claw which that schnook Marshall
calls scandalous. Madusa hits something like a Stinger Splash and
screams a lot. Clothesline gets two. Luna manages a thumb in the eye,
misses a top rope splash, and gets German suplexed for the pin.
Rating: D-. Nothing at all to see here as neither
girl cared and none of the fans cared either. Bad match and there was
nothing going on. The division didn’t exist but we got this stuff every
now and then so that WCW could claim they had women’s wrestlers. Bad
match but Madusa is kind of cute at times.
Post match Madusa takes her vest off to reveal her bra, which you could see 80% of already.
Here are Savage and Liz for a little chat. They throw Gene out and
head to the ring. He talks about how the NWO is the center of the
universe and how Page doesn’t matter because he doesn’t want any more of
Savage. Cue Page through the crowd with a crutch to taunt Savage. The
NWO has a conference in the aisle as Page makes fun of Savage, saying
that he washes Hogan’s car. Savage finally comes in and gets beaten down
by the crutch. More NWO comes in and beat him down but the Giant makes
the save. Page vs. Savage would main event the next show. This took
almost eight minutes.
Rey Mysterio vs. Yuji Yasuraoka
Yuji is a guy who I can only find very infrequent matches in New
Japan for. He debuted last night on Saturday Night and that’s about all
they’ve got on him. In other words, he’s a nobody. They both trade some
quick holds and Rey works on the leg. Yuji comes back with a suplex and a
kick to the back to take over. He’s the heel by default here because
he’s Japanese and therefore evil. Oh and because he’s facing Mysterio.
Spinwheel kick gets two for Yuji. He puts his hands on the chest
instead of a usual cover with a leg hook to really show how evil he is.
Rey sends him to the floor and sets for a dive but the referee gets in
the way. Rey is like screw it and dives over Curtis the next time
instead to hit Yuji. Back in the ring Rey hooks a camel clutch which
looks really awkward for him. Yuji comes back and hooks a Fujiwara
Armbar as things slow down again.
Apparently Yuji is a former partner of Lance Storm. Heenan: “He
sounds like a weatherman from Omaha.” Now it’s a cross armbreaker to
really put the fans to sleep. Well not to sleep but remember that this
is a no name guy keeping things on the mat in a non-title match. Why
should we care? Out to the floor and Yuji hits a double ax off the top
to take Rey out. Suplex back in gets two. Rey sends him into the corner
and hits a split legged moonsault for two.
Time to trade some reversals with both guys getting two, Yuji’s off a
countered victory roll and Rey’s off the counter to the counter. Yuji
tries a rana but gets powerbombed for two. Rey misses a top rope splash
and Yuji hits his finisher, a double arm DDT, for two. Another attempt
at it is countered into a northern lights suplex for two. A top rope
cross body is dropkicked down by Rey and the West Coast Pop gets the
Rating: C. It’s not a bad match but at the end of
the day, it’s just another cruiserweight match that doesn’t mean
anything because Syxx wouldn’t defend the freaking title. On top of that
the match was only ok. Yuji would never be seen again that I know of
and after this, I can kind of see why. Again not a bad match, but
nothing we haven’t seen a million times.
Mortis vs. Glacier
This is one of those feuds that went on forever and I don’t think
there was ever any real resolution to it. Glacier charges in and the
fight is on quick. Mortis goes after the knee and Glacier is down in the
corner. And here’s Wrath who has debuted before this apparently.
Glacier hits a German on Mortis before Wrath gets here but there’s the
DQ like two minutes in. This is what NITRO is for people!
Ernest Miller comes in through the crowd for the save. He hasn’t been
named yet at this point. Oh ok he is named and the announcers
immediately recognize him as a world karate champion, because Eric
Bischoff seemed to think that EVERYONE followed tournament karate.
US Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. Dean Malenko
Dean is defending and Debra brings out Jeff. They fight over a lockup
to start and Dean gives him a clean break in the corner. Jeff takes him
down with a shoulder but doesn’t follow up. Even Tony is confused by
that. Dean hits a drop toehold but doesn’t follow up either. They both
seem hesitant to charge in here. Dean hooks a quick chinlock but Jarrett
counters into a mat hold of his own that is countered so quickly that
it’s off to an STF by Dean.
