On This Day: WCW Saturday Night – September 7, 1996

So last time we left off, I was fairly critical of The Giant’s idiotic turn to the nWo. A retrospective look at what occurred was shared with me from the Wrestling Observer, courtesy Justin Shapiro:
After the original plan to debut Davey Boy Smith as the new member of the New World Order fell through, WCW instead turned The Giant.
The Giant turn was WCW’s last minute panic move since it had promised to introduce two new members of the NWO on the 9/2 television show. The other new member in the original plan, Sean Waltman, was also not introduced on the show, apparently because he’s also being held up as a pawn in the legal battle between the two companies. The latest word we’ve heard is to play it safe and to avoid giving WWF more ammunition in its lawsuit against WCW, that WCW at least as of our last word wasn’t going to use Waltman for nine months, until his WWF contract expires. There were hints at the end of the show of more NWO members being introduced, and one is believed to be Jeff Jarrett, whose WWF contract expires on 10/4.
The last minute turn changes already scripted plans in regard to house shows and upcoming PPV events. Giant was scheduled to wrestle Kevin Nash at Halloween Havoc on 10/27 in Las Vegas and obviously that will have to be changed. The other matches on the original plans for Halloween Havoc, besides the Hogan vs. Savage WCW title match, were Flair vs. Hall for the U.S. title, Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Dean Malenko in a two of three fall match for the cruiserweight title, and Ultimo Dragon vs. Jushin Liger for all eight national and world titles since Dragon is slated to win the eight belts on 10/11 in Osaka.
The plan to make the Horseman look like jobbers wasn’t the original angle, but a revised angle came up with by Hogan which has caused at least a few of the wrestlers to complain once again Hogan is booking for his own ego rather than for business. The original plan was to create a situation where the Horsemen would be involved in a scenario where they would jump and run off Hall and Nash, and about that time Hogan would arrive and be by himself. As he was being beaten on, then the Giant would come out for the finishing touches on Hogan, but instead Giant would choke slam all the Horsemen. However, Hogan refused that scenario and came up with the one that was used.
They are back in the syndrome of Kevin Sullivan, Arn Anderson and Jimmy Hart putting together all the television shows, and then Hogan shows up on Monday and re-does everything. Right now nobody can complain about it because ratings are up, but it’s killing the other bookers because all their long-term plans are constantly having to be thrown out the window such as the Giant vs. Nash and Hogan impending feuds.
This makes a lot more sense to me than any scenario anyone can concoct, trying to tie the logic strings together that allowed The Giant to make his decision to turn into a rogue conformist. Wait, Dr. Unlikely says he can do it?
I like to think, had we been given the full Kevin Sullivan treatment here instead of the one, er, sullied by Hogan’s last minute changes, we would have actually seen a taped segment of Ted DiBiase delivering The Giant to Hogan’s mansion done as a direct parallel to Hogan being transported to the Dungeon of Doom. The Giant staring in awe at a row of three motorcycles and saying “There’s hundreds, DiBiase!” The Giant dipping his hand in Hogan’s jacuzzi and shouting “That’s not cold!” The Giant, now completely out of his element seeing the vast opulence of the Hogan Estate, wandering into Hogan’s den where Hollywood Hogan would be watching The Princess Bride, and the sight of his father, Andre, would awaken buried desires of being a Hollywood Superstar within The Giant, all while DiBiase would be using the same pitch to turn The Giant that he once successfully used to turn Andre.
Condensed version of Saturday Night this week; I assume the Cyborg Factory had a malfunction and was unable to finish production on the second half of the required jobber construction. Still, DUSTY RHODES and TONY SCHIAVONE are here, dressed in black because WCW is dead baybee! Tony calls this the biggest shocker yet (oh hell, Tony, Hogan JUST turned a month ago), and Dusty figures the balance of power is now in the nWo’s section, and why not, they clearly have the numbers advantage of 4 to 846.
“HARDWORK” BOBBY WALKER vs. ARN ANDERSON
Walker wins via DQ in 0:08 due to racism when Arn tosses him over the top rope. Oh, did I mention your referee is one NICK PATRICK? Still, rules is rules. Arn asks for the stick, and I hope it’s to apologize for his embarrassing behavior here. Instead, Arn announces the Horsemen aren’t going to curl up in a ball and die, despite the Giant’s turn. He’s placed some calls of his own. Oh my god, he’s recruiting ECW!
No, in all seriousness, he heads to the back where he crosses paths with KEVIN SULLIVAN and JIMMY HART. Arn says he feels utterly helpless like he never has before. Sullivan reminds Arn that they’ve worked together before, and he got backstabbed at the Great American Bash. With that in mind, he recognizes it was a Horsemen move, and he can let bygones be bygones. Sullivan promises that if anyone from the Dungeon ever thinks about defecting again, they’ll be struck down by Sullivan himself. Why wouldn’t he do that NOW when SOMEONE DID?
KENNY KAOS vs. CHAVO GUERRERO JR.
Tony announces that TOMORROW, Glacier is COMING! I don’t believe him. Wikipedia indicates he’ll debut on WCW Pro, but I go with “if I didn’t recap it, it didn’t happen” – and since I don’t recap that show, it never happened. Kaos takes early control, which is pretty much the template for Chavo Guerrero Jr at this point. Wait for the fluke ending, it’s coming. Lo and behold, Kaos gets cute and takes Chavo to the top, where he shoves him off, and a lousy moonsault gets the pin at2:51. Chavo is seriously all kinds of awful at this stage of his career. *
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND talks to Chavo about Fall Brawl’s match against DDP. Chavo blames Eddie and himself for turning their backs on Page in the past, but this time, he’ll be watching him like a viper. Perfect.
“SQUIRE” DAVID TAYLOR (with Jeeves) vs. BOBBY EATON
Eaton uses the old recycled “Stunning” Steve Austin music. Eaton has decided to abandon his British roots which go back as far as 8 months ago. Taylor attacks before the bell, and, YES, the European uppercut is out in full force! Two of them even! Dear god, this is a ruthless man! How Eaton is not on life support is beyond me. Eaton throws some punches, but Taylor launches his THIRD European uppercut! You can have your Brock Lesnar German suplexes, I’ll take these. Eaton comes back with a swinging neckbreaker, but Taylor’s a real man, and he comes back with the fallway slam. For some reason, Jeeves throws down the British flag now, and that just sets Taylor off to tell him where to go. Back in, Jeeves trips him up and Eaton steals a pin at 1:58. ROBBERY! VANDAL! SCUMBAGS! 1/2*
PRINCE IAUKEA and JIM POWERS (with Teddy Long) vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart)
It’s been nice knowing you gentlemen. Sure enough, the Faces give the faces absolutely nothing, and I’m totally cool with that. Iaukea throws some sad dropkicks that doesn’t pack much more punch than a bite from a mature mosquito. Faces laugh it off, Meng hits a spike piledriver, and the boys launch the double headbutts. RON THE LEPRECHAUN runs down and attacks Jim Powers, while Barbarian finishes Iaukea at 3:14. Braun tries to eat Iaukea post-match. *
VK WALLSTREET vs. RANDY SAVAGE
Savage attacks before the bell, Rubbermaid trashcan in hand, in the aisle. The referee throws this out before it starts. Savage angrily drops 3 elbows, beforeTHE GAMBLER and HIGH VOLTAGE try to save. Savage easily disposes of them all. Including the Gambler, much to my annoyance.
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND wants to know what on earth just happened. Savage says there’s no more rules in WCW, all bets are off, and promises that Hogan’s finished at Halloween Havoc. Gene signs off, closing on the footage of the destruction from Nitro.


Well that flew by! Worldwide tomorrow.

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.

