Rock Star Gary reflects on WCW Great American Bash ’91

Live from Baltimore, MD

Airdate: July 14, 1991

Attendance:  7,000 (5,500 paid)

Hosted by Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone

We’ve reached a turning point for WCW. How bad can it be? Read on!

Read moreRock Star Gary reflects on WCW Great American Bash ’91

Lex Luger heel turn in 1994?

I’ve been going through the Raw shows of 1994 and my question – did they ever consider having Luger turn heel & join the Million Dollar Man? It was obvious from the beginning he wasn’t, but wouldn’t it have been so much better for Luger, who was stuck in the mud as a face? He was like the #5 face by the end of the year, but could’ve been a main event heel & helped the DiBiase’s corporation feel more like a threat. Heel Tatanka was sad.

Take a drink.

And no, Luger was never planned to be a heel. Probably would have helped immensely, but it just wasn’t where they wanted to go with him.

More Luger Flair Goodness

Scott,

Just watched Halloween Havoc 89, on the network. The thing that stood out to the me most was how over Lex was as a heel, and how he could more than handle his end of a match as evidenced by the series of good matches he had throughout 89. I'd argue that this was his peak in the business. Why not have him go over Flair at Starrcade while Sting blows off his feud with Muta. They then could build toward Sting vs Luger and hold off on the Flair turn so that Sting has a credible challenger once he gets the strap as opposed to the Black Scorpion. Seems like this would make both guys in the process. Thoughts?

​I'm sure they would have loved that because they spent the better part of 1990 trying to get Flair to do a job to Luger, but Flair wanted to put Sting over, period.  It seemed like the right call at the time, but in hindsight I actually think that Flair should have just made Luger because Sting was a huge flop and Luger at least was a strong heel, as noted.  ​

Luger or Savage as the third man

Hola Scott,

Just reading the Bischoff shoot piece and he brings up how Sting was going to be the third man if Hogan backed out (nothing new there). But in terms of storyline, wouldn't it have made more sense for either Luger or Savage to be the third man? Both had just jumped ship from the WWF, and thus it kind of made sense that they would align with Hall & Nash. To that point, you can even say they made MORE sense than Hogan (and especially more than Sting).

Why do you think they would have gone with Sting as the second option rather than Luger or Savage? I mean in the end, Hogan was the smart business move, but still. 

Well at least Sting and Hogan both had the advantage of never having been a heel before (in the modern era of both performers, at least) whereas Luger turned all the time and Savage was most famous for being a heel.  I just don't feel like the angle would have worked as well as it did with anyone but Hogan anyway.  

Luger Question

So, I finally broke down (since I have disposable income again) and signed up for the Network <insert 9.99 joke here>. I'm still on my trial but I've been watching a lot of old NWA/WCW PPVs (I have the Great American Bash 1990 on as I type this, Luger-Mean Mark) and this is more of a what if.

But what if Luger had gone to the WWF after his time in Florida circa 1986-1987? How different do you think his career would have been? Would he have been groomed as a replacement for Hogan? Would he have gotten the Savage-like treatment (friend then enemy, title traded between them)? Would he have gotten the Warrior spot at WrestleMania VI? Would he have been a midcard draw/IC Title contender?
​Interesting question.  Luger's circumstances were kind of special in 86 because Crockett pretty much snapped him up instantly following his debut and groomed him to be a Horseman.  Everyone knew he was green as grass and terrible in the ring, but working with Flair and Windham and that crew night after night turned him into a decent worker pretty quickly.  ​Amazing how that works.  
Had he gone to WWF, I think he would have been slotted into something more like the Hercules Hernandez slot — guy with a good body, probably given a goofy gimmick and fed to Hogan for a heel of the month run around the horn. He wasn't showing any particular breakout charisma or star power at that point.  

Sting and Luger – Because WCW?

Extant1979 here. So, if you end up reviewing Nitro, maybe this question gets answered, but I'm into January 1996 now and I thought maybe this could spur some discussion on the BoD. 


Was there an endgame planned for Sting and Lex Luger that just never came to fruition when the nWo came along? Or was it just a week-to-week thing that was allowed to continue to evolve into Sting becoming Crow Sting when the nWo debuted? Was there anything discussed in the the WON archives? 

Pretty much everything from the Nitro era onwards was pretty week-to-week, with Luger seemingly jumping back and forth between heel and face depending on the week and the situation.  There was no endgame I can remember.  

July Classics – Ricky Steamboat vs. Lex Luger – Bash ’89

On the 6/10/89 edition of World Championship Wrestling, Lex Luger complained of being held back, and thought he was worthy of a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship over the likes of Ricky Steamboat or Terry Funk. At Clash VII, Luger made the save for Steamboat when Funk attacked the Steamer with a microphone, but then promptly turned on The Dragon, once again becoming a heel. On World Championship Wrestling, Luger cut a promo saying that he turned on Steamboat because he was tired of making the fans happy, and wanted to prove that he was better. So this match for the United States Championship was signed for Bash ’89.

NOTE: The Network does not have a milestone marker for anything from Bash ’89, and I already posted the link to that show a few days ago, so here’s the Dailymotion version.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xz8iw7_31-89-07-23-lex-luger-vs-ricky-steamboat-great-american-bash_sport

Fwd: Luger


Scott,

I am a huge Luger fan. Always felt he was a bit under appreciated. He was in TWO of my all time favorite tag matches (Luger/Windham vs Arn/Tully, Luger/Sting vs Steiners) was a GOD to me in 1989, and found his tweaner schtick with Jimmy Hart in late '95/early '96 to be just gold.

Anyhow I'm watching various Luger title wins on youtube (and why he never held every title at once is a crime) and it occurs to me

Does ANYONE in the history of pro wrestling do a title celebration quite like Luger? The guy seriously makes like every title win seems like the biggest deal ever. Even the U.S. title.

Little things like that just really seem to be missing from today's world of wrestling.

Abso-smurf-ly.  Bryan's title win had some awesome pomp and circumstance, but Orton and Cena win the things like they're dispensed from a claw machine.  "Hey I got a title belt, neat!"   And Dean Ambrose just had a YEAR LONG title reign ended!   This should be a big deal!   And yet Sheamus barely registers excitement and they go and beat Ambrose right away on Smackdown anyway.  Way to make stars, guys.  
They should all watch that Connor video and approach the art form with the kind of wonder and excitement that the kid did.  The product would be a million times better.  

Lex Luger in 1993

Hey Scott,

I'm watching the RAWs from 1993 on the Network and wondering why the sudden change in character with Lex Luger at the Intrepid body slam thing? Strange that he changed from heel to face with no real explanation. 

That's all I got.

Thanks.

Because they were paying Luger a shit-ton of money for a character that was belly-flopping like Rikishi in a wading pool, and they figured that with Hogan gone they would kill two birds with one stone and get their American hero and return on investment with Luger.  And honestly, if they hadn't fucked it up with the Summerslam delay of the payoff, it would have worked fine.  

Shoot of the Day: Luger v. Brody

Given that we’ve been talking about Andre v. Maeda lately, here’s the most famous shoot in wrestling history (arguably): And the Masked Man article written about it: http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/63888/wrestlings-greatest-shoots-volume-1-bruiser-brody-vs-lex-luger Man, Brody was being a dick here.  I know Meltzer sees it another way but he was best friends with the guy so obviously he would.  Wrestling is built on trusting your opponent and Luger was a young kid who basically got betrayed by a pissed off and hungover Brody, just because Luger was the guy who was getting pushed at that point and Brody didn’t want to do business.  If you watch the video, you can see about 6:30 Luger basically turn to Fonzie in desperation and go “What the hell do I do now?” before fleeing the ring in terror all the way to millions of dollars in JCP.  It actually gets pretty tense to watch once Brody starts no-selling the punches and every fan should see it at least once. 

