Stars of the 80’s who never got a singles title.

Hey Scott,

I was bored watching my fantasy football team beat up Hollywood Fuj today, so I popped in my Greatest Stars of the 80's dvd. It got me thinking, there were several guys during that time who never got to wear a singles title in the WWE.  Piper eventually got the I-C belt, but others didn't fair so well. One of my favorite guys, Paul Orndoff sticks out. That cage match with Hogan was one of the first big feel matches I remember watching and getting into. It seemed like he should have parlayed that into at least a transitional I-C run. Same with Jake Roberts and Bob Orton. These guys weren't really come in for 6 months and then leave guys, they had a good few years in the company. Anybody else from that period stand out to you as someone who deserved at least a brief title run ala Piper's three month run with the Intercontinental belt?

Well the problem is that titles actually meant something back then and it was tougher to just slot someone in for a few months, but clearly Ted Dibiase should have gotten something, and Jake Roberts for sure.  If not for Honky, Jake would have had to get a cup of coffee with the IC title.  With Orndorff it was pretty much the World title or nothing, I'd say.  

It’s back! Again!

Twice before I’ve tried to make a board for the BoD’ers. Well, neither time it stuck, simply because I couldn’t promote it very well. Well, I write here, so I can keep it in the light.

Any of the well known peeps around here who are interested in being mods, lemme know.

WWE Rushmore

Im having a discussion on facebook about if there was a Mt. Rushmore for the WWE, who would be on it.

I said

And of course, people are discounting Bruno, so I ask you and the Blog, Who is the "WWEs Mt. Rushmore?" No revisionist history.

Shouldn't Vince be on there?  I'd say Hogan, Vince, Bruno and Austin.  Maybe Koko B. Ware as an alternate.

Submission Moves

This might seem like a silly question, but I've always wondered what submission moves actually hurt those involved? Obviously the ankle lock can easily be faked, but growing up I had my brother do the Sharpshooter on several occasions and it always hurt terribly. Now, obviously you can adjust for that, but was just curious which moves you know tend to be painful?

Both the figure-four and the reversal are notoriously painful if done in real life.  Any of the MMA-based holds are of course painful.  Although really, given that wrestling as we know it evolved from the "hookers" doing submission-based grappling back in the old days when you had to know how to make an opponent give up for real, it's not surprising that things would evolve from actual painful moves.  Even simple things like a heel hook or kneebar were often used to break legs when someone was out of line.  

I would of course be remiss in not bringing up the most devastating submission hold of all time:  Big Bully Busick's stump puller, which was rumored to draw a quick submission 100% of the time due to Busick getting an erection while doing the move.  

MeekinOnMovies’ Indie Wrestling Odyssey: Part 1

Part I
A wrestling fan, a cameraman, and a crazy person walk into an armory…

you a wrestling fan?” I asked. I knew the answer, but hoped someone
else on the production side of things would be able to geek out with me.
And boy oh boy did I want to geek out. I was behind the curtain, man.
The Gorilla position. If you pardon the pretension it was wrestling
purgatory. Behind it were men dressed in funny costumes, beyond it they
became larger than life superheroes; entertaining the kids, parents, and
relatives that crowded the intimate Fall River PAL to watch a pro
wrestling show. And literally, I was in the middle of it all.  

I’m writing about this show without much in the way of permission from
the kind folks at Top Rope Promotions, I don’t think they mind, but if
this post goes away, just assume Spike Dudley kicked my ass and pulled
the blog).

two: What follows is a relatively detailed and possibly sort of boring
account of what it’s like to produce, shoot, and edit an independent
professional wrestling show. I’ve changed the names of my cohorts in
case they don’t want to be talked about, but have left wrestler names
the same because who doesn’t like free press, right? In a perfect world
I’d love to write these every couple of weeks after shooting or editing a
show, but if this is lame to you guys lemme know!)  


“Not really,” came the
response from Eddie. This could be a problem. Eddie, you see, had the
good camera. The kind folks at Top Rope Promotions in Fall River,
Massachusetts, had two cameras at their disposal, and Eddie kindly
brought the third. A fancy, HD, three-chip, prosumer model that made
good matches great and bad matches good. It also had the best mic –
which was sort of a pain in the ass when it picked up wrestlers calling
spots, but it was a small price to pay for the glorious footage he could
obtain just by pointing it in the general direction of a wrestler.

problem was that the general direction of the wrestlers tended to be
close-ups that are kind of hard to get on the fly. One second there’d be
an awesome facial expression of a guy locked in a Boston Crab, the next
you’d get a viewfinder full of referee crotch. 

One of the things that
goes unnoticed during your typical wrestling show is that 90 percent of
the time the camera will cut on action. Be
it a chop, drop kick, neck breaker,  or DDT, if you watch enough
wrestling there’s almost a poetry to it – a rhythm. And that rhythm
exists to prevent audiences from noticing how often wrestlers screw up.
If a guy throws a weak kick and you cut to a wide angle – its much
harder to tell. If a guy throws a shoulder block and you cut to the
close up of the victim hitting the mat, the attacker looks like a
monster. And the more of those shots I had, the better the DVD would be.

explained to Eddie to keep the camera angles wide, and only go in for
close ups during obvious rest holds (I then explained what a rest hold
actually was). Eddie, a consumate pro, smiled and nodded and part of me
kind of wondered what *exactly* he was doing shooting a pro-wrestling
show considering how good he was.

other camera man, George. George had long hair and, Metallica, and I
think kind of didn’t want to be there. He was a wrestling fan but wasn’t
a particularly adept technician – and this was his first show. With ten
minutes to show time, I ran down everything I needed from him as my
secondary camera. He could *never* be opposite of Eddie, or else
everything would look terrible and jarring (For geeks this is called the
180 degree rule). I attempted to explain by likening it to a strap
match. Pretend you guys are tethered. You can’t be opposite each other,
keep it at a 90 degree angles. These are all important things that make a
wrestling show look great on DVD.

five minutes to go, the crowd had filed in. I had wanted to get footage
of wrestlers working the gimmick table for a sort of “Fan Interaction”
portion of the DVD, but gave up the ghost on that after realizing I’d
have to explain what a gimmick table was, and wasn’t sure if special guest Sergeant  Slaughter would
be annoyed by being filmed without permission.

I still had to set up the hardcam in the balcony. I’d opted to run the
Hardcam because A) I’m a fat-ass and didn’t want to get in the way of the
show, B) I’d never been inside a pro-wrestling ring before and didn’t
want my first time to be in front of hundred(s?) of people, and C) The
hard cam had the best seat in the house.

I am a fan, after all.

Rope Promotions itself was a really interesting promotion. I’ve never
been one to follow Indie wrestling particularly closely, but after
spending some time with TRP, I can see why people love it. This
particular crowd isn’t filled with rabid fans out for blood. Instead
it’s kids, mostly teens, moms, dads, the elderly, and some special needs
kids (who are actually the biggest fans of them all). It’s actually
sort of a family atmosphere. It’s blue collar thing. Most of the
wrestlers are from Fall River, Rhode Island, and other parts of southern
New England. 

sheer force of will and schedule availability I was also sort of in
charge of this whole shebang too; Where the cameramen went, making sure
the commentators could use their commentary recorder properly, hopefully
getting a one-on-one interview with Sergeant Slaughter (who was the big
name brought in for that show) and then editing the whole thing into a
hopefully saleable DVD.

card was the 7th annual Killer Kowalski cup. A King of The Ring style
tournament named after the Malden, Massachusetts native who trained
Chyna, Triple H, Kofi Kingston and Damien Sandow (if Wikipedia is to be
believed) among other notables. It was a big night for the promotion –
but a bigger one for me. I wanted this to go smoothly. The last show,
had not.

was mostly my fault. I had waited to long to capture the footage, and
misjudged how long it would take to render (geek speak for encode)
Eddie’s footage. As a result the DVD was delayed several times over and
it was all on me. The DVD itself came out…Okay. I didn’t have much in
the name of resources, and had to cobble together wrestler names and
spellings from Facebook. There also seemed to be a few color correction
issues, as well – namely everyone looked yellow.

I handed the DVD off to another wrestler and it was actually pretty
cool to see fans clamouring to buy a DVD I edited and produced. I think
the deal was that we’d split the proceeds 50/50 with the promotion, but
as I later found out, only 4 DVDs sold, and I figured TRP could keep the 8
bucks they owed me.

on the balcony I set up the camera, cutting it dangerously close to
showtime. The crowd was pumped, and rowdy – awesome. A “Feed me More!”
chant broke out amongst everyone in the audience, which quickly turned
into a “Goldberg” chant, then turned into a dueling chant. If the crowd
was this hot during the show – and I had every reason to think they would be,  the show could be something

Getting the show on video – well, that was a different story.

To be continued….

In Part Two (Lets shoot for…Tuesday?): A camera without power, an audio recorder without a mic, a man and his country, and I make an idiot of myself in front of Spike Dudley and Sarge on completely separate occasions.

Post Montreal question

Hi Scott, here's a question I don't think anyone has asked before: let's pretend that Montreal was the final nail in the coffin for the WWF and the company went out of business and WCW brought the video libray and acquired a lot of the WWF top stars, do you think the fate of WCW would have been the same where they would have screwed that up, and if they continued to lose money, do you think Turner would have pulled the plug on the company despite it being the only international wrestling company around? And if WCW was no more, would have the return of the territories come back or would there have been a huge investor to create a new international wrestling promotion in the same vein as TNA.

That's an awfully big pretending, since VInce was miraculously able to shell out millions of dollars for Mike Tyson months before the business turned around, despite being so destitute that he couldn't pay Bret Hart his contracted money.  
But regardless, I think that WCW would have screwed it up regardless and still gone out of business at the same time, because they were just doing SO much wrong.  Plus, as noted many times, the eventual death of WCW was caused by the TV division cancelling them, not any direct effect of the business itself.  I think probably we'd still have TNA, and guys like Cena and Batista would have migrated to MMA instead.  So basically TNA would have Mondays to itself doing the same rating as now, and probably Vince would try again with another startup at some point.  

5 all time faves

hey scott, how about telling your millions and millions of followers who your top 5 wrestlers of all time are? rock, flair, bret I guess must be in there, and then? foley? steamer? shawn? owen? hennig?

greetings J

I really dislike "top 5 of all time" type lists, because there's SOOOOOO many criteria and types of wrestlers and matches and such that just naming 5 would render the whole exercise meaningless.  Top 5 WHAT?  Main eventers?  Brawlers?  Best wrestlers?  Favorite wrestlers?  Jobbers?  
Hang on, now here's a clip from High Fidelity…
If you mean all time favorites, it's generally Rock, Flair, Bret, Owen, and formerly Benoit before all the unpleasantness occurred and now it would be either Randy Savage or Mr Perfect depending on my mood.  Although Flair has tarnished his legacy so much that he's retroactively slipping down the list.  If you're going by the criteria of "People who I have specifically paid money to go see at live events" then it's Rock, Bret, Savage, CM Punk and Steve Austin.  However, that's somewhat skewed because WWF used to tour Western Canada all the time in the 80s, when I COULD go see Randy Savage live, then they stopped for most of the 90s so that I had almost no opportunity to see people like Flair.  They started coming all the time in the Attitude Era again, which is why most of my money went to Rock/Bret/Austin. Then I got online and learned about the wonderful world of sucking up to my friends in WWE and getting free tickets, so generally I haven't paid for a show since about 2001.  Until last year, when I specifically decided to buy tickets for a house show with CM Punk on top to make a point that I was paying money to see CM Punk.
So there you go.  Here's another High Fidelity clip to bookend this.

Wrestling all time supercard

Hi Scott long time reader and all that I have a question/discussion for the blog if you were to put together a wrestling event with the best matches that nwa/wcw/wwf/wwe have produced what would you pick? The only rule is you can only use a wrestler once ie you can't have hogan warrior and hogan Andre you have to choose

Well if I was putting together an all-time supercard, I certainly wouldn't be picking either one of those matches.
We've done this particular exercise with Wrestlemania and other major shows a lot, and the question as phrased is really too broad because it's basically just asking for a list of great matches without any overlapping people.  Plus if it's a three hour show you could just do Flair-Steamboat 2/3 falls, a one hour Misawa-Kobashi draw, and CM Punk v. John Cena and there you go.  
So I dunno, if you guys wanna have a crack at it, go nuts.