On This Day: WCW Nitro – September 2, 1996

BUILDINGS ABLAZE! SHIRTS RIPPED APART! LUGER ROARS! WRITING ALL IN CAPS AND I DON’T KNOW WHY! IT’S CLEARLY TIME FOR WCW NITRO!
We are LIVE LIVE LIVE on Labour Day 1996, from AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION! TONY SCHIAVONE and LARRY ZBYSZKO man the first hour, and we are celebrating the 1 year anniversary of Nitro. I’ve recapped them all, and it only took me 11 years! I look forward to completing the entire set of Nitro on my 90th birthday. Speaking of 90 year olds, Larry has a pointed message to the nWo. You don’t care, and neither do I. I admit to getting a chuckle out of Tony talking about “Teed DiBiase”. Larry’s head shot up as soon as he heard a golfing term.

DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. ALEX WRIGHT
No surprises NICK PATRICK is refereeing here, because the person in charge of referee assignments has absolutely zero good judgment when all the signs are pointing to DDP being an nWo member. Wright sends DDP over the top with a clothesline, and follows with a “look ma no hands!” plancha. Back in, a slingshot splash gets 2. DDP manages to change the momentum by ducking a crossbody, and Wright flattens himself in the ropes. That’ll leave a mark. DDP nails a tilt-a-whirl slam, but takes far too long to cover and only gets 2. After a half-hearted complaint, DDP hits a powerbomb for 2. He’s spending far less time complaining than usual, but he likely knows it’s in the bag with Tricky Nick on his side. Wright ducks a pair of wild elbows, and hits a suplex for 2. Euro uppercut sends Page backwards to the corner, where he’s hit with a 7-count of punches. Alex apparently doesn’t know the key to upward mobility is a clean 10-count. And then DDP does the usual, Diamond Cutter out of absolutely nowhere for the win at 3:44. I really liked this, and admittedly Page’s gimmick of the out of nowhere Diamond Cutter is winning me over all over again like we’re actually in 1996. I haven’t had much use for him up until just about today when reliving this stuff, but he really did improve huge between the spring of 96, and the fall when he finally found himself as a character. It’s only gonna get better from here. *1/2
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND has another tete-a-tete with NICK PATRICK. Gene says the counts on Wright were a little slow, which at this point is just flat out BS. Patrick was fine here. Patrick mentions other referees have blown calls, and he’s sick of Gene Okerlund. He says Gene is a liar, and he’s here to enforce the law no matter who they are. Gene: “I think I’ve just been called a liar!” You think?!? This was up with the time I got mugged in New York City and shell-shocked, I sent a text to my wife reading “I think I just got mugged”.
Gene shuffles off backstage, where COLONEL ROBERT PARKER and SISTA SHERRI (aka Twinkle Eyes) are spending a little time together. In fact, the Colonel has presents for her. The boxes are filled with leather clothing, which causes her to dry hump him in front of a national audience.
HARLEM HEAT vs. GREG VALENTINE and BUDDY VALENTINO (for the WCW world tag-team titles)
Buddy Valentino?!? His name is Buddy Valentine. His whole gimmick is that he’s Johnny Valentine’s offspring. I really want to spend a LOT more time dissecting this, but stupid TED DIBIASE walks in and distracts everyone from the whole thing. Go away Ted, I don’t care if you’re financing the entire nWo operation, I need to know why Buddy was forced to change his name. Do he and Greg have unresolved family issues? Do they have unparalleled chemistry in the ring, but a deep personal hatred outside of the ring that makes this a teaming of convenience? Is he a half-brother, conceived in a fit of lovemaking between old Johnny, and an oversexed Dusty Rhodes? Why isn’t Gene trying to sort this out? If you think I WOULDN’T pay $1.49 a minute WITHOUT my parents permission for this scoop, you are SADLY mistaken. Booker wins with the Harlem Hangover at 4:13. Post-match, Stevie spits all over the camera lens between his Suckas. DUD
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND rushes on to the scene HOPEFULLY to sort out the family issues here. Instead, I feel like I’m watching the opening scene of Pulp Fiction, where we’re focused on Harlem Heat (secondary to the main plot), and we see the Valentines sulk off backstage behind them. The Heat talk smack against the Nastys, which drawsTHE NASTY BOYS out from the back. A double spike piledriver is delivered to booker, with Knobbs accentuating his force by coming off the top. Is there any wonder that neck injuries were a problem? Booker is allegedly stretchered out.
DEAN MALENKO vs. CHRIS JERICHO
MIKE TENAY smells Cruiserweights, and immediately hits the announce booth before collapsing in orgasmic bliss and lighting a cigarette. Upon reflection, the amount of talent to defect to WCW over the last 12 months is insane. If you figure Benoit was just debuting when Nitro started, Eddie was a newbie, Malenko, Jericho, Mysterio, Ultimo Dragon, Psychosis, Kidman, The Juice, and The Gambler have completely bulked up the roster, and there’s almost too many people to push. (Solution: Push the white guys.) Dean kills Jericho with a brainbuster, but death only brings a 2 count. DiBiase walks out of this match. The fans (and Tony) react, but DiBiase’s not a young man, he might just have to pee. (Hah – and Larry brings that up just after I finish typing this!) Malenko applies a figure four sleeper, and uses the ropes to cheat, which NICK PATRICK leaves unnoticed. Let’s add Malenko to our list of suspects. He has acted as a hired gun with no allegiances in recent months. I don’t trust him. A butterfly suplex gets 2. An abdominal stretch is applied, but Jericho powers loose. Malenko doesn’t let up, slamming Jericho’s face to the buckle, and throwing some open handed thrusts. A triple jump bulldog gets 2! Jericho shows some fire, sends Malenko out to the floor, drops him with a baseball slide, and comes off the top with a plancha. A missile dropkick off the top gets a close 2, and THAT appeared be a little slow from Patrick. They trade piledriver attempts, which Malenko wins by hitting a tombstone (Tony: SPIKE PILEDRIVER!), but Jericho kicks out at 2. Jericho comes back with a German into a bridge, but Malenko rolls out at 2. Spinning heel kick, Jericho shows some fire (to boos, rightfully), but Malenko reverses a go-behind with one of his own. Jericho hooks the arms on the way up, forces the momentum forwards, and wins with an Oklahoma roll at 9:02! Jericho rushes to the fans to celebrate, which would be amazing if he was a heel. ***
BRAD ARMSTRONG vs. THE GIANT (with Jimmy Hart)
You know, the best part of the ridiculous talent infusion in recent months is that the Armstrongs have been relegated to a non-existence. We haven’t seen them on the B, C, or D-shows in weeks. (Unless of course they appear on Pro or Main Event, which means it didn’t happen because I don’t have those.) Giant has trimmed his split ends, taking a few inches off the top. Still, his new do doesn’t help much, because he gives Armstrong way too much offense (namely, he gives him SOME offense), before finishing with the Chokeslam at 3:46. Oh, also a limousine showed up, and the announcers confirm it’s not Ric Flair because he’s already here. Can they confirm it’s not a flurry of ladies with unshaven parts here for the Horsemen? You know the drill, no hair, no Flair. *
We have an nWo announcement but it’s the same one from Saturday Night.
The second hour kicks off as we look more at the limo. ERIC BISCHOFF and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN take over the booth in the seconds ahead of time. Mike Tenay has also been adopted, and he stares lovingly at Bischoff for an uncomfortably long time while saying nothing.
RON STUDD vs. RANDY SAVAGE
I don’t like Ron Studd. I don’t like that he stole the missing Fit Finlay’s music (hey, add him to the list of talent influx). I don’t like his stupid beard. And I ESPECIALLY don’t like that he stopped wrestling as Super Giant Ninja. Until he returns to SGN glory, I want NOTHING to do with the man. I am also willing to accept the YETTAY! Anyway, backstage, THE OUTSIDERS and HOLLYWOOD HOGAN emerge from the limo, and freak out when they see a camera might see their fourth (fifth?) guy. They slam the doors and tell the cameras to get the hell out of here (and maybe focus on the ring for a change). Savage dumps Studd to the floor, and hits an axehandle off the top onto the guardrail. Back in, Savage slams Studd, and finishes with the elbow (despite a bit of a back pull from the slam), and scores the pin at 2:47. 1/2*
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND hits the ring to talk to Savage. Savage wishes Halloween Havoc was tonight. He vows to take the title away, and that makes him happy. He’s mad the Giant didn’t beat Hogan, as he had promised, but he’s happier that all the pressure’s all on himself anyway. He tells Gene to put money on the Macho Man since they’ll be in Vegas.
STING and LEX LUGER vs. THE STEINER BROTHERS
It’s beyond my mental capacity to figure out exactly how NICK PATRICK is going to screw everyone over here, but I look forward to them finding a way.
Backstage, THE FOUR HORSEMEN rush the limo, but there’s no one there when they open the doors. Realizing the nWo 4th guy must be in the building, they head back in to look around.
So with no sports entertainment to worry about, we head back to the ring. Both teams lock up, and Patrick throws the whole thing out at 0:40. It’s a DQ apparently because Luger bumped him, and as a senior official he’s not putting up with any abuse. Which is within his rights, and it seems like a gross over-reaction for Sting and Luger to angrily chase him to the back. Replay shows Rick Steiner shoved Luger backwards, and he nailed Patrick.
THE DUNGEON OF DOOM (with Jimmy Hart) vs. THE FOUR HORSEMEN (with Woman, Elizabeth, and Debra McMichael)
DoD is made up of Kevin Sullivan, Bubba, and the Faces of Fear. Sullivan starts with Mongo, and gets flattened. Mongo goes up, but slips immediately, and winds up jumping off in no particular direction instead. Bubba comes in and takes an atomic drop. Bubba is worked over in the Horsemen corner, and Benoit is tagged in. Naturally, now that the best wrestler in this match has tagged in, the Dungeon take over the offense. Thankfully, it doesn’t last, and Benoit gives Barbarian a German suplex. He heads up, and even though Sullivan trips him up, Benoit fights loose and hits the swandive for 2.
Meanwhile, LEX LUGER and STING chase NICK PATRICK into the back, and Patrick makes a bee-line for the limo! As they approach, TED DIBIASE dives into the limo. Busted, rich guy. Sting throws a brick through the side window, and the limo beats it out of there. So, Sting and Luger steal the nearest car … the frickin’ Police Cruiser! What the hell man?!? THE OFFICER ON DUTY sends out an APB.
In the ring, Barbarian has the advantage on Arn Anderson and ties him to the tree of woe. That brings in an energetic Sullivan for the running knee, and we go back to Bubba. He pounds Anderson into the mat, and he’s seeing stars and can barely stay on his feet. Meng tags in, but he can’t get anything going, and winds up getting his hair pulled by Flair. Bischoff calls for a break.
Back we come, as Benoit heads in, who Sullivan illegally goes after. They roll around trading punches for awhile, before Meng takes control back and hits the best looking atomic drop I’ve ever seen. Barbarian delivers a vicious powerbomb, and he’s only saved by Anderson at 2. Bubba hits a spinebuster, but Flair’s seen enough and gives him the Nolan Ryan treatment. Benoit is sacrificed onto the heel side of the floor, but Flair is right there too and grabs a chair, threatening the Dungeon. Benoit is rolled back into the waiting hands of Sullivan. Benoit takes a big boot to the face, and that leads to Bubba who heads up top. The kneedrop off the second rope is blocked by a foot to the face, but Benoit can’t find the strength to make the hot tag. Sullivan comes in, and THAT gives Benoit some energy, as he starts chopping the hell out of Sullivan’s chest. He quickly tags Barbarian, who headbutts Benoit back to the ground. Meng comes to finish, but Benoit hits a crossbody off the Irish whip, and gets 2. Meng cuts off the ring, and Bubba chokes him out. Arn rushes in and gives Bubba a spinebuster, because he’s seen enough. Bubba holds Benoit’s foot with what little strength he has, and Barbarian comes in with a headbutt. Tag to Meng, and both Islanders come flying off the top with headbutts – but they miss! Benoit makes the tag to Flair and the place explodes! Flair attacks everyone in the Dungeon he can, and the entire thing breaks down. Flair is left alone with Sullivan in the centre of the ring. Woman and Benoit get into a shouting match when Woman doesn’t want to offer an assist, and Benoit threatens her so she helps Flair hold the arms for leverage, and Sullivan taps at 13:58! Wild chaotic old school fight. ***1/2
Woman and Benoit continue to scream at each other, but there’s no time to work that out because THE OUTSIDERS have attacked Arn and Flair on the other side of the ring.HOLLYWOOD HOGAN appears too, and they take on all 8 guys who’ve been in this match. Even Pee Wee Anderson is given no mercy. With no one left, THE GIANT comes in, and stares down the nWo. Except, he is right there with a Chokeslam to Barbarian, and another to Meng. The fans are ready to riot, as he embraces Kevin Nash, and we have a completely inexplicable turn of events here. Just what the hell?!? RANDY SAVAGEhits the ring with a chair in hand, and swings wildly at everything. Hogan jumps him, and Savage rips the doo rag right off Hogan’s head (hah!), but a low blow gives the nWo the advantage once more and then all take turns beating Savage into the ground. Hogan drops the leg a few times for good measure. The ring is filled with as much trash and drinks as the fans can get their hands on, while Savage gets a yellow stripe painted right down his back from Hogan.
The nWo takes over the announce booth. Hogan reminds us all he’s still the most powerful man in professional wrestling, and with The Giant they’re now the most powerful group in wrestling. Hogan says there’s not just 4 men, or even 5 men with Ted DiBiase, but at least 8. Jesus. Hogan rips the WCW logo off the front of the announce booth and forces Giant to spit on it. Giant rationalizes his behavior by saying he was invited to Hogan’s house by DiBiase, and noticed there were 20 motorcycles in the garage, tons of cars, annnnd … before we can finish our thoughts, the Dungeon and Horsemen have recovered and the fight breaks back out in the aisle. They take care of that, so that Giant can finish his thoughts. Hogan promises him a part in an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, and all the cars and money he can imagine. Because the nWo is the best thing going today. Then they finish ripping the set apart, and stand happily in the carnage.



