WCW Saturday Night: February 22, 1997

WCW Saturday Night is brought to you by Valvoline. Cyborgs who know use VALVOLINE!
As we open with a clip of Hot Rod ranting and raving inside of an Alcatraz cell, fellow conspiracy theorist Dr. Unlikely comments on the recent decline in quality: I’m glad to see this still makes exactly as much sense today as it did 18 years ago. I recall thinking the Outsiders filming and presenting a tape of themselves actually trying to kill the Steiners hilarious at the time (in my memory of it, Rick leans out the window and barks at the Outsidermobile, but I can’t remember if that really happened now). I think I felt the same way about Piper speaking in Gaelic and Piper locking himself up with no food or water for seven days. So, basically, this is the point where I probably started ironically watching Nitro instead of truly enjoying it (matching up perfectly with Bret and Austin saving the WWF through sheer talent and force of will), which I’d do to the bitter end.

Bischoff is getting completely exposed as a one trick pony, and it’s been on display for nearly 2 months now. Somewhere, he lost the fact that great wrestling angles need a beginning, a middle, and an end. When the nWo first began, it was the hottest deal in television history because it legitimately appeared to be a WWF invasion. You had NO idea if Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, or even Vince McMahon was ready to join the Outsiders to take down WCW. Brilliantly executed. These guys were a real threat to their company, and they needed all hands on deck.
Then, the Giant turned. At that moment, it became a wrestling angle. This was a guy who was fighting tooth and nail to defend WCW, and was embarrassed on pay-per-view just a couple of weeks earlier. Can you imagine Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar buddying up, even YEARS after their last fight? No – because real people don’t do that.
Ever since the nWo drive in December, it’s clear Bischoff very genuinely believes that the nWo is its own “brand”. This isn’t a line he’s touting on television, he actually thinks he could give the nWo their own program and it would draw like gangbusters. He’s completely lost sight of the fact that while yes, they have a pretty sleek t-shirt, the shirt isn’t the reason the fans care about this group. They love them because Hall and Nash are the cool kids everyone wants to buddy up to. They’re funny, they’re arrogant, they’re fresh. THIS is who they want to see when the porno music hits. Nobody gives a damn that Scott Norton gets to ride in the B-squad limo, except Eric Bischoff.
Out of creative ideas, and trying to recreate their bad-assedness, Bischoff decided “YES – vehicular homicide!” Except that, while we admittedly stretch the bounds of reality where our professional wrestling is concerned, this is absurd. There is no way that a couple of guys submit nationally televised evidence that they caused another car to roll off the highway and make it out of the arena in anything but a new pair of steel bracelets. Granted, Lieutenant James Earl has been tied up with that Fit Finlay murder-mystery for nearly a year, Buddy Lee Parker no longer seems interested in law enforcement, and Glacier’s too busy performing his entrance to notice, but there MUST be more cops on the planet, right?
On its own, it’s atrocious. However, the minute you pair that with Roddy Piper, the people’s fighting champion who has decided to lock himself in Alcatraz as an effort to sell a fight, it’s clear this company has derailed. It’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a couple of weeks of good booking; but they keep making these mistakes, and have been since Starrcade.
I love WCW. The June through October shows were amongst the very best produced television you’ll ever see. The expanding Cruiserweight division, a suddenly loaded midcard (with Prince fucking Iaukea carrying the TV title! Don’t think for a second the preceding paragraphs weren’t brought on by this!) and a new crop of main eventers, there is NO reason they shouldn’t have been able to run out quality production for the next 5 years with THIS roster alone! The possibilities are endless. And it’s a little depressing to know that these moments of Bad Judgment are *nothing* in the grand scheme of things, and somehow this company that can do no wrong is 4 years from being 6 feet under.
However, for the time being, it’s still 1997, things are still rolling, and there IS some pretty great TV on the horizon, so let’s have at it. Take us away TONY SCHIAVONE and DUSTY RHODES. Dusty believes Piper needs to check himself into a Minnow Institution.
VILLANO 4 (1-1-0) vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. (5-2-2)
My copy of this match has gone through rough and rigors known as VHS, so the commentary comes across as a poorly produced Youtube rap video starring Dusty Rhodes. Internet – you have your mission. Villano misses a senton, but doesn’t miss a powerslam, getting 2. A moonsault off the top misses Rey by about 12 feet, and Rey’s all over him with a springboard rana for the win at 2:44.
DEAN MALENKO (8-1-2) vs. MARK STARR (1-5-0) (in a non-title match)
Over the past year, WCW has built this incredible Cruiserweight division from scratch. It’s the kind of thing you could set on your mantle and admire for the rest of your life. However, some genius (and I ASSUME it’s the same person who decided that Prince Iaukea would make a fine TV champ) has decided that it would mean more for the title if, instead of defending it on television, the champion make a stand against the heavyweight division. You know, all the top names, like Mike Enos, Robbie Brookside, and now Mark Starr. He hasn’t defended the belt since he won it 32 days ago – and that includes WCW Pro! And NO, I don’t care that Syxx stole the belt, a “title” is a TITLE, like Doctor, or Meng. You earn it. The title is secondary to being called Champ. If you’re that concerned about the gold, file a police report (and while you’re at it, mention the Steiners wouldja?), and get it back! Goddamn. Anyway, Union turncoat Mark Starr takes the early advantage, working over Malenko with an often unseen intensity. Malenko responds by dropping Starr on the back of his head, and gets 2. Dean whips out his small package, but it doesn’t score. The Texas Cloverleaf does the job though, and Malenko wins at 4:05. Post-match Malenko grabs the microphone, and puts all 2000 people in attendance to sleep. *
JERRY FLYNN (0-4-0) vs. PRINCE FUCKING IAUKEA (1-1-0) (for the WCW world television title)
Dusty takes a moment to talk to us about pride. “If you have no pride as a wrestlah, and don’t feel like you can take on Genghis Khan, then you’re not an Americahn, or a Euro Peein’, or whatever country you from.” Jerry Flynn has earned this title shot on account of his perfect record since entering WCW in December. Iaukea gets his ass kicked for what feels like 87 minutes straight, but he manages to dodge a spin kick and hits a Northern Lights suplex. Superfly Splash gets the win at 2:33. Even the canned heat doesn’t care about this guy. DUD
Here’s a chance to get Up Close and Personal with KEVIN SULLIVAN and JACQUELINE. Jackie has such trash talk as “Nancy, you think you got yo self a real man? I have a real man!” and “Nancy turn yo back, and now she with Chris Ben Wah.” I feel like she means it.
KEVIN SULLIVAN (6-1-0) (with Jacqueline and Jimmy Hart) vs. JOHNNY SWINGER (0-1-0)
TEDDY LONG weighs in on the situation, by reminding Jackie while she’s known Kevin for 10 years, that he’s known Kevin for 20! He tells Jackie that Sullivan has quit on himself, quit on Nancy, and someday, he’ll quit on her too. I sense some jealousy dude. Just drop the ruse, and make your love triangle into a tag-team match, playa. Jackie slaughters Swinger on the floor, while Sullivan swivels his hips in her direction. Where the hell was the network censor?!? This is a FAMILY program, and I don’t need to watch Sullivan parade his rapidly tightening tights around like a puppet show! The usual finishes at 3:09.  DUD
A front row STUNT GRANNY celebrates capturing DDP’s t-shirt. Then she winks at him, and she’ll join him for pizza later. I wish social media had existed in the late 90’s, primarily for the potential of THIS particular roster. Tony Schiavone opening up a poll on the WCW app to determine “what does Bunkhouse Buck smell like?” is exactly the kind of lost opportunities we’re seeing with the death of this once fine company. Diamond Cutter at 2:13, please drive through. DUD
LEE MARSHALL grabs our weekly DDP soundbyte. Lee Marshall asks Page about his involvement with Bubba? Page says he feels awful about what happened. He saw the tape, and he finds it incredible that someone was able to sneak up behind the nWo and take out one of their guys. He doesn’t ever want to see anyone permanently damaged, or taken away in an ambulance. “It looks like it’s gonna be a Par Tay in San Francisco for DDP … but Bubba, get well soon, I really feel for you brother.” Our beloved Tony the Tiger is left speechless.
EDDIE GUERRERO (7-3-2) vs. JIM POWERS (1-1-0) (in a non-title match)
Powers lets us know he’s taking this match seriously, by nodding his head seriously and making an angry face. Did he and Teddy break up? Why wasn’t this addressed? Gene’s really dropped the ball since signing his new deal last fall, I’m not impressed. Eddie ties up the juice monkey like a docked sailboat, including a rarely seen Lasso from El Paso! An armbar fails to draw a tap out, so Eddie goes to the slingshot senton instead, yielding 2. Powers starts the comeback with a knee lift, and a whiffed dropkick is sold for 2. Powers steals one from Eddie’s playbook, using the standing vertical suplex, but Eddie won’t stay down. Eddie blocks an avalanche with a knee, and quickly hits a tornado DDT to set up the Frog Splash at 5:47. Good little scrum. **
LEE MARSHALL starts quoting Mary Shelley to introduce THE GIANT, which I’m afraid is far too high level for this show and this audience. The big man says he’s not an nWo creation, but a “real life fire breathing Giant”. Look, he’s been SAYING that for over a year, but I have yet to see him prove it. I’m starting to think he’s a liar, or a circus performer who is respectful of arena fire codes.
HARLEM HEAT (7-1-2) (with Sista Sherri) vs. DOC DEAN and ROBBIE BROOKSIDE
I’m not thinking the Brits are gonna get a whole lot of love here. In fact, outside of the stop and go Steven Regal pushes over the years, the Brits just aren’t respected on a North American level in pro-wrestling. That’s the ONLY reason I can come up with regarding the lack of support for one David Taylor. Big Apple just tears right through Brookside at 2:09. Stevie Ray spits all over the camera after the match. 1/2*
A pissy Sherri starts screaming at LEE MARSHALL, demanding tag-team title shots. Does she think he’s Eric Bischoff in a fake moustache? Lee can’t help you! Booker promises that they’re gonna go through each solitary sucka to get the gold back one more time.
CHRIS BENOIT (5-3-0) (with Woman) vs. RICK FULLER (0-1-0)
You, the Internet, can cry all the crocodile tears you want about Benoit not getting higher profile stuff. I don’t care, I could happily watch him work away with the Rick Fullers and Road Blocks of the world. Fuller goes for an Outsiders Edge right away, and as Woman screams bloody murder, Benoit slides off the back. Fuller’s energy doesn’t let up, as he chops away and drops Chris with a spin kick. A fantastic looking kneedrop to the face gets 2. Finally, the big guy misses an elbow, and now he’s got a pissed off Canadian with a mean streak coming at him. Fuller gets in a shot and heads to the top, but Benoit gorilla slams him off the top(!!!), before finishing with the swandive at 2:13. Tony: “Chris Benoit hit his head VERY hard that time!” And that’s putting it mildly, dude gave himself a shiner in the process. Watching him with the power of forward vision can be a little hard at times; because the guy tried so hard to be the greatest performer of his time that he turned his brain into porridge, even on these pointless Saturday Night shows. *1/2
LEE MARSHALL welcomes RIC FLAIR for a live arena appearance. I always love watching him emerge from the Cyborg Factory, stepping through the cloud of smoke, while Also Sprach Zarathustra plays him through. It’s like the emergence of a King, and the crowd are his loyal servants. Flair doesn’t think Hogan’s gonna have the stones to step in the ring with Piper tomorrow night. Now, concerning Jarrett and Mongo, he says he christened Jarrett months ago, and if he can beat Mongo tomorrow night, he’s in the group no matter what the other guys think about it. And, speaking of guys who are in, “Love Machine” Chris Benoit is gonna tear Kevin Sullivan to pieces.
KONAN (6-3-1) (with Jimmy Hart) vs. JEFF JARRETT (8-1-0)
The fans have absolutely no love for either one of these guys, and turn completely on this match with such force the Canned Heat doesn’t even bother trying to balance it out. Konan takes early control, so I guess Jarrett’s our face tonight. A sitdown dropkick gets 2, despite Konan’s whines to the contrary. Jarrett slams Konan’s head to the buckle, and a cradle gets 2. Jarrett calls for the Figure Four, but Jimmy trips him up and Konan’s all over him. A super axehandle is blocked by Jarrett, and a sidewalk slam gives Jarrett another chance to finish. Instead, he opts to punch Hart in the face, and being the first guy in history to somehow NOT have this be enough distraction to lose, he goes for the Figure Four. KEVIN SULLIVAN and JACQUELINE save, because Konan don’t do no clean jobs, and that’s a DQ at 3:51CHRIS BENOIT and WOMAN rush down, but Jackie brandishes a strap and … we take a break before anything happens.
The show closes with Piper’s Alcatraz interview aired in full. Our announcers don’t even bother saying so long, or remind us to order the pay-per-view.