Smackdown – November 23, 2012

November 23, 2012
Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Josh Matthews, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
the night after Thanksgiving and we’re just after Survivor Series.
Big Show is still champion and it looks like we’re getting Show vs.
Sheamus III in a chairs match at TLC. Other than that it’s hard to
say what we’re going to get at that show, but I have a feeling it’ll
be a lot of rematches. Let’s get to it.

the voiceover deal to start, recapping Raw with the Cena/AJ stuff.
You know, in case seeing it five times on Raw wasn’t enough for you.
We also see the ending with Ryback getting beaten down again.
open with MizTV. The guest tonight? John Cena. Well you can’t say
they’re being weak with the guests on this one. Cena sits on a couch
and says this is awesome. Miz talks about how Cena is more famous
for his in ring stuff but lately it’s been like a TMZ story. To
prove it, we see the Cena/AJ kiss for the second time in five
minutes. Miz asks how the kiss was and how Cena’s knee is after the
attack by Ziggler. Apparently Cena has a tweeked knee but it’s
nothing serious.
that’s enough about wrestling, so let’s talk about AJ some more. Miz
wants to know if Cena and AJ are more than just friends, but Cena is
tired of hearing that question. Cena does admit that AJ is a good
kisser though. Riveting stuff here people. Miz again asks if
they’re more than just friends and here’s AJ before Cena can answer.
AJ says Cena was just doing that to prove a point to Vickie but Cena
seems to dispute this. Miz makes fun of them for being in love, but
Cena calls Miz an idiot.
brings out Ziggler because this segment needs to keep going for some
reason. Ziggler says that it’s AJ’s fault that Cena hurt his knee
because she burst into the men’s locker room. Pay no attention to
the fact that Cena hurt his knee jumping out of the ring after
Ziggler which we already saw a video of today I guess. This of
course leads to ANOTHER video from Raw with AJ going into the locker
room and yelling at Ziggler, leading to a brawl between Dolph and
we haven’t covered this entire storyline yet, here’s Vickie to run
her mouth a bit more. Vickie says Dolph kisses real woman which Cena
calls a lie because there’s no proof Vickie is an actual woman.
Guerrero insists their relationship is just professional and Dolph
says he’d bring the woman out of AJ. Cena says Vickie is nuts and
Dolph is still looking for his. The segment finally ends with
nothing at all new being added.
vs. Darren Young
comes out second which is kind of odd. Titus sits in on commentary.
Young pounds away to start but Ryback casually shoves him down.
Young gets his head slammed into the mat and Titus blows the whistle
at him. Ryback takes Young’s head off with a clothesline on the
floor and we head back in. Titus: “Somebody get that boy some
medication. Something’s wrong with him.” Meat Hook and Shell
Shock end this in 2:03. I’m sure Young will in a title match soon
after this and WWE will be confused when no one buys him as a title
yells at Ryback post match and gets a Shell Shock too.
vs. Antonio Cesaro
is non-title and is happening because Cesaro has only beaten Truth
clean once so far, which means absolutely nothing in the modern WWE.
Cesaro insults Thanksgiving before the match as you would expect him
to do. Cesaro immediately hits the gutwrench suplex followed by a
double stomp and a body vice. Truth comes back with punches and a
side kick before countering the Neutralizer with a backdrop. Little
Jimmy hits for the clean pin at 1:33.
to recap: Cesaro pinned Truth 100% clean at Survivor Series, then
Truth gets another match with him and pins him in under two minutes.
I SO want to see another match between them now and this certainly
doesn’t hurt Cesaro’s credibility at all. My goodness they bring so
many problems on themselves it’s unreal. Have Truth beat ANYONE else
to earn another shot and this problem does not exist. Is it any
surprise that Cesaro is a total afterthought at this point?
arrives and Booker stops him from going to the locker room. Due to
the attack at Survivor Series, Sheamus can’t compete tonight.
Instead Booker gives him a chairs match for the title at TLC.
Sheamus gets to go to Booker’s personal suite and watch the show.
Big Show has a handicap match later against HELL NO.
Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio
lights are back. JBL says Del Rio is a former AAA champion but I can
find no record of that anywhere. Cara immediately knocks him to the
floor and hits a big dive on Del Rio and Rodriguez for two back
inside. A big running kick misses Del Rio and a tilt-a-whirl
backbreaker gets two for Alberto. Cara’s right shoulder goes into
the post and we take a break.
with Alberto pulling on the mask before shifting over to a chokehold.
Del Rio fires off kicks to the back as JBL continues to amuse me.
Josh talks about how he and JBL watched the 2/3 falls match earlier
today, but JBL makes sure to point out that they were in separate
rooms so people don’t think they’re friends. Back to the chinlock by
Alberto but Cara comes back with a rana for two. Del Rio hits a kick
to the side of the head, drawing a big gasp from the crowd but only
getting two.
slow down a bit as JBL rips into Mil Mascaras a bit more. Alberto
slams Cara down as the announcers stay in their argument. At least
this one is entertaining though, unlike Titus and Jerry’s debate
about washcloths on Raw. Back to the chinlock for a bit but Cara
speeds things up and hits an armdrag and cross body for two. The
Tajiri Elbow looks to set up the Swanton but Del Rio arm drags Cara
off the top and the Cross Armbreaker gets the tap at 6:21 shown of
The commentary was more entertaining than the match here but the
match wasn’t bad. Seeing Del Rio ground Cara and work the arm over
was another example of the solid psychology that Alberto has, which
is one of the things that makes him so fun to watch. Pretty decent
little TV match here.
tells Kane to stay out of his way tonight because he can beat Big
Show in 45 seconds. Kane asks Bryan if he thinks that’s going to
happen again. Guess what Bryan says. Kane says he and Show used to
be tag champions and thinks Bryan and Show could be a team called No
Show. Bryan: “Is this because I didn’t invite you to my house for
Thanksgiving?” Kane: “…….maybe.” Bryan says it was great
because they had vegan turkey. Kane wants to know what the point is.
If they win tonight, Kane gets to come over for Christmas and beat
up Santa Claus. These two are still hilarious.
Show vs. HELL NO
champs (as in the tag champs) have to tag here and Bryan starts with
Big Show. Bryan’s trunks are partially black tonight which is a new
look for him. Bryan fires off kicks to the leg but Show shoves him
down with ease to take over. Show sends him shoulder first into the
buckle and works over the arm a bit which isn’t usually his custom.
Show lifts him up in the air by the beard as JBL kind of rips into
Josh for calling Bryan a goat face.
comes back with more kicks but Show casually shoves him back down.
Back to the arm as Show drops a knee on it and shouts at Kane a bit.
Do all the shouting you want as long as we don’t have to sit through
another Show vs. Kane match. Show misses a middle rope elbow as
Regal and Sheamus are watching from the sky box. Bryan has a chance
to tag but shouts NO instead and fires off kicks to Show.
big kick to the head puts Show down but Show LAUNCHES Bryan off of
the cover at two. The chokeslam is countered into a guillotine choke
but Show (who is supposed to have a knee injury isn’t he?) throws him
off. It’s a sleeper now from Bryan which lasts for over a minute
without Show going down at all. There’s the hot tag to Kane who
dropkicks Show’s knee out and hits a top rope flying body attack (it
was supposed to be the clothesline) but the chokeslam is broken up.
A DDT puts Show down but Bryan tags himself in. Bryan tries the NO
Lock and Kane walks. The hold is broken and the chokeslam ends Bryan
at 10:02.
C. Not bad here but did this
need to be against the tag champions? That’s the problem with the
way they’ve set up the roster: there are only a handful of teams that
could challenge Big Show, but Show has been booked so strong that no
one can give him a legit fight. Also you don’t want Show vs. Kane
again as that might be considered torturing the audience. At the end
of the day, there wasn’t much they could do here but job the
champions. Again.
NO beats up Big Show post match, because we need to make sure
everyone stays strong. I know the idea of DON’T HAVE THEM FIGHT IN
THE FIRST PLACE is hard to grasp, but it might be a better way to go.
yells at Sheamus, saying that he’ll have a chair too. Sheamus is all
comes out for commentary for the next match.
Title: Kofi Kingston vs. Damien Sandow
hits a quick suplex for two but Kofi rolls out of a belly to back
suplex and sends Sandow to the outside. Kofi gets sent into the
buckle and to the floor as well as we take a break. Back with Damien
holding a kind of crossface chickenwing before hitting a knee to the
ribs to keep control. Apparently Barrett has earned an IC Title shot
from his win on Monday. What exactly did Damien do to get this show?
Wind-Up Elbow gets two for Sandow followed by the running hip attack
to the back of Kofi while he’s in 619 position (you come up with a
name for it) for two. Off to a chinlock which doesn’t last long. A
quick slugout goes to Sandow because of Kofi’s bad eye and Kofi’s
back gets rammed into the apron.
stomps away but Kofi gets up top for the cross body for two. Damien
sends him into the middle buckle for a rollup for two, followed by
the SOS for the same result for the champion. Kingston speeds things
up and fires off chops and a dropkick to put Sandow down. There’s
the Boom Drop and Trouble in Paradise for the pin at 5:57 shown of
C+. As usual, the midcard
champion is in need of a win to get any kind of momentum back. You
know, because we had to have him lose on Monday to Barrett. The
better idea would have been to have Barrett win by referee’s
stoppage, making it so that Kofi didn’t get pinned but acknowledging
that he’s in danger against Barrett. But instead let’s just have him
get pinned and have him lose some credibility because, you know, who
cares about stuff like that. The match was fine.
says he’s coming for the title.
to my watch, we’ve gone a whole twenty minutes since we talked about
something on Raw, so here’s a recap of the end of the show with the
Championship Celebration and Ryback getting beaten down again.
Rollins and Ambrose will speak on Raw.
Ziggler vs. Randy Orton
event time here. Orton pounds away to start and Ziggler hides in the
corner. Ziggler takes him to the mat before pounding away on Randy’s
head in the corner. Orton comes back with his dropkick for two and a
slingshot suplex for the same. They head to the outside with Ziggler
trying to hide in the crowd, but it’s kind of hard for a large man
with blonde hair and pink trunks to hide, even in a mass of people.
gets knocked down on the concrete as we take a break. Back with
Dolph breaking out of a chinlock before Orton suplexes him right back
down for two. With Ziggler laying on the apron, Orton stomps away
and hits a slingshot to send Dolph throat first into the bottom rope
and out to the floor. Ziggler throws Orton into the announce table
and dropkicks him down, but Dolph might have injured his own knee in
the process.
in and Ziggler erupts on Randy, pounding away on him with kicks and
punches. The jumping elbow gets two and it’s off to a chinlock.
Ziggler’s knee seems to be fine. Orton fights up and gets that
rolling cradle out of the corner for two. We get a dueling chant
from the crowd as the chinlock goes on again, this time resulting in
Orton punching his way out of it. Ziggler stops the comeback dead
with a DDT for a close two. This is starting to get better.
goes up top and is immediately superplexed right back down. It’s
cool to see Orton expanding his moveset with stuff like the superplex
and the slingshot suplex he used earlier. There’s the powerslam
followed by the Elevated DDT but the RKO is countered into a rollup
with trunks for the surprise pin at 9:37 shown of 13:07.
B-. Solid TV main event here
but it’s a match we’ve seen several times before. It’s nice to see
Dolph win here and a little bit of cheating never huts a good heel.
Orton is one of those guys who isn’t going to be hurt badly by a loss
so there’s no problem on his end. Dolph seems to be getting a push
lately, which is nice to see as it seems that he’ll be cashing in his
case soon. Then again it’s felt like that for months now.
match Ricardo and Alberto try to run in but Orton hits the RKO on
Ricardo and Alberto stops on the apron. WHY IS THIS STILL GOING???
Cena comes out and puts Ziggler in the STF on the stage to end the
D+. Did I miss
something or did almost nothing happen on this show? It felt like a
supplement to Raw, and while it usually feels like one of those, this
was even worse than usual. There was just nothing going on here at
all and the booking made limited sense at best. The main event stuff
seems to be pointing to a tag match which is fine, but other than
that I’m not sure what the point of this show was. Nothing to see
here at all.
b. Darren Young – Shell Shock
b. Antonio Cesaro – Little Jimmy
Del Rio b. Sin Cara – Cross Armbreaker
Show b. HELL NO – Chokeslam to Bryan
Kingston b. Damien Sandow – Trouble in Paradise
Ziggler b. Randy Orton – Rollup with a handful of trunks
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my website at

The Only Review Of Night of Champions 2012 That You’ll Ever Need

 Night of Champions – 2012
Venue: TD Garden
City: Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,886
Buyrate: The event was up 20,000 from the year before, bringing in 189,000 buys
We get a great video to
open the show about CM Punk and Cena. I have no idea what’s on this card, but
the Punk/Cena deal is a good sign. 
JBL comes out to announce.
Wow, he’s lost A LOT of weight. He’s a complete stick. 
The Miz [C] vs Rey
Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes vs Sin Cara – Intercontinental Championship
I have a question before
the match begins. Isn’t an ‘Intercontinental Champion’ the same as a World
Champion? I mean, intercontinental means
all the continents, right? And wouldn’t all the continents be the world? Or
does the world count the oceans, and IC doesn’t? I digress.
Really great opener. There
wasn’t a second of down time, and honest to God, for the first time I was
actually impressed by The Miz. The
match includes a lot of great spots, including everyone going for the pin on Miz
after a 619 and Frogsplash, with each pin feeling like it was going to
be the one. It was also funny to see Sin Cara all of a sudden decide he needed
to try and put an extra mask on folks. 
Miz hits the Skull Crushing
Finale on Cody Rhodes for the pin at 12:05  | ***1/2

We get an absolutely DREADFUL scene with Kaitlyn
being hurt, giving the Claire Lynch performance of a lifetime. 

Recap of Team Hell No. Am I the only one who
thinks their finisher needs to be Kane setting up for the Tombstone, as Bryan
then hugs him, and they both drop
down? S’perfect. 

Team Hell No vs Kofi & R-Truth [C] – Tag-Team

The match is moving along nicely, and then it abruptly
stops so they can do the stupid “hug-it-out” spot. After that, the match
never really picks back up, and they end up winning in a way conducive to their
gimmick, but still lame. 

Daniel Bryan kicks Kane off the turnbuckles onto
an unconscious Kofi for the pin at 8:22  | **

Teddy Long and Booker T are talking in a room
that’s reminiscent of the sweet WCW interview locker rooms where Lex Luger
is talking amongst lockers that display casually hung WCW and Total Package T-shirts
and foam fingers. Eve gets the title shot now that Speed Racer [oh ho ho] is

Antonio Cesaro [C] vs Zack Ryder – US Championship

Zack Ryder won a battle royal on the pre-show to
earn this shot, tossing out Tensai last. The match is about as you’d
expect, with Zack Ryder getting the ever-lovin’ hell kicked out of him. Cesaro
is somewhat impressive, although
nothing I’d go crazy for. At one point
he does a pretty sweet move where he tosses Zack upward, and greets him with an
uppercut on his way down.
Zack himself gets a great moment where Cesaro goes for the suplex, but Zack
throws his weight, lands on his feet while still in a suplex hold, and
turns that into a neckbreaker. An average bout, very fitting for the US title. 
Antonio hits Zack with the Neutralizer for the pin
at 6:32 |  **

Ricardo, Del Rio, and Otunga do some wacky stuff
with neck braces.

Dolph Ziggler vs Randy Orton

JBL says this match would be good in a phone booth.
The only two people I believe could pull that off is Roddy Piper & Keith

Honestly, I don’t watch much current wrestling
unless there’s a big time match that people are buzzing about. However, because
of these requests, I’ve been seeing a lot of Ziggler, and I’m sure you
all already know this, but he’s the man. He’s fresh, original, and one
of a wrestler. Hell, he’s supposed to be the heel here, but the crowd is
cheering him like crazy. He and Vickie make one hell of a combo too.
Nice spot where Orton gets Ziggler outside, and starts to lose it. He slams
Zigger into the barrier, then lays him on top of it and does the second-rope DDT, effectively killing
him. So it makes Ziggler look like the man when Orton throws him in the ring,
and he’s able to throw his leg on the
ropes. Great match. Not as good as Ziggler’s bout with Sheamus, but still
great. Man, does Ziggler EVER win?

