WCW Worldwide: January 16, 1993

I’ve finally managed to get Worldwide back in the rotation – and not a moment too soon! Z-Man! Johnny Gunn! Nothing but the biggest names on the planet!

TONY SCHIAVONE and JESSE VENTURA welcome us to an actual arena in Alabama. Tony’s displaying a quality part on the mid-right side of his head, with the kind of precision that lets you know, yes, this is the 90’s. PAUL ORNDORFF saunters on camera, and he starts screaming about Rick Rude’s injury. He apparently knows exactly what needs to be done. And what needs doing? Whether it’s Milwaukee, or Philadelphia, he’s going to have a match with Steeng. What of Atlanta? St. Louis? Murfreesboro? Does “Steeng” not work those territories?

Read moreWCW Worldwide: January 16, 1993

WCW Worldwide: February 23, 1997

I set up a web form on KickOfFear.com, in the hopes that if there is ever any urgent news that needs to come my way, that you used it responsibly. Thankfully, mature readers like veteran keen-eyed BigDaddyLoco knew exactly the kind of critical, news-worthy information that I’m always on the lookout for:  Maybe you already know about this, but I just found out it existed today http://www.amazon.com/Craig-Pittman-WWE-Wrestling-Figure/dp/B000LXXA3U
BigDaddy, it pains me to say that my in-laws, who reside in Florida for 6 months a year are leaving on Monday, because this would all but certainly be coming home with them. Unfortunately, I’m a man of meager income, and the outrageous international shipping + customs is preventing us from being together. Despite its clear long-term collectors-value, there is absolutely zero chance anything with that much entertainment value would stay locked behind its plastic prison any longer. No sir, it would join my TV side Money in the Bank set, where he would lie permanently on his back beneath the toes of CM Punk, except for when my nephews visit, during which time it would reside in the 2-year old’s mouth.

Of course, this e-mail DID prompt me to see what Canada had to offer in the obscure wrestling action figure world. And … you know, sometimes, pictures (and price tags) are going to do this a whole lot more justice than my words, so have at it. http://www.amazon.ca/Kevin-Sullivan-Wrestling-Action-Figure/dp/B000M7RL4Y
Superbrawl might be hours away, but it doesn’t stop all the top stars from coming out to Disney MGM! Akira Hokuto! Kaoru! Ciclope!
“SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN” is pacing around the studio to the annoyance of TONY SCHIAVONE. But, he’s only doing it so that he can get into the same mindset as Hogan, working himself into an anxiety attack with Roddy Piper on the horizon.
MR. JL (0-7-0) vs. HORACE BOULDER (WCW debut)
JL has completely changed his look, basically looking like the other half of a Spy vs Spy mission with Top Gunn. Horace is making his debut in the company, but he brings with him some deep family ties. We could be in for a lot of Horace, if his cousin Mike Awesome starts flaunting his political powers. Of course, first he’ll have to do something about that hair.
I positively love the controlled studio audience of Disney MGM, because the fans stand up en masse, giving Horace the thumbs down and booing like crazy. The man hasn’t even debuted or given you a reason to hate him, and the fans have universally rejected him. And you know what? I’m with them. Horace sucks! He tosses JL around for awhile, until JL gets some comical offense, including a slam that looks like it throws his back out. Horace decides to stop selling it after a few seconds, and plans JL with a German suplex. A Scorpion Deathdrop is followed by a superplex, and Horace wins at 3:04. *
Armstrong gets in the first blow, and that’s all he’s getting. A standing vertical suplex gets 2, while Tony grills Heenan about his relationship with the nWo for the 40th week in a row. As usual, Heenan stands his ground that he won’t join their group until Hogan’s gone. I admire Heenan’s consistency; even after Hogan turned his back on the company, Heenan refused to toe the usual heel commentary line, and stuck to his lifelong hatred of the man. A tornado bulldog gets a 2 count. Armstrong tries a slam, and winds up eating a spinning heel kick. A Lionsault sets up a missile dropkick, and Jericho continues to roll at 4:26. *1/2
I’ve got to assume Dale Hunter is this guy’s real name, because I can’t find any information on him, and using that name in the mid-90’s is completely ridiculous (even if it IS the South). I look forward to the soon to debut, completely original characters, Hakeem Olajuwon, Amani Toomer, and Kenny Dykstra. Psychosis tries to finish immediately with a hard dropkick, but Hunter kicks out at 2. Dale misses a roar elbow, and Psychosis flies in with a lightning fast spinning heel kick. A missile dropkick gets 2, and Hunter’s had enough of that, hitting a clothesline. A pumphandle slam is followed by a one fingered cover. This dude has a little moxie. Hunter lays one “directly into a bowl of Mrs. Guerrero’s chili”, while Heenan questions why no one ever bothers turning the mask around to blind the guy. Hunter somehow misses a flying jalapeno, going right OVER Psychosis’ head, but he’s a pro and sells it anyway. Then he immediately shrugs it off and finishes with a corkscrew senton at 3:28. Psychosis was on his game tonight, everything was crisp and sharp. **
MEIKO SATOMURA and SONOKO KATO vs. AKIRA HOKUTO and KAORU (1-0-0) (with Sonny Onoo)
Is Akira ever gonna defend that belt of hers? In fact, she never even seems to carry it to the shows. I’m thinking she lost it in Japan, and hasn’t had the stones to tell WCW she had an unauthorized title match. The Board of Directors might have a conniption if they catch wind of that one; and given all they do around the clock, maybe it’s best to keep them in the dark. At least until it’s dumped in the trash on RAW. Team Evil destroys the teenagers in a completely one-sided beatdown that’s met with crazy mad canned heat. Of course the actual fans seem to be more engaged with trying to locate Wildcat Willy, but that’s Disney for you. Hokuto accidently hits Kaoru with a crossbody block, allowing the faces to … Irish whip Kaoru. No, seriously, that’s it, they whipped her into the ropes, and immediately took a double missile dropkick from Hokuto. Moonsault from Kaoru finishes at 2:36. The heels refuse to stop, having far too much fun, so MADUSA saunters down to ringside and tells Hokuto she has a problem with her. A (completely embarrassing) slapping fight breaks out, so Sonny hauls his client away. Mayweather / Pacquiao it ain’t. 1/2*
My copy of this is completely shot, which I’m sure is going to disappoint the legions of readers who, like me, need to know exactly what moves were used in this very important match up from 18 years ago. I can say that it looks like Peres managed to get the job done with an X-Rated Moonsault, in roughly 4 minutes.
CICLOPE (0-2-0) vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. (6-2-2)
In one of those moments where hindsight is clear, Rey Jr. was easily the most marketable cruiserweight the company had. They’re establishing a division, so diversity is good, but turning the belt back to Malenko time and again when this guy should have been the face of it for years was a mistake. I always consider the cruiserweights one of the big “What Ifs”, because if they’d been literally separated from the heavyweights from Day 1, and been marketed the same way UFC has done so, could we have ever seen pay-per-views headlined with these guys? I genuinely don’t know the answer to that question, but I like to believe if the Cruiserweight belt had been put on par with the World Title for the lightweights, that they could have done some serious business given the right storylines.
Rey makes sure to slap the hands of every single fan in the front row, before turning his attention to the one eyed monster. Rey works a crossface (Heenan: “He’s got him by the eye!!!”), but Ciclope escapes. A vertical suplex grounds Mysterio, but a follow up tombstone attempt is turned into a rana. Rey tries a second time – this time getting launched about 9 feet in the air before belly flopping. A dropkick is followed by a DDT, but Rey kicks out at 2. A military press into a throat-first hot shot knocks the wind out of Rey, and Ciclope works a headscissors to try and get a submission. Mysterio fights loose, and ducks a clothesline, hitting a springboard moonsault for 2! A pissy Ciclope hits a nasty Doctor Bomb for 2! They move to a camel clutch, with Ciclope continuing to try and knock the man out, or at least keep him winded from performing high flying moves. Rey wiggles loose, so Ciclope puts him on the top rope, and DDT’s him half-way across the ring for 2!!! Ye gods! Ciclope poses a sec, and that’s more than enough time for Rey to hit a spinning heel kick, because you can’t take your eyes off him for a second. A two-man slide sends Ciclope to the floor, and Rey’s all over him with a springboard plancha! Back in, West Coast Pop puts an end to this at 7:16! Rey Mysterio Jr. is fantastic, probably behind only Shawn Michaels and possibly Chris Benoit amongst performers in North America at this point. As long as his smile stays intact, we should see him plenty. ***1/2
Tony covers tonight’s pay-per-view main event, explaining that in a title match, if Piper wins, he captures the gold. Oh, you mean unlike Starrcade where it was completely implicated as a bait and switch, this time they mean it? CALL YOUR CABLE OPERATOR NOW!

WCW Worldwide: February 16, 1997

Horsemen4ever: Didn’t Sledgehammer enter WCW with a record of 9-1-1?
*Standing ovation*
The Sunday Morning Wars are starting to take over the wrestling world. While the WWF has decided to run with recaps and footage of people setting up the ring for the pay-per-view tonight, WCW is loading up the shotgun and firing out some of the biggest names available today. Do you want to see Hulk Hogan? Randy Savage? Sting? The Outsiders? OF COURSE NOT! Not when Billy Kidman, Alex Wright, Mieko Satomara, and Malya Hosaka are around!
TONY SCHIAVONE and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN hype tonight’s main event; where the Faces of Fear take on Chris Benoit and Arn Anderson, who’s somehow found the strength to roll off the operating table and ignore his near-crippling career ending neck injury to compete for YOU.

