Monday Nitro – December 27, 1999

Monday Nitro #220
Date: December 27, 1999
Location: Houston
Astrodome, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 16,640
Commentators: Bobby
Heenan, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re finally done with
this year and it’s not a moment too soon. While Thunder was better,
last week’s Nitro may have been the worst show I’ve ever seen. The
NWO is on top again but, due to Goldberg punching a limo, they don’t
have a top opponent to deal with so things are a big complicated.
Let’s get to it.

We open with a clip
from Thunder of Goldberg clearing out the NWO.
The NWO walks through
the back until the director tells them it’s clear.
Opening sequence.
Tenay tells us about
Goldberg shredding a tendon in his arm and already undergoing
surgery.
If
that’s not enough, here’s a major update: WCW Senior Executive Vince
President Bill Busch is sick Ferrara and Russo’s direction (Tony uses
their real names here) and if Scott Hall doesn’t show up by 7pm
tonight, the Tag Team Titles are vacated. That time has come and
gone, so the Powers That Be have booked (his word) a Lethal Lottery
Tag Team Title tournament to start this week and end next week. So
the big boss is sick of the booking but is letting the bookers keep
going. Makes as much sense as anything else around here.
Apparently Scott
Steiner has had another back surgery and his career is probably over.
That sounds like a swerve.
Brian Knobbs vs. Bam
Bam Bigelow
Kanyon
is at ringside and has a wireless mic on. Bigelow goes after him to
start but Knobbs gets in a trashcan shot to take over. The
announcers ask Kanyon about a title belt he had with him on Thursday
as Bigelow and Knobbs fight into the crowd and we hit the ECW
production style. Kanyon tells the marks in the crowd to move as he
follows them, which is in no way, shape or form like the time Road
Dogg did this for Al Snow vs. Big Boss Man in a hardcore match in the
WWF. You can’t see a thing going on but apparently Knobbs pins
Bigelow. Seriously you could see their arms and that’s about it.
Sid
arrives with Benoit.
There’s a monster truck
in the back.
The
NWO has JJ Dillon in a chair and Nash throws the Tag Team Title on a
table. Bret knees JJ in the ribs and that’s it.
The
NWO looks at the monster truck, which has an NWO logo on the side.
They walk a few feet away and find Sid’s still running car.
Here’s
Sid to yell about the NWO. Sid knows that he, Goldberg and Benoit
have to watch each others’ backs with the NWO around stabbing
everyone in the back. I can barely understand what Sid is saying but
I think he wants to beat up all four members of the NWO. What
happened to Goldberg is unfortunate, but it’s time for Sid to step up
to the plate and go after the World Title. Sid promises to powerbomb
Bret through the ring at Souled Out so I guess that’s the main event.
Benoit comes out to
join Sid (with a much clearer voice) and talks about wanting to get
his hands on the Chosen One Jeff Jarrett. The last few weeks have
made Benoit lose all respect for Jeff Jarrett and at Souled Out,
Benoit will let out some of the frustration. He wants something
called Triple Threat Theater, which means a 2/3 falls match with
different rules for each fall.
Up
first is a Dungeon Rules match, meaning pinfall or submission only
with no rope breaks and if you leave the ring, you lose the match.
Second would be a Bunkhouse Brawl, or street fight. Finally, it’s
Caged Heat, which means the Cell. Jarrett is the Chosen One to be
lead to the slaughter. Cool idea actually.
We cut to the back
where the NWO has spray painted Sid’s car, complete with Bret’s
caricature of Sid on the hood. He’s not a bad artist.
ZZ Top is here.
Sid and Benoit find the
car and aren’t happy.
Tag
Team Title Tournament First Round: Buzzkill/Mike Rotundo vs. Dean
Malenko/Konnan
Buzzkill
is now a full on Road Dogg knockoff, complete with the same hook to
open his song. “It’s me, it’s me, it’s that B-U-Double Z.”
Also, WE’VE GOT WACKY TAG PARTNERS!!! Dean and Mike get things going
and hit the mat for what could be an entertaining exchange. It’s
quickly off to Konnan vs. Buzzkill with Konnan taking over, only to
have Dean deck his partner. Everyone gets in a fight as Jim Duggan
comes in to lay out Dean with the 2×4 to give Buzzkill the pin to
advance.
Jarrett and Hart pull
the power to the production truck and the feed cuts out. Ok then.
Back
with the picture a bit snowy and a white limo arriving, containing
Scott Steiner who is met by Rick Steiner with a wheelchair.
The NWO destroys
catering. Is there a point to this coming anytime soon?
Tank Abbott vs.
Shane
Shane
is in dress clothes and gets knocked out in less than a minute. He
must have tried to get $20 out of Tank for a posed picture.
Career retrospective on
Scott Steiner.
Rick
wheels Scott out to the ring to the old Steiner Brothers theme. Can
we just get to the swerve that WE NEVER SAW COMING already? A
tearful Scott tells a story of his doctor telling him that his back
will never heal and he’s going to have to retire. Scott cries about
never being able to wrestle his brother again and asks for the fans
to say a prayer for him.
Before
the Steiners can leave, here’s the NWO. Bret wants a washed up
nobody like Scott out of the ring, but to be honest, Scott was never
that good anyway. You would think Rick would come out to protect his
brother here. There are things more important than Scott Steiner,
like the fact that Bret still has his belt. Jeff pretends to cry
over Steiner’s announcement so Nash takes over the talking. A tech
guy tries to send them to a commercial so Jarrett blasts him with a
guitar.
Back
with the NWO still in the ring because that’s what this show is about
anymore. Nash isn’t cool with someone taking their bats. On top of
that, they’re not cool with Bill Busch trying to interfere, so stay
in your office and let them handle the wrestling stuff. He promises
that Nash will be here tonight to wrestle in Houston. As for
Goldberg, the game is about to become deadly. Bret thinks it’s 4-0
Hitman over Goldberg so Goldberg can consider himself stopped.
That brings Bret to
Sid, who will be destroyed even worse than his car. Jarrett rips on
the town a bit as this segment just keeps going. Benoit is on for
his Triple Threat Theater at Souled Out….and here are Sid and
Benoit in the car with ball bats. This brings in Curt Hennig of all
people to get beaten down by Benoit and Sid as the sacrificial lamb.
Sid throws him onto the hood of the car.
Hennig is put in an
ambulance after a break.
Tag Team Title
Tournament First Round: Harlem Heat vs. Midnight/Lash Leroux
What
are the odds??? Booker and Lash get things going with Leroux getting
two off a victory roll but walking into a Rock Bottom for the same.
Stevie comes in and hammers Lash with a vengeance before slamming him
down. Off to Midnight and it’s time for something resembling a
showdown. Stevie runs Midnight over with a clothesline and looks
away, leaving Midnight to nip up.
A snap suplex to Stevie
is treated like Hogan slamming Andre and Booker tags himself in.
Booker can’t bring himself to kick Midnight in the face and they do a
very light sequence with Booker not wanting to hurt her. Midnight
takes a backbreaker and Stevie is livid. He pulls out the slapjack
and nails all three people in the match with Lash falling on Booker
for the pin. That would be two matches with a weapon shot and
brawling partners.
Rating:
D-.
Another storyline disguised as a match. I’m not sure why we needed
to see yet another Harlem Heat split. More importantly than that
though, this was a clear indication that we’re going to be sitting
through wacky tag partners and screwy finishes for all eight matches
tonight because that’s all Russo knows how to book. These sort of
things can be done well with Starrcade 1991 as proof, but Russo isn’t
good enough to figure out something as simple as “let them
wrestle.”
The Scream mask guy
attacks Chavo.
The Revolution is at
the Washington Monument and Shane wants to ask an average American a
history quiz. Shane rips on the guy for not knowing that it’s the
anniversary of the Monument going up. I’m not sure what the point of
this was supposed to be.
Some
Power Plant students are in the front row. Chuck Palumbo, Elix
Skipper, Mike Sanders and Reno among others are visible.
WCW World Title:
Bret Hart vs. Jerry Flynn
Flynn
is in street clothes because it’s more realistic or something. No
announcement or teasing a World Title match and it’s given the
treatment that a TV Title match might receive. Tony announces Bill
Busch deciding that the title can change hands on a DQ at Souled Out.
Bret hammers him into the corner to start and runs the eyes across
the top rope.
They head outside with
Jerry whipping the champ into the barricade, drawing out Jarrett and
Nash. Back in and Jerry fires off kicks in the corner but eats a
DDT. Another spinning kick drops Bret but Nash distracts the
referee, allowing Jarrett to come in with a ball bat to set up the
Sharpshooter to retain the title.
Rating:
F.
Jerry Flynn in street clothes just gave Bret Hart a run for his money
in a bad match with the NWO having to save the title in an
unannounced match in the middle of the second hour of the show. This
company really doesn’t have any idea what they’re doing do they?
Flynn
gets the NWO treatment. He might have worn the street clothes so he
doesn’t have any paint on his skin. The NWO leaves but Tank Abbott
comes out and knocks Flynn out again. Your would be WCW World
Champion a month from now people.
The
Revolution is at the Library of Congress and Saturn pulls out his
copy of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Nash is on the phone
with Hall but theme music muffles the chat.
Tag Team Title
Tournament First Round: PG-13 vs. Rick Steiner/Berlyn
PG-13
is wearing Houston Oilers jerseys (team that recently left town) and
rap about how they don’t care if people don’t like them. Rick shakes
his head to start as Berlyn spinwheel kicks Wolfie. Tony reads out
the most beautiful announcement I’ve ever heard: Nitro returns to two
hours next week. PG-13 double teams Berlyn and stomps him in the
middle of the ring as I’m just waiting on the WACKY way someone will
advance. Rick gets the hot tag and cleans house with Steiner Lines
before planting both of them upside down on the buckles. Berlyn
walks out and a belly to belly is enough to pin Wolfie.
Rick keeps beating them
up and the decision is reversed. In other words, the newcomers are
left laying but advance on a technicality. As stupid as WCW has
become, it’s good to know that some things never change.
Saturn
comes up to Duggan and says they’re teaming together tonight against
Norman Smiley and Asya. Apparently it’s mutually beneficial if they
win. Well yeah that’s normally how a tag match works. I can’t do
this line justice, so here’s Saturn’s statement verbatim: “Besides,
brother, as optically challenged as we are, there’s no way that
jacked up hootchie or that sissy in a football uniform can blindside
us if we stand side by side.” Again, Saturn is the best part of
this show and fits in perfectly because he makes just as little sense
as the booking.
The Revolution rants
about the White House and Bill Clinton and kidnap a guy in a Clinton
mask. Somehow this is more effective than their last few weeks of
material.
Tag Team Title
Tournament First Round: Asya/Norman Smiley vs. Perry Saturn/Jim
Duggan
Duggan’s
family is at ringside as he beats up Saturn before the match starts.
Norman gets in some easy shots, including the swinging slam. The
spanking dance connects but Saturn breaks up the Big Wiggle with a
suplex. Saturn slams him down and drops the top rope elbow onto the
chest protector to hurt his own arm. Asya is tagged in and shoves
Saturn from behind, followed by a low blow and clothesline. A
superplex drops Saturn and Duggan drops a knee on his partner
(complete with counting his own pin for reasons of dumb), allowing
Norman to get the pin to advance.
Rating:
D-.
Can we go back to the part where the Powers That Be literally had the
fourth wall broken and screw up everything in sight? I’m starting to
think it might be easier to sit through than the night of the wacky
tag team partners. This was another bad match with a screwy finish
because that’s all we have here.
Duggan, the loser,
brings his family in to celebrate.
US Title: Kidman vs.
Jeff Jarrett
Kidman
is challenging and gets jumped from behind to start. A hotshot stops
Kidman’s comeback and the announcers ignore the match to talk about
Triple Threat Theater. Jeff turns around and eats a Bodog and
dropkick, only to catapult Kidman out to the floor to stop him again.
Cue Nash and Hart because you think we can go a full half hour
without the NWO? Kidman rolls through a high cross body for two but
gets caught in a quick sleeper. Say it with me: Kidman reverses into
one of his own for a few arm drops, followed by the BK Bomb for two.
That’s about it for the
NWO not being the focus of the match though as Nash low bridges
Kidman to the floor, only to have the Filthy Animals run in to lay
out Jarrett with a crutch. It’s only good for two, but it draws one
of the loudest reactions of the night. Jeff tries a powerbomb and
gets the standard counter. Heenan: “I’ve never seen anything like
that!” Kidman goes up top but takes a ball bat to the ankle,
setting up the Stroke for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
This was one of the better matches of the night, but my goodness it’s
ok to let a champion look strong instead of needing help all the
time. It’s nowhere near as bad as the Jerry Flynn mess but at least
let Jeff do his own cheating to win. Watchable match, partially due
to getting some time, but it was too bogged down as usual.
Gene
brings out Luger and Liz for a chat but Luger is dressed as Sting and
comes out to Sting’s music. Luger imitates Sting and talks about how
awesome Luger really is and how severe the beating Luger gave him
was. The lights go out and come back on to show black roses in the
ring. So yeah, this feud is CONTINUING.
Nash gives Hall
directions over the phone.
Tag Team Title
Tournament First Round: Ron Harris/Don Harris vs. Meng/Fit Finlay
I’m
not even going to bother calling this stupid. Finlay and Meng fight
so the Twins, ever so brilliant, attack them both. Just let them
beat each other up then pin the scraps. Why is that so complicated?
A double big boot puts the hardcore guys on the floor and they fight
until it’s a countout to advance the Twins. This was, again, a waste
of time.
David
Flair and Daffney call themselves Natural Born Killers. That was a
disturbing movie.
Here’s 3 Count to pick
things up. They do their dance but Vampiro comes in and cleans
house. As luck would have it, he and Evan are up next.
Tag Team Title
Tournament First Round: Evan Karagias/Vampiro vs. David Flair/Maestro
Scratch
that last team as Crowbar, who debuted last week, attacks Maestro in
the aisle and takes his place. Sure why not. Ignore the fact that
he worked at a gas station and has no wrestling license or training
as far as WCW knows. Anyway he starts with a German suplex on
Vampiro (good looking one too) before it’s off to David for a suplex
(not so good looking one) of his own.
It’s
so lame that Vampiro pops up and plants both psychos (yeah Vampiro is
the sane one here) with a double DDT. A Rock Bottom to Crowbar
allows Vampiro to make the hot tag to Evan, who is promptly knocked
off the top and down onto Crowbar. Back inside with Vampiro
“hitting” a top rope clothesline for two on David but the other 3
Count members get in to go after Vampiro. The partners implode but
Vampiro fights both of them off with ease, setting up the Nail in the
Coffin on David. No referee though as Crowbar nails Vampiro with a
crowbar, giving David the pin.
Rating:
F.
This was the sixth match of eight tournament matches tonight and
they’re now six for six in having at least one team implode. I know
I say Russo only has a few ideas in different forms, but he’s done
the same idea six times in less than three hours. Suddenly Oklahoma
makes so much more sense.
3
Count loads up the song post match but Flair and Crowbar clean house.
This brings out Lenny and Lodi as Standards and Practices, complete
with the yet to be named Miss Hancock (Stacy Keibler) in a skirt
shorter than your local vanilla midget. They promise to take Flair
and Crowbar off TV if this violence keeps up. This of course earns
them more violence.
Jarrett
is told not to worry about Hall not being here yet.
Tag
Team Title Tournament First Round: Disco Inferno/Big Vito vs. Buff
Bagwell/Chris Kanyon
The
Italians have Johnny the Bull and Tony Marinara with them. Everyone
but Disco head to the floor to start before Kanyon slides back in,
earning him some knees to the back. A Russian legsweep drops Disco
but Kanyon heads back outside to get the Italians away from the
girls. Kanyon leaves with the girls to split up ANOTHER tag team.
Buff fights back but Vito nails him with a great looking superkick to
take over again. Disco gets caught in a neckbreaker but there’s no
partner (Tony: “Chris Champion Kanyon”) to tag. Disco
accidentally hits Vito with a chain, setting up the Blockbuster for
the pin.
Rating:
D-.
They’re seven for seven in teams splitting and almost half have had a
weapon spot. I would ask if this was the best they could do, but
yes, this really is the best they can do: the same match over and
over and over. In a weird way, I’m actually hoping they manage to do
it again one more time in the last match because it would be one of
the most amazing things ever to see them do the exact same plot point
eight times in one night.
Buff gets laid out post
match.
Here’s
the NWO to say Hall isn’t here yet but his arrival is imminent. Nash
asks for a brief delay to let him get here.
Tag Team Title
Tournament First Round: The Wall/Sid Vicious vs. Outsiders
Remember
that Sid and Wall seemed to form a friendship last week. Nash gets
in on his own and does a Hogan shirt rip to start against Wall.
Kevin slugs away but Wall punches him down and scores with a belly to
back suplex. Wall hits a big boot but Bret nails him in the back
with a bat to let Nash take over. Sid chases Bret and Wall is
suddenly putting Nash in a chinlock. He no sold a ball bat shot from
the World Champion? Sid comes in and shoves the referee down before
cleaning house, only to have Bret nail Wall with the bat for the pin
to advance Nash.
Rating:
F.
He no sold a baseball bat shot. A shot from Liz put Sting out for
months but Wall is back on offense fifteen seconds later? How can
anyone actually think that’s acceptable? This was more NWO
interference dominating the entire match with no one having a chance
against the heel stable. And now I’m disappointed with the lack of
the partners fighting. I was looking forward to that.
Benoit
comes in to save Sid from a powerbomb but here comes a limping Scott
Steiner (presumably the Scott that Nash has been meaning all night.
I was hoping for Riggs) with a ball bat of his own….and of course
he’s NWO because what else would he be? As usual, there’s no value
to a scam that was set up and paid off in the span of two hours. NWO
propaganda falls from the ceiling and an NWO banner is lowered. Sid
car is brought out and Sid is put in the back. They drive him to the
back where the monster truck crushes the car to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
F.
Somehow, this is miles better than last week’s show. The wrestling
was nothing special (Kidman vs. Jarrett was decent before it fell
apart), the booking has been covered already, the ending was stupid,
and this whole show was a mess. You can tell Russo has lost some
authority though and that’s the best thing that could possibly happen
to this company.
That’s
it for WCW in 1999 and I don’t think there’s a need to explain all of
the disasters in this company over the year. Here’s the most telling
part though: the Fingerpoke of Doom is looking more and more like a
high point every day. I’ll leave you with this: I’m fairly certain
I’m right when I say this was the worst calendar year in the history
of any wrestling promotion ever.
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Thunder – December 23, 1999

Thunder
Date:
December 23, 1999
Location:
Wicomico Civic Center, Salisbury, Maryland
Attendance: 4,000
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Scott Hudson
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
On
Monday, this company replaced wrestling with some weird shoot style
which involves whatever Russo and Ferrara feeling like throwing out
there being presented as the new reality. The big story was the
reformation of the NWO because…..normally I would complain here but
it was probably the most logical thing all night. I have no idea
what I’m about to watch but let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of
Monday’s main story. The two minute version doesn’t make it any
better than the three hour edition.
Tenay promises to prove
that Thunder is special again.
Here’s
the NWO to open things up and Tony is RIGHT THERE to tell us how
strong the NWO really is. Bret brags about all the gold and says
they couldn’t make this any more black and white. This has been in
the works for over a month and the stupid wrestling fans never saw it
coming. We see some clips of the Outsiders helping Bret out over the
last few months with Bret conveniently never seeing a thing.
This is the one and
only one thing I can give Russo some slack on: the big conspiracy
stories don’t hold up if you know what to look for, so tying all this
together probably did work a lot better when this show was airing
live. Basically the NWO lead Goldberg and Benoit along so the four
of them wound up with all the belts and it was a big swerve all
along. It still doesn’t make up for Monday’s debacle or the holes in
the logic, but at least it’s there. On the screwjob at Starrcade,
Bret: “That was better than Shawn Michaels!”
Nash rips on the fans
for only cheering the Outsiders because they wanted to be hip.
They’re a bunch of $5 an hour workers who have no idea what it takes
to be this great. They’ve never needed the people but they don’t
mind taking the money. Hall says a bunch of stuff that has to be
censored but Jeff cleans it up by declaring this crowd the first
annual slapnuts convention. Again he declares himself the chosen
one, which makes me wonder why he isn’t the World Champion.
Jeff: “No one saw it
coming!” Hall: “I didn’t know where we were half the time.”
This NWO is only going to be the elite, because once you’ve had the
black, you never go back. That line is SO out of place from Jarrett.
Cue Goldberg, who is quickly told he sucks. He’s going to rip the
NWO’s hearts out and it’s not going to be who’s next but who’s left.
The
announcers eat up time by running down the card. Tenay is lead
announcer and Tony is playing second fiddle. That’s quite odd to
see.
Token footage of Leia
Meow stretching.
Two helmeted bikers
arrive.
Benoit says he prefers
life’s hard decisions because they require sacrifice. He modeled
himself after Bret for living his life the way he believed it should
be lived. That ended Monday, so tonight he’s taking Bret’s heart.
PG-13 vs. Varsity
Club
Steiner
and Rotundo here but first, a rap from PG-13. Leia is forced to
exercise before the match and I’m sure you get the idea here. PG-13
gets beaten down to start and Steiner runs over JC Ice. Sullivan
says the Varsity Club is too smart to get conned like Goldberg. A
combination of clotheslines and Steiner Lines knock PG-13 into
oblivion but the referee throws it out. Tenay says it’s a double DQ,
even though PG-13 literally had no offense.
Wolfie
D. is put in the Tree of Woe for a low blow from Meow. Who in the
world thought these teams needed to be brought in?
David Flair beats up a
fast food worker for not getting his order right.
Russo is yelling at
Hennig in his office, which has been put back together but still has
the damage from Piper. So they dragged the broken walls to the arena
and set them back up? Hennig didn’t seem to know what was going on
in the big scheme but here are the bikers to interrupt. It’s the
Harris Twins who turn over Russo’s table and yell at him for screwing
with their lives.
Here
are the Filthy Animals and Jim Duggan with something to say. Eddie
says the Animals are a lot of things but above all else, they’re
Americans. The Revolution left them by the roadside but they’re back
to knock the Revolution down. Kidman and Konnan say the same thing
as Eddie, albeit in very, very different methods of speaking. Rey
promises to beat the Revolution like the dogs they are.
Duggan of course says
HO and USA. He wants to make the Revolution his personal HO so
here’s the Revolution with Dean ranting about the flag of the
Revelation (yes the Revelation because Dean doesn’t even care what
stable he’s in). Saturn starts talking about Fred Flintstone never
realizing that the rack of ribs is too big for his car, making him by
far the most entertaining thing in this story. Shane wants to break
Duggan’s neck and complains about Americans. The fans are the ones
that suck off the government programs and Duggan’s comeback is just
him being an idiot. Apparently there’s a match tonight.
Russo sends Hennig and
Jarrett after Creative Control.
Tank Abbott vs. La
Parka
A
right hand puts La Parka down and Tank hammers away in the corner.
La Parka hits him with the chair and gets knocked out cold for a no
contest.
Tank knocks Doug
Dillinger out too.
Norman Smiley hides
from Goldberg. Why is Goldberg having issues finding the NWO? Why
didn’t he just wait for them to come through the curtain earlier?
The
Artist still has issues recording his music but still won’t speak.
Paisley gets on the producer for questioning the lyrics.
Hardcore Title: Fit
Finlay vs. Norman Smiley
Smiley
is defending but Finlay knocks him into the weapons cart to get
things going. They fight into the crowd and into the back as we hit
the hardcore requirement from the WWF. Knobbs shows up and helps
beat Norman up in the concession stand. They lower a metal door and
try to crush Norman but Meng makes the save. Norman is thrown on top
of Finlay for the pin.
Meng
gives Norman the Death Grip post “match”.
Jeff Jarrett finds a
paper.
Goldberg chokes Jarrett
against a wall and says he’s coming for the NWO when they least
expect it.
Creative
Control comes out to say they’re no longer Creative Control. Now
they’re Ron and Don Harris because I guess that’s supposed to make us
care about them. They and their country accents are coming for the
Powers That Be. Side note: if they’re the Powers That Be, why do we
never hear another voice?
Ron Harris/Don
Harris vs. Curt Hennig/Jeff Jarrett
And
there’s no Jarrett, so the heel is now in a handicap match. Hennig
tries to fight back as Tony tries to keep the Twins straight. The
Twins throw Hennig around and a side slam gives we’ll say Ron the
pin. Total squash in less than two minutes.
The NWO comes out gives
the Harris the NWO treatment, complete with spray paint.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs.
Maestro
Kanyon
comes out to do commentary for reasons of storyline development and
immediately starts a BRING BACK JUVY chant. Well it’s a one man
chant but you get the idea. Maestro goes right at Bigelow to start
but gets thrown away when trying a bulldog. Symphony comes in to
prevent the diving headbutt so Bigelow dives at her anyway, sending
Symphony running away. The distraction lets Kanyon hit Bigelow with
a champagne bucket to give Maestro the pin.
Diamond Dallas Page
says there’s nothing between Buff Bagwell and his wife. He’s booked
against the Wall but won’t fight him until he gets a match with
Bagwell.
Recap of Madusa and
Karagias.
Evan
is in the ring and YES! IT! IS! TIME! Evan says it’s time for a
comeback and introduces us to his friends Shannon Moore and Shane
Helms. Their collective names: 3 Count. They may not be N’Sync or
the Backstreet Boys but they’ll charm the pants off everyone’s
girlfriend. Now hit the music. We get a music video for the yet to
be named single, spliced together with the guys singing the song (I
Can’t Get You Out Of My Heart). The tasteless fans hate the song and
here’s a now serious Chavo Guerrero to clean house with dropkicks.
I know they’re not the
best remembered team but I loved these guys and thought they were a
great idea. Boy bands were huge back then so why not go with a
gimmick based on them? It’s certainly better than Evan being the
schnook who keeps getting beaten up by women every other week.
David
Flair shows up at a gas station and runs into a guy named Crowbar.
The Misfits show up and beat the two of them down for no adequately
explored reason.
Konnan/Kidman/Jim
Duggan vs. Revolution
Saturn/Malenko/Asya
here with Shane on commentary. Konnan hammers on Malenko to start
and Kidman comes in with a slingshot legdrop. Off to Saturn who eats
a Bodog and a high cross body for two. Asya gets knocked off the
apron as well but Saturn suplexes Kidman in half.
Back to Malenko for two
off a suplex, followed by Saturn’s top rope elbow for the same.
Duggan gets the hot tag and cleans house with his variety of right
hands and slams. He goes to hit Asya but takes a low blow from
Saturn. Shane wants Duggan to denounce America and everything breaks
down. The hobbling Rey distracts Dean and Saturn, setting up a
sloppy double sunset flip to give the Animals the pin.
Rating:
D+.
Boring match but somehow this was the first one tonight to break
three minutes. Duggan (why is he still the janitor?) doesn’t fit in
this story and there’s no reason for the Animals vs. the Revolution
to keep going other than they have nothing else to do. At least they
gave this match something close to time.
The Revolution gets in
some crutches shots to make themselves feel better.
Kevin Nash vs. The
Wall
It’s
Hall’s turn to be on commentary. Nash takes him into the corner for
some knees to the ribs to start but Wall comes back with right hands
to the head. A clothesline and big boot put Nash down and it’s Hall
coming in with the pipe for the DQ.
Wall
gets spray painted and beaten up even more.
Post break, Wall gets
off a stretcher.
As Nash gets in the
shower, Hall finds Goldberg in his room. Back to the shower, where
Nash doesn’t seem to notice the camera, and Goldberg is there too.
Is he multiplying or something? We see both Outsiders out cold. Is
it possible to like, SLOW DOWN on having him go through the NWO?
WCW World Title:
Bret Hart vs. Chris Benoit
Benoit
is challenging of course and erupts on Hart in the corner to get
things going. They fight over to the announcers’ table with the
champ getting control. Back inside with Bret dropping a leg and an
elbow, followed by a DDT for two. Benoit fights back with a kick to
the ribs and elbow to the jaw for two of his own. The champ nails a
low blow as the fans are just silent. Benoit reverses him into the
corner and grabs the Crossface, drawing in Jarrett for the DQ.
Rating:
D.
Just a punch and kick match until the finish with no one believing
that Benoit was going over here. That silence for Bret tells you
everything you need to know though: this storyline is just a
disaster. Monday was too much for the fans to take and there’s no
reason to care. They weren’t even booing, but rather just sitting
there in silence. That’s a bad sign after your big angle of the
year.
Cue Goldberg to spear
Jarrett and chase Bret to the back. Bret gets away in a car but
Goldberg sees the Powers That Be’s limo. One right hand through the
window and see you in June Goldberg. By the way, for those of you
that have never seen it, that injury is what Nash said killed the
Fingerpoke of Doom fallout story with Goldberg rising up through the
ranks to get Hogan. You read that right.
Overall
Rating:
F.
You know the amazing thing about this show? That Bret vs. Benoit
match took place after the show was supposed to end. Why is that
amazing? That match (the longest of the night at 4:54) took us to
our grand total of less than 21 minutes of wrestling. In other
words, in the two hours Thunder was scheduled to be on the air, the
total time spent on wrestling (and that’s including Norman vs. Finlay
in the back) was 15:41. If you add in the World Title match, the
total time was 20:35. It took overtime to break 20 minutes of
wrestling on a two hour show. That is unacceptable.
Now
onto the good. This show wasn’t the abomination that we saw on
Monday. It was a disaster and one of the worst wrestling shows I’ve
ever seen with almost no action, mostly worthless matches and a story
that ran in two hours instead of two to six months, but it was NOT
this past Monday. They reigned things way back in tonight and it
made the show tolerable, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s good.
I think I can live with it like this, but there are far more changes
needed here than WCW has time for.
The
show isn’t airing next week due to a college football game so that’s
it for Thunder in 1999.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Monday Nitro – December 20, 1999