Orton throws Ziggler up in the air and hits the
RKO at 17:58  | ***3/4


Layla [C] vs Eve – Divas Championship

I truly cannot understand why they have women’s
wrestling. EVER. No one has EVER paid a ticket or spent a dime to watch women
wrestle. Perhaps in Japan, but in America? Not once. Not gonna lie though, Eve
having Layla in a head-scissors is
pretty hot. This was honestly a
pretty decent match, Eve is an actual talent, I think, although I could have
just caught her on a great night. 
Eve hits Layla with a neckbreaker to snag the win
at 6:29  | **1/2

We get a commercial for Rock vs Cena. Has anyone
seen this? Is it as absolutely boring as I imagine it to be?

 Kane & Daniel Bryan argue over who happen to be the Tag Team Champions. The major highlight being AJ drenched in ice cold Gatorade. That’s a
bit of alright. NAY…quite a bit of alright. 

We get a recap of the Sheamus vs Alberto, in which
the entire feud is all about David Otunga taking a deposition from Sheamus.
This is all about banning the Brogue Kick. It’d be so much easier to get to
that point without all this crap. I’m

not looking forward to this, damn
you Jobber123.

Alberto Del Rio vs Sheamus [C] – World Heavyweight

Is it just me, or does Sheamus’ song really sound
like “it’s a shameful thing, Lobster Head”? Booker comes out and
announces the Brogue Kick legal. So, everyone got to see all that exciting court
room stuff simply for the entertainment value of it. It’s also
nice that
an interesting stip has been dropped. Also nice is when WWE chooses its
history. Sometimes they talk about how the WHC dates back to Lou Thesz
and Ed Lewis, other times it’s only 10 years old. Either way, two World Titles
is stupid.
Del Rio spends the first round of his momentum
working the arm in various ways, until Sheamus turns the tides by catching Del
Rio with a clothesline as he leaps off the turnbuckle. A Brogue Kick attempt is
thwarted, with Del Rio turning it into a chance for an
enzuiguri. I hate it when wrestlers telegraph their finishers like
Sheamus, Orton, and Shawn, because the person they’re targeting would have to
be Bernie Lomax to not see it coming. The ending was cooking along
pretty nicely there. I’m more than happy to admit that this was a great match,
much better than I expected. 
Alberto eats the Brogue Kick and the pin at 13:56
| ***1/2

CM Punk [C] vs John Cena – WWE Championship

Cole says that at MiTB, Punk defeated Cena to
completely change WWE. I think that’s a bit of an understatement. I mean, back
then we had a stupid looking title belt, Triple H forcing himself in
main events, Cena being all over TV and the top of the company, 50/50 booking
crap, and talent being completely wasted! Now-a-days, well, the WWE
comes with a brand new hat!
It should come as no surprise what a great match
this is. The last two matches between these two, Punk and Cena were evenly
matched; however, this time the last year of experience has put Punk on
a different level. He dominates Cena for the first half of the match, and stops
comebacks at every turn,
countering the 5 Knuckle Shuffle twice, with one being a sweet counter into the
Vice, as he looks right into Cena’s face and screams “BEST IN THE WORLD!”. It’s also fantastic to see
Heyman on the outside, at times beaming like a proud father and at others
worrying like a wife. This match truly displays Punk as best in the world. Cena
can’t put him down, and Punk has an answer for him at every turn. An awesome
spot sees Punk hit a Rock Bottom, as he’s tried just about everything to wipe
Cena out. Both men are dead, absolutely dead, and I’m a bit upset that I
know who wins, because this would have been incredible to see live. Without a
doubt their best match to date. I’d love to go full monty, but I can’t with
that ending. 
Both CM Punk & John Cena’s shoulders are down
for the count of 3 at 26:50 | ****3/4

We end with an awesome scene as Heyman and Punk
walk to the back, while Punk’s yells “I’m the best in the World! Best in
the World!” and Heyman pets his ego with “and that’s why I
respect you! That’s why I respect you!”

Showcase Showdown: Compared to the last two shows I reviewed, this one was disappointing me at first. The matches weren’t terrible by any means, but they weren’t blowing me away like last time. However, once we got towards the Main Event scene, things really picked up and this show became another thumbs up. After disappointing main events with Del Rio & Sheamus, they really had to prove themselves this time around and did so. CM Punk & Cena are this generation’s Rock & Austin. Untouchable chemistry both in the ring and on the mic. A match that people need to seek out if they don’t feel like watching the entire show. 

Before I get into my shameless self-promotion, and I do mean shameless, I’d like to thank Steve Ferrari for proof reading this bad-boy. 

Any requests or mailbag questions send to [email protected], or let me know in the comments section.

Str8 Gangster, No Chaser – The website was originally slated to play Han Solo, but passed so it could be the lead in the My Mother The Car Reboot. It still stands by it’s decision.  It’s got Top 4’s, Man Movie Encyclopedia entries, Saved By The Bell Archive articles, movie reviews, as well as wrestling and horror.
WCW In 2000 – The only website out there dedicated to reviewing The Plan 9 From Outer Space [“Now let’s hear him call Boris Karloff a cocksucker”] of wrestling.
The Man Movie Encyclopedia – Vol.1  – My book on amazon. Current 5 star rating, with endorsements from Scott Keith & Maddox, not to mention other fellow BoD’ers. A perfect gift for Christmas, and every night of Hanukkah.

NWA-TNA Weekly PPV #19

November 6, 2002
Clips of the NWA 54th anniversary event in Corpus Christi, TX are shown. We see TNA superstars like Jorge Estrada and Ron Killings winning matches. They also keep zooming in on some goon with the NWA logo tattooed on his arm. Normally, I’d say someone would regret a decision like that, but if you saw this clown, its clear that he is quite proud of that tattoo.
Your Hosts are Don West and Mike Tenay
West runs down the show, which will feature Curt Hennig vs. Jeff Jarrett. Plus, Brian Lawler vs. Syxx Pac in a 1st rd. match and AJ Styles vs. Jerry Lynn for the X Division championship.