BILLY KIDMAN (1-4-0) vs. JERRY FLYNN (0-3-0)
Tony: “Here’s a young man getting a lot of wins as of late!” … then to send the ridiculousness into overdrive: “Jerry Flynn’s another young man with a lot of kickboxing experience.” For god sakes he’s all of 3 years younger than “up and comer” Diamond Dallas Page. Flynn decides to go the route of not selling anything for the anorexic cruiserweight. A spinning heel kick provides him plenty of time to yell at the fans. Kidman comes back with a crossbody for 2, and Flynn immediately pops up and kicks away at Kidman’s ribs. Kidman uses some sad punches to the midsection, but they’re effective. I’ve seen kids with yellow belts block more effectively than this guy, I’m starting to think that black belt might not be on the up and up. Flynn dodges a dropkick, and the former Mensa member points to his head! Kidman dodges a spinkick, and hits a tornado bulldog for 2! Still, Flynn is dazed, and Kidman uses the Shooting Star Press, where he misses Flynn completely, coming down with his forehead directly to Flynn’s nose, and Kidman picks up his second victory of the year at 4:18. *1/2
MEIKO SATOMARA (no data in 1997) vs. MALYA HOSAKA (no data in 1997) (with Sonny Onoo)
Did Dr. Harvey Schiller walk into GAEA with an AK-47 and order everybody in the arena to sign WCW contracts? There’s like 14 new Japanese women in the company, and they only appear on the C-shows. None of them aside from Akira Hokuto get any type of press or consistent television appearances, and the only way to tell the heels from the faces is based on who Sonny Onoo is photographing.  But the good news, is that despite the completely inconsistent booking, lack of distinguishable wrestlers, or storylines, WCW will be creating a women’s cruiserweight title. The sad part about this, is that I might have to pick WCW Main Event back up to follow along with this important development, because they can’t bump an Alex Wright match from Saturday Night or anything. Satomara sports the ever stylish ladies’ hairstyle: The John Lennon. She also squeals like a banshee throughout the match, despite being the face. This is a complete and total squash for Meiko, who wins with a Frog Splash at 1:15. Tony declares this an upset, but unless it comes from Mike Tenay, I’m going to treat that comment as highly suspicious. DUD
Bobby starts railing on how ugly Mysterio is, while Tony goes to defend Mysterio by saying he’s so darn good looking he’s trying to remain incognito to stop them from literally throwing their vaginas at him as he passes through their towns. Tony: “Besides, you wouldn’t know anything about being handsome!” Bobby: “….. I beg your pardon?!?” The lads start a test of strength, but that goes about as far as a test of strength between Mysterio and Chavo would be expected to. Rey escapes a headlock to hit a springboard legdrop for 2. Chavo comes back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and heads up. His big top rope move is a 180 splash, which sounds FAR better until you realize it’s simply a guy horizontally turning mid-air. I’m assuming he perfected that move jumping into the pool as a 6-year old in a game of “hey look at this!” Rey hits the West Coast Pop out of nowhere, even though Chavo has no idea how to sell it and they awkwardly roll into the pinning spot at 3:56. Honestly, at this stage of the game, Chavo’s only a Cruiserweight by scale, and NOT by talent, because if you take away the fact he’s about 150 pounds, he’s basically a less talented Latino version of Alex Wright. He’d get way better over time, but in 1997 he’s death to watch. 1/2*
ALEX WRIGHT (7-4-0) vs. SONNY TROUT (no data in 1997)
Oh good, first the Latino Alex Wright, and now the Arian Alex Wright. Trout pounds on his shoulder, while Tony makes the mistake of asking Bobby who his favorite broadcast partner is. “Well, let’s see. I work with you here, and on Nitro. On the Main Event it’s you, and on pay-per-view it’s you … I’m sick of working with you!” Tony: “Now here’s a young man in Alex Wright who could go Cruiserweight or Heavyweight.” Bobby: “Which way do you think he should go?” Tony: “Cruiserweight actually. Where do you think he should go?” Bobby: “Home!” Wright hits a pair of European uppercuts and gets 2. A vertical suplex sets up a crossbody off the top, and Wright wins at 4:19. Bobby: “See, he can’t speak English.” Tony: “I can understand every word he just said!” Bobby: “Yeah but you’re from Marietta.” Heenan’s off the charts tonight. This match was not. DUD
THE FACES OF FEAR (3-1-1) (with Jimmy Hart) vs. ARN ANDERSON and CHRIS BENOIT (no data in 1997)
I have to figure this is Anderson’s last broadcasted match; though it was taped before his Nitro shindig with the French Canadians which was his actual Last Match. Benoit and Meng start, and Benoit rakes the eyes. Of course, he forgets that Tongans don’t have eyes, because Meng ignores the move and beats Benoit into a thick pulpy mass. Chris tries to fight back, but it’s Meng for god sakes, and one swift kick to the tooth stops that as fast as it started. Benoit tries a springboard crossbody, but Meng barely feels it as he launches Benoit on 2. Barbarian and Anderson square off next, and Arn throws a bunch of kidney punches. Barbarian stands there looking bored, until he goozles Arn and throws him to the other side of the ring. Anderson launches a desperate back elbow, and the Barbarian is dazed! For like a second, until Barbarian hits a standing vertical suplex to set up the swandive for 2. Benoit tags in and stomps away, but Barbarian just face plants him and tags in Meng. The Horsemen double team the wild man, and Meng just stands there as if to ask “are you done yet?” In a fantastic spot, Anderson kicks Meng in the face, and Meng just pops up and dares him to do it again. The second kick is swatted away like a fly, and Meng palm thrusts Anderson in the throat. Meng backdrops Arn, right into the awaiting arms of Barbarian who powerbombs him! Benoit saves at 2, which probably should have been it. Arn pops off a spinebuster from nowhere, but Barbarian kicks out at 2. Arn acts surprised; PLEASE! This man won’t be put down by your silly finishers. All hell breaks loose, and Jimmy jumps on the apron. Benoit attacks him while Arn DDT’s Meng! Barbarian retaliates with a Kick of Fear, so Benoit grabs the Megaphone and clocks Barbarian upside the head for the DQ at 5:59! Faces of Fear win!!! All 4 guys continue to brawl despite the fact this is long over, and while Benoit tries to direct traffic, Meng isn’t playing ball. **1/2

Next week: An even BIGGER card, featuring Psychosis, Akira Hokuto, Keiru, and Ciclope! Check your local listings! We out!

WCW Worldwide: February 9, 1997

One year ago this week: Chris Benoit gets a World Title shot, while Brian Pillman wrestles one of his last TV matches on the 02/10 Saturday NightSuperbrawl 96 was a total disaster, with Flair and Savage drawing blood and forcing the camera to show the match from about 150 feet away so as not to offend us, while Hogan beat The Giant. Konan defended the US title against Top Contender Devon Storm, and Arn Anderson pinned Hulk Hogan on the 02/12 Nitro. Finally, and most importantly, Meng, Kevin Sullivan, and the Shark all teamed together one final time in a winning effort over Todd Morton, Buck Quartermaine, and Luis Astea on the 02/12 edition of Prime. You can peruse those, and wander back here when you’re done, I’m patient.
Taped at Disney MGM at some point in 1993, it’s the ONLY show that matters on WCW TV, Worldwide! This is the lone place you’re getting names like Ciclope, Akira Hokuto, Kaoru, and Meiko Satamura!
TONY SCHIAVONE and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN are hyping up Superbrawl, and specifically … Lex Luger and The Giant against the Outsiders. Wait, there are other matches taking place that don’t involve Roddy Piper? I’m no longer sure I want to hand over my $29.95.

Meng kicks and punches the set on his way to the ring, for no apparent reason other than he’s fucking Meng and you don’t ask questions. Steve Armstrong, being the bigger of the two brothers, starts because he’ll make a more impressive “thud” sound as he gets thrown around the ring. Steve attacks from the second turnbuckle and gets launched into orbit by Meng. Barbarian punches his kidneys until he’s in need of a donor; and both guys headbutt Armstrong, cracking his head open like an egg. Barbarian’s backbreaker is delivered with enough force to turn the man into a quadriplegic, but he misses the flying headbutt, giving Steve just enough to use the last breath of his rapidly ending life to stag in his brother Scott. Scott punches both guys which might be the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen happen, and Barbarian replies with a double pumphandle powerbomb! What the HECK was that?!? Since I can’t find it anywhere on Youtube, I’ve taken the time to upload it myself for YOUR viewing pleasure:
Tongan Death Grip finishes seconds later at 3:31. The Fear engage in a manly embrace, and scream jungle profanity at the cameraman. My screen doesn’t have enough room for the number of stars I give this match.
Bobby: “Miguel Peres is the guy in the blue fur shirt.” Miguel immediately blows some springboard thing, so Ciclope takes over with a senton for 2. Miguel dropkicks Ciclope as he comes off the top, and then misses elevating him with a legtoss, so Ciclope is forced to throw himself over the ropes. Miguel uses the Space Flying Tiger Drop because he’s trying like hell to redeem this terrible match, and he gets the win with a roll up at 2:12. The replay shows Miguel was going to miss the Space Flying Tiger Drop by about 4 feet until Ciclope stepped forward to take the move. This was lucha libre at its worst; both guys are lucky they weren’t immediately sent back to Mexico. -**
Heenan starts in on Jericho’s “goon” of a father again, while Tony gives him hell for not even following the NHL. “I know he hurt his back as soon as he retired; went to hang up his skates and forgot to take his feet out of them.” Tony, for maybe the first time ever, realizes that ignoring Bobby is the only way to get him to stop, and goes back to watching the match. Jericho boots JL in the mouth and gets 2. Tony starts figuring Jericho as a top contender for the World title. In 1997? On what planet? I know what he’s doing, sucking the kneecaps of the online guys, but even they aren’t crazy enough to believe this, so it comes across as ingenuous pandering. JL misses a senton (“missed dropkick!”), and Jericho hits the Lionsault en route to the missile dropkick and win at 4:06. Bobby: “That could have gone either way!” From our top world title contender? Well I never! *1/2
PSYCHOSIS vs. EDDIE GUERRERO (for the WCW United States heavyweight title)
Psychosis attacks before Eddie can take his ring jacket off, and the elbows are flying fast and furious. A second rope splash misses, and Eddie drops him with a side suplex. Psychosis fires back with a spinning heel kick and heads up. Up there, he nails a super spinning heel kick, but Guerrero kicks out at 2. Stinger splash gets 2, and Psychosis starts angrily feeding it to Mark Curtis. An armbar has Eddie squealing, but he doesn’t tap. Eddie is moved to the top rope, and the super Frankensteiner connects, but Guerrero somehow kicks out at 2! He’s put back up again, but Psychosis misses a dropkick, and Eddie flattens him with a European uppercut. The superplex sets up the Frog Splash, and Eddie retains at 5:04 by the skin of his teeth. **1/2
AKIRA HOKUTO and KAORU (with Sonny Onoo and A Little Japanese Girl) vs. MADUSA and MEIKO SATOMURA
Madusa’s got some stones placing her faith in a Japanese lady we’ve never seen before against her mortal Japanese enemies. We have some early heel miscommunication, and Satomura gets 2 on a rollup off Kaoru. Hokuto hits an axehandle off the top, and grabs Satomura’s arm to tease Madusa with a close tag. Unfortunately for Hokuto, Satomura’s feisty and does manage that tag. Madusa, house of fire, immediately has her powerbomb turned into a rugmuncher press for 2. Madusa comes back by hitting both ladies with clotheslines, and the faces do a little clubberin’ on Kaoru in the corner. Sonny causes a little distraction so Madusa chases him around, and Kaoru’s super rugmuncher, and Hokuto’s bridge suplex gets the pin on Satomura at 2:36. 1/2*
Next week: The Faces of Fear, Rey Mysterio Jr., Arn Anderson, and Chris Benoit. Christ, how isn’t this a pay-per-view? We’ve got a week to build anticipation, so start those saliva glands running now!

