The One Man Gang vs. Konnan (and other Dream Matches!)

Konnan: photos | WWE

Konnan! Back when he was super-built and wore all the colors!

Welcome back to more Dream Matches! Today I have a pile of totally random stuff, as usual- a few requests plus the beginning of the infamous “Konnan Push” in WCW, as he takes on the US Champion One Man Gang in a totally random match. Also witness the last of the Ice Train stuff I could find, as he squashes the Gambler in 1996, then gets flattened by Goldberg four years later, this time as “M.I. Smooth”!

Next up is the long-awaited reappearance of the Deceptively-Stocky Rockers of Lucha- Los Cowboys! Silver King & El Texano team up with Villano III against the weirdo team of Yokozuna (Kokina Maximus), Miguel Perez Jr. & “The Killer”! Next it’s Disorderly Conduct, but against all-time great workers instead of the usual Saturday Night dregs, with Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio taking them on! And we end things with the death of WCW Saturday Night (it continues on as a recap show after this)- a look at WCW’s horrible hardcore division, based around BRIAN KNOBBS of all people, as he takes on Norman Smiley, Rick Fuller, Al Green as a barking dog, and… two jobbers? Really? Just match-filling nobodies? THIS is what you book as the final match in Saturday Night’s history? oh, WCW.

WCW U.S. TITLE:
THE ONE MAN GANG vs. KONAN:
(WCW The Main Event, Feb. 4th 1996)
* This is one of those completely random, out of nowhere WCW bouts that ended up being a shocker, as the One Man Gang beat Kensuke Sasaki in a match both WCW & NJPW couldn’t ignore fast enough, and now the Gang is defending against some totally random dude- a guy most American fans had never heard of who is the Mexican Champion, and OH MY GOD what in the name of god is Konan wearing? He’s got a blue mask, shiny blue cape with “KONAN” written in block letters, blue tasseled tights and a gigantic “fake muscles” novelty shirt in hot pink. This is the ugliest ring costume I’ve ever seen, and I’ve watched like 200 Kaoru Ito matches. Despite the idiotic gear, Konan (that’s the spelling at this point) actually has a really good physique at this point, not hiding it behind baggy jeans and shirts like he would shortly afterwards when he was rowdy-rowdy and bout-it bout-it.

Konan immediately stands on the middle rope to taunt Gang, then lures him into the other side and does the same thing, but adds a JB Angels armdrag out of it, then does a run-up into the corner (I mean, sorta) and comes off with a shoulderblock. Then he just stands up and turns around, taking the world’s wussiest bump off of a clothesline so Gang can do his “throw punches and scream” thing for a minute or two on Konan’s taped up shoulder. Gang then chokes him as this goes on FOREVER, but after some shoulderblocks he misses a charge, and that leads to Konan’s comeback- he slaps Gang around, hits a dropkick to the penis, then throws a shitty spinkick and Gang is good enough to bump around for him, even getting shoulderblocked through the ropes so he bumps to the floor. But Gang IMMEDIATELY springs to his feet and gets back in, catching Konan and lifting him, but Konan hangs onto the top rope and instead falls on top… for the three (4:00)? Haha, SERIOUSLY? THAT was how they booked the US Title change? Konan wins the gold! He holds it for actually a really long time (160 days) before losing to Ric Flair, but I wasn’t watching at this point so I can’t tell you how it goes- judging by Cagematch, it’s a lot of wins over Eddie Guerrero, Brad Armstrong, Kevin Sullivan and guys like that.

Pretty horrible match, with Gang forced to control virtually then entire thing with slow, plodding offense (in a four minute match!) until the banana peel ending of all things. Hardly a strong win for the new Champion, though it does help to give WCW a sense of “anything can happen/must-see-TV” when a newcomer wins the secondary belt on the D-show.

Rating: DUD (Konan does a couple of okay moves, but then it’s an ’80s style sluggish brawl until a one-move comeback win)

ICE TRAIN (w/ Teddy Long) vs. THE GAMBLER:
(WCW Saturday Night, Sept. 3rd 1996)
* In the midst of the Fire & Ice breakup angle, with Teddy Long trying to keep them together. I guess it’s Train/Norton at Hog Wild. Train’s in the blue & white, with Gambler in his black trunks.

Train shoves the Gambler down off a lock-up, then yanks on the arm and powers him around. Leapfrog & hiptoss lead to Gambler going to the eyes to take over, but he makes the mistake of ramming a black man’s head into the turnbuckles, and you know what THAT means. Ice Train fires up, slams the Gambler, and hits the Train Wreck (jumping splash) at (1:58) for the win. Just a squash- Gambler had no real offense besides eyerakes and punches.

Rating: 1/4* (jobber bout)

WCW M.I. Smooth 2nd Theme Song - "M.I. Smooth Theme" (With Tron) - YouTube

Ice Train is now the slickly-dressed “M.I. Smooth”… but still no push forthcoming.

BILL GOLDBERG vs. M.I. SMOOTH:
(WCW Nitro, 12.04.2000)
* Yes, this is incredibly a 2000-era WCW show with Ice Train now repackaged as a R&B-dancing “M.I. Smooth”, wrestling in grey dress pants and shirt, as well as black wrestling boots that could almost be mistaken for dress shoes. Goldberg is actually a bit taller than Smooth, but lacks his girth.