Superbrawl’s tomorrow, and while I’m not real fussy about the build-up, there’s 2 big items that could make the show one to remember. 1) Roddy Piper capturing his elusive first World Title from Hogan. This would even the playing field a little and give WCW some much needed momentum. Or, alternatively, 2) Hogan cheats his ass off to retain, denying Piper in his last big chance, setting the table for the Sting beatdown we’ve been waiting for since the fall. And when it does … I’m getting chills just thinking about the delicious possibilities. This seems too good to screw up, right?

WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event May 2nd, 1987

May 2, 1987

From the Joyce Athletic & Convocation Center in South Bend, IN

Your hosts are Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Vince McMahon

We get promos to hype tonight’s matches which include: “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. George “The Animal” Steele in a Lumberjack Match, British Bulldogs vs. Hart Foundation for the Tag Team Titles in a 2/3 Falls Match, and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Hercules. Plus, Andre the Giant & Bobby Heenan tells us why Andre really won the title from Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania III and more.

We are shown footage of Ken Patera destroying Bobby Heenan after their debate on “Superstars of Wrestling.”

Kamala w/ Mr. Fuji & Kimchee vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Before the match, Okerlund interviewed Fuji about Kamala’s fear of snakes in an interesting bit. The match starts with Kamala fleeing the ring after Jake dumps Damien on the mat. Kamala then attacks Jake from behind as he was distracted. Jake fights back until he runs into a throat thrust. Kamala grabs a bearhug that Jake is able to escape from. Jake stomps Kamala’s feet then works the arm until Kamala chops him down then chokes Jake out on the mat. Kimchee orders Kamala to attack Jake, who then starts to fight back. Kamala lands a few headbutts then Jake outsmarts him as he catches Kamala with a kneelift. Jake hits another kneelift then signals for the DDT as the crowd goes nuts but Fuji distracts the ref then Kimchee sneaks in the ring and nails Jake in the back of the head as that allows Kamala to hit the splash for the win (4:18) *1/2. After the match, Kimchee takes off his hat then suit as he reveals himself as the Honky Tonk Man, complete in his own suit. Honky beats on Jake before hitting the Shake, Rattle, and Roll. After that, Honky grabs the mic and thanks the fans, who boo him in return.

Thoughts: Having Honky as Kimchee was clever and it kept his feud with Jake hot. Honky was rapidly becoming a top heel in the company at this point. Poor Jake has certainly been jobbing a lot since turning face. He was still insanely over though.

Lumberjack Match
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. George “The Animal” Steele

Lumberjacks include: Hart Foundation, British Bulldogs, Can-Am Connection, Danny Davis, Honky Tonk Man, Kimchee, Ricky Steamboat, Hercules, Tito Santana, Iron Sheik, and Nikolai Volkoff. Steamboat walks Steele to the ring and while he is inside, Hercules trips him up to sell their match later in the show. Savage starts the match by attacking Steele from behind for licking Elizaberh’s hands. Steele fights back and knocks Savage outside as the heels help him out for a minute. Savage tries to roll out but the faces prevent him. Savage and Steele go back and forth as neither man can gain an advantage until Savage hits an axe handle from the top then sends Steele to the floor, where the heels beat him down until Duggan chases them away with the 2×4 then goes in the ring as the lumberjacks fight with themselves. Duggan gets sent to the locker room then back from break we see Steele headbutt Davis. Back inside, Steele eats a turnbuckle then throws the stuffing at Savage, who comes back with a knee smash. Savage then hits a suplex but shortly after that gets tossed to the floor where Steamboat throws him back into the ring. Steele bites Savage then tosses Savage, who hits Steamboat and that triggers a brawl as Davis sneaks inside and whacks Steele with the bell as Savage hits the flying elbow smash for the win (6:44) **1/4. After the match everyone starts brawling in the ring then Jake Roberts comes out with his ribs taped up and holding Damien as Honky bails but Jake wraps Damien around Kimchee.

Thoughts: The action between the lumberjacks kept this match entertaining as there was always something happening here. This was also billed as possibly the last time Steele would wrestle Savage and see Elizabeth too.

Gene Okerlund is with Andre the Giant and Bobby Heenan, sporting a neckbrace from the attack by Patera, in a pre-taped interview. Andre and Heenan say they were cheated and that the officials always back Hogan and has footage to prove this as they claim the referee counted to three as the camera angle was so that Andre’s body was blocking the view and you could see the arm motions from the referee. Heenan and Andre then demand an investigation. The three count thing is a little weak in terms of building up a rematch but they needed something to go off of while keeping Andre strong so it could have been worse I suppose.

Best of Three Falls
WWF Tag Team Title Match
British Bulldogs vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis

The crowd goes nuts as Matilda bites Jimmy Hart as Jesse goes off about how the Bulldogs should be in jail for that. Match starts with Davey and Bret going back and forth for a bit. Davey catches Bret with a monkey flip and a crucifix but runs into a knee. Neidhart tags and hammers away as the Hart Foundation cheat behind the referee’s back. The Hart Foundation continues to neutralize Davey until he gets his knees up on a charging Bret. Dynamite makes the tag and picks up Bret by the hair. Clothesline gets two. Snap suplex gets two. Neidhart breaks up another pin attempt then Davis stomps on Davey outside as Tito chases him around then goes in the ring after the bell rings as the Bulldogs win the first fall by DQ due to double-teaming by the Hart Foundation (4:34). The second fall starts with Dynamite getting destroyed. He mounts a brief comeback and tries to make the tag but Neidhart runs in and stops that. He then puts Dynamite in a front facelock as Davey chases Bret and Davis around the ring. Back to the match as Dynamite is busted open and back to getting his ass kicked. Bret misses a charge and that allows Dynamite to make the tag. Davey runs wild and gets a few nearfalls on Neidhart but ducks his head and gets kicked. Neidhart accidentally knocks Bret to the apron then Tito runs in and knocks Davis off of the apron as Davey tags Dynamite and launches him at Neidhart for the pin as the crowd goes berserk, thinking the Bulldogs have won the titles (9:48) **1/2. However, as Jesse laughs on commentary, we learn that you cannot win the title on a DQ, which took place in the first fall so the Hart Foundation retains.

Thoughts: This match was solid and given Dynamite’s injuries was probably the best they could have done. Hart Foundation took care of Dynamite when they were on offense as he did not take any high impact moves. Its also sad to see Dynamite perform is snap suplex at this point, seeing how the move did not have any snap to it at all. This feud continues.

Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan and asks him about wrestling Andre. Hogan talks about how all of the Hulkamaniacs were behind him and calls the comments of Heenan and Andre about an investigation ridiculous but if they want a rematch, they can have one, but they will not strip him of the title.