WCW Worldwide: February 2, 1997

LIVE on 3-MONTH DELAY from the Disney MGM studios, it’s WCW Worldwide!
What kind of sizzling hot action can we expect this week? Alex Wright, Kaoru,
and Konan amongst others! For god sakes don’t you change that channel to …
whatever the hell else airs on Sunday afternoons after football season!
appear to be having an easy time standing up are your hosts. Heenan starts
hyping tonight’s main event between Mysterio and Malenko for the 5000th
time, by talking about Malenko’s 1000 holds and counters, then trying to figure
out whether Mysterio has more or fewer, but he winds up confusing himself (and
Tony), so Schiavone just moves it along by saying “it’s quite a rivalry!”

Poor Butch really missed his chance to make some real money in this
business by failing to call Vince Russo in a year and propose a feud with Val
Venis over which of them was truly “Long”. Butch, if you’re reading, I hope you
can’t sleep at night. Bobby asks why Butch had his spleen sewn on to the back
of his head, in reference to his quality single braided mullet. Wright hits a
pair of headscissors takeovers, and gets booed for some reason. In this
controlled environment, da hell is that? Butch pounds on the German
“sensation”, and hits a backdrop suplex for 2. A sitting surfboard goes
nowhere, so he uses the worst version of the Pedigree I’ve ever seen for 2. A
vicious clothesline keeps Wright down, but Wright fights back with a couple of
kicks and hits a running European uppercut to knock down the big man. Long
botches a hiptoss sell, but Wright doesn’t slow down, hitting a spinning heel
kick and missile dropkick for the win at 5:58.
Butch was a fantastic combination of God Awful and Perversely Entertaining, so
I think we need more of him. 1/2*
(with Sonny Onoo)
Heenan shushes Tony during the intros, calling Kato’s theme a “catchy
tune” (she’s using the Generic music usually associated with Kaz Hayashi or
Jushin Liger). Tony asks him why he feels that way, and Bobby scoffs asking
Tony “you don’t recognize KISS?” Tony argues that it’s not KISS, because he
hasn’t learned that you can’t argue with the man. Also, in some old storyline
progression, Tony says that Sonny is still pursuing the investigation against
Bobby Heenan for the fraudulent attempt to sell him Nitro – which as it turns
out Bobby didn’t own. Heenan calls it a misunderstanding, that he was simply
trying to help act as a broker between Onoo and the people in charge; but Tony
flat out says he saw Bobby with a 6 figured cheque and Bobby changes the
subject at warp speed, focusing on trying to figure out what “GAEA” means on
Kato’s sports bra. Both ladies take turns biting each other, which would be the
plot for the sequel to 50 Shades of Grey had it happened in 2014. Kaoru throws
Kato by the hair, and the fans rightly boo everything. Kaoru hits a snap suplex
for 2. In a creative move, Kaoru locks Kato in a front facelock, and reaches
around her own back with the other arm to pull at the hair. The referee sees
it, so Kaoru hits a jumping Face Sitter. Kato isn’t ready for that kind of
exploration, and hits a bulldog to get rid of her. A backdrop sends Kaoru to
the floor, but before Kato can follow up, Sonny pulls her to the floor and stomps
at her. Man on woman violence! At Disney? In front of the KIDS? It’s amazing
WCW wasn’t immediately evicted! Marc Curtis DQ’s the heels immediately at 4:55. *
LEE MARSHALL starts talking
about great second generation wrestlers, and I anticipate the arrival of some
new star, but no, it’s just stupid DEAN
. Malenko says he hopes to accomplish half of what his father
accomplished. Whoa, Dean, relax, we don’t need controversial comments like
those on this show.
KONAN (with Jimmy Hart)
vs. JERRY FLYNN (for the Mexican Heavyweight Title)
Holy shit – we haven’t seen THAT belt in months. Of course, Konan was
officially stripped of the title in October, but that’s not stopping him from
wandering around with it now and screaming “ARIBA MEJICO!” He’s basically the
fat, slow moving uncle of Speedy Gonzalez. Jerry shows
off his “lightning feet”, specifically waving them around in the air while
trapped in an Indian deathlock. Tony speculates that Flynn will be a player
once he develops some in ring skills, for which he has time because he’s a
“young man”, a spry 38 at this point. Konan tosses Flynn with an overhead belly
to belly, and finishes with the cradle DDT to retain his phony title at 3:36. DUD
“LORD” STEVEN REGAL proudly shows
off his TV Title to LEE MARSHALL
and … is he smiling? Enjoying himself? Of course he is – he knows he’s the most
important man in WCW since he’s the highest ranking champion still under the
WCW banner. He has no interest in making movies like Roddy Piper, because he’s
a wrestler, and the best wrestler in the world. When it comes to talking, “I
can make Piper sound like he’s been sedated”. Oh, he’s feeling good, so
Marshall tries to cut him down by pointing out a lot of hungry wrestlers still
want his title. Regal blows him off by reminding him he’s already gone all over
the globe once before, where he offered title shots to the planet, and nobody
dethroned him. “If there was a ring in someone’s back garden, I’d wrestle there
… and I did exactly that.” Why wasn’t that televised? Marshall concedes that
Regal’s great, and Regal iterates one more time he’s the greatest specimen in
MYSTERIO JR. (in a non-title match)
Tony calls Heenan “Dream”, and Bobby gets pissed because he’s wearing a
nice pair of shoes and not loafers covered in meadow muffins. Tony: “I’m sorry,
I didn’t mean to insult Dusty like that.” These two are all kinds of salty
tonight. Tony notes that Mysterio may need knee surgery in the near future,
which sadly would be an omen for things to come.
WCW takes its final timeout before the main event kicks off, and we
return to find them circling each other. Rey sweeps out the legs, but both guys
bounce back up immediately. Malenko tries a wheelbarrow, but Rey flips mid move
and hits an armdrag, following with a springboard moonsault for 2! Rey tries
for the headscissors, but Malenko grabs his ankles and hits a HARD double leg
slam. Mysterio somehow fights off the pain right away and catches Dean in a
small package for 2! A rana is blocked with a gutbuster, and the fans ADORE
Rey, so the boos shower down on the champ. A standing vertical suplex gets 2.
Malenko hooks on a headscissors to cut off Rey’s air circulation and slow the
little guy down. Rey squirms loose, so Malenko hits him with a backdrop suplex
and squeezes him with a headlock. A powerbomb gets 2, and Malenko looks a little
frustrated. A pumphandle slam is twisted mid-move, and Mysterio gets 2. Dean
goes back to trying to get Rey to tap out, but it’ll be a cold day in hell
before that happens. A hot shot is delivered with such force that Rey bounces
right off the ropes and flies to the outside of the ring. He slowly crawls back
in before the 10-count, and finds the wind to charge. Malenko launches him over
his head, but Mysterio lands on the top rope, flying backwards immediately with
a springboard senton for 2! Rey tries a suplex, but Malenko blocks it with his
weight, so Rey drops down in a bridge for 2! Mysterio hits a forward roll, and
NEARLY gets the pin, with Malenko only kicking out at the last hair. Rey goes
to finish with a super moonsault, but Malenko rolls away and the bellyflop is
enough for Malenko to score the pin at 8:24.
Tony called this one of their best matches ever, and while I wouldn’t go that
far, it was a quality Worldwide main event. ***

Tony hypes the impending return of Jushin Liger to the Cruiserweight
division. Heenan says no champion will ever hold the title in that division for
an entire year, because they wrestle too frequently against strong competition.
Armed with one of the smartest statements to ever come out of Heenan’s mouth,
Tony wraps things up, and we outtie.