Another interesting note on Luger vs Flair

Hey Scott,
Don't know if you've ever heard anything about this, but according to www.thehistoryofwwe.com, Lex was supposed to go Flair clean for the title at a house show in Chicago, Illinois on March 23, 1990, which was only a few weeks after "Wrestlewar 90". A film crew had been flown in for the change.
If Sting was indeed pegged to beat Flair the whole time, than this kind of throws a wrench into that plan. If Luger wins the title here, does he turn heel again so soon after turning face and they do Luger- Sting at the Bash 90? Or would Sting have went over Flair in a revenge match without a title on the line and maybe they do Luger- Sting at that years Starrcade?

NWA @ Chicago, IL – UIC Pavilion – March 23, 1990 (6,500)
A film crew, as well as Lance Russell, Chris Cruise, and Dennis Brent were flown to the city to tape what was scheduled to be NWA World Champion Ric Flair losing the title to NWA US Champion Lex Luger; the title change didn't take place because Flair wasn't given ample notice, which was part of his contract; Flair agreed to the title change but only in return for a contract release, which Jim Herd refused; Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Bill Apter was also on hand
Mike Rotunda pinned Cactus Jack; after the bout, Cactus was taken to the hospital for having been tied in the ring ropes too long during the match
Norman pinned Kevin Sullivan
Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson defeated Jimmy Garvin & Steve Casey (sub. for Michael Hayes)
NWA US Tag Team Champions Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk defeated Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane
NWA Tag Team Champions Rick & Scott Steiner defeated NWA TV Champion Arn Anderson & Ole Anderson
The Road Warriors defeated Doom
NWA World Champion Ric Flair pinned NWA US Champion Lex Luger at 20:13 after Ole Anderson interfered and hit Luger with Woman's high heel shoe

They were doing the stupid high heel shoe finish even back then?  Huh.  
I know that once Sting was out they were basically trying to get Flair to drop the title to Luger on a weekly basis.  They endgame was likely always going to be Sting v. Luger with Flair out of the picture, and I imagine they would have had Luger turn heel once he won the title to pull it off.  

Luger as Bash Victim

Hi Scott, hope you are well.
 
Your recent Bash review and the resulting discussions got me thinking about about who, and what, came out of that show taking it on the chin. The fans, WCW, the fans, the World Title, the fans, Flair & Herd, and the fans. But I would argue that there was another victim in all of that, which would send him into a bad headspace which would last far too long. I speak of the guy who got the title itself, Lex Luger.
 
Throughout the 90s, Luger received the reputation for being lazy, untalented, and unmotivated (outside the gym), an assertion I'm not going to argue. However, from 1988 to mid-1991, Luger delivered the goods in a lot of big match situations. He was a part of many good to great matches with numerous different opponents, not all of them world-beaters, which doesn't happen by accident.
 
Flair is the obvious first pick (Bash '88, Starrcade '88, Wrestlewar '90, Capitol Combat '90, Clash XII), but he also had fine matches with Steamboat (Bash '89), Pillman (Havoc '89, Clash IX), Windham (Chi-Town Rumble), Dan Spivey (Wrestlewar '91), good tag matches such as Luger & Windham vs. Tully & Arn (Clash I), Luger & Sting vs. Tully & Arn (Crockett Cup '88), Luger & Sting vs. Steiners (Superbrawl I), and even a solid singles bout with Tommy Rich (Clash VIII)! There were probably some good TV matches during that period as well (the six-man on the WCW DVD comes to mind).
 
During that period, Lex was very over, moved up the ladder, and displayed some patience for his time to come (he didn't flee). Though not highly skilled or a big ring general, Luger certainly gave it the good old college try in his big matches, and found a good heel persona. Admittedly, he was never a great face, but at least he found one side that could work for him.
 
And then, after years of Flair being on top, and Sting having an opportunity that didn't do good business, it was clearly Luger's time to be given a chance. So what happens? Flair, the guy who had been THE man in the company for years, who Luger had jobbed for more than once, refuses to do the same, in effect saying that Luger wasn't worthy. Rather disillusioning I'd say. And Luger must have known that there was no way the fans were going to accept him given the situation. No wonder his motivation went in the toilet.
 
I'm not saying he would have become one of the greats of the decade, but to look at his work before the Bash debacle, and what he did after, it's not hard to see that there was a big change. He got to see the ugly side of business politics, and probably figured there was no point in doing more than necessary, since it was obviously other factors which could make one a top guy. Sometimes, it can only take one big thing at one important time to make a huge difference.
 
Thoughts?
 
Take care,
 
Jon
 

Oh, Bash 91 destroyed him for good, no doubt.  That was supposed to be where Flair put him over once and for all and made him into a superstar, and of course it just didn't happen.  Then the giant limited date contract killed his motivation to improve, and the motorcycle accident was probably the finishing touches.  Ironic that his biggest victory would be what cemented his reputation in the business as an also-ran, but unfortunately that's what it amounts to.  

Lex Luger in the WBF

Hi Scott,
When Lex Luger left WCW in early 1992 why was he used in the WBF instead of the WWF?
Was this Vince thinking that the WBF needed a star name or was it Lex’s decision?
Also if he had debuted in 92 instead of at the 93 Royal Rumble (with either the narcissist gimmick or as a Hogan clone) do you think his WWF carer would have been any different? Might he have had a run with the WWF title in the summer of 92 instead of Flair or Hart?

What is this, Lex Luger day? 
By the way, my Twitter follower count sits at 950-something at the moment, which is weird to me because I didn't think anyone actually cared about my Twitter feed, but if people can get it to 1000 followers by the end of this week (so Friday we'll say), I will finally do a full rant on Money In The Bank 2011 while I'm on vacation next week.  That's the deal, people.
On with the questions.  Luger was used in the WBF because when he left WCW he still had not-insignificant time left on his contract (even though WCW had used up all his actual DATES) and there was a non-compete clause involved as well.  Basically he couldn't legally be a WWF wrestler until 1993, so he was a WBF Superstar instead.  And you'll note that for legal reasons, they never ever referred to him as anything but a bodybuilder until he actually joined the WWF for real.  
Had he debuted in 92 he would have been shoved to the side like every other steroid monkey at the time, so no, his career would not have gone any different in my opinion.  Like really, they fire Warrior and Bulldog and they're gonna push LEX LUGER as their answer to the Zahorian critics?  

World War 3 1996

World War 3 1996
Date: November 24, 1996
Location: Norfolk Scope, Norfolk, Virginia
Attendance: 10,314
Commentators: Dusty Rhodes, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Once again we’re going to do the three ring battle royal with the winner getting the title shot just after Starrcade. The entire roster is in that pretty much plus a ton of guys that are never on TV at all. We also have a man vs. woman match and Jericho vs. a referee. Yeah you can really tell how much thought there is in this show. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is just a basic rundown of what’s on the card tonight. The announcers wonder why Bischoff is trying to slow down the contract signing between Hogan and Piper. Something tells me this is going to dominate the conversation tonight.

J-Crown: Ultimo Dragon vs. Rey Mysterio

The J-Crown was a collection of 8 cruiserweight titles from around the world, one of which being the WWF Light Heavyweight Title which was active since the 80s and only defended in Japan and Mexico. Therefore, a WWF Title id being defended here on a WCW PPV. It also gave us this:

Seriously, how sweet does that look? There’s just a pile of championships in the corner. How awesome is that? He has so many belts he just piles them up. Ah apparently Bischoff has already joined the NWO. Good to know. We start off in a mat based match which is kind of odd but it can work. How weird is it to think that Rey would become a two time world champion?

Now they crank it up and get a nice ovation for it. WCW fans could always appreciate good wrestling and this was no exception. Dragon is dominating here which makes sense as he was pushed as a really different kind of cruiserweight that could mix it up incredibly well. Heenan sounds like he’s on speed here as he’s talking so fast. Dragon hits a powerbomb but picks Rey up again and throws him backwards into a hot shot. NICE.

We go WAY old school with a giant swing. Someone really needs to look at Bobby’s monitors. They’re always on the blink. The crowd loves Rey here. Pay no attention to that though. He’s a small guy of Mexican descent. He can’t ever mean anything. This is basically Dragon does a big move and Rey gets up every time. Rey could sell like few others so this is certainly good.