 Video recap of the feud between Bruce and Priscilla for the Miss TNA crown.
Goldylocks is with the Rainbow Express, as Lenny Lane makes his return to NWA-TNA. Bruce asks the camera to pan down to his shoes and Goldy calls him a “bitch.” Bruce says that Lenny and him fought but have now made up and he made him runner up to Miss TNA, so if he cannot perform his duties, Lenny will get the crown.
Jorge Estrada w/Priscilla vs. Bruce w/Lenny Lane
Lenny is simulating oral sex on a banana as he walks Bruce to the ring. Bruce lands some forearms then gets two off a sunset flip. Estrada gets two off of a rollup and hits a few armdrags. He lands on his feet after a monkeyflip and gets a suplex for two. Priscilla is on the apron complaining to the ref as Estrada is on Bruce’s shoulders. Lane climbs the turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. The ref turns around and Bruce gets two with a homoerotic cover. Mounted punches by Bruce. Slam gets two. He covers again then throws him in the corner. Estrada floats over in the corner and Lenny is now on the apron. Estrada gets a reverse rollup and Lenny comes in the ring. Estrada hits him with a Northern Lights suplex while bridging Bruce, getting two. That looked cool. Bruce scratches the eyes and hits Estrada with forearms. Estrada comes back with a crossbody but gets hit with a back elbow smash. Estrada lands on the apron after a backdrop. Bruce tries a sunset bomb but Estrada counters with a terrible looking rana, almost breaking his own neck in the process. Bruce floats over on a suplex then gets two off a sunset flip. Estrada floats over and gets a back suplex for two. Bulldog by Estrada then he gets a few clotheslines. Backdrop and a slam as Estrada yells how he is going to Graceland. He then completely fucks up the Trip to Graceland, spilling into the ropes, then Bruce gets his knees up on the quebrada attempt. Bruce gets a tilt-a-whirl slam for two. Priscilla goes into the ring and kisses Bruce. He is yelling at her then gets dropkicked out of the ring. Lane chases Priscilla and Bruce joins. Estrada then takes them out with a pescado. Bruce chases Priscilla then slips on Lenny’s banana peel and gets counted out (8:48) ½*. Estrada puts the tiara and sash on Priscilla but the Miss TNA crown does not change hands because it was not an intentional disqualification. Just last week, Bob Armstrong came out and stated that titles can change hands during a count out.
Thoughts: No one cared about any of this. The Miss TNA angle is terrible in every single way. In regards to the match, Estrada was terrible, even sloppier than usual. He almost knocked himself out giving his opponent a hurricarana. These two do not work well togetehr at all.
Tenay mentions that the TNA website is undergoing renovations and will be back better than ever shortly.
Goldylocks is with Sonny Siaki. She asks him about his semi-final match against BG James tonight. He says that he is the past, present, and future of TNA, He refers to BG James as Goofy then tells everyone how Goldylocks bid in the silent auction to be his valet. Sonny says he will let Goldy feel his love after the match. Siaki showed a lot more confidence than usual here and gave one of his better promos. Still, it wont stop the “Rocky Ripoff” chants.
Before making his way to the ring, BG James comes out with a mic. He says that Siaki looks like he butt cheeks and rambles on, ending with his catchphrase
NWA-TNA World Heavyweight Championship #1 Contender Tournament
Sonny Siaki vs. BG James
Siaki attacks James and beats on him in the corner. He continues his beating until James ducks a clothesline and fires away. James gets a corner clothesline and kicks him in the corner. He works the arm then the two men trade punches. Siaki gets a single-leg takedown and works the leg for a while. James manages to get a small package but Siaki takes him down with a basement dropkick to the knee. Siaki gets an Indian Death Lock and goes back to beating on the leg. Siaki springs off the middle ropes and James pushes him to the floor with his feet. He goes outside and slams his head off the apron before rolling him into the ring. Siaki sweeps the leg. James fights him off but Siaki stops that. Corkscrew neckbreaker and Siaki heads to the top rope. Jerry Lynn comes out and Siaki is distracted. He jumps off, allowing James to get a flying forearm. Kneedrop gets two. James ducks a clothesline and gets the pumphandle drop for the win. (7:09) ¾*.
Thoughts: Match was nothing and the decision to have James go over Siaki doesn’t make much sense but it looks like they are going forward with continuing the feud between Siaki and Lynn. James is completely washed up and is in terrible shape, which is sad because he was only 33 years old at this point. 
Video Recap of the New Church destroying Chris Harris & James Storm. The song they are using his horrible but at least they have a decent tag-team feud.
Goldylocks is with Harris & Storm, who is pacing around angrily in the background. Harris yells at Goldy then tells the New Church he might go insane on them and will run evil all over their carcasses. Storm finally approaches and almost says his “buckaroo” line but stops and starts getting angry. Storm then drops the “Sorry about your damn luck” line for the first time to close the interview. Good promo work by the two, especially by Storm. They showed lots of intensity. Also, this is the first time that they have referred to themselves as “AMW.”
New Church comes out as James Mitchell grabs the mic. He tells Storm & Harris they haven’t learned their lesson and promises blood will be shed tonight.
NWA-TNA Tag-Team Championship Match
New Church w/James Mitchell vs. Chris Harris & James Storm (Champions)
AMW, still referred to as just Storm & Harris by Borash, charge the ring and take out the New Church. They brawl outside the ring for a while as Mitchell looks worried. Double clothesline on Lee then they roll Slash into the ring, who is pouring blood from his forehead. AMW gets a corner clothesline/superkick combo on Slash. Harris gets a top rope elbow then set up the move that would later be known as the Death Sentence. Lee pulls Storm out of the ring and beats on him. Lee beats on Harris as Mitchell carves up Storm’s forehead. In the ring, the New Church double-team Storm. Lee starts to work on the leg for a bit. A sideslam/top rope elbow drop combo by the New Church gets two. Slash misses a top rope move and Storm makes the tag. Harris runs wild on the New Church. He has Lee pinned but Mitchell is on the apron distracting the ref, allowing Slash to grab a chair and hit Harris no the head. Lee covers but only gets two. Lee tags Slash, who punches away. Lee then distracts the ref as Slash chokes Harris out on the ropes, which has both men screaming. Harris ducks a double-team and hits a double clothesline. Tag to Storm, who runs wild. All four men are brawling in the ring. Mitchell hands Lee a spike and he uses it on Harris. The ref sees this and rings the bell for the DQ (7:45) **1/4. Mitchell orders the New Church to go back in the ring and attack AMW. Security comes out and the New Church walks away. West refers to the New Church as “demons,” stating they are under the spell of James Mitchell.
Thoughts: Decent match while it lasted. The crowd was really into the match, especially so for AMW. This feud will continue and that is a good thing.
NWA-TNA World Heavyweight Championship #1 Contender Tournament
Brian Lawler w/April vs. Syxx Pac
Lawler and April walk to the ring all over each other, appearing happy. He even wipes off her chair with his headband. Lawler sneak attacks Syxx on the ramp. He rolls him in the ring and tells April to look at him as he is holding Syxx’’s head up. He beats on Syxx in the corner then chokes him out. Syxx fights back but Lawler stops that with an eye rake. Neckbreaker and Lawler once again orders April to come over and slap Syxx. April refuses so Lawler ducks out and yells at her. Syxx kicks Lawler off the apron then hammers away. Lawler ducks a clothesline and picks up Syxx, ramming him crotch first into the rope. Lawler yells at the crowd before going back in the ring. A weak looking clothesline by Lawler and he heads up top. West declares that Lawler is Bipolar as Lawler misses the Hip Hop Drop. Syxx fires up and takes Lawler down with some spinning heel kicks.  Powerbomb by Syxx, then chokes him out in the corner. Bronco Buster and Syxx goes out towards April and kisses her. Lawler comes out and takes him out with a superkick. Lawler wipes the kiss off of April’s face and rolls Syxx back in the ring. He orders April up on the apron then calls her a “cunt.” You gotta be kidding me. As Lawler is distracted, Syxx gets the X Factor for the win (5:01) ¾*. After the match, Syxx grabs April and takes her in the ring. He then takes her outside as they walk up the ramp together. Lawler sees this and starts crying then getting angry. He holds his chest and fakes a heart attack. April is worried and breaks free from Syxx and runs to Lawler. Borash and the ref are also in the ring checking on April.
Thoughts: Match was nothing and the attempts to seem edgy with all of the constant swearing from Lawler did not work. They spent a lot of time trying to build up Lawler but the only reaction he gets from the crowd is the occasional “Jerry’s Kid” chants. The saga between April and Lawler continues. Syxx advances to face Jarrett next week in the semi-finals.
Mike Tenay in a pre-taped interview with Ron Killings. The Truth says that Tenay is the only person in TNA that he can trust. He says that Mr. Wrestling III has fooled him. He has a contract that he will give Tenay that he has already signed. He asks Mr. Wrestling III to find Tenay and sign the contract.
Jeff Jarrett comes down to the ring and asks Tenay to come into the ring. He tells him about the rumors about him being Mr. Wrestling III, then says that if he signs the contract, he will get the match. Jarrett looks at the contract then tears it up. He tells everyone that he was waited over twenty weeks for a title shot. He promises two weeks from tonight, he will walk out of the building as the new champion. So, getting denied a chance at the title for months by authority figures is now a heel storyline?
Elimination Tables Match
Kid Kash vs. Jose Maximo vs. Joel Maximo vs. Tony Mamaluke vs. Ace Steel w/Mortimer Plumtree
For some reason, the bell rings before Steel is introduced. He just runs into the ring fifteen seconds later and is introduced by Borash. Winner of this match faces the X Division Champion next week. Everyone then brawls with each other. Joel and Steel do some sloppy lucha stuff. Jose then takes out his brother and Ace Steel with a quebrada. Mamaluke then takes them out with a crossbody from the top rope as Kash takes everyone out with a beautiful looking double-springboard senton. In the ring, Kash takes down Steel with a springboard forearm. He runs into an elbow and Steel hits a suplex. Top rope dropkick by Steel, who then gets suplexed by Mamaluke. He puts Jose in an armbar but Joel breaks that up. Kash takes down Joel with a rana, who goes outside. He ducks a baseball slide by Kash and they do a nice little sequence that end with Kash getting powerbombed onto the floor. Ouch. The SAT’s set up Mamaluke for the Spanish Fly as Steel slides the table into the ring. Steel breaks that up for some reason and finishes putting the table into the ring. Mamaluke with a superplex to Jose then puts on a front face lock with body scissors. Mamaluke lays the table in the corner on the ropes and sets up Jose on the table in the ring. Steel and Mamaluke fight on the top rope as Steel takes him off with a Rydien Bomb. The table that was lying on the ropes in the corner falls off and Plumtree catches it and casually pushes it back where it was. The SAT’s place a table in the corner as Mamaluke DDT’s Steel through it in a sloppy looking spot (6:16). Thank god Steel was eliminated first. He sucks. Plumtree is upset. Mamaluke flies off the apron, over a table, and DDT’s Jose. Mamaluke grabs another table but Kash kicks him and places in on the table and Jose comes off the top and eliminates Mamaluke (8:15). In the ring, Joel hits a back suplex on Kash, who comes back with a brainbuster onto the knee. Kash and Joel slug it out and Kash hits him with the bankroll. The SAT’s regain control and set Kash up for a double powerbomb, but he rolls through that and takes them down with a double dropkick. Kash takes a table and positions it diagonally in front of the announcers table. Joel gets a wheelbarrow slam as an “SAT” chant breaks out. Jose repositions the table outside. Back in the ring, Kash takes the SAT’s and himself to the floor with a double clothesline. Kash bounces a chair off Joel’s face and places him on the table. He goes up top but Jose meets him. Kash then positions him for a rana and takes him off and he crashes through the table and onto his brother, eliminating both men (12:52) **.
Thoughts: A few nice spots but the first half of this match was unfocused and uneventful. Kash was easily the best worker out of the five in the match so its good that he went over. Steel is terrible but the SAT’s looked fairly decent this week, especially Joel. Mamaluke hit a few nice moves but he is rather bland and never sticks out in these multiple man X division matches.
Video recap of the Jarrett/Hennig feud.
Jarrett comes out to the ring. He says that no one has seen Hennig tonight and lets us know that the first time they wrestled in this business, he nearly took the AWA title from him at age 19. He says that he was a World Champion in WCW and multiple time Intercontinental Champion in the WWF. He orders the ref to ring the bell and award him the match.
Jeff Jarrett vs. Curt Hennig
Jarrett gets out of the ring after the bell rings and yells at Tenay. Hennig then comes out of the crowd wearing street clothes and attacks Hennig. They go in the ring and Hennig takes him out quickly. They go into the crowd as Hennig nails the ref. He chokes out Jarrett with his belt. Jarrett fights back, using a crutch from a spectator, but Hennig regains control and chokes away. The crowd is loving this as Hennig is now whipping him with the belt. More choking by Hennig but Jarrett escapes and they trade punches. Hennig grabs a chair and softly hits Jarrett on the back. The ref grabs the chair and Hennig slaps him down then nails him with a chair. They go back over the guard rail and into the ring. Hennig hits three Perfect-Plexes in a row, without using the bridge. Hennig grabs the belt as another ref runs into the ring, slides out and rings the bell as Hennig has been disqualified (4:32) ½*. Hennig is held back by security as Jarrett goes to the locker room. Bob Armstrong comes out and walks around for a bit, not saying a thing. Hennig holds up his belt before he exits.
Thoughts: A weak brawl that featured Jarrett working his ass off in selling for Hennig’s shitty offense. The crowd was into it though. I have no idea where this feud is going at this point.
West runs down next week’s card:
Kid Kash vs. the winner of AJ/Lynn
Jeff Jarrett vs. Syxx Pac in the tournament semi-finals
Brian Lawler & April vs. Jorge Estrada & Priscilla
Amazing Red vs. Jimmy Yang vs. Tony Mamaluke
Video recap of the AJ/Lynn feud. This was nicely done, easily the best TNA video package to date, with quotes from journalists like Alex Marvez, Dave Meltzer, and Buck Woodward that put over Lynn and Styles.
NWA-TNA X Division Championship Match
Jerry Lynn vs. AJ Styles (Champion) w/Mortimer Plumtree
AJ works the arm and gets an armdrag. They lockup again and Lynn gets a fireman’s carry. Lynn then takes down Styles with an armdrag as Tenay lets us know that EZ Money will debut next week. They do some matwork for a bit and Lynn grabs a standing side headlock. The crowd cheers both men as AJ reverses. They do some counters that ends with Lynn getting an armdrag. Tenay states how both men know each other moves as AJ gets a cheapshot in the corner. Lynn floats over and ducks an attack from AJ. He gets two off of a crossbody. AJ gets a legsweep for two. AJ taunts the crowd and walks into a clothesline. Lynn grabs a chinlock but AJ breaks that with an eye rake. Lynn then catches him a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, getting two as West demands a replay. Lynn puts AJ in a bow-and-arrow then stomps him down. AJ regains control but Lynn blocks a headscissor with a stungun, which gets two. Lynn chops AJ hard in the corner, causing AJ to scream. AJ lands on the apron after a  backdrop but Lynn knocks him off with a dropkick. Styles climbs the apron and is able to snap Lynn’s neck off the ropes. AJ goes back on the apron and dodges Lynn’s legdrop but gets taken down with a legsweep. Lynn goes outside and slams AJ’s head off the steps. In a cool spot, Lynn whips AJ towards the guardrail but AJ leaps over it then catches Lynn with a superkick as he tries to climb over. AJ wins a brawl with Lynn but gets kicked in the gut after spring-boarding off the guardrail. In the ring, they trade punches until Lynn knocks him through the ropes. AJ then sidesteps Lynn and tosses him to the floor. AJ distracts the ref as Plumtree stomps on Lynn. AJ takes Lynn off the apron with a baseball slide then hits him with a pescado. He rolls him back in and gets two. AJ sets up for a powerbomb but Lynn counters with a rana in mid-move. AJ backdrops Lynn after a piledriver attempt then takes him down with a clothesline. He goes for the Styles Clsah but cant get Lynn in place so he turns it into a Boston Crab. AJ then delivers from kicks as Lynn tells him to bring it some more. He ducks a kick then catches AJ and hits a facebuster. Plumtree is on the apron as AJ goes low then gets the Phenomenon for two. They show a replay of the Phenomenon as both men are down. AJ gets a moonsault kick in the corner but walks into a right hand. Lynn then flattens AJ with a sitout powerbomb but is unable to make the cover. Lynn gets a few clotheslines and beats on AJ in the corner. Lynn blocks a tornado DDT attempt and sends AJ into the corner with a Northern Lights Suplex. He makes the cover but only gets two. Plumtree is on the apron and Lynn knocks AJ into him. He hits AJ with the cradle piledriver but AJ kicks out at two. TKO gets two as Sonny Siaki pulls the ref out of the ring. Lynn yells at Siaki as Plumtree wedges a steel chair in the corner. Styles sends Lynn into the chair with a drop toehold and makes the cover but the ref is ordering Siaki to leave the ring. Plumtree throws the ref inside as AJ gets two. He picks up Lynn and hits the Styles Clash but Lynn kicks out of that. AJ goes up top but Lynn knocks him down. He climbs up and gets a superplex, getting two. They fight over a backslide but AJ gets him up and hits a facebuster from the splash mountain position, getting two. Lynn escapes from a powerbomb and they keep on countering tombstome piledriver attempts until Lynn hits one for the win (20:59) ***3/4. The show goes off the air as Lynn holds the belt.    
Thoughts: Very good match. The story that both men knew each other’s moves, ending with the veteran Lynn getting the upper hand, was well done. This match took a bit to get going but the nearfalls at the end were fantastic. The part with Siaki was meaningless but all signs point towards the Lynn/Siaki feud going on for the X Division title.
Final Thoughts: A decent show. Sure, the Miss TNA and Lawler stuff is crap, but they are building to a nice tag-feud between AMW and the New Church and also breathing some life into the heavyweight title scene. Also, looks like they have closed out the Lynn/Styles feud and seem focusing on others in the X Division. Hopefully, they bring in more talent.  

Rebooking Starrcade 89

Hi Scott, 

First Time, Long Time, Yada.  I have a question that I have wondered about for a while. 

Going into Starrcade 89 the NWA was on an awesome hot streak.  Yet, as we all know they decided to run the Iron Man Tournament instead of a normal wrestling card.  I know part of it was to set up Sting – Flair but there were a million ways to do that.  That being said how do you they should have booked the event?  I think they should of waited on the Flair/Funk I Quit and done it here but as a kid and getting to see that match live on Free TV is on of my favorite wrestling moments, so I will let it slide and that match has already happened and Funk is "Retired".

This is what I was thinking, let me know your thoughts. 

Flair v Muta – World Title vs. Undefeated Streak. – Flair wins.
Sting v Luger – US Title – Luger wins, pulls tights, feet on the ropes, something like that
Steiners v LOD – World Tag Titles – Steiners win
MXE V Doom – Pick Em – Double Count out, DQ, whatever. 
Pillman, Zenk, Gilbert v. The SST – 6 Man – SST but the youngsters put up a hell of fight. 
Steve Williams v Dan Spivey – Williams wins.
– Some filler featuring Rich, Rotunda, stulliva, freebirds, Dynamic Dudes, etc. – 

I know the under card leaves a bit to be desired but it wasn't until the next year they really started to bring in some younger talent. I would of loved to use Cactus Jack  (v. Pillman – where Pillman gets mauled but fights back and proves his toughness)  even though he was only there for a cup of coffee prior to 91, Gordy and Steamboat had already left, Sid had a punctured lung, Mean Mark wasn't there yet, etc. 

We can then move into 1990 and hope that Sting's patella stays in one place. 

Thanks in advance.  Keep up the great work.  

Tricky.  Honesty, I would have run with Luger-Flair with the switched heel-face dynamic from the year before, so that Flair could get his big win to set up the Sting feud, and then let Sting end Muta's undefeated streak and get his revenge for good.  The rest looks fine, because as you noted the roster was getting really thin by that point.  Maybe instead of MX v. Doom, we could run MX v. Dudes in a gimmick match to blow that feud off instead.  
It's actually a tough card to make fit into that period, what with booking upheavals and suchlike.  

Question for the blog

Hi Scott long time reader yada yada usual crap….I have a question about Vicki Guerrero that you might have answered before

1) I know or like to think Vince only kept her on payroll as a way to help her out but at what point was it decided to make her an on screen person and why?
2) what was the purpose of her scoring the pin in her line wrestlemania match?
3) at what point did she truly get "over and hated" and everyone was like we got something good here?

1.  Yeah, for a while she was only on the payroll as a favor to Eddie, and they basically decided to try her out as an on-screen persona in order to justify the money.  

2.  So you would boo her and as a reward for years for faithful service, I'd imagine.  
3.  The Edge storyline is when she went from annoying to actually having a new term coined for her crowd reactions:  Nuclear heat.  But the thing is, she has no ego about her place in the sport and she's happy to have the character get her comeuppance all the time, so they can leave her on TV for months at a time without burning it out.  