WCW Worldwide: January 26, 1997

Vintage: You know, say whatever you want about Vince McMahon, but at least he chose to have his on-air Gold Club Wife Swapping fantasies with Trish Stratus. That’ll always put him a peg above Uncle Eric.
Without trying to hold the guys to different standards, Vince gets the pass here. Yes, he was living out his lecherous old man fantasies on television, but at least he covered it up a little smoother than Eric by incorporating it into a stupid angle with a rock solid payoff. Eric had no end-game, other than “I’m gonna make out like a teenager on TV because I CAN!” And yes, if you INSIST this is the route you have to take, then I agree, do it with the hottest fitness model walking planet earth as opposed to the road hag from Cedar Rapids, just north of Hell.
CRZ: The definitive recap of this PPV was written back when it originally aired as a “News from Dayton,” and although Google hasn’t, Rick HAS kept a copy available to everyone.
Everyone should take a few minutes to read this. Rick Scaia, a relatively rationale man, was driven so mad by the stupidity of nWo Souled Out that he decided it was a better idea to shove thousands of hot pokers up his own ass than continue to deal with the pain of the show. Now, it’s probably a little extreme to turn ones anus into a molten mudhole, but that’s just the kind of program this was.

I don’t have a doubt in my mind that Worldwide is going to be a stronger show than Souled Out. Even with featured players Bobby Eaton and Madusa on tap, and even though TONY SCHIAVONE and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN are hyping a pay-per-view that actually already aired last night (with Heenan predicting Giant will win the belt), I am relatively confident that neither member of this particular announce team will start making out with anyone.
EDDIE GUERRERO vs. RICK THAMES (in a non-title match)
Let’s see … bland US champion with no discernible mic skills for the time being against toothless smiling jobber. Sorry Eddie, I don’t care how cool you’re GOING to be, you’re still a wiener for the time being and I’m all aboard the Rick-Train.
Eddie armdrags Rick, who immediately complains of hair-pulling. Oh, this guy means business. Thames takes Eddie down, but a kip up has him back to his feet, as the fans explode in an “EDDIE” chant because the guy with the cue-cards told them to. Heenan starts trying to explain why Hogan’s the most hated man in history, but he’s not making sense, and I hear a little slurring. Are we seeing the re-appearance of Sober Bobby Heenan?!? It’s going to be a good night! Thames hits a mule kick, while Heenan starts carrying on about the fans who were imported to tonight’s event on 17 busses, and are called the “Eddie” people, with that being the only word they know. Come on Bobby, I know you can do better, have another drink! Guerrero rocks Thames with a European uppercut, and Heenan figures the “Fast Talking Eddies” loved that. Eddie hits the Frog Splash, which Heenan calls the “jackknife” because he has no love for Art Barr (may he rest in peace), and Guerrero scores the victory at 4:24. *
I think I’ve died and gone to jobber heaven tonight.
Heenan compares him to a Chia pet, or maybe the inside of a mattress. I guess he’s laying down tonight, rats. Payne works a keylock, but Eaton escapes and drives him to the mat with a hammerlock. Payne gets to the ropes, and challenges Eaton to a test of strength. Eaton wins – what the hell? Against THAT afro? So rigged. Payne jabs a thumb to Eaton’s eyes and screams “HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?” Oh Billy, I never didn’t like you. Heenan breaks into “you so ugly” jokes that I’m fairly sure he stole from a repeat airing of the Fresh Prince. Eaton hits a swinging neckbreaker which sets up the Alabama Jam for the win at 4:07. 1/2*
Do you like Nitro? Here’s 7 minutes of video packages dedicated to it! And just like that, this show is half done. Well, it makes it easier on ME.
KAORU (with Sonny Onoo) vs. MADUSA
We haven’t seen Kaoru since the December 29 Worldwide when she was decimated by Akira Hokuto, but maybe the time off has led to some extensive training that will change her fortunes. Tony starts sounding like someone with something to hide, when Heenan asks about his friendship with her. “I’ve known her for many years, and yes, we’re good friends, and, uhh … I like her a lot.” I hope he signed a pre-nup. The girls trade backslides before Kaoru goes back to her roots and utilizes The Bite To The Knuckle. Kaoru heads up, but Madusa does a handstand headscissors takeover to bring her back in. Kaoru fights back with a pair of Thesz Presses, but she misses a moonsault off the top and gets monkey flipped. She goes for another one, but Sonny holds Kaoru steady, so Madusa flies off and Kaoru pins her with her feet on the ropes at 3:27!!!! Holy crap! On Worldwide?!? Sonny demands his arms get raised, while Schiavone screams that they cheated. Heenan: “I bet when you were in school, you were a tattletale!” Tony: “Are you ready for the Pepboys Power Pin of the Week?” Heenan: “Sure, stool pigeon.” *
WILDCAT WILLY gets some rare TV time, doing his shtick during Juvi’s entrance. Rey is currently nursing an injury which caused him to a miss a recent TV title shot, so it’s incredible to see him battling through the pain to compete here on Worldwide tonight. Juvi chops at Rey and goes for a powerbomb but Rey shrugs off. Juvi charges, walking right into a spinning rana at warp speed that sends Juvi crashing to the floor. Back in, a standing switch sees Juvi nail a German suplex and gets 2. Juvi applies a rear naked choke, and Rey has nowhere to go. Unfortunately, this ain’t UFC, and realism ain’t our forte, because Mysterio manages to fight loose after about a minute in the hold with a backdrop. Juvi starts screaming in Spanish, and Heenan agrees. Tony: “What did he say?” Bobby: “If you would have got an education…” Tony: “No, you’re covering up your own deficiencies!” Bobby: “He was explaining why he and Mysterio wear masks.” Tony: “And why is that?” Bobby: “I’ll explain at the end of the program.” Juvi goes back to the rear naked choke, but gives up after getting nowhere. Rey hits a spinning heel kick, and a double jump moonsault gets 2. Next, Mysterio goes for a powerbomb and tells the fans he’s going to hit a standing moonsault. Of course, Juvi SEES that, so he just lifts the knees to block it. Juvi Driver hits, and a 360 guillotine gets … 2?!? Go to hell, WCW! Bobby: “I’m going to predict that nobody will ever hold the Crusierweight title more than a couple of months because competition is so stiff.” Tony: “Well, Rey held it 6 months already.” …. you know, this stuff is EASILY verifiable, Tony. Why lie over something so trivial? A second Juvi Driver connects, but a springboard splash is blocked with a dropkick and Mysterio gets 2. Rey tries for a rear torture rack, but Juvi swings forward with a DDT and puts Rey up top. Mysterio manages to block the rana, and Juvi hits the back of his head on the mat. West Coast Pop gets the win at 8:45. These guys are capable of way, way more. Heenan: “Okay, I’ll tell you why they wear masks. They’re ugly!” **1/2

They wrap things up with a final sell for  Souled Out. Call your local cable company yesterday!

WCW Worldwide: January 19, 1997

Kanye Batista asks: Did we EVER find out why Elizabeth was with NWO? I remember Hogan telling us it was “WRITTEN IN STONE!!!” or was it etched? Mark Starr was a solid worker, did he ever get a decent run anywhere?
The loose storyline in October, was that Elizabeth wanted to be in movies or something, so Hogan got her a part in the Three Ninjas in exchange for her lifetime slavery or something. (Which, would appear to be a bad trade since I don’t believe she appeared in the movie.) The contract, as noted, was etched in stone, which, due to her nWo lackey status, she was forced to etch.
Mark Starr was the former Union Local 3814 president, and attended many grievance meetings on behalf of the Men at Work between 1995 and 96. In the fall of 1996, he went freelance, abandoning his construction brethren and tried to make it on his own. Unfortunately, he never achieved any level of success from that point forward, and died of a heart attack last year at age 50. I don’t want you to think for a moment it was related, but let’s not rule it out.
In all seriousness, Starr was a decent hand in the waning days of the CWA, and held a variety of their tag-team titles with several of their guys. He wasn’t anything particularly special, but then neither was 85% of WCW’s roster, so he was probably just as deserving as something of a push as, say, Joe Gomez.