I’ve never gotten the order of the rings at these shows. It seems like they have this obsession with how many rings there are here and there and it never works. There’s no Mike Tenay for this either, which makes the commentary more annoying than helpful. Rey kind of botches some stuff but nothing too bad. A springboard sunset flip gets two for Rey. Good freaking night that man could move back in the day. After they crank it up again, Rey goes for the West Coast Pop but Dragon counters into a slingshot powerbomb to retain the pile of belts. They say Malenko is next.

Rating: B. This was solid again and one more time the cruiserweights set the table for what could be a promising show. Dragon was definitely a different kind of cruiserweight back then as he used more power and leverage stuff rather than high flying and it worked very well. He and Malenko had some very good stuff coming up that we’ll get to soon enough. Quite good match.

There’s a new WCW.com. Remember that this is in 1996 so I wouldn’t expect much. Mark Madden is the commentator person there.

DDP, looking like he more traditionally would, is being recruited by the NWO. Him never saying yes is what made him one of the few heroes in WCW fans’ eyes. He denies being associated with Bischoff other than being his neighbor and says he’ll win the battle royal with a BANG.

Chris Jericho vs. Nick Patrick

Patrick has been an evil referee that has screwed Jericho over a few times and this is revenge time. Jericho has Teddy Long as his manager which didn’t last long. He also has to have one arm behind his back. We hear about Nick Patrick’s wrestling career which also didn’t last long. It’s the left arm here so this should be dominance. Patrick cuts a short promo and we find out why he’s a referee.

Patrick is in a sleeveless shirt and is in the NWO here. He also has a neckbrace. With one arm, Patrick wants a test of strength. That whole wrestling background falls apart pretty quickly here as it’s all Jericho who puts on a clinic with one arm. It’s all Jericho as we go to the floor. Jericho misses a clothesline into the post though and Patrick takes over for a bit. Since his offense does nothing though, we’re kind of just wasting time here. Jericho channels his inner Shawn Michaels for a superkick to end it. This was the first pinfall loss for the NWO on PPV, four months after they debuted.

Rating: D+. Pretty boring but they came up with some fairly creative spots to let Patrick get some offense in. This was just kind of pointless though as there was no challenge at all for Jericho and it just kind of fell flat. It could have been FAR worse though.

Flair comes out for an interview. He’s hurt here so he’s off the card. Even with his arm in a sling the guy looks like a million bucks. On the radio a few months ago one of the hosts said they ran into him in Florida and that Flair could not have looked better, smelled better or have been a nicer guy. That’s always good to hear about guys like Flair who comes off as a prick at times. He talks about a ton of guys and how this is about WCW and not the NWO. He guarantees the NWO will lose and stops to dance in between. That was awesome. Old guys can talk.

Giant vs. Jeff Jarrett

This was supposed to be Flair last month but since he was hurt then too they brought Jarrett in but he couldn’t do a damn thing with Giant. Giant stole the US Title belt from Flair who was champion but had it stripped from him for lack of defenses in 30 days. Jarrett is booed out of the building despite being Flair’s pick to fight Giant. Jarrett has been bragging that he didn’t get chokeslammed last month. Yeah that’s his big claim to fame at the moment.

The crowd is all over Jarrett here and loudly cheering for Giant. We hear about how Hogan got Giant into the NWO by promising him movie parts etc and sure enough Giant was in the movie Jingle All The Way which was in theaters the weekend of this show. Sting is up in the rafters and the show pretty much stops dead because of it. He comes down the steps and it’s hard to tell if he’s the real one or not. Giant misses a Vader Bomb and Jarrett takes him down with a cross body.

That might be the real Sting. He takes Jarrett out while Giant is on the floor. A chokeslam ends it. We’re of course told that Sting is clearly in the NWO now, which wouldn’t be officially answered until about March.

Rating: C-. Much better than their match last month as Jarrett didn’t try to come straight at him here and it looked like he was thinking more. Also Giant sold more of his stuff and it looked a lot better on that front too. This was just a pawn in the huge Sting chess game and on that worked very well, so definitely did its job.

Piper comes out with a contract in his hand. Bobby suggests that Piper is a bigger movie star than Hogan. I’ll leave that for you guys. Bischoff, Vincent and DiBiase come out sans Hogan. The next night Bischoff would say either join us or have your contracts voided which went nowhere but it got Bagwell to join.

Bischoff has power of attorney for Hogan so he can sign for Hogan. In a great bit of continuity, Piper shoves Vincent aside and tells him that he taught Vincent how to fight. Piper trained Vincent (Virgil in case that doesn’t ring a bell) to fight for his first match back in 1991. Piper says he can wear a leather jacket because he’s tough enough to unlike Bischoff. Piper really does come off as a badass here and this really did feel big. The problem was he actually had to wrestle.

Piper more or less says he doesn’t care about a count out or a DQ but just winning and here’s Hogan, Liz, Hall, Nash, Syxx and Giant. Bobby thinks Piper is outnumbered. I wonder if it was the 9-1 odds that made him think that. Hogan gets on the mic and lifts Piper’s skirt, showing the scar Piper has from a hip replacement. Why not just hold a big sign above their heads saying OLD GUYS?

Hogan signs the contract which Piper brought with him. For no apparent reason the match was NON title and when Piper won with a sleeper, he didn’t win the title. To say the fans were pissed would be an understatement. Piper jumps Hogan but gets caught. Hogan gets a chair and hits the weakest chair shot ever to the scar. Good to see the NWO is only taking ten minutes on this segment.

The Amazing French Canadians vs. Harlem Heat

The Canadians are more commonly known as the Quebecers from WWF. They’re managed by Colonel Parker and the Heat by Sherri. If the heat win there’s a match between the managers. Something tells me this isn’t going to be that good. Jacques, who was on New Blood Rising, sings the national anthem of Canada. I say sing loosely. He and Booker start. Please let this go fast.

To my great shock, we talk about Piper and Hogan for the opening of the match. Parker is dressed up as a French Legionnaire now and somehow looks even stupider. He stomps on Booker and the comedy is completely unintentional. This match isn’t particularly terrible bit it’s just boring as hell. It’s been about five minutes since the last thing I typed. There just hasn’t been anything to talk about.

The Canadians get the steps and put them in a corner then get a table and lay it across the top rope. They put more steps on top of that and the non-Mountie Canadian does a front flip off. He completely misses and a Harlem Hangover ends him.

Rating: D-. This didn’t get me interested at all. Why am I watching the Quebecers when it’s almost 1997? This was just garbage and boring as hell on all levels. No one cared about Parker vs. Sherri so they went with it for over a year. At least this is over now.

Sherri beats up Parker for like a minute in their “match.” Parker runs away after a cross body. Not even worth an actual introduction.

WCW needs to stop having their production guys on TV so clearly. It just takes something away from the show. Not sure why but it bothers me.

Piper vs. Hogan is called the match of the century and we get a really bad promo for Starrcade.

Someone else might be coming to WCW. I’m not sure who that was but it likely wasn’t anyone special.

Luger comes in and talks about Sting handing him a baseball bat. Luger thinks he’s NWO but doesn’t want to believe it. He had been getting the semi-Superman push lately so he was one of the favorites in the battle royal but there really wasn’t anyone that was clearly going to win.

Cruiserweight Title: Psicosis vs. Dean Malenko

Malenko was just about perfect at this point and would somehow get better the next year, actually winning best technical wrestler both in 96 and 97 from Meltzer as well as winning the PWI 500 which is fan voted I believe. They were building to Malenko vs. Dragon next month in what would more or less be a throwaway match. We start with a lot of technical stuff as you would expect us to.

Bobby picks Malenko to win the battle royal tonight. I’ll set the over under on him changing at 8.5. They’re doing the three broadcast teams tonight. That’s just going to make my head hurt. Malenko has a leglock on and the fans look at something in the audience. After more decent stuff, Psicosis falls off the top rope and slams his head into the railing. Since he isn’t dead, we can continue.