Hercules w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat

Backstage, Savage is shown watching the match on a monitor backstage as he rants about getting his IC Title back, wanting Steamboat to keep the belt so he can personally take it back from him. Hercules works the back until Steamboat comes back with a pair of dropkicks. He sends Hercules outside then hammers away. Back inside, Hercules pulls Steamboat into the ringpost as we get an insert of Savage shown rooting for Steamboat to win. Steamboat fights back and hits a swinging neckbreaker then hammers away until Hercules pokes his eyes and puts on the full nelson. Savage is shown taking off from the monitor as he runs into the ring and pulls Hercules into the ropes as Heenan yells at him. Hercules comes out and stands around as Steamboat is on the mat. Back from break, Hercules heads up top but Steamboat gets his knees up on the splash attempt. Hercules comes back with a slam then misses an elbow drop then a charge. Steamboat fights back with chops until Hercules comes back with an inverted atomic drop. Heenan tosses the chain into the ring as Hercules uses it to choke out Steamboat for the DQ (6:42) **. Hercules continues to choke him as Savage looks conflicted then says that Steamboat’s the winner as he has a few words with Heenan and Hercules as they head backstage. Savage then heads inside to help Steamboat as the ref orders him out but he instead he heads up top and hits the flying elbow smash.

Thoughts: The match itself was fine but they sure didn’t make Steamboat look too strong here as he only retained because of a DQ then took Savage’s finisher after the match.

Okerlund is with Duggan, who is sitting ringside to make sure Volkoff does not sing the Russian National Anthem.

Can-Am Connection vs. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff

Before the match we get a promo from Slick, stating how he is getting down with the Communist Party. Duggan chases Volkoff away as he began to sing then leads the crowd into a pro-USA chant. The match starts with the Can-Ams taking control of the match. Sheik boots Zenk then hits a gutwrench suplex for two. The crowd rallies behind Zenk as Sheik suplexes him around as the heels are isolating Zenk in their corner. Sheik puts Zenk in an abdominal stretch then catches him with a clothesline. The heels then toss the Can-Ams to the floor and attack then Duggan yells at them, eventually hopping the railng and that allows Martel to surprise Volkoff with a reverse rollup for the win (4:45) *1/2. After the match its 3-1 against Duggan after they toss the Can-Ams to the floor. The faces then run off the heels after that.

Thoughts: Basic match that did more to push Duggan than anything else.

Final Thoughts: Not a bad show at all. No memorable matches or anything but the show breezed by and Savage came off looking like a huge star. They also teased a Hogan/Andre rematch and that is huge news as well. This show apparently did a terrible advance at the box office and they added a Hogan & Patera vs. Hercules & Andre match after this show was taped in order to boost ticket sales.

BoD Saturday Night Thread

On tap for tonight: 

WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony starts at 7pm EST on the Network with the Red Carpet Event. 
The NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament continues tonight with the “Elite Eight.” Wisconsin vs. Arizona is currently underway while Notre Dame vs. Kentucky tips off at 8:49pm EST on TBS. 
Multiple games in the NBA and NHL are on tonight as well. 
Plus, check out the “Great WrestleMania Re-Book Series over at Place to be Nation as they tackle WrestleMania XXX. 
And the Bruno Sammartino shoot won the poll as that will be recapped on Thursday. 

WCW Saturday Night: February 15, 1997

With all systems operating within normal designed
parameters, and Cyborgs being pumped out at a furious rate, we board the
mothaship with our good friends TONY
Dusty vows to talk about Roddy Piper. Good, I was worried.

(no data in 1997) vs. THE STEINER BROTHERS (4-0-1)
Buck and Enos are trying this again, huh? The LAST time they
tried working together, they wound up getting into a kerfuffle which I HAVE to
assume is related to their mutual love-triangle with one very confused Dick
Slater. The Base of the Isosceles
would be a fine name for this pair. It would be especially glorious given that
Buck has no idea what an isosceles triangle is, let alone how to pronounce it.
Buck rides Scotty like a hog, but don’t mistake the leather fetish for a
submissive horndog, because he’d rather kill you than squeal. He stands up out
of the clutch to hoist Buck into an electric chair position, and the bulldog
finishes this as quickly as it started at 1:55.
is very intrigued by CHRIS
and WOMAN. Apparently
Sullivan’s signed Benoit and himself to a Death Match. Benoit giggles at the
idea, and asks if Sullivan’s looking to have his mind, career, or life ended.
He vows to abuse Sullivan before finishing him for good. I swear to god, I
could take the last 6 months worth of Saturday Night episodes and release them
as a special documentary called “The Premeditation of Chris Benoit” and I’d
immediately be hired to replace Keith Morrison on Dateline NBC.
MAXX (2-0-0) vs. CHAVO GUERRERO JR. (2-4-0)
It’s good to see Maxx making regular appearances on TV again,
after serving his 6 month punishment in his room for trying to clean the
Dungeon fountain with water that’s Not Cold. He knows better. Chavo takes down Maxx and goes for an early pin, but that
just gets him thrown about 48 feet in the air. A forward electric chair drop
sets up an elbow, and before you know it he’s swinging Chavo around in the
Masterlock and that’s that at 1:42.
Dusty asks if Maxx has ever actually visited the Pay Windah, which of course is
no because he’s still on probation and has to go straight home as soon as his
match is over. DUD
SLEDGE HAMMER (no data under this name) vs. ROADBLOCK (1-1-0)
Holy crap, is this really happening? This is already amongst
the two or three greatest moments of my life, and they haven’t even started
fighting yet. I don’t think my keyboard’s going to be able to take the asterisk
pounding I’m about to put on it. My hands are trembling in anticipation for
this, I can’t take it. I don’t even care that Sledge Hammer is a renamed