The segment was beautifully executed, and the turn was explained as best they could I suppose, but I’ll have some thoughts on this when we hit Prime, next.

On This Day: WCW Worldwide – September 1, 1996

Big show this week!
Renegade! VK Wallstreet! Hold on to your hats!
Taped from Disney, your
hosts are TONY SCHIAVONE and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN.

THE RENEGADE vs. THE GAMBLER
How was the Gambler left
out of the hype? Shame on you, WCW! Gambler is carrying a massive deck of
cards, which he uses to throw in Renegade’s face – which could possibly cause
an eye contusion, or a vicious papercut. Still, Renegade is all over him, because
WCW sucks. We move to an extended armbar for some reason. Heenan does a good
job of selling the PPV, by suggesting that after this year’s Wargames,
officials will never allow it to happen again due to the bloodbath we are
likely to see. Then he goes off on a tangent about Gambler’s deck of cards.
Because he doesn’t bring all his cards, you have no idea how many cards he
actually has, and as a result you have no idea if he’s drawing, or is ready to
level you with his full house. Tony asks if we’re playing Crazy 8’s? “No, Crazy
Renegades.” “Will you stop?” “No, you folded.” Gambler runs Renegade’s face
across the ropes, and applies a head vice. Renegade tries to fight loose, so
Gambler chokes him instead. Renegade fights back with some wild punches, and follows
with a handspring back elbow. Running bulldog gets the win at 7:26. Renegade announces he’s back and
better than ever. I disagree. DUD
VK WALLSTREET vs. JOHNNY BOONE
That’s future referee
Johnny Boone. Probably a better career path, since he’s such a scrawny little
thing. The white tights and pink boots make him look like a ballet dancer. NICK PATRICK is your referee. The fans
chant “WALMART” because the applause sign told them to. Wallstreet rakes the
eyes, leaving Boone to swing wildly. An abdominal stretch is applied, with a
little rope leverage. Patrick doesn’t catch him. Wallstreet drops a leg on
Boone’s pooter, and turns to jaw with the fans. Boone scores a cheap roll up,
but it only gets 2. Stock Market Crash finishes at 2:52. 1/2*
“HACKSAW” JIM DUGGAN vs. STEVE STORM
Tony says he’s gotten to
know Duggan a lot over the last year, and on top of being a great champion,
he’s a very intelligent man. That sends Heenan into a laughing fit that lasts
the ENTIRE match. Every time he seems to have his breath back, Heenan collapses
again. Tony calls for the hook, because Bobby has lost himself. As it
progresses, everything Tony says makes it worse. “He’s a former US Champion”,
“he was a college football player”, it doesn’t matter, Heenan is DYING. “COLLEGE?!?
HAHAHAHAHA!” 3 point stance wins at 3:00.
Post-match, Duggan tapes his fist and clocks Strong, because he’s a poor sport.
***** for Heenan’s commentary. Even during the reply. “HERE’S YOUR COLLEGE
GRAD, FOOTBALL PLAYER, INTELLIGENT MAN, PFFFFFFFFFFFFTTT HAHAHAHAHA!”