Dean goes into his finishing sequence but the ropes break the Cloverleaf. He destroys the knee and is completely dominating here. We ignore the over the top thing again and Psicosis hits a top rope flip from the top and hits his head again. Good thing he wears that mask or he’d need to get one to cover up the ugly. Then again I’ve seen him sans mask so maybe he needed it all along.

Dean takes a rana from the top for two as this is kind of pedestrian and the crowd isn’t into it at all really. He gets a SWEET reversal out of a suplex into a small package. That looked great. A tombostone gets two for the champion and then he rolls him up for the pin.

Rating: B-. Decent match but they just felt a bit bored out there. They were kind of off by a step or so and it showed badly. It’s definitely good but there was something holding it back from being really good. The crowd didn’t care at all for some reason which is odd as Malenko was usually very popular. Weird but good.

Tag Titles: Nasty Boys vs. Outsiders vs. Faces of Fear

This is the next to last match on the card so at least we’re almost done. Hall and Nash have the belts and come out first for some reason. The Faces of Fear were good for placeholders and jobbers in this division as they were legit tough so it was completely believable. The Nasty Boys continue to not be much at all. The more famous teams brawl to start before the Faces of Fear are here. Ah here they are.

The Outsiders are both jumped by a tag team and it breaks down into a brawl. Knobbs and Barbarian start us off officially and I already don’t like this match. They keep the Outsiders out as long as they can which is about a minute and a half. Hall comes in and beats up Barbarian. Barbarian needs to get up because THIS IS WCW! The problem is that no one cares about Barbarian so they cheer Hall.

We’re six minutes into this so Dusty says it’s been 15. Basically it’s just a bunch of brawling with no particular rhyme or reason. When I get bored I think in song lyrics. So sue me. I love Nash’s side slam. That this is just downright elegant. Something tells me this is going to go on for a LONG time. No one has any particular advantage but Meng gets a suplex on Hall for two and Jimmy FREAKS. It’s absolutely hilarious how much he yells and screams over it. How much caffeine do you think he has in one day?

The Nasty Boys are ordained as the masters of the Clubber. They just stand back and watch the other four fight which is smart when you think about it. This has been like ten minutes of just random brawling. There’s no flow to this match at all and no one has been in any kind of extended trouble. Meng and Knobbs tag in Hall and Nash at the same time so they have to fight. Hall lays down for Nash but the save is made, extending this torture a bit longer. A Megaphone shot and powerbomb on Knobbs end it.

Rating: F+. This was AWFUL. It runs over 15 minutes, nothing of note happens, there’s no story at all and the ending comes from nowhere. When the Faces of Fear have the best performance in a match, that’s not a good sign in the slightest. And now we get the battle royal. Oh yay.

The teams of announcers are Tenay and Dusty, Larry and Lee Marshall and Tony and Bobby. They all give their take and none of them mean a thing. Dusty picks Luger or Konnan.

World War 3

Arn Anderson, Marcus Bagwell, The Barbarian, Chris Benoit, Big Bubba, Jack Boot, Bunkhouse Buck, Ciclope, Disco Inferno, Jim Duggan, Bobby Eaton, Mike Enos, Galaxy, Joe Gomez, Jimmy Graffiti, Johnny Grunge, Juventud Guerrera, Eddy Guerrero, Scott Hall, Prince Iaukea, Ice Train, Mr. JL, Jeff Jarrett, Chris Jericho, Kenny Kaos, Konnan, Lex Luger, Dean Malenko, Steve McMichael, Meng, Rey Misterio, Jr., Hugh Morrus, Kevin Nash, Scott Norton, Pierre Ouelette, Diamond Dallas Page, La Parka, Sgt. Craig Pittman, Jim Powers, Robbie Rage, Stevie Ray, Lord Steven Regal, The Renegade, Scotty Riggs, Roadblock, Jacques Rougeau, Tony Rumble, Mark Starr, Rick Steiner, Ron Studd, Kevin Sullivan, Syxx, Booker T, David Taylor, the Último Dragón, Villaño IV, Michael Wallstreet, Pez Whatley and Alex Wright.

The list is from Wikipedia so blame them for anything weird in there.

The intros take a few minutes since 60 guys have to come out. While they’re coming out, a few notes: Jimmy Graffiti is Jimmy Del Ray of the Heavenly Bodies, Galaxy is a luchador, Jack Bruce is Buddy Lee Parker and Pez Whatley was a medium deal in 86. Benoit is all beaten up and has black eyes and cuts all over his face. The NWO are all in the same ring. Benoit and Sullivan fight before the match officially starts. The Dungeon and the Horsemen jump in and here we go.

I’m not going to even try to list off everyone eliminated here so if I leave someone out don’t be surprised in the slightest. The camera stays on Benoit and Sullivan for about a minute and a half. Oh great we’re doing the triple screen again and you can’t see anything. I think the Dungeon of Doom and the Horsemen are gone. We’ve looked at the three rings maybe 15 seconds combined and almost three minutes at Benoit vs. Sullivan. The NWO is just standing in the corner and Benoit is slammed on Marshall and Larry’s table.

No one of note is out yet. All of the Dungeon and the Horsemen are out, which is about 9 people. Marshall gets knocked out in the big fight so something has gone right tonight at least. Look up BIG ASS CLUSTERFUCK in the dictionary and you have this match. Tony Rumble, a career jobber, is gone. Once we get down to ten in each ring they’ll break up that ring. La Parka is gone as is Ciclope. Norton is gone and Pez Whatley is too. Expect a lot of that in this match.

The eliminations start picking up a bit as three no names go out in a row. We get rid of the jobbers for the most part here which is good. Joe Gomez is out. All of the announce teams run down the remaining guys and I don’t even bother paying attention. Every big name is still in it. Giant and Roadblock, an incredibly fat guy go at it. Guess who wins. JL is out. We really need to get this down to one ring for the sake of sanity.

Everybody goes after Big Ron Studd with about a dozen splashes but no one actually tries to put him out. Everyone piles on him but we’re told he has to be thrown out of course. Both Canadians and Duggan are out. Eddie eliminates himself with a plancha to Regal. Bagwell is out as we’re getting some bigger names gone. He and Riggs fight on the floor and they would split tomorrow.

Dave Taylor and Wallstreet are gone. There are 9 left in ring 3 so that ring should be broken up. Scott Steiner is out. There are 8 in ring 1 and 9 in ring 2. Juvy is out. We’re merging into ring 2 thank goodness. Wait is Eddie out or not? Yeah he is for no apparent reason. Everyone is in the same ring so they keep it with three cameras. Damn it go to one camera! Jack Boot is out. You can’t see shit and it’s really complicated because getting more than one angle of the same guys is just really confusing.

Luger tries to get Giant out but the power of fat stops him. Malenko is out and so is Craig Pittman and Booker. We’re still on three cameras because WCW is stupid. Disco is finally out. Bunkhouse Buck is gone. I’d love to see how many people are left. Boy what a basic camera shot would do to help that. A bunch of people go out quickly including Dragon. Tony says there are 13 left. Jericho going out gets us to 12 I think. Just to further the stupidity, the bottom camera goes to a single shot.

Ice Train is out. Ok, everyone is in a damn circle and FINALLY we go to one camera, 20 minutes into the damn match. We have Syxx, Hall, Nash, Giant, DDP, Jarrett, Luger, Rey Regal and Eddie left. Eddie was in the final ten last year too I think. Eddie is out and Rey goes after Nash. Giant literally throws Rey out with one hand. Jarrett goes out and we have 7 left. DDP takes us to 6. Regal, Luger, four NWO guys. Make that Luger vs. the NWO.

Giant misses a charge and winds up on the ropes so Luger racks him. Hall goes out. There goes Syxx. Like an idiot he racks Nash and Giant dumps them both to win. Bobby and Tony say it’s the best battle royal ever. Giant would get thrown out of the NWO for asking for a title shot. He would get it at Souled Out, the first NWO PPV. The heels pose to end the show.