And we’re off! Sledge Hammer throws a mighty right hand, and
hits a Stinger Splash! The big man is down! This is your chance, Sledge!
Roadblock gets back to his feet, but Hammer rakes the eyes. Since it worked so
well the first time, Sledge tries another Stinger Splash – but Roadblock
moves!!! He MUST be fast, because otherwise there’s simply no excuse to miss a
target that large! Roadblock picks up Sledge Hammer because he’s 500 pounds of
rock solid steel, and the Dead End Drop finishes this at 1:07! I’m sure you were able to pick up on it from my in depth
play-by-play, and I have little doubt in my mind that everybody reading this
has seen this classic at one time or another, but in the event you suffer from
a bad case of the wnyxmcneal (and you should NEVER go full wnyxmcneal), this is
the single most important event that took place for humankind since The Big
Bang. 4.54 billion stars, in honor of the age of our planet.
MR. JL (0-6-0) vs. SUPER CALO (0-5-0)
I KNEW meticulous record keeping would pay off, but I didn’t
know I’d reap the dividends so quickly! 11 straight losses to start the year
for this pair, which is awful considering even Jerry Lynn won a match on WCW
Pro once. Calo dropkicks JL to the floor, and shows off the flash with a
somersault plancha WITHOUT losing his toque. Calo goes to finish up top, but JL
blocks with a dropkick. A kick to the face fails to knock Calo’s glasses off,
so either JL needs to work on his kicks, or those things have been laced with
Kra-Z Gloo. Calo takes a powder, but JL flies off the top with a plancha. Calo
recovers and whips JL into the guardrail, using the extra recovery time to pose
for his legions of Caloticons. JL tries to get back in the ring, but a swinging
dropkick knocks his ass backwards, and another somersault plancha follows
because Calo is a man of routine and style. Calo heads up, but he’s caught
again, and this time JL DDT’s him off the top. Calo smartly puts his foot on
the ropes at 2. JL goes up, but a dropkick stops that, and Calo hits a super
headscissors. A senton finishes at 3:50!
Dusty: “That’s a big win for Calo!” You don’t even know, Dusty. **
A beltless DEAN
is all up in LEE MARSHALL’s
area. Syxx has somehow earned his second PPV title shot in a row because he
stole Deano’s gold. Malenko tells us a story about a 16 year old kid who begged
and pleaded to be trained in order to become a part of this industry. (Spoiler:
It’s not Mass Transit) And his dad took this kid under his wing, teaching him
both in-ring skills, but also respect. And that person … was Syxx. I love a
surprise ending. That’s not exactly a glowing endorsement of Boris Malenko’s
training, because he has no respect, and he never wrestles. Dean vows to beat
some respect into him. And if that doesn’t work, he’ll have an unshowered Hugh
Morrus sit naked on him while screaming offensive names until he gives the belt
Don’t think that Storm wasn’t watching the Sledge Hammer
match and got ideas for future gimmicks. It wasn’t until he named himself after
a heavy blunt object and embraced his inner Ugly that he got over. Young
wrestlers around the country could learn something from this, and I look
forward to seeing Tire Iron make his debut in NXT soon. Storm shoves Page into
the corner, which draws some big yuks. I think that’s code for “you’re a dead
man”. A pumphandle backbreaker sets up the Cutter, but Storm pokes the eyes!
Dusty buries him anyway. “Devon Storm hasn’t shown me that WCW is the place
that he should be.” A tornado DDT plants Page, and Dusty’s forced to eat his
words, which is fine because Dusty’s never turned down a free meal. Page hits a
back elbow, and bounces off the bottom rope with a Diamond Cutter at 2:58. Page continues to roll. *1/2
BILLY PEARL (0-2-0) vs. CHRIS BENOIT (2-3-0) (with Woman)
Given that Kevin Sullivan gets to pad his win/loss record by
fighting the finest group of losers ever assembled in one building, it’s only
fair Benoit gets to do the same. And Pearl should be easy pickins, seeing as
how he’s abandoned his wrestling career for that of an ice ballerina.
Benoit immediately goes for the Dragon suplex, but Pearl
skates his way loose with a pirouette. Tony has some concerning news: The
Steiner Brothers have been involved in a car accident. The extent of the crash
is unknown, and they’re hoping for an update on WCW Pro. Wait – that’s not
fair! I don’t have a copy of WCW Pro (because you KNOW I’d be recapping it).
Now I’ll never know what happened to them, because they certainly won’t want to
repeat themselves on multiple shows. Hrmph. I don’t even care anymore that
Benoit’s beating Pearl into a mountain of hamburger, or that he drags Billy by
the hair and makes him kneel before Woman to Show Her Respect. She claws at his
eyes, and because he fails to answer with “GIVE ME MORE MISTRESS”, it’s back to
Benoit and that’s not a good thing. Pearl tries to put Benoit in an inside
cradle, and he’s immediately hit with a release Dragon suplex for his
insolence. Benoit applies the Crossface, which is the debut of that move, and
Pearl taps quickly at 4:10. *1/2
HIGH VOLTAGE (1-3-0) vs. HARLEM HEAT (6-1-2) (with Sista Sherri)
Dusty’s delighted to see High Voltage, who are “on a roll
lately”. THE PUBLIC ENEMY look on
from the crowd, and I’ll give them credit for dedication to their craft, seeing
as how they fly out to and buy tickets to every single show they’re not booked
on. Stevie hits Rage with a bicycle kick, and all of 4 seconds into this match
he’s run through his entire moveset. Booker comes in and takes a powerslam. Stevie
re-enters, and he lifts Kaos in the air as Booker flies over top of his brother
with a Harlem Sidekick for the win at 3:26.
Dusty calls Harlem Heat “The Faces of Fear” which is offensive to African
Americans, Samoans, and me. 1/2*
VILLANO 4 (1-0-0) vs. JEFF JARRETT (7-0-0)
Dusty thinks that Jarrett’s “infectuated” with Debra
McMichael. I hope he doesn’t try to start an “afar” with her. Rhodes also gives
Jarrett his stamp of approval for the Horsemen, and considering Dusty *hates*
the Horsemen, that should give you all the reasons you need NOT to put him in
the group. I considered briefly that he anticipated that they’d ignore his
advice, and that he’s using reverse psychology, but assuming Dusty’s thoughts
extend beyond whatever’s flowing out of his mouth is giving him far too much
credit. Villano almost scores an upset with a powerslam. A swandive misses, and
Jarrett POINTS TO HIS HEAD! If intelligence was measured by log rolls and Fargo
struts, Jeff Jarrett would be spending his nights debunking Stephen Hawking,
and using John Nash’s research as toilet paper. A DDT gets 2. A standing
vertical suplex has Jarrett self-fellating, but his cockiness gets him rolled
up for 2. That’s all Villano’s getting I’m afraid, because a single leg atomic
drop sets up the Figure Four, and Jarrett wins again at 4:34. *
Jarrett heads into LEE
’s personal locker room, and wants to talk Superbrawl. He says that
ever since Flair knighted him 6 months ago, a group of jealous Horsemen have
tried to knock him down. At Starrcade, he bested Benoit. A few weeks ago on
Nitro, he knocked off Anderson. That leaves Mongo, and when he does, he expects
to become a part of the most elite group in wrestling history.
PRINCE IAUKEA (no data in 1997) vs. HUGH MORRUS (5-2-0) (with
Jimmy Hart)
Tony calls Iaukea a man who’s made quite a name for himself
in WCW. That name, of course, is Jobber, because he’s never won a match, and
the only TV time he gets anymore is under the hood as Cheetah Kid (0-3-0). He’s
also awful, and *nobody* is clamouring for a Prince push, so let’s just squash
him and release him immediately. He has NO reason to be on Nitro this week.
NONE! I do NOT want to see him booked on Nitro under any circumstances. Are
we all clear on this? Morrus starts running him over with clotheslines – and
one of them winds up hitting the camera lens and leaving a fairly impressive
fist print. Morrus misses an avalanche, and Prince comes off the top with a
Superfly Splash … for 2. Prince tries a forward roll, but Morrus just faceplants
him. A long beating ensues, and fight as Prince may, he can’t get anything
going. A spinning heel kick rocks the tiny man, and No Laughing Matter
connects. Morrus refuses to pin his prey, rolling Prince on top of himself and
getting his own foot on the ropes at the 2 before laughing his ass off. Finally
he rolls over and gets the pin at 3:54.
You know who Prince looks NOTHING like? Rocky Maivia. It’s best we not waste
time trying to compare them. In fact, let’s just stop talking about Prince
Iaukea before WCW gets any crazy ideas. *
KONAN (6-1-1) (with Jimmy Hart) vs. EDDIE GUERRERO (5-3-2) (for the WCW United States heavyweight title)
Speaking of crazy ideas, let’s not get Konan back in the US
title mix. Konan, always a scumbag, attacks before the bell and screams about
Mexico. Eddie fires back with a rana, but Konan rolls to the floor and catches
him as he tries to follow. Eddie’s whipped into the guardrail, and slammed face
first in the ringsteps. “DUNGEON OF DOOM LOCOS!” Oh. Back in, the tumbleweed
gets 2, and Konan goes to his trademark: the chinlock. After about an hour,
Eddie gets out, but Konnan catches him with Splash Mountain … for 2! Konan’s
not mad though, he still has Mexico to scream about, which is his equivalent of
hulking up. An avalanche misses, and Eddie pounds away at the kidneys. A
spinning heel kick gets 2, and even though he gets up first, Konan dropkicks
Eddie quickly. A full nelson has Eddie flailing helplessly, and he accidently
clips the referee. Jimmy jumps on the apron, and swings the megaphone … but
he pops Konan by mistake! Eddie hits the Frog Splash, and Jimmy runs in for the
DQ at 4:56. These guys are a total
bore together. 1/2*

With a quick reminder to watch The Pro tomorrow for updates
on the Steiner Brothers, Tony signs us off for another week.

WWF Shotgun Saturday Night: February 15, 1996

Normally this is where I’d change over to ECW Hardcore TV, but after the Shawn debacle I think we’ll keep on the WWF through RAW before cycling back to see what the other guys are up to.
I got over 100 responses to the Thursday RAW piece, and as many as 4 of those comments didn’t come from HartKiller_09. To address a few of the points:

To the guys who figured we’re lumping all injuries together as one; at no point did I ever suggest that Daniel Bryan or Edge should have laid down for the next guys in line. Bryan probably could have, seeing as how he was healthy enough to get tombstoned all over the arena on his way out; but his situation was unique in that the WWE officials thought he’d be back within 60 days. They rolled the dice, and when they realized they’d come up lame, they were left with no choice. Edge, on the other hand, was perfectly content to drop the strap to Alberto del Rio, but the powers that be made the decision to let him retire as champion. And there’s the difference; Shawn gave the company no choice.
Fat, Ugly Inner-City Sweathog made the fantastic point that they could have easily run a Pillmanizing angle, or *something* to get heat on the SOB who took Shawn out. But that’s simply not how the 90’s edition of Shawn Michaels operated. Everything he did was part of a personal quest to ensure that nobody was ever able to overshadow him. Even the most notorious politician of all time, Hulk Hogan, let friggin’ Earthquake send him on vacation, because he had the strong enough sense to recognize that his triumphant return to beat the awful monster was enough to run a pay-per-view.
Shawn had absolutely no credibility at this point. He had ducked doing the job for Shane Douglas because he didn’t personally like him, he managed to win the Iron Man match without laying down because he didn’t want to hurt his new championship status by having taken a pinfall, and he’d bullied Chris Candido so viciously that it would have driven a lot of people to suicide.
I admire the fact that Shawn was able to get off the drugs, re-invent himself and change his life for the better – but it doesn’t change the fact that he was an insufferable asshole throughout the 90’s. The stunt he pulled on Thursday RAW Thursday was a breaking point for a lot of people, because being the most talented performer on the planet doesn’t entitle you turn to put yourself ahead of everyone else. And that’s exactly what he did; he was asked to take a fall, so he thumbed his nose at the locker room, at the fans, and drove his ass home. This had nothing at all to do with Bret Hart, no matter how you spin it.
And speaking of the boy toy – his bare asshole remains an integral part of the opening to Shotgun Saturday Night. TODD PETTENGILL welcomes us to a Very Exciting Edition, which features … the best of Shotgun. Wow, don’t strain yourselves looking for footage guys, putting together a show of this magnitude might take as long as 75 minutes.
We’re first “treated” to the Sultan vs Goldust match from the January 4th show, which of course features the infamous Topless Marlena stunt.
From the same show, Crush vs Ahmed Johnson is given significant time as an excuse to show poor unnamed D’Lo Brown taking the Pearl River Plunge on a parked car in the street.
From January 11, Todd Pettengill sings karaoke with the Honky Tonk Man. We have very different opinions on what’s classified as Best Of. Earlier that night, Marc Mero and Rocky Maivia had Issues and threw punches.
Zipping ahead to January 18, we get our first good edition of Shotgun. You wouldn’t know it initially, because they start by showing the Honky Tonk Man cheating midget Mexicans out of their paycheques at the blackjack table. However, they smartly air a ton of the Austin / Funk confrontation, which made for television magic. It’s a damn shame they didn’t keep Terry around as a placeholder feud for Austin, but they had bigger plans of course.
More quality stuff on January 25, where Bret Hart and Mankind squared off, while Owen whined about his “lousy brother Bret” on commentary. Mankind also discovers he has a taste for the ladies, while Bearer screams about his Mankind being corrupted by sex and liquor.
Of course, it wasn’t all fun and games that night, because Savio Vega turned heel and put on an embarrassingly bad match with Rocky Maivia. Many of Savio’s extended nerve holds are covered here.
For god knows what reason, we’re now watching last weekend’s Superstars, which the last time I checked was NOT part of Shotgun Saturday Night. Vader and Steve Austin is highlighted. There’s still 20 minutes left in this show, and they’ve already run out of footage?
February 1 is highlighted now, which was essentially the Mick Foley show. Mick’s commentary about not being in the right mindset to inflict violence because he’s a party animal now is fantastic.
Finally, The Undertaker, flanked by a little Ozzy Osbourne, rode into the February 8 show. He took on Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and while he was unsuccessful in capturing the Intercontinental title, he did tombstone Triple H down an escalator. And, because everyone loves watching Triple H get his ass kicked, it’s replayed again in slow mo as the show heads off the air.

No pay-per-view hype at all seems like a missed opportunity. But, then again, so does having your jerk-off injury faking champion drop the belt in the middle of the ring, so we’re 0-2 this week.