Monday Nitro #219
Date: December 20, 1999
Location:
Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Attendance: 8,915
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re just past
Starrcade and……I have no idea what we’re supposed to do now
actually. Bret is still World Champion, Sting is out of action again
and the rest of the show was pretty much a big waste of time with
short matches that went nowhere or that only Russo and company care
about. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of Piper calling for the bell on Goldberg to end
the title match against Bret. Yes, that’s their big idea: Montreal
part 58.
So you might be asking
how the big fallout show starts. After last night, we’re ready to
start on the new road forward for WCW. I promise, I’m not making
this up. This is really how this show began.
Here
are Madusa and Spice for a chat. Madusa brags about being the first
female Cruiserweight Champion and how the women of WCW are taking
over with their T&A. Right now she wants any man in the back to
come out here so she can neuter him. As luck would have it, Buzzkill
is in the crowd campaigning for equal rights, so Madusa calls him to
the ring for a title match right now.
Cruiserweight Title:
Madusa vs. Buzzkill
Madusa takes the sign
and blasts Buzzkill in the head, followed by the missile dropkick for
two. The German suplex is blocked though and Buzzkill dropkicks her
down. The Russian legsweep should have the title won (because it’s a
Russian legsweep) but Spice has the referee. In the distract, Spice
throws in a foreign object and Madusa knocks Buzzkill silly, setting
up the German suplex to retain.
I
need a minute here. After last night’s disaster of a Starrcade,
Vince Russo, the man who actually takes credit for the Attitude Era,
decided that the big idea was to open Nitro with a match between a
comedy character and Madusa, who is flat out saying she has one of
the most popular titles (well at least it used to be) in the company
because of how she looks. That’s their big way to open the
post-Starrcade Nitro. Imagine if the night after Rollins cashed in
Money in the Bank or after Bryan overcame the Authority, we opened
with a Nikki Bella promo and match. That’s basically what they did
here and it’s making my head hurt.
The announcers talk
about Goldberg getting screwed last night. I’ll set the over/under
for use of that word in this story at about 6,000.
Russo tells Curt Hennig
to get rid of Hugh Morrus tonight. Why Russo has issues with Morrus
isn’t clear, but I’d bet it’s a nuance of a plot point that I missed
in Russo’s 19 segments a night. Creative Control is sent to find
Piper.
Speaking of Piper, he
arrives with his assistant and son because of reasons I don’t want to
be told. The kid tapes Piper’s wrists and Creative Control comes to
collect him.
Hugh Morrus vs. Curt
Hennig
Before
we get started, it’s time for an another angle that no one will care
about but we need to force it in there anyway. This time it’s Shane
being beaten down by a guy in a Scream mask with what looks like a
pipe. As for the match, here’s Tony’s take on it: “I’ve never been
so confused coming out of a WCW pay per view.” I can’t believe I’m
saying this, but preach it Tony. Morrus slugs Hennig into the corner
to start as the announcers don’t explain Hugh’s issues with the
Powers That Be, likely because they don’t exist.
After a big running
splash in the corner, Morrus gets distracted by some old guy in a
hospital gown who wanders from the crowd to the ramp. For the love
of……JUST HAVE A WRESTLING MATCH! Morrus goes outside and helps
the man he calls Pop to the ramp so he stays out of harms’ way.
Hennig gets in a few shots as Pop comes back down to ringside. In
the distraction, Hennig hits the PerfectPlex for the pin.
Rating:
D-.
I would ask why this is happening and what this is supposed to mean,
but I really, really don’t care. Hugh Morrus is getting a story now?
Apparently about his father who just wanders around ringside after
leaving a hospital? As usual, Russo doesn’t get that you have to
make us care about a person before you just throw them into a story
that makes no sense on the surface. I don’t care about Hugh Morrus
because he’s never done anything worth caring about. Therefore, I
don’t care about his Pop or whatever they’re doing with him. Again,
just let them wrestle and THEN come up with a story.
Pop
checks on his son, who is still down after a devastating suplex.
Piper is in Russo’s
office where Russo talks about Piper making some sort of deal with
the devil, meaning Piper can’t touch Russo. It’s not over though
because Piper has to go out there and tell everyone that he sold out
and that Russo had nothing to do with it. So who did he sell out to
if Russo wasn’t involved? That question is immediately wiped from my
memory as Russo says that Piper will take his heat. Piper talks
about going out there to “shoot on the marks” and how he and
Hogan built this sport. The audio screws up so I can’t hear the rest
of it but do I really need to?
So to recap: Russo is
the mastermind behind screwing Goldberg out of the title and gave
Piper something in return for ending the title match last night and
now Piper has to go and take the rap for it. This is going to be a
SHOOT, because all those times where Piper was evil and made his big
name were just him acting and we should believe how much he cares for
wrestling? Can we go back to Hugh and Pop?
And
now, a word from Tony Schiavone about how Vince McMahon screwed Bret
Hart out of the WCW Title. Russo worked for McMahon at that time, so
rumors are speculating that Russo scripted the ending to that match.
I don’t even know how to respond to that so we’ll move on to Tony
talking about how Kevin Nash is defending Goldberg in the locker
room. You know, the SHOOT locker room.
This
brings out Kevin Nash, who talks about living by a code in wrestling.
There are certain rules you have to live by no matter what happens.
Yes people, KEVIN NASH is talking about ethics in wrestling. Just go
with it and maybe it’ll be over soon. There are two groups of people
behind the curtain: the boys and the office. The boys are all a
fraternity and the office doesn’t care about any of them. Nash
doesn’t care about Goldberg, but what happened last night was…..a
word they don’t actually censor. TV-14 it is I suppose. Hart
screwed one of the boys and now he has to pay.
Creative
Control says Nash is the biggest politician in the locker room. So
yeah, it’s clearly a big worked shoot (in case it wasn’t obvious
before) and the audience, after sitting through Madusa vs. Buzzkill
and Hennig vs. Morrus/Pop gets to hear a lot of stuff that is
probably going over their collective heads while Russo jerks off to
this nonsense because it makes him feel so much smarter than everyone
else. I understand what they’re talking about and it’s just so dumb.
Tank
Abbott vs. Jerry Flynn
No
holds barred of course. They trade slaps/punches before shoving the
referee, drawing out security to break it up. Flynn is put in
handcuffs and Tank knocks him out cold. This didn’t last a minute
and the fans are rightfully booing it out of the building.
Goldberg
arrives.
Here’s
the Revolution for what is actually the most interesting part of the
show so far. Douglas talks about how the Revolution was proven right
at Starrcade, but we pause for a word from Saturn about Tootsie Pops.
He calls out Jim Duggan to denounce America, but Jim doesn’t want to
do it. Instead, Duggan says he lied and gets beaten down. The
Revolution goes to burn the American flag but the Filthy Animals
(minus Eddie) return for the save. Great. It’s this feud again.
Shane’s look of shock when the Animals came out (walking at about
half a mile an hour) is great.
Here’s
Piper for his big explanation as Goldberg and Hart watch from
backstage. Piper lists off some of the evil things he’s done in the
past before going into a mini rant against Russo’s writing. Couldn’t
they just call it like, match making? Anyway, Piper knows people
just want to see the wrestlers fight. After listing off his
accomplishments from the 80s, Piper says he’s a real fighting and
quits. His son comes out to walk to the back with him, but Goldberg
comes out to block their way.
Goldberg
has stayed up all night trying to make sense of this (now THAT is
probably a shoot comment). He’s looked up to a few guys all his life
and until last night Piper was on that list. Piper made the wrong
decision last night but Goldberg doesn’t think Piper would ever sell
out. Roddy apologizes and things seem to be a bit better until Bret
comes out to pick it up all over again. As far as he’s concerned,
there’s no point in blaming Piper and the title is vacant. Bret goes
to the back to tell the Powers That Be what they can do with their
title. Keep shooting people. You’ll hit something eventually,
though it’s likely your own foot.
Post
break, Hart yells at Russo, but the boss says that was an attempt at
making up for Montreal. Yes seriously, THAT’S THEIR BIG STORY. Bret
throws the belt at Russo so he makes Hart vs. Goldberg for tonight.
Nice to see them continue their tradition of airing the same match
the night after Starrcade. I mean, it’s gone so well before.
Meng/Norman
Smiley vs. Fit Finlay/Brian Knobbs
Hardcore
of course. So why would Meng want to team with Smiley here? My
question is quickly answered as Meng goes after Smiley before their
opponents come out. Knobbs and Finlay come out to watch as the
announcers try to explain the psychology. Apparently Knobbs and
Finlay want Norman to keep the Hardcore Title so they can take it
from him with less of a fight.
Therefore,
we’re supposed to ignore the two of them knocking Smiley out cold
with a pipe so Norman could pin him with one hand last night, proving
that they could beat Meng with ease. As for the match, Norman gets
chased through the crowd, objects are thrown, a bathroom is invaded,
Norman’s head is put in a toilet and Knobbs gets the pin.
Rating:
F.
We’re over an hour into this show and this is the second best match
of the night so far. I’m not sure if it’s good or horribly stupid
that they’re trying to add psychology to this division. Yeah there’s
an idea to it, but the idea is stupid. The joke isn’t funny though
and Meng was just kind of there most of the “match” as everyone
else was “fighting.”
Piper tells his kid to
wait in the limo and gets a ball bat.
Video
of the Artist Formerly Known As Prince Iaukea’s recording session
where he doesn’t actually sing. Somehow this sounds like one of the
more logical things on the show.
Hart is walking and
runs into Piper. Bret tries to talk but Piper is back to babbling to
himself.
Maestro vs. Evan
Karagias
It’s
a flashback to the NWO days as the announcers ignore what’s going on
in the ring to talk about the backstage stuff. Maestro runs him over
to start but Evan hits a springboard spinning cross body. Evan rains
down right hands in the corner until he gets dropped throat first
across the top rope. We get a bit of a tease as Maestro loads up a
chinlock but slaps Evan in the face with both hands instead.
The
announcers talk about Montreal with Tony saying it’s unbelievable
that Russo wants to make up with Hart. Evan fights up and counters a
hurricanrana into a powerbomb. Symphony gets shoved onto the apron
but Evan has a quick change of heart to check on her. The
distraction lets Maestro hit a knee to the back for the pin.
Symphony is of course fine. Tony: “She sold that knee.”
Rating:
D.
Total mentions of Evan losing the title last night: zero. Then again
it’s fairly clear that there’s no future to the title so losing the
belt might have been the best thing possible for Evan. Maestro and
Symphony are a nothing pairing but at least they’re not victims of a
stalker anymore.
Piper
literally destroys the Powers That Be’s office. Piper: “How about
Adrian Adonis and Gorilla Monsoon?” And yes, he breaks the fourth
wall.
Chavo Guerrero tries to
sell Evan a book on how to pick up chicks. Thankfully, this ends in
a beating.
Chris Kanyon vs. Bam
Bam Bigelow vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Kanyon
says this isn’t Hollywood and talks about destroying the Triad.
Bigelow and Page come out and double team him with Page hitting a
Rock Bottom and Bigelow adding a headbutt. A clothesline and another
headbutt have Kanyon reeling but Page and Bigelow argue about which
finisher should end Kanyon. Page offers a handshake but pulls
Bigelow into a Diamond Cutter. It’s angle time though as Page drops
to the floor, kisses a fan, and leaves. J. Biggs throws Kanyon a
briefcase but the referee cuts him off, allowing Kanyon to hit
Bigelow with a champagne bottle for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
Well that happened. They spent the entire summer building up the
Triad and then the blowoff (I guess?) match takes four minutes with
no announcement on a Nitro? Sounds appropriate to me. At least
Kanyon has a new character and he’s getting as close as he can to
thriving in it.
Bigelow is busted way
open and Kanyon is bleeding from the hand. Were they stupid enough
to use a real bottle???
Creative Control vs.
Kevin Nash
There’s
no referee so I don’t think this is a match. Actually that makes
sense given how things worked earlier. Hall accompanies Nash on
crutches. Since this isn’t a match (no bell), the twins tag. Nash
slugs away at Patrick in the corner and kicks Gerald in the face as
the tagging part is already done.
The
numbers catch up with Nash and Gerald takes him down for a cover but
there’s no referee. Heenan praises Nash for having the guts to say
what he said earlier in the night. They start going after Kevin’s
knee and the tagging starts up again. Hall gets bored and comes
inside for some crutch shots to the twins. Creative Control walks
out to end whatever this was.
Luger
and Liz are amused at Sting having a broken jaw. Why they’re in the
rafters and why Luger is dressed as Sting isn’t clear but I don’t
think I want to know.
US Title: Chris
Benoit vs. Jeff Jarrett
Another
ladder match with Benoit defending because there’s no reason not to
do it again twenty four hours later. At least it was good last night
so maybe it works again here. They slug it out to start and Benoit
takes over with a pair of dropkicks. Benoit ties him in the Tree of
Woe for a running dropkick but Jeff crotches him against the post to
take over. Back up and Benoit is the first to the ladder but he has
to side step the baseball slide.
Benoit throws him into
the chair in the corner before nailing the back and knee with the
same chair. Jeff stays on the floor and holds his leg as Benoit
breaks the ladder by stepping on the rungs. Tony: “Someone has
gimmicked this ladder!” Tenay: “You know who it is!” Heenan:
“Kidman?” The other side’s rungs break as well and it’s a guitar
shot to Benoit as Jeff’s leg is fine. He grabs a fresh ladder and
wins the title because SCREW YOU BENOIT FANS! YOU’RE GETTING JARRETT
WHETHER YOU CARE OR NOT!
Rating:
D+.
They said the word gimmick for the ladder about ten times in two
minutes near the end as the levels of obnoxiousness get higher and
higher every single week. Benoit winning the title last night and
being in the main event of a pay per view last month already seem to
be nothing but memories.
After
a bunch of replays, Curt Hennig tells Jarrett that the Powers That Be
need to see him.
Sid Vicious vs. The
Wall
Sid
kicks him in the face to start and takes it outside for some right
hands to Wall’s face. Back in and Wall hits him right back, only to
eat a chokeslam. Cue Berlyn for a distraction, allowing Wall to load
up a chokeslam of his own. Not that it matters as Berlyn missile
dropkicks Wall for the DQ.
Sid
powerbombs Berlyn and shakes Wall’s hand to complete the face turn.
Russo
tells Jarrett that it’s going to happen tonight.
Disco offers to pay the
mafia but Tony Marinara’s dad tells him he can join the Family or
spend the rest of his life in a coma.
Harlem Heat vs.
Varsity Club
Rotundo/Steiner
here with Sullivan on commentary, where he spends the whole match
referring to Rick as Robbie (Rick’s real name) because SHOOTING IS
COOL AND HIP AND MAKES US SMARTER THAN YOU SO HA! Stevie quickly
runs Rotundo over to start before it’s off to the partners. Booker
kicks him in the face a few times but it’s too much to ask Steiner to
sell so it’s a big clothesline to put Booker on the floor. Things
get a bit confusing as the Varsity Club decides they’re the Freebirds
(they’re from the right time period) and start changing places with
Rotundo going to commentary.
That
lasts all of eight seconds before Mike runs back in and misses a
charge, allowing Booker to plant him with a Rock Bottom. Stevie
comes in off the hot tag and cleans house but there go the lights
because it’s Midnight. Ever the genius, Stevie yells at her,
allowing Mike to roll him up for the pin.
Rating:
D.
More mindless brawling here with Booker doing everything he could to
make it a match. I still have no idea why the Varsity Club is back
as Rick was the only one doing anything, even though he’s one of the
least likeable people on the roster. I’ll give them this though: at
least this felt like a match, even with the screwy ending.
PG-13 runs in and
attacks the Varsity Club. They can’t be serious.
The
yet to be named Daffney is getting a Surge when the Misfits come up
to hit on her. For reasons of crazy, she knees Jerry Only low and
runs off.
Here’s
David Flair for a chat but he beats up David Penzer first. Flair
calls out Vampiro, who says he has no problem with David. Vampiro
yells at Daffney but eats a crowbar shot. Jerry Only comes out and
takes a beating as well, leaving David and Daffney to kiss.
Buff
Bagwell comes out with something to say. He’s had a good career in
WCW but now he wants some gold around his waist. Gene goes way out
in right field and asks about rumors regarding Bagwell and Kimberly
Page. Buff pushes the mic away and whispers to Gene, but Okerlund
says that sounds like an admission of guilt. Bagwell admits that
Kimberly is a knockout and if Page wasn’t a factor, he would, and I
quote, “put his stuff all over Kim.” He mentions his bed and
Page comes out to jump Bagwell.
Piper
says goodbye to the locker room and calls Sid a kid. He rambles on
about how hard wrestling has been on him and wants the boys to fight
back against the Powers That Be.
WCW World Title:
Bret Hart vs. Goldberg
The
title is officially vacant coming in and Jeff Jarrett is watching on
a monitor in the back. Goldberg hammers him in the face to start and
chokes with a boot in the corner. They head outside with Goldberg
hammering away even more as Bret has been on defense almost all
match. Back in and a powerslam drops Hart but he grabs the ropes to
break up a leg lock.
Bret
starts going after the leg with kicks to the knee before wrapping it
around the ropes. The referee goes down because of course he does
and Bret slaps on the Figure Four. Cue the Outsiders with ball bats
to beat up Goldberg. Bret lets go of the hold and beats on Goldberg
as well so Piper comes back to try and protect Goldberg as the
referee calls for the bell. There was a cover in there somewhere and
Bret has won the title.
Jeff
Jarrett comes out with spraypaint and……THE BAND IS BACK TOGETHER!
Bret tries to say something but his mic doesn’t work. Everyone
celebrates with their new titles to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
W.
That’s W for waste. I’ve watched a lot of wrestling shows in my day
(upwards of 4,000 last I checked). In the course of my time as a
fan, I don’t remember a show that felt like a waste of my time. That
has changed after this show. I can live with a show where nothing
happens. I can live with a show full of bad matches. I can live
with a show where the company loses its way for a night.
That’s not what
happened on this show. This show was about eliminating every single
concept and idea of logic and common sense from what used to be World
Championship Wrestling. I’m not going to go into the long, long list
of things this show did that made no sense, as A, I don’t have that
much memory on this computer and B, I don’t think my blood pressure
can take it.
Let’s sum up the major
flaw in logic on this show. The idea is that Russo and company are
in charge of booking the show and have turned it into a shoot.
Ignoring how absolutely stupid that is to point out (from a kayfabe
perspective, wrestling is always supposed to be a shoot), let’s go
with Russo’s theory (I’ll ask for forgiveness later). Let’s say that
Russo has complete authority and is writing himself into this
position.
If
that’s the case, why have any of his guys ever lost a match and why
did we need some big conspiracy? Why didn’t Russo just book his boys
on top the second he debuted? Why are we having some big conspiracy
with Jarrett having to win the title back? Why am I supposed to
believe anything that happens if Russo is just in charge of the whole
thing? Did he book Nash to fight back against his authority or is
Nash going into business for himself?
I
get that it’s what Russo is going for, but it leaves so many
ridiculous holes in the story and makes the whole thing so completely
illogical that you can’t buy into anything going on in this company.
Ninety percent of the show is scripted but THIS RIGHT HERE is real?
Why should I believe that? At the end of the day, this is wrestling.
I shouldn’t need a scorecard and a flow chart to keep track of
what’s going on, nor should I have to hear all these insider terms.
This is the definition of too much going on and making things way too
complicated.
This stopped being
wrestling and became Russo having fun and deciding to make this show
his big personal playground. He’s removed logic and common sense
from this show in order to turn it into some insider fest. I know I
say this a lot, but I literally do not think it can get worse than
this. They’ve taken away any the basic core principles of wrestling
and made this a B movie. There is however one bright spot to this
whole mess: Jim Cornette suddenly makes so much more sense to me.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Thunder – December 16, 1999

Thunder
Date: December 16, 1999
Location:
Mobile Civic Center, Mobile, Alabama
Attendance: 3,889
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Scott Hudson, Juventud Guerrera
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s the final show
before Starrcade and the big question is how can WCW screw this up
even further. In theory we’re getting big stars again tonight, but
as we saw last week, that means nothing if the longest match is like
four minutes and nothing comes from it. Also, how many big names
lose heading into the biggest show of the year? Let’s get to it.

Here
are Sid and Benoit to open the show, apparently having forgotten Sid
destroying Benoit at Fall Brawl three months ago. Sid talks about
the war with the Outsiders and guarantees that it’s a war they can’t
win. There are no escapes or retreats, but plenty of surrenders.
Actually there won’t be because you made sure it was a powerbomb
match so neither guy has to job.
Benoit talks about
Hall’s history in ladder matches, while making sure to name drop the
WWF as many times as he can. This Sunday, Benoit becomes the new
king of the ladder. A challenge is made for a tag match tonight but
here are Hennig/Creative Control/La Parka/Shane. Curt says the
Outsiders are busy fighting Goldberg/Hart in a House of Pain match
tonight, so Benoit and Sid can fight each other or be suspended for
six months without pay. Who gave Hennig authority?
Juventud Guerrera comes
out for commentary and does two Rock lines before the segment is
over. I get the idea here but it’s just not that funny.
Sting
jumps Diamond Dallas Page for the attack on Monday. Page looks for
Sting after a break.
Vampiro vs. Buff
Bagwell
For
the first time, we hear about Vampiro getting five minutes with
Oklahoma if he beats Dr. Death on Sunday. A bad shoulder puts
Vampiro down and here’s Oklahoma to watch. Vampiro strikes away in
the corner but gets slammed down off the top. Buff counters a
hurricanrana with a powerbomb but let’s look at singer Aaron Neville
in the crowd along with the less than 2000 people who paid to get in.
A superkick puts Buff on the floor but Vampiro has to glare at
Oklahoma, which brings in Jerry Only and Williams for a standoff. As
they fight, Oklahoma gets in a barbecue bottle shot, setting up the
Blockbuster for the pin.
Rating:
D.
This was another waste of time with the match just being there as a
backdrop for the Oklahoma/Williams/Misfits nonsense. But at least we
got to see the barbecue spot, and that’s funny because it’s something
Jim Ross done and Jim Ross being himself is funny in some way I
guess. Right?
Vampiro
gets covered in barbecue sauce to continue the unfunny joke.
Prince
Iaukea and Paisley don’t have much to say. Literally, Prince’s new
thing is he doesn’t talk.
The Artist Form of
Prince Iaukea vs. Evan Karagias
Non-title
and Evan now has Spice with him. Well that’s an upgrade. Juvy says
this will be the jabroni match of the week. Jot that down: a
champion is a jabroni. Prince points at Evan so Evan twists the
finger back. Some right hands set up a springboard cross body for
two on Prince but Iaukea dropkicks him out to the floor. Cue Madusa
to fight with Spice because this show can’t have a five minute match
without someone coming to the ring. Paisley gets beaten up as well
as Evan hits a missile dropkick on Prince. He tries to break up the
girls though and Iaukea grabs a rollup for the pin, three days before
a title defense.
Madusa
slaps Evan post match so he leaves with Spice.
Page and Sting go at it
in the back when another Sting comes up to go after the original
Sting. It’s clearly Luger, but in case it wasn’t obvious enough,
Page shouts LUGER as the fake Sting leaves.
Jim Duggan/Midnight
vs. Asya/Perry Saturn
Shane
sits in on commentary. The guys start things off with Duggan
cranking on the arm and putting on a chinlock maybe 45 seconds into
the match. Back up and Duggan starts a clubberin before
clotheslining Saturn into the corner. It’s off to the girls with
Midnight dropkicking her down so it’s off to Saturn for MAN ON WOMAN
VIOLENCE! Where would we be without that?
Saturn
hammers away in the corner and scores with a suplex as Harlem Heat
comes down. The girls collide and it’s back to the guys with Duggan
coming in for his old 80s offense. Everything breaks down and
Midnight is sent to the floor, but Stevie throws her right back in.
Shane comes in and clotheslines Saturn by mistake so Dean brings in
the 2×4, only to have Duggan take it away and nail Saturn for the
pin.
Rating:
C-.
Somehow, that’s 7:20 worth of wrestling but even worse, it’s probably
as good as this show is going to have. The amount of time helped it
a bit, but the problem this company has isn’t the lack of good
wrestling but the lack of wrestling period. It’s very telling that
I’m so starved for actual wrestling on these shows that a thirty
second run from Duggan, who was a total brawler for most of his
career, was one of the best parts of either Thunder or Nitro this
week.
The
Revolution beats down Duggan but Aaron Neville and Booker T. make the
save. Was Neville really necessary there? WWF had Mike Tyson the
year before this, but WCW has some country singer in his late 50s at
this point.
David Flair screams at
Gene Okerlund for no logical reason.
Sting swings his ball
bat and looks for Luger.
Hardcore Title:
Norman Smiley vs. David Flair
Norman,
in Alabama football gear, uses a trashcan to block an early crowbar
shot. They trade trashcan shots, followed by Norman’s spinning slam.
David breaks up the spanking dance with a trashcan lid to the head
but Meng comes out and destroys David’s teddy bear, sending Norman
running away for…….wait for it…….a countout in a Hardcore
Title match. Since that’s against the rules, doesn’t that mean that
this match is still going on over fifteen years later?
Smiley runs from the
arena.
Sting
wants Luger out here right now because he knows it was him under that
mask. Cue Luger, still dressed as Sting, for a beating from the real
version. Juvy thinks it’s Ric Flair (Black Scorpion reference?) as
Luger blocks the third Stinger Splash by raising a boot. Liz pulls
the bat away from Luger, allowing Sting to Rack him (there’s a
rarity). That knocks Liz down though, allowing Luger to get in some
cheap shots with the bat on Sting before running away.
Post break, Sting
doesn’t want medical help.
Luger drives away.
Bye.
The Wall vs. Steve
Williams
Oklahoma
jumps in on commentary because what else is he going to do? Wall’s
shoulder block is stopped by the powers of AMERICA before Williams
hammers away with right hands and a slam. Williams charges into a
boot and let’s cut to Chavo Guerrero selling stuff in the crowd. The
fans chant for Chavo as Berlyn chases Oklahoma off and nails Williams
with some foreign object for the DQ.
Rating:
D.
So not only are we seeing Ferrara as the Jim Ross impersonator, but
now we have to sit through Steve Williams getting matches on TV?
He’s fun to watch for a power guy, but you would think there are
other people who could perform the role just as well. Like, the Wall
for example?
Wall and Berlyn argue.
Nitro recap.
Buzzkill has fans sign
a petition. He doesn’t actually say for what, but hopefully it’s his
release so he can go be Brad Armstrong in the indies.
Curt Hennig vs.
Dustin Rhodes
Before
the match, Dustin calls Jeff Jarrett slap happy and promises to be
his daddy Sunday night. Hennig jumps him to start but Dustin slams
him right back down. This brings Shane inside but he gets caught in
the corner for Shattered Dreams. Curt hammers away again and there
go the lights. JUST LET THEM WRESTLE! Some guy dressed like Seven
flies to the ring with a guitar and nails Dustin for the DQ. My
goodness. You have Curt Hennig and Dustin Rhodes and think they need
a screwy finish? Those two could wrestle a passable match in their
sleep but they get two and a half minutes and a run-in? Really?
Jarrett (like it was
going to be anyone else) and Hennig destroy Dustin post match.
After
a break and some ads, Jeff Jarrett calls the Rhodes Family a bunch of
slapnuts.
Chris
Benoit/Sid Vicious vs. Creative Control/Curt Hennig/Shane/La Parka
Sid
wants the Powers That Be to come out here and fight like men. The
twins go after Benoit to start as Sid mauls the other three. Benoit
comes back on the twins as Sid beats Hennig up on the floor. The
twins get beaten up by Benoit’s ladder but Gerald saves Patrick from
the Crossface. Curt gets back in and nails Benoit with the ladder
and that’s a DQ. Nice two minute seven man handicap match.
Sid and Benoit get
beaten down. What this has to do with or makes me want to see Sid
vs. Nash and Benoit vs. Hall is beyond me. But at least the heels
get to look strong and heels are cool right?
Piper is going to be
the gatekeeper for the cage match tonight. Oh yay.
Kanyon vs. Diamond
Dallas Page
Why
this isn’t on Starrcade instead of Page vs. David Flair is another of
life’s great mysteries. Guerrera calls Kanyon Shampoo instead of
Champagne. The Champagne character works fine as Kanyon being in a
movie and letting it go to his head makes sense, especially when you
consider how minimal his contribution was (he was a stunt man)
compared to all of the wrestlers who starred in the movie and don’t
act all stuck up. Now of course that wasn’t intentional in this
company, but it’s a nice touch. Anyway, Page comes out to talk trash
of his own but gets gum spat in his face to get things going.
Biggs
does commentary as Page hits a neckbreaker but can’t hit an early
Diamond Cutter. A Rock Bottom gets two for Page until Kanyon comes
back with a lot of choking. Kanyon loads up a tilt-a-whirl but Page
busts out a headscissors of all things to take Kanyon down. That’s a
new one for him. The announcers babble on about green cards as
Kanyon stomps away in the corner. Page comes back with a clothesline
and some punches but Biggs gets up on the apron, only to hit his
client by mistake. There’s the Diamond Cutter but David Flair comes
in with the crowbar to knock Page silly and give Kanyon the win.
Rating:
D+.
Not a horrible match but the run-in continues to screw with whatever
good stuff this show could have going for it. At least Kanyon has a
new character which works well enough for him, but what has happened
to Diamond Dallas Page recently? The guy has gone from World
Champion to just there in about eight months.
Bam Bam Bigelow runs in
but gets laid out by a champagne bottle.
Piper beats up Creative
Control with a pipe.
Bret walks to the ring
until the director yells CUT.
Nash can’t find Hall.
Uh oh.
Starrcade ad.
A medic runs into the
Outsiders’ locker room, apparently due to an attack on Scott Hall.
Tag Team Titles:
Outsiders vs. Goldberg/Bret Hart
The
Outsiders are defending and this is a House of Pain match, which
means a cage with a roof on it but you win by handcuffing your
opponents to the cage. In other words, it’s a way to keep people
from having to job. Roddy Piper is gatekeeper but Creative Control
and Jeff Jarrett beats him down during the entrances. Nash and Hart
fight in the ring as Goldberg runs out and attacks Jarrett and the
twins as Piper shrugs off a beating, including a series of lead pipe
shots, to clean house.
Goldberg rips the cage
door off so he and Piper (now with the lead pipe) can come in. Jeff
follows them in with guitars for Goldberg and Piper but Goldberg
shrugs it off and spears Jeff down. Nash gets the pipe and hits
Goldberg, allowing Jeff (fine ten seconds after the spear) to help
chain Goldberg and Hart to the cage, presumably retaining the titles.
Piper gets chained as well and Nash and Jarrett attack with the pipe
before leaving. Goldberg rips the handcuffs from the cage to end the
show.
No
match of course but WOW. Nash just beat the main event of Starrcade
in less than three minutes. Piper no sold pipe shots, Goldberg no
sold a guitar shot, Jarrett no sold a spear, and then Goldberg no
sold a beating with a pipe and ripped the handcuffs off. The World
Title match wasn’t mentioned throughout this mess and basically the
entire thing was a way to blow off a meaningless TV angle instead of
focusing on the main event of Starrcade. Finally, well done on
bringing that cage in. I’m so glad WCW spent the money to have it
shipped over for a five minute appearance.
Overall
Rating:
F-.
We are three days before Starrcade. Think about that as you look at
the card and you’ll understand why this is a failure. Vince Russo
has turned this company into a show where I’m looking forward to
Janitor Jim Duggan appearances because I might get thirty seconds of
brawling disguised as wrestling. That’s what I’ve sunk to after all
these messes over the last few months and now I get to see the
Granddaddy of Them All dragged through the mud. It can’t……it
can’t…….it’s going to get worse isn’t it?
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Monday Nitro – December 13, 1999

Monday Nitro #218
Date: December 13, 1999
Location:
New Orleans, Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana
Attendance: 6,835
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
How is this already the
go home show for Starrcade? Goldberg vs. Hart feels like a midcard
match instead of the main event. Based on the amount of time given
to each match, it would seem that the Mamalukes vs. Disco/Lash is
headlining the card. I’m not even sure what all is on the card at
this point. Let’s get to it.

We open with Benoit
winning a fight against Jarrett in the back.
Opening sequence.
The Artist Formerly
Known As Prince Iaukea vs. Maestro
Between
the piano being lowered to the stage (with Symphony back) and
Iaukea’s slow artsy entrance, we’re ready to go at nearly ten minutes
into the show. Maestro throws him to the floor to start before
planting him with a spinebuster back inside. The girls get into it
and Prince grabs a rollup with a handful of tights for the pin.
Post match, here’s
Jarrett with the guitars to knock out both guys. Jeff wants a
Bunkhouse Brawl (another name for hardcore of course) with Benoit
tonight.
Nash is looking for
Hall.
Evan Karagias hits on
Spice but Madusa comes up to get in a catfight.
Here’s
Bret Hart with something to say. He talks about how much he respects
Goldberg, but guarantees a win this Sunday. Cue Goldberg, complete
with the full security entrance. How did they know to knock on the
door at that point? Goldberg wasn’t scheduled for a match, so did
Dillinger just think “he might want to respond here?” He thinks
Bret is going to be next on Sunday. I’m so glad it took two minutes
to get to that point. This brings out the Outsiders who want their
Tag Team Titles back. Hall wants to fight now but Nash has to go
finish his coffee.
Gene looks down at
Madusa’s chest as she promises to hurt Spice tonight. This is
another of those jokes that are only funny to Russo and Ferrara so
we’re getting it on national TV.
Terry Taylor tells
Luger that he has a tag match against Diamond Dallas Page/Sting with
David Flair as his partner. This was announced earlier in the night,
which explains why Luger is so surprised. I wouldn’t watch the show
either.
David
Flair chases off a delivery man for reasons of general insanity.
Madusa vs. Spice
Madusa
quickly takes her down to start and hammers away but Evan comes in to
say calm down. Spice is helpless as Madusa wants Evan to slug her,
but Evan won’t do it. Madusa gets in a cheap shot and covers Madusa
(with two limbs in the ropes) for the pin. Your #1 contender
everyone.
Post match Madusa
kisses Evan and suplexes him.
Hennig is ready for
Bagwell tonight. Those two are fighting again? Rhonda Singh comes
in and Russo makes fat jokes. He won’t talk to her unless she has an
agent.
Revolution recap.
Jim
Duggan comes out to say he has three mystery partners on Sunday. He
survived surgery to fight for this country and spend time with his
wife and children. The lights go out and come back on to reveal
Duggan out cold.
Roddy Piper is going to
referee Bagwell vs. Hennig. Russo tells him to do the right thing.
Curt Hennig vs. Buff
Bagwell
Roddy
Piper is guest referee and makes it a No DQ match just because. Buff
throws Hennig down a few times and poses before planting Curt with a
slam. This leads to Hennig arguing with Piper for some reason,
allowing Buff to grab a rollup for two. Buzzkill is in the crowd and
wants to save baby seals. Again I ask, why is this supposed to be
funny?
Curt comes back with
right hands and chops, followed by the namesake neck snap. Piper
counts slowly to start another argument. He begs Curt to slap him
but the distraction lets Buff fight back with a swinging neckbreaker.
Buff’s splash hits knees, but Piper and Hennig get in a fight,
allowing Buff to grab a rollup for the pin with a very fast count.
Rating:
D.
What is this storyline? Russo and Piper hate each other because
Piper has to be on TV (because he was big in the 80s you see) and now
Piper is on TV as a referee but he’s being told to do the right
thing, which sounds like Russo speak for let his guys win, but I
think Piper is rebelling against him? Oh and Piper seems to be
schizophrenic because he keeps talking to the voices in his head.
An
unhappy Creative Control is on stage.
Luger
goes in to see David Flair and is scared by what he sees in the
locker room.
Chris Benoit vs.
Jeff Jarrett
Bunkhouse
match, meaning a come as you are street fight. Jeff brings a
cowbell, a guitar and a bar stool so Benoit comes out with a ladder.
The brawl starts in the aisle with Jeff getting the better of it and
getting the cowbell because cowboys are awesome. They’re like boys,
but with cows. Benoit comes back by choking with the bullrope and
taking Jeff inside for two off a backbreaker. It’s ladder time but
Jeff baseball slides it into Benoit’s face.
A
whip into the ladder has Benoit in even more trouble but he throws
Jeff into it as well to make things even. Benoit pulls him off the
ladder but Jeff pulls him down with the rope. Cue Dustin Rhodes but
Charles Robinson breaks up Shattered Dreams. There’s a guitar to
Dustin, at the exact same time he kicks Jeff low. Benoit goes up top
but Dustin is shoved into the ladder to send Benoit down in a crash
to give Jarrett the pin.
Rating:
D+.
There were some decent spots here but the ending was, of course, a
mess. I don’t know why Dustin Rhodes is here as the man in black,
especially when he’s fighting because they’ve moved on from the idea
of Dustin fighting because the Powers That Be fired Dusty. Instead
it’s just Dustin Rhodes being Dustin Rhodes which isn’t interesting.
Luger doesn’t have much
to say about the tag match but David Flair has a headless teddy bear.
A
sports car arrives.
Piper goes into Russo’s
office with a ball bat but Hennig nails him with a chair. So Curt is
La Parka?
Meng vs. Tank Abbott
Oh
sweet merciful goodness. This is a hardcore match because would you
want to see them try to wrestle? They slug it out to start as this
is designed to look like a shoot. Abbott takes him to the mat and
they fight to the floor for a quick double countout. This is the guy
Russo wanted to put the World Title on a month later?
Kanyon
was in the car and seems to now be a pimp.
Police stop Piper from
going after the Powers That Be.
Meng and Abbott are
still fighting in the back.
Revolution vs.
Harlem Heat/Midnight
Before
the match we get the usual “we hate America” jazz. Dean: “We’ve
got heat tonight.” Saturn: “Yeah listen to these people.”
Dean: “No. Harlem Heat.” I’m not sure how to feel about that
exchange. The lights go out for Midnight and come back with Saturn
going after Malenko, presumably out of confusion. Booker takes Dean
down to start and it’s already Spinarooni time. Off to Stevie for a
slam but Booker tags himself back in.
That’s
not cool with Stevie as he wanted Midnight to get the tag for reasons
not entirely clear. The Revolution quickly takes over with Saturn
stomping away in the corner and tagging in Dean, who walks right into
the Bookend. Stevie gets the tag but Booker tags himself back in
after just a few seconds. Saturn hits Asya by mistake as Stevie tags
himself back in to fight Dean and Saturn at the same time.
Everything breaks down and Midnight injures her knee on a leapfrog.
Booker checks on the knee, leaving Stevie to get rolled up for the
pin.
Rating:
D+.
This was an angle instead of a match but I’m glad we’re starting the
latest Harlem Heat split. There’s nothing left for the two of them
to do together and it means we might get to the long overdue Booker
push. The match was nothing special but at least we got more man vs.
woman.
Stevie
yells at his brother.
Luger says Liz won’t be
there with David tonight because Liz works for him alone. So we have
female property.
Rhonda
Singh asks Kanyon’s agent (J. Biggs, Clarence Mason from the WWF) to
represent her. It turns out she can sing and dance. The agent isn’t
interested, but Chavo comes up to sell Singh dancing gear. I don’t
see this ending well.
Paul Orndorff is here
and summoned to see the Powers That Be.
The Nitro Girls dance
when Rhonda joins them in glittery attire. She’s horrible of course
and shrugs off an attack by the Girls. So in the span of ten
minutes, we have man vs. woman, Liz as Luger’s property and now this.
How long until Russo gets fired?
Finlay is still
training Knobbs on how to be hardcore.
Norman Smiley and Jerry
Flynn fight in the boiler room. That goes nowhere until Meng and
Abbott wander in. Norman and Meng get out while Abbott and Flynn
fight.
Orndorff is in the
office, where Russo fires him for training Midnight. Paul yells, so
he’s put in a match with Creative Control.
Sid
has a kid named Seth who he calls his coach. Seth says Sid is his
favorite wrestler in the world. I think the kid has Downs Syndrome.
If he does, I have no issue with this segment whatsoever.
Steve
Williams vs. Sid Vicious
Oh
man. Imagine this one in 1989 with JR on commentary. Instead it’s
1999 with Oklahoma. Before the match, Oklahoma says the Powers That
Be have made this a suplex vs. powerbomb match, which I assume means
the first person to hit that finisher wins. Dr. Death jumps Sid as
he’s sitting the kid down at ringside because he’s really evil. Back
in and Williams hammers away as Oklahoma lists off the resume. Sid
blocks some suplexes and hammers away but Oklahoma slips his boot to
Williams. He knocks Sid out but Vampiro appears to chase Oklahoma,
allowing Sid to powerbomb Williams for the win.
Post
match the Outsiders run in and lay out Sid to make sure the kid
doesn’t get to smile any longer than he should. Sure the kid has a
horrible disease, but is that any reason for the Outsiders to not
look good?
Post
break, Sid is looked at by a doctor and the Outsiders think it’s
funny.
David Flair/Total
Package vs. Diamond Dallas Page/Sting
Did
Page turn face again and I missed it? I know he’s been going after
David but heel vs. heel is hardly unheard of under Russo. David has
the headless bear with him but takes a Stinger Splash in the first 45
seconds. Sting tags Page in with a right hand to start a fight
between the two of them. Now it’s Page taking a splash but Luger
sneaks in with a running clothesline to Sting, followed by some
crowbar shots. Liz sneaks in to take the crowbar away before laying
over Sting to stop some chair shots. David hits Luger with the
crowbar so Liz puts Sting over Luger for the pin (from the referee
who saw ALL OF THIS). What a mess.
Singh
comes up to Champagne Kanyon and the agent in the back and asks if
they liked her dance. This goes nowhere so Bam Bam Bigelow comes up
and gets in Kanyon’s face. The agent offers a distraction so Kanyon
can beat him down. Kanyon: “Triad that!”
After a break, Bigelow
comes to the ring and demands Kanyon come out here for a match.
Kanyon vs. Bam Bam
Bigelow
Before
the match, Biggs wants to talk about legal ramifications and gets
shoved to the side so Bigelow can punch Kanyon in the face. Some
biting and stomps to the head have Kanyon in even more trouble but he
comes back with a swinging neckbreaker. A suplex sets up a World’s
Strongest Slam to Kanyon and there’s the top rope headbutt a bit low.
Kanyon is up and fine ten seconds later with the Flatliner (now
called That’s A Wrap) connecting for a clean pin.
Rating:
D.
Did…..did that match just end clean? Did I just see a match
without any interference or cheating? You always hear about these
things but you never expect to actually see them happen. It was
boring stuff though and the ending came out of nowhere with Kanyon
just popping up and hitting his finisher for the pin.
Norman
hides from Meng.
The Mamalukes have a
body bag for Lash.
Piper babbles about his
chair match later.
Lash Leroux vs. Big
Vito
This
is a body bag match, which I’m assuming is like a casket match. Lash
sucks up to his hometown to start. Vito pounds away to start and
nails a superkick for two. Back up and Lash nails a backdrop
followed by an elbow to the jaw to send Vito into the corner. A side
slam and legdrop get two more, followed by a Disco Inferno style
middle rope elbow drop. Disco and Johnny fight on the floor as Lash
nails the Whiplash. He puts Vito mostly in the bag which is enough
for the win, even though you can see Vito’s head and shoulders.
Rating:
D+.
Was there any point to this being a body bag match? I certainly
don’t think so, but I’m just a wrestling fan and therefore don’t
understand such nuances. Nothing match here as the tag match is
still set up, even though it’s not likely going to be anything
special to see. At least this story has gotten some consistent TV
time though and I can see what they’re going for.
Post
match the Mamalukes destroy Lash and put him in the bag, eventually
taking him out to their car.
Paul
Orndorff vs. Creative Control
So
yeah, Orndorff is back and in a match. I’ll set the over/under on
run-ins here at 5.5. Paul kicks Patrick in the knee to start and
puts him down with a knee lift. Gerald gets suplexed for trying to
come in and an elbow drop gets two. Orndorff chokes him with a rope
but Patrick makes the save to start the obvious beatdown. Cue
Anderson (you remember him Paul. He’s the guy that broke your neck
and ended your career) and Zbyszko to help beat up the twins,
allowing Orndorff to piledrive Patrick for the pin.
Rating:
D-.
I’ve never been the biggest Paul Orndorff fan (I don’t dislike him
but I never got the massive appeal) but you just had him hold his own
and beat last week’s Tag Team Champions. Yeah he had help, but the
Harris Brothers should have a lot less trouble beating up two guys
who retired due to neck issues and a commentator who has wrestled
like four times in three years.
Slick Johnson reverses
the decision and names Creative Control the winners by DQ. Good for
them I suppose.
The Mamalukes open the
body bag and find….Norman Smiley. Their reactions are actually
funny.
Curt Hennig vs.
Roddy Piper
Chairs
match and another pairing that would have rocked in 1989. Piper
apparently has a torn bicep so Hennig goes right after the arm.
Roddy comes back with some chair shots and Hennig leaves after about
70 seconds. I see zero point to this match existing.
Bret
Hart has been attacked and Goldberg checks on him.
Tag Team Titles:
Bret Hart/Goldberg vs. Outsiders
Hall
and Nash are challenging. Goldberg comes out to fight alone and does
just fine to start with the superkick dropping Nash and a right hand
sending Hall to the floor with him. Back in and Hall officially
starts for the team with a wristlock but gets put down with the AA’s
second cousin. A pumphandle slam sends Hall running to the corner
and it’s off to Nash. Kevin tries his luck by running the ropes but
walks into a powerslam for two.
The
numbers game starts catching up with Goldberg though and Hall’s cheap
shot lets Nash take over. The running crotch attack to the back gets
two on Goldberg and Hall plants him with a chokeslam. Hart limps
down and slugs away for the save. Nash gets caught in the
Sharpshooter but Hall makes the save. Everything breaks down with
Hall getting kicked down, right before Nash brings in the title belt.
Bret punches him down but his knee goes out, despite Nash not
touching him, allowing Nash to get the pin and the titles, just
before Goldberg Jackhammers Hall.
Rating:
D.
Angle instead of a match here, but thank goodness they managed to get
the World Champion pinned six days before Starrcade and give Hall a
second (or third if you consider the TV Title still around) title.
This is the problem with having the World Title match participants as
champions, but giving it to them for four days made it even dumber.
Trash fills the ring to
end the show.
Overall
Rating:
F+.
Well let’s see: #1 contender for the Cruiserweight Title loses to a
non-wrestler, Sid gets beaten down again, the World Champion gets
pinned, Jeff Jarrett still isn’t interesting and Hennig and Piper set
up and blew off an angle in one night with a match barely breaking a
minute. Somehow, this is their go home show (Thunder hasn’t meant
anything in ages) for the biggest show of the year. Russo booking
Starrcade scares the heck out of me and this didn’t do anything to
make it better.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Thunder – December 9, 1999