I don’t really have a particular set order for the weekend shows, but I figured I’d start with Worldwide this week because WWF Superstars will lead us directly right into the Royal Rumble and that seems like a cleaner path. Though, secretly (oops it’s out), I needed to see the huge lineup WCW Worldwide had ready this week, and as usual they do NOT disappoint. Brad Armstrong! Reina Jabuki! M Wallstreet! Joe Gomez! The Renegade! Holy stacked show!
TONY SCHIAVONE and BOBBY HEENAN are all chatter about nWo Souled Out which airs next week. Heenan has a message specifically for The Giant: Hogan promised him all the movies and motorcycles because he’s afraid of him. Now’s his chance to remind Hogan why he’s so afraid. You go brother Heenan!
WHOA! New suspect in the Fit Finlay murder investigation! Kenny Kendall comes out using his music, and I demand answers. Did he steal it off of Finlay’s body before it was even cold? Did he buy it on the black market, or was he potentially gifted it by an unknown benefactor? What details can Kendall share? I demand an IMMEDIATE interrogation, and honestly, Tony’s nonchalant attitude about the entire thing is disconcerting. In fact, you might say, suspicious. I’m not to you, Schiavone. Tony asks Heenan if he plans to attend Souled Out, but all of Bobby’s money is tied up in bonds being used to fund an orphanage in Guam that he personally sponsors. Armstrong hits a number of dropkicks, and Bobby feels that Brad deserves the Cruiserweight title based on that display. Tony argues that Dragon’s too busy to wrestle, since he’s busy with Jushin Liger, and all the other great foreign wrestlers. Heenan: “Yeah, and between his father and his brothers, he’s the loser in the family!” Tony: “He is not!” Heenan: “That’s what his brother told me.” Tony: “You don’t even talk to his brother!” Heenan: “His other brother.” Tony: “You don’t talk to him either!” Heenan: “They wrote me a note once.” Armstrong nails a sunset flip for 2. Russian legsweep sets up a dragon sleeper, and Armstrong gets the tap out at 3:33. Post-match, nobody detains Kendall. Poor Finlay, we may never get answers. 1/2*
So Bubba’s been a member of the nWo since the 12/16 Nitro, but 34 days later, he’s still lumbering around on Worldwide with the Dungeon of Doom music, week after week, rebelliously refusing to wear the colors. Has anyone informed Vincent to alert Ted DiBiase who will tell Hogan? It’s as clear as day that Bubba’s a spy, working on behalf of the Dungeon to continue to take down Hulkamania (never stop focusing on the goal), but the announcers are too stupid to notice. Further, not even Marcus Bagwell watches Worldwide? Really? I find that hard to believe, he can’t possibly have anything better to do. Mella takes a Bossman slam, and a one fingered loss at 1:59. I don’t mean to alert anyone … but this is Tony Mella’s final WCW appearance. Fare thee well Lebanese Assassin. DUD
LEE MARSHALL, master of all things Women, meets up with MADUSA. She vows to become the champion of the world (look out Hulk!), because she’s FIT – Feminine, Intelligent, and Tough. She ain’t just rough tough pretty stuff, and she wants “Akita” Hokuto. And just in case you figured it was just a one-time flub, she promptly does it again. Marshall tells her to hop a plane and go to Tokyo if she wants a title shot. She figures that’s cool, and she’ll take out “Kenski Saski” in the process. Kenski Saski? New age surfer dude, or Polish Hammer? Cast your votes.
Kato is still dubbed a “teenager” despite being an obvious 48 years old. Tony starts carrying on about WCW’s impending Women’s Cruiserweight title, even though the Actual Women’s Title has yet to be defended on television. Jubuki bites Kato’s tender young fingers, prompting a number of Hentai sketch artists in the front row to start scribbling away furiously. Kato comes back with a sunset flip for 2, and nails a Juvi Driver for another close pinfall. Kato’s now 17 years old, if Tony’s to be believed, and he isn’t, since she was 19 the last time she appeared. Jubuki goes back to gnawing on Kato. You’ll note I opted not to write that she “started eating the other woman”, because I wouldn’t want to encourage perverted hits on this particular family friendly article. Big splash gets the win for Jubuki at 3:09. That MUST make her the #1 contender to Akira’s belt, right? Man, can you imagine the match-up between those two? It’s almost unrealistic! *
Heenan figures Kidman is money for any manager that picks him up, and heck, even Billy might make a few bucks. We have the Iaukea version of Cheetah tonight. Kidman hits a fairly dangerous looking German suplex, but he’s okay if his facial expressions are to be believed. The announcers start arguing over whether or not Chris Jericho is a handsome man, and Tony goes further by saying he’s also Very Polite. What else can you tell us Tony? Is he also An Eligible Bachelor, Fun at Parties, or Drug Free? We need to know. Cheetah nearly wins with the Northern Lights, but instead of going for the pin he opts to miss a slingshot splash instead. Kidman finishes with the Shooting Star Press to some loud female attention at 3:17. Look out Jericho, you have competition. *1/2
So Wallstreet is now Mr. Wallstreet, and he’s ALSO refusing to wear the nWo colors. He has to be part of the conspiracy with Bubba, because they’re the only nWo members who EVER appear on this show, and they’re both in constant rebellion. It’s fairly ballsy to keep flaunting it, but I suppose the nWo is too busy taking care of nWo business, not to be confused with Horseman Business, or whatever the Dungeon does. Tony thanks the fans for making the Disney taping a success for the 4th year in a row, and Bobby thanks them for the free parking. Tony loses his mind, screaming about the fact he’s been a part of this show from day 1 and still has to take the bus and walk across the property to get to the studio. Demanding answers, Heenan confesses: “I just told the guard my name was Walt.” The fans break into a “WALMART” chant, to really stick it to him because … whatever, take that Wallstreet! Wallstreet is so thrown off that he can’t take his eyes off of Armstrong’s embarrassing bulge protruding from his trunks. You’ll be pleased to know he’s circumcised. If *I* have to know, *YOU* have to know. Be thankful I didn’t screencap it. The announcers start yukking it up about Piper and Hogan again, with Heenan, through laugh breaths, telling Tony “having fun with you is AWFUL!” Stock Market Crash ends things at 4:11. No more of this. DUD
LEE MARSHALL welcomes “POLITE” CHRIS JERICHO to discuss Souled Out. Jericho figures he underestimated Chono’s sense of “fair play”, but now that he knows what he’s all about, maybe he’ll get disqualified because “I owe you one baby.” He knows the Japanese style, and he plans to show it. Have I told you lately how much I hate this guy? I don’t know where the real Chris Jericho is, but this guy has to go away.
JOE GOMEZ and THE RENEGADE vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri)
Heenan tells us that the fans were lined up all morning to get in to Worldwide, but in their defense, that applies to ANY attraction at Disney and they probably thought it was the Tower of Terror. Stevie Ray runs through his entire arsenal of moves by stomping Joe Gomez in the corner. It’s gonna have to be all Booker from here. Gomez gets in a schoolboy for 2. That earns him an axekick. Suckas gots to know. Renegade gets a bulldog on Booker, but that doesn’t go anywhere and all hell breaks loose. An assisted Harlem Sidekick finishes things at 4:00. BREAK … UP … ALREADY. The WWE would have done it years ago, and pushed Stevie for a couple of months while Booker occasionally made appearances on Superstars.

Backstage, Heenan tells us that ladder matches are no laughing matter, and sets one up, scaling to the ceiling to prove it. He disappears off camera, but starts screaming as soon as he looks down, and says his nose is bleeding like a faucet. Bobby Heenan, man of the people!

WCW Worldwide: January 12, 1997

The hits just keep getting bigger, and somehow WCW manages to top itself
week after week. Our lineup tonight includes the Wrestlemania quality group of
Jimmy Graffiti, Madusa, and … okay no jokes about the Barbarian vs Luger main
event, because I’m already covered in giddy.
studio to talk about Red Hot Lex Luger. I’m amazed that one hasn’t been
recycled for Sheamus yet. Cole: “Here comes Sheamus, and you can join the
discussion on Twitter with hashtag RedHot.” You’re not laughing, you’re nodding
sadly because it’s happening.

Well, it’s not Sunny “making love” with Fondle Me Elmo, but it’ll have
to do. Rey is caught in an armbar, but Rey scoots loose and starts working over
the knee of Psychosis. Psychosis works back to his feet, but Rey hits a rana.
Psychosis responds by taking him down with a drop toe hold, and drops the leg
for 2. Rey charges, and takes a HUGE backdrop over the top – but hangs on
somehow and re-enters with a rana off the top for 2! Psychosis ain’t letting
the little guy get the best of him, and nails a hot-shot style snake eyes
before hanging him out across the ropes. A guillotine is dropped towards the
outside of the ring, drawing audible groans from the crowd. A sleeper is locked
on, and Tony yuks it up with “HEY HOGAN DO YOU REMEMBER THIS? HAVE A NICE NAP?”
Heenan laughs along, and as he catches his breath tells him “Tony, I don’t
really like you,” before bursting out in another laughing fit. Missed in this
is Rey blocking an attack on the apron, and somehow springboarding himself into
a rana taking them BOTH to the floor. Psychosis smashes his head into the
turn-table that they call “ringside”, and Rey smacks his knee right down. The
referee, showing a strangely high level of responsibility for 1997, throws it
out at 4:22. **1/2
Tony, without a hint of sarcasm, starts carrying on about all the top
stars joining WCW like “these two guys, Jimmy Graffiti and Bobby Eaton”. I
clearly didn’t watch a lot of Worldwide in my younger days, because I seriously
don’t even remember Graffiti, and yet I feel like he’s been on every WCW show
for the last 3 months. The guys break into a test of strength, and Eaton gets
the best of it. Congratulations, you just beat Jimmy Graffiti in a strength
match. If THAT isn’t mentioned in his HOF induction, then I’m not interested in
having him in the hall of fame! Alabama Jam wins it at 2:55. Is that an upset? I feel like it is, but I’m not exactly sure
where Graffiti fits on our food chain. Somewhere between Billy Kidman and Scott
Armstrong? DUD
AKIRA HOKUTO (with Sonny
Onoo) vs. MADUSA (for the WCW women’s title)
I’m a little disgusted with myself because Madusa’s been looking good
these last few weeks. Either she found a hot streak in late 1996, or I’ve got
low blood sodium and I’m hallucinating. Tony excitedly announces that WCW is
planning on introducing a Women’s Cruiserweight Championship. And no, I’m not
making that up. None of these ladies weight more than 150 pounds already,
meaning there’s no one who’d be able to fight OUTSIDE the Cruiserweight
division. Bertha Faye is with the competition, but probably available for the
right price. Don’t rule it out; she may be the missing link to finally put the
WWF out of business once and for all (assuming they don’t do it to themselves
with “Shotgun”.) The ladies brawl to a double countout, as is the style
tonight, at 2:47. Sonny grabs
himself a piggyback ride on Hokuto’s shoulders to the back. 1/2*
Leroy hasn’t won a match since his days wrestling for Dory Jack Funk
Brisco who ran the old BWA out of his South Florida territory that extended
from one half of his backyard to the other. Though, for a perennial loser, he
shows a lot of nerve by mocking Taylor’s peace sign and walks around like a
Brit. He promptly eats a European uppercut for that, and he’s lucky it isn’t
more. Fallaway slam wins at 1:41.
Tony: “You can’t question what David Taylor means to this sport.” I have never
agreed with Schiavone more. Good job Fat Tony. DUD
Heenan: “LOOK AT ARMSTRONG! He’s wearing Madusa’s TIGHTS!”
Frustratingly, Flynn isn’t given an entrance so he can yell at the camera and
look like the poster child for fetal alcohol syndrome. Flynn puts on an amazing
display of kicks and martial arts, which probably would have done some
incredible damage if he’d opted to do it anywhere near Armstrong. Brad nails a
dropkick, and takes Flynn down with a headlock. With the advantage, Brad heads
up, and takes a roundhouse kick to the midsection on the way down. What was he
planning on doing exactly? He didn’t seem to have a move planned, unless he was
throwing himself off the top like an excited bride throwing herself into her
new husband’s arms. Flynn nails a series of rapid fire kicks in the corner, and
then hits a spinning heel kick on the other side. Brad comes back with a sunset
flip, but that just frustrates Jerry who beats him down for his insolence. Armstrong
comes back with a Dragon sleeper … and gets the submission at 5:16?!? I’m supposed to believe that
Armstrong is making Jerry Flynn tap out? I’d like to see that happen in THE
Mad props to my man Barbarian for going at this alone. He doesn’t need
Meng or Jimmy Hart, those guys are just along for the ride. Besides, Barbarian
owes himself a little redemption after running in on Meng’s behalf last week
and getting caught in the Rack AND tapping. It’ll never happen twice. Luger
pushes Barbarian to the corner and roars, but it’s probably mind games by
Barbarian because on top of being tough, he’s cerebral. Barbarian works a
headlock, but Luger fights out. Lex goes for a backslide, but Barbarian ain’t
letting THAT happen without a fight. In fact, he has to kick Barbarian in the
Achilles to make him fall, and Luger gets 2. Barbarian stalls to get deeper
inside the mind of Lex Luger; though he should share ideas with Cobra if he’s
really looking to do something special. And sure enough, Barbarian gets back in
and NAILS Luger with the Kick of Fear!!! Luger’s only safety net is falling to
the floor, but don’t be surprised if he ruptured many different parts off that
blow. Barbarian rolls him in, and poses for his legion of fans – the new king
of Tonga is born! The stupid fans chant for Luger because they’re stupid.
Stupid. Luger tries a sunset flip, but Barbarian fights it for 15 seconds
letting out all KINDS of primal noises before succumbing as Lex gets 2. But
that doesn’t stop him, he pops back up and clotheslines sexual Lexual.
fight, this is a clinic! Barbarian poses like a snake for everyone, just
basking in the most dominant display in the history of wrestling. Luger throws
an elbow, but Barbarian drops him with one big punch. Going in for the kill,
Luger sidesteps a blind charge and punches him 10 times. The clotheslines
start, and I don’t care for THIS. Thankfully, Barbarian stops that with a Stun
Gun, and drops Luger with a backbreaker – refusing to even go for the pin.
Instead, the top ropes are calling his name like a tree to a jungle cat … but
he misses the headbutt! Luger throws him in the Rack, and AWWWW HELL Luger wins
at 8:49. What an awful booking
decision, can’t the company see who their future really is? It’s probably
racism. **