SCOTT NORTON vs. BUDDY VALENTINE
Heenan: “That’s not Greg
Valentine, that’s just somebody who bought a robe and wants to look like him.”
THIS is why I love jobbers, they are there to be buried, and it doesn’t matter.
Norton throws some meaty chops, and follows with a powerslam. Clothesline
finishes at 1:55. I guess the
shoulderbreaker was out on that guy. DUD
SGT CRAIG PITTMAN (with Teddy Long) vs. CHRIS
BENOIT
This is your main event,
and there’s lots of time left in the show. Heenan mentions that by hooking up
with Teddy Long, the bank account grows. Heenan: “Teddy Long’s, not yours. He’s
scamming off his wrestlers. This stays between you and me though, I don’t want
this getting out.” Tony: “I don’t believe you at all.” Heenan: “Really? What
was I saying about Hogan 6 months ago? And how do you feel about him now?”
Tony: “He’s a dirty rotten human being right now, Brain.” Heenan: “Exactly.
Long is scamming his wrestlers, believe me.” Pittman stands on Benoit’s throat
while working the arm, which I’m pretty sure is against the rules. Benoit comes
back by sweeping out the legs, and working it over, setting up a surfboard. The
fans chant USA, which makes Benoit scream at them to shut up. Pittman goes
behind, but Benoit hooks the ropes and elbows the Sarge in the eye. Benoit with
the chops, but Pittman reverses and mounts the corner. He gets off 6 punches
before Benoit has enough and hits an atomic drop. A back elbow gets 2. Belly to
belly overhead with a bridge gets 2. Benoit works a headlock, which Heenan
feels is a bad move. He’s found that anytime you hold Pittman’s head for an
extended period of time, within an hour, you want to go bowling. Pittman elbows
loose, tries a sunset flip but Benoit is in the ropes. Pittman gets something
going with an overhead belly to belly, but Benoit has enough energy to kick out
and keep going. This breaks down to a punchfest, but Pittman goes to the
Battering Ram. Code Red is threatened, but Benoit’s in the ropes. Back up,
Pittman hits a crossbody for 2. In the corner, Benoit throws both knees to
Pittman, and pins him with his feet on the ropes at 11:22. It’s official, Pittman can’t be carried. I’m disappointed
Benoit didn’t finish with the 69. **

Tony and Heenan discuss
Benoit/Mongo stepping back at Fall Brawl. Heenan says it’s because Mongo
understands being a team player as a former NFL champion, and figures it’s a
sign the nWo is on their way out. And are they? Tune into Nitro tomorrow to
find out!

On This Day: WCW Saturday Night – August 31, 1996

Slim Jim brings the
excitement (SNAP INTO IT), and WCW brings a FULL 2-hour edition of Saturday
Night, due to the fact the Braves played (and got killed) at 12:05 in Wrigley.
Their loss is YOUR gain. Midcarders, Jobbers, and Mean Gene oh my!
TONY SCHIAVONE and DUSTY RHODES recap
the most recent nWo attack. Dusty wonders what Ted DiBiase has in store for us,
now that he’s stepped onto the “bowels of the battleship”.