Thunder
Date: December 9, 1999
Location: Dane County
Coliseum, Madison, Wisconsin
Attendance: 3,953
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Juventud Guerrera
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
I
can’t believe I’m saying this but there’s a slight chance this could
be an interesting episode. On Nitro, Russo promised A-List stars on
this show. Now given how things work around here, you could have
Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan and the Rock in every segment and somehow
WCW would manage to screw it up, but at least the stars would be more
interesting. Let’s get to it.

Here
are the Outsiders with a ladder to get things going. Hall sets it up
and pretends to fall off, which would be funnier if Hall wasn’t a
constant threat to have a major accident every five minutes. He
knows Benoit is just in this match for the raise and knows he can’t
handle a regular match, so he’s asked for it to be a ladder match.
Benoit should go rent a tape of the ladder match with Shawn to see
what he’s getting into.
Nash wants to talk
about all the people around here with chips on their shoulders,
including Sid. If Sid wants to walk around like a big man, Nash has
a powerbomb waiting on him. This brings out Sid to say that he’s the
man. Nash: “Is Vader booked?” Sid charges the ring and goes
after Nash, knocking the ladder over in the process. He loads up
Nash for the powerbomb but Hall nails him in the back with the
ladder. Dustin Rhodes runs out for the save, drawing out Jeff
Jarrett and Benoit with the bad guys getting the better of it and
setting up a likely six man main event.
Tenay
talks about Rhonda Singh getting a Cruiserweight Title shot tonight
but Madusa comes out to say Singh isn’t a cruiserweight. Singh is
getting a title shot over Madusa’s dead body. “Does this body look
dead to you?” Well it’s certainly in need of support.
Juventud Guerrera and
Psychosis come out with Juvi’s Rock impression getting SILENCE.
Apparently Juvy is joining Tenay in the booth for the night. Oh good
grief this is going to be a long night.
Nitro recap.
Dean Malenko vs.
Booker T.
Well
that’s better tha most matches we get on this show so maybe things
are looking up. Maybe I should stop having false hope. Before the
match, Shane Douglas challenges Jim Duggan to find three friends for
an eight man tag at Starrcade. If the Revolution loses, they’ll be
WCW’s janitors for a month, but if Duggan loses, he renounces his
American citizenship. Well sure, why not. Malenko calls Dave Penzer
a typical American and Saturn quotes Stripes.
Booker (with Stevie)
nails Dean with a forearm and the ax kick to start but Dean pokes him
in the eye and sends him outside. Saturn and Stevie get into it on
the floor as Booker goes back inside for a spinebuster. Booker loads
up another ax kick but Shane nails him in the head with the cast,
setting up the Cloverleaf on the unconscious Booker for the quick
win.
Duggan
comes out to make the save, exciting Juvy WAY too much. Yeah the
Revolution is getting more screen time, but it’s leading to a Jim
Duggan match. That’s the disconnect with Russo: he knows how to make
the buildup work, but the end result is usually a disaster.
Sid,
Benoit and Rhodes jump Creative Control and Shane outside Russo’s
office. After a break, the six man is made.
The Artist Formerly
Known As Prince Iaukea vs. Vampiro
Iaukea
comes out to a bunch of candles as we enter another Russo standard:
giving someone a really lame character which is somehow better than
the one they previously had but still stupid. Juvy calls Vampiro a
jabroni for stealing the Juvy Driver. The bell rings and let’s cut
to Oklahoma coming out instead of watching the openin…..maybe
Oklahoma is the better option here.
We come back to the
ring to see Prince blowing a kiss to Paisley (later known as Queen
Sharmell) and superkicking Vampiro down. That’s nice and all, but
let’s cut to Roddy Piper who is GETTING OUT OF A LIMO. Back to the
ring with Vampiro whipping him into the barricade but heading back
inside for a spinebuster from Prince. Oklahoma hits on Paisley as
Vampiro lands on his feet out of a monkey flip and superkicks Prince
for the pin. This match was less than two and a half minutes long
and somehow squeezed in Oklahoma’s entrance, Oklahoma hitting on
Paisely, Piper getting out of a limo and two superkicks.
Prince goes after
Oklahoma post match and gets beaten up by Dr. Death.
Russo
fires Mona for losing on Monday. Good. Go be the adorable Molly
Holly and get to actually show off a bit instead. Rhonda Singh comes
in and thanks Russo as Hennig and the twins snicker at her weight.
She has a plan to get ratings. Could that plan be to have a boss who
makes sure that every viewer knows that women are totally beneath him
and how powerful he is over them? Oh and that Singh is fat and we
should all laugh at her?
Roddy Piper and Nick
Patrick have a chat for the sake of plot convenience. There’s a new
ruling that says all referee decisions are final. When was this not
the case?
Saturn and Stevie Ray
fight in the back.
Goldberg/Bret Hart get
a Tag Team Title shot tonight and don’t have much to say about it.
Rhonda Singh vs.
Madusa
Evan
Karagias is on commentary, so I guess the title match was dropped
somewhere in the 40 minutes since it was announced. Singh shoves her
down to start and runs her over with the power of fat. Evan uses pop
lyrics to describe his feelings for Madusa, who avoids a middle rope
splash. A quick middle rope dropkick knocks Singh down as Evan gets
on the apron. Madusa kisses him but it’s just a distraction so Singh
can miss a charge and knock Karagias off the apron, allowing Madusa
to get a rollup pin.
Time
for Singh’s big ratings ploy: stripping! Juvy loves it but the
lights start flickering. You can see someone jumping Singh and
knocking her out.
David Flair starts
talking about his match in the Block (boiler room) with Jerry Flynn.
He starts saying To Be The Man but cracks up instead.
We’re about halfway
through the show. Total match time: 5:53.
Stevie nails Saturn
with a Surge container.
David
Flair goes to fight Flynn in the boiler room but runs into Buzzkill,
who wants them to give peace a chance. David tries to hit him with
the crowbar but Flynn takes him down. Cue Tank Abbott for the first
time in about six and a half months to lay out Flynn. This was
billed as a match, believe it or not.
Tag Team Titles:
Goldberg/Bret Hart vs. Creative Control
Bret
and we’ll say Gerald get things going with Hart hammering on the arm.
The twins start double teaming to take over as the fans already want
Goldberg. A clothesline gets a very quick two count from Slick
Johnson, drawing in Roddy Piper for you “wrestling isn’t enough for
you so here’s something else” entertainment. Goldberg comes in
without a tag and cleans house with a spear, setting up a double
finish with the Sharpshooter and Jackhammer to give us new champions.
Rating:
D.
Longest match of the night so far at three minutes and featured the
illegal man getting the pin, a crooked referee, a replacement
referee, and an argument between referees. Somehow that equals out
to nothing to see here other than Russo’s favorite story: wacky
partners about to fight at Starrcade. I believe this makes Hart the
first Triple Crown Champion of two companies.
Post
match Bret shakes Goldberg’s hand and says may the best man win at
Starrcade.
Stevie and Saturn fight
some more but Juvy says this doesn’t matter. Neither does most of
this show, but at least it doesn’t matter with bigger names this
week.
Saturn vs. Stevie
Ray
Stevie
starts fast with a corner clothesline but tries again and eats two
boots to the face. Snake Eyes and a t-bone suplex set up a dropkick
for two on Stevie but he comes back with a press slam. The referee
breaks up a stomping in the corner, earning him a bump in the
process. I can’t believe it but they managed to make it five whole
matches before the first ref bump. Cue Creative Control to lay out
Stevie, giving Saturn the cheap pin (with feet on the ropes like he
should be doing).
Russo tells Piper that
he’ll never work in this business again.
Sting
doesn’t care about Diamond Dallas “Trash’s” (is he related to
Hollywood Scum Hogan?) problems but approves of Liz. You stupid,
stupid man.
Total Package vs.
Buff Bagwell
Juvy
on Luger: “That’s the juice!” DDP comes out for commentary as
Buff grabs a headlock to start. Luger shrugs off some arm cranking
but misses a clothesline and gets slammed twice. Bagwell kicks him
low and gets two off a neckbreaker, sending Luger outside. Page:
“I’m going to shoot my own angle.” He gets up and gets in a
fight with Bagwell, drawing out the agents to break it up for the no
contest. We’re still waiting on a match to break three minutes
tonight (the Tag Title match was three minutes even).
Duggan asks Russo for a
match tonight but is told no one cares about him.
Jim Duggan vs. Asya
ENOUGH
OF THE MAN VS. WOMAN STUFF! It worked with Chyna but this has been
old for weeks now. And no match as Creative Control, La Parka and
Hennig run in to beat down Duggan. The Revolution comes out with hot
dogs and pies to make it a big mess. Harlem Heat comes out for the
save.
Benoit/Sid/Rhodes are
ready for the main event.
Sting vs. Diamond
Dallas Page
Liz
is with Sting. Sting hits the Splash and has the Deathlock on in
less than 30 seconds but Page makes the ropes. The referee is decked
(with Page changing directions to hit him) 50 seconds in and here’s
Luger to lay out Sting with the ball bat. Page adds a Diamond Cutter
for the pin. Diamond Dallas Page vs. Sting can’t even make a minute
and forty seconds.
Scott Hall/Kevin
Nash/Jeff Jarrett vs. Chris Benoit/Dustin Rhodes/Sid Vicious
It’s
a huge brawl to start with Jeff and Chris being the only ones left in
the ring for a slugout. Benoit hits something like an Irish Curse
before tagging in Rhodes, who is sent into Nash’s forearm. Kevin
comes in for some knees in the corner before it’s off to Hall for
some right hands.
That’s the extent of
the offense from Hall on Thunder so he brings Nash in for a single
clothesline before it’s back to Jarrett. Rhodes gets caught in a
sleeper but suplexes his way out, setting up a double tag to the
monsters. Everything breaks down and Sid clotheslines the Outsiders
down. The powerbomb is broken up by a guitar shot and Nash pins Sid.
Rating:
D-.
Oh screw off WCW. This was the longest match of the night at a
riveting four minutes and twelve seconds. They’re clearly setting up
the next incarnation of the NWO with Hall/Nash/Jarrett and my
goodness it’s not interesting. When the Outsiders are only in there
for a handful of seconds each, why am I supposed to be interested in
setting them dominate a company? Again?
Overall
Rating:
F-.
Eight matches for a total time of 19:47. Do you know how hard it is
to not have twenty minutes of wrestling in a two hour show? I can’t
remember the last time Smackdown had eight matches on a card or at
least one match breaking ten minutes. This company has decided to
just not have wrestling on its shows and that’s not going to work for
more than a few more weeks. Total disaster of a show here and one of
the biggest wastes of time I can ever remember in wrestling. Well
not really wrestling on this show but you get the idea.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

Monday Nitro – December 6, 1999

Monday Nitro #217
Date: December 6, 1999
Location:
Milwaukee Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 7,250
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The
big question this week is can WCW somehow manage to make the shows
even less coherent than they already have. Last week’s show had its
moments, but for the most part it was all over the place to the point
where I can barely remember what happened just a week later.
Starrcade is thirteen days away and we’ve barely touched on the card.
We actually have a title match announced from Thunder as Bret will
defend against Luger. Let’s get to it.

We
open with Gene bringing out Jeff Jarrett for an interview. Jeff
doesn’t need Slapnuts Okerlund and will do the interview himself.
Jarrett also doesn’t need the Powers That Be or the Outsiders but he
does need the WCW World Title. The fans start swearing at him and
the attempted beeping out is laughably awful. He wants to get rid of
Dustin Rhodes for screwing up his destiny and he’ll do it in a
Bunkhouse Stampede match at Starrcade.
This brings him to Mike
Tenay, who won’t come near him anymore. Jeff threatens Gene with a
guitar shot but Tenay comes out and says he’ll take matters into his
own hands. Jeff doesn’t care and puts Tenay in the Figure Four until
Goldberg runs in for the save. Hopefully that ends the Tenay angle
but I doubt it does.
The Mamalukes and Tony
Marinara arrive with Tony yelling at them for letting Disco and Lash
get the better of them. Tonight, they meet the boss.
Curt
Hennig brings Curly Bill in to see Russo with a new gimmick in mind:
Shane. Russo says it’s as bad as Vincent but at least he’s thinking.
Shane is hired. Hey, I’m not sure if you knew this, but there are
people named Vince and Shane in the WWF. It’s not clear why
mentioning them is supposed to be amusing or entertaining, but those
people do in fact exist. Rhonda Singh comes in and asks for an
opportunity.
Fit Finlay has Brian
Knobbs in the woods, training him to be a REAL hardcore wrestler.
This has potential, but Norman would be far more entertaining.
Hardcore Title:
Norman Smiley vs. Rhonda Singh
What
is the deal with Russo having men fight women? It happens almost
every week. Before the match, Smiley says he would take Finlay apart
if he was here tonight. The fat jokes begin as Singh throws weapons
into the ring and nails Norman with a trashcan. She tells him to be
a man and hits another trashcan shot, followed by a splash in the
corner. Norman comes back with a fire extinguisher blast and sends
Singh face first through a table in the corner to retain.
Rating:
F.
I feel sorry for women who sign up with WCW, thinking they might be
able to do something serious on the show. Instead, they’re there so
Russo can either have them treated as sex objects or there to be fat
and stupid. As usual, this show is Russo’s playground and the idea
of it being anything resembling a wrestling show is purely
coincidental.
Maestro
is complaining that his piano is out of tune. He looks inside so
David Flair can come up, slam the lid on his head, and kidnap
Symphony. This is the stupid stuff that is dragging this show down.
We’ve spent about a month explaining that David Flair is a psycho who
keeps kidnapping/stalking women, and NO ONE HAS DONE ANYTHING ABOUT
IT. On top of that, this doesn’t seem to be leading to a match or
any kind of storyline resolution, but it keeps happening week after
week like a bad TV show. If it sets up a match then fine, but stop
wasting my time otherwise.
Psychosis
and La Parka are in Russo’s office. Apparently Juvy has hurt his arm
and can’t defend the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title in his rematch
against Liger tonight. One of the two of them will take Juvy’s
place, and it’s going to be whoever gets out of the office first.
Psychosis nails Parka and leaves first. This is what Vince Russo
thinks of cruiserweights.
Luger comes up to Liz’s
door with champagne and says this is the night that defines their
careers.
Disco and Lash invade
Marinara’s dressing room with promises of pizza.
IWGP Junior
Heavyweight Title: Psychosis vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
This
is the second time in a year that Psychosis is defending a title he
didn’t win. Feeling out process to start with Liger taking over with
a headscissors. A backdrop sends Psychosis to the floor but let’s
stop to look at Buzzkill in the crowd. Liger nails a plancha but
Psychosis snaps his throat across the top for a breather.
Psychosis
hits a missile dropkick for two and yells at Charles Robinson for the
near fall. Back to the floor with Liger being whipped into the
barricade, setting up a top rope hurricanrana to give Psychosis two
back inside. A quick Liger Kick stuns Psychosis and Liger throws him
into the ropes for a crash. Out of nowhere, a majistral cradle gives
Liger the title back.
Rating:
C.
The fans didn’t care, but a lot of that is likely due to most of them
not being familiar with Liger or the title. Both Liger and the title
have been thrown out there two weeks in a row with no real
explanation of who they are or why they’re here. I’m sure some fans
remember Liger from his occasional appearances, but the majority seem
to think of him as just another guy fighting for a title that isn’t
the Cruiserweight belt.
La Parka chairs
Psychosis post match to make sure Liger gets zero focus.
The Nitro Girls play
cards when the Mamalukes come in and make it a strip poker game.
Liz will have nothing
to do with Luger’s apologies.
Maestro looks for
Symphony.
Gene keeps staring at
Mona’s chest, prompting Mona to say she’s more than T&A, unlike
Madusa.
Evan Karagias vs.
Mona vs. Madusa
If
either girl wins, they get a title shot at Evan at Starrcade. If
Evan wins, he gets Starrcade off. The girls shove Evan away and go
at it themselves with Madusa kicking her in the face for two. Evan
sits in on commentary because EVERY MATCH NEEDS COMMENTARY. Mona
comes back with a cross body and missile dropkick but Evan throws her
down, only to get small packaged by Madusa for the pin in like 80
seconds.
Jeff Jarrett comes out
and guitars Madusa because men beating up women is funny right? He
challenges Goldberg for later.
Lash and Disco have
tied Tony up and promise him a surprise.
Liz pours champagne on
Luger’s head.
Maestro is still
looking for Symphony and doesn’t notice when he walks past David.
Vampiro and Jerry Only
are going to take out Dr. Death tonight.
Oklahoma/Steve
Williams vs. Vampiro/Jerry Only
Oklahoma
has a wireless mic on, no shirt, and is going to call the match as he
starts with Vampiro. To the shock of no one, Oklahoma runs away from
the threat of violence and tags in Dr. Death for some three point
tackles. We hit the spinning toehold before it’s back to Oklahoma,
who can’t do the same hold. Vampiro comes back with a kick to the
head, which makes me smile far more than it should.
Off to Williams vs.
Only with Jerry getting caught in the running press slam. Oklahoma
gets in a chair shot to Jerry as Williams hits the Stampede but pulls
Vampiro up. That goes well for Vampiro as he superkicks Williams
down, only to have Oklahoma nail him with a boot. Williams
clotheslines Vampiro down and it’s off to Oklahoma for a bottom rope
elbow and the pin.
Rating:
F.
The unfunny parody beats the wrestler the fans want to see in a match
where the musician doesn’t have to look bad. It’s another case of
WCW having no idea how their priorities should work and the show
being about making the writers laugh instead of delivering what the
fans might want to see.
The
Nitro Girls cheat to beat the Mamalukes in the poker game.
Disco
and Lash get ready to tar and feather Marinara. In the middle, Disco
draws what looks to be a Hitler mustache on Tony.
The
Outsiders are ready for their matches tonight.
WCW World Title:
Bret Hart vs. Total Package
This
is the opener of the second hour because the REAL main events are
still to come. The champ jumps Luger during the removal of the pants
and takes the fight outside. Hart goes after the back and then the
knee as we continue this brief resurrection of the old Bret Hart
style. Luger goes after the eyes for an escape and here are Sting
and Liz. Sting yells at Liz and asks who she’s going to represent.
The distraction lets Bret hit a quick Russian legsweep followed by
the Sharpshooter to retain.
Rating:
D.
I love seeing Bret work the body parts like he did in the old days,
but can we get a World Title match to close the show instead of
giving it less time than the Oklahoma match? I’m sure I just don’t
get the appeal of the comedy stylings of Oklahoma and that I’m over
thinking the importance of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship,
which has been reduced to a plot point in the Sting vs. Luger feud.
Here’s the
Hennig/Shane/Singh segment from earlier. Not a repeat mind you, but
the same segment which is presented like first run footage.
Russo
offers La Parka the position of Chairman, meaning he’s supposed to
chair anyone that stands in front of Russo. Harlem Heat comes in and
are given a title shot at Starrcade, but La Parka nails Booker with a
chair and Creative Control comes in for the beatdown.
Roddy
Piper is here. Tonight he’s refereeing Creative Control vs. Roddy
Piper. That’s not a typo.
David
Flair talks to the voices in his head as Symphony wonders why she
took this job.
Jerry Flynn issues an
open challenge for the Block.
Asya vs. Midnight
These
two might be the exception to Russo’s horrible treatment of women.
The Revolution is now in full black attire with Shane ranting about
how people tell him he can’t desecrate the flag. The fans’ chants
have to be censored again and it’s another failure. Shane displays
the Revolution flag and Saturn says they’re like the Black Panthers.
The far bigger Midnight attacks to start and gets two off a dropkick.
Asya gets two off a suplex but gets caught in Ricky Steamboat’s
double chicken wing. A delayed vertical suplex gets two for Midnight
but the Revolution comes in for the quick no contest.
Jim
Duggan comes out for the save but gets beaten down and covered with
the Revolution flag.
Larry
Zbyszko talks to Mike Graham about an upcoming meeting with Russo and
company.
We
get the return of the Nitro Party tapes, but this one includes a
“fan” (soon to be known as Daffney), saying that David Flair is
really cool.
Creative Control vs.
Roddy Piper
Piper
is guest referee. Before the match, they have to do everything he
says. Why don’t they have to do everything he says during the match
as well? Or am I looking too deeply into this. Piper pats them both
down and grabs one’s crotch (Piper: “I’m having a ball!”). This
is an I Quit match, so the first rule is you win by making someone
say they quit. The second rule is a kick between one of the twins’
legs, followed by the bell ringing.
Piper’s hand lock has
no effect so the twins hit a pair of double gutbusters. Piper won’t
give up so they load up a spike piledriver, drawing out Goldberg for
the save. He botches the Jackhammer as Piper chokes the other one
with a tie to win. So Bryan stole it from Piper? Also, nice job of
having the Tag Team Champions lose.
Tony Marinara is tarred
and feathered. He offers threats of his father.
The Mamalukes offer a
winner take all hand in the poker game.
Maestro finds
Symphony’s shoe.
Dustin Rhodes vs.
Meng
Meng
vs. Smiley for the Hardcore Title is announced for Starrcade. I’ll
skip Meng no selling the offense and get to the meat of the “match”:
Jarrett runs in, Meng is sent to the floor, Outsiders run in, Meng no
sells a guitar shot, Nash kicks Meng to the floor and powerbombs
Rhodes. This has been another non-match.
Larry
is in Russo’s office. Russo: “Why does Thunder suck now?” Well
at least someone finally said it. Larry blames it on the lack of
A-list stars on the show, so Russo says they’ll be there from now on.
He’s firing the announcer though. This makes Larry insult Hennig
because the script says he should, setting up a loser leaves town
match for later with Zbyszko vs. Hennig. If Larry wins, Russo is
gone but if Curt wins, Larry is gone.
Prince
Iaukea is now dressed as the Artist Formerly Known As Prince.
Curt Hennig vs.
Larry Zbyzsko
Larry
comes out to the Nitro theme but Hennig has Shane with him. This is
quite the showdown. Larry starts (on time!) with his basic wrestling
stuff and gets two off a swinging neckbreaker. The referee goes down
and Hennig starts a comeback (a minute and a half into the match)
with knee lifts and an abdominal stretch. Larry counters the
PerfectPlex into his guillotine choke but Shane makes the save. Cue
Arn Anderson to lay out both bad guys (I guess that’s the closest
thing we’ll get to an Enforcers reunion), giving Larry the surprise
pin.
Rating:
O.
For oh of course it’s not going to stand. The match was nothing to
see of course but that’s what you have to expect these days. The
only other note here: people often forget Larry’s age. He turned 46
the day before this match and was still in good shape so it wasn’t
the biggest stretch. It’s weird to think of him in his mid 40s when
he was the old veteran during the NWO’s heyday.
Creative Control comes
out and shows Robinson the replay so the finish is reversed, meaning
Larry is gone.
Disco and Lash put an
apple in Marinara’s mouth. The Mamalukes see this, throw on their
clothes, and go after them.
Chris Benoit vs.
Kevin Nash
Hall,
carrying a ladder, comes out with Nash and sits in on commentary.
Nash takes Benoit into the corner to start and elbows him in the
head. As Nash walks around, Hall sits on top of the ladder for a
better view. Benoit stomps him down in the corner and cannonballs
onto Nash’s leg. They head to the floor with Nash no selling the leg
work and sending Benoit into the steps. Back in and the side slam
gets two for Nash (Hall: “SUCK ON THAT BENOIT!”) but Chris
dropkicks the knee out and cranks on the leg.
Benoit slugs away in
the corner but charges into a boot to the face. There go the straps
and Hall gets off the ladder, only to see Benoit slap on the
Crossface. Hall decks the referee and throws in the ladder but
Benoit dropkicks it into Nash’s face. A cross body off the ladder
puts Hall down and Benoit hammers away until Nash gets up with the
Jackknife. Hall loads up the Edge onto the ladder until Sid comes
out to make the save. No contest.
Rating:
C-.
I liked this better than I was expecting to. Nash is underrated as a
big power guy as he can make his offense look damaging while also
having someone like Benoit break him down. This wasn’t a great match
and of course got bogged down by all the nonsense, but I had a better
time with it than I was expecting to.
Sting tells the
Outsiders to bring it.
Here
are the Mamalukes to call out Disco and Lash but gets the girls from
the club last week. Vito rants about how he didn’t want to sleep
with them, but Disco and Lash sneak up on them and attack. This
brings out the tarred and feathered Tony Marinara to nail them with a
pipe, allowing the Mamalukes to take them away.
The Mamalukes throw
Disco and Lash into a car but the car drives off without them. What
is
Russo’s obsession with this story? It gets as much airtime as
anything else on the show.
Maestro staggers into
the boiler room to find Symphony but gets beaten up by Jerry Flynn.
So Jerry is the modern day Mankind? Jerry goes to a door, finds
David and Symphony, and eats a crowbar to the face.
Nick Patrick says
everyone is banned from ringside unless they have business out there
because it’s time for the referees to take power back. Normally I
would complain about aline like that but a lot more structure around
here would be an incredibly welcome sight.
Liz has a contract in
her hands.
Scott Hall vs. Sting
Non-title,
which might have something to do with Hall not bringing the belt with
him. Liz comes out with Sting and Nash jumps in on commentary. Hall
finds the toothpick throw hilarious but Sting would rather hit him in
the face to take over. They quickly head outside with Nash choking
Sting with a cord, allowing Hall to get in some cheap shots.
Back in and we hit the
abdominal stretch on Sting, followed by a sleeper so neither guy has
to do much other than stand there. A belly to back suplex finally
gets Sting out and he slugs away, including ten punches in the
corner. Sting gets all the way up to twenty but Scott pokes him in
the eye for a breather. Liz gets on the apron to pepper spray Hall,
setting up the Deathlock for the submission.
Rating:
D.
I guess it helps that Hall didn’t lose clean, but maybe you could
like, not have a champion lose on TV. It was nice to have something
resembling a clean match until the ending, which felt tacked on, but
somehow that’s an upgrade in the Russo era. To be fair though, at
least the title doesn’t mean anything these days anyway so it can’t
be hurt too badly.
Here’s
David Flair to his dad’s music and holding Symphony by the hair.
Maestro has ten seconds to come out here and get her, but here’s Page
instead. A crowbar shot misses and Page lays him out with a Diamond
Cutter before telling the Powers That Be to make this a pay per view
match. Oh and contrary to rumors, he’s NOT going to the WWF because
he’s loyal to what brought him here. Thanks for that totally
unnecessary name drop, but to be fair they are closing the ratings
gap. Last week they lost by 3.4 points and this week it would only
be 3 even, meaning Raw doubled Nitro up. Page calls out Sid and
their match is on.
Sid
Vicious vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Sid
shoves him out to the floor to start and drops Page throat first
across the barricade. Back in and Page grabs a quick neckbreaker but
Sid launches him off at two. A top rope clothesline puts Sid down
again but he breaks up the Diamond Cutter by, say it with me,
knocking Page into the referee. There’s the powerbomb to Page but
the Outsiders run in for the beatdown. This brings out Benoit to
help fight back but Jeff Jarrett comes in for the save until Bret
Hart runs in to make it even. Page walks out and the match is a no
contest because of course it is.
As
everyone brawls, Nick Patrick grabs the mic and says the referees and
security haven’t been in charge all night so the main event can be a
lumberjack match because they’re out of here. So yeah, they’re not
even trying to call it wrestling anymore as there won’t be any
referees. It hasn’t been a wrestling show in weeks so it’s nice to
see them finally confirm it.
Back
from a break with the Outsiders, Jarrett and now Creative Control
still destroying everyone until Goldberg comes out for the save. The
four good guys stand tall and Jarrett says no way, so here’s Roddy
Piper to say he’ll referee and everyone else can be lumberjacks.
Jeff tries to leave again so the Green Bay Packers show up to stop
him, allowing Dustin Rhodes to throw him back in.
Jeff Jarrett vs.
Goldberg
A
big shoulder gets two for Goldberg and he starts hammering Jeff in
the face. Jeff tries to jump over him in the corner but gets caught
in a powerslam as this is one sided so far. Jarrett rolls outside
and gets beaten up by the lumberjacks. He rolls back inside and gets
caught in an armbar, so it’s right back to the lumberjacks. Everyone
outside gets in a brawl so Jeff sneaks in a chair to take over behind
Piper’s back. A high cross body gets two for Jeff and it’s time for
the sleeper as the fight has finally calmed down.
Goldberg
fights up and slams out of the sleeper because he’s Goldberg and it
was just a sleeper. Both guys collide and go down, which looks way
off as you wouldn’t expect Goldberg to go down off a Jeff Jarrett
shoulder block. Piper counts to ten without anyone getting up and
nothing changes as a result. Nash grabs Goldberg’s foot to break up
the spear and pulls him to the floor for a beatdown. In the melee,
Bret brings the belt in and nails Jarrett (mostly off camera),
setting up the Jackhammer for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
Well they tried. This match was the attempt to make Jeff Jarrett
seem like a legitimate main event guy but it really didn’t work. The
insanity of the match held it down because we can’t just have
Goldberg and Jarrett have a match where Jeff outsmarts him before
falling to the Jackhammer, but that might be asking for too much.
Overall
Rating:
D.
This show was all over the place, as has become WCW’s custom. First
and foremost, what is with the obsession over the mafia story? That
angle got more time than anything else all night with David Flair and
the Maestro in second place. The wrestling was what you would expect
from WCW with the longest match not even breaking eight minutes.
There’s stuff going on for sure, but you have to take notes to
remember why people are doing what they’re doing with only thirteen
days left until Starrcade. Oh and Thunder sucks and is apparently
going to be a plot point going forward. How nice.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
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Thunder – December 2, 1999

Thunder
Date: December 2, 1999
Location: Landon Arena,
Topeka, Kansas
Attendance: 2,467
Commentators: Larry
Zbyszko, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
After
a week off due to Thanksgiving, we’re back for one of the final live
Thunders as the tapings would soon move to Tuesday nights. In other
words, this might be the last “good” show in the series’ run.
We’re less than three weeks away from Starrcade and the World Title
scene is very slowly rounding into form. Unfortunately everything
else is rounding into form and it’s not a pretty sight. Let’s get to
it.