The announcers close the show by asking themselves if they’re even
invited to nWo Souled Out. Heenan figures they’ll wear disguises, buy tickets,
and sit ringside to infiltrate them. “I’ll be Paul Revere, you can be Marie
Antoinette!” Tony ignores him and calls for the credits.

WCW Worldwide: January 5, 1997

Having just completed the entire 1996 year, I’ve decided I want a permanent home to house my writing. About a decade ago, I owned the shootingstarpress.com name; but it lapsed around 2007, and the current squatters want $1250 American style dollars. I offered $25, and a nice gentleman named Blake suggested I’d be better off asking Archie Karas for financial planning advice.
So I bandied ideas around, to and fro, before finally settling on one I knew had to be available. There was simply no way it was taken.
You have GOT to be kidding me.

So I turn it to you – dear reader. I urge you, to dig deep in your creative receptacles, to help me find something that fits me. Something ridiculous. Something easy to remember. Something available for $3.99 on GoDaddy! I know you can do it.
A new year brings fresh hope, fresh faces, and fresh storylines. WCW Worldwide is no exception, and they haul out only the biggest of big guns for this week’s edition. Can you imagine seeing Disco Inferno, Psychosis, Juventud Guerrera, Alex Wright, AND Harlem Heat in the same exciting hour? I know you’re probably not buying that lineup, but it’s happening RIGHT NOW (18 years ago).
TONY SCHIAVONE and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN are talking New Year’s resolutions, but Heenan didn’t even realize the calendar had turned and gets a headache just thinking about it.
Heenan doesn’t even want to put his headset on because he’s so upset by this shocking revelation of a new year. Hey, Graffiti’s still here; his contract must have rolled over. It’s incredible to think that one of these two guys is going to start the year with a winning record, but miracles happen all the time. Graffiti hits a front suplex, and Kidman’s seeing stars. He swings wildly, but Graffiti sidesteps with ease and rakes the eyes. A superkick has Kidman on the edge of defeat, but Graffiti, having never been in this position before, celebrates like it’s 1997. Kidman is given enough time to recover, and he promptly misses a dropkick and lands on the back of his head. Graffiti manages to miss a legdrop from a half foot away, and Kidman hits a top rope crossbody for 2. A tornado bulldog gets 2, so Kidman tries it again and Graffiti throws him across the ring. Jimmy comes off the top with a senton, and gets the win at 3:27?!?!? Seriously? Billy, welcome to rock bottom. *
I am fairly certain this is Ron Thompson’s first WCW appearance in nearly 2 years, because I know I didn’t recap a single one of his bouts in 1996. Ron has that classic lean, ripped, tall, and handsome look – so you know if he’s a jobber he’s got the skills and personality of a wilted lettuce. Ron proves me right immediately by somehow not even managing to properly execute a bodyslam. Disco goes for his special leg hold, but he can’t remember how it works, and Thompson kicks him. Disco throws a back elbow with more aggression than he’s ever shown, but then he stops to dance because an idiot’s an idiot. A monkey flip is shrugged off by Thompson, but he misses a dropkick and Disco actually succeeds in tying up the legs like a front Sharpshooter, and despite the fact I have no idea how or why this is supposed to hurt, Thompson flails his arms in defeat like a hummingbird at 4:14. -*
LEE MARSHALL hypes his first interview of the year, which also happens to be our first major letdown of the year when THE NASTY BOYS walk in. Knobbs screams this it’ll be the year of the Nasty Boys, and they plan to show the Outsiders who’s boss. And boy would they!
Juvi gives the fans a big THUMBS DOWN to let the fans know he’s the bad guy tonight. Did Eric Bischoff go on a spree of signing 1995 jobbers to new contracts on New Year’s Day? We haven’t seen Southern Posse in forever! Heenan announces he’s been practicing his “Mexican”, and shares his first word … “Alamo”. Meanwhile, Juvi hits Trout with a missile dropkick. Thames tags in, and stomps the hell out of Guerrera, because he’s rough and mean. A mule kick gets 2. Juvi makes a blind tag, and Thames misses Psychosis entering with a spinning heel kick off the top. A drop toe hold sets up a top rope guillotine from Juvi. They repeat the same for Trout. Thames is given the electric chair, and a DDT from Psychosis signals the end. A Firebird splash from Juvi gets the easy win at 3:07 – the Valvoline high performance of the week! *1/2
Thompson-mania is running wild tonight! This is the NXT Revolution of WCW Worldwide. Casey tries to yank Wright’s arm out of socket, and I think I speak for everyone when I say, I hope he succeeds. A corner clothesline rocks the young German, but a European Uppercut (domain not available) changes EVERYTHING, and Wright gets 2. Heenan figures Wright’s put on about 10-15 pounds in the last year which is laughable, because he’s got about as much definition as a runway model. Thompson starts bringing the heat, which is so inspiring, I’m feeling poetic.
Oh, somewhere on this awful show, the spotlight’s shining bright;
Wildcat Willie’s dancing somewhere, and somewhere jobbers fight,
And somewhere kids are screaming, and somewhere parents frown;
But there is no joy at Disney – mighty Casey’s counted down (at 4:18).
Meanwhile, in other parts of the building…
Yes, JIM DUGGAN sneaks up on LEE MARSHALL to announce that all he wanted for Christmas was a new 2×4, much like every Christmas going back all 78 years of his life. He hates on the Cruiserweights as a flash in the pan, because he’s got Old Glory. That’s … an odd place to bring the hate.
WCW has the laziest production team in history. Is there seriously so little in the can that they can’t chop footage of Big Bubba as a member of the Dungeon of Doom (complete with entrance music), while the announcers pretend he’s an nWo member? They never hesitate to air 45 minute long Roddy Piper recaps on any other show; why stop now? Is a red and yellow clad Hulk Hogan defending WCW’s honor against the terror that is Hugh Morrus in our main event? Kendall takes down Bubba with a drop toe hold, but whatever he had planned off the top rope ends in a punch to the gut. Based on his vertical position on the leap, I’m going to assume he was planning on the force of leap to create enough force in the air to send Bubba flying around the arena like Mary Poppins, because he certainly didn’t have anything physical coming his way. Bubba goes through the usual, and finishes with the Bossman Slam at 4:03. *
HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri) vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart)
For the love of god WCW, do NOT do this to me a 3rd time this week. I’m 32 years old; my heart is no longer the once indestructible blood pumping ball of testosterone it once was. Another loss from the Faces of Fear could trigger all kinds of coronary problems; I could potentially face the first ever Octuple Bypass. That would lie on the shoulders of … does anyone actually book this show? I’ve always sort of assumed it was a free-for-all where whomever shows up looking for TV time is sent to the ring on a first-come first-serve basis. Booker T starts with Barbarian, and tries a flying shoulderblock. Barbarian stands there like the chiseled goliath he is, and roars to the Tongan gods. A corner clothesline is delivered with the strength of 40 Glaciers, so Booker to throws a desperation Harlem Sidekick. A second one knocks Barbarian down. This is on par with Rocky IV; the Russian was just cut. A fresh Meng tags in against a useless Stevie Ray, and Stevie takes him down with a clothesline. I’m starting to think this match might not be on the level. Meng restores my faith with a throat punch; going easy by not actually ripping out his throat. Both savages hit dual headbutts, but Booker saves the day at 2. He gets the tag, and puts a headlock on Barbarian, which is about as effective as putting a headlock on Mount Rushmore. Barbarian stands with ease, and hits a single leg atomic drop. Meng enters with an atomic legdrop that puts Hogan to shame, but it only gets 2. A bunch of karate chops are swung with the precision of a ginsu knife, but are at least 7 times more effective in causing bodily harm. Back comes the Barbarian, and Booker hits a desperation flying jalapeno. Stevie Ray uses a clothesline to take down Barbarian, which runs him through his entire move-set. The Fear start clubberin’ Stevie in the corner, and Jimmy gets on the apron. Sherri ain’t letting THAT happen, and the scrap causes a no contest at 6:54. Give the referee credit; he just saved the lives of Harlem Heat. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. **

TONY SCHIAVONE tries to wrap up the show, but Heenan refuses to come on stage because he’s too embarrassed to show his face next to Tony’s. Blah blah blah, New World Order, Nitro, goodnight!