THE GIANT (with Jimmy Hart and Hugh Morrus) vs.
THE RENEGADE
Tony sticks to the company
line that DiBiase must be the fifth Horsemen, but Dusty’s skeptical because he
“knows the history of the Horsemen” and is aware there’s never been a fifth
Horseman. I’m delighted Dusty is here, because he throws out these utterly
pointless factoids, but sells it with such pride that you KNOW he’s proud of
himself for thinking outside the box. Giant wins with a Chokeslam at 1:52. Then Morrus climbs the buckle and
hits a moonsault. If this is all we get out of the Dungeon tonight, I’m cool
with that – but let’s not kid ourselves. DUD
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND wants to chat with Jimmy and Giant, but NOT
Morrus. Hart tells Savage he’d better bring something bigger than a chair to
Fall Brawl, because what goes up must come down. Giant says he’s sick of taking
all the blame for the nWo, since Savage was far too scared to show up in
Sturgis.
Shortly afterwards, Gene
finds ICE TRAIN and TEDDY LONG. They gonna bring it at Fall
Brawl, in a Submission Match against Scott Norton. Seriously, this is STILL
going?!? Gene throws out “hey Teddy, great haircut” and Long, without breaking,
nods and says “thank you!”
KURASAWA vs. ICE TRAIN (with Teddy Long)
Train and Kurasawa trade
chops for awhile, before Train grows bored and turns to the hiptoss. Powerslam
gets Train jacked, and he follows with a standing splash with some air! Train
throws Kurasawa’s shoulder to the buckle, and applies an arm breaker while
screaming Norton’s name. Kurasawa won’t tap, which probably doesn’t bode well
for Train’s chances at the PPV. Train drops a leg on the arm, and applies the
cross arm breaker for the win at 2:54.
Kurasawa has never been booked weaker, and he may want to consider returning to
Japan at this point. 1/2*
MR JL vs. CHRIS JERICHO
Have I mentioned before
how giddy I get that Jerry Lynn uses the exact same music that Jerry Flynn
eventually would? Let’s see if Jericho can bust out of being a white bread
loser today, and actually accept the idea of winning a match. Jericho plants
him with a dropkick, while Tony announces they need to “pull out” for a
commercial. Ladies, I know you’re disappointed by Tony, but stick with this
recap, because I never pull out.
JL tries working
something of a half-crab when we’re back, but can’t get anything going, so he
hits a rana instead. Jericho ducks a crossbody, and hits a clothesline for 2. Jericho
hits a standing vertical suplex to show off his strength, and turns to the
chops. JL turns them around on Jericho, and hits a dropkick in the corner.
Tony, focusing on the nWo as usual, comes up with a smart idea; play out War
Games on the level, and once the entire squad is in the ring, send in everyone
from WCW to leave them in a bloody heap. If he didn’t announce it on TV in
front of the world, I’d call this brilliant. Meanwhile, Jericho hits a bulldog
off the apron that leaves JL dizzy. He rolls back in gingerly, where Jericho
meets him with a backdrop, followed by a senton backsplash. Up to the top, JL
dropkicks him off and to the floor, and follows behind with a plancha off the
buckle! Back in, JL rolls Jericho up, but it’s only 2. A back elbow drops
Jericho, and JL follows with a missile dropkick for a VERY close 2. Jericho
manages to fight out of something, hitting a fisherman’s buster, and he
finishes with the Lionsault at 6:52.
**1/2
THE NASTY BOYS vs. THE STEINER BROTHERS
Rick Steiner comes out
from the Star Trek doors getting beaten up by both Nastys. The backstage camera
shows that Scotty is laid out backstage. It should come as no surprise that
your referee here is NICK PATRICK.
Rick fights both guys with as many punches and suplexes as he can muster. HARLEM HEAT, with COLONEL ROBERT PARKER and SISTA
SHERRI
all rush the ring, bringing the fight right to the Nastys. The bell
is rung as a shmoz, but nothing ever officially started this. I’d be fine if
they retired the tag-team belts at this point, I’m sick of all these teams.
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND grabs Sherri and Parker in the locker room. The
Colonel says he hasn’t slept well in a week since the Nastys attacked Sherri,
and today, it starts. Parker offers the Nastys a job on his ranch, slaggin’ pig
slop.
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. BILLY KIDMAN
The arrows could not be
pointing harder at DDP as an nWo guy at this point. He managed both Hall and
Nash. He had a mysterious benefactor that got him back on his feet (Ted
DiBiase?). Someone is helping the nWo in and out of the building. DDP has never
been seen during any of the carnage. Nick Patrick referees most of his matches;
albeit not this one (hi Mark Curtis!). He’s ALMOST as suspicious as that darn
Ultimate Dragon. Oh, there’s a match, yes. Kidman hits a springboard crossbody
and nearly scores an upset. DDP whips Kidman into the corner, and is right
behind with a shoulderblock to the midsection. A pumphandle backbreaker gets
DDP excited, but no one’s there to give him a rating out of 10. There’s been a
real emptiness to Page since Kimberly left him for Johnny B Badd, who is of
course leading the WCW version of the nWo in the WWF. Kidman manages a tornado
bulldog, and comes off the top with a crossbody, but DDP finds a Diamond Cutter
for the win at 4:02. He gives
himself a self-high-five after the match. Good man! **
Back in the locker room, “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND grabs a word with
DDP, who is still insisting he’s the Battlebowl Champion. DDP says if Eddie isn’t
man enough to take the ring, then he doesn’t deserve the title as champion.
Gene asks about the whereabouts of the ring, but Page claims he has no idea.
Page calls the Guerreros a bunch of zeroes. No monkey? I’m let down.
Double Gene-o segment,
with JIMMY HART and KEVIN SULLIVAN. Sullivan insists on
interviewing Gene. He again repeats that if everyone had listened to him a year
and a half ago, we’d have no problems today. On that note, isn’t Gene the guy
who’s travelled with him through every major event of Hogan’s career? Wasn’t he
leading the ticker tape parade? Didn’t he idolize him? Gene admits it. Sullivan
mentions that Gene sells that he has inside scoops to the nWo to promote his
hotline, and suggests that Gene is not only still buddies with Hogan, but part
of the nWo. Gene freaks out and demands to talk to the Taskmaster, and NOT Johnny
Cochran. Sullivan tells the fans that the only person to blame for Hogan today
is Gene.
“HARDWORK” BOBBY WALKER vs. SCOTT NORTON
According to Tony, Ice
Train and Walker are close friends. I suspect it’s because they have a lot in
common, if you catch my drift. (It’s the fact they both love Hard Work!) Norton
wraps his giant arms around Walker’s melon, and chokes him in the ropes while
trash talking the entire time. However, he misses a blind charge, and Walker
springboards up, comes off the top … doing absolutely nothing in the process. Literally,
he jumped and landed behind Norton. No surprise we move to the shoulderbreaker
followed by a cross armbreaker at 3:48.
Same move as Ice Train. That should help sell the 40th rematch at
Fall Brawl between those two. DUD
After a sell-job for Fall
Brawl, “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND welcomes
NICK PATRICK. This is turning into a
witch-hunt, at this point Patrick has nothing to lose by going nWo because
nobody trusts him anyway. Gene admits, if it wasn’t for himself, it’s possible
that nobody talks about his mistakes – but he’s tired of all these “little
mistakes”. Patrick reminds Gene that he has been cleared by WCW for every indiscretion,
and outside of Gene and Dusty, nobody else has been levying these ugly
accusations. Patrick brings up that Gene has long ties to the Outsiders. Gene
tells him they’re not here to talk about himself, but about Patrick. Patrick
says he drives a 94 American made car, and lives in a $125,000 house. Gene says
he saw Patrick in some Armani clothing. Patrick in turn mentions Gene was
driving a red Mercedes earlier. Gene: “That’s a rental car, pal!” Patrick: “Sure
it is.” Patrick is playing his role to a tee, who knew the referee could be so
dynamic?
THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW
WORLD ORDER
It’s Hogan alone in a
room with a giant inflatable globe, which he’s kicking around because the nWo
have taken over the world. He brags about the nWo belt, poses with a baseball
bat, and calls it a “home run”. He spray paints out a WCW log (“World Crybabies
Wrestling”), and vows to leave Sting stung. “You gotta change with the times,
man.” Hogan says you have to take what you want, bond for business. Because
anything less, would be uncivilized.
COBRA and SGT CRAIG PITTMAN (with Teddy Long) vs. THE
FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart)
Meng tells it like it is
on the way to the ring: “Hawwwwf … mawchu maw maw”. The lousy Cobra attacks
Meng before the bell, and Pittman joins in. Hart screams “THIS AIN’T A HANDICAP
MATCH, REF DO SOMETHING!” – but thankfully Meng can take care of himself and he
stomps Cobra in the face. He might need some make-up to cover the mess that
probably made, he should look in to some face paint. Sting would be a good
person to speak to. Barbarian takes Pittman to the floor with a Cactus
clothesline. Back in, Meng punches away but Pittman no sells because his head
is just that hard. I’d love to watch these two have a headbutting contest, it
might go on for days. The savages hit a double headbutt off the corners, but
Cobra saves. A legdrop misses, and Pittman hits an atomic drop that allows him
enough time to tag Cobra. Dropkicks for everyone! Until Meng gives him some
Sweet Chin Music for the win at 4:37.
*
“LORD” STEVEN REGAL (with Jeeves) vs. LEX LUGER
(for the WCW world television title)
NICK PATRICK is assigned to this match. Fans chant USA, which sends Regal into a
white hot rage – shame on you American fans, trying to throw a real sportsman
off his game. Luger hits a back elbow, and roars, which makes Regal’s eyes pop
out of his head. Back to their feet, Regal tries to wring the arm, but Luger
puts him in a headlock. Luger hits a backslide for 2, and hits a pair of
armdrags which sends Regal out to take a powder (and insult a couple of
cameramen). Back in, they wind up in a test of strength, which ends on the
ground where Luger stomps on the hands. Regal holds them like they’re on fire,
blowing on them and begging off. They lock back up, Regal is powered to the
corner and immediately starts screaming “BREAK REF, BREAK!” As soon as Luger
releases, he gets a thumb to the eye, and Regal goes mental with a flurry of
punches and kicks, along with a lecture, Sunshine. A double knee to the face
drops Lex, but doesn’t finish much to Regal’s ire. A blind charge gets a Luger
kick to the face, and Regal is staggering like he’s just emerged from the pub
after a few dozen Guinness’s. A vertical suplex looks to finish, but Regal gets
his foot on the rope. Regal goes back to what works, with another thumb to the
eye, but this time Luger swings wildly with a clothesline and Regal hits the
floor. Luger follows, and that draws in THE
OUTSIDERS
from the crowd!!! They throw Luger shoulder first to the
ringpost! Back in, Regal rolls Luger in, and scores the pin at 7:40!!!!! REGAL WINS! REGAL WINS!!!!
NEW CHAMPION!!!!!!! Dusty immediately starts asking whether or not Regal is
part of the nWo, but there’s no time to think about it because we head to the
back. ***
Regal reminds Tony
Schiavone that he promised weeks ago there would be change coming, and exactly
as he stated, if Luger started bouncing his pecks around he’d rip his shoulders
off his frame. He says that Nick Patrick is a wonderful referee, and promises
to take the title all over the world, unlike Hogan or Flair who wait for people
to come to them. He promises to defend with honor and pride. He will go to
wrestle in the sandpits of India, or beat up any champion in Japan, because
this title will remain his as long as he “bloody well wants it to”. Tony has
enough and calls for the end of the show. I don’t see why, Regal just wants to
be a fighting champion. Shame on the biased announcers.

Worldwide tomorrow!

On This Day: WCW Worldwide – August 25, 1996

Guys, I know you have
been waiting ALL WEEK since I spoiled at the tail end of last week’s edition
that both Maxx AND High Voltage would be here. I don’t want to leave you
salivating for these huge appearances any longer.
TONY SCHIAVONE and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN
welcome us to Disney. And they waste NO time in setting us up for our opening
match, which could main event any arena in the country!