Hardcore Title:
Norman Smiley vs. The Wall
Norman,
the champion, is in karate attire and Berlyn comes out for
commentary. There are weapons in the ring already but Norman relies
on the power of the 80s with a Crane Kick pose, earning him a
clothesline. Wall blasts Norman with some weapons shots as Berlyn is
suddenly fine with speaking English and demanding an apology from the
big guy.
Norman keeps screaming
as the beating continues but eventually kicks the trashcan into
Wall’s face. The Big Wiggle is teased but Wall hot shots him
instead. The chokeslam is loaded up but Berlyn hits Wall with the
belt, knocking him out with his hand still around Norman’s throat.
Norman covers while still being choked to retain the title.
Rating:
D+.
I love Norman. Even when he’s just getting beaten up he’s fun to
watch as he’s clearly trying, unlike so many of the other wrestlers
on this show. Wall is fine for a big man, but do you really want him
jobbing in one of his first singles matches? Just have him maul some
people, like maybe those worthless cruiserweights. Actually we can’t
because they’re getting beaten up later to further the parody of Jim
Ross. I guess we just have to make the new monster lose in a comedy
match.
Luger
isn’t happy that he’s fighting Sid tonight.
Silver King wants his
check back from Dr. Death, as apparently Williams hasn’t cashed it
for some reason. Football insults are hurled and death will come
soon for Silver King.
Kaz
Hayashi doesn’t like Maestro. Time for a transition!
Kaz Hayashi vs.
Maestro
No
Symphony here, meaning my interest quickly fades. They hit the mat
for a faster sequence than you would expect with Maestro getting two
off a rollup. Tenay is of course talking about Jeff Jarrett, because
Russo likes getting announcers involved. Kaz comes back with a
dropkick but gets sent face first into the buckle. Choking and
stomping ensue to show that Maestro is a heel. It’s actually not
clear otherwise, even with David Flair kidnapping him on Monday.
We
hit the chinlock on Kaz and here’s David with the crowbar. Kaz flips
out of a German suplex and hits a dropkick but the referee gets
bumped, bringing David inside. His crowbar hits Kaz by mistake,
sending Maestro running for the hills. The unconscious Kaz wins by
countout and is shocked when he wakes up.
Rating:
D.
Another day, another match with a stupid finish designed to get a bad
angle over instead of the wrestling. Maestro is a guy whose looks
deceive you as he had a decent match despite looking out of shape.
Kaz is solid in the ring as well and can give you a good performance
when he isn’t cannon fodder for a David Flair feud.
Disco and Lash Leroux
arrive but have to run from the Mamalukes.
Lex Luger loses his
bag, takes Jimmy Hart’s by mistake, then gets his own bag back. He
tries to leave but has flat tires because…..I have no idea
actually.
Chavo Guerrero vs.
Buzzkill
Buzzkill’s
entrance: “It’s me, it’s me, it’s that B-U-Double Z!” Chavo
tries to sell him some tyedye and a broken lava lamp, which Buzzkill
tries to turn on despite a lack of electricity. The fans are ALL
OVER this and Chavo only makes it worse by giving Buzzkill a Walkman
to make him go down on the mat to the music, but it’s only good for
two. Chavo gives up on the sale but has a shirt for the referee,
allowing Buzzkill to hit him with the briefcase for the pin.
Buzzkill is mad at
himself for cheating, but borrows money from the referee to buy the
tyedye and lamp from Chavo.
I’m pausing now and
trying to compose myself. Normally I would write up some rant about
how Russo doesn’t get wrestling and what a waste of talent this is,
but I can’t bring myself to care. That was one of the stupidest
segments I’ve ever seen I wrestling and it was painful to watch.
There’s nothing wrong with a comedy segment here and there, or even
more than one a show. However, when your entire promotion is one
comedy/stupid segment after another, you lose the benefit of the
doubt. You lose your audience too but that’s another story.
Chris
Benoit is ready for his match with Liger, who he respects very much.
For once, there’s nothing else going on in a promo. The idea of
Benoit vs. Liger is one of the only things that can bring me back
after what I’ve sat through already.
Meng gets into his
dressing room but Lash and Disco show up and swap his name plate for
theirs.
Evan Karagias is in the
back with Madusa and implies that he’s rather, shall we say, antsy.
Madusa promises him “everything” after Starrcade.
Long recap of Nitro.
That doesn’t help things, though at least it’s shorter.
Luger is still worried,
but he knows he’s the best and has nothing to worry about. But
doggone it, do people like him?
Sid
is playing with a Luger action figure as Gene tells him that he has a
powerbomb match vs. Nash at Starrcade. Gene doesn’t have the match
if that’s not clear. Nash wouldn’t take it after seeing Gene and
Hogan team up against Steele and Fuji back in 84. Sid breaks the
figure to show what’s going to happen to Luger tonight.
Luger calls a cab.
Can’t he just walk to a bar or something and wait until the show is
over?
The Mamalukes beat up
some production guy and lock him in a freezer so he can give Disco
and Lash a message.
Steve Williams vs.
Villano IV/Villano V/Silver King
This
should be short. Larry leaves the booth because Oklahoma disgusts
him so much. For once, I can’t say I disagree. The trio gets
destroyed to start until Silver King nails a dropkick. A triple
headbutt is shrugged off though and King gets press slammed. I’m
missing a good chunk of the match, though as a consolation I do get a
lot of shots of Oklahoma talking. Vampiro comes out to go after
Oklahoma, which allows Silver King to sneak down and take his check.
Williams pins a Villano off the Stampede in a quick match.
Luger
is trying to get into his cab but the Mamalukes stop him to ask for
Disco and Lash. In one of the smartest things Luger has ever said,
he recommends the dressing room with their name on it. As this is
going on, Silver King dives into the cab and leaves. Luger is
completely thwarted, because that was the only cab (or form of
transportation it seems) in all of Topeka.
After a break, the
Mamalukes are outside the dressing room door. Thankfully they’re
nice enough to not go in or do anything else until after the next
match.
Jushin Thunder Liger
vs. Chris Benoit
Please
let it go long. Please let it go long. Please let it go long.
Larry is back on commentary and annoyed at all the guest announcers
screwing up. We can’t start just yet though as Juventud Guerrera
comes out for commentary with his arm in a sling and flanked by
Psychosis and La Parka (rocking the red skeleton attire). Juvy sits
in on commentary and he’s going to be the focus of the match isn’t
he?
Liger rolls out of an
early suplex attempt and they hit the mat for a technical sequence
into a backslide attempt from Benoit but Liger powers into a sunset
flip. A stalemate gets some polite applause from the crowd as Juvy
says IT DOESN’T MATTER what the wrestlers are doing. Benoit is taken
down in a test of strength but Liger can’t break his bridge. The
Liger Kick connects as Juvy takes credit for building the
Cruiserweight division. He doesn’t mention his current reign as the
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title but why should he do that?
Tenay announces Benoit
vs. Nash on Nitro and a US Title shot in a ladder match at Starrcade.
That’s quite the schedule. Liger hooks his feet under Benoit’s arms
and takes him to the floor in a crash before putting on the Surfboard
back inside. The brainbuster gets two and Liger wins a chop off.
Benoit breaks up a tornado DDT attempt and it’s a double clothesline
to put both guys down. There’s the snap suplex and a belly to back
for two on Liger and Benoit nails him with a clothesline to the back
of the head. Liger is able to crotch him down and nail a superplex,
but the other cruiserweights come in for the double DQ.
Rating:
B-.
I want to complain about the ending destroying what could have been a
great match, but this is such a rare treat these days that I can’t
bring myself to do it. Instead, I’ll go on about what a shame it is
that they bring in Jushin Thunder Liger and use him as a way to get
over Juvy’s (albeit funny) Rock imitation, which could have been done
with almost anyone on the roster. At least we got about seven
minutes of Benoit vs. Liger though, which is better than anything
else we were going to get.
Benoit and Liger clean
house.
Buff promises to beat
Meng tonight.
Speaking
of Meng, the Mamalukes find him in the dressing room and get beaten
up as you would expect.
Luger
disguises his voice and calls the WCW offices to say he has a family
emergency and needs to leave. Terry Taylor pops in to say….I’m
assuming nice try as Buff’s music was drowning him out. I don’t know
if that kind of thing is a Russo joke or if the WCW production guys
all just stopped caring at once, because it’s been a thing for months
now and it’s really annoying.
Buff
Bagwell vs. Meng
Well
it would have to be this match after that last segment wouldn’t it?
Meng throws him around like a Tongan monster throws around a pretty
boy to start. Buff’s right hands and clotheslines have no effect but
some dropkicks stagger Meng. Apparently Buff has an easily built ego
as Buff tries ten right hands in the corner, only to get dropped on
the top rope before he gets to nine. Meng comes back with strikes in
the corner as Larry thinks there’s something up with the Outsiders
and Russo. Gee Larry, YOU REALLY THINK SO???
A
lot of choking ensues before Buff gets bent over Meng’s knee in a
backbreaker. Buff comes back with his swinging neckbreaker and a
cross body for two as we have Mamalukes. Say it with me: the ref
gets bumped, allowing the mobsters to beat up both guys for reasons
not exactly clear. Meng fights them off and Buff goes up, only to
miss Meng and hit the Blockbuster on Vito. The Tongan Death Grip
gives Meng the win.
Rating:
D.
Can we get some tougher referees? Or some wrestlers that aren’t
quite as careless and don’t hit a referee on half the matches every
show? I like that they’re keeping Meng strong, even if it doesn’t
seem likely to lead anywhere. You can always find a way to use
someone like him, but in Russo’s case he’ll probably wind up as a bus
driver with an unhealthy fear of parrots.
Meng beats up the
mobsters for fun.
Gene
is in the back with Mona and Jarrett and can’t stop looking at her
chest. Mona: “Do you see something you like Gene?” Jeff yells
at her for taking half his interview time and calls her Miss Slappy.
This Monday, Goldberg and Dustin Rhodes are on his hit list.
The
Mamalukes drink Surge to make themselves feel better, though Johnny
could go for a cheese sandwich.
Jeff Jarrett/Mona
vs. Evan Karagias/Madusa
Is
there a reason why Jarrett and Mona got together and I just missed
it? Larry: “If he’s so chosen, why is he in a match he doesn’t
want to be in?” Tenay wants Jeff fined and suspended for his
actions on Monday. Evan and Mona get things started as Jarrett walks
around ringside. He takes her down with ease to start but the camera
goes to see Jarrett and Tenay yelling at each other. I wonder if
that’s what the TNA meetings were like.
Mona
armdrags Madusa down but gets caught in a double backdrop. Now Jeff
sits on the steps (which is nothing like when Mankind did the same to
the Rock, appropriately enough against the Hollys) while Madusa
cranks on an armbar. Back up and Mona slams her off the middle rope
and crotches Evan, followed by a top rope hurricanrana. Madusa gets
back with a German suplex though, allowing Evan to hit a corkscrew
plancha for the pin.
Rating:
D.
So to recap we have a woman who is using sex to get a title shot at
Starrcade, another woman who wrestles hard but gets beaten up at the
end, but the whole thing is about Jeff Jarrett arguing with an
announcer. They really thought this was the answer to women like
Chyna?
Mona
dropkicks Jarrett post match and eats a guitar to the head. Serves
her right for trying in her match.
Long
recap of Bret’s WCW career. No real context or reason for this but
it’s there.
The Revolution talks
about having their own country. Saturn: “And our own continent!
Asya!” Get out while you can boys.
Luger is on the phone
with Russo and is told that the winner of the match with Sid gets a
World Title match this Monday.
Gene
is with Lash and Disco and recaps the Mafia angle. Wouldn’t it have
been better to do this EARLIER? They agree that they need each other
to survive and Disco asks Lash not to do the splits tonight because
dancing is his gimmick. I can’t even roll my eyes at these terms
being dropped anymore.
Disco
Inferno/Lash Leroux vs. Perry Saturn/Dean Malenko
Shane
makes fun of Disco and Lash’s accents before the match. Cue the
Mamalukes to go after Disco and Lash but the Revolution mocks them as
well, triggering another brawl. Disco and Lash are smart enough to
stand outside and watch as Asya hits the Italians low, allowing the
Revolution to clean house. Security gets them out of here so Disco
and Lash jump Saturn from behind and get two off a Russian legsweep.
Tenay
announces Evan vs. Mona vs. Madusa on Monday with the Cruiserweight
Title shot on the line. Logic would say Mona vs. Madusa in a singles
match, but why do that when it can be men vs. women? Lash beats
Saturn up even more and does the split into a punch spot, prompting
Disco to angrily tag himself in. This time it’s Disco knocking
Saturn around but stopping to dance, allowing Dean to come in and
kick Disco’s head off (yet the hair still doesn’t move). Disco
fights back with a sunset flip but Saturn kicks him again to break it
up.
The
Last Dance is broken up and Disco gets sat on top, allowing Saturn to
bulldog him out to the floor in a nice spot. Lash and Dean get tags
and the Cajun cleans house on Malenko but Whiplash is broken up by
Saturn. A superkick drops Lash to the floor where he almost gets
into it with Asya, allowing Shane to get in a cast shot. The
Cloverleaf on the unconscious Lash gets the win as Saturn holds
Disco.
Rating:
D+.
Disco and Lash are prime examples of guys that were doing nothing but
were given a unique story by Russo. Unfortunately, Russo’s
intelligence ends as soon as the matches start as they were cannon
fodder for the Revolution in their first match as a team. It doesn’t
help that they’ve gotten into a buddy comedy instead of a tag team,
but Russo thinks he’s writing B movies instead of a wrestling show
anyway.
Total
Package vs. Sid Vicious
Winner
gets Hart on Monday for the title. Bret comes out to do commentary
and doesn’t seem interested in talking about facing Sid. Luger does
a quick easy way/hard way promo but gets caught holding pepper spray.
Sid stomps him down with ease but gets hit low, allowing Luger to go
into his offensive arsenal. Cue Liz as we get a double clothesline
to put both guys down.
That’s
some clothesline as neither can get up after LESS THAN A MINUTE of
action. Liz gets the pepper spray and goes for Luger but he takes
the bottle away and sprays Sid, who powerbombs the referee, because
pepper spray takes away your abilitiy to feel a shirt. Luger grabs a
rollup (with Sid’s feet in the ropes) for the pin from a second
referee and the title shot.
Post match Sid can
suddenly see and powerbombs Luger to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D-.
Let’s recap quickly: interference – belt shot, interference –
crowbar, briefcase shot, interference (didn’t change ending),
interference – double DQ, interference – sets up pin, double
teaming, cast shot, pepper spray. The closest thing we had to a
clean finish in nine matches was double teaming in a glorified
handicap match. All night long we couldn’t a rollup for a pin or
just someone hitting their finisher to win without someone cheating
or interfering? I know there are a lot of common criticisms against
Russo, but with shows like these, they’re not exactly unfounded.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

WCW Nitro: December 30, 1996

It’s been a hell of a ride, but we’ve made it, you and I. 1996 closes tonight, and it’s certainly been a year of movement. We’re going to look back at all the wackiness that was the changing of the guard from Old Guys to Old Guys With New Friends In Black and White Shirts, as well as the arrival of the luchadores, Mongo McMichael’s growth into a more well-rounded annoyance, Glacier who is coming soon, Roddy Piper complete with recaps of our recap of Roddy Piper, and much much more.
But first, we have Nitro. The nWo had their asses sorta kinda handed to them last night, but everyone’s allowed one bad night out of 365, right?

Outside the Knoxville Coliseum, THE OUTSIDERSHOLLYWOOD HOGANSYXXTED DIBIASEVINCENTMARCUS BAGWELLELIZABETH, and ERIC BISCHOFF arrive in a stretch limo. That’s a lot of bodies; I don’t care how big that car is. They brag about continuing to hold all the gold. Very impressive, seeing as how the World Title has been defended all of ONE time since Hogan’s victory 4 months ago. The Giant takes a little issue with Hogan’s gloating, and points to the nameplate that still has his name on it. He wants a shot at the belt, because he managed to win World War 3. Hogan tells him not to worry about it, his “title shot” just means it was a bye, and it buys the nWo more time with the title. Giant’s pissed he has no chance to be the lead dog, but Hogan reminds him that as long as the belt is in the family, it doesn’t matter. He tells Giant not to drop the ball a second time. DiBiase chases the camera man away, so they can deal with their family business.
We are LIVE from Knoxville, Tennessee. FIREWORKS FIREWORKS FIREWORKS! It’s standing room only, says TONY SCHIAVONE. He’s with the ghost of LARRY ZBYSZKO, who can’t talk enough about “Roddy Roddy Piper”.
THE AMAZING FRENCH CANADIANS (with Colonel Robert Parker) vs. THE PUBLIC ENEMY
Despite their best efforts to sing the National Anthem, using the beautiful French translation, Tony talks all over them, mocking them. May the FLQ bomb his mailbox. TPE comes in for a little brawling, but the Frenchmen hold their ground. Rougeau takes a backdrop and hits the deck, leaving poor Ouellette to get double teamed and suffer a similar fate. With the ring cleared, we THROW OUR HANDS IN THE AIR! WAVE ‘EM LIKE WE JUST DON’T CARE! The Colonel, sporting a fantastic pencil thin mustache, directs the troops to just leave. TPE chases them down, and attacks with their quasi Quebecanadian flags. Rougeau is placed on a table that was helpfully left at ringside … and the Drive By hits NO ONE because Rougeau rolls away. The French finish Rocco with the Quebec Crash seconds later at 3:30. I tried to be enthusiastic, but no amount of energy is going to cover up the smell of Public Enemy. 1/2*
JUSHIN LIGER vs. THE ULTIMATE DRAGON (with Sonny Onoo) (for the WCW world cruiserweight title)
I’ll give WCW credit for having the stones to take their most prized Cruiserweight commodity, and job him to the temporary Japanese guest. Dragon has new music tonight, but only because Liger had to use “sounds Japanese to us” tonight. Liger hits Dragon with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, and goes right to the surfboard. He won’t tap (likely since he has no use of his arms), so Liger releases and nails a handspring back elbow, and follows with an ultra-fast senton for 2. A powerbomb is delivered as a message to Sonny Onoo, but he takes too much time jawing with Sonny, and lets the Dragon get back into this. Liger takes a powder, and Dragon plants him with tope suicida. Back in, a flying headbutt is blocked with a foot to the face, and it’s nice to see someone actually trying a move when the big boot blocks it (cuz it looked like it HURT!). Liger nails a brainbuster, and gets 2. He doesn’t slow down, throwing a superplex for 2. Larry thinks he’s nuts, just months after having a brain tumor removed, to be putting his head in jeopardy; but I’d like to point out that Larry himself is able to work behind the announce table despite the frontal lobotomy. Liger heads back up, but gets cut off and beaten up. Dragon whips around from behind, hits a super rana, and finishes with the Dragon Suplex at 4:44. This was CRIMINALLY short; where’s the other 20 minutes?!? I guess we don’t have time, because coming up, and this is a direct quote from one Mr. Schiavone: “A MIDGET MATCH! With Midgets from MEXICO!” **1/2
KONAN (with Jimmy Hart) vs. BIG BUBBER M WALLSTREET (in a strap match)
Good lord, there’s like 20 Stunt Grannies in the front row! We must up for one hell of a fan attack later tonight. Bubba fails to appear, but Wallstreet does. Wallstreet says Bubba won’t be able to make it tonight, but he has a message for the Dungeon of Doom and Konan: he’s not afraid of that strap. Oh. Konan turns his back to gripe to god knows who, and Wallstreet attacks, and slips the strap on. Konan hogties himself to prevent Wallstreet from touching all the turnbuckles. I … don’t get the strategy, but ok. Wallstreet comes off the top, and Konan boots him in the face, unties himself, and crotches Wallstreet with the strap. Wallstreet takes a whoopin’, and Konan yells “DUNGEON OF DOOM”, but I don’t think he was playing that for laughs. Wallstreet responds by hanging Konan behind his back, and tags the first turnbuckle, with Konan following suit. Both guys keep tagging the buckle together, and as we head towards the 4th one, to the shock of the Stunt Grannies, Konan is punched by Wallstreet, falling into the buckle, and wins the match at 2:34. Let’s not do this again. -***
HOLLYWOOD HOGAN struts out with ERIC BISCHOFF sniffing his throne. Bischoff immediately bows down and tells the fans to respect the current and reigning World Champion; just in case you need to be reminded last night was non-title and if you paid for the show expecting to see a title change, up yours! Hogan gloats about beating Piper in the middle of the ring, and making his kid come down to ringside and beg for mercy. This carries on for an eternity, with both guys sucking each other’s kneecaps. NEXT.
HUGH MORRUS vs. KENSUKI SASAKI (with Sonny Onoo)
Oh good, Sasaki is back. Did he ever get proper revenge on One Man Gang? Can we make sure that if he does, he does it somewhere else? Both guys clothesline each other, and bang into each other. I think they’re going for some sumo thing, but it’s not working. Tony takes a moment to brag about all the big money scalpers made last night. A vertical suplex from Sasaki gets 2. He starts in with the chops, but Morrus no-sells. Knock it off, just because you’re friends with Meng does not make you Meng. Morrus hits a clothesline and applies the ever exciting chinlock. Avalanche splash sets up an arrival to the announce booth by…

ERIC BISCHOFF. He has a mysterious video tape! What’s on it? Roddy Piper in another embarrassing music video? Chris Benoit’s uncensored sex tape with Woman in Prague? Roddy Piper embarrassing himself in Chris Benoit’s sex tape in Prague? No, it’s apparently footage of last night’s main event which we will never, ever see. That’s the ONLY copy?
Back in the ring, Morrus hits No Laughing Matter, and the referee is forced to count slower than Nick Patrick because Sonny is way out of position for his run in with the Japanese flag to draw a DQ at 4:40. Morrus declares 1997 the year of the Dungeon. DUD
Tony airs stills of Piper’s win over Hogan, so the whole tape thing is negated. Then he reminds us to join him for Saturday Night, which will undoubtedly be a HUNDRED MILLION BILLION times better than anything we’ve seen tonight.
HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri) vs. THE FACES OF FEAR
I’m warning you WCW, I’m on edge, do NOT mess with me here. Meng starts with Stevie Ray, which seems like a mismatch since Stevie Ray is not a wrestler. Still, he beats up Meng, and hits him with a corner clothesline. Meng responds with a much better clothesline, and turns to his buddy Barbarian who comes firing out of the gate with some fast fists. Booker comes in, and hits the axe kick, which sets the Harlem Sidekick, getting 2. Booker goes up, which Barbarian quickly cuts off, and Booker is thrown no less than the distance of a regulation sized football field. Meng comes in, and Booker tries to go toe to toe with him, but you can guess how THAT ends. Backbreaker gets 2. Booker kicks him in the face, hits a Harlem Sidekick, and that draws in COLONEL ROBERT PARKER?!? He’s got a whip; the kind you’d see amongst only the finest in fetish escorts. Sherri takes one swift whip to the ass, and she’s so turned on that she dives on Colonel and they roll around violently. JACQUES ROUGEAU shows up, and throws powder in Stevie Ray’s face. The Kick of Fear from Meng connects, but the referee is tied up with something or other, and misses Booker T hitting the Harlem Hangover. Stevie is rolled on top for the win at 3:34. You know what? Fuck you WCW, fuck you and your stupid show. You have the best, most charismatic team of killers at your disposal, and you respond by jobbing them out to the freakin’ Nasty Boys, Outsiders, and now Harlem Heat who apparently need to win their 40th tag-team titles or something. You can’t handle having a group that’s cooler than the nWo. Nooooo, get over on your own in-ring merits, and lose forever. This show blows goats, all the bookers can go to hell, and that includes Booker T who was part of this debacle. -*******************************, and that’s being generous.
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND introduces DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE, who will continue to get pushed because he’s friends with Eric Bischoff and speaks English. DDP says he’s not crying about getting screwed over last night, and vows to fix things. He realizes he’s been thick headed and stubborn, and now he gets it. The nWo is far too strong for him, and he knows what he has to do. I know what he SHOULD do, team up with the Faces of Fear, he’d have more power than ISIS backing him up.
The second hour kicks off with Larry disappearing. MIKE TENAY and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN replace him. And JUST in case you thought the suck was coming to an end, we’re talking midgets.
Everything Hogan is replayed from earlier tonight. Sure, we can’t have THESE tapes suppressed. In fact, since they’re censoring stuff, they can start by wiping the first half of this show from the face of the earth. And probably the second because I’m in a foul mood.
DISCO INFERNO vs. GLACIER
Big news from the camp of Glacier: He has altered his lights to a soft violet. Disco grabs the microphone, and warns Glacier that he’s perfected his new leg hold, and it would be wise if he just left. Glacier doesn’t budge, making him “dumber than Peyton Manning!” Okay, that brought me back to the show – I’m all aboard Team Disco. Glacier hits Disco with a violent … wristlock. That makes Disco mad, so it’s on. Glacier kicks the crap out of Disco, accentuating his attack with a Harlem sidekick. Was his Sensei Colonel Robert Parker? Leg sweep sets up a dropkick, and a heart punch (or clothesline, if you’re Tony) have Glacier in full command. The Cryonic Kick is blocked by Disco putting the referee in the way, and Glacier pulls back. Disco hits a clothesline, and stomps a mudhole. Disco tells the camera it’s time for his new leg hold, but he grabs the wrong leg. He goes to correct it, and takes a back kick to the chin. Disco comes back with a swinging neckbreaker, and decides this would be a great time to dance. Cryonic Kick about takes his head off, and Glacier wins at 3:25. Oif. 1/2*
CHRIS BENOIT (with Woman) vs. CHRIS JERICHO
No, this isn’t the advertised midget match. The give-away is that Tony promised they’d be Mexican. Jericho is all energy tonight, hitting a super fast spinning heel kick, and then nailing a missile dropkick off the top all the way to the floor. Jericho rolls Benoit back in and chops away at his Canadian brethren. Benoit responds with a Stun Gun, and bitch slaps the poutine out of him, screaming “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DEALING WITH?” I recommend Jericho play dead, it might make him stop. Benoit keeps chopping away, but Jericho gives it back. A clothesline off the ropes knocks Benoit down, but he pops up and they start slugging it out again. Benoit shoots Jericho face first to the buckle with a quick drop toe hold, and mounts him in the corner with punches. Jericho rushes forward with an atomic drop, nails the Sweet Chin Music, but misses the Lionsault. They fight on the apron, which Jericho wins. He hits a crossbody off the top, but no pin is attempted. An avalanche is missed, and Jericho finds himself at Benoit’s mercy on top, eating a belly to back superplex for the win at 4:00. Holy hell, through the clouds of garbage, there sits a ray of sunshine, and it came with nonstop intensity from two young brawlers. Incredible match compacted into 4 minutes, probably the best I’ve ever seen in that short a time. ****
RIC FLAIRMONGO MCMICHAEL, and DEBRA MCMICHAEL stop Benoit and Woman on the way to the locker room, and “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is on the scene. Debra tells Woman how much she’s missed her, but Woman heard every word of trash out her mouth the last few weeks, and gets all up in her area. Benoit wants to throw down with Mongo, which Flair stops. JEFF JARRETT comes down, and asks Ric when he’s going to get the chance to lead the Horsemen. Flair ignores him, puts his arm around Woman who’s asking where the hell Arn is, and figures she’s insane for even asking about his whereabouts on New Year’s Eve Eve. He’s drinking beer cold enough to freeze the hand off an Eskimo, and with that he starts dancing around with Woman. God bless Ric, NOTHING gets this man down.
Benoit’s still in a mood though (probably because the Faces of Fear lost, I’m with you brother), and tells Jarrett that all he proved last night is that he can be anything BUT a Horsemen. Debra figures Woman’s moody because of all the weight she put on over the holidays. Flair looks like he’s got a headache, but finds the strength to just ask everyone to dance all night. And he does just that, grabbing Debra, and doing a jig.
MASCARITA SAGRADA and OCTAGONCITO vs. JERITO ESTRADA and PIRATITA MORGAN
Sagrada is probably better known to you as Max Mini. And that’s about all I have to say about this. There is no way I’m doing play by play with names THAT long. It’s basically the Max Mini show anyway, with the littlest of little men flying all over the place. He really should go under the name of El Swan, since he’s graceful, yet delicate. Estrada might be the ugliest man to ever wrestle in WCW, looking like the midget lovechild of Steven Tyler and El Dandy. Max wins with the Oklahoma Roll at 2:25.
REY MYSTERIO JR. vs. DEAN MALENKO
At least WCW is willing to give this match the respect it deserves, by not announcing it, and giving both guys the “already in the ring” treatment. What is WRONG with them tonight? Were they so burned out by getting the booking more or less right (except for that Faces of Fear travesty) last night that they decided to celebrate the end of the year by blowing everything up? We’re a Sid run-in away from making this the perfect night, let me tell you. Rey sends Malenko to the floor, and hits a sweet swinging rana. Back in, Malenko takes down Rey and works a crossface. That’s moved to a standing surfboard, but Rey flails loose. They awkwardly fight with Rey up top, but nothing comes of it. Deano uses a fireman’s carry to set up a gutbuster, getting 2. Malenko starts his stretches, and Mysterio does his usual fine job of howling in agony. A butterfly suplex gets 2. Next up, a backbreaker, and Malenko holds on, bending Rey in half. The announcers are too busy hyping next week’s Nitro to notice, but Bobby works this in. Heenan: “Tony, do you like 360 pound women in bowling shirts?” Tony: “I don’t know, maybe, I can’t say I’ve ever met one.” Heenan: “You’ll love Green Bay!” Rey starts a bit of a comeback, pounding Malenko in the corner, but Dean shoves him away. Rey charges, Malenko launches him, and Mysterio was clearly supposed to land on the top buckle … but he winds up slipping and crotching himself. Dean heads up for a superplex, but Rey twists in mid-air and turns it into a crossbody. A rana is attempted, but Malenko turns it into a powerbomb, and gets 2. Dean goes for a brainbuster, but Rey turns it into an Oklahoma roll for 2. Another powerbomb is tried, but Rey rolls backwards for 2. Dean has enough and clotheslines Rey’s head off. He heads up, but Mysterio hits him with a spinning heel kick knocking Malenko to the floor. Off the top, Mysterio hits a super backspin dick to the face all the way to the floor! Back in, Rey goes for West Coast Pop, but Malenko hooks the leg and applies a Boston crab. Rey bridges out of the move, flips Malenko over, and gets 2. Mysterio tries another rana, but Malenko turns it into a sidewalk slam. Rey shoves off his Cloverleaf attempt, and hits a rana off the top, and the bell rings at 9:24?!? Apparently 9:24 was the designated time limit tonight, so the fans are given one more giant fist up the chute. Match was fine, but I’m so burned out on these two fighting each other. They need a good year apart from one another. ***1/2
GREG “THE HAMMER” VALENTINE vs. LEX LUGER
This show has already gone to hell in a handbasket, so we may as well send out the Hammer. The Stunt Grannies give Luger a standing ovation. I can’t do this, sorry, Greg Valentine play by play is where I’m drawing the line tonight. You can thank the booking committee for deciding to job out the Faces of Fear to the stale Harlem Heat. Torture Rack for the win at 2:41. DUD
Somehow, there’s still 15 bloody minutes in this show, plenty of time for RODDY PIPER to give me aneurysm. He gets a standing ovation, and thanks the fans for all the love. He figures Bischoff and Hogan live on Mars, because on Planet Earth, Hogan was snoring in the Sleeper. Piper announces last night was his last fight because he’s getting too old for this. Tell that to Adrian Adonis, Rod. HOLLYWOOD HOGAN and ERIC BISCHOFF hit the ring, and the Hulkster doesn’t look happy. Hogan says Piper’s a liar, and orders him to admit he lost. Piper tells him to eat it. Hogan decides to get personal, saying the only reason he didn’t end it for good was because Piper’s son begged Hogan to take it easy. Piper tells him that’s fine, and rips off his clothes, ready to throw down again. The only problem, is that THE OUTSIDERS and SYXX have hit the ring, and triple team Piper, going right after the hip again. Hogan chokes out Piper, as SCOTT NORTONTHE GIANT, and TED DIBIASE join the fracas. The fans start launching every bit of garbage they’ve got, to the point the apron is soaked in beer and soda. Hogan grabs a chair, and whacks Piper in the bad hip. Hogan then orders The Giant, who to this point has just stood there watching, to Chokeslam Piper. VINCENT comes down now, as does NICK PATRICK wearing an nWo shirt for the first time. Giant refuses to do the deed, so the nWo has a quick huddle. MEDICS wheel down a stretcher for Piper, while Hogan decides to deal with the Giant. He asks him what the deal is? He’s tired of Giant dropping the ball, and after 3 strikes, he’s out. Giant attacks Hogan, grabbing him by the throat, and orders the nWo to get the hell out of the ring or he’ll take out Hogan. He demands a title shot, and Hogan agrees. He tells Giant he loves him, and shakes his hand. He swears he didn’t know the title was that important to him, and rolls out of the ring. As soon as he hits the ground, he tells the nWo to attack. MARCUS BAGWELL is first, followed by Vincent, and the NWO STING. Sting eats a Chokeslam, and that brings in everyone at once. Giant manages to fight them off for a spell, but the numbers overwhelm him. With the Giant subdued, Hogan whacks Giant over the head with the belt. Hall rips the nWo shirt off the Giant’s back, and he’s the first member to get the boot for treason and attempted regicide.