The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact–11.22.12

The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact – 11.22.12 Taped from Orlando, FL Your hosts are Mike Tenay, Todd Keneley & Taz Gut Check Challenge: Wes Brisco v. Garrett Bischoff They trade wrestling stuff on the mat to start and Kurt Angle comes out to mentor Brisco. Both guys try a dropkick and miss, and Bischoff takes him down with a sloppy headlock. Man, Bischoff is just not getting better. Slugfest and Brisco gets a neckbreaker for one, but Bischoff clotheslines him and goes to a chinlock. Brisco uses a devastating spinning body attack of some sort for two, and Bischoff cradles him for two. Brisco comes back with a rolling cradle, however, to become the first Gut Check guy to actually win the match. This was total amateur hour, as they were messing up simple stuff and there was no flow to it at all. ½* Joey Ryan v. Chavo Guerrero Having lost his challenge for the X title, Ryan has already moved onto challenging for the tag titles now. So he calls out Chavo, and exchanges fisticuffs in the corner to start. Chavo hits a senton and pounds away with forearms, but Ryan hits him in the shoulder from behind to take over. Nice dropkick gets two and he goes to a neck vice, but Chavo makes the comeback. Headscissors and slingshot senton set up the triple suplex, but Matt Morgan walks in for the DQ at 3:49. I like how the ref let him hold Chavo in the air for a minute yelling at the crowd, before calling for the DQ once the chokeslam was actually executed and Chavo hit the mat. It’s like Hebner was waiting to see how the situation played out before making any decisions. *1/2 Not exactly an impressive start to Joey Ryan’s TNA career thus far. Sam Shaw v. Alex Silva Silva attacks right away and gets a backdrop. Sam Shaw’s gear makes him look like a backyard wrestler. It’s kind of embarrassing. Silva elbows him down and hits a corner clothesline, then pounds on the neck and goes to the chinlock. Shaw no-sells a backdrop and spears Silva down before coming back with dropkicks and the Orton backbreaker. Legdrop from the top finishes at 4:00. And now both guys can disappear for another six months. * Meanwhile, Eric Young asks Hogan to reinstate the Turkey Suit Challenge this year. Hulk tells him to go nuts. Meanwhile, the Aces & Eights choose their next target. Christian York v. Jeff Hardy Hardy elbows him down, and York holds a wristlock and throws kicks to put Hardy down. And we take a break without even having someone thrown out of the ring! Back with Hardy missing a bodypress, allowing York to put him down with a short clothesline for two. High knee gets two. Hardy gets the mule kick, but misses a charge, and York goes up. He misses, but keeps coming with a half nelson suplex and rolling attack in the corner. He wraps up Hardy in an armbar, but Jeff gets the ropes right away. York misses a charge, but counters the Twist into his own and gets two. Hardy fights out of a suplex and reverses to the front suplex, but goes up and gets caught by York. Hardy fights off the superplex attempt and hits the sunset bomb, and finally makes the comeback. Twist of Fate and Swanton put him away at 10:45. They gave York a TON of offense here and made him look like the real deal, which makes it all the stupider that he did that job to Zema Ion. ***1/4 And after showing respect to York, both guys get laid out by Bobby Roode. Taeler Hendrix v. Tara Tara and Jesse now have matching outfits, which is pretty awesome. Tara outwrestles Taeler and gets a quick massage from Jesse, then tosses her around by the hair and clubs her down. Taeler interrupts a makeout session to come back with a small package for two and Blue Thunder bomb. Taeler slugs away and gets a bodypress for two, but stops to yell at Jesse. High kick gets two. Tara puts her down with a knee and finishes with the Widow’s Peak at 4:15. Taeler’s goofy selling was kind of distracting but this was a fine squash for Tara otherwise. *1/2 Turkey Suit Challenge: Eric Young v. Jesse v. Robbie E Loser wears the turkey suit. My god, why wouldn’t you save a money match like this for PPV? Young clotheslines both guys, but Jesse attacks from behind and gets a dropkick. The heels team up for a flapjack on Young, but argue over who gets the pin and break up. Why would it matter who wins? Anyway, Young comes back with the belly to belly on Robbie for two, and the chicks roll around to distract the ref. Jesse tries to finish with the stunner, but Young rolls him up for the pin at 3:22 instead. Just a comedy match. * Jesse does at least man up and wears the suit. And then Young takes the weekly A&8 beatdown to write him out of TNA. Kazarian v. AJ Styles Kaz grabs a headlock and a rollup for two, but AJ turns it into a backslide for two. Kaz cradles for two, but AJ comes back with a dropkick and headscissor takedown. AJ with a backbreaker, but Kaz goes to the eyes and puts him down with a clothesline. Gut wrench gets two. Kaz suplexes him onto the top and then punts him to the floor to set up some Gangnam Style. He’s no Curry Man, sadly. AJ comes back with a spinkick, but Kaz springboards in with a DDT to put him down again. AJ blocks a charge with a sunset flip, which Kaz blocks for two, but AJ rolls him up for two. Pele Kick gets the pin at 5:21. Good to see he’s recovering from that devastating one loss in a row he suffered. **3/4 Austin Aries calls out Hogan. Brooke Hogan, that is. Not for a fight, but just for a talk. He points out that Brooke probably wouldn’t want to take Bully Ray’s name in marriage, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving offers to give her a good stuffing instead. Bully chases him off, and that’s the show. The Pulse To say this was not much of a show would be an understatement, but no one’s watching anyway. Next week, back to live again!

Ryback Equals $$$

From todays Observer news update… " -Hell  in a Cell did 200,000 buys on PPV, of which 152,000 were in North America.  The latter number is way up from most WWE comparable WWE events.  On the flip side, overseas numbers were well down from usual.  " Hard to argue those numbers as far as interest in Ryback challenging goes.

NXT – November 21, 2012

November 21, 2012
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Tony Dawson, Jim Ross
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
last week not a lot has changed, as we’re still moving towards Mahal
vs. Rollins II for the title. On top of that we’ve got Vickie
continuing to have her bounty on Langston who is rapidly becoming one
of my favorite people on this show. NXT has been the best wrestling
show on TV for months now and hopefully that remains the case here
tonight. Let’s get to it.

today, Kassius Ohno didn’t want to talk about Trent Barreta. He has
a premonition about ending Trent’s career tonight like he did to
Richie Steamboat.
vs. Alicia Fox
out process to start of course before Paige takes over with a
Japanese armdrag. Fox lands on her feet out of a monkey flip as the
fans are WAY behind Paige. Alicia mostly botches what I think was
supposed to be a suplex but it looked more like a slam. A northern
lights suplex gets two on Paige and it’s off to a bow and arrow hold.
Paige finally makes a rope and gets two off a cross body. A sunset
flip out of the corner gets the same for Fox but she walks into the
Paige Turner (kind of a snap Angle Slam but Paige never lifted her
off the mat) for the pin at 4:52.
D+. Fox just isn’t that good.
She’s very sloppy when she’s on offense and has been for years now.
Paige is one of those girls that could be very good when she gets
some more experience and the fans love her. On top of that, she’s 20
years old. That’s very impressive when you consider how good she is
vs. Big E. Langston
is a match for the $5000 bounty that Vickie has put on Langston’s
head. Camacho tries to pound on him but Langston keeps shoving him
away. A shot out of the corner puts Big E. down but Camacho slaps
him like an idiot. The Big Ending (falling slam) ends Camacho at
demands the five count and you don’t tell a man like that no.
Camacho gets two more Big Endings for good measure.
go to the back and Trent Barreta is down and in pain. Leo Kruger can
be seen out of range smiling evily.
break we’re told Trent isn’t cleared for the main event yet.
vs. Nick Rogers
Bronson is back! He shoves Rogers into the corner and completely no
sells all of the shots from Nick. Bronson goes after the leg before
hitting a crossface to the head. A lot of stomps and knees keep
Rogers down as Bronson works on the leg. An STO sets up that kind of
inverted Figure Four from Bronson for the tap out at 1:49. I love
this guy.
Bray Wyatt who says all of the little lambs should fear him. Tonight
he’s giving our lives purpose for the first time ever. He sits down
in a rocking chair as Luke Harper comes out for his match.
Harper vs. Mike Dalton
looks like he looked as Brodie Lee in the indies. The fans chant for
Ziggler who Dalton does look a bit like. Harper pounds away as Wyatt
sits in the rocking chair. Dalton gets thrown around a lot as Harper
keeps looking at Wyatt. A BIG spinning Boss Man Slam completes the
squash at 2:41. Harper won in case you’re a rather dense person that
needs everything explained to them.
gets on his knees in front of Wyatt. Bray says he’s been around for
2000 years and says that once he decides it’s time to start hurting
people, there will be no one left.
today, Mahal attacked Rollins in the back but Seth beat him down.
Raw ReBound recaps (shocking) the end of the show.
Ohno vs. Trent Barreta
a lot of time left in the show for this. Ohno says that there’s no
opponent for him tonight because Trent is injured. Ohno demands that
the referee count to ten and declare him the winner, but here’s Dusty
Rhodes with something to say. He says that he knows Ohno had
something to do with Trent’s attack and he’s got a replacement.
Total time between Dusty appearing and the replacement’s music
hitting: sixty seconds.
Ohno vs. Richie Steamboat
starts fast and beats Ohno into the corner and hits a quick cross
body for a two count. Steamboat pounds away in the corner and sends
Kassius to the apron. Ohno skins the cat but Richie clotheslines him
to the floor. It’s almost like Richie has insight into that move. A
big dive to the floor takes Ohno out and we take a break.
with Richie holding a chinlock on Ohno until Kassius makes it to the
rope. A low dropkick to the head puts Steamboat down and it’s
cravate time. Ohno pounds him in the head some more for a pair of
two counts and it’s back to the cravate. Steamboat fights up and
gets a pair of quick rollups for two. Ohno comes back with a kind of
lifting Downward Spiral for two of his own as this keeps going back
and forth.
fires off a bunch of chops to the chest and head to slow Kassius down
before they head to the corner. Richie comes off the top but dives
into a headbutt from Ohno to put both guys down again. In a bit of a
strange ending, Ohno hits a running clothesline in the corner but as
he goes to throw Steamboat to the floor, Steamboat rolls him up for
two and hits the Slingblade (swing around neckbreaker) for the pin at
10:28 shown of 13:58.
C-. Sudden ending aside, this
wasn’t an incredibly good match. I know Ohno is considered a great
talent, but I really don’t see the appeal of him from what I’ve seen
in FCW. He’s not bad but if I didn’t know he had been such a big
deal in the indies, I wouldn’t have much interest in him at all.
Steamboat is pretty generic as well with nothing interesting going on
about him. Not a bad match but it was bland, like most of their
matches so far.
C+. This was another
solid episode of NXT. There’s an energy to this show that you don’t
get on any other wrestling series at the moment which makes it the
most fun show going. It’s a combination of them using their time
efficiently as well as having interesting characters who are all
treated as big deals rather than there being a clear hierarchy like
Raw or Impact have. Also the title match isn’t the focus at all but
the other guys are built up well enough that it can be overlooked,
which says a lot about the rest of the show.
b. Alicia Fox – Paige Turner
E. Langston b. Camacho – Big Ending
b. Nick Rogers – Inverted Figure Four
Harper b. Mike Dalton – Spinning Boss Man Slam
Steamboat b. Kassius Ohno – Slingblade
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my website at