Goldberg flat-out no-sells Smooth’s punches and kicks, then completely beats his ass. But he charges into an elbow in the corner… only to easily catch Smooth with a big boot, hits the Spear (with Smooth actually leaping up into it), and lands the Jackhammer for the easy win at (0:51). Sadly the fans are only like “Yay Goldberg!” instead of completely falling over each other in glee at him- the mystique was gone by this point.

Rating: DUD (absolutely nothing to the match)

KOKINA MAXIMUS, MIGUEL PEREZ JR. & THE KILLER (w/ Clown Macho Man guy) vs. VILLANO III & LOS COWBOYS (El Texano & Silver King):
(UWA TV, August 29th, 1992)
* Oh, awesome! So many moons ago I reviewed a bout that had the Texano/Silver King duo and I remarked on their rapid-fire double-teaming, referring to them as the “Deceptively-Stocky Rockers”. But I couldn’t find anything else for some reason, despite Roy Lucier here having a whole ton of UWA stuff featuring them on his channel. And with such wildly disparate teams! So now it’s those two guys (in beautiful hot pink trunks), plus Villano III (brother of IV & V from WCW), up against a spritely 350-lb. YOKOZUNA (Kokina Maximus), Miguel “Shave Your Back” Perez Jr. and The Killer. Perez looks like somebody’s balding dad with his hairy chest, mustache and jobbery Puerto Rican flag singlet, and The Killer’s all in black and is masked, but has some other PR flag stuff on his gear. There’s some manager I don’t know with them, whom I dub Clown Macho Man Guy.

The TV transfer here is REALLY BAD- so much so that I can barely tell Los Cowboys apart. Keep in mine one of them is built like SILVER KING, who is so uniquely-built that he was instantly recognizable in a fully-body suit and mask.

FALL UNO: We start off with a brawl immediately as the heels attack and choke Los Cowboys and Villano, even using a rolled-up flag as a weapon. But they arbitrarily stop triple-teaming Texano and he tags out to Villano, who dodges another flag-shot (the second of the heels takes it on the apron) and fights back on the Killer with it. The faces charge the ring and beat up the Puerto Ricans (Perez selling cartoonishly), but Villano blasts a teammate with the flag by accident. Kokina ends up pinning the other one (Silver King, I think) with a headbutt. A simple lariat/elbow from the PR team pin Texano (god I keep forgetting how easy it is to get pins in these matches) so the fall is won at (2:52) with two guys down.

FALL SEGUNDO: The heels triple-team Texano a ludicrously long time due to a ref distraction, busting him open so their second (… a… clown Macho Man?) can beat him up on the floor. Villano gets beat up, but his partners won’t tag for some reason, so Perez easily tees off on him. Kokina uses headbutts and THE CLAW~~ but Los Cowboys finally seem to listen to the crowd and barge in, taking Perez & Killer to the floor- Clown Macho Man gets hit while Villano throws the worst worked punches I’ve ever seen to Kokina (he clearly misses by a foot in close-up, just jerking his fist into his own chest). Perez does some hugely cartoonish selling of Cowboy shots and goes out, and Villano sunset flips Kokina, aided by Los Cowboys, who add elbows for a triple-pin! One Cowboy rolls through a slam by Perez for three, and the other inside cradles Killer when he misses a punch to end the fall (4:26).

FALL TERCERA: Texano & Kokina tease a handshake for like two minutes until Perez sneak-attacks from behind. Kokina misses an avalanche and gets tripped up for one, but dodges Silver King’s missile kick (how do you miss YOKOZUNA?). Silver King beats up Killer, then Perez, but after some shots to the clown misses both heels with a slingshot plancha- back in, a backflip elbow (!) by Perez and avalanche by Kokina pins him. Villano finally comes back in, but when the ref pulls him out of corner ass-kickery, Perez seems to grab brass knuckles and KOs him for the pin at (4:37). Yup- different camera angle confirms it. The heels steal one.

Lucha is tough, man. Lots of “all punches” matches mixed in with flippy ones and I never know what I’m gonna get. This one was just guys punching each other softly and transition moves getting the pins, so it’s not really my deal type of lucha. The cartoon selling and clear misses weren’t helping. I mean, this TV transfer is so bad I’m mostly just guessing which is Texano & which is Silver King and even THEN I can see the punches miss by a mile! Thankfully I found much better matches for future reviews (Furnas & Kroffat!).

Rating: *3/4 (some okay stuff, but largely 12 minutes of punches)

REY MYSTERIO 4x6 WCW PHOTO WWE ROH ECW TNA ECW NXT NWO 6:19 | eBay

Rey Mysterio when he dressed like a ten-year old.