It was nice of them to save their absolute worst show of the year for last. I’m going to bed.

WCW Starrcade: December 29, 1996

Anytime one can capitalize on nostalgia, one should pounce. And pounce
WCW has; signing an aging but mobile Roddy Piper to battle a revitalized Hulk
Hogan, with their roles reversed. And while I have admittedly found Piper to be
a complete and total disaster, the Match of the Century stuff has worked.
Because of Hogan’s strong heel work, finally having a babyface forcing him to
show a little ass has resulted in their biggest buy-rate to date. This show
drew a 0.95, up from the atrocious 0.36 from one year earlier, and a major
improvement over the 0.70 from Halloween Havoc. I am ignoring World War 3
because it wasn’t given the substantial main event push of the last few shows.
So with their largest set of paying eyeballs on the product ever, it’s
now up to WCW to deliver. Are they ready to take the belt off of Hollywood
Hogan; or is this one big commercial to lead us to the next big challenger in
Lex Luger, Sting, or Glacier (who is of course coming)?
Only one way to find out (18 years ago).
We are of course LIVE from Nashville, TN, and the show starts with a
shocker. Against all odds, DUSTY RHODES
has found a tuxedo that fits. TONY
SCHIAVONE
and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN
join him on commentary.

THE ULTIMATE DRAGON (with
Sonny Onoo) vs. DEAN MALENKO (in a unification match for the J-Crown titles and
the WCW world cruiserweight title)
Dragon earned this title shot after a wild ****1/2 match with Rey
Mysterio Jr. at last month’s World War 3, and Dean Malenko is still the
champion despite the ever present Jimmy Graffiti challenging him periodically.
With the ever present scent of Cruiserweights in the air, MIKE TENAY trips over himself to get down to the commentary booth.
Dragon starts by attacking Malenko at his own game, grapevining the leg and
trying to get him an Uncle, as per Dusty. Malenko makes the ropes, but Dragon
keeps riding him. Dean reverses, and puts Dragon in a scissors headlock while
working an armbreaker. Dragon has no time for this shoot nonsense, and kips up
out of the hold, before kicking Malenko in the back of the head a bunch of
times. Malenko shakes it off, and hits Dragon with a side suplex. He tries
another scissors to the head, but Dragon rolls over and hits a vicious snap
suplex for 2. He ignores the USA chants, and applies a half crab. Malenko
starts wiggling, so Dragon drops down and puts on an STF. Malenko won’t tap, so
Dragon releases and tries a headscissors. Malenko pushes him off and sends
Dragon to the floor. A baseball slide misses, and Dragon slams him on the
ground. Dragon fakes flying, and Malenko side-steps – but that allows Dragon to
re-assess and now he hits the tope suicida! They head back in, and Dragon gets
2. Dragon attempts a snap suplex, but it’s blocked and reversed. Still, Malenko
takes a hit off the move, and because he’s taken more abuse, it’s Dragon who
manages to roll over for a 2 count. Back to their feet, Malenko counters a
backdrop with a sunset flip for 2! Dragon’s pissed, and quickly hits a swinging
neckbreaker for 2. Malenko stands, and finds himself locked in a NASTY
abdominal stretch, with Dragon’s leg pressed over Dean’s head for extra
pressure. The Dragon goes for a sleeper, but Malenko hits a backdrop suplex to
escape, and both guys are down. Malenko recovers first, and throws Dragon
across the ring with a release German suplex for 2. Sensing opportunity,
Malenko grapevines the leg, and squeezes it like a grapefruit. Dragon manages a
break in the ropes, but as soon as he lets go, Dean re-applies it. After nearly
a minute in the hold, Dragon manages to get to the ropes one more time. Malenko
doesn’t let up, hitting a single leg atomic drop, and then dropkicks Dragon’s
knee. He hits a variation of a dragon screw, and locks the grapevine back on
the knee again. Dragon uses the heel of his boot to club Malenko in the face,
but Dean does not let go. Still, he again reaches the ropes, but he’s a cripple
at this point. At least you’d think that, until he reverses a whip and misses a
handspring back elbow like nothing’s wrong. Grrrr, I hate it when they don’t
sell their injuries. Dragon boots Malenko in the face with his bad leg, but
Dean powerslams him HARD, and the fans pop sensing the champ has him on the
ropes. However, a German suplex is blocked, and Dragon hits a spinning heel
kick. Powerbomb gets 2. Dragon threatens a tombstone, but Malenko rears back
and reverses, hitting a NASTY VICIOUS piledriver! Dragon kicks out at 2. Texas
Cloverleaf is threatened, but Dragon wiggles to the safety of the ropes.
Malenko instead hits the tigerbomb to a MASSIVE pop, and rolls over … getting
2! The fans thought that was it. The pair brawl back to the floor, and it’s
Dragon who hits a spinning heel kick setting up an Asai moonsault! They head
back in, and Dragon goes up – but Malenko cuts him off at the pass. Dragon
elbows loose and drops Malenko, but misses the moonsault! Dean puts on the
Cloverleaf, and the fans lose their collective shit!!! Sonny Onoo gets on the
apron, and Malenko releases to go after him. As he turns, Dragon cradles him …
for 2! Malenko doesn’t give up the fight, and nails a brainbuster for 2! He
figures a second one might do the trick, but Dragon slips off the back, and
they start trading move reversals before Dragon hits the Dragon suplex and
scores the pin and ALL the gold at 18:29!!!
I can’t go the full monty because Dragon refused to sell the leg, but I loved
everything else. Call it ****.
AKIRA HOKUTO (with Sonny
Onoo and Kensuki Sasaki) vs. MADUSA (for the WCW Women’s title)
LEE MARSHALL, the
self-proclaimed ladies expert (due to the fact that 80% of the tournament took
place on WCW Pro), joins the commentary. NICK
PATRICK
is assigned here, his first non-nWo assignment in months. Or, is
it? The timing of this Women’s tournament has always been suspect; coinciding
with the nWo’s call to take all the gold in the company, so it’s entirely
possible we’re eyeballing the master plan coming together. Sonny Onoo gets his
fingerprints all over this one, tripping and distracting Madusa whenever
possible. Working a half crab, Hokuto bites Madusa’s foot while she’s at it – a
nice touch. I am oddly distracted by Madusa’s tramp stamp. Unfortunately, this
isn’t in HD, and I’m not able to get a proper camera angle, so I’m left to
speculate on the kind of tattoo Madusa might get on her lower back. After
ruling out many of the usual suspects, I’m going to narrow it down to a bottle
of JD (which would explain the Tennessee Colonel’s obsession with her), or a
campfire (cuz she’s A Blayze). I’m open-minded however, and am willing to
accept theories. Madusa hits her German suplex, but Patrick is out of position
and counts a little slow. The plot thickens. They battle to the top, where
Hokuto hits a superplex, but Patrick counts a normal 2. Madusa dropkicks Hokuto
to the floor, and while Patrick monitors that, Sonny Onoo flattens Madusa with
the American flag! Hokuto re-enters with a missile dropkick, and finishes with
a Northern Lights Bomb for the pin and the belt at 7:05. Heenan: “Japanese 2, WCW 0.” I think he’s got this confused
with last year’s show. *1/2
In the locker room, “MEAN” GENE
OKERLUND
welcomes RODDY PIPER to
Music City USA. The Hot Rod compares Hogan to Jurassic Park, despite being all
of 1 year younger. Life is a fight! 6 kids! Homeless at 13! All the usual. He
leaves the dressing room hopping on his replaced hip.
JUSHIN LIGER vs. REY
MYSTERIO JR.
MIKE TENAY is back,
figuring the winner of this one is the defacto #1 contender. Without facing
Jimmy Graffiti? Surely he jests. Both guys shake hands … I don’t care for THAT.
Tenay notes that this is their first matchup, which I find kind of shocking
actually. This is also just 2 months after Liger’s brain tumor was removed;
yikes! And we think drugs are a problem NOW! Liger tries a rear surfboard, but
Rey flips backwards and kicks him in the face. Liger comes back immediately
with a dropkick, and a powerslam that certainly isn’t messing around. A
standing vertical suplex stands to leave Rey a little dizzy, and a gutbuster
takes his breath away. Liger goes for a nasty powerbomb, and slams Rey with
some FORCE. I think the back of his head bounced off the mat on that one.
Liger’s just methodically stalking Rey now, but he gets cocky and goes for a
second gutbuster; and Rey turns that into a rana! A second one sends Liger out
to the floor, and Rey hooks the top rope to keep himself in the ring. Liger
gets back to the apron, only to see Rey charging at him with a spear. It
connects, but the follow up attempt sees Liger turn the tables and suplex Rey
to the outside of the ring. And then, for kicks, he throws ANOTHER vicious powerbomb,
with the back of Rey’s head hitting the side of the ring. 1990’s wrestling!
Concussions what? Rey slowly crawls back to the ring, and is immediately placed
up top. He manages to shove Liger away, but his dropkick attempt misses, and he
falls senton style to the ground. Liger cracks him with a tilt-a-whirl
backbreaker, and Rey finds himself trapped in a surfboard. Rey wiggles to try
and release the hold, but Liger has every part hooked well and Mysterio has
nowhere to go. Finally he rocks forward, and Liger throws him a bit with his
feet. He goes to catch Rey, but Mysterio quickly goes behind and throws a
release German! Fast standing moonsault gets 2. Rey nails a DDT, and
springboard moonsault gets another 2. A springboard dropkick his Liger square in
the chest, and Rey mounts him quickly with the camel clutch. Rey goes for the
West Coast Pop, but Liger has him scouted and catches him with a dropkick to
the face as he flies in. A release German suplex gets 2. Liger moves to a half
crab, cinching back as far as you’ll ever see anyone bend this side of Eric
Bischoff. A spinning heel kick connects in the corner, but Rey retaliates with
one of his own. Liger puts Rey up top, but Mysterio jumps at him with an
overhead scissors takeover. Liger rolls to the floor, not seeing Rey fly at him
with an Asai moonsault! Liger heads back in, but as he’s between the ropes, Rey
drops a leg with a nasty little guillotine. Rey goes for a springboard senton,
but Liger rolls away, and he leaps at Rey with a diving headbutt off the top
for 2. They start trading blows in the corner, and Liger shoves Rey off the
apron, to the floor, hands free. Liger heads up, but Rey pounces back onto the
apron, leaps, and goes for the super rana – only it’s blocked by Liger! Liger
rolls forward with a spinning heel kick, before nailing a running Ligerbomb,
and we have a winner at 14:14. This
wasn’t as good as the earlier match, as a lot of spots just felt like “we’re
doing MOVES”, but it was still a damn fine, flashy display of what both guys are
capable of. ***1/2
CHRIS BENOIT (with Woman)
vs. JEFF JARRETT (in a no disqualification match)
This must be a surprise bonus match or something because I don’t
remember any hype behind this. Benoit and Woman take a few extra seconds to
stare into each other’s eyes before Jarrett makes his entrance. This, admittedly,
is a little interesting because Flair is a big Jeff Jarrett fan. However, the
rest of the Horsemen can’t stand the smarmy son of a bitch. But on the other
hand, everyone, with the exception of Flair once more, is livid at Benoit for
flaunting his affair with Kevin Sullivan’s wife on national TV. Which begs the
question: who are they rooting for? Benoit shoves Jarrett to his ass, and kicks
imaginary dirt all over him, to a GIANT pop. It’s clear who the fans support
here. Jarrett gets to his feet, and Benoit slaps the tradition right out of his
mouth. A double arm lariat gets 1. Benoit hits a drop toe hold, and stands on
the back of Jarrett’s head, grinding his nose into the mat. Jeff pops to his
feet while Benoit celebrates, and takes Chris down with a drop toe hold of his
own, before dancing on his back. They trade 3 consecutive standing switches,
before Benoit just elbows Jarrett in the face to knock that off. Chris kicks
the crap out of Jarrett in the corner, and flashes the Horsemen sign. Jarrett
flies out of the corner with a spear, and they start rolling around on the mat,
pounding each other. Benoit rolls to the floor, and Jarrett follows suit. Woman
grabs Jarrett’s arm, and when he wheels around, Benoit decks him. Back in,
Benoit catapults Jarrett mouth first to the buckle, and Jeff drops like Santa
down an industrial sized chimney. Benoit forces Jarrett to the top, but Jeff
blocks the superplex and Chris flies backwards with nothing. Jarrett chokes Benoit
in the ropes, but Woman pulls him aside to avoid the straddle, and Jeff’s beans
take a sharp shot. A short-armed clothesline from Benoit gets 2. Frustrated
that he isn’t winning, Benoit tosses Jarrett over the top and whips him to the
guardrail. Jarrett sorta retaliates, but he doesn’t have much gas, and as soon
as he’s back in he takes a backdrop suplex for 2. A sleeper is applied, and
Jarrett finds himself taking a nap in under 20 seconds. Benoit uses the ropes
for leverage; still sneakily, but it’s allowed since it’s no DQ anyway. The
referee checks the arm, and after a couple drops, Jarrett still shows life. They
battle back to a vertical base, and Jarrett hits a backdrop suplex to release
the hold. A cradle gets 2. Jarrett nails Benoit with a big boot, and quickly
comes off the top … right into Benoit’s foot. Chris chops the snot out of
Jarrett, but Jeff turns things around and plants Benoit with a dropkick for 2.
An overhead belly to belly launches Benoit to the apron, and Jarrett pulls him
back in with a front suplex across the top rope. Jarrett goes for the Figure
Four, so Woman just claws at the eyes. The fans start to explode, because ARN ANDERSON is walking to ringside
with a purpose; burning a hole through Benoit. He stands to watch, as Benoit
starts working over Jarrett right in front of him. However, with his focus
there, he doesn’t see KONAN and HUGH MORRUS kidnap Woman. Woman’s scrappy,
and puts up a hell of fight. Meanwhile, it turns out Anderson’s appearance was
a ploy, because he DDTs Jarrett on the concrete, completely missing the KEVIN SULLIVAN appearance, who destroys
a wooden chair over Benoit’s skull. Jarrett rolls in and scores the pinfall at 13:47. Despite the fact it was fundamentally
solid, I was never feeling this one. Neither guy seemed to sell very well for
the other, and they didn’t match up well in my opinion. **1/2
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND tries to get a
word from anyone who will talk to him, but every single person blows him off on
their way to the back. Thankfully, MONGO
MCMICHAEL
and DEBRA MCMICHAEL
are always willing to share their opinions. He thinks Woman’s got Benoit weak
in the knees. Jarrett was served to him on a silver platter, and he failed to
get the win. Debra thinks Jarrett is Horsemen material, and trashes Benoit and
Woman. “That girl has been rode hard, and put up wet.” Gene quickly covers his
microphone and orders her to knock it off.
THE OUTSIDERS (with Syxx)
vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart) (for the WCW world tag-team titles)
NICK PATRICK is the
referee, which doesn’t bode well for the loves of my life capturing the
tag-team titles here. Still, would YOU try and screw Meng over? If anyone’s
gonna hold Patrick accountable, it’s these guys. Meng starts with Scott Hall,
and he promptly no sells everything Hall hits him with before taking him down
with a clothesline. Meng tosses Hall to the corner, and works him over. Patrick
tries to break it up, but one look and a grunt from Meng backs him RIGHT off.
The distraction is enough for Hall to hit a second rope bulldog, from which
Meng pops up having suffered no damage and clotheslines Hall down again.
Barbarian comes in, and Hall spits in his face. OH NO YOU DIDN’T! The
chickenshit tags in Nash, who tries to look as intimidating as possible … and
Barbarian doesn’t flinch. Nash hits the corner elbows, which serve no purpose
because Barbarian catches him with an elbow of his own, chokes Nash for awhile,
and chops the crap out of him. Patrick gives him a warning, and the momentary
distraction allows Nash to clothesline him from behind. However, that just
draws Meng flying in to start the CLUBBERIN’! Hall stands there, not willing to
get involved, because he’s not suicidal. Nash gives them a double noggin’
knocker, which is the equivalent of Hulking those guys up, and they double
headbutt Nash to the mat after a primal scream. The fans are eating these guys
up! Barbarian gives Nash a sidewalk slam with the kind of effort that says “I
pick up 350 pound guys in my SLEEP!” and gets 2. Barbarian heads up, walks the
ropes just because he can … but misses an elbow. Hall gets in a cheap
clothesline, and Nash throws a series of punches. The big boot is used to choke
out Barbarian, and Patrick misses the entire thing. Hall tags in, and Meng’s
patience is done now, because he pulls Hall to the corner by the hair and now
they give HIM the CLUBBERIN’! Hall elbows both guys, who fail to sell any of
it, and Barbarian gives Hall the big boot. Patrick misses it because he’s tied
up with Jimmy Hart, and eventually turns around long after a 3, and Hall kicks
out at a slow 2. Barbarian doesn’t care, he doesn’t complain, he just turns to
Meng who gives Hall a spike piledriver. Patrick runs around in a circle, and
slowly counts 2. Meng reminds him how to count, and tags in Barbarian.
Honestly, if the slow counts are just going to result in the Outsiders taking
more and more punishment until they’re quadriplegics, I’m fine with it.
Barbarian hits a smooth powerbomb, and Patrick counts 1 at the speed of a 3
before Nash breaks it up. Meng gives Hall an atomic drop, and Barbarian gives
him a big boot to the face, but he’s the illegal man and Patrick won’t count.
Hall clotheslines Barbarian in the back of the head, and Hall follows with one
from the front, and Barbarian’s down. He’s still up first anyway. Syxx steals
Hart’s megaphone and chases him to the back, but I doubt it’ll slow my heroes
any. Barbarian applies a nerve hold, and refuses to release as Hall passes out.
Patrick doesn’t check Hall’s arm, and Scott eventually gets a second wind,
backdropping Barbarian. Nash gets the hot tag, which just sees him trade
punches with Barbarian. Nash nails the big boot, and Patrick counts 2 lightning
fast, but Meng charges and saves. Hall pulls him to the outside, as Barbarian
loads the boot. He misses the Kick of Fear, Nash hits the Jackknife, and the
Outsiders retain at 11:43. You know …
it’s not even that the Faces of Fear lost. I’m a big boy, and I’ve had 18 years
to prepare myself for this recap. It’s the fact it was done cleanly that really
gets to me. These guys could have milked months out of being the thorn in the
side of the nWo, the two bad asses who simply didn’t give a crap how many of
them there were or how high the odds were stacked because their job was to kick
ass and worry about the details later. Instead, after less than 2 months, they’re
effectively killed off as top contenders, and the real chase is being given to
the Steiners. I rarely believe in the racism card, but this is one case where I
feel the upper crust in WCW felt that a white team who had better microphone
skills were the right way to go. Which is unfortunate, because these guys are
just oozing the kind of in-ring charisma that I’d kill to see from ANYONE on
Monday Night RAW today. ***
Backstage, TED DIBIASE, VINCENT, ELIZABETH, and HOLLYWOOD
HOGAN
are talking down Roddy Piper. Hogan says there’s already a ticker
tape parade going on in California because they’re on Pacific Time and think he’s
already won. What the hell is he talking about? He was prepared to tell all the
Hollywood Maniacs that Piper had tucked tail and flown back to Portland, but he
just saw one of Piper’s kids trying to bum a quarter to buy a Coke, so he knows
he’s still here, because even Piper’s not woman enough to leave his kids
behind. Ain’t leaving the kids behind more of a stereotypically man move? Hulk,
with all due respect … go away.
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs.
EDDIE GUERRERO (for the WCW United States heavyweight title)
Thousands of fans make the Diamond Cutter sign as Page struts down to
ringside, showing them nothing but contempt. Oh Dallas, you might not want
them, but they’re ready for you, and tonight’s your big night daddio. Eddie
hiptosses Page, who flips Eddie off to a pretty strong reaction. Eddie tries
mocking him to utter silence. He hasn’t managed to find that connection yet;
but I’m prepared to be patient. They fight to the floor, where Page uses all
the dirty tricks as the fans start a “DDP” chant. Eddie snapmares Page over the
top rope, rolls him back in, and hits a slingshot senton for 2. Page pops up,
right into a drop toe hold, and Eddie applies an armbar. Page gets up and
charges, but winds up toppling to the floor. Eddie is right behind with a
plancha. Back in, Eddie mounts Page in the corner, but winds up taking snake
eyes. A pancake is delivered, almost with enough vertical air to be a spike
piledriver. A vertical suplex gets 2, with an annoyed Page feeding it Scott
Dickenson to count faster. Page works an abdominal stretch, and despite the fan
attention, he’s still a scumbag and uses the ropes for extra leverage. The
referee asks the fans if he’s cheating, and amazingly, he gets told “NOOOO”.
Eddie gets in a small package for 2, but Page still has the momentum and uses a
swinging neckbreaker to get 2. Back to the abdominal stretch, and Page goes
right back to cheating. He gets caught on the 3rd go-around, so Page
releases happily and punches Eddie in the ribs. He and Dickenson start a
yelling match, with Page trying to get him to knock it off so he can
concentrate on the match. Eddie gets in a schoolboy for 2, but immediately
takes a clothesline. DDP charges the corner, but Eddie sidesteps, and Page’s
shoulder hits the post. Eddie sweeps out the leg, and lifts Page off his feet
with a European uppercut! A face slam to the buckle sends Page flying
backwards, and a vertical suplex gets 2. A backdrop suplex sends Eddie to the
top, but he misses the Frog Splash! Eddie’s elbow is killing him, and Page
dives in for a pinfall attempt, getting 2. DDP hits a gutbuster, and heads up
top much to the fans delight. He is promptly crotched. Eddie mounts him, but
Page shoves him off and dives at Eddie … right into an atomic drop, and Eddie
gets 2! Page goes to clothesline him, and takes a backslide for 2! DDP tries a
Diamond Cutter, and the fans erupt, before Eddie turns it into another
backslide for another 2! Eddie tries a rana, but Page spins around in mid-move,
and hits a 360 powerbomb instead for 2! Eddie hits a desperation back elbow,
and falls to the outside, which brings down THE OUTSIDERS and SYXX.
Hall gets in the ring behind the referee’s back, and flattens Page with the
Outsider’s Edge!! This is clear payback for Page turning down the nWo
repeatedly over the last month. Eddie wakes up, hits the Frog Splash, and wins
the US title at 15:20! The nWo tries
to destroy Eddie, but he somehow manages to fight off all 3 guys for nearly a
minute before they get their act together and beat him down. Syxx steals the US
title again for good measure. Great storyline advancement here, and this can
only bode even better for Page with the fans moving forward since he’s been one
of the few WCW to spit defiantly in the nWo’s face. For the record, Diamond
Dallas Page is a PERFECT study on how to build a new star. Give him a swanky
finisher, put him over strong for months on end, and eventually have him start
standing up to everyone around him, good or bad. I know that “wins and losses
don’t matter” and we need to keep everyone “equal”, but wrestling wasn’t built
on equal, it was built on guys with the right attitude making piles of money
for everyone involved. Basically, WWE, grow a sack and follow this model. (PS:
And I don’t mean with John Cena!) ***
THE GIANT vs. LEX LUGER
Amazingly, we have impartial referee RANDY ELLER assigned to this one; the first nWo match that I can
remember without Nick Patrick or Doctor X. Both guys lock up, and Luger
struggles with the massive Giant. Luger’s putting a world of effort into this,
and seems to be sapping all his energy on trying to show Giant he can push him
backwards. Giant eventually shrugs him off and roars. Luger responds by popping
him in the jaw with his steel forearm, and continues the assault with Giant off
balance. The Giant comes to, and explodes out of the corner with a single
clothesline that leaves Luger for dead. A jumping elbow causes Luger to
convulse, but he has time to recover because Giant is slow as molasses. As soon
as Luger gets to crouched position, Giant punts him in the midsection with
enough force to send Luger flying out the ropes like a football. On his way
back in, Giant helps him re-enter with a vertical suplex. Giant stands on Luger’s
throat, and you’d have to imagine the end is near for WCW’s top hope to end the
nWo. Giant’s all laughs, and that momentary lapse sees Luger throw an axehandle
and go for a slam … but Giant is WAYYYY too fat for that, and falls right on
Lex. Giant pulls him up at 1, he’s not interested in ending this yet. Not
without a leaping headbutt to the balls. Given the volume of performance
enhancers coursing through Luger’s blood at this point, that’s gotta be a
fairly precise shot from the Giant. He goes for an avalanche, but Luger
side-steps, and Giant finds himself lying on the ropes like a hammock, and
stuck. Luger kicks him over and over to set up a Rack, but Giant drops down and
that’s that. Luger continues to bring the fight, and a number of clotheslines
have Giant rocking. The old wind up punch doesn’t even bring him down, but a
neckbreaker does, and Luger gets 2. In fact, Giant kicks out with enough force
to launch Luger about 95 feet into the air, and he happens to fall EXACTLY
where poor Randy Eller lays. Never fear, however, because NICK PATRICK is here. In the chaos, Luger manages to slam Giant,
and puts him in the Rack … only to see Patrick kick the back of his legs out and
cause him to collapse. Luger wallops Patrick, as STING starts skulking through the crowd. The Rack is re-applied,
but now SYXX is here, and breaks
that up. Sting hits the ring, ball bat in hand, and pushes it right into the
chest of Nick Patrick, sending him sprawling. He whispers something to Lex, and
then heads over to the Giant to do the same. Leaving his baseball bat behind,
he decides it’s time to exit through the crowd. Lex gets to the bat, but Giant
is up and steps on it. With only one move left, Luger swings his mighty fist,
uppercutting the Giant right in the Polish sausage! He grabs the ball bat,
drives it into the Giant’s stomach, and incredibly, the Giant starts to vomit
ALL over the place! An entire Christmas spread – turkey, yams, stuffing, green
beans with little bits of bacon, gingerbread cookies, an entire smoked ham, the
missing Fit Finlay, and fruitcake are just spewed EVERYWHERE. Wait, no, sorry,
he actually just collapses and Randy Eller awakens to count the pinfall at 13:20. This was probably awful by
anyone else’s standards, but I’m a sucker for a hot crowd and a testosterone
fuelled superman overcome a big evil bad guy. ***1/2 – and I don’t care if it
kills the credibility I never had.
MICHAEL BUFFER arrives to
pump us up for the main event, while poor Randy Eller is declared legally brain
dead following that 5 minute coma.
HOLLYWOOD HOGAN (with
Vincent, Ted DiBiase, Elizabeth, and some gold vanity belt he never defends but
believes is a guitar) vs. RODDY PIPER (in a non-title match)
Yup, despite the fact WCW never explicitly announced whether or not this
was a title match; it was fairly assumed that the belt WOULD be at stake here
since Hogan paraded it out every single time he mouthed off about Piper, AND he
hasn’t defended it in 2 months, NOT to mention it’s the biggest damn
pay-per-view of the year. I realize had WCW advertised a non-title match that
the results of this would be far less in doubt (whoops, spoiler?), but the fans
were totally baited here and it’s not cool, WCW. The fans erupt in a unanimous
sea of “RODDY! RODDY!” chants, and despite my vitriol for the last two months,
it’s clear he’s a god to the 1996 wrestling fans, so it’s not fair for me to
look back 18 years later and declare this a total disaster (since it’s clearly
not) – but there is no way Piper’s insane rambling would have survived the social
media era. I don’t know if it’s because we expect a smarter product, or we’re
just a giant group of haters, but it just hasn’t stood up as well as a lot of
the other stuff we’ve looked back at this year. Anyway, Hogan stalls to start,
and when they finally lock up, he screams at the referee to “WATCH THE BREAK –
I DON’T TRUST THIS GUY!” Of course, as soon as they break, it’s Hogan who
starts slapping around Roddy. You can almost feel some 14 years of playing the
hero just seeping away, as he seamlessly transitions into the heel that’s lived
inside of him since his early days with Freddie Blassie (or, Rocky Balboa).
Piper responds by beating the shit out of him, and Hogan runs right up the
aisle, calling it a night. The ref holds Roddy at bay, so Piper grabs him (it’s
PEE WEE ANDERSON, for the record),
and places him on the top turnbuckle so he can go back to goading Hogan to fight
like a man. Hogan answers the call, digging deep into his inner manhood as
requested … and starts clawing at Roddy’s face. CAAAATFIGHT! Piper pokes Hogan
in the eyes to knock that off, and throws a clothesline. He can’t follow up
because Hogan’s already back on the floor to hang out with Trillionaire Ted.
Back in, Piper works a headlock, and holds on tight while Hogan tries like hell
to shove him off. Hulk manages a backdrop suplex, but Roddy continues to hold
on, working it like a crossface on the mat. In the ropes, Hogan finally spears
his way loose, and he nails Piper with a jawbreaker, sending Piper to the
outside. Hogan comes off the apron with an axehandle, and pokes Piper in the
eyes. Hey, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, no complaining
(and I’m looking at YOU Tony Schiavone). Back in the ring, Piper actually hits
something resembling a dropkick – fairly impressive considering his current
mobility. Hogan runs up the aisle again, and looks like this time he ain’t
coming back, so Piper charges and pulls him back to ringside by the hair. Piper
shoves DAVE PENZER aside, grabs his
belt off his kilt, and starts whipping Hogan like a red headed mule. DiBiase
trips up Piper, but Roddy’s taking no one’s crap tonight and chases down Ted.
Of course, Hogan’s recovered now, and gets the upper hand on Piper. The fans, for
the record, have been incredible, and haven’t stopped cheering Piper on since
the bell rang over 10 minutes ago. In the ring, Hogan starts to kick at the
surgically repaired hip, and slaps on the abdominal stretch. He even adds a
wedgie as a nice extra touch. Piper escapes, and dives on Hogan with the ground
and pound. He even yanks out some of Hogan’s hair. Back to their feet, Hogan
pokes the eyes, and both guys start slugging it out, with neither guy giving in
to the other. Piper stops it to hit a vertical suplex, and gets a 2 count. He
misses a kneedrop to the face, and the impact leaves him clutching his leg in
agony. Hogan wastes no time in going for the Atomic Legdrop, but Piper moves,
and starts hopping on the bad leg to show he’s fine. And that’s all THE GIANT can stand to watch, and he
goes to Chokeslam Piper. In mid-move, Piper swings his legs to kick Hogan in
the face, and escapes by biting Giant’s nose! Back to Hogan, Piper locks on the
Sleeper, and Hogan’s arm drops 3 times, giving Piper the win at 15:28!!! The fans lose their collective
shit as fireworks explode, and Piper stands over Hogan’s limp body. *1/2 for
the match, ***** for the crowd.
THE OUTSIDERS rush the ring,
and Piper takes them both out with a little boxing. He bails before they can
double team him, and even The Giant doesn’t mess with him anymore. One of Piper’s
kids shows up on the stage, and Piper carries him backstage as the fans chant “PIPER!
PIPER!” on his way out.

But we’re not done – The Giant is livid at the entire nWo because none of them
ever watch his back the way he does for everyone else. He demands to know where
the original nWo threesome were during his match with Luger. Hogan: “You
dropped the ball.” The fans shower Hulkster with a “HOGAN SUCKS” chant, as
Hogan demands his belt and spits on the camera to send the show off.
Fantastic show, all the way through. Quality stuff on both the under
card, and some good storyline progression with the top. This really was the
best they could have hoped for with what was booked, and my lone disappointment
was that the nWo wasn’t swept with the Faces of Fear collecting the tag-team
titles. Still, the most dangerous group in wrestling history FINALLY got some
come-uppance for the first time since their arrival in May, and WCW is showing
a little unity.

The only question is whether or not they can capitalize going into 1997.

WCW Worldwide: December 29, 1996

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

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

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

WCW Nitro: December 23, 1996

This is it – the final
hard-sell for the “biggest PPV event of all time.” The show unofficially dubbed
(cuz WCW can’t afford another lawsuit) War To Finally Settle The Score. And you
can bet, whatever happens tonight … it’ll be replayed no fewer than 6 times, in
full, at Starrcade, for the low price of $29.95!
You know, as sad as
Johnny B Badd’s mug being a part of the Prime opening through October, the
presence of surfer blonde Sting, and red and yellow Hulk on their A-show, when
both characters have been dead for ages, is significantly lazier.