November PPV Countdown: WCW World War III 1997

The SmarK Retro Rant for WCW World War III ‘97 – I always thought the tradition of naming each “World War III” PPV with a different year was a bit stupid, but that’s WCW for ya. Anyway, the original rant of course sucked balls, so since I’m still unemployed for the moment, let’s fill my boring afternoon by redoing it. Huzzah!  (Worst week of my LIFE.  I really don’t know how other people deal with being unemployed without going crazy.)  – Live from Auburn Hills, MI. – Your hosts are Tony, Bobby & Mike. – Opening match: The Faces of Fear v. Glacier & Ernest Miller. Frankly I’m shocked they haven’t tried to bring in Glacier to shore up Smackdown these days. Big brawl to start, as Glacier uses his MARTIAL ARTS on Meng to take him down, and gets two. Which martial art was never specified, of course. (Redneck-Fu?) Miller comes in and goes after the arm, and a high cross gets two. Barbarian comes in and gets kicked by Miller, all of which he no-sells. Glacier tries the arm, but gets pounded down, and they absolutely botch a heel miscommunication spot, thus making it a heel miscommunication miscommunication spot, and the faces hit the Faces with springboard planchas. That was quite nice, actually. Back in, Barbarian misses a blind charge, but they recover with a backdrop into a powerbomb, which gets two for Barbarian. Tony announces that the battle royale tonight will feature elimination by simply touching the floor in any manner, and he has to sell this as a GOOD IDEA, with a STRAIGHT FACE. No wonder the guy was insane by 2001. The FOF use the CLUBBING FOREARMS and Meng gets a dropkick for two. Backbreaker gets two. It’s CLUBBERING! CLUBBERING! TONY, TONY, THEY BE CLUBBERING! Sadly, Mike Tenay fails to make that call, which is why I’m here. Barbarian pounds Glacier with boots and hits the chinlock. Meng comes back in and stomps on his face, setting up a shoulderbreaker for two. He uses the dreaded VULCAN NERVE PINCH (which is fine because Glacier dresses like a Star Trek villain anyway) and Barbarian adds his own boots. Glacier keeps fighting and Meng slams him again, but misses an elbow, and Glacier fights back again. Backdrop suplex , which Meng takes like a MAN, and it’s hot tag to the Cat. Kicks abound and he clotheslines both guys down, then more kicking. Sadly, he goes after Jimmy Hart, and it’s the TONGAN DEATH GRIP (that was actually the name of the move, I swear to god) to finish him off at 9:07. I feel so dirty, but this was a fun match and everyone was working hard. **3/4 – World TV title: Saturn v. Disco Inferno. Saturn had just jumped from ECW and gone single, winning the TV title in his first match. (WCW used to swing wildly between overpushing guys right away and taking forever to pull the trigger on guys, and there was never any rhyme or reason to it.)  Saturn takes him down to start, basically playing with him, and he grabs a headlock and overpowers Disco. Disco comes back with a hiptoss and slam, and Saturn bails. Back in, he pounds away on Disco, but gets hiptossed again and bails again. Back in again, Disco goes back to the attack, but puts his head down and gets clotheslined. He comes back with an inverted atomic drop and slugs away in the corner, into an elbow and fistdrop for two. He misses an elbow and Saturn hits him with a T-bone suplex for two. He goes up and misses a moonsault, and Disco clotheslines him for two. Saturn small package gets two, and Disco elbows him down for two. Saturn backslides him for two. Disco tries a german suplex, but gets crotched on the top rope as a result and Saturn hits him with a springboard elbow that puts both of them on the floor. That looked TERRIBLE. Disco stops to go after the Flock, and gets his ass kicked as a result. That was the first appearance of Lodi, I believe, because Tony didn’t know who he was. Back in, Saturn goes for the Rings, but Disco blocks and gets a neckbreaker for two. High cross, but Saturn rolls through into the Rings of Saturn for the submission at 8:21. This was really messy, with no real story or heat segment, although there was a nice sequence in the middle and the finish was good. *1/2 – Yuji Nagata v. Ultimo Dragon. This would be considered a total mismatch in Japan now, although Nagata isn’t really that much bigger than a junior heavyweight. Nagata pounds him to start, but misses a kick and Dragon takes him down with an elbow, but Nagata grabs an armbar and they do a mat-reversal sequence that leads to Nagata bailing. The story here is that Dragon has an injured arm via Nagata, and thus Nagata is going after it. Dragon goes after Sonny Onoo, allowing Nagata to attack from behind and slug away in the ring. He misses a dropkick and Dragon takes him down with a headlock, and they work off that. Dragon holds it a long time, but gets dropped on his head with a backdrop driver. Nagata fires off the high kicks and gets a piledriver for two. We hit the chinlock, and that goes on for a while. Dragon gets his own backdrop suplex, but Nagata quickly drops an elbow on his neck and kicks him down again, setting up another piledriver for two. More high kicks set up an enzuigiri and a camel clutch, but Dragon comes back, so Nagata takes him down with a Fujiwara armbar. Dragon makes the ropes. Back to the chinlock by Nagata, and an overhead suplex gets two. Dragon finally comes back with the kick series, and he absolutely unloads on Nagata, adding some boot rakes in the corner for good measure. Nagata bails and Dragon follows with a pescado, then a high cross to the floor. Back in, Dragon goes up, but Nagata follows, and they fight on top until Dragon powerbombs him down for two. Back up for Dragon, and a moonsault gets two. Dragon goes for the suplex, but turns it into the Dragon sleeper, and Onoo distracts the ref. Dragon releases like an idiot and protests to the ref, then puts Nagata on top and gets the rana from the top, for two. He goes after Onoo again, but tries a backdrop suplex on Nagata, who falls on top in a sloppy finish and gets the pin at 12:44. This was a major style clash to start, but they were getting their shit together pretty good before the bad finish. *** – WCW World tag titles: The Steiner Brothers v. Steven Regal & Dave Taylor. Regal was getting pretty bulky at this point, which was a few weeks before getting fired for screwing with Goldberg. Scott was a few months away from turning heel at this point. Dibiase was managing them, shortly before getting sick of the business in general and leaving. Scott starts with Taylor and gets a hiptoss out of the corner, and overpowers him. The Bluebloods work him over in the corner, however, until Scott comes back with a butterfly bomb on Taylor and the Steiners clean house. Everyone regroups and it’s Rick against Regal, as Rick starts on the arm until Regal takes him down. Rick powers up again and forces Regal into a bridge, then drops the elbow on his knee. Ouch! He tosses Regal around, but gets forearmed into the corner and knocked down. Rick takes him down with an armbar and Scott gets the belly-to-belly for two. Scott stretches him with an STF and Rick gets another armbar, but Regal brings in Taylor. Rick no-sells an atomic drop and gets a clothesline and powerslam, for two. Scott comes back in and Taylor clotheslines him to the floor, allowing Regal to get some cheapshots in. Back in, Taylor forearms him down and holds an armbar, allowing Regal to come in and drop an elbow for two. Scott comes back with a clothesline, but Regal holds him in place and Taylor forearms him down again for two. Regal comes in again, but gets suplexed, and it’s hot tag Rick. He destroys everyone and drops an elbow on Regal, and Scott backdrops Taylor onto Regal. The Steiner bulldog kills Regal dead at 9:46. Basic dismantling by the Steiners, as Rick had very little interest in selling anything and Regal was in bad shape due to drinking. **1/2  (Man, this should have been a hellaciously stiff brawl on both sides, and it just ended up such a boring mess.)  – JJ Dillon joins us with an ultimatum for Raven – sign a contract within 24 hours or be fired. I bet I know which option he WANTED to take… – Scotty Riggs v. Raven. Yar! Avast, ye maties, Riggs be in his pirate phase at this point, having been attacked by Raven and lost the vision in one eye. I actually talked with Riggs while he was in ECW in 2000 a few times, and to say he was deluded about his place in the wrestling world would be an understatement. Riggs attacks to start and they brawl around the ring(s), and Riggs slugs him down in the corner. Big splash gets two. He runs into Raven’s boot, but gets a rollup for two. Raven chokes him out with his shirt and tosses him, and they brawl on the floor, which leads to Raven getting tossed into the stairs. Back in, Raven comes back with a jawbreaker and Saturn leaves a chair in the ring for Raven, and he uses it. Riggs comes back with his own DROP TOEHOLD OF DOOM, for two. Riggs gets a Van Daminator for two. Bulldog on the chair gets two. Raven escapes a suplex, Evenflow DDT times three, goodnight at 8:41. The Flock overrides the EMTs and carries Riggs out themselves, and he would join the Flock the next night. Riggs was game, but it’s Scotty Riggs so you’re not gonna get much. **1/4 – Steve McMichael v. Bill Goldberg. This was BEFORE the winning streak gimmick started and WCW had any clue what they were doing with Goldberg. To whit, Mongo had laid Goldberg out with a lead pipe, thus cancelling this match, which would NEVER happen even two months after this. So instead, we get… – Steve McMichael v. Alex Wright. Wright attacks him and chops away to start, but gets elbowed down and clotheslined. Wright bails, but Debra talks him back in again, and McMichael promptly gets a horrible atomic drop and pounds away. Sideslam gets two. Wright comes back with a leg lariat and he stomps away for two. Mongo clips him off the three-point stance and gets a clothesline, and it’s another sideslam. Tombstone finishes at 3:36. Total squash for Mongo. ¼* – WCW Cruiserweight title: Eddie Guerrero v. Rey Mysterio. They were trying to follow their own MOTYC from Halloween Havoc, so you can imagine the kind of pressure on them here. The fact that no one remembers this match tells you how successful they were. (This was written before they attempted to follow themselves again at Wrestlemania 21 and again failed.)  Eddie starts on the arm, and Rey reverses with an armdrag, prompting complaints from Eddie. Again, more complaining. Rey grabs the headlock and a nice headscissors into another headlock, but Eddie blocks with a hold and gets two. Backdrop suplex follows, and Eddie goes to an armbar, but Rey reverses to a headscissors off the top. Eddie bails and Rey does the highspot fake, and Eddie comes back in, only to get crotched on the top. Rey brings him to the floor with a powerbomb attempt, but Eddie lands on his feet and gets a backbreaker. That whole sequence was pretty messy. Back in, they fight on top for a superplex, which Eddie wins, but he misses a splash off the top, and Rey rolls him up for two. Eddie flapjacks him to take over again, but Rey gets another headscissors for two. Eddie dropkicks him down again and fires off some forearms, then suplexes him on the top rope to set up his own powerbomb attempt to the floor, but Rey reverses with a rana and follows with a springboard somersault senton. Back in, that gets two. They slug it out and Eddie gets alley-ooped into the post, but comes back with a powerbomb. He hangs Rey in the Gory Special and brings him down for two, but Rey powers up into a sunset flip for two. Leg lariat and Rey goes up, but Eddie blocks with a running powerbomb, but Rey escapes as they completely botch the move. Rey gets a moonsault press for two. Springboard legdrop and he sets up for the West Coast Pop, which gets two. Back to the top, but Eddie drops him with a hotshot and the frog splash ends it at 12:41. They were trying too hard, and it hurt the match badly. ***3/4 Still a great match with a ton of cool counters, but nowhere near as good as the Havoc match. – US title match: Curt Hennig v. Ric Flair. Hennig betrayed the Horsemen at Fall Brawl, in the last ever WarGames, and won the US title from Mongo shortly after that to set this up. They brawl outside to start and into the crowd, fighting by the rigging and then back to the ring, as Hennig throws chops and slugs on Flair by the railing. Hennig brings a cable into the ring and chokes away, then clotheslines Flair to the floor again. Flair finally comes back and tosses Hennig over the top, and then follows with an axehandle from the TOP to Hennig on the railing. LUCHA FLAIR! They slug it out on the floor, as Flair lays in the chops, but Hennig lays him out and gets two back in the ring. Hennig goes after the leg and works on it in Flair’s usual manner. He pulls Flair out of the corner and takes him down with an Indian deathlock, which gets a couple of near-falls. Flair comes back with a clip and he keeps kicking Hennig down, and drops the knee, then pounds away on the head. Flair chops him down and goes up, but gets slammed, as usual. That gets two for Hennig. They slug it out with chops, and Flair goes down. That gets two for Hennig. More chops, but that wakes up Flair and he starts throwing punches, and hiptosses Hennig into a weak bump into the post. Curt tries to bail, but Flair keeps punching and chopping, and they collide for the double KO. Hennig bails to another ring and Flair follows with a backdrop suplex for two. They exchange chops in the corner, and Hennig gets the necksnap and throws more chops, into a Flair Flip that puts him on the floor. Hennig follows and they brawl, slowly, and Flair finally leverages him into the railing to stop him. A suplex back in follows, and that gets two. He sets up a chair and gives him an atomic drop on it, crotch-first, and then kicks the chair while lodged there, and that finally wakes up the crowd. Hennig sells the injury bigtime and Flair grabs another chair and the belt, and he gives him a chairshot to the knee and gets the figure-four. Hennig grabs the belt, however, and uses it for the pin at 17:54. You might as well have advertised that finish on a billboard in front of the arena. Dull stuff. ** – World War III: As always, you’ve got 60 guys and no hope of following anything that’s going on. This is probably my least favorite match type, because they did 5 of them and they all sucked. Winner of this gets a title shot at Superbrawl VIII, even though the winner DIDN’T actually get that title shot. But it’s WCW, what are ya gonna do? So we’ve got DDP, Ray Traylor, Wright, Disco, Meng, Villanos 4 & 5, Fit, Benoit, La Parka, Public Enemy, Dave Taylor, Norman Smiley, Dragon, Louie Spicoli, Giant, Chris Adams, Greg Valentine, Chris Jericho, Nagata, Wrath, Booker T, Stevie Ray, The Steiner Brothers, Jim Duggan, Hugh Morrus, Lex Luger, Miller, Brad Armstrong, Mortis, Barbarian, Eddie, Damian, Iaukea, Barry Darsow, Kendall Windham, Rey Mysterio, Mongo, Halloween, Renegade, Glacier, Bobby Blaze, Buff Bagwell, Scott Hall, Hennig, Randy Savage and Vincent. Plus a bunch of others I missed. (12 dead out of that batch.)  Lizmark Jr and Disco are the first out, and Giant tosses both Villanos and Louie Spicoli. La Parka goes out off-camera, and Norman Smiley gets dumped by TPE. Meng dumps both of them by himself. Onto the nWo ring, as Hall dumps El Dandy, and Buff backdrops Bobby Blaze out. In the second ring there’s a million people and it’s hopeless trying to follow it. Punch punch punch. Brad Armstrong gets tossed by Booker, and kicks Silver King out. Damian apparently goes out off-camera. DDP dumps Wrath, but he hangs on. More dull punching. DDP tosses Iaukea, and Nagata. Renegade and Wrath eliminate each other and keep brawling to the back. Sadly, that issue would never be settled. Back to the nWo ring, and Jericho was tossed off-camera. It’s the three-ring camera, so it’s impossible to follow anything. Valentine gets dumped by someone. Trying to watch this is an exercise in frustration. Chris Adams gets the boot after he forgets about the new rules. Fit Finlay gets dumped by DDP. DDP & Benoit fall over the top, but both hang on and keep brawling. Dave Taylor is tossed by the Giant. Benoit was eliminated off-camera. Dean Malenko is gone. Ring #3 is done, with only 5 guys left – Giant, Wright, Mortis, Meng and Mongo. Duggan and Miller are gone, as well as Barbarian. So that leaves Luger, Rick Steiner, Booker, Stevie and DDP to end that ring. So all that’s left is the nWo ring, as Traylor goes out and the nWo triple-team Rey to get rid of him, but he hangs on. Back in the 3 ring, Giant gets rid of Wright, Mongo and Mortis, leaving him and Meng. This is a huge mess. Scott Steiner gets tossed, leaving only the nWo in their own ring. Giant pounds on Meng and Luger puts Stevie Ray out, and Giant dropkicks Meng out to win his ring. So they merge the rings into one, thankfully, leaving Savage, Hall, Hennig, Buff, Vincent, Luger, Rick Steiner, Booker T, DDP and the Giant. Big brawl as this thing finally picks up after 20:00. Diamond Cutter on Vincent and he’s gone. Rick Steiner is dumped by Buff. Giant interrupts Buff’s spiel and kicks his ass, and Luger slugs Buff down, and it turns into a big mess with everyone going after Luger, until Giant dumps some nWo guys and it’s Giant, DDP, Hall and Savage left. Savage blocks a Cutter and goes up for the elbow, but Giant blocks it just by standing there, so Savage jumps like an idiot anyway and gets caught. Diamond Cutter and he’s gone, although Giant wants the honors, and does so with the chokeslam. So it’s 2-on-1 with Hall v. DDP & Giant. Hall runs to another ring and calls in Hulk Hogan, apparently in place of Kevin Nash, as this match makes less sense by the second. So it’s 2-on-2 again, although Hogan skipped the entire match, as Hogan slams Giant and Hall beats DDP down. Hogan crotches DDP and gets rid of him, but now “Sting” rappels in, clearly an imposter, and unmasks as Kevin Nash after Hogan eliminates himself after Nash dumps Giant, making Hall the winner at 29:53. Absolutely horrible in just about every way. I don’t rate battle royales. The Bottom Line: If you really wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt you could see that they were setting up Hall as the first big challenger for Sting after he beat Hogan, but Hogan completely cut the legs out of Sting so badly that it didn’t matter in the long run anyway. This was not a good show by any stretch of the imagination, and although Starrcade 97 would be their biggest buyrate ever, it would also mark the beginning of the end of the glory days of the promotion. This show foreshadowed a lot of that, although I wouldn’t want to sit through it again to see it foreshadowed. Recommendation to avoid.

Now we know what Melina’s leaving gift from the WWE was…

…Stay Classy, McMahons!

I bet even Paul Heyman was like "Man, that's a lot of bounced checks!"  
Linda should have literally just mailed every voter $10 and taken her chances with the law afterwards, because she would have spent less and had a better chance of winning.  