Rating: D. This wasn’t very good. The camera work KILLED it in the end. For at least five minutes we were on one ring and you couldn’t see a damn thing at all. These matches were never really very good at all and this was no exception. They’re just big messes the entire time and nothing ever really came of them. When you have so many jobbers it makes you wonder what the point is in having this many. Cut the damn thing down to like 45 or even 40 and this is WAY better. Still though, the NWO winning was just stupid but then again this is WCW so there you go.

Overall Rating: D. This wasn’t very good. There’s some ok stuff on it, but that’s as good as it gets. SO much stuff on here is just boring as hell as the majority of the roster was in the battle royal. Things would pick up a lot in the coming year, but the end of 96 was really pretty week. These shows always sucked though and this was absolutely no exception. Don’t watch this one.

Kyle Fitta’s WCW SuperBrawl II Review

SuperBrawl II
February 29, 1992
Your Hosts: Jim Ross and Jessie Ventura
WCW Light-Heavyweight Title: Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman.

This match was an alternative to the American wrestling style in 1992 because its fast-pace and creative spots, so you can imagine how hard fans marked for  this. Since this is the Ted Turner version, I decided to go out and find this match’s full version. Out of all the matches on this card they could’ve clipped, they picked the best one. After a quick start, Pillman slows down the pace by working on Liger’s arm. Liger goes to the outside to take a breather, but a baseball slide from Pillman puts Liger into the guardrail. Pillman heads up top rope, but Liger gets out-of-the-way before Pillman can jump. Might as well jump! Back in, Liger takes Pillman to the mat and puts him in a leg bar. Pillman fights out of it and throws Liger into the corner, but Liger drills Pillman with a moonsault press. ONE-TWO-NO. Liger dropkicks Pillman to the floor.

Back in, Liger brings Pillman to the center of the ring for a headlock, but Pillman manages to fight out. Liger distributes several shoulder blocks in the corner and then Liger nails a running dropkick. Pillman comes back with a crucifix pin. ONE-TWO-THRE-NO!. Wait, Liger almost rolls Pillman. ONE-TWO-THR-NO!!. Trying to slow down the match, Liger puts in a headlock, but Pillman reverses it with a back suplex. ONE-TWO-THR-NO!!!!. Pillman tosses Liger in the corner and charges, but Liger moves out-of-the-way!!!!! Liger delivers a shin breaker and puts in a Figure Four. WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!. Pillman gets out, though, and both get back to their feet where THEY TRADE BITCH SLAPS!!!!! Pillman CHARGES at Liger, but Pillman gets backdrop to the floor!!!!!!!!! Liger heads up top. What’s he gonna do brothers? Oh my gawd, he NAILS A SENTON! Liger goes for a suplex but gives up because he can’t and then tries a turnbuckle collision, but Pillman blocks the move and follows up with AIR PILLMAN . He gloats to the crowd. PIN HIM INSTEAD! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
He carries Liger out to the floor and comes off the top with a cross body block. He puts Liger up beside the guard rail and dives off the apron, but Liger moves out-of-the-way and Pillman crushes his chin on to STEEL more pure than Jake Robert’s crack. Back in, Liger tries a move off the top, but Pillman has other plans and drills him a dropkick. Pillman attempts a missile dropkick off the top, but Liger nails him on the way down WITH A DROPKICK OF HIS OWN!!!!. They both go for spinning heel kicks but both miss. Liger fights back but falls into a power slam. ONE-TWO-THREE! IT’S OVER. WAIT, THAT WAS 2!!!!!!!!
 Pillman goes for a German suplex, but Liger blocks it and turns into a Friggen German Suplex…. WITH A BRIDGE. ONE-TWO-THRE-NO!!!!!! Liger tries a superplex off the top, but Pillman pushes him off and then hits a FLYING BRYAN BODY DROP. ONE-TWO-THRRRRRRRRR-NO! Pillman throws Liger into the ropes but gets drilled with a power bomb. ONE-TWO-THRRRRRRRR-NO! Liger goes for ANOTHER power bomb, but Pillman reverses into a FRANKEN STEINER. ONE-TWO-THRRRRRRR-NO!!!!! Pillman climbs up top only for Liger to hit a superplex. It’s over. ONE-TWO-THRRRRRRRR-NO. HE KICKED OUT!!!!! YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!! WAIT, PELE OUT OF NOWHERE!!!!!!! Okay, I made that last bit up.Liger fights back and goes for a HEADBUTT, but Pillman has six senses and rolls Liger up ONE-TWO-THREE!!!!!!!!!!! @ 16:59. After the match, Pillman gets a standing ovation. Liger and Pillman shake hands. THE RESPECT WAS EARNED! 
That match right there my friends was one highly competitive match. The spots don’t age great over time, but their ability to read the crowd certainly does. They did a compelling job of bringing the match’s paced up and down to get the crowd on the edge of their seat biting their finger nails. The difference between this match and most spotty matches is they inserted the high spots into the story they were telling instead of trying to out do the last spot with a bigger one. As a result, it made it feel like an athletic contest than a contrived stunt show. **** 1/2
Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes vs. Larry Zbyszko & Steve Austin (w/Madusa).
Windham is looking for retribution for Zbyszko slamming his hand in a car door at Halloween Havoc. Windham and Rhodes attack on the heels off the bat. Windham takes Zbyszko off the entranceway and throws him face-first to the guardrail below. Austin comes off the top rope, but Rhodes nails him with a lariat for two. Austin runs away, so Rhodes tags in Windham and Dustin goes outside the ring to throw Austin back in. Windham throws Austin into Zbyzsko. Zbyszko gets in and throws Windham out to the ramp way. 
He tries a pile driver, but Windham backdrops him. Back in, Windham hits a DDT and then tags in Rhodes where they deliver a double-team backdrop. Rhodes goes after Larry’s hand and then tags Windham for a gut wrench suplex that gets two. Barry attempts a pile driver, but Austin creeps in and delivers a CLOSELINE FROM HELL! Rhodes comes in to dispute with the ref, allowing Austin to throw Windham out to the floor. Austin goes outside with him and then Larry smashes Windham’s crotch on the guardrail. Back in the ring, Austin hits a clothesline followed by a suplex. ONE-TWO-NO!
Windham fights back and goes for another lariat, but Austin gets out-of-the-way and Windham goes airborne out to the floor. Back in the ring, Zbyszko tags in and then hits a swinging neck breaker. ONE-TWO-THR-NO! Austin tags in and nails a back suplex. Windham comes back with a back suplex, but Austin manages to make the tag to Zbyszko. Zbysko wretches in a sleeper hold. Windham breaks out and then makes a hot tag to Rhodes. Rhodes comes in and hits an inverted atomic drop, dropkick, and an elbow drop. ONE-TWO-THRRE-NO!!! Windham and Zbyszko start brawling up the ramp. Meanwhile, in the ring, Austin drills Rhodes with CLOTHESLINE THAT ALMOST TOOK HIS HEAD OFF!!!!. ONE-TWO-THRRRE-NO!! Windham and Zbyszko cool down from THEIR HEATED BRAWL and head back to their corners. Zbyszko tags in and BLASTS Rhodes with the swinging neck breaker. ONE-TWO-TH-NO! Rhodes tries to make a comeback, but don’t call it one because he gets nailed with a DDT.
Larry tags in and nails a backbreaker but gets his suplex countered. RHODES IS TRYING TO MAKE THE TAG…..but Austin cuts it off. Austin gets heat on Rhodes until Rhodes counters with an inside cradle, but the ref is stopping Windham from getting inside the ring. Austin puts in a chin lock but Dustin punches out and then nails Austin with a stun gun.  Move stealing mean anything to you son of a son’s plummer?Larry gets a tag……annnnddddd so does Windham!!! He DRILLS Zbyszko with lariats while Rhodes and Austin fight outside. Windham tries to finish Zbyszko with the superplex, but Larry pushes him off the top rope and says not today. Zbyszko wants to come off the top but Rhodes shoves Larry down to the floor. BIG BUMP! Windham goes up on the other side and then flies down on Zbyszko with a lariat. ONE-TWO-THREE @ 18:30. 
They told a nice  story with Windham wanting to inflict pain on just Larry Zbyszko, but the issues with the match were (a) it was too stretched out, (b) it lacked heat because of the long segments and (c) it was too formulaic. If they cut this match down to about 12 minutes, it would’ve been more packed and had less filler. All and all though, the match did its job and was entertaining in the essential parts. It just could’ve been better, especially with the heat and talent involved. *** 1/4
Missy Hyatt attempts to get an interview with Ricky Steamboat, but Ricky’s NINJA turns her away. Madusa tries to sneak in but he runs after her NINJA-STYLE!
WCW World Tag Team Champions Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton with Madusa vs. Rick & Scott Steiner
This was the Steiner Brothers’ first tag titles ever since they were stripped of the belts back in July because of Scott’s injury. Kip Frey bans Paul E. Security escorts him out of the ring area. Scott and Eaton start things off and Scott tries to take it to the mat, but Eaton grabs the ropes. Eaton hits a swinging neckbreaker and then heads to the top rope, but Scott catches Eaton coming down with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Rick ends up lying down beside Arn, which freaks Arn the hell out. Rick rapidly snaps off a power slam. Scott tags in and battles with Arn over an over-the-head wristlocks. Bobby comes in to help but Scott back flips out of it. Rick dashes in and double clotheslines the DA out to the floor. Back in the ring, Arn low blows Scott and then dumps him out but the Steiners nail them both with Steiner-lines.
Back in, Scott puts in a chin lock. Rick gets a tag and that leads to the Doomsday Device on Eaton. Arn gets in, but Rick nails him with a Steiner Bulldog for two. Arn recovers, makes a tags but Bobby tags back in and puts in a hammerlock. Rick elbows out, but Arn gets a blind tag and drills Rick with a back elbow for a two. Scott saves Rick from a double-suplex. Arn comes off the middle-rope, but Rick drills him. They start trading off punches, but Arn rams Scott’s skull into Bobby’s skull. Bobby tags in and hits a flying knee drop karate style. ONE-TWO-NO! Arn comes back in and nails a DDT for another near-fall. He tries several pin attempts but doesn’t get them so goes for a splash, but Scott reverses with a leg scissors. Arn turns it over into a Boston crab and drags him over to tag in Eaton. He puts in a camel clutch, but Scott drags Eaton over to Rick.Eaton nails Rick and then both give him the Rocket Launcher outside. Bobby drills Scott’s face into the railing but Scott stops the second try and then pays him back. 
Back in the ring, Eaton manages cuts off the tag and then tags in Arn. He tries to drill Scott’s face into Bobby’s knee, but Scott counters by throwing Arn into it. Scott makes the hot tag to Rick and attempts a belly-to-belly superplex on Eaton, but Arn lifts Rick up on his shoulders for a Doomsday Device. Eaton flies on Rick, but he catches Eaton in mid-air. Steiner Bulldog on Arn, but Eaton breaks it up. Madusa hands Arn some powder to throw in Rick’s face. Rick Steiner by accident gives the ref a suplex and then backdrops Arn to the outside. A new ref runs down. Scott hits the tiger driver and the Franken Steiner on Eaton for 1-2-3! @ 22:07.The crowd goes wild for the Steiners. It doesn’t last long because Randy Anderson, the original ref, is now conscious and notifies the new ref that Rick gave him a suplex, this the winners are by DQ The Dangerous Alliance.
 The Steiners were awesome around this time. I loved the dynamic of their team: Scott was the technician that wrestled most of the match and then would make the hot-tag to Rick who the psychotic untamed individual that just went bat shit crazy during his comeback. The finish was had too many shenanigans, but did its job by making the Dangerous Alliance look like lucky bastards and created anticipation for the rematch. The match was a good southern-style tag match. *** 1/2
WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Rick Rude vs. Ricky Steamboat with Ninja
Rude cuts a promo and the crowd shits all over it with A LOT of boos. Steamboat chops, arm drags, choke-lifts, and face-slams Rude for two. Steamboat hooks on an arm bar, but Rude kicks Steamboat and drops him on the railing. He gives Steamboat a suplex. Rude nails a clothesline with his bad arm. Rude slows the pace of the match down with a chin lock, but Steamboat fights out only to get clotheslined by Rude. Rude takes a second for some disco fever dancing and drops an elbow on Steamboat. He hits a swinging neck breaker and delivers a pile driver. ONE-TWO-THR!? NO!!!! 
Steamboat grabs a headlock but Rude pushes that off and hits a back suplex for two. Rude puts in a headlock, but Steamboat answers with a shin-breaker and goes for the Figure-Four. WOOOO!!! Rude makes it to the ropes. Steamboat tries again, but Rude kicks him and nails him with a clothesline. Rude goes up top and comes down on Steamboat with a hard forearm. Rude tries to do his dancing moves, but his arm is in too much pain so does it with one arm. Great characterization shown there. He goes up top and flies down on Steamboat with forearm for two.
Rude puts in a chin lock and sits on Steamboat’s rear for more force, but Steamboat gets up and hits an electric chair drop. They both get on their feet punching away and then both knock their heads together. Steamboat puts in sleepers, but Rude gets out with a jawbreaker. Rude goes to the top, but Steamboat nails him a superplex for a near-fall. Steamboat nails Rude with a pair of clotheslines and then an enziguri. A backdrop and a seated clothesline get a two. Steamboat heads up for the flying chop and connects. He goes for another one, but then the ninja nails him with a phone. The ninja sprints to the back. ONE-TWO-THREE @ 20:23.
 The match was good from a technically sound standpoint and had rational psychology in it, but unlike their other matches, this one was lacking in the “on the edge of your seat” feeling. The structure of the match was all fastballs without many curve balls. They’d go on and have way better matches. ***
Missy Hyatt goes in Rude’s locker room to get some scoop but sees Paul E in a Ninja suit. Paul E entertainingly overreacts as if no one expected it was him and then gets a bj from Hyatt and at that very second,  Al Snow’s gimmick was made once  Heyman got an idea after he moaned everyone needs head.
WCW Heavyweight Title: Lex Luger with Harley Race vs. Sting