WWF Shotgun Saturday Night: February 8, 1997

WARNING: The following program contains action of a Graphic Nature.
Viewer discretion is advised.
(Translation: The following program is taped from Vince McMahon’s upper
lobe. Viewer discretion is advised.)
THE UNDERTAKER has taken over
an Amtracks train, and is driving us straight to hell. THIS … is Shotgun
Saturday Night.

Tonight’s show comes LIVE form Penn Station in New York City. SUNNY and VINCE MCMAHON man the commentary booth as usual. Is this seriously
the best use of Sunny they could find at this point?
NATION OF DOMINATION (with Clarence Mason, D’Lo Brown, and a Well Dressed Man)
The Godwinns get the prestigious “already in the ring” treatment, while
no fewer than 80 hobos have taken advantage of the warmth from “under the
ring”. Sunny brags about being the most downloaded celebrity on AOL, and
implies Phineas spends his nights pleasuring himself to her 1.4 million photos.
Give me a break; Phineas couldn’t possibly configure a dial connectoid, there’s
no chance. Mason joins the commentary team, and, interesting fact of the day:
after leaving WCW about 15 years ago, he headed south to Florida to work as an
actual attorney, which he still does today. The fans take to this match right
away, starting up a “BWO” chant that continues throughout the entire match.
After the Godwinns clear the ring, and a “NATION SUCKS DICK” chant breaks out,
we turn to…
interviewing a toothless black man in the front row who he claims is his dentist.
Just … why?!?
SAVIO VEGA heads down to
ringside, which Mason celebrates because the Nation always sticks together. Off
to commercial!
Back to the Station, Faarooq is slamming a heavy trunk over the back of
Henry, and he’s rolled back to Crush for 2. Crush does a whole lot of nothing,
before he turns things over to Faarooq who helps the attack with a boring pile
of nada. After far too many minutes of this, Phineas gets the hot tag and the
fans fall asleep. Vega interferes, so Phineas grabs him by the throat, but
Crush saves. The Slop Drop is attempted, but Faarooq clotheslines him behind
the referees back and Crush gets the pin at 10:00. Negative stars are becoming tradition on this insipid
program. -****
A limo pulls up to the arena, and HUNTER
struts towards the building. TODD PETTENGILL asks him if he’s afraid of losing his title
tonight? Hunter figures he’d sooner ride the Subway than lose a match to the
THE UNDERTAKER (for the WWF Intercontinental title)
Vince asks Sunny about the prospects of her hooking up with Hunter, but
she claims a distaste for men with long hair. Sunny, honey, even Chris
Candido’s gullible ass isn’t buying that line. You know, the Undertaker’s
mystique is one of the finest pieces of show business in wrestling today; but
something’s taken away when he arrives to a Subway station in front of about
200 fans, and enters the ring area via an escalator. The Dead Man charges the ring,
but Hunter’s waiting and throws a series of forearms. Taker shrugs that off,
and launches him with a double handed choke. A whip to the buckle sees the
referee get demolished, and he appears to be in a coma. Triple H upends Taker
with the IC belt, and we take a break.
The referee, stumbling around in a drunken haze like a member of the
audience, is back to calling this one. Hunter drops a knee, and nails a
facebuster to remain in control. A neckbreaker draws a pretty slow count from
the ref, and that little bit of extra time gives Taker the energy he needs to
just hammer Hunter with a soup bone. Hunter slams Taker’s face to the buckle,
but that’s no sold, so Hunter hits a desperation swinging neckbreaker for 2.
Triple H grabs his belt again to defend himself, but Taker steals it away and
smacks Hunter in the face for the DQ at 4:20.
The fans call for the tombstone, but Taker compromises with a chokeslam, and
drapes the belt over the fallen champ. As he’s leaving, he changes his mind,
and figures he’ll tombstone him anyway. Triple H runs like hell, but gets
caught and tombstoned on the escalator – where Helmsley slowly rides back down
into the arms of a couple of referees. This was super spirited from both guys,
shockingly good given the time restraints and the tiny audience. ***
VEGA (with Clarence Mason, D’Lo Brown, and a Well Dressed Man)
Mason joins the announce booth, while the human jockstrap dropkicks Vega
to the floor. A plancha staggers Savio, and he’s nailed with a crossbody as he
rolls back in, getting 2 for the Portuguese Man of War. Vega comes back with
some loud ass chops, and whips Montoya into the corner with some oomph. Vince
asks Clarence if the Nation is planning on expanding, and Clarence says yes.
Hundreds of superstars (hundreds? There’s like all of 25 guys on the roster!)
are calling daily, but only a select few will be selected. And they chose Savio
Vega? Their scouting reports need a little work; wrestling SABRmetrics would go
a long way.
In the crowd, some guy named TERRY
shows his Vince McMahon action figure to TODD
, which he’s had since 1985. Todd: “You were, what, 40 at the
FAAROOQ and CRUSH make their unwanted appearances,
while Vega drops Montoya with a superkick. Aldo fights back, showing “shades of
Sugar Ray Leonard” (dah fock Vince?!?), but a clothesline stops that short. THE GODWINNS and their slop buckets
come down the staircase. I can’t imagine slop is in high demand down at Penn
Station, but I’m willing to bet feces are over-stocked, so I’d tread REAL
carefully if I were the Nation, lest they want the plague or whatever the hell
else you’ll catch down there. Vega works a nerve hold, and I’ve seriously had
enough of him. Do we honestly have another full year of this guy to worry about
before he’s gone? The Nation tries to get involved, but the Godwinns stop them
short, and they pose with their new friend Aldo. We’ll call this a no contest at 8:20 since we never got a closing
bell, and head right into…
vs. THE NATION OF DOMINATION (with Clarence Mason, D’Lo Brown, and a Well
Dressed Man)
Yessir, it would appear that Vince flew in all of 8 wrestlers for this
particular program, so everyone’s pulling double duty just to flesh out an
entire hour of programming. Aldo hits a DDT on Crush, while we check in with …
TODD PETTENGILL, with SOME WOMAN. She’s calling out some OTHER CHICK who allegedly stole her
man, and they start to throw down! This *looks* fake, but I won’t rule out a
real fight from this particular trashy group.
Back in the ring, we’re right back to where we were before the break,
with Vega working his crappy offense over Montoya. Faarooq tags in and eat a
neckbreaker. Montoya comes up a half inch short of the tag before Vega cuts him
off. He and Crush double team him with what can only be described as
wheelbarrow dry humping, and the fans give them a well-deserved “BORRRRRING”
chant. Vince: “Clarence, what can you say about the fact that the fans here are
bored with the Nation of Domination’s act?” Clarence: “It’s not the Nation,
it’s Aldo Montoya.” Vince: “I don’t think so.” This could get real ugly.
Faarooq goes for the Dominator, but Montoya slips down with a backslide for 2.
To counter the fans boredom, the Nation slow down the action. Vega hits an
enzuigiri for 2. Aldo tries to fight off a front-face lock, and he makes the
tag, but it comes as the referee is tied up with the Nation and he refuses to
allow it. They repeat the front-face lock spot again, but this time Montoya
escapes with a slam and heads to the top rope because he’s got coleslaw for
brains. A missile dropkick gets 2 before all hell breaks loose between both
teams, and everyone pairs off. Phineas grabs the slop to chase off D’Lo Brown
who was looking too comfortable, while Vega finishes Aldo with a spinning heel
kick at 8:51. Much better than the
opener! -*
Up in the production area, Phineas keeps the chase on, but he misses his
shot with the bucket, and nails PAT
who’s been directing traffic. Vince takes one look at the rainbow
colored sweater of Patterson, and quips “that sweater’s been slopped before”.
Outside, CURTIS LEE who
founded the Guardian Angels, chats with TODD
. He threatens to give the Nation a wake-up call.

Vince replays Patterson covered in a sticky white mess, yukking it up one last
time, as the credits roll.
This was pretty much the end of this disaster of a program. The bar /
subway station concept was scrapped as soon as this show went off the air, and
because they had nothing planned for next week, a “Best of” special is planned,
looking back at all the greatest moments of these last 6 weeks. Following that,
it’s arena content moving forward.
The arena stuff is probably the right choice, but the intimate
environment they were playing with did have its quirks. Had they been able to
massage their nonsense with tighter work, like what we’d seen out of Steve
Austin and Mankind on this program, they’d have been able to out-do ECW’s own
concept. Unfortunately, Vince was far too obsessed with shocking people, and
running Savio Vega out every week for 10 minute matches, and that kind of
format wasn’t going to work out in the long run.

Still, this gave us the earliest peaks at the fact this company wasn’t
afraid to push the boundaries of the TV constraints they were handed, and come
hell or high water, Vince was going to do it his new way, or fall on his sword
trying. More on that, on Thursdays RAW. 

WCW Saturday Night: February 8, 1997

After the conclusion of last Monday’s main event angle where Hollywood Hogan pushed Roddy Piper past the point of no return, we’re moving into the home stretch of Superbrawl. Expect the rest of the undercard to start coming together tonight; assuming we’re able to decipher the code coming out of the mouth of one Dusty Rhodes.
TONY SCHIAVONE and DUSTY RHODES vow to spend the entire night talking about Roddy Piper. And here I had hope that we might see something different than the previous 18 weeks.
The main event angle is replayed in full on a continuous loop all night. And that’s it. Goodnight!
Wait, no, between airings they managed to sneak in a wrestling program.