WE ARE LIVE FROM NO TIME
TO WASTE BECAUSE WE HAVE A MATCH!
CHRIS BENOIT vs. EDDIE GUERRERO (in a semi-finals
tournament match for the WCW United States title)
Chris Benoit doesn’t
bring Woman with him, because that would be suicide. Benoit brings the hate to
Eddie, but Guerrero has no interest in taking his shit (or his chops), and
gives it right back just as hard. Are you interested in seeing this
hard-hitting match? Tough!
KEVIN SULLIVAN is backstage, laughing about the idea of Benoit “taking his queen”.
He thinks Benoit’s fallen into the ultimate trap, waking up something he should
have left alone. “Check mate.”
Back in the ring, nope,
don’t get comfy!
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE walks up to the commentary booth. Oh, hi, TONY SCHIAVONE and LARRY ZBYSZKO are you hosts tonight from wherever we are. We take
many important camera shots of DDP chewing gum, and saying monkey.
Back in the ring, Eddie
has slowed this baby down with a headlock on the mat. Yes, I’m sure a break is
necessary after all those great moves we never saw. The only thing missing at
this point in a commercial break to really make this one a winner. Of course,
I’m not just being facetious, I know my WCW. We’ll be right back after a quick
word from our friends at Valvoline and Electronic Karate Fighters.
Okay we’re back, and
Tony’s gushing about how awesome this match has been. You know what? Up yours
WCW. Benoit hits a backdrop suplex and starts lecturing Eddie about something
something Sullivan. I’m thinking Eddie probably doesn’t care, but is more
concerned about the nasty snap powerbomb he’s on the receiving end of that
pretty much decapitates him. His torso manages to kick out at 2. The fans are
well trained, watching this with great intensity. The entrance ramp I mean, not
the ring. Eddie hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, and heads up for the Froggy
Splash, but Benoit cuts him off. Chris nails the superplex, and recovers first
to score a 2. Eddie tries a sunset flip, but Benoit stops it and goes to punch
him in the face. Eddie slithers forward, Benoit nails canvas, and Eddie rolls
him up for 2. Chris fires off a hot-shot, but he’s caught trying his pin using
the ropes. They head up, and for some reason so does the referee, standing on
the 2nd rope to get a really good look I guess. Benoit doesn’t need
THAT, and shoves the referee aside – but that gives Eddie just enough to shove
Benoit aside too! From a reverse position, Eddie flips 180 degrees in mid-air
and turns that into a Frog Splash, scoring the pin and heading to Starrcade at 10:31. Those last 5 minutes were
phenomenal; so I’ll go ***1/2 for what we saw. -***** for DDP, Kevin Sullivan,
and their love of Valvoline.
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND talks about the fans hanging from the rafters. No
Gene, that’s Sting, not fans. It’s a little early to be the shank of the
evening, but no matter, RIC FLAIR, ARN ANDERSON, MONGO MCMICHAEL, DEBRA
MCMICHAEL
, and Benoit are welcomed. Gene wants to talk about the
“shellacking” Anderson took from Sullivan last week. Arn takes a quick shot at
Benoit; saying if he was focused he’d have never lost that US title match.
Anderson says that there’s pretty much no worse position in the world to be in,
then to come home and find your wife on the couch with another man. Unless of
course, you’re the other man, in which case, you’re farked. Arn says he saw
that kind of rage last week from Sullivan, he even smelled it on his breath. He
did? What does that smell like? What is his breath SUPPOSED to smell like? Do
they have special diets in the Dungeon of Doom? Toothbrushes? Did the Master
set up toiletries, or was that an afterthought to ending Hulkamania? Now that
Hulkamania’s dead, does the Dungeon even truly exist anymore, or is it more of
an analogy to life itself; the Dungeon exists in all of us? Does One Man Gang
still visit, or has he moved on to a life of personal hygiene? Why isn’t Mean Gene
covering this instead of asking DDP for the 17th week in a row if he
wants to join the now? Oh, right, the HORSEMEN are here. Arn’s still pissy he
took a beating for Benoit, and wants to know why Woman’s not here tonight to
face the reaper. Debra whines about the fact we spend so much time on Nancy,
and tells Chris the next time he wants to have an affair to let her know
because she has beautiful girlfriends that is way over the damaged goods he’s
playing with now. Benoit rightly takes offense, and tells everyone it’s none of
their business where she is. And regarding his relationship with Woman, he was
in Germany taking care of Horsemen business with her, trying to keep the
Horsemen together as they disintegrate. Benoit goes to start in with Debra, but
Mongo doesn’t let him get two words out before getting all up in his region.
Flair plays peacemaker, telling everyone to shut up and party. He figures after
10 years with the Devil, Woman deserved a weekend with a man like Benoit. God
bless Ric Flair, there is nothing in his world that can’t be fixed with a little
champagne and nudity.
Wow, we’re blowing our load on all the big stars early tonight, because
after a break, HOLLYWOOD HOGAN, TED DIBIASE, ELIZABETH, and VINCENT are on
their way to the ring. Hogan lets Vincent carry the World Title, and the look
on his face tells it all. You know he’s looking everywhere for his PR rep to
snap photographs urgently, completely forgetting he’s freakin’ Vincent and
lackeys don’t get lackeys.
Tony’s pretty salty tonight, demanding that nobody at home show any
respect Hogan. That lasts about 18 seconds before he returns to talking about
how great Hogan looks. Hulk’s a fighting mood tonight, but Piper’s hiding in
the deepest darkest hole he can find unfortunately. That makes him sad, because
he mistakenly thought Roddy was a man’s man. He figures 100 years from now,
when people open their history books, they’ll see pictures of Abe Lincoln and
Hollywood Hogan. He reminds us there’s a pecking order in wrestling, and
wrestlers like Piper, Flair, and Savage are all well below the nWo. Tony points
out that Piper isn’t here. Of course he’s not, it’s not like he’s got a PPV
match to sell for next week or anything.
TOMBSTONE vs. LEX LUGER
Tombstone is our random cowboy guy who appeared at the tail end of WCW
Saturday Night. He doesn’t LOOK super-pro WCW or anything like Lee Marshall
said he was, but more like your generic run of the mill 6’8” goon with an Al
Snow mustache. Kudos to those of you who figured out he was ECW’s 911 long
before I did the math. The fans stand and literally start giving Luger an
ovation. WCW has a god, and it comes with 1% body fat. Larry, armed with far
too much information, talks about Luger’s explosiveness, specifically “he can
explode into you at ANY time!” Of course, he never expands on that, leaving us
with far more questions than answers. Luger hits the forearm trifecta, and
quickly finishes with the Rack at 3:43.
DUD
Before Lex can even celebrate, THE
GIANT
is behind him. Luger manages to dodge an avalanche, and Lex hits a
bunch of forearm shots. With the fans positively rabid now, Luger sees his
opportunity to take the wobbly Giant, and puts him in the Torture Rack!
Everyone is losing their collective shit, but don’t get TOO excited, because THE OUTSIDERS rush the ring. Luger
drops Giant – but the point has been made, he CAN put Giant in the Rack! The
wrestling was garbage, but none of it mattered because that whole segment was
super effective in giving the fans their Christmas Lexgasm.
MR. JL vs. REY MYSTERIO
JR.
Rey applies a hammerlock, but the mysterious JL gets to the ropes to
force a break. While Rey is snapping off a crisp headscissors takeover, Larry
is carrying on about the human game of chess. Rey hits the floor and dares JL
to attack; who promptly does like a MORON, missing his plancha and messing up
his knee. Mysterio nails a rana, and heads back into the ring while JL
recovers. He gets back in and tries to attack with a headbutt through the ropes,
but Rey sidesteps and kicks him before bouncing off the ropes with a guillotine
that gets 2! Rey goes for another rana, but this time JL blocks and hits a
powerbomb for 2. A second powerbomb attempt sees both Rey slip off the back,
and Larry say New World Odor. Springboard moonsault gets 2. JL comes back with
a backdrop suplex, but gets 2. JL complains about a slow count, and Larry
agrees with him, grumbling about 25 glorious years of 3 counts or something.
Rey comes off the top with a rana, and as JL hits the floor, a tope suicida is
RIGHT behind him and it’s as beautiful as any you’ll ever see, spearing JL
backwards to the guardrail hard. Rey sets up West Coast Pop, but JL sidesteps
and applies la majistral for 2! Rey lies around playing possum, and as soon as
JL hits the top, Rey’s on him with the swinging super rana for the pin at 5:59! The usual gold from Rey Jr., who
has easily become one of the 5 best workers in WCW at this point. ***
Rey gimps over to the announce booth, because he wants to talk to Tony
for some reason. Rey says that Sting hasn’t joined the nWo, that’s simply a
rumor started by the group itself. He saw something last week; when he jumped
on Sting’s back, Sting reacted like a normal human being (bingo!). It was
nothing like what Kevin Nash did to him in the summertime, or when Giant
chokeslammed him to the floor. Rey calls out to Sting, saying he knows he won’t
betray WCW, and asks Rey to replay the video from last week to prove he had no
interest in hurting him. Instead, WCW plays this again:
I mean, it ain’t Piper’s music video, but … just no.
Hour #2 brings us another $100,000 in fireworks, as well as MIKE TENAY and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN to join Schiavone. Larry slowly makes his way
back to Larryland to have another game of Human Chess with Arnold Palmer.
GLACIER (with the several
hundred years old helmet) vs. SERGEANT BUDDY LEE PARKER
Mike notes that Glacier’s father is a former State Patrol agent who
retired a couple of months ago. Lieutenant James Earl Wright?!? Could it be?
All the pieces fit! Would that make this a heel turn from Glacier, insisting on
fighting his father’s old partner? Or, is it more Mind Games from Eric
Bischoff, trying to create friction amongst the WCW ranks by booking this
match? Glacier does seem to be uneasy; he is wrestling without his trademark
blue hue, and completes his entrance in a personal record of 28 minutes. The
fans can sense that something is amiss here; a family feud turned ugly, and
they rightly boo the entire thing. Buddy shows great fight, kicking out of a
Cryonic Kick before succumbing to a second one at 2:32. A blizzard erupts in the arena post match; a metaphor to
Glacier’s cold, black heart. Or perhaps Sting got bored and started poking
holes in the roof. It can’t be easy sitting in the rafters waiting for someone
to mention his name. 1/2*
THE AMAZING FRENCH
CANADIANS (with Colonel Robert Parker) vs. THE PUBLIC ENEMY
The Canadians have created something of a hybrid Canada/Quebec flag, but
from a distance it looks like France has been invaded and re-established with
the crest of South Korea. The Canadians break into the National Anthem, which
cause Tony and Mike to guffaw that they’re making words up. No, you bloody
dimwits, they’re singing it in FRENCH, and doing a fine job of it! The Public
Enemy attack during the anthem because they do not appreciate French cultural staples
like the anthem, poutine, and chain smoking. The Canadians flatten them
quickly, and resume singing the National Anthem once again. Now that’s
dedication to your country! The Enemy break it up a second time, pulling their
tuques over their eyes, blinding nos saveurs! Les Ennemi public utilize un
“double punch”, et Rougeau se tombe a la plancher. Johnny Grunge lui mettre sur
un table, mais Ouellette arrete l’attaque. 12 years of French classes had to
pay off SOMEDAY. Rougeau locks a Quebec Crab on Grunge, and Ouellette drops a
leg off the top rope. As much as the Canadians generally annoy the piss out of
me, everything they do is in synch, something I wish more tag-teams would work
to adopt. Ouellette steals the table, and sets it up across the top buckle as a
diving board. They use it to assist with the Quebec Crash, but Rocco breaks it
up and then smashes the table over Ouellette’s face, getting DQed at 3:41. They hit the Drive By on Carl
anyway, the jerks. *1/2
BIG BUBBER vs. KONAN (with
Jimmy Hart)
Incredible, these two were able to put their difference aside LAST night
on Worldwide and work together like nothing had happened, and now Konan’s
swearing revenge for his Dungeon mates while Bubba crows about how much he
loves his new shirt. There’s really only one answer to what’s happening, and
it’s clear. Big Bubba has decided that the best way to infiltrate and overthrow
the nWo is to keep their enemies as close as possible. Secretly however, he is
still chumming around with his Dungeon pals, keeping them abreast of nWo
activity, only meeting them in places where he’ll never be seen, like the
Dungeon, or Worldwide. NICK PATRICK
is assigned to this match for the first time in about 2 months, and his neck
has fully recovered! Bubba chases Hart around the outside, forgetting about
Konan, who hits him with a tope suicida. Bubba gets thrown shoulder first into
the ringsteps, because he’s so Raza. Patrick’s 10 count takes about an hour,
and Bubba manages to get back in the ring. Konan goes to strike, but Patrick
grabs his shoulder to stop him, and Bubba gets in his shots. Patrick feels
AWFUL about this injustice, and goes to explain to Jimmy Hart what happened
while Bubba chokes Konan out with a Hulk Hogan bandana. Konan is tossed to the
outside, and Patrick, looking to make up for his earlier slow count that Konan
complained about, counts at lightning speed. Konan beats the count, and Bubba
punches him in the face. Bubba chokes Konan for an eternity, with Patrick
warning him repeatedly that this is not ok. Bubba apologizes profusely; “I know
referee, I’m sorry!”, while never releasing the hold. Bubba “trips” while
bouncing off the ropes, blaming Hart. Hart swears he never touched him, but he
has no credibility, and Patrick gives him the heave-ho. Konan’s livid at this
injustice, and pounds on Bubba’s head. Konan throws him over the top, and is
promptly disqualified at 5:39. Konan
freaks out and goes to kick Patrick’s ass, but Bubba pulls Nick out of the ring
and drags him to the back. 1/2*
DEAN MALENKO vs. “LORD”
STEVEN REGAL (for the WCW world television title)
Malenko has a chance to take dual gold here, which I’m sure the Ultimo
Dragon would appreciate, since that might give him a crack at as many as 10
belts on Sunday. These show off as much chain wrestling as they can muster
before SONNY ONOO and his
stereotypical camera come down to ringside. The referee chases him off, and
Regal uses the brief distraction to use some illegal SHOOTER holds. Really now?
The fans have no tolerance for this vile behavior, and chant “USA”. Of course,
Malenko would tear his own mother’s leg off if it meant getting him one step
closer to a win, so they’re a little hypocritical here. Malenko tries to avoid
a move off a whip, hooking the ropes, but Regal anticipated it, holds back, and
moves in with a European uppercut. Malenko gets to his feet, and takes a chop
block. However, Malenko fights off a submission attempt, and goes for the
Cloverleaf. Regal hits the ropes, and pokes Dean in the eyes. A butterfly
suplex gets 2. Dean manages a go-behind, and hits a nice release German suplex
(complete with Regal’s eyes bugging out when he realizes what’s coming), and
the brainbuster connects as time runs out at 9:32, the designated time limit tonight. **
RICK STEINER (with Scott
Steiner) vs. JEFF JARRETT
Rick jumps on Jarrett off the bell, and tries to rip his face apart
while mounted from behind. The fans quickly chose their side; chanting loud,
and united, for Sting. Steiner drops an elbow, but Jarrett quickly comes back
with a boot to the face and dropkick. Rick has no time for these elementary
games, and suplexes Jarrett over his head. The fans suddenly pop HUGE, and then
burst into boos, because it’s clear we aren’t being treated to Sting, but the NWO STING. He goes for a Deathdrop on
Jarrett, but Steiner delivers a Steinerline, and Jarrett is counted as the
winner by pinning Sting at 2:24?!?
What the bloody fuck is this crap? The announcers are dumber than the fans, and
head to commercial asking if it was the real Sting or the fake Sting.
Main event time, and we’re once again treated to HOLLYWOOD HOGAN, this time all by himself. He’s in a mood to gloat,
because he claims to have received a Western Union letter from Piper, in which
Piper admitted Hogan’s an icon, greater than he ever dreamed he could be … and
the bagpipes fire up. But it’s not the Hot Rod, it’s UNCLE ERIC PIPER, dressed in a kilt and a yellow Hulkamania shirt.
“Piper” admits he had no business fighting him at Wrestlemania 1, and between
his 6 kids and a ranch he can’t afford, if Hogan ends his career, he’ll be
ruined. NICK PATRICK is beckoned to
the ring, and Eric begs Hogan to pin him and get it over with. Hogan is counted
the winner at 0:03. As Bischoff bows
at Hogan’s feet, a TROOP OF BAGPIPERS
come marching out of the back, and down to the ringside area. Then, like the
red sea at the hand of Moses, they part, making way for RODDY PIPER. He makes a beeline for Hogan, who throws punches that
Piper completely no-sells. Piper dishes it back, but now M. WALLSTREET and BIG BUBBER
hit the ring to restrain him. More NWO
MEMBERS
are right behind, as the camera pans to the ceiling, to find STING looking on at the chaos. Hogan
starts whipping Piper with his weightlifting belt, bringing SECURITY led by DOUG DILLINGER to break this up and save Piper.

Saturday Night is a recap of the year, so we’re going to skip right to
Worldwide, and then finally to Starrcade, where we’ll close out the year. Will
Piper emerge as the new WCW world champion? It hasn’t been promoted as a
championship match to date, but between the fact Hogan parades the belt around
in every segment and the fact he hasn’t defended it since Halloween Havoc, it
would seemingly be the case. Will the Ultimate Dragon claim his 9th
Cruiserweight title? Will we finally solve the months long mystery of Fit
Finlay’s disappearance and murder in Europe? In the words of the Macho Man, the
beat rolls on.

WCW Worldwide: December 22, 1996

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

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

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

WCW Saturday Night: December 21, 1996

Starrcade is a week away, and the top babyface, the person drawing the most pops on a consistent basis is … Sting, who is not booked to work. On the plus side, top contender Roddy Piper did NOT appear on Nitro this past week, and the show was among the best they’ve done in quite some time. I choose to believe this is just a shocking coincidence, yes sir.
Meanwhile, in the Cyborg Factory, DUSTY RHODES is dressed like a human marshmallow. He vows to analyze the Sting situation, which is “stealing thunder” from Roddy Piper. You’re kidding? A compelling storyline with a beloved superstar is getting all the attention? Perish the thought. Oh yes, TONY SCHIAVONE is here too.

JEFF JARRETT vs. REX KING
I see we’re wasting absolutely no time in making zero effort tonight. Maybe I’ll mail it in TOO then, WCW. (Spoiler: Always intended to.) King misses an enzuigiri because Jarrett is just soooo much smarter than the rest of us. King does effectively use the backslide for 2, and even gets in a monkey flip for another 2. That’s pretty much a career highlight for Rex King, and he has nothing left to prove tonight. Jarrett correctly analyzes that King has won his Superbowl, and drops a knee on his face. Tony accidentally calls Dusty “Brain”, which goes over as well with Dusty as the idea of doing a job in the mid 80’s. A chop block sets up the Figure Four, and Jarrett wins at 4:27. *
Gene have gotten into the egg nog, because LEE MARSHALL is designated to talk to Jarrett. Jarrett calls out Sting, because he’s got a death wish. He tells Sting he should have been the leader of WCW, but since he’s a crybaby, Jarrett decided to take the ball himself. Meanwhile, he doesn’t care much for Chris Benoit either, who he blames for splitting up the Horsemen due to his unstoppable erection. The unstoppable erection would make for a killer finishing move, as well as a required emergency room visit 4 hours later.
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. BUNKHOUSE BUCK
Buck stops to fight with a Stunt Granny on the way to the ring. I didn’t catch the wink to know she’s ok, but that’s probably because they’re all such compelling pros who know how to keep a secret. Tony angrily talks about the mixed signals he’s getting from Sting, sounding like the guy at work who’s perennially stuck in the friend zone with every girl he meets. Page pancakes Buck, and finishes with the Diamond Cutter at 3:38. DUD
LEE MARSHALL stops to answer some unanswered questions with DDP. What the hell? Page has been completely transparent, it’s his gimmick! Marshall demands that Page not “swerve” him, asking him if he’s an nWo member. Page asks him if he ever listens? He doesn’t need Hall, or Nash, or anyone else, he’s fine by himself. Regarding the US title, he doesn’t care who he faces, one Diamond Cutter and it’s all over.
“SQUIRE” DAVID TAYLOR vs. THE GAMBLER
The Gambler has adopted a very dapper look tonight. He cleans up real nice.
This is like trying to choose your favorite child. Deep down, you know who it is (sorry Gambler), but you can’t show it publically. Gambler clotheslines Taylor to the floor, who is so shocked by this display of energy from a jobber that his eyes look like that guy who saw the Undertaker lose at Wrestlemania. He manages to sneak back into the ring undetected, and dropkicks Gambler to the floor. Taylor follows right behind, and gets whipped into the guardrail. Good aggression from our favorite card player. They head back in, and Taylor hits a European uppercut. There’s probably no coming back from that, sorry. A second and third European uppercut should effectively seal his fate. The fallaway slam gets the pinfall at 2:55. Taylor makes a rare trip to the pay windah, and I like to think he brawls with the cashier for refusing his request to be paid in pounds. ****1/2
WCW takes us Up Close with Madusa! She talks about her training in Japan, including her secret sessions in learning all sorts of ancient techniques. Wait a sec, is this a recycled Glacier teaser?
Are you entirely far too uncomfortable re-living Benoit and Sullivan week after week? Good news, a 3 minute video package airs as a “recap” dedicated to them, followed by re-showing the latest home video from Nitro.
If THAT isn’t enough, we have a new video from the lovers in Germany. Drunk off their asses, they carry each other back to an elevator, where they presumably make their way to the honeymoon suite, and Benoit spends the rest of the night swearing that this never happens but the alcohol has slowed his response system. Benoit bids goodnight to Kevin Sullivan, and to “Mrs. Calabash” to further confuse us. But that’s why I’m here, to clear things up for you. Mrs. Calabash is, of course, secret code for female wrestler Zero. That should tie up any loose ends and answer all the questions you might have had.
MARK STARR vs. DEAN MALENKO (in a non-title match)
Starr was unable to secure a Cruiserweight title shot because he recently turned his back on the union to branch out on his own. He’s also about 100 pounds too heavy, but that wouldn’t have stopped them from filing a grievance had he not traded in his construction hat. Dusty notes that Malenko is often an emotionless killer, “stone cold” if you weel. The Tampa Rattlesnake scissors Starr’s throat, and uses the ropes for leverage. Starr escapes and gets a little momentum, but Malenko stops that dead with a crossbody. Starr nearly scores an upset off a backslide, but Dean comes right back with a backdrop suplex. Texas Cloverleaf finishes at 5:50. STONE COLD! STONE COLD! 1/2*
SONNY ONOO and LEE MARSHALL have a tete-a-tete. Sonny figures Starrcade will be a piece of cake for the Dragon, since he has 8 belts and Malenko only has 1. Regarding Chono, Sonny promises to bring in another Japanese wrestler to seek revenge for disgracing his family. I hope it’s the Super Giant Ninja.
SCOTT NORTON vs. SERGEANT BUDDY LEE PARKER
Norton is debuting his lovely new nWo t-shirt, as the most recent addition to the clique. Also here is DOCTOR X, who will be refereeing this one impartially under his nWo shirt. Say, what happened to Nick Patrick? We haven’t seen him in weeks. Norton beats up Parker long before they ever get to the ring, and Doctor X lectures the Sarge for being silly enough to allow it to happen. The Sarge gets into the ring eventually, and threatens to punch Norton, but the referee throws himself in front just long enough for Norton to clothesline Parker. A DDT sets up a vicious (and delicious) powerbomb, and the shoulderbreaker scores the win for Norton at some undetermined time cuz we never rang a bell. DUD
LEE MARSHALL welcomes “LORD” STEVEN REGAL and his TV title; the only heavyweight champion still under the WCW banner. Regal thanks Marshall for being the only one to recognize this fact, and challenges anyone, nWo or not, to give it their best shot. Regal says he’s been trying to get Hogan in the ring for over two and a half years, and he’s happy that Piper’s going to get a piece of him since they’re wired the same way. With that in mind, he’d like to turn Roddy from Rowdy to Vegetable in 5 minutes. I wonder if Regal would like to have my babies?
DISCO INFERNO storms the ring, carrying a mysterious video tape! He should hand it to Tony Schiavone, he’ll play ANYTHING! Apparently, this tape proves that Disco’s an embarrassment and a disgrace. However, he’s since been taught via his uncle Guido the “leg hold” they put on people who don’t pay their debts, and he’ll be putting it on Eddie Guerrero tonight.
DISCO INFERNO vs. EDDIE GUERRERO
It’s kind of shocking WCW didn’t have the foresight to add Disco to the nWo at this point, since it would have totally been within his character to leech off the big boys. Granted, the group probably didn’t want the “uncool” stink of having a jobber amongst them, but that doesn’t explain Marcus Bagwell, Vincent, Scott Norton, or the Bossman. Eddie hits Disco with a spinning heel kick, and is quickly on him with a slingshot senton for 2. They mess up something, and Disco awkwardly falls backwards, so Eddie livens things up with a European uppercut. Disco can’t keep up with Eddie, walking into an armdrag while trying to catch him. Disco punches Eddie in the mush, and gets a 2 count. A beatdown in the corner ensues, but Eddie uses it to fire himself up, and beats the tar out of Disco for even trying to get one over on him. Eddie misses a dropkick in his rage, and Disco goes for his leglock thing, but he can’t figure out how it works. Hah! Eddie shoves him off easily, and dropkicks him in the chest. Frog splash finishes at 4:45. **
COLONEL ROBERT PARKER has bumped into LEE MARSHALL. Lee tries to show off his French chops, but he’d be wiser sticking to telling kids to eat their cereal because it’s grreeeeeat. Parker goes over his resume; he took Slater and Buck to the tag-team titles, as well as Harlem Heat multiple times. The French Canadians are next, and the nWo best watch out. Lee asks about the Steiners, but the Colonel laughs them off. Apparently Scotty’s been faking his injury as a means to avoid the French Canadians. That seems legit, I have no reason to doubt Parker.
M. WALLSTREET vs. BOBBY EATON
Wallstreet makes his nWo debut here, and DOCTOR X has been assigned to referee this one as well. Tony: “Mr. Wallstreet is going to win.” Dusty feels like Eaton might be able to steal a victory when he’s not supposed to, and that the “guy in the mask” is the key to victory. What the HELL is Dusty babbling about? Eaton armdrags Wallstreet to the outside, and gets admonished by the Doctor for his lack of scruples. During his long lecture, Wallstreet has fully recovered, and wastes little time throwing Eaton face first to the buckle. Eaton fights back, but Doctor X feels those fists were closed, and orders Bobby to start playing by the rules. Eaton swears he didn’t, so X asks Wallstreet who confirms the closed fist story. Eaton nails a shoulderblock, but Wallstreet calls a timeout. X grants it, and Eaton is denied the right to follow up his attack. Once recovered, Eaton quickly hits another shoulderblock, and he’s immediately given a warning for illegal use of the elbow. Wallstreet reaches into his pocket, and punches Eaton in the face with a chain. Bobby rolls to the apron, and tries telling the referee who simply doesn’t believe such a thing could be occurring. Eaton, realizing he’s fighting for his life now, hits a swinging neckbreaker, which is about a 9-count, but it only gets 2 from Doctor X, who’s a little slow. Wallstreet shoves Eaton into the referee, who casts him a cold look for the bump, before tripping Bobby up, right into an Oklahoma roll for the win at 5:41. Something tells me this is going to get real old, real quick.
Because we haven’t had enough nWo overkill, the nWo Saturday Night segment still exists. This week:
ALAN STORM
Height: 6’4”
Weight: A stout 273
Fist: 16”
Hometown: Mudlik, KY
Pro Record: 1st & Final
Achievements: Scout Medal of Honor – Local Den #29
MARCUS BAGWELL works as the ring announcer for this one. DOCTOR X is assigned referee duties, while ERIC BISCHOFF and TED DIBIASE take over commentary.
ALAN STORM vs. THE OUTSIDERS (for the WCW world tag-team titles)
Bischoff notes Storm’s lack of good sense to enter this match, but that more or less applies to anyone who appears in these segments, Pat Tanaka included. Hall launches Storm with a fallaway slam, and Nash gives him the snake eyes. Locked in a full nelson, Hall pokes Storm in the eyes anyway. Alan is given a superplex because why not, and Nash gives him the big boot. The Jackknife powerbomb finishes things at 3:26. Doctor X drops down on Storm, which is sold as the referee checking on him to see if he’s ok. Bischoff: “I think he’s got something stuck in his throat!” DiBiase: “Yes, it’s the referee’s elbow.”
LEE MARSHALL gives a pro-WCW rally cry, none more so than his next guest which is … who the hell IS that? Some enormous guy in a cowboy get up wants a piece of Lex Luger for some reason, and Lee books them on Monday. Is Lee ALLOWED to do that?
JIM POWERS (with Teddy Long) vs. LEX LUGER
Powers is completely exposed next to Luger, who towers over him, with a fraction of the body fat, and twice the muscle. Sorry Jimbo. Powers tries to hold his own, but even his clotheslines are awful, and those are the one thing Luger really excels at. Lex nails a backdrop suplex, and starts with his crisp clotheslines for 2. Powers comes back with a running kneelift, but it doesn’t matter because he misses a dropkick and finds himself locked in the Rack for the Luger win at 3:24. Didn’t even break a sweat. 1/2*

Time is short, because Tony wishes us a Merry Christmas and ushers us out the door faster than David Sammartino’s WCW career.

WWE RAW: December 29, 2014

Oh hi, I’m the WCW guy. Andy PG won’t be here tonight due to
a medical issue. (I don’t wish to start rumors, but I hear he got a new TV for
Christmas and when he removed the old one it BLEW UP IN HIS FACE!) As a result,
you and I are going to forge some sort of unholy alliance to get us through the
next 3 hours.
I haven’t seen any of tonight’s previews, but I heard
through the grapevine we’ll be treated to a number of matches we have seen many
times before, and will see many times again. Also, after months of teasing
separation, will Dean Ambrose’s tongue officially take on a life of its own and
start a solo push?
I’d love to speculate all night but the show is starting.