THE ROCK N ROLL EXPRESS vs. SOUTHERN POSSE
I am fairly sure this is
the first appearance of Southern Posse, which is made up of Bill Payne and
Butch Long. Singles matches have not been kind to these two – so let’s see how
they fare against the former tag-team champs. Morton single-handedly whoops
both members of the Posse, but he grows bored and goes to Gibson. We have some
heel miscommunication, and Gibson works over Long. Morton throws a running
elbow while Long is perched on the shoulders of Gibson, and gets 2. Payne trips
up Morton, and uses an assisted moonsault to get 2. Long comes back in, and
Payne slams him onto Morton with a legdrop for 2! Tony and Heenan start talking
about cheating in the match. Heenan: “You know a lot about cheating don’t you
Tony? You’ve had 8 very successful marriages.” Long misses a top rope legdrop,
and Morton makes the hot tag to Gibson who cleans house. An enzuigiri flattens
Payne, and a double dropkick scores the win at 5:06. Even against these losers (who gelled quite well actually),
the RnR can’t help but follow the usual script. **
MAXX (with Jimmy Hart) vs. TODD MORTON
There’s something kind of
spectacular about a show that features jobbers whose gimmicks are to rip off
old stars of the past, except that the person he’s impersonating appeared in
the LAST MATCH. Even Bobby can’t ignore this fact, by pointing out that he
looks like Ricky, but is of no relation. Also, he’s a “ham and egger”, Bobby’s
not-so code word for jobber. They’re not even pretending to be trying at this
point. Of course, that’s made clear the minute RON THE LEPRECHAUN starts running around the ring, and gnaws at the
leg of the cameraman before returning to wherever he came from. No continuation
of his ongoing feud with Todd? SHAME, WCW! Maxx wins with the full nelson at 2:25. Bobby shamefully compares this
goon to Ken Patera. DUD
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is joined by Hart and BIG BUBBER. Maxx can’t even get interview time. I think it’s time
to find a new stable, geez. Bubba calls Hogan the mastermind behind the nWo. Is
this actually a topic of conversation, trying to deduce who’s behind it all? Do
you figure Sting and Luger having late night conversations in their hotel room
while staring at the ceiling unable to sleep, trying to put their finger on who
came up with the nWo idea? That’s quickly brushed aside, the real story is that
Bubba wants his picture on Jimmy’s tie. Jimmy promises the whole sportscoat.
We’ll need to keep our eyes on this story.
JIM POWERS vs. MANNY FERNANDEZ
From what pits of jobber
hell did THIS emerge from? Is the match ever going to end if neither guy is
paid to win? This has the potential to make Chris Hero look like he lacks
stamina. Tony calls Powers a “great addition to WCW!” Christ, next he’ll be
selling Joe Gomez as “one upset away from being a World Champion!” Fernandez
hits a forward Russian legsweep – that’s PROBABLY his move – but Powers kicks
out at 2. Powers slams him head first to the buckle 10 times, and the fans
count-a-long because that’s what the sign told them to do. Powerslam gets the
win for Powers at 3:13. 1/2*
HIGH VOLTAGE vs. PRINCE IAUKEA and LEROY HOWARD
Rage promises to bring
it, Powerplant Style. I kind of love the idea of a Powerplant invasion. Braun the
Leprechaun leads the charge of High Voltage, Kanyon, Lodi, The Renegade, David
Flair, and Chuck Palumbo as WCW’s Saviors against the nWo. In fact, why ISN’T
this exactly what’s happening? Friggin’ Luger and Sting aren’t doing much good,
it’s time to try anything. Heenan compares Iaukea to a Chia Pet, and complains
about the lack of shoes. Tony points out that Jimmy Snuka also worked without shoes.
Heenan: “Of course not, he couldn’t afford them!” Leroy Howard might be the
blackest of black names that the man could come up with – but it wasn’t racist
enough for ol’ Leroy, no sir. He’d go on to work on the indy circuit as
“Rastaman” and “Black Navy Seal”. WCW really should have used him as a key part
of their defense against Sonny Onoo’s lawsuit, by pointing out they refused to
let him work as Black Navy Seal. Sure, that was negated the minute they allowed
GI Bro, but I digress. No, I REALLY don’t want to recap this match, and I
won’t. Howard nearly kills Kaos when Rage clips him in the middle of a
powerslam, so he just drops him on his head instead. A springboard Hart Attack
finishes at 6:56. *
Meanwhile, HUGH MORRUS has been granted a little
interview time with “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND
who is cleaning the dandruff off Gene’s shoulders. Gene tries laughing along
with him, but Morrus gives him the stink eye. This continues throughout the
interview. Okerlund asks Morrus if he gets along with Sullivan, and Morrus
starts laughing which sets Okerlund off and Morrus gets pissed at him asking
what the hell he finds so funny? Gene apologizes. Morrus pats him down and
tells him maybe they’ll see each other later, which gets Gene to relax, and
promise no more liberties with levity. I wish I could link to this interview,
my words are not doing justice to how great this was.
THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart) vs. THE NASTY
BOYS
If you like the Dungeon
of Doom, you’ll love this edition of the show. NICK PATRICK is your referee, and with the controversy surrounding
the Nasty’s loyalties, maybe we’ll get some answers. Or not, it’s frickin’
Worldwide. Meng and Knobbs start, and we got CLUBBERIN’ TONY! Of course,
Dusty’s not here, but I’m trying to pinch hit. Saggs jumps in for the double
team, and everything’s throwing fists! Saggs headbutts Meng in the pooter, and
with Knobbs they run him over with a clothesline. Barbarian comes in for some
reason, despite no tag, and he gets clotheslined. They regroup, where Hart gives
them words of wisdom: “WE ARE THE DUNGEON OF DOOM! OOKA BACKA! OOKA BACKA!”
Back in, the Nastys hit a beautiful chop block / clothesline combo on
Barbarian, and Saggs works the leg like he’s Ric Flair or something. RON THE LEPRECHAUN makes another appearance,
this time to bite Jimmy Hart before disappearing again. Heenan: “We need to get
him to lay off the Maxwell House.” Somewhere in that, Meng came in and now he’s
clotheslining the last tooth out of Saggs’ head. Both teams spill to the floor,
but nothing develops. Tony starts trying to figure out where Nastyville is,
eventually settling on the fact that it’s a place in their mind – that the ring
is Nastyville, and wherever they are, as long as they are brawling, they’re
home. Let’s get Sigmund out of the booth, hmmm? Tony calls out Bobby on his
Nasty Boys hate, by asking “they’re not on your Christmas card list, are they?”
Bobby smartly replies: “Are they on yours?” and Tony is stuck tripping over his
hypocrisy with a meek “well, we’re not that close!” Meng slams Saggs, but
misses the follow up elbowdrop and in come Knobbs to clean house. Of course,
the only selling Meng’s ever done is for David Maus Toyota, so the hot tag is pointless. Hart winds up
causing a distraction, and Meng tosses Knobbs over the top for the STUPID over
the top DQ at 8:58. They haven’t
called that rule in months, what the hell WCW? Faces of Fear kill Saggs with
the double swandive headbutt, just to remind us they’ve been the best thing in
the tag-team division for the last year. *1/2

Tony signs us off,
without even a reminder to watch Nitro. Which is good, because my recap on that
one is LIKELY to be late since I’m headed to the New York State Fair Tuesday.
Assuming I re-enter Canada without the assistance of an Ambulance after
consuming 3-weeks worth of calories and more transfats than anyone should put
back in a lifetime – then I’ll be back with that on Thursday.

On This Day: WCW Saturday Night – August 24, 1996

I have a full edition of
WCW Saturday Night this week, and it’s going to be one of the most trying
recaps I’ve done since I started this project nearly 2 years ago. The video
quality of this show appears to have been recorded over a VHS tape that had
been used to record daily episodes of Another World for mom, before eventually
being deemed as unwatchable, and THEN passed down to little Jimmy (shout out
Ron-Truth!) to record his wrestling programs. Only after it was gnawed on by a
pitbull. This is worse than any episode of WCW Prime.