There is some trash talking in the start. Jessie thinks they are saying, “Lets go home and forget about it.” This match blows so I agree with Jessie: let’s just go home. Both men start shoving and then Sting delivers the Stinger Splash, but Luger no-sells and comes running out of the corner with a clothesline. Luger hits a power slam and goes for the T-Rack, but Sting flips out and gives Lex a German suplex. Sting has Luger up in the Rack and Luger escapes, but Sting nails a jumping DDT, which makes Luger roll to the floor. Sting is pulled to the outside, but Sting sends Luger into the rail. Back in the ring, Sting applies the Scorpion Death lock. Luger makes to the ropes.
Luger takes over and pounds Sting on the mat until Sting starts to choke Luger in the corner but Luger nails a low blow followed up by an inverted atomic drop.Luger hits a press-slam followed by a bad-looking pile driver. Sting comes back and puts Luger’s face into the mat, but Sting misses a dive and flies out of the ring. Luger nails Sting’s face into the railing and heads back in the ring. Race goes for a pile driver on the floor but Sting backdrops him. Sting goes up top and surprises Luger with a flying body press. ONE-TWO-THREE! @ 13:09.

Luger’s title run didn’t work out because he started becoming an afterthought because he was being overshadowed by the nuclear heat Dangerous Alliance were receiving and  because he started dogging his matches; therefore, it was a good business decision to put the belt back on Sting. The matchwasn’t great because Luger was half-assin’ it and Sting is only as good as his opponent. **


Final Verdict: Aside from the main-event, the lowest match on the card was *** and the highest was **** 1/2. This was good effort by the boys (except Luger) and another well-booked show by WCW’s committee . I didn’t love the show as much as others, but it was still a good show to say in the least. 
If anything, this show shows how important it is to finish strong. If Liger-Pillman closed the show, it would’ve been A LOT better. Of course, they wouldn’t end the show with an exhibition match over a title match, but it’s just the principle that’s it great to go out with a bang. Anyway, this is a very fun time in WCW history and there’s more great stuff to come.