Debra says something and they’re still feeling each other out in the
ring. Dean hooks a leg bar which goes nowhere either. Out to the floor
and Jarrett’s leg is put over the railing and kicked, but he’s fine
enough to rapidly stomp Dean on the way back in. Dropkick gets two. Off
to an abdominal stretch which lasts for a few moments. Dean tries to
speed things up and sends Jeff to the floor.
Back in Dean still won’t go after him and for the life of me I don’t
get why. It’s Jeff Jarrett in 1997. Armbar goes on followed by a
swinging neckbreaker. Here comes the Figure Four but Dean escapes by
hitting Jeff’s knee. Cloverleaf is countered into a small package for
two. Another Cloverleaf attempt is countered by Dean being sent to the
floor. Back in the ring a cross body is rolled through for two for Dean.
Off to a sleeper so Tony talks about Piper. Now Malenko counters into
a sleeper of his own but Jeff quickly counters into the Figure Four.
Dean panics then realizes he’s 8 inches from the ropes. The fans are all
over Jarrett here. Dean sends him into the corner and we get an
embarrassingly bad collision. Here’s Mongo to pull Debra away and throw
Jarrett back into the Cloverleaf so Dean can retain.
Rating: C. Again the match isn’t bad but so what?
Back in February Mongo and Jarrett were fighting because of Debra and
now it’s May and they’re still fighting about Debra. Also keep in mind
that this is when Jarrett was still REALLY boring in the ring and could
pretty much just throw dropkicks and put on a Figure Four. Nothing to
see here as Malenko keeps the title and that’s about it. Jarrett would
get the title about three months later in an attempt to make the Mongo
feud mean something.
Meng vs. Chris Benoit
This is a death match which means last man standing. Speaking of
feuds that WOULD NOT END, this is more Benoit/Horsemen vs. Dungeon. At
least Woman looks pretty good here. Benoit is tentative to start but
grabs a dragon screw leg whip to put Meng down for about a second. Meng
comes right back so Benoit heads to the floor where he gets counted for
no apparent reason.
Back in the ring Meng hits a belly to belly suplex. Meng tries to
throw a punch but Benoit slips behind him and hits a German. Benoit
keeps going for the legs which is smart strategy but he gets kicked off.
Out to the floor and Meng is sent into the steps in a scary looking
bump as the corner almost hit his eye. Meng comes back in and pounds him
down in the corner but Benoit comes back with chops.
Meng goes all psycho Samoan…..and for the love of all things good and
holy freaking Jacqueline is here. NO ONE LIKES YOU AND NO ONE CARES
ABOUT YOU NOW GO AWAY!!! Woman chases her away for some reason that I
don’t care about at all. Meng hooks a half crab and I think you can win
by submission as well. Benoit makes the ropes which is a break in a
match that has no DQ.
Benoit tries a comeback but gets headbutted right back down. A good
piledriver puts Benoit down for eight. Out of nowhere Benoit grabs the
Crossface (not named yet. Ok apparently it is but Tony calls it an
armbar submission at first) but Meng slides to the floor to break it.
Now Dusty says you have to break in the ropes. What happens if you
don’t? Benoit keeps getting up and screams for more so Meng keeps
kicking him in the face.
A running kick in the corner misses and Benoit fires away at him.
Here are the rolling Germans which that idiot Tony calls dragon
suplexes. This show is ticking me off already and now we have to listen
to Tony screw up move names. Here’s the Crossface again but Meng rolls
outside again. Wicked suicide dive takes Meng down but Benoit can’t
follow up. Back in a suplex puts Meng down but he catches Benoit in the
Tongan Death Grip while Benoit tries the swan dive. Benoit passes out
for the loss.
Rating: D+. Another match that more or less was a
singles match but more hard hitting. It wasn’t terrible but with Tony
and Jackie out there messing up everything, it was hard to care. On top
of that, why have Benoit lose here? That would apparently be so that
they could do THE EXACT SAME MATCH the next month.