Monday Nitro – June 30, 1997

Nitro #94
Date: June 30, 1997
Location: MGM Grand
Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
This is probably a
bigger show than the PPV from earlier in the month, or at least it’s
being treated as such. There are two major debuts tonight and
apparently Hogan is going to be here too. Other than that, the card
is pretty much stacked with a lot of big names in action. This arena
would host a bunch of PPVs so it has a big show feeling to it. Let’s
get to it.

Tony does a quick intro
and it’s off to Gene who brings out Naitch. Before Flair can talk we
hear Piper’s music but instead it’s two women carrying a Piper
mannequin. Flair starts to talk but the girls drop the mannequin.
Apparently this is all that’s left of Piper after the girls had him
all night long. One girl isn’t sure why Piper is called Hot Rod,
because he isn’t hot. Oh these are Flair chicks for sure.
Flair says Piper
crossed the line last week when Piper tried to tell Flair how to
wrestle. That’s what he said? Thanks for clearing it up. Gene asks
the girls if Flair is really the sixty minute man. Girl: “More
like 30 seconds.” Flair immediately picks up the kilt and pretends
he didn’t hear that line. He holds a funeral for Piper and the girls
take Gene’s clothes off. He says his mother in law is watching so
Flair struts a bit. This heel turn by Flair was way out there and it
didn’t work on most levels.
The announcers tell us
about Jericho winning the Cruiserweight Title two nights ago and then
it’s right back to talking about Flair, who faces Piper at the PPV.
Cruiserweight Title:
Juventud Guerrera vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho is defending
his newly won title. That’s probably the biggest win WCW has had
over the NWO to date. They trade wristlocks to start but no one can
get control. Jericho hooks a bow and arrow hold on the mat followed
by a headlock. Juvy tries a moonsault but misses Jericho, who hits a
belly to back suplex for two. A regular suplex gets two as well and
Guerrera is put in the Tree of Woe followed by a baseball slide.
Jericho walks into an
elbow but Juvy misses a springboard dropkick to put him right back
down. Jericho misses a charge and hits the floor, where Juvy hits a
HUGE dive to take him out. A release German suplex by Jericho sets
up a double powerbomb but it only gets two. Instead it’s the super
Frankensteiner by Jericho into the Liontamer for the submission win
to retain the title.
Rating: C.
This was basically a squash with Juvy being a jobber out there.
Jericho winning the title was a big shock but to their credit it felt
like a big deal. Guerrera was good at what he did and would become
one of the best in the division for years to come. I was kind of
surprised by how one sided this was but it wasn’t bad at all.
Post match Gene comes
in to talk to Jericho and Chris puts the title on Gene’s shoulder.
There’s an image for you. Jericho says this is a WCW belt and it’s
back where it belongs. Syxx comes out and says the NWO still
recognizes him as champion. He says Jericho can have another match
for the title right now, and a brawl breaks out. Post break security
pulls them apart and Alex Wright is in the aisle. He’s tired of not
getting interviews and not getting title shots. Wright says he has a
better body than Luger and that’s it.
Dean Malenko vs.
Eddie Guerrero
Eddie jumps Dean as
he’s coming through the entrance and rams him into the steps. They
head into the ring as we hear about Los Gringos Locos, Eddie’s team
with Art Barr in Mexico. Dean is in trouble as the bell rings and
Eddie suplexes him down. A back elbow puts Dean down but the
slingshot hilo misses and Eddie is sent to the apron. Guerrero goes
up and gets crotched followed by having his tornado DDT countered.
Eddie gets launched
face first into the buckle and a backbreaker gets two for Dean. A
WICKED powerbomb puts Eddie down but Dean wants to beat on him more
instead of pin him. Here’s Chavo to ringside and then to the apron
as Malenko is loading up the Cloverleaf. Eddie shoves Dean into
Chavo, followed by the brainbuster and Frog Splash for the pin.
Rating: C+.
This was more about storytelling than the match, but the match wasn’t
half bad. These two have been going after each other for weeks and
it’s a good idea to have the first match end with some questionable
means. It continues the story and was good at the same time. What
more could you possibly want?
Mysterio is with Gene
and says that he’s tired of being pushed around by Nash and the
Wolfpac. It started when he was launched like a dart into a trailer
and then powerbombed during his match with Syxx. Rey wants a match
with Nash and the big man comes out to laugh and accept the
Here are Bischoff and
Hogan with something to say. Eric is on a motorcycle because he
enjoys being on them. Hogan talks about beating down all of their
enemies and partying with Rodman (not here) later tonight. The party
is the highlight of the interview. Pretty much Hogan had nothing to
say here.
TV Title: Hector
Garza vs. Steven Regal
Regal is defending, in
case someone actually needs clarification. Regal, now in a singlet,
tries to take Garza down with a Boston Crab to start. When that
doesn’t work, Regal pounds away in the corner to take over. Garza
comes back with a forearm but Regal takes him back down and struts a
They head to the floor
for a second which goes nowhere so Garza low bridges him back to the
floor. Garza loads up the Corkscrew Plancha and we go wide to get a
better look at it. This is a bad idea as Garza COMPLETELY misses
Regal, barely grazing the champ’s shins. Back in and a moonsault
hits Regal’s knees and the Regal Stretch retains the title.
Rating: C-.
This was a fine enough way to kill off six minutes I guess but
there’s nothing to it beyond that. Garza was about as much of a one
move guy as you could possibly have and when that one move looked bad
in a match, there wasn’t much else he could do. One thing you did
get almost every week was a random pairing like this. There’s
nothing wrong with that because you can throw something out there and
see what works. If it doesn’t, you lose six minutes and that’s it.
WWE seems to be trying this with Cesaro lately and it’s a good idea.
The Steiners want their
match with the Outsiders accepted tonight. Didn’t they already win
the #1 contendership? Why would they need a match to be accepted?
This brings out the NWO en masse. Hall says he has a contract right
now and the Steiners sign it without reading it. The contract says
that the Steiners have to beat Chono and Muta before they get their
shot. I’m sure THAT will be the last match before the title match
Super Calo vs.
Calo knocks him to the
floor and Psychosis stalls a bit. Sonny Onoo, Psychosis’ manager,
distracts Calo and Psychosis takes over. Back in and Calo powerslams
him down but gets enziguried to the floor. Psychosis goes up but
missed a double ax handle, landing face first on the barricade.
FREAKING OW MAN! Calo suplexes him back in as they try to do the
Warrior/Rude finish from Mania 5, but Sonny misses the foot, making
Calo look completely inept. Too short to rate but it was pretty
pedestrian stuff.
Post match Calo beats
down Psychosis but La Parka comes out and breaks a wooden chair over
Calo’s back for the second time. Juventud Guerrera comes out for the
Hour #2 starts.
Steve McMichael/Ric
Flair/Chris Benoit vs. Buff Bagwell/Masahiro Chono/Scott Norton
Bagwell and Flair start
things off and we get a strutting competition. Buff pounds on Flair
in the corner and it’s off to Mongo who has a dumb look on his face.
Mongo gets caught in the wrong corner but he comes back with right
hands to Chono. Back to Flair who pounds away for about five seconds
before Benoit comes in to a nice reaction. Chono kicks him down but
stops to argue with Flair, allowing Benoit to clothesline Chono down
and hit the Swan Dive. Everything breaks down and Vincent comes in
for the DQ.
Rating: D+.
Nothing to see here as the whole match wasn’t even four minutes long
and had the NWO DQ as required by WCW law. Also I’m not sure what
was accomplished here at all, but on a shot this big I can understand
the matches being this short. It isn’t fun to sit through but it’s
High Voltage vs.
Wrath pounds on Kaos in
the corner and things break down in about twenty seconds. A top rope
clothesline puts Kaos down and the squash is on. Glacier and Miller
come to ringside and the distraction draws Wrath to the floor,
allowing Cat (Miller) to kick Mortis in the face and give High
Voltage the big upset.
A limo is in the back.
Presumably this is the impact player. The door opens, the camera
zooms in on it, and the door closes.
Road Report.
Raven is in the front
row and the announcers all know who he is. He’s mentioned as a
champion from elsewhere but ECW isn’t mentioned by name of course.
Tenay thinks he might be the Impact Player or Page’s mystery partner.
US Title: Jeff
Jarrett vs. Konnan
I think this is for the
title but I’m not sure. Jeff pounds him down to start but misses an
enziguri, allowing Konnan to hit a low dropkick to take over.
Jarrett comes back with a DDT but Konnan takes it to the mat and
hooks a kind of abdominal stretch on the mat. Konnan loads up a
Figure Four but a rake to the eyes breaks it up. Here come the
Horsemen who distract Konnan and allow Jeff to take the knee out and
put on the Figure Four….which is almost immediately turned over.
Jeff turns it back over and Flair helps Jeff with some extra leverage
for the tap out.
Rating: D+.
Nothing to see here again with another match feeling like pure
filler. I just hope this doesn’t lead to more problems for the
Horsemen as that story has been going on for about a year now.
Jarrett never clicked at all in WCW and he felt forced in there as a
Horseman. How many US Title shots is Konnan going to get anyway?
Post match Jeff brags
about everyone he’s beaten but Flair says Jarrett is off the team.
Halle-freaking-lujah. Jarrett says you can’t do that. Flair is like
dude, I’m Ric Flair. Debra runs her mouth for a bit and Jarrett says
he’s going to put Flair out. Benoit talks about how Jarrett blew his
chance. This didn’t make a ton of sense, but anything that gets
Jarrett out of the Horsemen is cool with me.
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs.
Kevin Nash
Rey goes right at him
and takes Nash down, but a sunset flip goes about as badly as you
would expect it to for Mysterio. Nash LAUNCHES Mysterio across the
ring and the Jackknife ends this quick. So Mysterio stands up to the
NWO and is promptly destroyed. Thanks for wasting our time on that
Nash drops Mysterio
again and hits the referee too. Konnan comes out as Nash powerbombs
Rey a third time. Nash leaves and Konnan puts on the Tequila
Sunrise, apparently joining the NWO. Mysterio is taken out on a
Tenay goes to talk to
Raven but Raven won’t say anything.
Diamond Dallas
Page/Lex Luger/The Giant vs. Randy Savage/Outsiders
Main event time. We
take a break before the match starts and come back to see the NWO
still not letting WCW in, just like what we saw before the break.
Luger and Giant finally get in and the match gets going. Page goes
right for Savage and WCW rules the ring to start. Hall gets in a
shot on Luger, and according to wrestling law, the rest of the NWO
takes over at the exact same time. All six guys are still in the
ring and I don’t think we’ve had a bell yet.
Savage and Page fight
to the floor before getting right back into the ring. We still
haven’t had two people alone in the ring yet. Luger goes down so
Giant headbutts both Outsiders down at the same time. Giant charges
at them both but gets backdropped to the floor. Here comes Hogan and
Page Diamond Cuts Savage. Hogan blasts Luger with the belt on the
floor and apparently he took Giant out with it earlier. Page gets
beaten down and I think the match is thrown out. It never started I
don’t think so I won’t rate it, but it was just a big brawl anyway.
The NWO destroys Page
as Hogan walks around on the floor. Savage hits a second elbow and
Sting is in the crowd. Savage hits a third elbow and another Sting
drops in from the rafters. Hogan bails and Sting clears the ring.
Curt Hennig walks down the aisle and the show ends with him doing
nothing at all. Raven jumps the guardrail, which is some of the only
main event interaction I ever remember him having in WCW.
Overall Rating: C+.
This is a back and forth show. It feels like a big show for sure,
given all of the matches they had on here and some of the stuff they
had going on, but nothing on here is anything more than ok from a
quality standpoint. That being said, we had a lot of stuff on here
and it certainly feels like a big show, which is what they were
shooting for. The ending looks really interesting, but the important
question is how will they follow up on it.
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews

November Countdown: WCW World War III 1996

The SK Retro Rant for WCW World War III 96 – Well, in one of those wacky coincidences, this show was on the same tape as Buried Alive, which I did last week, so I figured I might as well get this one wrapped up as well.  (Remember the days of plugging a tape into the VCR and finding surprise shows on there?  Good times.)  – Minor clarification from The Final Thunder Rant: When I said “one of these days I’m going to write a book about WCW” I wasn’t kidding around. In fact, I had a proposal for a book tentatively titled “The Wrong Stuff” as a followup to The Buzz on Professional Wrestling (available NOW on or a Barnes & Noble near YOU), but a couple of people in the publishing biz talked me out of it at the last minute and got me to switch to a WWF-oriented book instead. (By “talked me out of it” I mean “Offered me money to do a WWF book and didn’t offer me money to do a WCW book”.)  As Randy Newman said, it’s money that matters. (Like I just said.  Besides, the RD Reynolds “Death of WCW” book is much better than mine would have been anyway.)  I’m shooting for Winter 2001 or so as my goal to get the WWF book out, assuming a publisher goes for it, and the WWF doesn’t get pissy about my calling it “Tonight…In This Very Ring!”  (It came out in early 2002 in fact, and that was the final title as well.  For those who have asked in the past, Buzz was a “work for hire” deal where I basically signed on to assist with someone else’s book, and then the original author flaked out and I was left to write the entire thing myself.  As a result, I only made about half of what I would make for future books and I had to share the credit with someone else, even though it was 100% my writing.  The rumor at the time is that it was RSPW personality Jack Epstein who had the original deal, but I honestly have zero insight on the matter because I was too busy cackling with glee at the giant pile of US cash that I received for a few weeks’ work.  After it was released, the editor quit the publisher and started a literary agency with me as one of the first clients,, of which I am still technically a client.  The rest of my books were then pitched and credited solely by myself.  For anyone who wants to get involved with writing books, I will say that online publishing is a GODSEND because now I can publish whatever I want on whatever timeframe I want and call it whatever I want and get paid almost right away.  Kindle Publishing is AWESOME and I will never go back to physical book publishing again.)  – Live from Norfolk, VA. – Your hosts are Tony, Bobby & Dusty. – Opening match, J-Crown title: Ultimo Dragon v. Rey Mysterio Jr. WCW was still billing him as “Ultimate Dragon” at this point, but since they’re not around to defend themselves anymore I’m going to wilfully ignore that bit of stupidity from now on. Dragon starts with a headlock, into a wristlock and armbar takedown. Rey goes to the knee, but Dragon keeps him grounded and slams him for two. They trade a hammerlock and Dragon flips out of a wristlock. Complex criss-cross sequence goes nowhere, but looks nice. Dragon gets the kick combo, but Rey charges and goes to the apron, then gets dropkicked to the floor. Suplex in is reversed by Rey, reversed again to a german suplex by Dragon for two. Dragon drops him facefirst off a whip and throws some stiff kicks. Spinning backbreaker drop and Rey seeks refuge. Dragon goes into a half-crab, then a powerbomb -> hotshot combo for two. Spinebuster and he pulls out the Giant Swing. Interesting stylistic choice there, and I’ll leave it at that. Rey heads to the floor, and back in where Dragon hits a fisherman’s buster for two. Brainbuster gets two. Vicious. Suplex is reversed to a small package by Rey for two, but Dragon lays in the kicks again and goes to a legbar. Tombstone gets two. Dropkick puts Rey on the floor, and Dragon sends him to the railing. He tombstones him on the floor, hits a pescado onto him, and Rey is DEAD. Back in, they go up and Dragon gets a top rope rana for two. Running Ligerbomb gets two. Rey gets a quick leg lariat and double-jump moonsault for two, however. A springboard dropkick puts Dragon out, and Rey follows with a springboard somersault plancha. Back in, sunset flip gets two, reversed for two. Rey cartwheels into a rana for two. Dragon gets a Dragon suplex for two. Powerbomb is reversed by Rey into his rollup for two. The springboard rana is caught, however, and Dragon finishes with a slingshot powerbomb for the pin at 13:46. Quite the opener there. **** A bit one-sided for Dragon for my liking, though. – Evil nWo Ref Nick Patrick v. Chris Jericho. Chris is being managed by Teddy Long here, for reasons which I can’t be bothered to remember or care about. (I can’t remember either.)  Oh, and he has to wrestle with one hand behind his back. Jericho legsweeps Patrick and hiptosses him, and Patrick bails. Nick’s selling is so overblown as to be hilarious. Remember, future wrestlers, overselling can always be toned down, but once you get into the habit of no-selling, you’re only one step away from being Hawk. (Also, once you start injecting yourself with monkey hormones to evade steroid testing, you’re also going down that road.   Hawk was a messed up guy.)  Jericho grabs a hammerlock, and hits the spinkick in the corner. Hiptoss and Patrick escapes again. Back in, Jericho casually kicks away and Patrick runs again. Jericho clotheslines him and he runs again. Jericho chases, but hits the ringpost by mistake and Patrick takes over. Back in, necksnap and Patrick demonstrates his fisticuffsmanship. A blind charge hits boot, and Jericho comes back. Backdrop, and Patrick runs again. Back in, Nick hits a running forearm and goes to the top rope (?!) Well, just guess how that ends up. Jericho superkicks him for the easy pin at 8:02. I don’t see what purpose giving this 8 minutes served, but it didn’t feel like an eternity or anything, always a good sign for this sort of match. *1/2 (Nick was a pretty decent worker before he became a ref, actually.)  – Jeff Jarrett v. The Giant. For those without your nWo scorecard, this was after Giant turned nWo for the first time. Jarrett attacks to start out, but gets nowhere. Finally Giant gets bored and clotheslines him. Blind charge misses and Jarrett dropkicks him into the corner. He runs into a big boot, however, and Giant’s big elbow gets two. Giant keeps pounding at him at will, as we find Sting brooding in the rafters. Big boot and legdrop, but he misses the pump splash and Jarrett hits a bodypress for two. Giant falls out of the ring as Sting walks in, destroys Jarrett (in an angle that was never really explained) and Giant finishes with AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH THECHOKESLAM at 6:04. Just a match. ½*  (Yeah, what WAS with that Sting/Jarrett storyline, anyway?  Obviously JJ bailed and jumped back to the WWF before it could be paid off, but what the heck was the payoff supposed to be?)  – Come with us now to Jurassic Park, as Roddy Piper calls out the nWo so he can sign his big contract with Hollywood Hogan. Hogan’s busy, so a freshly-turned Bischoff has power of attorney. (Just like real life, more or less.)  Dibiase and Vincent/Virgil get in his face, so Piper goes into a senile diatribe against Bischoff. Hogan and his cronies join us, he talks, Piper talks, Bischoff talks, I snore, the contract is signed, nWo beatdown follows. WCW: The pioneers of using one PPV to hype another PPV. (TNA of course has it down to an artform now, whereas WWE has progressed to the point of using PPV to hype TV shows.)  – The Amazing French Canadians v. Harlem Heat. The Canadians are of course Jacques Rougeau and Pierre Oulette, on a brief layover in WCW before Vince would steal them back again in time to do nothing with them. The talent raids weren’t all wine and roses, you know. The storyline here, as it were, saw Parker leaving Sherri at the alter for Madusa, and then defecting to Canada to manage the Amazing French Canadians. If the Heat win, Sherri gets five minutes with him. The aborted wedding from the Clash of Champions is a work of such sublimely horrible acting, writing and execution that if was any promotion other than WCW, one would think it was brilliant self-parody. Sadly, it’s WCW, so they actually wrote it that way. (Look for it to get ripped off on RAW any time now.)  Jacques works on Booker with a headlock, but gets kicked in the face and the Heat double-team him. Pierre comes in with a lariat on Stevie, and nefarious heel tactics follow. Pierre gets caught in the wrong corner and double-teamed some more. Booker hits the axe kick, but misses an elbow. SPINAROONIE, SPINAROONIE, SPINAROONIE. Mark Madden must be SO happy to know that years from now, that’ll be the sum total of his contributions to the wrestling world. Jacques pulls down the top rope, and Booker hits the floor. I’m both shocked and appalled at this behavior. Booker T is YOUR minority-in-peril. The Canadians hit a double goozle and Jacques slams Pierre onto Booker for two. Jacques hooks a Boston Crab and Pierre drops a leg. Match has no heat whatsoever. Hot tag Stevie Ray. He presses Jacques onto Pierre and katie bar the door and all that. Ref is bumped and the Canadians hit a spike piledriver and bring a table in. And two sets of stairs. So one set goes on the mat, the table goes on the top rope, and the other set goes onto the table. This isn’t the least bit contrived, nope. Pierre goes on top of the stairs on the table, and Jacques brings him down onto Booker, but it misses (duh), and the Harlem Hangover puts the match out of it’s misery at 9:16. * – Sista Sherri v. Robert Parker. She pounds him, he runs. Silly but fun. Sadly, the announcers ruin it by completely overstating the comedic nature of the match (with Tony calling it the funniest thing he’s ever seen in his 20 years of announcing or some such nonsense) until the effect is completely ruined by the unhip announce crew pounding the point home.  (SOUND FAMILIAR?!) – Cruiserweight title match: Dean Malenko v. Psychosis. Dean works the knee on the mat to start. A surfboard rollup gets two and they exchange headlocks. They trade wristlocks, which goes nowhere. Dean goes back to the leg, crowd gets REALLY bored. Psychosis makes the ropes, and Dean goes back to the leg. Psychosis comes back with a leg lariat and a dropkick puts Dean on the floor. Psychosis blows a tope and hits the railing. Back in, Dean hooks a headscissor on the mat, then drops a leg for two. Into a half-crab, tiger driver, and cloverleaf, but Psychosis makes the ropes. Dean dropkicks the knee and works on it. Psychosis tries a monkey flip but ends up on the floor. Dean follows and slams him, then comes off the apron with a somersault senton. Back in, legdrop gets two. Dean goes up and gets crotched, and Psychosis gets a rana for two. Dean reverses a suplex for two, but takes a heel kick. Tombstone reversal sequence ends in Dean’s favor, for two. Rollup and bridge get the pin to retain at 14:35. I don’t know what happened here, but neither guy seemed into it and the fans were gonzo as a result. **1/4 – WCW World tag title: The Outsiders v. The Feces of Fear v. The Nasty Boys. Big brawl to start, and they be clubberin, Tony, but jus’ a lil’. Nasties double-team Barbarian for two. I briefly consider doing this entire match recap in Dusty-ese, but it might turn into one of those deals where a person becomes a stutterer by doing it himself. (The story that Randy Bachman always tells is that his younger brother used to always do a joke stutter, until he one day found himself with an actual speech impediment, which was then referenced in “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” as an homage to him.)  Sags legdrop gets two. The Faces of Fear do some clubberin’ as the champs relax on the apron. Art imitates life. Nash tags himself in and executes some of his precision offense on Knobs. He misses a blind charge, but tags in Meng. Funny how a month ago Meng jumping to the WWF was considered a fairly big deal, and now they’re gonna get the entire promotion. (And yet Meng disappeared completely before the Invasion even started.  That Haku appearance at the Royal Rumble was the true death knell for WCW, when Vince could just casually sign away their champions and not even make a big deal out of it anymore.)  Life is funny. Meng is not. Hall comes in and pounds on Barbarian, but gets clotheslined. Hall lets Knobs in instead, and THEY BE SIX-WAY CLUBBERIN’, TONY! Bobby has some trouble grasping the vernacular as Sags piledrives Barbarian for two. Nash gets a sideslam for two. Hall comes in and gets double-teamed by the Faces for two. Barbarian and Knobs go next, and the Nasties work the knee over. This may be the most boring match ever. No storyline, no flow, no heat, no defined babyfaces, no point, no doubt as to who would win. That’s a bad run of factors. Hall continues working that knee, and a brawl erupts. Nash kills Meng to end that. Barbarian comes back in and gets Nasticized. Barbarian and Knobs tag in the Outsiders against each other in a spot lifted to the molecule from Summerslam 96. Nash lays down for Hall in a finish which the WWF would in turn lift from here two years later for the New Age Outlaws. Nash would in turn modify it into the Fingerpoke of Doom and kill the company as an indirect result. So if you want to know where the downfall of WCW came from, look no further than Summerslam 96. Hall grabs the megaphone, nails Knobs, and the Poochiebomb finishes for real at 16:07. Somewhat like a root canal, without the cheerful upside. ¼* – World War III: WCW makes no attempt to have a coherent listing of the participants or give me a chance to note them all, but from what I could catch on the rushed ring entrances we’ve got Lex Luger, Eddy Guerrero, Jim Powers, DDP, Kenny Kaos, Robby Rage, VK Wallstreet, Marcus Bagwell, Scotty Riggs, Craig Pittman, Booker T, Stevie Ray, Big Bubba, Hugh Morrus, Konnan, Steve Regal, La Parka, Pez Whatley, Mongo, Disco, Rentagade, Joe Gomez, Meng, Barbarian, Bunkhouse Buck, Arn Anderson, Rocco Rock, Johnny Grunge, Ciclope, Syxx, Hall, Nash, Giant, Scott Norton, Dragon, Mike Enos, Mysterio, Roadblock, Juice Train, Jack Boot, Jim Duggan, Chris Benoit, Juvy, Jacques, Pierre, Prince Iaukea, Malenko, Jarrett, Bobby Eaton, Dave Taylor, Jericho, Alex Wright, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner and Kevin Sullivan. (Only 7 dead, although part of me thinks that Roadblock is dead too, but I’m not sure.)  Anyone else left unaccounted for is inconsequential. Horsemen and Dungeon of Doom brawl at ringside before we even begin. Benoit and Sullivan fight into the crowd and up and down the stairs. I can’t even follows this mess. The ref throw the entire group of heels out of the match completely. Tony Rumble and Ciclope go out first off-screen, as does Mike Enos. Poor Mike – he was involved in the moment that kicked off the biggest angle in WCW history and he was jobbing again two months later. Luger tosses La Parka. Speaking of which, my overall take on the WCW death can best be summed up by something DVDVR contributor John Pelan once said, which is basically that any company that has a guy in a skeleton suit who dances and plays guitar with a chair, and can’t draw children, doesn’t deserve to be in business in the first place. Norton goes, as does Whatley. Galaxy, Rentagade, and Jimmy Graffiti all get tossed by the nWo, as does Mark Starr. I suppose if I really cared about the match I could go back up to the top of the paragraph and add all these names to the master list, but if WCW doesn’t care, then I don’t either. Prince goes bye, as does Kenny Kaos. That’ll change the whole complexion of the match! The nWo stands around doing nothing. Joe Gomez goes flying. The announcing you hear here has almost nothing to do with what you see on the screen in any of the little boxes. NWO tosses Roadblock, while in another ring everyone gangs up on Ron Studd and dogpile him in a funny spot. I forget if Ron Studd was the Yeti and/or the same guy as Ron Reis, but he’s another big useless dipshit at any rate. (I believe he was Yeti, yes, and was supposed to be the son of John Studd in kayfabe.)  Oulette and Rougeau go out, but take Duggan with them. The American Males eliminate each other and squabble, as Eaton goes out. DDP puts Wallstreet out. Jericho dropkicks Juvy over the top as the rings start merging. Eddy & DDP on the way over. Hall puts Jack Boot out. Speaking of DeWayne Bruce, someone page Wrestlecrap and remind them about Jack Boot. (That was yet another gimmick for Buddy Lee Parker, in case you’ve blocked it out like me.)  Grunge goes over the top as well. Jarrett puts Malenko out, DDP dumps Pittman. The nWo tosses Booker T, Disco, Bunkhouse Buck, and Stevie Ray. Ron Studd and Rick Steiner go, as does Ultimo Dragon and Alex Wright and the eliminations are going so fast I have to keep pausing the tape to keep up with them all. Jericho gone, Juice Train gone. So we’ve got the nWo against Luger, Jarrett, Regal, Guerrero, Mysterio and DDP kind of floating in the middle. Eddy goes fast. Giant tosses Rey out one-handed. Hall Edges Jarrett and he’s gone. DDP charges Regal and he’s finished, then the nWo dumps Regal. So it’s Luger against Hall, Nash, Syxx and Giant. Giant misses a charge and gets racked. Hall tries the Edge and gets tossed. Syxx gets tossed. Nash gets racked, so Giant dumps both guys and wins the thing at 28:25. His title shot would come at the first ever Souled Out in 1997. nWo poses, end of show. I don’t rate battle royales, but as a rule if you see “World War III” you know it sucks. The Bottom Line: A couple of mildly entertaining matches to start, but there’s just nothing in the midcard to support the show, and the main event collapses under it’s own weight as usual, so by the end there’s nothing left to recommend here. Recommendation to avoid.