Monday Nitro – November 4, 1996

Monday Nitro #60
Date: November 4, 1996
Location: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Attendance: 7,568
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re into November now and World War 3 is in three weeks. Well 20 days but you get the idea. Ok so it’s really 15 years ago plus a few months but we’ll be here all day if we get into that. Anyway after last week, there’s not much to go on so hopefully we really get things going tonight. Let’s get to it.

Sting is in the rafters. DiBiase, Vincent and Giant are in the crowd and looking up at him.

Tonight we start a tournament for the new WCW Women’s Title.

Eric isn’t here tonight, but rather in Portland trying to get Piper to sign a contract. Remember that. It becomes REAL important in a few weeks.

We get a clip from Havoc where Piper yells at Hogan. Tony says the fans have demanded it, including over the internet. Tonight a word is promised about the signing.

Marcus Bagwell vs. Brad Armstrong

Sting leaves before the match starts. Man even he hates Buff. Riggs it at ringside too. Random question but where have the Steiners been? Are they still out from the car wreck thing? Bagwell does the clap thing and to his credit, the crowd is doing it with him. Technical match for the most part as they’re on the mat a lot. One thing that’s unrelated to the match: there are fans in the front row leaning over people (nice guys) to try to see themselves on a screen. I guess there are monitors or something by the entrance. That helps a lot as far as the videos they play.

We take a break (in the opener? Between Bagwell and Armstrong?) and come back to Armstrong hitting some armdrags (with his strong arms I guess) to frustrate Bagwell. Bagwell hits him in the face and the brawl is on. The fans are getting into this too. A dropkick puts Bagwell down and he gets tossed to the floor. Bagwell does just the same, hitting a dropkick and a clothesline to put Armstrong on the floor. There’s a dive to the floor and Brad is in trouble.

The NWO is in the crowd. They seem to be in the same place we saw them earlier so presumably they’ve been there the entire time. Why we’re looking at them and should be surprised to see them eludes me but a lot of what WCW did eluded me. Ok now they’re leaving. A tornado DDT gets two for Armstrong. There’s a gutbuster for Bagwell and what looked to be a forearm to put Armstrong down. We get the same ending from Fall Brawl 95 with Johnny B. Badd vs. Pillman where they both hit cross bodies and Bagwell lands on top for the pin.

Rating: C+. Marcus Bagwell vs. Brad Armstrong got 15 minutes and a commercial on Nitro and IT WAS GOOD. I’m in an alternate universe here. Brad was almost always at least watchable but Bagwell was a tag team guy and the same wrestler he was five years earlier, so why in the world did this get so much time? I’m not sure but it worked pretty well.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Ice Train

We’re reminded of the NWO watching Page last week. Page whispered something to Nick Patrick before this starts. The NWO (Outsiders) are in the crowd watching again. Train easily overpowers Page to start and knocks him to the floor. Page is starting to look a lot like he would during his main run. The Outsiders leave. Page guillotines him on the top and hits a top rope clothesline to take over.

Tony says Teddy has become a role model for young people all over the world. I can see the tag team matches being made on playgrounds all over the world. Sunset flip (and a bad one at that) gets two for Train. Larry says Piper vs. Hogan would be the biggest match of the 20th century. I never thought I’d say this, but Larry has been in bigger matches than that would be. Pancake puts Train down for two.

Swinging neckbreaker gets the same and a huge kickout, sending Page onto Patrick. A powerslam and two splashes get a slow two. Page gets knocked to the floor when the Outsiders come in and destroy Train with the title belts. Patrick is on the floor with Page. The champs leave and the Cutter ends this.

Rating: D+. This was more angle than match, which is something you can usually say about Teddy Long’s clients’ matches. It’s cool to see the Outsiders doing something to pull someone up and it certainly worked with Page. Was there a kayfabe reason why Patrick never went on medical leave? I never got that.

Cruiserweight Title: Dean Malenko vs. Scotty Riggs

Dean vs. Psicosis is announced for the PPV. The bell never rings so technically this is just a big prematch exhibition. Riggs has a bad shoulder coming in. Tony: “Well he’s trying to win. That’s a good sign.” Well what else would he be there for? A pottery class? Syxx pops up in the crowd as Riggs hits the post shoulder first. Riggs doesn’t seem to mind as he turns on the jets and sends Dean to the floor. There’s a plancha and back in a top rope double axe gets two. Scotty goes up again but Dean falls against the ropes and Riggs crashes onto the apron. Bagwell throws him back in and Dean gets an easy pin.

Rating: C. Not a bad match here and it foreshadows the troubles that the Males would have. Ok so maybe foreshadows is too big of a word given that they would only last like 3 weeks but you get the idea. Dean looked good here as did Riggs, and that ending fall looked awesome and painful at the same time. Decent little match.

We get a clip from last week with Mongo helping steal a win for Benoit.

Hector Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit

Hector is Eddie’s older brother and possibly even more talented. He’s also a dead ringer for Eddie if you just glance at him. I’ve often gotten them confused until I took a good look. Flair has had his surgery and Anderson is out with a back injury. On Saturday, Benoit said Sullivan is no longer the man he used to be. Sullivan pops up and says he’ll hurt Benoit in Baltimore. He’s actually talking about a house show.

Hector speeds things up and hits almost a Vader Bomb from the top rope out to the floor onto a standing Benoit. Benoit’s shoulder is still taped up. Hector works on the arm and mixes up the attack on it, because Hector Guerrero is smarter than most wrestlers. He goes to take the tape off and we take a break. After an NWO t-shirt ad, we come back to Benoit hitting a knee to put Guerrero down.

He draped Hector over the top rope with a release suplex and Guerrero is in trouble. Benoit works over the ribs and hooks an awkward abdominal stretch. Hector is basically crouched down and Benoit is bending over. Benoit hammers him down as Tony hypes up how amazing the second hour is. There’s the explosion. Hector grabs a small package for two. Guerrero speeds things up and uses a rolling tumbleweed style cradle for two. Woman breaks it up which isn’t a DQ. Benoit grabs a rollup via the distraction and uses the ropes for the pin.

Rating: C+. Another long match which again works. Benoit could move better this week which is a nice perk. Hector wouldn’t be around that much I don’t think so this was really just to avenge Eddie I guess. Nothing that great but they were moving well out there and the psychology worked so big points for that.

We look at Giant and Jarrett from last week. The Horsemen and Jarrett are in the aisle and Jeff says he’s the lead horse right now. Was he ever officially inducted? Benoit protests and says business pertaining to the Horsemen will be dealt with by a Horseman. Jarrett talks about getting WCW together as Sting watches. He just kind of goes on and on while we look at Sting.

The announcers talk about Sting.

Lee Marshall is in Florida for next week’s Nitro.

WCW Women’s Title Tournament First Round: Reina Jubuki vs. Madusa

Jubuki is Akiri Hokuto under a mask. Reina takes over quickly to start and chokes Madusa down. Another female Japanese wrestler comes out and watches. Her name is Zero apparently. Sonny Onoo rants like a heel Japanese man would in pro wrestling. Madusa hits something like what we would call the Stratusphere but Jubuki hits a release suplex and missile dropkick for two. The American grabs a quick German to pin the Japanese for the win. Too short to rate but it was way better than most modern female matches.

Michael Wallstreet vs. Chris Jericho

Wallstreet takes it to the mat quickly but Jericho works on the arm and then grabs a headlock. He tries to speed things up and Wallstreet fires him through the ropes. Tony calls the attorney of Nick Patrick a Schyster. I have a feeling there was a wink in there somewhere. Wallstreet pounds away as the announcers debate what the name Lionheart means.

Off to a chinlock and after awhile we look at the crowd. I can’t say I blame them as things got really boring all of a sudden there. Jericho comes back to break up the boring chants which were coming quickly. Missile dropkick sends Wallstreet out to the floor. Jericho gets sent into the post but as they come back in he grabs a quick small package for the pin.