No Roman numerals tonight, this is America and we don’t subscribe to that fancy Euro-Mexican crap. Villano flips and flops all around, all leading to an armdrag. Dusty: “What’s that name?” Tony: “Villano 4.” Dusty: “Diana Faw? I used to date her!” Sweet Sapphire isn’t gonna like that. Tanaka plants Dusty’s ex-girlfriend with a powerbomb, but Diana comes back with a spin kick. Northern lights suplex gets 2, and the impact causes Diana’s tits to slip out of her singlet. A god awful roll up gets the win for Diana at 2:49, which Tony declares a Great Win. Going from memory, I believe that’s also his Last Win. 1/2*
Iaukea’s under the hood tonight, which he seems to have settled into for awhile now. I may have to stop reporting on this, unless Rocco Rock decides he wants his loser gimmick back. Dragon kicks the crap out of Cheetah, and destroys him with a plancha which delights Sonny. Back in, a snap suplex, legdrop, elbowdrop, and senton combo in rapid succession gets 2. Dragon hits a drop toe hold, does a little dance on the back of the Cheetah because he’s got a little rhythm, but his cockiness gets him caught in a Northern lights for 2. While Dusty rambles about being a Common Man, a Dragonsteiner sets up the Dragon Suplex for the easy win at 3:34. **
MONGO MCMICHAEL and DEBRA wander down to ringside about 40 seconds into this, with Mongo openly rooting for Morrus to destroy Jeff. Debra nearly bursts into tears while Morrus works over Jarrett, but Mongo laughs his ass off. Jeff misses a dropkick, and Morrus threatens No Laughing Matter. However, he didn’t mean it, he just did it to scare Jeff into wetting his pants like a little girl or some sort of gay slur, and the cockiness leads to a sunset flip and a pin at 4:05. Man, that bullying routine didn’t work any better in 1997. *
Mark Starr’s getting to be a bit of a whore. He was loyal to the boys when he was a unionized construction worker, but he’s just torn through tag-team partners over the last 6 months with more ferocity than a 23-year old scorned woman realizing her “independence”. THE PUBLIC ENEMY have come to scout this one; likely to take on the winners of this one at the upcoming pay-per-view. This is exactly what you’d expect, with my heroes ripping Starr apart like a couple of starved crazed badgers, with referee Scott Dickenson having nothing to do but stare at the amazing display of manhood, and occasionally tell Jerry Flynn to stay in his corner. Starr finally dodges a Stinger splash from Meng and tags out, and Flynn shows off his incredible karate skills by missing a spinning karate kick, and getting thrown in the air by Meng right into the arms of Barbarian who powerbombs him with enough force that he strikes out, and we have winners at 3:43. I actually got a copy of Public Enemy’s scouting notes, and it reads: Appear to be in good shape, however lacking in co-ordination. Didn’t land an offensive move today, so hard to get a read on their ability. Hairy guy seems to know karate. They should be in fine shape heading into the PPV. *******1/2
Powers finds himself in a headlock, and holy hell that must STINK. Speaking of stink, I had a hell of a week. Going to warm up my lunch at work the other day, I was punched in the face by a smell even more foul than Buck’s armpits. I assumed there had been some sort of explosion in the men’s room, seeing as how I work in a large building of, what I had assumed to that point, were relatively well adjusted human beings. That was until I saw the pile of human dookie on the carpet, at least 15 feet from the bathroom. I don’t have the world’s strongest stomach (and heaven forbid I ever have kids, cuz those poor things are going to have to learn to change themselves straight out of the womb), so I nearly chucked. It was cleaned up rapidly, being a health and safety hazard and all, and security footage found the perp who was thankfully not under my particular branch of the company’s tree. While I have no idea if it was intentional or not, or even who was responsible, it has been the number one topic of discussion for days, and it’ll probably go down as one of the hall of fame moments in my 13 years of employment there. I can’t imagine this NOT coming up in any future job interviews. “Tell me about a difficult situation, and how you handled it.” “Well, I once saw a poop on the floor, and while I really wanted to throw up, I knew if I held it in, I would save the cleaners from having to use two different types of carpet cleansers. Then I used a different hallway to return to my desk.” Powers wins with a tombstone at 2:30. DUD
Wow, the Dungeon Master let Maxx out to play? Without accompaniment from Jimmy Hart? It’s a big day for Maxx. He responds to this newfound trust by giving JL a backbreaker, but he succumbs to an old vice and starts posing for the ladies. A sidewalk slam is followed by a lazy pin attempt, and Maxx only gets 2. A blind charge misses, so JL tries a handspring back elbow. Maxx catches him with a full nelson as the elbows fly in, and then gives him a full nelson swing! They only give us 3 rotations before JL taps out at 1:57, but that’s ok, Cesaro started small too. This is only the beginning of the genesis of Maxx. 1/2*
BILLY PEARL vs. KONAN (with Jimmy Hart)
The part of Billy Pearl will be played by David Spade tonight.
Unfortunately for David, he’s not a wrestler, and Konan toys with him, including stretching him unnaturally upside down and swinging him around. A kick to the belleh welleh sets up a powerbomb, and a cradle DDT puts this to bed at 2:41. 1/2*
LEE MARSHALL hooks up with Jimmy Hart on his way back, and Jimmy’s got a gripe with the ladies of WCW. Between Liz with Savage and Woman with Benoit and Sullivan, he has zero interest in watching what damage Jackie’s gonna do to the Dungeon. On cue, JACQUELINE steps in and offers to make “everfing better not wurst.” She’s here to give Kevin a little TLC. Hart agrees to negotiate, and hauls her back to the Dungeon portal to talk turkey.
Road’s Closed, yall. Somehow, despite being roughly the size of Ohio, Roadblock misses an elbowdrop. Not that it matters, because he catches Buddy coming off the top, and finishes with a Detour Drop at 1:01. The only thing between this man and an extended World Title run are politics.
Storm is one seriously ugly blonde chick, and I give full props to the makeover he gave himself a couple years later and propelling himself to moderate mid-card fame. Wright uses the European uppercuts, but he is not, and will never be, David “Captain Cook” Taylor. If he was, after that volume of uppercuts, Storm would still be out cold … in 2015. Storm comes back with a brainbuster and heads up, but Wright cuts him off and nails a superplex. Wright goes for the missile dropkick, but Storm rushes forward to shove him off, and Wright falls hard, knee first to the apron and hits the floor. Upset? Storm hits a baseball slide, and follows with a running senton off the apron, and I’m feeling it baby. Storm tries to suplex Wright back in, but Alex blocks it and sends Storm flying over the top and to the floor. More European uppercuts. They head back in, and a German suplex takes it down at 5:45. Shockingly good stuff. **1/2
8 minute look at Hogan / Piper.
DEAN MALENKO vs. EDDIE GUERRERO (for the WCW United States heavyweight title)
Tony hypes this as a “television time remaining” match, and immediately takes a commercial break. We’re playing with about 8 minutes total, assuming they’re not gonna call it with 5 minutes left in the show like that stupid Psychosis/Regal draw back on November 16. Both guys trade wristlocks and mat holds for awhile, during the feeling out process. Eddie strikes the first real blow, with a spinning heel kick setting up a slingshot senton for 2. An abdominal stretch is applied, and Eddie refuses to cheat with leverage cuz he’s a wiener. The referees haven’t disqualified anyone for that move since the 50’s, just do it already. Dean escapes, and nails a brainbuster for 2. Making fine use of the handful of minutes left, Malenko applies a headscissors and chews a pile of time off the clock. Eddie escapes and puts on the bow and arrow, which I approve of since he SHOULD be trying to kill time. Dean wiggles out and goes for a powerbomb, but Eddie reverses mid-move and snaps Dean over the top rope with a rana. Back in, Guerrero tries a sunset flip, but Malenko sits forward and gets 2. That frustrates Guerrero and he goes for a tornado DDT, but Malenko throws him away faster than an Isis rebel with Western ideas. They trade pinfall reversals, until Malenko finals just stops that nonsense with a powerbomb. Dean goes for the Cloverleaf, but Eddie packages him for 2. Guerrero tries a headscissors, but Malenko pancakes him. As soon as he picks him up, Guerrero gives him the Oklahoma roll for 2. Fast and furious now with the seconds counting down, and as expected the time runs out at 7:50 to a loud chorus of boos. Until the finish, this was excellent. ***1/2
Tony declares that maybe a match of this importance should have opened the show with enough time to run it. Reaction as opposed to proaction, that’s the WCW way!

BoD Saturday Night Thread

On tap for tonight:

House of Hardcore VIII is live on iPPV tonight. You can stream the event for $14.99 by clicking on the link below.


Boxing Returns to NBC starting at 8:30pm EST. fights include Keith Thurman vs. Robert Guerrero and Adrien Broner vs. John Molina.

The NBA has eight games on the schedule tonight with the Phoenix Suns vs. Cleveland Cavalies at 7:30pm EST on NBA TV.

In the NHL there are nine games on tonight with the St. Louis Blues vs. Toronto Maple Leafs at 7pm EST on the NHL Network.

SNL is all new tonight with host Chris Hemsworth and musical guest Zac Brown Band at NBC on 11:29pm EST tonight.

No shoot interview poll this week as the Curt Hawkins shoot will be recapped on Thursday at noon.

And as usual, talk about anything else going on tonight here.

WWF Shotgun Saturday Night: February 1, 1997

Last week on wrestling’s biggest trainwreck…
Cultstatus: It’s a shame we never got a proper Foley/Bret feud. No
two guys had better psychology.
That would have been absolutely beautiful. While an unmotivated Bret is
amongst some of the worst TV imaginable, he was a huge Mick Foley supporter and
I have very little doubt a full-fledged blood feud would have generated some
incredible stuff. Heading into the fall of 1997, Dude Love trying to capture
his childhood dream of winning the WWF title against a guy he (kayfabe)
idolized in the mid-80’s versus a grouchy old anti-American gets my blood
tingling. But, French Canadian cities ruin everything.
TODD PETTENGILL can’t believe
we’re back at the Mirage, home of the first laughably bad edition of Shotgun
Saturday Night! Walking around the streets of New York is PAUL BEARER with the urn. His beloved Mankind has been missing for
2 hours. A smart phone could have solved so many problems in the 90’s. MANKIND emerges from a dark alley and
nearly gets run over by a car. VADER
angrily grills him about his whereabouts, which is when Mick confesses that
last week’s grinding, dancing, and sex has created a new Man(Kind), and the
club is his calling. His sick, half-crazed grin just seals this segment,
Mankind is the boss.