WCW Worldwide: December 29, 1996

While most of us are clamouring to get through Starrcade, and head over to a fresh new year (with the big question lurking; will I continue onwards with the WCW timeline or move on … TO SOMETHING ELSE?!?), I am particularly looking forward to writing my 1996 Year in Review; where we try and look back to see where we came from, and how we got here, and what the future might hold. I don’t mean to spoil things, but it may be told through the eyes of the Faces of Fear.
Firstly, Worldwide is here, and it’s a loaded pre-Starrcade show. With every star at their disposal, WCW is able to pick and choose folks like … wait, Eddie Guerrero, Arn Anderson, and Chris Benoit are hyped, this ain’t no Worldwide! How dare they step on my weekly snarky sarcasm by actually loading up this one.

JL has tossed out the purple, and seems to have stolen Jerry Lynn’s tights for some reason. Is Jerry Lynn cool with this? Or has he found unemployment since the arrival of Jerry Flynn, and JL picked them up at a discount? Tony hypes the fact that Benoit and Woman are in the same building as Kevin Sullivan for the first time in over a month, and the Disney MGM building is loaded with police officers. Oh good, I hope they brought their guns again, I love it when we start whipping out the pistols in wrestling cuz it means it’s REAL. Kidman is given a Stun Gun, and bounces forward to the outside. JL is not DQed because inconsistency is the name of the game. Back in, Kidman plants JL with a dropkick, and follows with an attempted tornado bulldog – but JL moves mid move and hits a backdrop suplex. Lovely! JL misses the follow up elbowdrop. Heenan: “Do you know who JL is?” Tony: “No, who?” Heenan: “The guy with the mask!” Shooting Star Press for the win at 3:15. **
In the locker room, we meet our announcers; TONY SCHIAVONE and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN. Heenan tells us that he’s not fond of going to Tennessee, seeing as how he can count to 10, has all his teeth and can tie his shoes, but the draw of Piper and Hogan will get him there.
Iaukea seems to have drawn the Cheetah gimmick this week. Tony starts hyping “great events in 1997”, and starts with Nitro on December 30th of 1996. The Cheetah kid shows off his claws, drawing some angry sass from our token black female, who is seated next to our designated Stunt Granny.
Cheetah hits a rolling kick, and jams a thumb into Eddie’s eye. Eddie quickly cradles him for 1. Cheetah delivers an uppercut to Eddie’s armpit (da hell?), and claws Eddie’s eyes again. He knows he’s not a real cheetah, right? Eddie punches him in the ears for a 10-count, but Cheetah quickly strikes with a superkick. A springboard belly flop does exactly what it describes, and Eddie picks up his prey for an easy brainbuster. Froggy Splash finishes at 4:05. *1/2
Tony: “I am really looking forward to Hogan against Piper, because I know if I have goosebumps they MUST have goosebumps.” Heenan: “Oh, I thought you had psoriasis.” Arn offers Eddie the hand of friendship, which is DENIED. Arn shrugs, because ultimately, it’s Eddie’s funeral. Anderson takes him down and drops a knee across Jackie’s skull, and then gives himself a standing ovation. Eddie goes to attack, but winds up on the mat in seconds with Arn standing on his throat. Tony starts discussing Woman and Benoit’s relationship with Bobby. Heenan: “I think she has eyes for him.” Tony: “I think it’s more than that … I think her heart is with him.” Heenan: “Heck, if you’re going that way, I’d say…” Tony: “STOP!!!!” Jackie is launched into the ringpost, and Tony points out that the only saving grace for Eddie here is that Valvoline’s sponsored pads might have lessened the blow. Back in, Anderson delivers a hammerlock slam, and then puts on a standing shoulder breaker. Arn drops his knee to Eddie’s arm repeatedly, but Jackie finds a wind from somewhere and slams Arn. A dropkick gets a lightning fast 2 count; crooked referee? Jackie hits Arn with a couple of boots, but Anderson’s had enough and delivers the DDT for the win at 4:49. **
KAORU vs. AKIRA HOKUTO (with Sonny Onoo)
Hokuto arrives with Vader’s oxygen mask, but she’s classed it up a little with a bedazzler gun.
Akira flattens Kaoru with a big boot, and chokes her out. Sonny distracts the referee allowing Hokuto to get in a couple of extra seconds. Kaoru comes back with a facesitter, scoring a two count and a moderate tingle. Hokuto responds by kicking Kaoru in the ass and a hair pull, because women. Kaoru comes right back with West Coast Pop, but Hokuto kicks out at 2. A top rope moonsault misses the mark, allowing Akira to nail a powerbomb, and score the pin at 2:41 with one foot. 1/2*
For Christ sakes, we have seen this match on every jobber show for the last YEAR (and probably more, I just haven’t done a 1995 timeline yet). Same nonsense, Sullivan charges the ring, takes Boone up the ringsteps, and throws him over the balcony. Double stomp finishes at 1:35. GO AWAY. 1/2*
Wallstreet once again fails to don his nWo shirt on this show. I hope someone SNITCHES. This is apparently our feature match, and there’s a ton of time left in the show, so either this is getting some real time, or we have a Roddy Piper segment to air. Benoit takes down Wallstreet with a snapmare, while Tony starts grilling Heenan. Tony: “Isn’t it true that you’ve received an offer from the nWo? Isn’t it true you’re considering turning your back on your friends? Isn’t it true, Mr. Heenan, that you’re a weasel?” Heenan: “Isn’t it true if I slapped a miniskirt on you, you’d look like Marcia Clark?” Heenan admits he loves a good corporate takeover, but he hates Hogan so much he can’t consider it. Wallstreet puts Benoit in an abdominal stretch, and even uses the rope for leverage behind the referees back with Woman standing right there. Puuhhhhhhlease; this is an imposter, the real Woman would have already smashed her heel in his eye. Wallstreet misses a charge, and Benoit yanks down the rope, sending him crashing to the floor. Wallstreet calls it a night and heads up the aisle, but Benoit catches him and slams Wallstreet on the floor. Tony calls Starrcade’s match the biggest in wrestling since Hogan’s match with Andre the Giant … in 1993. Jesus Tony, just stop talking. Wallstreet reaches into the buckle, and finds something that he uses to jam in Benoit’s head. The referee investigates, but Wallstreet’s already hidden it again. Benoit is tossed through the middle rope, but he re-enters with a sunset flip getting 2. Wallstreet goes to finish with a piledriver, but Benoit backdrops his way out. Chris heads up top, but misses the swandive. That allows Wallstreet to hit the Stock Market Crash, but Woman pulls Benoit’s leg to the ropes saving him. Wallstreet loses his shit, and gets in Woman’s face, allowing Benoit to roll him up for the pin at 8:59. Hang it up Mike, even Benoit can’t make you look good. *1/2
Heenan wanders back into the locker room with a fire extinguisher; which he’ll use to cool down Hogan’s ass once Piper lights it on fire at Starrcade. Wait, Piper’s gonna do what?

We’ll find out tonight if Heenan’s accurate.

WCW Worldwide: December 22, 1996

In regards to my suggestion of Chris Benoit adopting The Unstoppable Erection as his finishing move, It’s False quickly reminded me:
You mean that wasn’t the name of Benoit’s 69 submission hold from a few months ago?
Can I tell you how excited I am for this particular recap? No, not because I anticipate anything incredible (but that would be nice!), but because my wife bought me a wireless digital thermometer for Christmas, and I’ve put it to work in my Green Egg on an 8 pound pork butt. I can smoke AND recap at the same time – it’s multi-tasking at its FINEST!
One week to Starrcade means the biggest edition of WCW Worldwide EVER. You’ve got Konnan, Big Bubba, M. Wallstreet, Galaxy, and Ciclope. Yes, Ciclope. I knew you doubted me, but you shouldn’t.
TONY SCHIAVONE and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN are on commentary duties, and make no mention of the fact that nWo members have started appearing on the C-shows.