This show is already bad but the problem is that none of this stuff
matters. That’s the case for Spring Stampede, this show and the Great
American Bash, because most of the big names weren’t here and none of
the matches meant anything because it was clear that everything was
leading up to Sting vs. Hogan, and Hogan didn’t appear on any of these
shows, nor did Sting I don’t think. In other words, we had three months
of worthless PPVs, which make them even harder to sit through.
Konnan/Hugh Morrus vs. Steiner Brothers
See my point? Scott and Morrus start. Dusty says these teams both
want to be tag champions. That’s hilarious: like the Outsiders would
ever defend those things. To give you an idea of things: the Steiners
won the belts in October. From October 1996 until May of 1998, ONLY the
Outsiders and the Steiners held the belts (not counting the Giant/Luger
title win as they had to return them the next night). On top of that,
aside from 18 days in Spring of 98, either an Outsider or a Steiner held
the titles from October of 1996 until January of 1999. Think about that
for a minute.
Morrus gets thrown around by both Steiners and Rick hits some Steiner
Lines. A top rope Steiner Line puts Morrus on the floor and the
Steiners clear the ring. Rick vs. Konnan now with Konnan getting thrown
all over the place with “that move that Benoit used in the last match”
(German suplex). Back to Scott as we’re in squash mode so far. Konnan
finally gets a boot up in the corner to give the Dungeon an advantage.
Never mind of course as Scott suplexes him over. Morrus comes in
again and Jimmy trips Scott to give his team a chance. Hugh manages a
suplex and it’s back to Konnan who gets two off a neckbreaker. Morrus
hooks a Fujiwara Armbar but it’s off to Konnan for a modified Rings of
Saturn. Scott gets up and hits an overhead belly to belly. Morrus tries a
double ax while Scott is on his back because the put the boot up while
the other guy does a move that only exists to jump into the boot spot is
REALLY what I want to see right now. Hot tag to Rick, bad top rope
bulldog, everything breaks down, Frankensteiner, pin.
Rating: D. Another whatever match here as none of it
means anything and we got a glorified squash on PPV. Then again Rick
lost a glorified squash last month as well but hey, it sucked last month
so maybe it will here too! Nothing to see here (of course) as the
Steiners wouldn’t get a title shot until AUGUST.
Konnan beats up Morrus post match, quitting the Dungeon to become a rapper.
Reggie White vs. Steve McMichael
GREAT. This is EXACTLY what this show needs. Why is Reggie White
fighting? Who knows? Who cares? My guess is because even though Mongo is
a face here, he turned heel on Greene like 11 months ago and this is
REVENGE. You would think that Greene would want revenge himself, but
he’s in the main event with the guys that Mongo turned on him for. In
theory White is a heel here, but naturally he’s treated as the hero
against a Horseman in CHARLOTTE. He has his strength coach with him.
This is White’s first match ever and they put him with STEVE FREAKING
MCMICHAEL. Let’s get this over with.
Feeling out process to start as Mongo is definitely playing heel.
They collide and both stumble. They do it again and Mongo stumbles a
bit. White hooks a headlock and they ram again with Mongo going down
this time. Steve draws the scrimmage line and they go at it with Mongo
taking the leg out. They do it again and White jumps over him, then hits
him in the side of the ribs which is a “clothesline.”
Mongo tries to leave but one of White’s teammates comes out to throw
him back in. It’s a nose tackle from the Packers apparently. White gets
some great height on a dropkick for two. The kick sucked but he was UP
THERE. The fans cheer for Mongo but he keeps playing heel because that’s
what was set before the match and White (not his fault) doesn’t know
how to be a heel because HE ISN’T A WRESTLER.
Mongo hooks an armbar and shouts about how Jesus may have White’s
soul (White was known as a very religious man) but Mongo has him right
now. That gets McMichael sent to the floor and it’s more stalling. White
hooks a headlock but Mongo escapes and clips him to take over. Side
slam puts Reggie down but he comes back up quickly and puts the headlock
on again before hitting a cross body for two.
Off to a nerve hold by White but McMichael hits him low and makes fun
of church bells. Off to another leg lock and then a half crab. They ram
each other into the corner a few times but Steve kicks the knee out.