A grunting VINCE MCMAHON and SUNNY welcome us to the club. They
quickly run down the card, but I’m not one to spoil these things! This show
looks like it was filmed in the dark ages, with half the crowd smoking indoors
and nobody giving it a second thought.
VADER (with Paul Bearer)
MANKIND beats Vader
into the building, and starts crawling around the stripper stage before
spotting Sunny at the announce table. She beats it out of there faster than
Usain Bolt, so Mick takes over commentary. He admits the headset feels
comfortable against his missing ear. Vince invites him to stay, and Mankind is
happy to oblige, rocking back and forth in the guest chair while Sunny holds
her nose to cover up the vile smell. Vince cheers on Ahmed’s decision to carry
a 2×4 as “the great equalizer”, but Mankind calls him a coward. “We are NOT the
Nation of Domination, and might I mention Uncle Paul is a man of peace! So I
say for Ahmed Johnson to carry that weapon in here should be an automatic
disqualification, and a disgrace to people like me!” Why wasn’t this guy put on
commentary, he’s awesome. I’ll need to get in Vince’s ear and make it happen.
Vader shows off his enormous arms and pounds Ahmed in the corner, and Mankind
declares Johnson on “queer street”. “HIT HIM FOR ME BIG MAN!” Ahmed no sells a
number of clotheslines, and begs Vader to hit him again. Vader obliges, and
Johnson hits the mat faster than Gabby Jay. Still, he gets up with some rage in
his eyes, and he clobbers Vader in the corner. Vince tries to set Sunny and
Mankind up together, and Sunny nearly vomits before Mick lays the smack down:
“Don’t flatter yourself hunny, I have eyes for that girl who had eyes for me
last week!” Vader is kicked to the floor, so Mankind hits the ring to “keep the
peace” as we take a break.
On return, Mankind has returned to the booth after apparently having
taken a bit of a beating from Ahmed. He’s livid, because even though Ahmed has
a pea-sized brain, he figures it should have been clear he wasn’t looking for a
fight considering he’s wearing his Sunday Best (consisting of a ratty old
jean-winter jacket, green pants he likely found in a dumpster, and a cheetah
print tank top underneath a black t-shirt – with the mask, of course). In fact,
he’s feeling so good he probably won’t even change his clothes tomorrow either.
I don’t even care about the match, I just want to listen to Mankind give us his
views on every single hot button topic in the WWF. Vader goes to finish with
the Vaderbomb, but Johnson stops that with a punt to the goods. Ahmed goes for
the Pearl River Plunge, so Mankind rushes in with a chair for the DQ at 6:05. Both guys tease heel
miscommunication, but they pull up short each time. Regardless, Ahmed steals
the chair and smacks both guys. Mankind, pride hurt, crawls back to the
announce table to put the headphones back on because the soft earpieces are a
newfound comfort that he has no interest in giving up. *
Elsewhere in the club, THE
are pouring hot wax on themselves for self-entertainment.
MANKIND (with Paul Bearer)
Mankind refuses to leave the commentary booth, reminding Vince he’s only
here for a good time. He tells Vince to call in anyone else, figuring Aldo
Montoya would probably kill for a little TV time. Vince tells him to get his
ass in the ring, but he won’t – he needs to take his mind to a dark place to
inflict violence and he isn’t interested in hurting Davey today. Bulldog runs
over and rips Mankind’s clothes off, but Mick won’t fight back. They head into
the ring, and Bulldog works him over with more attention to detail than an
Asian masseuse. He kicks Mankind out of the ring and poses … completely missing
that Mankind is crawling right back to the commentary booth. “I JUST WANT TO
TALK!!!!” Davey kicks him in the face, so Mankind finally has enough and starts
hitting some throat thrusts. Back in, Mankind works to put Davey to sleep, and
you have to assume he’s just trying to get rid of him quickly so he can go back
to party. Bulldog backdrops Mankind over the top, and he lands leg first on the
stage in a particularly awkward looking position. He angrily grabs some TV
cables and chokes Bulldog down while Bearer wails.
TODD PETTENGILL heads into the
crowd to talk to SAVIO VEGA, but
he’s ordered to get the hell out of his face NOW. Back to action!
Mick drops a leg as VADER
starts lumbering down to ringside. A backdrop gets 2. Vince: “ANOTHER COOKOUT!
Wait, kickout. COOKOUT LATER!” That seems as fine a time as any for a
commercial break.
We come back just in time to see Mankind take a sick backdrop on the
hard floor. It’s amazing he didn’t retire with ridiculous amounts of kidney damage.
They head back in and Bulldog goes to finish, but Mankind trips him up and
sends him outside. Vader gives Bulldog a couple of snake eyes shots across the
guardrail, and he’s rolled back in for the easy Mankind win at 6:42. Vader and Mankind pummel Bulldog
for awhile until AHMED JOHNSON saves
with his 2×4. The heels scatter, and Johnson sweats like a waterfall.
TODD PETTENGILL wants to talk
to Paul Bearer about what happened, but while he squeaks and carries on about
his Mankind and Vader, Bulldog has apparently taken exception to Ahmed’s
presence. Ahmed picks up half his broken 2×4, and Bulldog snatches the other,
but neither guy has the stones to take the first shot.
Sunny’s night fails to improve, because while HENRY GODWINN checks out the dancers, PHINEAS GODWINN takes over commentary.
Savio rambles about his loyalty to Da Nashon Awf Domeenashon until
Double J hits the ring. Of course, he stinks, and Savio’s trying to tear his
face off within seconds. Savio somehow botches a snapmare, but James sells it
anyway and finds himself locked in an armbar. Savio goes for a ton of
consecutive pinfalls, but it’s no more successful the 4th time than
the 1st. A dangerous looking stuff piledriver connects; and it’s
amazing this thing didn’t cause more broken necks than … well, we’ll save that
for later in the year. A rear chinlock chews up more time off the clock, while
Phineas starts talking about Sunny’s slopping. She bats her eyes at Phineas and
tells him “we don’t want to talk about that, do we?”, and he turns beet red,
changing the subject immediately. James escapes with a jawbreaker, but Savio
claws the eyes and sits on James’ head while screaming at Phineas about the
power of the Nation. Phineas: “Is he speakin’ English?” Savio misses a blind
charge, and James nails a clothesline. Shake, rattle, and roll, strut, and
backdrop. The pumphandle slam is blocked, and Savio nails the spinning heel
kick for the pin at 8:36. If you
love 8 minutes of Absolutely Nothing, you’d dig this. For the rest of you, it
should come as no surprise to learn these guys *SUCK*. -***
Just off the dance floor, MOSH
throws up on THRASHER, and they eat
it off each other. For fuck sakes …
The Godwinns wait until the dancers stop moving before making their way
to the ring. This was actually the first match
they held on the first show
, and it came in at a whopping -**, so we’ll see if
these teams can improve upon that tonight. Phineas bites Mosh, and I’m getting
a sinking feeling. Henry comes in and hits a backdrop, and for some reason Mosh
sells his eyes. A hiptoss is enough for Mosh, and Thrasher reluctantly makes
the tag. Still, he manages to gain control on Phineas, and a double team
clothesline has Mosh dancing around as we head to commercial.
Back from a quick break, Mosh flies off the top with an elbow for 2.
Thrasher goes low, but Henry saves the day. Phineas gets wheelbarrowed across
the top rope, and Mosh hits a leapfrog … buttsplash I guess? He rolls to the
corner to get the hot tag to Henry (to absolutely ZERO reaction), and he takes
Thrasher to the floor where he’s slammed in front of the drunken clubbers. A
double countout is called at 5:07,
and it’s JUST in time because we need to get this show off the air NOW! DUD
This was a tale of two shows. The first half was Mankind’s finest
“hour”, putting on what was easily amongst my favorite work of his that I’ve
seen. The match was nothing special, but he knows *exactly* who Mankind is and
how he wants to play him, never once breaking his twisted character. This was
an early template to the Vince/Mankind love-affair we’d seen in about 18
However, the roster is lacking some serious depth, and beyond a handful
of prime-cut players, it’s just the dregs. Jesse James is barely someone you
can call a professional at this point (blood be damned), the tag-team division
is a disaster beyond maybe two teams (neither of whom were here tonight), and
the entire Nation of Domination really needs to go the hell away because the
whole group is just death to entertainment.

With the exception of Rocky Maivia; it’s clear who the big breakout
players are going to be, because they stand head and shoulders above everyone
else and it’s not even close. Mankind is God! The rest are peasants, and they
need to begone.

WCW Saturday Night: February 1, 1997

One Year Ago: On the 02/03 Saturday Night, Ric Flair cheats to beat Dean Malenko before vowing to have Elizabeth ride Space Mountain one more time. On the 02/05 Nitro, Chris Benoit and Randy Savage tear it up, Marcus Bagwell has what is likely his best singles match ever, and the Road Warriors get a tag-team title shot. Feel free to look back fondly at all your favorite Todd Morton moments by clicking those links. I’ll still be here when you get back.
TONY SCHIAVONE and DUSTY RHODES welcome us to the Cyborg Factory aboard the Mothership for my favorite 2-hours of the week. Yes, even more-so than Nitro, because the nWo stays away from this show and they’re really starting to get on my nerves. Thank god Hogan doesn’t work Saturdays.