Making matters even
better, we are joined in progress featuring a match between …
ROUGH & READY vs. THE RENEGADE and MIKE WINNER
Winner is sporting a
killer pornstache. Has Winner been given clearance from the workers Union to
work with outside interests? And how do Chris Kanyon and Mark Starr feel about
this? NICK PATRICK is refereeing
this one – perhaps HE’S the evil influence that caused Mike Winner to scab. Or
perhaps this is all a red herring to distract us from the fact that the
Renegade sure seemed chummy with Joe Gomez, Jim Powers, and Alex Wright a few
weeks back on Nitro
, posing for gay calendar ads. Thankfully, Dusty Rhodes
decides that this match isn’t really worth our time by pointing out there is
nothing at stake in this match, and the outcome isn’t in question (he’s team
Rough and Ready). So he does as WCW is wont to do, and talks about the nWo. A
double spike piledriver finishes Winner at 4:23
of what aired. Dusty sums up the match: “The bottom line on this, is that
Nick Patrick is on the take.”
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND wastes his time to talk to these losers. Enos
vows revenge on Colonel Parker, and “uhhhhh … DO I HAVE TO SAY IT?!?” Yes, he
successfully forgot Sista Sherri’s name. Gene quickly ends this disaster.
Meanwhile, TONY SCHIAVONE decides to get the hard
answers from NICK PATRICK concerning
his recent actions where the nWo are concerned. Patrick says he’s been a WCW
employee for 8 years, and wonders why his integrity is suddenly being
questioned now? Tony says he thinks Hogan gave up at the Clash, and Patrick
admits that’s the real controversy. Patrick is sick to death of Gene Okerlund’s
accusations, and thinks that WCW needs to keep a close eye on HIM since he’s an
outsider himself. All valid points.
“HARDWORK” BOBBY WALKER vs. “LORD” STEVEN REGAL
(with Jeeves)
Walker is now using “Not
Eye of the Tiger”. He remains directionless as Sting has not embraced the STANG
gimmick just yet. Walker dances around with his fast feet, and Regal
hilariously tries to keep up before just walking away in disgust. They lock up,
which only serves to get Walker lectured from the superior Brit. Fans chant
USA, in a nice twist, it’s a completely appropriate time. Regal applies the
headscissors to Walker, but he uses his athleticism to stand on his head and
kip up straight from the mat. Regal responds by not giving a shit, and threatens
to beat up the fans with his massive fists instead of paying any kind of
attention to this match. He’d do well as an announcer. Thumb to the eye sets up
a European uppercut. Walker dodges a charge, and hits a slingshot headscissors
takeover which causes this well-worn VHS tape to lose all audio and most of the
picture. Through the fog, I make out a missed corner senton from Walker, and
Regal scoring the pin off that at 3:38.
The post-match interview is completely muted thanks to father time and his
miserable EP dub. *
“SQUIRE” DAVID TAYLOR (with Jeeves) vs. LEX LUGER
(for the WCW world television title)
This is Luger’s first TV
title defense in forever. He fought Riggs on the July 29th edition
of Prime, and I couldn’t tell you whether or not that match was for the belt.
The last certain documented match I have is from the July
15th Nitro
, and I would be willing to bet we can count his title
defenses on one hand since he took the belt from the MIA Johnny B Badd back in
the early spring. Dave Taylor would be an excellent place to start anew. The
volume of European uppercuts on a per-show basis would rise at a previously
uncharted rate. I’m giddy just thinking about this. And lo and behold, my man
Taylor takes the lead with a European uppercut, but then he succumbs to his
biggest weakness … the lack of a follow up move. Luger rallies with a
clothesline, but Taylor kicks him in the face and heads up. OMG! HERE IT COMES!
SWANDIVE … NO – Luger moves, and Racks Taylor at 2:46. To hell with you, Lex Luger. DUD
THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY
THE NEW WORLD ORDER:
New promo! Hogan’s
wearing an old school Hogan ballcap, which he symbolically rips off to show off
his new Hollywood do-rag. He’s found a Hogan foam finger, and spray-paints over
the WCW belt on that. Hogan promises not just 4 guys at Wargames, but 5. And to
close, he rips off the Right Guard commercial, by holding up the spray paint
and stating “anything less would be uncivilized”.
Oh hi – our announcers
are TONY SCHIAVONE and DUSTY RHODES. You’ll be pleased to know
they are alive and well. Dusty talks about the time he had his leg broken
inside War Games, and he had to be air lifted out of the arena. Don’t be
shocked, Dusty’s favorite topic is Dusty.
BULL NAKANO (with Sonny Onoo) vs. MADUSA
I don’t know why they
decided to book the entire women’s division to compete in this one match, but
let’s see if they are able to make it work. Sonny trips up Madusa, and Nakano
beats her down with the nunchucks while the referee feeds it to Sonny. Nakano
throws Madusa around by the hair for awhile, before hitting the Leaning Tower
for 2. Nakano bites Madusa’s head, and gives her a vertical suplex for 2.
Nakano manages to somehow apply a standing bow and arrow while keeping a
Sharpshooter locked, but Madusa won’t tap because apparently her joints are
made of the iPhone6, and can’t be broken. Outside the ring, Nakano whips Madusa
into the ringsteps, and heads back in to finish. Madusa tries a sunset flip,
but Nakano just Banzai’s her for 2. Nakano heads up, but Madusa whips her off
the top with a standing headscissors. Thankfully, Nakano is finally able to
finish with a powerbomb and gets the pin with her feet on the ropes at 4:07. **
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND welcomes in the Japanese contingency. Gene asks
for Sonny’s thoughts on the nWo. Sonny: “Nippon Wrestling Organization?” Gene
asks about his deep pockets, Sonny figures he might buy California next. He
wants all the belts, but says he’ll start with the Women’s Title (women’s
title?!?). Nakano says something, which Sonny translates is that Bull
understands she submits to Japanese men and should be at home cooking. Gene: “Have
you ever sampled her, uhh, home cooking?” Fantastic segue, Gene-o.
THE ULTIMATE DRAGON (with Sonny Onoo) vs. MR. JL
I had no idea JL was
still kicking around at this point. He nails Dragon with a rana and kicks him
to the floor. Back in, JL goes to finish with a Vertabreaker (whoa!!!), but
Dragon slips aside … and it’s noticed at this point that NICK PATRICK is the referee as Sonny trips up JL right in front of
him. Dragon goes up to finish but he gets a foot to the throat on his way down.
Dragon retaliates with a spinning heel kick sending JL to the floor, and a
swinging baseball slide sets up a plancha. Back in, a super rana gets 2! JL
hits a German suplex with a bridge, but that only gets 2. He misses a dive, and
Dragon ties him up with La Majistral. Dragon suplex finishes at 4:33. ** You know, if DDP wasn’t such
an obvious candidate, I’d be fully on board with the Ultimate Dragon as the nWo’s
4th man theory.
Meanwhile, back inside
the Dungeon of Doom, JIMMY HART is
being introduced to HUGH MORRUS by KEVIN SULLIVAN. I’m sorry, we’re supposed
to believe he doesn’t know the man he’s been managing for a year? Then,
Sullivan lines up the FACES OF FEAR,
and declares this the most dominant group in the history of all things. Gotta
admire his ambition.
HIGH VOLTAGE, JIM POWERS, and JOE GOMEZ vs. THE
DUNGEON OF DOOM (with Jimmy Hart)
Sullivan, Fear, and Bubba
are your Dungeon members tonight. NICK
PATRICK
is your referee here. RON
THE LEPRECHAUN
runs around ringside, bites Jimmy Hart in the ass, and
rushes to the back. I think Braun and I are just about finished. The announcers
talk up his match from WCW Main Event last week. Meanwhile, Barbarian is moving
around the ring with the speed of a luchadore, and pretty much taking care of
business all by himself. Kaos takes a pretty nasty powerbomb from Barbarian,
and Bubba finishes with the Bossman slam at 3:21. * Barbarian had been a quiet star for the last couple of
months now.
KONNAN vs. MARK STARR
Folks, it’s a historic
day in WCW history. After months of operating alone, Konnan has embraced the
double N! I remain exceptionally frustrated by Men Not At Work, who apparently
do NOT understand that team work triumphs over personal gain. Of course, their
combined 0-192 record this year as singles wrestlers back me up, and there WAS
that time Men At Work got a win and I was happy, and then Konnan does some
ridiculous(ly stupid) headscissors thing for the pin at 1:33. DUD
DEAN MALENKO vs. RIC FLAIR (with Woman and
Elizabeth, and NOT Debra McMichael even though Dave Penzer announces her) (for
the WCW United States title)
Now THIS is a fighting
champion! He’s defended his title more frequently in the 6 weeks he’s held this
belt than Luger has in 6 months, take note Flexy Lex. Deano starts with a
series of takedowns that have Flair running around lost – but Ric eventually
finds his bearings and styles as only he can. Malenko dropkicks Flair, which
sends him to the floor to kill a little time. They trade hammerlocks which Ric
loses, and he finds himself locked in a headlock with nowhere to go. Malenko
breaks and backdrops Flair, who begs for mercy … and pokes Dean in the eye!
That starts a series of deliberate knife edges, but Malenko punches out and
Flair flops. A dropkick misses when Flair hooks the ropes, and Flair goes for
the figure four, but Malenko hooks the leg and packages Flair for 2. Dean slaps
on an abdominal stretch, and turns that into a backslide for 2. Flair tosses
Malenko to the floor, and goes for a piledriver on the cement(!), but Dean is
able to backdrop him – thankfully sparing his neck. Back in, Flair goes up …
ooh Ric, you fool. The inevitable happens, and then Malenko goes for a
springboard dropkick but he misses by a half inch and lands on his knee. Still,
he shakes it off and nails a missile dropkick off the top. A backdrop sets up
the Cloverleaf, but Woman is quick to claw his eyes while the referee is
checking on Ric – and Naitch kicks him to the floor. CHRIS BENOIT rushes down while Woman keeps the referees eyes
elsewhere, and he snap suplexes Malenko on the floor. Malenko is rolled in, and
Flair puts his feet on the ropes cuz that’s how he rolls, and the champ retains
at 7:30. *** That was fun.
And apparently that’s it,
cuz after a replay, Tony sends us off the air. Well that’s rude and abrupt! I
didn’t even get to say goodbye to Gene!