Figure four is countered and White shoves him down. He actually SELLS
THE KNEE….or maybe he’s just tired. They slug it out in the corner and
Reggie is all fired up.
There’s an atomic drop and a much better clothesline to put Mongo on
the floor. Back in and McMichael takes over, only to have his suplex
countered. He hits a splash but there’s no referee because of Debra.
Briefcase is stolen by the other football player but Jeff Jarrett comes
out and throws in another case and the shot with that gets the pin on
Rating: F. As in FIFTEEN MINUTES that this match
got. Now before I get into this, I want to emphasize something: Reggie
White was TRYING out there. He looked fired up, he was going the entire
time, and there have been far worse celebrity performances in the past.
That being said, the match was WAY too long and McMichael was the
totally wrong person to try to carry him.
Think back to the 97 Great American Bash when it was Mongo/Greene
debuting as a team. They faced Arn Anderson and Ric Flair, two of the
best ring technicians ever. Flair and Arn walked then through a 20
minute match and it wasn’t that terrible. That being said, this was a
HORRIBLE idea. You took basically a rookie and had him work a fifteen
minute match with a football player. Horrible match, but more based on
the people that put it together rather than the wrestlers.
Kevin Greene/Roddy Piper/Ric Flair vs. Syxx/Kevin Nash/Scott Hall
Here’s your main event. Nothing on the line, just pride. It’s Flair’s
first match back in 8 months. Greene played for the Carolina Panthers
so he’s incredibly popular. Flair vs. Syxx to start. Syxx takes him down
quickly and grabs a headlock. Flair chops him down but Syxx kicks him
in the face. Syxx chops him in the corner and Flair is all like boy
please. There’s a backdrop and a pelvic thrust to the Outsiders.
Hall comes in and takes a punch and Flair wants Nash. Greene and
Piper haven’t done anything yet. Hall comes in legally and Flair says
bring it on. Now it’s off to Greene and it’s time to stall. Nash comes
in before Hall does anything. They shove each other around and Nash
pounds away with the usual stuff in the corner. Greene comes back with a
shoulderblock to take down the other Kevin and he does it again. Nash
heads to the floor so Greene beats up both other Wolfpac members.
Hall wants Piper so here he is. Piper has a HUGE bandage on his right
thigh. Into the corner and Piper rifles off rights and lefts as we
continue the start and stop nature of this match. A knee lift by Piper
puts Piper down (not a typo) but Hall shoves him into the corner. Roddy
fights off all three of them at once but Syxx manages to get in a shot
to the leg to give the NWO their first advantage.
Piper kicks away a figure four attempt and dives to Flair, putting
the total time the NWO was in control at 19 seconds. Flair comes in but
gets knocked into the corner for the Flair Flip. He comes off the top
and jumps into the fallaway slam by Hall. They all head to the floor and
Greene runs over Syxx. Flair is the face in peril and gets caught in
Back to Hall for nothing of note and it’s back to Syxx. He hits the
Bronco Buster, drawing a homosexual slur chant. That of course fires up
the He-Man known as Ric Flair but Syxx takes him back down almost
immediately. Flair tags in Piper but the referee doesn’t see it. Piper
is like screw that and decks Anderson and everything breaks down. Nick
Patrick, freshly good again, replaces Anderson. Flair hits Hall low and
puts on the Figure Four. Piper puts Nash in the sleeper and Syxx gets
powerslammed for the triple win.
Rating: C. This was a basic six man tag but MAN did
the place pop for the win. This is supposed to be a big deal for some
reason with Tony calling it the biggest moment in the history of WCW.
It’s probably the best match of the night other than the opener and this
one kind of almost means something so I’ll give it the point. Greene
was having a blast out here and did what he could.
Overall Rating: N. As in nothing. I’ve got nothing
that could accurately describe how worthless this was. Some of the
matches are ok at best but for the most part they were either bad or
pointless. Nothing to see here at all as none of the big stars were here
for the most part, at least not wrestling. This was the second of three
straight PPVs with no Hogan and as annoying as he was, without him
there was really no point to anything because he was world champion.
Horrible show that was actually making me mad at times, which is a
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com