Oh cool, we’re getting an Edge montage reliving his
retirement from nearly 4 years ago, a stark reminder we’re all getting really
old. The good news is, he’s back tonight with Christian. The bad news is, they
now totally reek of mothballs.
There’s no point in wasting any more time, as EDGE and CHRISTIAN head down to the
ring. Believe it or not, they’re actually my favorite tag-team of all time
(please don’t tell the Faces of Fear!!!). Christian promises a Peep Show for
later tonight, but the host of the Cutting Edge takes issue with this. However,
because they’re friends this week, they settle on the Cutting Edge Peep Show,
which gets a mild reaction. Seth Rollins will be our guest, before he wrestles
Roman Reigns later tonight. Christian hypes Rusev vs Dolph Ziggler, and they’ll
both be completely naked! Ok, it turns out that last part is a lie. Edge tells
Christian nobody wants to see that (which is NOT true, I’d thoroughly enjoy
watching every sponsor simultaneously drop the WWE on account on Dolph’s new
finishing move – Flapping in the Wind.) Also, Daniel Bryan is here. We wrap
things up with a 5 Second Pose, but just as we prep for the benefit of those
with Flash Photography, BROCK LESNAR
and PAUL HEYMAN interrupt. This
probably doesn’t bode well for soon to be sacrificial lamb Christian.
Heyman asks why a couple of lads with neck and concussion
problems would come swimming alongside the shark that is Brock Lesnar. Heyman
reminds us that both guys are a step away from being in a wheelchair, so Brock
won’t be hurting either of them since their careers are already over. Instead,
he’d rather destroy the virgin neck of JOHN
CENA
, who is the wrestling equivalent of Beetlejuice; arriving immediately
on the 3rd mention of his name. Cena gives us his 2015 resolution;
to take the belt off of Brock Lesnar. I was betting on a 21-day juicing
cleanse, I’m out $20. They almost come to blows, but you aren’t paying $9.99
for this, so no fighting for you. But what of my 5 second pose?
We are LIVE from Washington, DC, as evidenced by these shots
of the White House!
DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. THE
BULGARIAN FRUIT (with Katy Perry) (in a non-titles match)
The fans bust out a “USA” chant, in the hopes of sending
that pesky Bulgarian back to Mother Russia with their united racism disguised
as patriotism. Rusev beats down Ziggler, and puts him in a half nelson lock.
Ziggler escapes with a jawbreaker, and stalls the monster with a dropkick and
DDT combo that gets a quick 2. Off to commercial, lest Ziggler’s momentum
excite you.
Back live, the momentum has shifted, as has Rusev’s hair. The
post-coital Ron Jeremy is a fantastic look. Ziggler hits another jawbreaker, so
Rusev hulks up. Ziggler heads to the top rope, and leaps into the awaiting arms
of his beefy ring-mate. He escapes the fallaway slam by landing on his feet (a
fantastic metaphor for all you young wrestlers facing adversity), and nails a
missile dropkick. Rusev tries the superkick, but Ziggler ducks and hits the
Rocker Dropper for 2.  The Zig Zag is set
up, but Rusev shoves him away. Blind avalanche misses, and Ziggler quickly hits
a superkick for 2. Next Shawn Michaels my ass. The Zig Zag is blocked with the
ropes, and Rusev kicks Ziggler in the kneecaps. After a quick meeting of
shoulder and ring post, Rusev stomps away in the corner, where he’s promptly
disqualified at 10:07. So wait, we’re
disqualifying guys in 2014 for using what was essentially Steve Austin’s
opening act? Rusev applies the Steiner Recliner anyway, cuz nobody tells him
what to do. **1/2
RYBACK has seen
all he can stands, and he can stands no more, and heads right for Rusev. One
Meathook knocks the mad Bulgarian to the outside, where he grabs his flag and
calls it a night. Ryback leads the fans in a “FEED ME MORE” chant and promptly
takes 15 years off their lives.
Your hosts are MICHAEL
COLE
, JERRY “THE KING” LAWLER,
and “JOHN” BRADSHAW “LAYFIELD”.
Lawler is sporting a custom made Ugly Christmas Sweater. I’m looking forward to
the eventual reveal that Lawler died in 2003 and the last 11 years have been a Weekend
At Bernies rib that just carried on far too long, like the Anonymous GM, or Triple
H as “the prodigy”.
Back from a quick break, Ryback is still here, and he has
the STICK! He talks about his first live event when he was 12 years old. He
somehow got the gig of being the guest bell keeper, and it was at that point he
knew he wanted to be a wrestler someday. Then, he appeared as a contestant on
Tough Enough in 2004 as “The Silverback” Ryan Reeves. Here’s footage to prove
it (holy crap, he ain’t kidding!). When he was eliminated from the competition,
he fell into a depression and took a job at a BBQ place in Louisville, KY,
working 12 hours a day. Sorry, as a smoking enthusiast, that sounds all kinds
of awesome.  He spent his long lonely
nights eyeballing his Wrestlemania DVDs as a reminder of what he lost. But, on
one fateful day, he read “The Secret”, a book on positivity, and once he
changed his thinking, he got a second chance with the WWE. In 2010, he
re-arrived as Skip Sheffield, a member of the Nexus, and was on top of the
world until he broke his leg a couple of weeks later. He shows off his scar to
the cameras (which is COMPLETELY unnecessary in the HD era!). He refused to
listen to the doctors who told him he was done, and he returned as the man he
always had deep inside of himself … Bill Goldberg Ryback. That takes us
to today, where he sees all the negativity Rusev brings, and he’s going to kick
his ass and turn it into a positive. Or something. Trying to tie his life into
Rusev was a little weak, but the rest was good stuff, and the kind of
background stuff I wish we’d see more of.
NIKKI BELLA (with
Brie Bella) vs. NATTIE NEIDHART (with Tyson Kidd) (in a non-title match)
Nikki is knocked off the apron right off the bell, and we
get right into the Sportz Entertainment as she falls in the arms of Tyson Kidd
who seems to dig it. This causes some sort of distraction with Nattie, who
falls prey to the Rack Attack at 1:07.
This went about 1:08 too long. DUD
Backstage, TEAM
MIZDOW
rub their collective titles like a fine set of nipples. And,
speaking of nipples, NAOMI wanders
in to thank Miz for getting her a shot at producing music. She promises to show
how much she appreciates it, and wishes him luck in his match against the Uso
Brothers tonight. I thought we’d moved past the “Women are easily manipulated
sluts” era, but apparently the PG rating has taken us back to the stone-age.
I made the mistake of looking at the clock and I realized
only 1 hour is behind us. It’s gonna be a long night.
THE USOS vs. THE MIZ
& DAMIEN MIZDOW (for the WWE world tag-team titles)
Backstage, NAOMI
is watching this on a MONITOR! WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!? Miz starts with Jimmy,
and gets his ass kicked so that Mizdow can showcase his shtick of selling
alongside his buddy. Full disclosure: I abhor this gimmick. I like some
semblance of suspension of disbelief, and this ain’t it. But alas, it’s over,
so we’re going to beat it into the ground. On queue, the fans chant for Mizdow,
who sells an atomic drop with his best method acting, and throws himself out of
the ring when Miz suffers the same. As the tag-team champions appear to be in
peril, we take a commercial break.
Upon return, Miz has regained control, and cock-teases a
Sandow tag. His decision not to turn to his buddy turns out to be a poor one,
as Jimmy does a number on Miz, and tosses Sandow to the outside when he rushes
to save his partner. Uso Crazy connects, but back in, Miz gets a quick DDT for
2. Miz goes for a Figure Four, but is shoved off and given an uppercut. Whisper
in the Wind gets 2. Miz turns things around, and gets the Figure Four applied
this time – and the fans show the requisite respect to Ric Flair; still The Man
after all these years. Jimmy makes the ropes, and ties Miz up in the Tequila
Sunrise. Sandow saves the day, but Jey hits the ring. Miz spies him, and throws
Sandow in the way to eat the Superkick. Jey delivers one to Miz anyway, and
heads up for the Superfly Splash. Miz blocks with the knees, and hits the Skull
Crushing Finale … for 2! The fans start a “THIS IS AWESOME” chant, but I haven’t
a clue why. Jimmy gets the tag, and the Usos hit duelling superkicks. How Sweet
It Is connects, and Jimmy scores the pin at 13:03 to start their second tag-team title reign. Naomi runs down
and jumps into her man’s arms in delight. ***
JERRY LAWLER hits
the ring to quickly remind us why we’re in dire need of a real backstage
interviewer. The Usos have big plans; they’re going to JR’s BBQ. Lawler
attempts a Johnny Manziel joke which falls flat. Regarding Naomi’s relationship
with the Miz: It was a SWERVE! Oh.
After a break, CESARO
has hit the ring, and is sulking in the corner with a towel over his head.
Cesaro reminds us that he won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at
Wrestlemania, which should have been the start of “his year”. Instead, he’s
being told he doesn’t connect with the audience. He agrees; because he has no
interest in connecting with anyone. He doesn’t need gimmicks, because he’s the
best wrestler in the world. He issues an open challenge for anyone to prove him
wrong.
CESARO vs. “BAD NEWS”
BARRETT
Barrett’s return comes with bad news: That Cesaro will be
connecting alright. His head, with the Bullhammer. I know what you’re thinking,
and I agree; I was hoping for Sid too. Barrett knocks Cesaro to the floor, and
follows behind. Cesaro hits a European uppercut, and rolls BNB back into the
ring, getting 2 off a top rope axehandle. Cesaro tries the rolling Germans, but
only gets 1 before Barrett wriggles loose. A boot to the head from Barrett gets
2. The pumphandle slam doesn’t work, and Cesaro catches Barrett with the Swing.
He only goes a handful of rotations, before releasing and moving to a half
crab. Lawler calls BNB “Wade”, which is probably going to cost him his
paycheque this week. Barrett gets the ropes, and a thumb to the eye sets up the
Bullhammer for the win at 3:40. Not
a good night for Cesaro, I assume it’s because he’s too Swiss. *
Elsewhere, LUKE
HARPER
bemoans the fact he’s been cast aside like trash. He reminds whoever
he’s talking to that he’s a product of “your” environment, a social pariah.
Dammit Luke, less talk, more ass kicking.
The Ascension is coming! Tonight!
JACK SWAGGER vs. LUKE
HARPER
Harper makes fun of the “We the People” nonsense, with a
series of unintelligible grunts. A throat punch staggers Swagger, and Luke then
steps on his face for good measure. The fans are SILENT here. If anyone in
attendance farts, the Universe is gonna know about it. A dropkick gets a quick
2 for Harper. Harper works a front facelock, but Swagger escapes and dumps
Harper to the floor. After a quick “We the People”, we head to commercial.
We’re back, with Swagger trapped in a chinlock. Swagger
escapes, and takes a big boot to the face for his effort, getting 2. Gator roll
goes nowhere, and Swagger starts his comeback. A boot catches Luke off guard,
and a clothesline gets 2. A 3 point stance sets up a powerslam, but Harper
kicks out at 2. Harper tries for a powerbomb, but Swagger fights it and
escapes. The Patriot Lock is blocked, and Harper nails a superkick for 2. Swagger
is able to go for the Patriot Lock a second time, but Harper makes the ropes
immediately. Swagger Bomb is blocked with a kick to the face, and the
Clothesline from Smell scores the win for Harper at 9:45. Luke is one of those guys who needs a steady stream of
jobbers fed to him. He’s not a character meant for long competitive matches,
even if he’s got the goods, because the fans just aren’t buying it. This one
died a long, painful death. *1/2
Backstage, JOHN CENA,
EDGE, and CHRISTIAN relive old times. John Cena yuks it up about the first
time Edge cashed in the MITB contract, after Cena had wrestled 45 minutes in
the Elimination Chamber. Edge chums up to his new buddy about the time Cena
tossed him in the most polluted lake in the USA. Things get a little awkward
when they start reminding each other about the times they beat each other in
their hometowns, except Christian who’s wearing a shit eating grin from ear to
ear. In fact, he brings up the time Edge went to Cena’s father’s house and
slapped him around. Sensing he might have gone too far (judging by the fact
Cena’s put the death glare on him), Christian quickly makes his exit. Cena’s
cool though, and he thanks Edge for making him a better performer, and for
being a decent human being.
ROMAN REIGNS vs. SETH
ROLLINS (with Jamie Knoble and Joey Matthews)
THE BIG SHOW
joins the commentary team, turning face, then heel, then face again, before
settling on heel, all in the span of 18 seconds. This is of course the blow-off
to Roman’s big injury; silly that it’s not happening on PPV, even if they go
with a shmoz. And, they start by wrestling your standard WWE match, with Reigns
wringing the arm and throwing Rollins into the buckle from a hammerlock
position. You’d THINK Roman would have a little more intensity considering this
guy tried to commit homicide and all. They slowly head to the floor, and don’t
really do much. Back in, Rollins punches Reigns in the back of the head to get
control, and stomps him down. Reigns comes back with a schoolboy, but he then
picks up Rollins right through the move for a chokeslam! Reigns takes this time
to scare off the Stooges, and then hits a dropkick from the floor, to Rollins’
face who is hung through the ropes. However, during the replay, Rollins does
something we aren’t privy to, and as he takes control, we take a commercial
break.
Apparently, Rollins has “completely taken over this match”,
and is working a chinlock. Roman shows a little fight, but a chop block stops
that quickly. Rollins drops a knee, and applies a rear chinlock as Roman takes
a nap. Reigns stands up eventually, and fights out, but Rollins gives him a
drop toe hold face first to the buckle. Seth starts to get cocky and stalls way
too long, letting Reigns recover and hit a tilt-a-whirl slam to even the
playing field. Both guys slowly stand and go into the Rocky and Apollo routine.
Reigns nails a backdrop suplex for 2, and seems to have the momentum now.
Rollins senses this too, and throws a couple of back elbows. A kick is blocked
by Reigns, but Rollins still manages an enzuigiri for 2! Rollins doesn’t stop,
hitting a lightning fast superkick, scoring another 2. Rollins spends a half
hour telegraphing the Curb Stomp, so Roman is able to avoid it easily. Rollins
misses a leap off the top, and walks right into the Superman Punch. The spear
is eminent, and Big Show senses it too, pulling Reigns to the outside for a DQ
at 16:14. Big Show tosses Reigns
like a garbage bag right over the Spanish announce table, and then tips the
table over on top of him, burying our hero. ***
Rollins heads backstage with the Stooges, and decides he’s
going to invite John Cena to the Cutting Edge Peep Show for a toast later
tonight.
BRAY WYATT is
sitting in the back of an ambulance. Why? Because an Ambulance match has just
been booked against Dean Ambrose, for next week. Wyatt figures the concept is
ridiculous since Ambrose is already dead, and he owns Dean’s soul.
Meanwhile, RON TRUTH
and DANIEL BRYAN are sharing a
private moment. THE USOS are
voyeuristically hanging out nearby, but Daniel’s cool like that and gives them
props.
After a quick break, DANIEL
BRYAN
makes his live return, allegedly armed with a big announcement
tonight. If you want to talk about it, you can use the hashtag yesyesyes, or
you can try talking like a regular human being. Bryan sucks up to the locals,
and thanks them for believing in a B-Plus player, allowing him to main event a
Wrestlemania. A couple days later he married his wife, and had the greatest
week of his life. From there, shit got real, because his dad passed away, and
he wasn’t there because he was wrestling. A month later, he suffered an injury,
and nobody was able to figure out what was wrong. He’s spoken with Edge, who
suffered a career ending injury, because he’s at a crossroads with his life and
career. And he’s decided that NO, it’s not over. His announcement: He’s in the
2015 Royal Rumble! The fans are lead in a loud “YES” chant.
Queue the Roman Reigns backlash in t-minus 27 days and
counting. I don’t feel that the Bryan movement is anywhere near as strong as it
was last year, but they’re in real trouble if they don’t think they’re angling
for a repeat. It’s going to take some tight booking to make the fans want to
want Roman.
Elsewhere, EDGE and CHRISTIAN have been reunited with
their Kazoos. MIZ and DAMIEN MIZDOW aren’t amused, so they
try to appease them by playing their music instead. Miz sarcastically offers to
set Christian up with his agent, and Christian offers to set him up with a
breath mint. Miz wants a rematch with the Usos tonight for the belts, but Edge
declines. He does, however, have something special planned for Miz, upcoming next.
THE MIZ and DAMIEN
MIZDOW vs. THE ASCENSION
This is my first viewing of the Ascension (don’t judge me!),
and I’m delighted to see some new faces on the show. Mizdow is double teamed
with shoulderblocks early, but manages to kick Victor in the face. A
clothesline does little, because Victor quickly gives one right back. The Fall
of Man (Total Elimination variation) finishes things fast at 1:16. They’re really going to force me
to watch NXT so I can actually see if they’re any good, aren’t they? 1/2*
EDGE and CHRISTIAN are out for the main event
Cutting Edge Peep Show. Unfortunately, their Year 2000 shtick is absolutely
lost on this group, who are sitting on their thumbs quietly, watching a couple
of old dudes who just aren’t connecting with them anymore. SETH ROLLINS, JAMIE KNOBLE,
and JOEY MERCURY come down to the
ring, armed with champagne and flutes. Rollins calls E&C a couple of his
heroes because they ushered in the era of high impact wrestling. Edge thinks
Rollins is full of it, and finds his comments condescending. Seth reflects on
his accomplishments of the year, but E&C smack him down with a number of
superstars who performed at just as high a level (including the Reverend
Slick!). Rollins ignores them, and introduces his new best friend THE BIG SHOW. Before he starts his
toast, he also wants to welcome John Cena (who promptly fails to show up). Edge
laughs at him, but Rollins doesn’t care because he’s still better than Edge.
Edge: “You couldn’t be better than me if you had a live sex celebration with
the big goiter here.” Rollins finally admits he doesn’t want to toast John
Cena, he actually has something he wants. He orders Cena to get his ass to the
ring, lest he force his hand. And with that, he smacks Christian with the
briefcase. Edge gets all up his grill, but he quickly realizes he’s surrounded
and in big trouble. Show goozles him, and forces Edge’s head to the mat,
setting him up for a Curb Stomp on the briefcase. Rollins gives Cena one last
chance to save Edge from paralysis. That’s all JOHN CENA needs, running down even without his entrance music.
Rollins orders Cena to stay put, because if he attacks, Edge is getting his
neck broken. Rollins wants the one thing Cena can give him, the one wish only
he can grant. He wants the Authority back. Cena tucks his tail, and agrees to
bring back the Authority. Rollins celebrates with a fantastic movie villain
scream, and then decides “I’m gonna kill him anyway”. Cena dives into the ring
and saves Edge now (why couldn’t he have just done that from the start?), and
winds up taking a Knockout Punch quickly. With Cena down, he eats a Curb Stomp,
but Edge is spared.
The heel contingency celebrates on their way up the ramp,
not seeing BROCK LESNAR and PAUL HEYMAN appear behind them. It’s
all good however, because it’s handshakes all around. We have one more appearance
however, as TRIPLE H and STEPHANIE MCMAHON emerge from behind
the curtain, carrying champagne and celebrating like Dusty Rhodes during a
clubberin’.
I have no idea how the regulars do this week in and week out
– but god bless ‘em.

NEXT WEEK: Chris returns to playing Sports Trivia at a
nearby bar, while Andy takes his show back.

WCW Nitro: December 16, 1996

I hope everyone has had a fantastic holiday season. I’m back after a quick road trip with my wife, where we shuffled on over to the North Pole, and met Santa Claus. The original plan was to see Mick Foley’s favorite, Santa’s Village in New Hampshire, but unfortunately they shut down during the holiday season (what the heck?). Nevertheless, it was a wonderful getaway, where I was able to forget about things like Work, and whether or not Glacier Is Coming.
With 3 days left in the year, will I meet my goal of getting the entire WCW 1996 run completed before then? 8 shows, including a PPV? I may never sleep again!
TONY SCHIAVONE is shrieking like a giddy school girl, LIVE from Pensacola, Florida, one of the 30 largest cities in the great state of Florida! LARRY ZBYSZKO sits nearby, but is interrupted before he can say anything of significance (which may have taken another 25 glorious years).
ERIC BISCHOFFTED DIBIASE, and VINCENT kick the announcers out of the booth. Bischoff tells them that they are done for the night, sitting in their seats. Larry refuses to move, telling them that they’re not enough to make him go. DiBiase removes his headset anyway, and Larry promptly does nothing as Vincent walks him away. You show ‘em Larry!

They replay Piper’s segment from last week, because that’s what we do now. Sting vs Rick Steiner is announced for later tonight. Again.
PSYCHOSIS vs. “LORD” STEVEN REGAL (for the WCW world television title)
This is a rematch from the 5:23 “time limit draw” from 11/16. I am hoping they extend the limit to at least 8:52 tonight. Bischoff promises a new international nWo member tonight. Well, this match would be an excellent place to start speculating. Fans chant USA, which is cool by Psychosis but NOT Steven Regal who elicits so much rage that cartoon steam fires out his ears. Psychosis takes down Regal, but a knee to the face changes that quickly. Regal starts working over the elbow with a number of stretches and jerks, as the nWo porno music takes us to commercial break.
Upon return, Regal’s still in command, getting in a schoolboy for 2. Psychosis wrings the arm to change things, and Regal rolls around in pain, trying to slap feeling back into his arm. As he stands, he’s met by a couple of spinning heel kicks, so he heads to the safety of the floor. Or, so he thought, until Psychosis comes flying at him with a tope con hilo! Regal is tossed back in, and Psychosis flies in with a super sunset flip, getting 2! Psychosis waits for Regal to stand before he strikes, hitting a well-timed dropkick to the mush. Regal’s placed on the top, and Psychosis is quickly on him with the super Frankensteiner for 2! Psychosis doesn’t let up, with a tight package for 2. Sensing the end, Psychosis hits the guillotine legdrop, which is his finisher … but Regal kicks out at 2! Psychosis tries something else, but Regal quickly switches places and hits an overhead German suplex, and both guys fall on their heads painfully. Psychosis recovers first, hitting another spinning heel kick for 2. Regal rolls over quickly to apply a crossface, and gets an elbow to the mouth. That pisses him off, so he reapplies even harder, before moving to a full nelson stretch on the mat. Once released, Regal waits until Psychosis gets to a knee, before hitting him with a double knee strike to the face. A butterfly suplex gets 2. Regal uses a forward suplex to put Psychosis up top, but he fights Regal off. A super splash connects, but Regal kicks out at 2 again! Hell, what is it going to take in this one? Psychosis moves in for the kill, so Regal pokes him in the eye and rolls Psychosis up for 2. Psychosis quickly backslides Regal for 2, and as the Lord is back to his feet, he takes a superkick! Psychosis mounts Regal, but Regal shoves him forward, faceplanting Psychosis to the mat, and he dives on to the luchador with the Regal stretch, showing some mad intensity, getting the quick tap out at 10:38 to retain. This wasn’t for everyone, but I dug it huge. ***1/2
BIG BUBBER vs. CHAVO GUERRERO JR.
No Jimmy Hart with Bubba tonight; he may figure Chavo’s not worth his time. However, he puts up a fight, as Bubba misses a clothesline and gets beat up in the ropes. Chavo dropkicks him to the floor, where Chavo quickly dives … right into his awaiting arms. Bubba slams Chavo on the floor a couple of times, and heads back in to pose. Chavo gets back in at 8, walking into a meaty fist. Bubba now has a moment of clarity, where he ushers back to his early days in Georgia, and hauls out the classic wrestling move, a shove. Takes years to perfect that one, kids. He misses a leaping headbutt though, and Chavo dives on his shoulders with a dick to the face, getting 2. A butt butt to the mush gets another 2. And that’s all she wrote, as Bubba gets up quickly, hitting the Bossman slam for the win at 2:55. 1/2* for the homoeroticism.
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND brings out SONNY ONOO and “one of the greatest stars in Japan”, and promptly fails to name him. Sonny has helped THIS MAN negotiate with New Japan, but “this man” opens his coat to reveal an nWo shirt while Bischoff and DiBiase yuk it up. After This beats up Sonny Onoo, he’s revealed as Masahiro Chono. Of course, Chono’s been here before, having wrestled at Starrcade 92 & 95, but considering the audience has basically turned over during the last 12 months, some kind of intro might have been nice.
MASAHIRO CHONO vs. CHRIS JERICHO
Bischoff calls their new recruit “Masa He’s My Hero Chono”, of which I approve. Jericho takes a big boot to the face, but comes back with a sunset flip for 2. Chono claws at Jericho’s eyes, and they hit the floor to trade punches to the face. Back in, Chono hits an atomic drop with a little oomph, and Jericho sells it like he’s been crippled. Chono heads up, but Jericho’s spine re-fuses itself, and he cuts Chono off. He successfully hits a superplex, and follows with a spinning heel kick while Bischoff mocks In Your House 12 from last night, for some reason. Why give them the attention? The WWF is so far below WCW in terms of quality right now, it’s not even worth the mention. Jericho finds himself tangled up in the ropes, and Chono leaves him hanging towards the outside by one foot. With Jericho strung up and vulnerable, Chono kicks the crap out of him and is issued a DQ for excessive violence in a professional wrestling match at 5:50. *1/2
Piper’s segment from last week is replayed AGAIN.
The Shank of the evening is upon us, as “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND welcomes RIC FLAIRARN ANDERSONMONGO MCMICHAEL, and DEBRA MCMICHAEL, all wearing nWo shirts. Ok, they’re not, but don’t rule it out in the coming weeks. Gene wants to talk about Chris Benoit, and Arn’s cool with that. He tells Sullivan if he’s caught in the crosshairs, that’s fine, and he plans to mend Sullivan’s broken heart with a broken body instead. Flair calls Benoit a good man, having a good time in a hot spring in Germany. Debra says that Benoit has hit on her a few times, but she has no interest in “little boys”, just “real men”. She’s noticed that the women in this industry wouldn’t have a dogs chance in hell of winning a beauty pageant, so forget the rest and focus on Miss Debra. Flair cuts a promo on behalf of Piper, and promptly loses his voice.
DAVE SAMMARTINO vs. DEAN MALENKO (for the WCW world cruiserweight title)
Yes, yes, yes! The Nitro debut of the legend David Sammartino! He’s built like a wall, but none of that matters, because he has a parted mushroom cut. I remember when I had one of those. I was 7 years old and really into Super Mario. I’ll assume Sammartino has the same excuse. Bischoff insists if we order one pay-per-view this year, we order Starrcade. The problem is, he’s gone to the well with that pitch nine other times this year, and you can’t use your one time more than once. It’s as true in poker as it is in pay-per-view. Meanwhile, these two are allegedly wrestling or something, and Malenko wins completely out of nowhere with a double underhook thing which comes out of nowhere and leaves everyone confused (including David) at 3:10. Don’t be a stranger, David! DUD
Hour #2 kicks off, and Bischoff welcomes TONY SCHIAVONE“SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN, and MICHAEL “MIKE” TENAY back to the booth. Schiavone is being booked to look like such a stooge. Art and real life I suppose. Tenay tries to talk about Chono cuz he loves him a foreigner, but that’s all for naught because Tony’s been DYING to say “Piper” all night and just lets loose a string of them in an incoherent babble about Starrcade.
JERRY FLYNN vs. ICE TRAIN (with Teddy Long)
A LEGEND DEBUTS!!!! Between the chest hair, the slight beer gut, and telling the fans to “get out of my face!” when he’s about 50 feet away from them at the top of the entrance ramp immediately delights me. And of course, he’s stolen Jerry Lynn’s music, which is all kinds of tasty. Train clotheslines my new favorite jobber, and rallies the fans to bring the noise. Train Wreck looks to finish, but no sir, he ain’t done yet. Instead, he hits Flynn with an avalanche, and goes for a second, but Flynn EXPLODES out of the corner with a clothesline! An awful spinning heel kick propels Flynn outside the ring with his momentum, where he looks into the camera and yells “SHUT UP!”
Back in, Flynn hits Train with an enzuigiri, or “back leg round kick” if Bischoff were still here. Speaking of Bischoff, Tony announces, as ordered by King Eric, that tickets go on sale for nWo Souled Out on Friday, a new pay-per-view airing in January. Flynn keeps on with the kicks, but Train catches it in mid-air, and locks Flynn in an anklelock for the win at 3:27. This would have never happened if they’d fought in THE BLOCK. DUD
Before anyone clears the ring, SYXX is on the entrance ramp, introducing THE OUTSIDERS. Tenay wants to bail, but Tony has decided to stand his ground NOW, as opposed to earlier when all the weakest members were chasing them away. Nash says he saw the Faces of Fear giving each other a poi bath earlier, and challenges them for tonight. Hall demands an answer before the hour is up.
BOBBY EATON vs. REY MYSTERIO JR.
Eaton takes the early control, by hitting Rey with a backbreaker. Tony breaks the news about a match at Starrcade; Mysterio will take on Jushin Liger. Fantastic! Rey, propelled by this great news, sends Eaton to the floor, and nails him with tope suicida! Rey brings him back in with a forward headscissors over the ropes, but Eaton gets up first and goes for a suplex. Rey slips off the back and hits a spinning heel kick, which is the preferred move of Cruiserweights tonight. A double jump moonsault gets a quick 2. Eaton fires back with a clothesline, and applies a headlock. Bobby goes to finish, but changes his mind half-way through the air, hitting a kneedrop on Rey instead of the Alabama Jam, and only gets 2. That proves to be his demise, as Rey snaps off a quick rana, and scores the pin at 4:59. Tony hints at Rey’s future in backstage politics, by pointing out that Rey never seems to lose. Pfft, just wait Tony, just wait. **
Speaking of Tony, he really starts flapping around his newly discovered set of balls, by airing the latest video from CHRIS BENOIT and WOMAN. Wearing the same clothes they’ve been wearing for at least 2 weeks, and still working over that bottle of wine, Benoit breaks out his poor French (by Quebec standards) to seduce Woman. Benoit then looks into the camera, and asks Sullivan how it feels to come home to an empty house every night, while Woman nuzzles up to him like a kitten. Tony: “We didn’t need to see that!” Then why air it, you horse’s ass?
KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Jimmy Hart) vs. ARN ANDERSON
Sullivan points towards the announce booth, and promises death to Tony Schiavone, and rightly so. First however, he has the important task(master) at hand of facing Arn. Sullivan meets Anderson in the aisle, and decks Arn in the mouth. They start to roll around on the concrete, viciously trading blows with each other. Kevin grabs a chair and whips it into Arn’s face, so Arn picks it up and swings for the fences, missing and hitting the ring post. They head into the ring, as Sullivan beats Anderson down in the corner. Back to the floor, Arn is tossed into the front row, and they tee off on one another in a sea of fans. Anderson brings it back to ringside, and into the ring. Anderson drives his knee into Sullivan’s groin repeatedly, and accidentally elbows the referee in the face during his assault. Sullivan pokes Arn in the eyes, and blinded, Arn grabs the first head he stumbles into, DDTing poor Mark Curtis. Sullivan, hobbled by the hamstring assault, still manages the double stomp, and ties Anderson to the tree of woe. He picks up a head of steam, and Anderson stops the train by punching Sullivan right in the pooter! Sullivan makes the same face as Bald Bull, so HUGH MORRUS races in to protect his master. A DDT puts an end to THAT in a damn hurry. KONNAN is next, and gets back handed as soon as he hits the apron. Hart is yanked into the ring, as BIG BUBBER lumbers down. Bubba hands a wooden chair to Sullivan, who smacks Anderson over the head HARD. The referee is revived at his point, and Sullivan wins at 3:51. That was absolutely wild. ***
RICK STEINER (with Scott Steiner) vs. STING
Sting is lurking in the rafters as usual, and disappears into the darkness, presumably to come down to the ring. The fans are rabid, chanting “WE WANT STING” in grand unison. And Sting they shall have, as he makes his way through the audience and towards the ring, carrying a baseball bat. However, it’s *very* clear it’s the NWO STING, as the real one emerges without the bat. It turns out they’re working in unison, as nWo Sting holds the ropes open for the real deal; dah hell? Real Sting stops suddenly, and starts burning a hole in the nWo version. Fake Sting puts his bat to Sting’s chin, but the real one has one hidden under his trench coat as well, and whips it out. The bat is knocked out of the imposter’s hand, knocking it towards the Steiners. Scotty picks it up, while Sting tosses his to Rick. Both Stings turn their backs, just as Sting did 2 weeks ago … but the real one grabs the phony and delivers the Scorpion Death Drop!!! Rick tosses Sting his bat back, which he accepts, disappearing into the crowd once more.
HOLLYWOOD HOGANTHE GIANTVINCENTTED DIBIASE, and ELIZABETH strut down to ringside with about 15 minutes left in the show. Hogan calls out Piper immediately, since he “knows” Piper’s here and in the back. Of course, Piper’s nowhere near the building tonight. Hogan asks us to be patient for Piper, he’s on a bad hip. He goes off on some weird tangent about beating up Andre the Giant in his youth here in his hometown of Pensacola. Hogan asks Liz to show him how much she loves him, demanding a kiss for Macho to see. She complies with a quick peck. DiBiase whispers something to Hogan; it turns out that Piper ran out the back door as soon as Hogan came through the front door. Hogan laughs, and can’t wait for Starrcade, when he gets the chance to put the old cripple in a rocking chair for the rest of his life. So with no brawl to give the fans, Hogan poses for them instead so that they’re not left without a quality show. I must be delirious, because “off the deep end, crazed with power” Hollywood Hogan was all kinds of fun here.
THE OUTSIDERS vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart) (in a non-title match)
I’m not impressed the belts aren’t up for grabs here, but I’ll accept a full dismantling of the Outsiders of course. Instead, I’m given a quick advantage by the Outsiders, attacking before the Fear are in the ring. BIG BUBBER hits the ring to stand by his friends … and immediately turns on them, as the latest member of the nWo. As Meng takes a Bossman Slam, KEVIN SULLIVAN rushes the ring with KONNAN to attack their former ally. Hall and Nash waste no time wiping the floor with them. HUGH MORRUS is next, and fares no better. Now THE GIANT runs down – is he torn between friends? Nope, he goes straight to beat up the Faces of Fear, and MARCUS BAGWELL joins them. STEVEN REGALPSYCHOSISCHAVO GUERRERO JR., and JERRY FLYNN get involved now, with SYXXVINCENT, and MASAHIRO CHONO coming in to keep the nWo numbers stacked. ICE TRAIN comes to ring side with a bad look in his eye – is he next? No, SCOTT NORTON stops him and drops Ice Train on the floor. He enters the ring, and goes straight after MONGO MCMICHAEL for some reason. Is Norton nWo now?!? REY MYSTERIO JR. joins the frey, and hilariously, so does DAVID SAMMARTINO. Tony officially announces Norton as an nWo member. STING comes down to the ring just as ARN ANDERSON gets involved, and Arn immediately goes after Sting because he’s an idiot. Sting punches him in the head, which draws Mongo to attack. Everyone stops to watch Mongo and Sting brawl. Mysterio jumps on Sting’s back, trying to choke him out, and pissed off, Sting throws him aside and storms to the back as the show heads off the air.
Team WCW really doesn’t get it, do they? Sting has drawn them the map, but they’re too stupid to follow it. He made his allegiance clear earlier; he is with WCW, as long as they embrace him. They haven’t, so he doesn’t need them.

So for the time being, he’ll be Batman. And hell, there’s a lot worse people you could be.

NXT – December 25, 2014

NXT
Date:
December 25, 2014
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:
Jason Albert, Rich Brennan, Alex Riley
Hosts:
Renee Young, Corey Graves
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Back
in the 1980s, Fritz Von Erich had a great insight about Christmas:
Once you open the presents, what else is there to do? Well
apparently we can watch NXT, which is on a roll as of late. The main
story coming out of last week was Kevin Owens destroying Adrian
Neville just like he did to Sami Zayn the week before. Let’s get to
it.

Opening
sequence.
And
we have an empty arena with only Renee Young and Corey Graves in the
ring, meaning we have a Best Of show. There will however be a new
match with Charlotte defending the Women’s Title against Sasha Banks
in an R-Evolution rematch.
We
start by looking at some of the stars who came from NXT up to the
main roster, including Paige, Bo Dallas, Lana and Rusev. There’s
nothing to say here as they’re just saying the names and showing
maybe a ten second clip.
Video
on NXT: Arrival. That feels so long ago even though it was only
February.
This
leads to a package of Adrian Neville going home to Newcastle,
England. Wearing glasses, which is an odd look on a wrestler for
some reason, he goes to see his mom and talks about soccer for
awhile. His original plans were to play soccer for Newcastle United
but then he saw something called WWF and things changed. We get some
clips of his training and developing the high spots, which we then
see in NXT. He even got to wear a Newcastle jersey to his match in
the Newcastle arena for a very cool moment.
Tyler
Breeze is still off modeling but wants to tell all the Wannabreeze
that he’ll be adding gold to his ensemble in 2015.
We
see the last six or so minutes of Zayn vs. Neville, plus the entire
post match celebration and Owens’ heel turn to end the show.
Curtis
Axel comes in to see Regal and thinks he needs to recharge his
career. He wants in on this NXT thing but Regal tells him to make an
appointment.
Lucha
Dragons video. Sin Cara still hates to do the pre-match pose.
Vaudevillains
video, of course in black and white.
We
get about four minutes of the Lucha Dragons vs. Vaudevillians match
from R-Evolution. There will be a rematch due to Kalisto pinning the
wrong man.
Next
week we’ll have Finn Balor/Hideo Itami vs. Ascension II.
Itami
and Balor promise to destroy the Ascension. Itami’s English is
improving by leaps and bounds.
We
look at some NXT debuts this year, including Baron Corbin, Bull
Dempsey, Hideo Itami, Finn Balor and of course Kevin Owens.
Owens
says he’s sent the former champion and the new champion to the
hospital in the span of seven days. If he’s done that to people he
considers friends, what is he going to do to people he doesn’t care
about? He’ll fight anyone and everyone until he’s the only one
standing. “Why don’t you put that on a t-shirt?”
Time
to look at NXT people making splashes on the main roster: Paige, Bo
Dallas, Emma, Summer Rae, Adam Rose, Rusev and Lana.
Earlier
this week, Bayley was watching the HHH DVD to see how he came back
from his knee injury. It motivates her to come back bigger, better
and stronger, just like HHH. So she’s gaining 40lbs of unnecessary
muscle, slowing down and stopping everything that made her awesome in
the first place?
Women’s
Title: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte
Sasha
is challenging and this is a rematch from R-Evolution. She has Becky
Lynch with her, so Charlotte comes out with her dad, Ric Flair. Ric
looks sober tonight so this should be good. He says that he has two
Hall of Fame rings (only wearing one here) but his daughter took the
torch from him. Two weeks ago Sasha and Charlotte had one of the
best matches ever (to Sasha: “Yeah I’m talking about you. You were
great.”) and tonight they’re going to do it again.
They
slug it out to start with Sasha diving at the champ, only to get
caught in something like a spinebuster. Charlotte goes after the
knee by wrapping it around the post, only to get pulled face first
into the steel. We take a break and come back with Sasha in control
and slapping Charlotte on the back. That’s not exactly the best
offense. The announcers actually mention the “internet wrestling
community” sending HHH a fruit basket as a thank you for
R-Evolution. That’s such a cool story.
Banks
drives two knees into Charlotte’s ribs and puts on Bankrupt, only to
have Charlotte fight to her feet and escape with something like a
jawbreaker. She’s really good at using her athleticism to get out of
things like that, which really isn’t something most of the other
women can do. Charlotte fires off some chops and a neckbreaker but
gets caught in a double arm neckbreaker (Regal Cutter) for two more.

The
Banks Statement goes on but it’s right next to the ropes. Another
thing I like about NXT: heels feel like they could win a big match by
submission. That’s what always annoyed me about heel Del Rio: he
wasn’t going to make anyone big tap and the armbreaker felt like a
waste of time. They fight up top with Banks nailing a nice superplex
(Riley: “She’s straight gangsta!”), only to get caught in the
Figure Four with the bridge to retain Charlotte’s title at 10:45.
Rating:
C+. While
it was nowhere near as good as the R-Evolution match, it was still
another solid effort from the NXT girls. Banks is impressing me in
the ring for the first time as she’s very feisty in there. She has
the attitude down and the matches are getting better every week. I
still think Lynch is the star of the team, but Banks is nailing it in
NXT.
Overall
Rating:
C+. These are always
hard to grade so I’ll just go with the same rating I gave the match.
I really liked the Neville video as it’s the kind of personalized
profile that you just do not get in WWE anymore. I would have liked
to see more Sami here as he only won the title at the end of the year
but he was still a huge part of NXT all year. The
attention to detail in this promotion blows away everything else and
it’s my favorite wrestling show to watch every week. If
next year is as good as this one was, everything will be fine.
Results
Charlotte
b. Sasha Banks – Figure Four
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Smackdown – December 26, 2014

Smackdown
Date:
December 26, 2014
Location:
Tyson Events Center, Sioux City, Iowa
Attendance:
4,000
Commentators:
John Bradshaw Layfield, Tom Phillips, Michael Cole
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It’s
the show after Christmas which means that Hulk Hogan is still in
charge tonight. All that means is he’ll make a match and say BROTHER
a lot, but that’s at least better than some of the previous bosses
this company has had. Other than that we’re still in the dull period
before they start caring about the Rumble so let’s get to it.