See you for Worldwide.

Question of the Day: Best matches/moments witnessed live

Just a question for you and the blog: What are the best matches or moments everyone has witnessed live? It could be something historical or something that was important to you as a fan. 

​Wait, can you relate that to some sort of overly-personal freaky sex thing to better fit with the Question of the Day motif?  This seems too on-topic somehow. 

Promo of the Day: Midnight Express vs Frank and Jesse James

Came across this on You Tube.  Dennis Condrey asking Jim Cornette " Do you know who this is" while in an arm bar was great. Whatever became of the mysterious James brothers?

They changed their name to the Armstrong Brothers?  We will literally never have a way to find out who were under the masks anyway, so it's kind of a moot point.  I mean, the detective work needed to penetrate those disguises would bankrupt Scotland Yard.  

A Question For A (Slow) Day: Mount Rushmore of Wrestling

That’s not Brother Love. Honest

Good news! I’m back to getting e-mails typically sent to Scott that are good topics for the blog, and with today being a kind of slow day, I figured I’d drop one of them now.

Scott,Who do you think should be the Mount Rushmore of wrestling? I am biased because I am from the U.S. and do not know much about international wrestling.  Here is my list: Gotch, Thesz, Gagne, Sammartino, Andre the Giant, Hogan, Flair, and Cena.

Well, person who e-mailed Scott and gets me instead, I should start off by noting that there are only four faces on Mount Rushmore, and you’ve listed 8 names, so I am unsure if you’re really American.

That said, lets take a look at who the ACTUAL Mount Rushmore people are, and why they’re there:

1. George Washington – Our commanding general during the American Revolution and an American Hero, despite technically having a losing record in battle. The First president of the United States, hater of cherry trees, and possessor of false teeth.

Much like George Washington, Bruno Sammartino was THE pioneer of Professional Wrestling. For all intents and purposes, modern history books start *here* when it comes to ‘name’ status among professional wrestlers. Like Washington, he didn’t raise the bar or change the game, he more-or-less created it.

2. Thomas Jefferson – wrote the Declaration of independence, was something of a ladies man, and had a heated and bitter, but mutually respectful feud with John Adams. Certainly an important American figure with a kind of…seedy personal life.

Bret Hart figuratively wrote the declaration of Independence for Professional Wrestling. It was through him, and Stu Hart’s dungeon of doom that the idea of the 6’5 300 pound muscle-head wrestler stopped being the only game in town. Bret was a technician and worked fast-paced matches that were a breath of fresh air to the kind of ‘methodical’ pacing of the Main event Scene. Toss in his rivalry with Shawn Michaels, and what they both meant to professional wrestling as a whole, and you need to have the excellence of execution on that mountain.

3. Teddy Roosevelt – Has a passion for trees, forests, nature, and all things wildlife – especially when he gets to hunt and kill the wildlife. Known for openly complaining that American Men were losing touch with their ruggedness, once proclaiming they “were becoming too office-bound, too complacent, too comfortable with physical ease and moral laxity, and were failing in their duties to propagate the race and exhibit masculine vigor.

Stone Cold Steve Austin is our 13 year old selves turned up to 400. Loud mouthed, ribald, itching for a fight, beer drinkin’, cussin’, flippin the finger, huntin’ drivin’ big fucking machines like forklifts, buses, zambonies, and office chairs, pro wrestling’s quintessential ‘man’ is Stone Cold Steve Austin, who captured the “id” of wrestling fans, and regular people, across the globe. Plus his podcast is dedicated to the ‘workin’ man, which is what Teddy R. was all about, too. 

4. Abraham Lincoln – The man who freed the slaves, won the civil war, and got popped in the back of the head by a mad man because reasons.. Interestingly enough, Mr. Lincoln was a wrestler back in his day. How he managed to do all this while secretly killing vampires, who knows. 

Jesus. Who freed wrestling’s slaves? Who fought a civil war and won? Who fought vampires, ran for office, and had his life and career tragically cut short? Eddie Guerrero.

When Eddie beat Brock Lesnar for the world title, it seemed like finally anything was possible in the WWE. While Jericho was the first ‘undisputed’ champion, his reign felt luke-warm at best – despite going over Austin and The Rock in the same night. But Eddie, with a pinfall over Brock Lesnar and a World Title, freed the proverbial ‘vanilla midget’ slaves. The guys we grew up idolizing who seemed to get buried again and again – Jericho, Eddie, Benoit, Rob Van Dam, were finally equal in the eyes of the WWE Management – with the true validation coming at that years Wrestlemania, where two wrestlers we knew and loved and rooted for, embraced in the main event, clutching their World Titles.

And while Eddie never fought vampires, he fought demons, and unfortunately they took their toll on the man’s larger-than-life heart.

———————-

There’s my votes for Wrestling’s Mount Rushmore, based on who’s already on the mountain, and why. I may have a few details wrong because I did a tiny bit of research but not a lot, and I’m up for debate.

Remember: hit me up at [email protected], follow me on
twitter @MeekinOnMovies, or find me on Facebook – Facebook.com/pmeekin if you’re a social media type – and check out HollywoodChicago.com if you want to read my game reviews.

Klassic Kayfabe-Killing Video of the Day: NWA Behind the Bash 88 part 1

For those who’ve never seen it, this is a very famous home video shot by Jimmy Garvin backstage during the Bash 88 tour with the Crockett crew fucking around and performing while being on what can only be charitably described as a very concerning amount of blow.  It’s a far cry from the video games and script rehearsals of today’s shows.