It’s been awhile, Butch! Heenan’s already slurring his words about Hulk Hogan – we may have his most intoxicated appearance since Hog Wild! This show has a world of promise already. Jericho takes the Stun Gun, and winds himself on the wrong end of Butch Long’s boot. Heenan can’t even remember what sport Jericho’s father played, trying like hell to say “hockey” before Tony saves him. Jericho hits a springboard back elbow, and follows with a dropkick. The Lionsault is on point, setting up the missile dropkick for the win at 2:41. Heenan’s so excited he vomits all over Tony’s shoes. *
Tony and Heenan head into the locker room, and Heenan can barely stand up. If they lit a cigarette right now, his lungs would explode.
Well I have to give props to Konan, managing to put aside the fact that Bubba joined the nWo on Monday night to once again work alongside his good friend one more time. Even Jimmy Hart is a good sport. Konan hits Thompson with a powerbomb, and Bubba follows that act with a headbutt. Both guys start tagging in and out quickly, trading moves. Bubba first hits a backbreaker, Konan a brainbuster, and Bubba a crappy powerbomb for 2 (and only because Bubba pulled him back up). Konan finally finishes with some overhead brainbuster thing that sounds far better in this recap than it looked on TV, but it’s over at 3:36. 1/2*
Kendall was a regular jobber back in the earlier part of the decade, but I’m fairly certain this is his first appearance in 1996 (unless of course he appeared on Pro, which I would know nothing about). Wallstreet fails to sport the nWo colors, which might get him kicked out just as fast as he was accepted to the group. Tony, who might be drunker than Heenan, starts speculating on whether or not Wallstreet might join the nWo, despite the fact he did that, IN FRONT OF TONY, a week ago. Heenan mentions the only thing keeping him from joining the nWo is Hogan; to which Tony replies “not enough money, huh?” Heenan starts sputtering, and Tony lets it go. Heenan: “The nWo won’t stop, they’re going to build an armory.” Oh Jesus. Hot coffee to the announcer’s booth, STAT! Stock Market Crash gets the win at 4:39. (That’s in hours) *
Heenan: “If you can’t find anything to get me for Christmas, don’t worry yourself about it man, you won’t offend me with cash.” Tony: “Will you take rolled pennies?” Heenan (without missing a beat): “Yes!” We get a close up of Ciclope, and Heenan feigns a heart attack. Gomez immediately gives Galaxy a powerslam, and flattens him in the corner with an avalanche. The luchadores make a brief comeback, working in unison with the chops, but they’re neither white nor large, and succumb to clotheslines. A crossbody from Renegade on Ciclope gets a new 2, and Renegade follows up with a crappy handspring back elbow. A completely botched bulldog gets the win at 2:27. This could not have been worse. -**
THE NASTY BOYS hit the ring and beat up everyone for upstaging them in the awful department.
Heenan figures High Voltage is a couple of wins away from being players; which is like saying Triple H is a couple of TV absences away from being palatable. Voltage work over the Guerreros with their double team moves and their way too tight pink singlets. Rage drops an elbow across the back of Chavo’s head, and puts him in a front facelock so that Chavo has a front row seat to his protruding penis. Kaos applies a camel clutch, really working that pelvis into the back of Chavo. Chavo wiggles loose, so Kaos chokes him, and I’ll let you decide what body part he used to accomplish that. Back to the camel clutch, and Kaos is really cinching back on it. Chavo finally escapes, and gets the hot tag to Eddie. He throws Chavo at Voltage, and he does dropkicks them. Eddie finishes with the Frog Splash on Kaos at 5:09. Chavo returns to the locker room where he takes a 3-hour shower while loudly weeping and trying to remind himself it’s not his fault.
These two had a swanky little match on the November 8 Nitro, so I have some good vibes for this one. Heenan seems to be a little more on his game, so he may be sobering up. Morrus drops Luger with a shoulder block, and laughs like a hyena. A vertical suplex has Morrus calling for the fans, and he fails to notice that Luger’s up until he comes face to face with the ROAR. Luger slams Morrus with no effort, and hits a shoulderblock. Tony talks about Luger’s freakish strength, but Heenan correctly points out that the Nasty Boys are really strong too, especially if you’re down wind. Morrus hits an avalanche, and Luger face flops. A second attempt misses, and Luger quickly hits a backdrop suplex. A running clothesline gets 2. Morrus fires back with a clothesline of his own, and heads up for a flying elbow drop … which misses! The Torture Rack is academic, and Luger scores the win at 5:11. If Piper can’t get the belt off Hogan, Luger HAS to be next in line. He’s worked his ass off all year, and the fans are completely taken with him. *1/2

No preview for next week, which is a big negative, because I don’t like surprises on this show. If The Gambler is booked, I want to know. 

WCW Worldwide: December 15, 1996

Just days away from Christmas, will WCW load their biggest syndicated show with loads of top stars just to please me? Why yes – no less than the likes of Madusa, Hugh Morrus, Big Bubba, and Hacksaw Duggan!
TONY SCHIAVONE and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN host from the Disney MGM studios.

Hey, I don’t remember having been promised Joe Gomez or The Renegade; this show is the gift that keeps on giving. We saw this match just last night on WCW Saturday Night, where the Renegade scored his first pinfall in ages. With momentum, don’t be surprised if it continues here tonight. We start with many hiptosses, because that’s roughly all they have. Renegade, now without facepaint, but armed with nuclear nipples, comes off the top with a … punch. Kaos fires back with a double underhook powerbomb on Gomez, and a slingshot splash from Rage gives the heels the advantage. Kaos unfortunately misses a shoulderblock, hitting his buddy instead, and Renegade comes in a house of fire, hitting them with … punches. A handspring back elbow drops Rage, but Kaos saves at 2. Gomez clears the ring, and hits a sidewalk slam on Rage for the win at 3:42. 1/2*
Good to see old Leroy giving the can another kick. This is the rubber match between these two, having previous fought on the September 2 Prime, and the September 8 Worldwide. Of course, this is the equivalent of playing for pride, as Morrus swept the first two matches. A spinning heel kick takes the head of Howard right off, and he is now deceased. Morrus refuses to cover a corpse. Because it’s morbid? No, because he can stop and laugh in his previously functional face. Morrus punches him some more which seems like overkill, and starts going full Weekend at Bernies by picking him up at 2. He hits the No Laughing Matter, pins the torso at 2:57, and laughs hysterically, screaming “NOW THAT’S FUNNY!” The Howard family requests that you send money instead of flowers. *
31-minute Roddy Piper video package.
KAORU (with Sonny Onoo) vs. MADUSA
Were you aware the women’s title tournament is still happening? Well, you would if you read my Main Event recaps. You don’t? It’s a SECRET EASTER EGG hidden on my personal blog, and I’m implore you to read it to find out the latest in Lee Marshall news. Madusa beat Zero last night. It begs the question: How many wrestlers does Sonny Onoo manage in this tournament, exactly? Kaoru gives Madusa the face sitter, because she’s Japanese and they’re all sex workers you know. Madusa hits 3 swinging neckbreakers for 2, which frustrates her. Thankfully for her she’s white, so she isn’t losing. A couple of muff-presses are delivered from Kaoru. Does she know any moves that don’t use her vag, exactly? Yes – just one – the moonsault that misses by 80 feet, and the German suplex wins for America at 2:45. 1/2*
We’re about 3 or 4 months in to the Chris Jericho era, and I think we’ve firmly established that’s a bland crowd-kissing wiener. I would be delighted if we explored other aspects of his personality, such as his relationship with Dave Penzer. But first, he’s got to survive the wrath of Jimmy Graffiti, who hits him with a backdrop suplex. A superkick flattens the Paragon of Virtue, and a short powerbomb gets 2. Jericho fires back with Sweet Chin Music, and asks us the question that’s been on his mind since the start of the match: “ARE YOU READ-EH?” Graffiti is, and gives Jericho a jawbreaker. Chris rolls to the floor, and Jimbob misses his senton off the apron, crashing into the spinning stage. Jericho quickly finishes with a missile dropkick at 3:27. *1/2
Ooh WCW, you know I’m a sucker for really stupid gimmicks, and this is the finest new one you’ve trotted out in months. Observe:
I’m fairly sure he’s a “punisher” in the BDSM sense. The safe word is “cabbage”, Eddie. Punisher shows off his tight bulge, and Eddie promptly grabs it to slam him. Punisher has no time for these games, he is the alpha male, and pounds away on Eddie. A standing senton gets 2, as well as an uncontrollable erection (I won’t spoil from who). A standing vertical suplex has everyone standing at attention, as Punisher gets 2. Punisher chokes Eddie out like he’s Jian Gomeshi, but he sadly forgets to turn his teddy bear’s head around first. Eddie escapes, and slams Punisher’s face to the buckle for an even 10. A European uppercut loosens some teeth, just the way Punisher likes it. In fact, this gives him a second wind, and he slams Eddie before heading to the top (rope – let’s not be gross). He chooses to assert his sexual dominance with a primal roar, releasing so much testosterone the front row is forced to change their clothing at intermission.
The momentum of his manhood propels him forward into Eddie’s awaiting arms, but it’s a trick, and Eddie rolls away. He scoots up top, hitting the Frog Splash, and scoring the pin as they lie together, out of breath, but mutually satisfied with the result at 4:14. 69 stars. Tune in next week when Punisher continues to plow through the family, taking on “Gory” Guerrero.
This is your main event. Without checking my archives, I have to guess that this is roughly the 98th match between these two in 1996. Heenan wastes no time in laying into Duggan, so Tony stands his ground and tells Heenan if he says one more word, he’s going to invite Duggan over the announce booth with the 2×4 and tell him what he said. Heenan: “That’s fine, the next time the Faces of Fear come out, I’ll tell them what YOU said about where they come from.” Tony: “I didn’t say that!” Heenan: “I don’t care, I’ll make it up. Besides, I never said anything bad about Duggan, I just tell the truth.” Tony: “Forget it.” Bubba works a headlock, so Duggan goes to the kidney punches to scoot loose. A hair toss has Bubba clutching his scalp, and Hart stops to point out the giant bald spot on the side of his head to the referee. The referee doesn’t believe a word of it. Duggan delivers an atomic drop, and slam Bubba, setting up the 3 Point Stance. Hart gets involved, and Bubba jabs the megaphone to Duggan’s midsection drawing a DQ at 2:32. The heels celebrate while Duggan’s doubled over, but I’ve played this game before. Sure enough, he grabs his 2×4, and chases the heels off. Bubba forgets his hat and glasses, so Duggan puts them on and marches around the ring until Bubba comes back to claim them. Duggan smacks him in the face with the board, and calls out his hoes. *

Next week: Konnan, Big Bubba, Mr. Wallstreet, Galaxy, and Ciclope! Okay, I’m a little jazzed for the last two. Tony signs off with the obligatory 470 word soliloquy to Roddy Piper, and we’re out.