Rating: D+. Nothing special here at all but they didn’t have much to go on. Jericho needed the ring time at this point and putting him in there with a veteran like Wallstreet was a good idea. This wasn’t all that bad but it’s nothing interesting at all. Basically just a way to make sure people remember who Jericho is.

Patrick and his attorney are here again and Jericho says there’s nothing wrong with the neck and that Patrick works for the NWO. Somehow this turns into an argument about Jericho’s dad playing in the NHL. Teddy comes out to yell at Patrick too. The attorney brings up Teddy being suspended while he was a referee like 8 years ago. Jericho cuts him off and says that’s the past, what Patrick is doing today.

We get a video from last week with Luger chasing after Sting to end the match with Booker.

Lex Luger vs. Booker T

Before the match we get an inset promo from Luger saying he’ll be waiting for Sting whenever he’s ready to talk. Luger grabs a delayed vertical suplex to start and seems to be more focused than he was last week. An elbow puts Booker on the floor and we take a break. Tony promises that if anything happens during the break, we’ll see it on replay. There’s no replay, so I guess we can assume that they just stayed in the same place during the break.

Powerslam gets two for Lex. Booker grabs a release Stun Gun to take over. Lex gets thrown to the floor where he takes a kick to the ribs from Sherri. Booker works on the back out on the floor. Back in the ring a hooking kick puts Luger down again. Side kick results in Booker crotching himself and Lex makes his comeback. He hits a powerslam and calls for the Rack but Booker grabs the rope. There’s a side kick to take Luger down and Colonel Parker is here to hug Sherri. An enziguri puts Lex down but Parker gets on the apron for some reason. Booker yells at him so Luger rolls him up for the pin.

Rating: D. This was a chore to sit through. The problem basically was that I don’t think anyone thought Booker was going to get a decisive win here so it was just kind of waiting around until the end of the match. That’s a very boring kind of match to watch and I stopped this whenever I could to do ANYTHING else. It wasn’t bad but it was very uninteresting.

Sting is still watching.

Eric Bischoff calls in and says that things are going well with him and Piper, but there’s no match signed, due to attorneys and agents interfering. He won’t say what’s wrong but he’s going to talk to Piper in Toronto next week. This goes on for awhile. Remember this segment. It becomes very important later.

Remember last week where we saw part of the Hogan vs. Piper showdown from Halloween Havoc but it was clipped for time? Well here’s the FULL version! That eats up ten minutes.

Here’s the NWO to end the show. Hogan demands a spotlight so he feels like he’s in California. Here’s a clip from Santa With Muscles, as we’re actually playing the “my B-movie is better than YOUR B-movie” game between Piper and Hogan. Hogan, as Santa, beats up some goons/thieves in a mall. Back in the arena, Hogan talks about the Cable Ace Awards or something and threatens to come to the ceremony and steal Ted Turner’s award. Is there a point to this at all? Hogan says Piper is scared and hiding out with Savage somewhere. He poses to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. Well it was better than last week due to the matches and wrestling being a lot better, but at the same time, nothing happened here. That’s the problem with having a main event like the big battle royal as everyone of note is in there and there might be a few other matches on there, most of which are just midcard matches. Things pick up speed soon enough though.

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Luger Finds Jesus

I came across this story regarding Lex Luger. Regardless of ones stance on religon I’m glad to see Luger may be turning his life around. The sport didn’t need another death, and a few years ago it sure seemed Lex was head that way. http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=36636

I think we can all agree that the finish of Bash 88…oh, sorry, wrong Luger thread.  I’m really glad Lex seems to have made peace with his demons, because for a while there it looked like he was going to be another statistic.  Perhaps someone needs to persuade Matt Hardy to look into this religion thing. 

Luger Finds Jesus

I came across this story regarding Lex Luger. Regardless of ones stance on religon I’m glad to see Luger may be turning his life around. The sport didn’t need another death, and a few years ago it sure seemed Lex was head that way. http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=36636

I think we can all agree that the finish of Bash 88…oh, sorry, wrong Luger thread.  I’m really glad Lex seems to have made peace with his demons, because for a while there it looked like he was going to be another statistic.  Perhaps someone needs to persuade Matt Hardy to look into this religion thing. 

Luger Finds Jesus

I came across this story regarding Lex Luger. Regardless of ones stance on religon I’m glad to see Luger may be turning his life around. The sport didn’t need another death, and a few years ago it sure seemed Lex was head that way. http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=36636

I think we can all agree that the finish of Bash 88…oh, sorry, wrong Luger thread.  I’m really glad Lex seems to have made peace with his demons, because for a while there it looked like he was going to be another statistic.  Perhaps someone needs to persuade Matt Hardy to look into this religion thing. 

More On Luger

Scott, For some reason i can’t login to your blog at work and I didn’t want to wait until I got home, lest I forget all about this: According to the WON at the time, the mentality for the booking of the GAB finish was to help boost attendence at house shows, which were dropping big at the time. The Athletic Commission stopping the match was a big gimmick done in CA during the ’70’s. It was supposed to make the Athletic Commission into the heels because THEY screwed Luger out the title. This leads to WCW promoting rematches around the horn with the idea that YOUR state isn’t so strict about blood, so make sure you’re there to see Luger get another shot at Flair. Of course, we’re talking about WCW here, so of course it got screwed up. Luger’s looked like he nicked himself shaving rather than the juice job that Kerry did with Lawler. On the comics front: Have you read the new Red Lantern series yet?

It’s on my “to do” pile.  Apparently it’s supposed to be so ridiculous that it’s good in a warped way, so I’ll probably give it a look along with Swamp Thing and Frankenstein and Blackhawks somewhere along the line.  As for Luger, I now recall hearing that retarded justification before, and that’s exactly the kind of short-sighted thinking that led to Crockett going bankrupt.  Here’s a wacky thought:  Instead of coming up with a convoluted storyline for why people should go see Luger at the house shows, they should have just PUT THE TITLE ON HIM and let him try to draw on top.  Dusty Rhodes was seriously losing his mind at that point.  And of course, as has been pointed out by others, the very next year when they were in Baltimore Flair was bleeding all over the place and no one stopped it.  By the way, I will say that Meltzer has improved tremendously as a writer since the 80s, or at least he has better editing now.  Some of those old WONs were an adventure in trying to decipher run-on sentences and aborted thoughts. 

More On Luger

Scott, For some reason i can’t login to your blog at work and I didn’t want to wait until I got home, lest I forget all about this: According to the WON at the time, the mentality for the booking of the GAB finish was to help boost attendence at house shows, which were dropping big at the time. The Athletic Commission stopping the match was a big gimmick done in CA during the ’70’s. It was supposed to make the Athletic Commission into the heels because THEY screwed Luger out the title. This leads to WCW promoting rematches around the horn with the idea that YOUR state isn’t so strict about blood, so make sure you’re there to see Luger get another shot at Flair. Of course, we’re talking about WCW here, so of course it got screwed up. Luger’s looked like he nicked himself shaving rather than the juice job that Kerry did with Lawler. On the comics front: Have you read the new Red Lantern series yet?

It’s on my “to do” pile.  Apparently it’s supposed to be so ridiculous that it’s good in a warped way, so I’ll probably give it a look along with Swamp Thing and Frankenstein and Blackhawks somewhere along the line.  As for Luger, I now recall hearing that retarded justification before, and that’s exactly the kind of short-sighted thinking that led to Crockett going bankrupt.  Here’s a wacky thought:  Instead of coming up with a convoluted storyline for why people should go see Luger at the house shows, they should have just PUT THE TITLE ON HIM and let him try to draw on top.  Dusty Rhodes was seriously losing his mind at that point.  And of course, as has been pointed out by others, the very next year when they were in Baltimore Flair was bleeding all over the place and no one stopped it.  By the way, I will say that Meltzer has improved tremendously as a writer since the 80s, or at least he has better editing now.  Some of those old WONs were an adventure in trying to decipher run-on sentences and aborted thoughts.