Opening
sequence.
Here’s
Hogan walking through the same Christmas set from Raw to open things
up. I really wish they would mix those things up a bit more often.
Anymore it’s just the same set from Raw but with blue as the main
color. Switch things up a bit and make Smackdown feel more unique.
Maybe they’ll do that when the show moves back to Thursdays.
Anyway,
Hogan has something to tell us brother (1), he’s in charge tonight
brother (2). We hear some of his fondest memories from being on
Smackdown, including winning the Tag Team Titles with Edge, who will
be hosting Raw with Christian on Monday. That’s another thing I
wouldn’t mind seeing more of: plug those announcements. It’s simple
and quick yet gets the word out there.
Hogan
is about to go on but Rollins and the Stooges cut him off. Seth
calls him a champion, a Hall of Famer and the embodiment of
Wrestlemania. He asks for and receives a handshake before saying if
Hogan keeps it up, they might start calling him the Seth Rollins of
the 80s. Hogan may have been great, but he doesn’t belong in
Rollins’ ring anymore. That’s a bit too far for our American hero,
who says he’s running Smackdown tonight. Hogan: “So if you don’t
mind brother (3)…” Rollins: “Well I do mind brother. AND
DON’T YOU BROTHER ME!”
Seth
talks about how great the Authority was for business but now they’ve
been replaced by a sideshow act like Hogan. As the future of WWE,
this is Seth’s business and he’d like Hulk to officially endorse him.
After that, Hogan can get out of this ring because it’s almost 2015.
Hulk isn’t sure Rollins is getting out of this ring alive if he
keeps talking like that. He can think of several people who could
lead this company into the future, like Dolph Ziggler for instance.
Cue
Dolph, who calls Rollins the future. If you don’t believe that, just
ask Seth because that’s all he talks about. Rollins says Ziggler
just doesn’t get it. The future isn’t just a popularity contest and
Rollins should just Curb Stomp him right in front of Hogan. How does
that sound brother? Ziggler has been curb stomped before and keeps
getting up, so what does Seth want to do about it brother?
Here’s
Big Show to say that sometime you have to just use force, so now he’s
going to come out here and knock out Hogan and Ziggler. This brings
out Reigns who tells Show not to come through those ropes unless he
wants to get hit in the mouth again, right in front of his wife and
kids. Hogan makes the tag match main event and actually doesn’t drop
a ninth brother (yes I counted) of the segment.
Kane
vs. Ryback
Jobber
entrance for Kane. We see Ryback sending Rusev running on Monday
before things get going. Ryback fires off to start but runs into a
boot to the…..shoulder I think to put him down. So Kane can’t even
sell for ten seconds now? Cole crushes several dreams by confirming
that Rose and the Bunny have split, partially due to the tombstones
from Kane. Ryback grabs a spinebuster and loads up the Meat Hook but
we’ve got Russians. He’s still able to escape the chokeslam though
and hits the Meat Hook and Shell Shock for the pin at 2:10. Now THAT
is what Kane should be used for more often than not.
Rusev
gets in the ring for a staredown but Kane comes back in to chokeslam
Ryback, setting up the Accolade. I’m still not sure who wins this
feud, even though it should be obvious. That’s always a good sign.
After
a break, Hogan runs into the Russians to tell Rusev that the US Title
is on the line tonight. Giving champions almost no notice to defend
their titles is the American way you see, BROTHER. And SISTER!
Alicia
Fox vs. Naomi
They
start fast with Naomi nipping up, only to eat a kick to the face for
two. More speedy kicks get two for Naomi as Miz is watching from the
back. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two for Alicia and we hit the
chinlock. That goes nowhere so Naomi heads to the apron for a kind
of Twist of Fate onto the top rope. Naomi gets tired of carrying Fox
and kicks her in the head, setting up the split legged moonsault for
the pin at 3:18. She even throws in counting the pin along with the
referee because she’s kind of awesome.
Rating:
C. I’m
so glad that Naomi is getting an actual story instead of the usual
stuff we’ve been seeing with the Divas for years. She’s an athletic
freak and, in a description I wish I had thought of, the female
Shelton Benjamin. No one in the division can keep up with her and
unfortunately it means that WWE doesn’t know what to do with her.
It’s good to see that
they’ve given her some kind of a story though, because far too often
the Divas’ stories revolve around just wanting the title or some
catty story that makes them all look ridiculous.
We
recap the matches Hogan set up on Raw.
Jimmy
and Naomi have a badly scripted conversation about Jimmy beating Miz
later tonight.
R-Truth
vs. Adam Rose
Rematch
from Monday where the Bunny was
beaten up by Rose after he lost to Truth. Therefore,
Rose comes out sans Bunny and doesn’t even do the fall, waving the
Rosebuds off instead. Rose
is much more aggressive here and takes Truth into the corner for some
mule kick stomping. A nice
snap suplex gets two on Truth and we hit the chinlock.
Phillips
tries to bring up the incident on Halloween where Truth said the
Bunny was the star of the team to set up this mini feud. Since
that’s doing his job and keeping up continuity, JBL just buries him
in response, saying how stupid the whole thing is. Back
up and Truth makes his comeback, only to be sent into the post to set
up the Party Foul for the pin at 2:07. Rose actually plays a decent
heel, but his in ring work is still average at best.
Here
are Rusev and Lana for a chat before the title defense. It’s
a short one this time, basically saying Rusev will crush anyone
before he faces. Cue his opponent.
US
Title: Dean Ambrose vs. Rusev
It’s
kind of amazing how Ambrose keeps getting these major matches despite
barely ever winning anything. They
take turns stomping each other down in the corner to start until Dean
ties him in the ropes for chops and the running dropkick. A
suicide dive drops Rusev again and Dean grabs a jackknife cover of
all things for two.
The
fans chant USA as Rusev runs Dean over and drops rapid fire elbows
ala Hulk Hogan back in the day. You would think that the Russian
imitating an AMERICAN would satiate the fans chanting USA but it
doesn’t quite work that way. A
chinlock stays on even shorter than usual but Rusev ties him in the
ropes and hits a running Vader clothesline to the back knocking him
out to the floor as we take a break.
Back
with the champ holding a nerve hold before the fall away slam gets
two. Ambrose actually
escapes the Accolade attempt and avoids a charge, sending Rusev head
first into the post. The
Rebound Clothesline sets up the standing elbow (love that move) for
two and Ambrose’s tongue is hanging out. They
head outside with the champion going into the barricade, only to have
Wyatt interfere for the DQ at 13:00.
Rating:
C+. These matches are like a
vacation: they’re fun while they last but you know you’re going to be
disappointed by the ending. There was no doubt that it was going to
end by countout or DQ because that’s how these things end in WWE.
It’s a problem with how the company books its shows anymore but
unfortunately it’s something you have to live with. As usual Dean
looks good, but when was the last time he had a fall on a show that
actually mattered? And no, Tribute to the Troops doesn’t matter.
Rusev
leaves and Bray throws Dean over the timekeeper’s area, only to have
Dean come up throwing chairs. About five are thrown into the ring
and Bray bails as well. I have no idea where they’re going with
this, but it’s modern WWE and a major gimmick match doesn’t end
anything anymore.
Miz
vs. Jimmy Uso
Cole
plugs a new app where you’re a backstage assistant in WWE and solve
problems which have nothing to do with anything happening in the
ring. Levels include identifying a spot as fatty tissue, yelling at
someone for not memorizing a script, trying to figure out what the
heck the commentators are talking about and finding stronger ear
plugs so HHH doesn’t hear the BORING chants.
Miz
kicks him down to start but we get a quick chase scene around the
ring. JBL, of course, is talking about fast food mascots. Jimmy
can’t hit the running Umaga attack but eats a right hand from Jey.
Naturally, that’s not a DQ. Back in and Miz begs off to offer more
mainstream connections. The fans aren’t really happy with the match
stopping for nearly a minute of Miz standing there with his hand out
saying “come on let’s be Usos”, so Jimmy hits two superkicks and
the Superfly Splash for the pin at 3:08.
Rating:
D. I’m liking the idea of the
Usos having some singles matches. Of course it shouldn’t lead
anywhere because splitting them up for singles runs would be a
terrible idea, but I like that they’re not just doing the same tag
match every week. Imagine that: trying something else to keep things
fresh for the bigger shows. There’s so much in WWE that is going
right but at the same time the big problems are just so wrong.
Ascension
is coming next week.
Goldust
looks at an electric orb and sees that the new year will
be……something we don’t get to hear as the ball shocks him.
Stardust comes in to say it’s going to be his year.
Seth
Rollins/Big Show vs. Roman Reigns/Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler
and Rollins get things going as Cole recaps Survivor Series gets an
achievement for recapping Survivor Series for the 200th
time. A quick hiptoss has
Rollins down so it’s off to the power guys. Reigns can’t get things
moving too fast thanks to a shoulder from Big Show. Like the
masterful heel that he is, Rollins comes in when Roman is down to
stomp away. Reigns is able to get back up though due to the power of
wetter hair, allowing for the hot tag off to Ziggler.
The
Stooges get involved, and somehow don’t get caught, by tripping up
Ziggler as we take a break. Back with Dolph fighting out of a
chinlock, only to be catapulted into the corner. The fans display
their ventriloquism skills by chanting BIG SLOW without moving their
mouths….or anything else
for that matter. Reigns
smiles at Show as the chant is getting annoying in a hurry. A
few fans chant for Reigns but they’re quickly drowned out by BIG
SLOW.
Show
misses a charge and eats a Fameasser, setting up the hot tag to
Reigns. Mercury breaks up
the Superman Punch and Seth nails the low superkick for two. The
fans chant for Reigns (again with the ventriloquism) and he backdrops
out of a buckle bomb attempt. The chokeslam doesn’t work either and
Dolph levels Big Show with a superkick, setting up the spear for the
pin.
Nah
I’m kidding. You know Big Show isn’t going to get pinned when
there’s some hotshot with a future to take the fall for him. Rollins
sends both opponents to the floor and suicide dives Reigns. Back in
and Ziggler breaks up the springboard knee, setting up the spear to
Rollins for the pin at 13:13.
Rating:
C. The
match was your standard main event tag (with another bad ending but I
guess that huge fall over Show is supposed to make Reigns) but the
chants were the most interesting part. Of course they were piped in,
but I find it interesting that they seem more interested in playing
down Big Show than playing up Reigns.
They
were similar to the LET’S GO CENA/CENA SUCKS chants: yeah they’re
against Cena, but they’re not for his opponent. The chants made this
sound like it was all about Big Show with the few Reigns chants only
lasting a few seconds compared to the near minute of Show chants.
I’m not sure what to make of
that.
Overall
Rating:
C-. Yet another
worthless episode of Smackdown with
whichever main eventers we have on hand being thrown into a tag team
main event. The Ryback vs. Rusev showdown still looks good, though
I’m not sure they can stretch it out for another four weeks. Other
than that, there really isn’t much to talk about here. It’s another
basic episode of the same show they’ve done every Friday for weeks
now and I get less and less enthusiastic about it every time. Oh
wait Kane actually took a fall. He’s been getting a bit better about
that.
Results
Ryback
b. Kane – Shell Shock
Naomi
b. Alicia Fox – Split legged moonsault
Adam
Rose b. R-Truth – Party Foul
Dean
Ambrose b. Rusev via DQ when Bray Wyatt interfered
Jimmy
Uso b. The Miz – Superfly Splash
Roman
Reigns/Dolph Ziggler b. Big Show/Seth Rollins – Spear to Rollins
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Impact – December 24, 2014

Impact
Wrestling
Date: December 24, 2014
Location: Impact Zone,
Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Taz, Don West
Hosts: Christy Hemme,
Jeremy Borash
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
This is the final
episode of Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV before they head over to
Destination America early in the new year. It’s also the second half
of the Top Twenty Moments countdown, which hopefully is capped off by
someone who still works for this company. Let’s get to it.

#10. Impact –
February 19, 2009
Kurt Angle vs. Sting
Empty
arena match for control of the Main Event Mafia. With no one there,
of course they come out to their music. Sting throws Angle outside
to start and they hit that wall that they always hit in brawls.
Angle goes nuts with right hands and you can hear the grunting. They
go up into the empty seats as this is one of those “let’s walk
around and not really do much” matches. Angle walks him back up
into the seats and somehow the cameras can’t follow them, despite
there being no one to get around.
Sting dumps Angle over
a balcony but Kurt comes back with a metal trashcan. Kurt: “I HATE
YOU!” We see some fans watching in the concourse as I realize
there’s no reason given for this to be an empty arena match. A low
blow puts Sting down and Angle swears a bit. Sting pops up with a
chair to the back but Angle begs off a beating from a chair. He
swears that he’s sorry and says he has kids, only to change his mind
and tell Sting to hit him. Nash and Steiner finally come in to break
it up with Nash shouting to MAKE IT RIGHT. They shake hands but
start fighting again, shouting how much they hate each other.
Rating:
D-.
Again, why was this an empty arena match? It didn’t make a ton of
sense when it was Rock vs. Mankind and it really doesn’t make a ton
of sense here. As usual, it felt like Russo trying to do something
to make a splash instead of making sense, which is eventually going
to be exposed for the shock TV that it is.
#9. Impact – October
8, 2014.
Tag Team Titles:
Hardys vs. Team 3D vs. Wolves
The Wolves are
defending and this is Full Metal Mayhem, meaning TLC. Richards has a
somewhat bad leg coming into this but he seems to be fine. It’s a
big brawl to start of course with Matt hitting what looked like the
Side Effect to Eddie on the apron. Bully hammers on Jeff on the
floor as weapons are being sets up on the floor. Matt goes for a
climb but Ray comes in for a save with a Rock Bottom.
Davey breaks up Ray’s
attempt and DDTs him, only to have D-Von nail Richards a second
later. Matt gets enziguried into a German suplex onto a pair of open
chairs. Eddie throws Jeff into the air and Ray catches him in a
Cutter for a 3D. They chop it out but Matt is back up to take both
guys down. We get the Tower of Doom with Ray electric chairing Matt
who superplexes Edwards. D-Von bridges a piece of barricade between
the apron and some overturned steps but Davey headbutts him onto the
barricade.
Ray saves his partner
from a dive and powerbombs Richards down, only to miss a middle rope
backsplash. He comes right back with another powerbomb to send
Richards onto the barricade, giving Richards one of the most shocked
looks I’ve ever seen. Back with Jeff taking a ladder to the face and
D-Von cleans house with a chair.
Richards comes back
with a chair of his own but this time it’s Jeff popping up to take
over. The Whisper in the Wind and Swanton have Ray in trouble but he
pops right back up for a brawl with Jeff on the floor. The Twisting
Stunner has Ray in trouble and Jeff brings out another table. He
bridges it between the turned over steps and the apron with the legs
up. Jeff misses the legdrop though and crashes through the table,
leaving him in a huge heap on the floor.
Back in and Ray goes
up, only to have Edwards set up a ladder of his own next to it.
Bully kicks him down but Matt comes in with a ladder of his own. All
three go up and slug it out with Edwards getting slammed off the top.
Mat and Ray grab for the belts but send them swinging around before
knocking each other off with Matt flying into a ladder.
Davey and Matt slug it
out with Hardy getting the better of it and bringing in another
table. Everyone heads outside again with Matt climbing about halfway
up a huge ladder to legdrop Davey through a table. Richards has
taken one heck of a beating here. D-Von cleans house with the ladder
and brings in the big ladder to make thing even more fun. Team 3D
loads up What’s Up but Edwards shoves D-Von to the floor.
Davey goes up the big
ladder but gets shoved onto the floor and head first into the
barricade. The Hardys make another save with chairs and put Ray on
two tables. Jeff goes up top of the big ladder but Davey shoves it
over, sending Hardy into a HUGE splash onto Ray for a horrible
looking crash. Davey and Matt slug it out on top of the ladder but
Edwards makes a save and powerbombs Matt through a table, allowing
Davey to take down the belts for the win at 23:52.
Rating:
A.
I came into this show thinking this match wasn’t going to be able to
live up to its hype and they got me. This was an AWESOME match with
a ton of high spots and some insane looking bumps. The fact that
they didn’t save this for Bound For Glory shows you just how much
they don’t care about that show this year. Excellent match and one
of the best things TNA has done in years.
#8. Slammiversary 2013.
Taryn Terrell vs.
Gail Kim
Last
Knockout standing. Gail attacks in the corner to start but Taryn
comes back with clotheslines to take over. Gail puts on an octopus
hold but lets it go early and only gets a six count. Kim goes to the
floor for a chair but has it kicked out of her hands. Some hair
drags keep Gail down for a few moments but she manages to get the
chair up to block a high cross body. Gail is up first and goes after
the knee for a bit before wedging the chair between the ropes. Taryn
blocks a ram into the chair but gets caught in the Figure Four around
the post.
Terrell is up at 8 and
dodges Gail’s charge into the corner, sending her head first into the
chair in a SICK looking crash. That only gets eight so Taryn puts
her in the Figure Four around the post for eight more. Taryn misses
a charge and lands on the ramp for nine, only to be caught in a
legsweep onto the ramp for nine more. Gail tries a piledriver but
gets reversed into a bulldog off the ramp to put both girls down.
Taryn beats the count for the win at 9:18.
Rating:
B-.
This was the best Knockouts match in YEARS. The bulldog off the
stage was a bigger spot but the missed charge into the chair should
have been the finish. It looked MUCH more painful and I thought Gail
was out cold. Still though, very entertaining match and I was really
impressed with Taryn here. I’d bet on her vs. Mickie at BFG for the
title in a veteran vs. underdog title match.
#7. Impact – January
4, 2010.
It’s 9pm so here’s Hulk
in black. Brooke is of course in the front row. Hogan immediately
puts over the roster and the locker room for working as hard as they
have. Now we get the infamous line from this promo: “I’ve been in
the back all day.” Remember that this is after AN HOUR OF WATCHING
HIM DRIVE TO THE BUILDING. That line was edited out of the
rebroadcast of the show and it’s painful to hear all over again.
Hogan talks about how
many new and familiar faces there are here. As he’s talking, Hall
and Waltman try to get to the ring. Hogan says give them a mic and
let them get in the ring. Hall and Hogan do the Wolfpack sign and
Hall says the party is back. The boss tells him that’s not how it
works anymore. Waltman thinks it’s the same people so it’s the same
party, but Hogan shoots him down too. In a laughable line, Hogan
says it’s time to grow up.
Hall says everything is
changing, with or without Hogan. Wait so is everything changing or
is everything the same? Nash comes out and wants to know what’s
going on, but Hulk insists he’s not playing a role. Hogan says they
need to do this FOR REAL because it’s a different time. Hall and
Waltman are ready to fight but Eric Bischoff debuts and says they
reinvented this business. Dixie Carter is shown watching from the
crowd.
Bischoff says this is
all about communication and that has broken down recently. Everyone
has to earn their position in this company, which Nash hears loud and
clear. Nash, Hall and Waltman leave and Bischoff again claims that
they can change the business again. Hogan says they’ve shuffled the
deck as Dixie cautiously applauds. Bischoff rips up the format sheet
to show how different things are going to be. He hands the producer
a new format because they’re turning this company upside down. So
this basically boiled down to the same “this is new” promo that
every indy company starts with.
In storyline
development, Shera makes it to the top of a hill where Sotrm is
waiting with a jug of water. Storm pours it on top of him and
welcomes Shera to the Revolution.
#6. Impact – January
9, 2014.
TNA World Title: AJ
Styles vs. Magnus
No DQ and both guys are
champion coming in. Magnus immediately goes to the floor and does it
again for a second time in less than ninety seconds. No contact yet.
Magnus gets back in but here are Ethan Carter and Spud to jump AJ
before any contact is made. AJ fights them off and superkicks Magnus
in the ribs but Carter breaks up a Styles Clash attempt. Sting
finally comes out for the save but doesn’t do anything as AJ saves
himself. Magnus bails to the floor and we take a break.
Back with the two
champions still not making contact as the Bro Mans and Zema Ion come
out to jump Sting and AJ and giving us six run-ins in less than eight
minutes. Zema DDTs AJ and the Bro Down gets a delayed two on Styles.
Sting comes back in as Magnus just chills at ringside. The Brit
finally comes back in and AJ quickly loads up the Clash, only to have
Bad Influence make the save and lay him out with a
powerbomb/neckbreaker combo.
Earl Hebner refuses to
count so Dixie and Brian Hebner get us to ELEVEN people coming out
for this match. Bad Influence goes High/Low on AJ for two and Brian
gets yelled at. Sting lays out the Bro Mans with a double Death Drop
on the floor before putting Ion in the Deathlock. AJ fights back
against Bad Influence as Sting comes in to help even more. We’re
down to Magnus vs. AJ with Styles getting the Calf Killer, only to
have Kazarian take out the referee.
Kazarian monkey flips
AJ into Daniels but AJ clotheslines him down and Peles Kaz. Now the
Styles Clash takes out Magnus but there’s no referee. Earl Hebner
hobbles back out (we’ll call that #12) to count two before AJ dives
over the top to take out Bad Influence yet again. AJ goes up top but
Bobby Roode makes it #13 by shoving Styles into the ropes. Three
AA/DVDs lay AJ out for about the fifth time, giving Magnus the pin
(thanks to referee #3 and the fourteenth person added to the match)
and the undisputed title at 15:47. Sting was being held back by most
of the heels in case you were wondering.
Rating:
D.
So they spent all night hyping up the match before going full Russo
on it. That’s what we spent months and months building to? The
match was definitely energetic but we really had to spend all this
time setting up Dixie with her corporate champion? Assuming AJ
leaving isn’t a HUGE swerve, this was one of the biggest wastes of
time I can remember in years.
#5. Impact Wrestling –
January 17, 2013.
Are they kidding???
It’s wedding time. Ray
is in a tux which is weird to say the least. The groomsmen come out
with the bridesmaids (looking GOOD tonight) and here’s Brooke. Hulk
finally comes out (setting a record in getting into a tuxedo) to a
big ovation. The fans tell Hulk to shake Bully’s hand. They get
through a LONG intro from the minister and saying how much they care
about each other.
No
one objects, they both say I do, and Tazz takes the mic from the
minister. Tazz asks if Bully is sure, then says it’s too hot in
here. He takes off his jacket, and reveals an Aces and 8’s vest.
The big brawl ends the ceremony and show. Brooke gets kidnapped
again as Ray takes a pedestal to the face to end the show.
So quick recap here.
There are four moments left and we have the following to go off the
top of my head:
Kurt Angle debuts
AJ Styles wins the
World Title at No Surrender 2009
Unbreakable triple
threat
Elix Skipper walks the
cage
Angle
vs. Joe from Genesis 2006
ANYTHING from before
October 2007
Somehow they’re going
to screw up something as simple as “hey, does anyone remember any
great matches from the last twelve years?”
#4. Impact – November
3, 2011.
TNA World Title: James Storm vs.
Bobby Roode
Feeling out process to start as
they’re playing up the idea that they know each other very well. Off
to a test of strength which doesn’t last long. Neither guy has an
advantage as we go to a break. Back with Storm ramming shoulders
into Roode in the corner. They keep countering each other and Roode
can’t get much of an advantage. Storm stays ahead with a superplex
but both guys are down.
They slug it out and Storm takes
over with some running shots. Blockbuster gets two for Roode.
Backstabber gets two for the champ. Eye of the Storm is countered
into a spinebuster for two. They head to the floor and both guys
barely get back inside in time. Storm tries an Orton DDT but gets
countered into a Crossface. Storm makes a rope and Roode is
frustrated. Roode tries a superplex but Storm counters into a top
rope elbow for two.
This is getting good. Last Call
misses as Roode grabs the fisherman’s suplex. Storm counters that
and is almost sent into the referee. The referee avoids the contact
but twists his knee in the process as Roode is sent to the floor.
Roode succumbs to the demons inside and grabs the beer bottle which
he breaks over Storm’s head to BIG heat. It gives him the world
title at 17:40.
Rating:
B.
This was a very solid match that could have easily main evented a PPV
with about five minutes extra. Still though, good stuff here and
that’s what they needed to do. I’m really not sure I like the ending
but it’s TNA after all so how good can it get? The heel turn was
needed, but Roode is going to have to step up his emotions as a heel
to deserve this spot. Good match though.
#3. Unbreakable
X-Division Title:
Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels
Daniels is the longest
reigning champion ever at this point, AJ is a four time champion and
Joe is undefeated. This is TNA’s greatest match ever so let’s see if
it holds up. AJ and Joe team up to beat down Daniels to start which
is kind of a surprising move. Joe kicks him HARD in the back and AJ
does the same thing. It turns into a contest and I think Joe wins by
a hair. Daniels gets up but Joe kicks him in the face. Cool
sequence.
AJ grabs a fast rollup
on Joe and we’re ready to get going. They trade pinfall attempts so
fast that I can’t type them until Joe hooks a modified Rings of
Saturn. Daniels breaks it up and kicks AJ down for no cover. Joe
chops the champ and hits a standing enziguri to knock him to the
floor. AJ takes Joe down but Daniels is back in to take over on
Styles, getting two. Joe chops them both in the corner but Daniels
fires back with chops of his own.
Styles headscissors
both guys down into opposite corners and fires off kicks at Joe. Joe
is like screw that and suplexes him down overhead style. There’s the
Facewash to Styles but Daniels breaks up the running kick to the
face. Daniels hits a springboard moonsault onto Joe on the floor but
you know AJ has to top him, so he hits a springboard shooting star to
take both guys down. He rolls Joe back in for two and things slow
down a tiny bit.
Actually scratch that
as Styles hits the drop down/dropkick combo for two. Daniels comes
back in again and monkey flips AJ at Joe but AJ twists in mid air
into a rana on the fat man. Daniels O’Connor rolls Styles for two
and then launches him over the top and out to the floor. A flying
knee sends Joe into the corner and Daniels slaps him in the face.
Joe will have none of that and slaps Daniels back but Daniels rolls
him up for two.
Joe counters the rollup
into the Clutch so Styles busts out Spiral Tap to break up the hold.
That gets two on both guys and Daniels sends Styles back to the
floor. An STO puts Joe down but AJ breaks up the BME. I feel like
I’m talking to a 3 year old after that last exchange with all the
spelling. Daniels gets caught in the Tree of Woe and AJ kicks away,
but Joe splashes AJ into Daniels. A running dropkick to the face
breaks the Tree and Daniels is out.
The running big boot
that Joe does knocks AJ’s head into Tallahassee somewhere and the
backsplash gets two. Daniels comes back out of nowhere and hits the
Death Valley Driver on Joe. Everyone is down until Daniels covers
Joe for two. AJ gets sent to the floor and both he and Daniels miss
moonsaults. They slug it out so Joe hits a corkscrew plancha to take
both guys down. The fans are losing their minds over this stuff.
Back in and Daniels breaks up the MuscleBuster but Styles goes up
too. AJ and Daniels fight on the top so Joe backdrops both of them
down at the same time.
Joe gets up first and
he looks MAD. He and AJ slug it out with AJ taking over but Joe
slugs him right back and hits a big old German release suplex to take
over. There’s the MuscleBuster but Daniels comes in with the belt.
He charges at Joe but the Samoan hits a snap powerslam to cut that
off. Joe picks the belt up but Daniels kicks it into his face.
Daniels and AJ slug it out and that just feels appropriate. A blue
thunder bomb out of nowhere gets two on Styles.
Release Rock Bottom
puts AJ down and the BME gets two as Joe makes the save. Daniels
puts a Dragon Sleeper on Joe and hooks the Last Rites (rolling cutter
which he didn’t use that often) to send Joe to the floor again. AJ
bounces back up and hits the moonsault into the reverse DDT for two.
Styles goes up but Daniels hits a palm strike to stop him. Daniels
superplexes him down but he can’t cover. Joe comes in and covers
both guys for two.
Joe focuses on Daniels
and hits his powerbomb into the Boston Crab into the STF sequence so
he can call a LONG spot to Daniels. Daniels (wearing a wedding ring)
gets the rope so Joe beats up AJ a bit more. He fires off forearms
but AJ snaps off the Pele to take over again. The Rack into a
neckbreaker gets two for Styles but Daniels is back up. AJ hits a
sunset flip into the Clash but Joe makes the save at two. Daniels
ducks a charging Joe to send him tot he floor. AJ and Daniels slug
it out and Daniels tries the Angel’s Wings. AJ counters into a
bridging backdrop and stays on top for the pin and the title.
Rating:
A+.
Yeah that’s the easy answer but there’s no real other option to go
with here. This was about twenty three minutes long and the longest
they go without action is maybe 20 seconds. These three have
incredible chemistry together and it was a great example of what
smaller guys can do. It’s not the best match in TNA history by a
mile but it’s the best match by a few feet. Great match.
#2. Bound For Glory
2010.
TNA World Title:
Jeff Hardy vs. Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson
Anderson beat D’Angelo
Dinero and Hardy and Angle went to a time limit draw, forcing the
three way. Hardy debuts new music which should tell you a lot.
Anderson gets double teamed to start but Kurt is sent out to the
floor. Angle comes back in and throws Jeff to the floor so he can
kick at Anderson’s knee in the corner. A release overhead belly to
belly gets two on Mr. with Hardy making a save. Jeff gets back into
it and picks up Anderson, so Angle Germans both guys at the same
time.
Anderson goes outside
for the first time but Jeff backdrops Angle up and over the top for a
bad landing. Thankfully he’s ok enough to pull Anderson out to the
floor for a brawl, but Hardy dives over the top to put everyone down.
Back in and Kurt puts Anderson in a chinlock until Jeff makes a
save. He goes up top very slowly though, allowing Angle to run the
corner for the belly to belly. Jeff pops back up, only to miss the
Swanton on Anderson and give Kurt a near fall. Dixie Carter is
watching at ringside.
Angle loads up a
superplex but Andeson turns it into a Tower of Doom for two on both
guys. It’s Angle up first to roll some Germans on Anderson before
doing the same on Hardy. He wants to keep things together so there’s
an ankle lock to both guys at the same time. Angle goes up top but
Anderson’s ankle is fine enough for the rolling fireman’s carry for
two. Hardy breaks it up with a Swanton for two on both guys.
Back up and Anderson
goes up, only to get caught in a belly to back superplex to give Kurt
a near fall. Whisper in the Wind puts Angle down and there’s a Twist
of Fate to Anderson. The Swanton crushes Mr. but Angle grabs Jeff’s
ankle. Anderson breaks it up with the Mic Check for two on Kurt and
everyone gets two off a rollup. Kurt actually hits the moonsault for
two on Hardy, who falls out of the ring. Angle escapes the Mic Check
but accidentally clotheslines the referee. Everyone knows the big
THEY reveal is coming.
Anderson hits the Mic
Check on Angle but can’t follow up. This brings out Eric Bischoff
with a chair but Hogan comes out (I’m as shocked as you are) before
he can swing it. Hulk is on crutches and moving pretty slowly as we
have to wait even longer. Bischoff throws the chair down but takes
away a crutch. Hardy gets back in to calm things down but Hogan
hands him his crutch.
Jeff squares off with
Bischoff….and breaks the crutch over Angle’s back. Hogan smiles
and Bischoff says that was awesome. Hogan points at Hardy and hugs
Eric as they watch Hardy break the other crutch over Anderson’s back.
The Twist of Fate is enough to pin Anderson and give Hardy the
title.
Rating:
B-.
The match is good but this was ALL about the booking and big swerve
at the end. Hogan and Bischoff weren’t really surprises so it was
all down to who was going to side with the new mega heel faction.
Hardy winning the title is fine and the best option given who was in
there.
Bischoff introduces
Jeff as the new World Champion and a smiling Jeff Jarrett comes out.
Abyss follows them out and hugs Hogan. Fans throw trash in the ring
ala the NWO debut (there were rumors this was planted) as RVD comes
out to ask Jeff what he’s doing. Hardy lays him out with a belt shot
and poses with THEY to end the show.
Quick recap of the top
ten.
And now, I kid you not,
this is considered the #1 moment all time in TNA wrestling history.
#1. Impact – August
7, 2014
Here’s all of Dixie’s
team but she fires Stephens and Snitsky like the maniac she is. Cue
Team 3D and Dreamer with a table but Dixie hides behind everyone
she’s paid off. Ray promises to put Dixie through a table and
Dreamer says Dixie is everything that’s wrong with this business. Mo
nails Dreamer and the brawl is on with the ECW guys taking over.
Suddenly Dixie is alone in the ring with 3D but runs when she’s about
to take 3D.
Spud swears it’s never
going to happen but the entire locker room comes out to throw Dixie
to the wolves (Team 3D, not Richards/Edwards). D-Von loads her up
(and grabs her in a rather personal spot) and Bully powerbombs Dixie
off the middle rope through the table, in what I believe was Dixie’s
first bump ever. We even get Bully’s old euphoric look and the
announcers are WAY too happy to see this.
I’m not sure how I feel
about this. I have no problem with a heel, male or female, taking a
big bump to end a story. What I’m not wild on is how everything was
announced in advance. This is going to cause some issues in the
mainstream media given how violent it was, but that’s the nature of
pro wrestling. It felt very scripted though and that’s not a good
thing, but the ending was exactly what it should have been.
Here’s the entire top
20 in case you didn’t catch last week.
20.
Angle vs. Joe – Lockdown 2008
19. Aries vs. Roode –
Destination X 2012
18. Motor City Machine Guns vs. Beer Money –
Victory Road 2010
17. WOO Off – Impact – July 7, 2010
16.
Ultimate X – Bound For Glory 2009
15. Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy –
Lockdown 2013
14. Knockouts Title Gauntlet Match – Bound For
Glory 2007
13. Karen Angle marries Jeff Jarrett – Impact –
March 3, 2011
12. Lashley vs. Roode II – October 29, 2014
11.
Sting vs. Hogan – Bound For Glory 2011
10. Sting vs. Angle –
Impact – February 19, 2009 (Empty Arena Match)
9. Impact –
October 8, 2014 – Team 3D vs. Wolves vs. Hardys (Full Metal
Mayhem)
8. Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell – Slammiversary 2013 (Last
Knockout Standing)
7. Hogan and Bischoff Debut – Impact –
January 4, 2010
6. AJ Styles vs. Magnus – Impact – January 9,
2014
5. Bully Ray marries Brooke Hogan – Impact Wrestling –
January 17, 2013
4. James Storm vs. Bobby Roode – Impact –
November 3, 2011
3. Styles vs. Joe vs. Daniels – Unbreakable
2.
Jeff Hardy vs. Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson – Bound For Glory
2010
1. Dixie Carter Goes Through A Table – Impact – August 7,
2014
Overall
Rating:
C-.
I’m just talking about the top ten this week. While last week’s had
some funny moments that felt more like honorable mentions than
anything else, this week had some incredibly bizarre picks. First
off though, let’s knock out the ones that make sense and that I have
no issue with. #9 is fine and was pretty easily one of TNA’s best
matches of the year. #8 might be the best Knockouts match ever. #7
is indeed huge for TNA. #4, #3 and #2 are all fine either for
importance, quality and hype respectfully.
Then
on the other side, what in the world is the empty arena match doing
on here? Yeah it’s Sting vs. Angle, but those two headlined Bound
For Glory together and traded the World Title. Instead though we get
probably their least memorable match ever which is only there because
it had a lame gimmick attacked. What an odd choice that sounds like
someone saw the names on a page and picked the match without looking.
#6….eh yeah it was a big moment but it didn’t lead anywhere and is
FAR too high up. #5 is a joke.
That
leaves us with #1. Yeah it’s a big moment, but the top moment in the
history of the company? Really? Not signing Kurt Angle five months
after he was defending the World Title at Wrestlemania? Not Elix
Skipper walking the cage in an outstanding match that was on every
TNA highlight reel until Hogan and Bischoff rebooted the company? On
top of that, nothing from Raven’s great run back in 2003? Abyss’
only mention is a cameo at the end of Bound For Glory 2010? He had a
great match against Styles at Lockdown 2005, but apparently only
Unbreakable happened in the first five years of TNA history.
Overall
this list feels like it was thrown together by a slightly more than
casual fan of TNA. Some of these are obvious, but for the most part
this comes off like a list from the last six years instead of the
best ever from TNA. Having stuff in there like the two weddings or
the WOO Off (funny moment, but they showed it in the package before
they aired the full thing) takes up another spot that could go to
something more important. It did hit some spots though including
most of the important ones, save for the top one that is.

Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

WCW Worldwide: December 15, 1996

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

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

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