THE FILTHY ANIMALS (Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio Jr. w/ Konnan) vs. DISORDERLY CONDUCT (Mean Mike & Tough Tom):
* HELL YES!! We’ve seen what mediocre workers can do against Disorderly Conduct, but what about GREAT workers? But the Filthy Animals are the most “late 1990s” team in existence, complete with Konnan joining them wearing a red bandana turned backwards so the knot is hanging down over his face. Rey is wearing those GIGANTIC yellow & green overalls and is maskless, so he looks like a 10-year old boy. Eddie just looks uncomfortable to be there, like he’s not even present (given his habits at the time, I bet I can guess why).

Eddie takes the Eddie Bump after a simple exchange with Mean Mike, but on the next one dropkicks out and escapes- Rey hits a Lionsault immediately and Eddie adds his slingshot senton for two. Rey does a Manami Roll but eats a HUGE Ligerbomb from Tough Tom, who hilariously doesn’t even go for the cover- Monsoon would have been all over that s---. Flying shoulderblock gets two- Eddie saves (lol why are these guys having to save each other from DISORDERLY CONDUCT?)- DC does their “assisted double-sledge” but Eddie assists Rey on a sunset flip for two. DC cheat and Tom hits a helicopter side slam for two- Rey escapes but the ref doesn’t see the tag to Eddie so the beat-down continues…. oh never mind, Rey just reverses and tags out literally fifteen seconds later- okay. DC cheat again to take over on Eddie, but Rey comes in for the Bronco Buster on one guy, while Eddie leapfrogs Rey into the Super Frankensteiner on the other, getting three at (5:55).

Oh man, I was expecting a tour de force of cool offense by the Animals, not “DC dominate most of the match until the Animals come from behind”, haha. Kind of a simple Template Match, but at least the moves were good.

Rating: ** (Rey & Eddie are hard to hate, but didn’t exactly have their working boots on here, eating all the offense)

The Fall Of The Nasty Boys | Ring the Damn Bell

“WWF is kicking our asses in the ratings with Hardcore content! What do we do?”
“… Brian Knobbs as the central figure in a Hardcore division?”
“See, this is why we pay you the big bucks.”
-A night at WCW’s booking table.

WCW HARDCORE TITLE ON A POLE MATCH:
BRIAN KNOBBS, SCREAMIN’ NORMAN SMILEY, RICK FULLER, THE DOG, ADRIAN BYRD & DAVE BURKHEAD:
(WCW Saturday Night’s Final Match, April 1st, 2000)
* This one comes recommended as a 6-man Pole Match (because Russo… I’m just gonna assume he was booking here), featuring a weird assortment of WCW guys. Knobbs, dressed like a Dudley Boy but horribly fat, at this point had been taken out of the mothballs for a garbage “Hardcore Division”. God he looks weird with ’90s hair. Norman Smiley was the “Comedy Entrant” who quickly came to dominate things, if by accident. Naturally he was a legit great worker but looked silly and could play a goof, so there we are.

Fuller is an infamous huge jobber usually there to put over big dudes. The Dog is Al Green, who was Kevin Nash’s old Master Blaster partner and I’m pretty sure he was a pity hire- he’s in red & orange camo and barking like his namesake. Never heard of the other two guys. Byrd is a super-muscular black guy in black sweatpants who was apparently a super-common jobber on the D-Shows, which makes me wonder why I never saw him- granted it was 97-00, but I was watching WCW for SOME of that! He’s like John Silver’s height, which explains why he never went anywhere. Burkhead is in the same zone, and apparently later changed his name to Knuckles Zandwich (JESUS CHRIST HAHA WHAT?)- he’s a doughy white guy in the “ECW Special” (jorts & black t-shirt to hide flabby body).

Knobbs fills the ring with chairs & ladders, but each guy brings their own weapons and tees off on Knobbs in the ring. Smiley nails Fuller with a kendo stick and begins choking him out, which is kinda hilarious given the size difference, while the Dog (who apparently takes orders from Knobbs, the only one who can control him) gets knocked onto Knobbs and bites him. Fuller pulls Smiley off the top rope and everyone uses trash can lids on each other, then Knobbs sprays the ring with a fire extinguisher (I mean, sort of), saving us from “Dave Burkhead: Hardcore Champion”, then lids everyone before hitting one of those ’90s unprotected chairshots to Burkhead.

Smiley stops Knobbs’ climb with the stick, but Knobbs soon flattens everyone again, then props up a ladder in the other corner- but then he just turns around into the melee, which Larry Z on commentary shits all over him for, then he naturally goes flying into his own ladder. But he soon does the old “wear it around the head and spin around” trick, wiping out everyone, then tossing it onto Burkhead on the floor. Smiley takes out both Fuller & Knobbs with a lid, but does the “Big Wiggle” dance on Knobbs and Fuller blasts him with a trash can when he climbs the ropes… but then Fuller just kinda walks across the ring and takes a lid shot from Knobbs and is dead, so Knobbs cans Smiley with a stick. The Dog clobbers Knobbs with a can but gets taken down, then Smiley gets chaired trying it again. Knobbs then clashes two lids like symbols over his head and climbs the ladder in the corner to get the belt (5:41), retaining the Hardcore Title.

Pretty much your standard “everyone plasters each other with weapons” match, but at least they kept the ring from getting too cluttered and actually bothered to fight for the pole position.

Rating: * (total junk, but almost manages to have some psychology. Almost!)