Tony hypes a man that has made a big impact in our sport; but I fail to see this person. Glacier sports his 3000 year old hat and Krang belt. This guy has the best deal in the company; work once a month, get a colorful blizzard every time you show up, and not only don’t you have to sell, your opponent isn’t allowed to hit you with an offensive move. When Hogan’s out-working you, you’re sitting pretty. Glacier does martial arts, causing Darling to cower in the corner, and Glacier won’t attack because of his Honor. Darling steps forward to fight, and like any good Mortal Kombat player does against an amateur, he sweeps out the legs. Darling knocks down Glacier and heads up, but he misses a guillotine legdrop and takes a tigerbomb. The Cryonic Kick puts this away, and Glacier remains undefeated at 2:00. DUD
The Bischoff / Randy Anderson segment is replayed from Nitro.
LEE MARSHALL checks in with the mental state of the STEINER BROTHERS. The latest addition to the world of leather fetish, Scott Steiner, has decided they are in fact the world tag-team champions no matter what Bischoff says. And, if the nWo want to reclaim the title, they’ll have to fight them. Glass half full!
I have to applaud the bookers, who, armed with a roster of 8000, have successfully put together a match I have absolutely no desire to see. Rougeau tries his hand at the National Anthem, and Dusty’s even ruder than Tony usually is, because he doesn’t even stop talking to give them a CHANCE, completely ignoring them. High Voltage gives them a Thumbs Down, and them’s fighting thumbs. Rage hits a springboard splash on Ouellette for an early 2, but the big man flattens him with a clothesline. The Colonel gets in a couple of free shots on the outside. Back in, Rougeau slams PCO onto Rage, and that sets up the Quebec Crash at 2:21. 1/2*
Teaser: Bischoff should be nervous, Piper returns Monday.
You know, if Disco’s planning on being the Honky Tonk Man’s protégé like all the NewzSites are saying, he’s gonna have to hurry up and actually leave WCW. Movie buffs are likely familiar with Allen; he played the banjo in Deliverance.
Disco spends the first 20 seconds of the match carefully removing his neck chain and vest. I hope to god the instructions to his leg lock weren’t in there! Disco knocks down his beady eyed opponent, and then gives him a high five. That’s fantastic. Of course, he’s a dick, and immediately takes to stomping on his new friend, with a little bit of a mean streak in his actions. A side slam sets up the leg hold, but his opponent shoves him off immediately. Disco, unsure what to do now, hooks the ropes to dodge a dropkick and makes a second go of it. Disco actually figures it out this time, named the Last Dance, and he wins at 3:10! Disco screams “IT WORKS?!?” in disbelief! So proud, he goes to do it again, but the referee tells him to piss off. Disco is a superstar amongst jobbers. *
Is it a slow week at the Powerplant or something? I don’t feel like we’ve seen Parker in 1997 yet, but I have the memory of an ostrich. Tony starts beating his chest about being the big ratings winners in the war of professional wrestling, thanks in part to all the biggest stars like Lex Luger, The Giant, and Dean Malenko. Dean Malenko? Seriously? I mean, I like bland old Dean just fine, solid worker, and I appreciate Tony throwing the Cruiserweights a bone; but Rey Mysterio Jr. is the obvious kingpin of that division from a marketing standpoint. Parker nearly succumbs to a sunset flip off the top, but he’s a military man and he’s determined to “send this man back to Germany!” Wasn’t he a cop? And where the hell IS Lieutenant Wright? I’m going to assume he’s still assigned to the grizzly murder of Fit Finlay, but there comes a point when you need to consider the case cold and get back to your regular duties like issuing traffic tickets and wrestling the Steiner Brothers on weekends. Wright hits a plancha, but that’s old hat in contrast to our new friends from south of the border. German suplex gets the win at 4:30, but Alex needs to pick it up. The days of a white meat babyface being enough are done, and no amount of hype changes the fact that he’s getting outworked by even the lowest of the imports like Galaxy and Ciclope. 1/2*
JEFF JARRETT and LEE MARSHALL get together to clear the air. Jarrett starts calling out the Horsemen for not being man enough to take on the leadership of WCW. He reminds the world he’s beaten all of them, and if Mongo wants to step up and start taking cheapshots, he’ll happily put him in his place and take over the leadership of the entire Horsemen group himself.
KONAN (with Jimmy Hart) vs. SGT. CRAIG PITTMAN
Konan has adopted new music which I have to presume is his own, but I can’t hear it very well on my choppy old copy of the show. He takes on … awwwww hell, Pittman’s STILL employed?!? Why god? Konan remains an N short, and has seen his push stalled since he lost it. Pittman works some sort of awful hammerlock, which Konan sells by grunting pleasurably. He changes to a wristlock, and follows with a crossface (IE: sitting on his ass and wrapping an arm around his opponent). Look, I have a rule, and I call it the Backyard Rule. If any untrained 13 year old wrestler can perform your moves without hurting themselves, you probably shouldn’t be in the ring. Hell, *I* can do this:

What the hell IS that last move? And no, I didn’t catch him mid-stream in an attempt to make my point, that is honest to god what he was applying. Tony tells us that Pittman is wrestling “his kind of match”, which is fine, but maybe he can keep it to his living room and not nationally broadcast television? Konan wins with a cradle DDT 6:37. -**
Tony pimps out an upcoming WCW event at the Florida state fair; but Dusty has little interest in working, promising fans will find him walking around the midway eating cotton candy. I have absolutely no reason to doubt this, actually. Calo tosses Dragon across the ring, and hits a spinebuster for 2. Frustrated, Calo stops to check that his hat is still on his head. Thankfully it is, and he’s so excited he actually manages to hit a somersault legdrop off the top. Seeing as how this is the first top rope move he’s ever hit, he goes for another one, forgetting to play the odds and just knock it off. Dragon blocks a splash with the knees, and it’s go time now. Brainbuster gets 2. The handpring back elbow misses, and Calo hits a butterfly suplex for 2. A fast senton yields the same, and Dragon spin kicks Calo in the face. Calo sandbags a powerbomb, and despite Dragon fighting like hell to pick him up, he finally drops him … right on the back of his neck. He’s thankfully ok, and Dragon gets 2. A dropkick sends Calo to the floor, but he sidesteps the baseball slide and hits a rope swing dropkick of his own! A slingshot somersault plancha drops the former champion, and Calo poses for the fans; hat and sunglasses not an inch out of place. He goes for a corner senton, but Dragon sidesteps and Calo hits the corner, landing right on the back of his neck again. Not a good day for Calo’s future. Dragonsteiner sets up the Dragon suplex, and that’s that at 4:47. Despite Calo’s sloppiness, this was a ton of fun. ***
The most critical storyline in WCW history is aired in full: The debut of Jacqueline. It eats 13 minutes off the back of the show though, so I ain’t complaining.
Ok, this pairing is sort of ridiculous. There is nothing wrong with feeding Luger a steady stream of fat jobbers; hell, Buddy “Valentino” Valentine must be looking for a payday. However, I don’t have any interest in watching the Chairman act as a tennis ball for Slim. Sadly, it’s what the bookers want. A jumping spin wheel kick sends Luger to the floor, and Parka’s all over him with a tope suicida! Back in, the missile dropkick has Parka in charge, and he gives Luger the old thumbs down. La Parkinator goes to finish … but Luger kicks out at 2. Fiddlesticks. Parka is unable to follow up and takes a clothesline, and it’s all Luger from here. Powerslam, Rack, goodnight dear skeleton at 2:57. *1/2
THE PUBLIC ENEMY vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri)
Nooooooooooooo! Calo and Dragon have completely saved this show from being one of the worst cards that I can remember in the last year+. Sherri helps too, calling the fan in the front row a “Green Bay Packer loser fan idiot!” She forgot scum, but that’s ok. Making matters worse, we’re gifted the “Nasty Boys” camera, where we do a “split” screen that only takes up a quarter of the screen so nobody can see anything. Try to remember this was shown on 27” tube TVs in standard def, making matters a zillion times worse. Grunge gets his hands on Sherri, but she scratches her nails into his eyes to escape, and everyone goes back to walking around the ring throwing punches. Somehow, Tony decides this is a fine time for commercial.
At some point while we were gone, between the walking and punching, everyone got back in the ring and a tag-team match broke out. Booker takes Grunge to the floor, and Sherri punches him in the pooter. Back in, Grunge fails to kick out at 3 off a snapmare, so the referee pretends he didn’t count to 3, and gives him a 4th chance to kick out. Stevie drops a leg for 2, and then distracts the referee long enough for Booker to get in a couple of cheap shots. Grunge hits a desperate neckbreaker, but Stevie manages to keep the ring cut off. He tries a jawbreaker next, but Booker punches Rock in the face to knock him off the apron, and then cracks Grunge with the Axe kick. Booker puts him up top, but Grunge hits a shoulderblock and finally gets the hot tag to Rocco. Both guys take clotheslines, and Sherri leaps on the apron. She’s held hostage on the apron, which just so happens to be right in front of TPE’s table. Booker pulls her to safety as Grunge flies in with the Drive By, and he takes his partner with him through the table. Both guys play dead for awhile, and the Heat Bomb finishes Rock at 8:35. Dusty: “This one was a mess.” Tony: “Yes, it was a mess, from the word go.” I couldn’t agree more. 1/2*
Tony replays the entire angle that led us to Roddy Piper’s title shot that was awarded Monday. Then we turn to “Language Experts” named MR. and MRS. SANDY MURRAY to tell us Piper was rambling about when he was hauled out on the stretcher back on the December 30th Nitro. Mr. Murray says that Piper was speaking ancient Gaelic and not in tongues. And, it just so happens that Mr. Murray is the director of the Atlanta Celtic Festival, and he just swelled with pride when Roddy started speaking his language while concussed. He calls Piper an excellent role model. Blow for everyone! Anyway, Piper reportedly said “the battle isn’t over until you get home” repeatedly, and while he can’t confirm that this was in reference to “Mr. Hogan”, he can assure us that He’s Serious and There Will Be Hell To Pay.
And just for your personal files, let’s meet Mr. and Mrs. Murray:
Dr. Unlikely is going to have a field day with these two, so I’ll pre-emptively thank WCW for their epic casting here.
Dusty believes that Piper’s rant means he still wants a match with Hogan. Thank god he’s here. Tony signs us off, by putting Piper’s “Gaelic” on a loop, which is probably about the 30 seconds of funniest TV I’ve seen since Viscera slipped on the beer.

Oh WCW, I love you sooooo much, but PLEASE, for the love of God, be better. With all the talent in the world at their disposal there’s no reason for the last 6 weeks to have been so darn awful. Right the train, give me some quality mid-card wrestling, help Larry Zbyszko figure out what Sting’s motives are, and we’ll be ok.

WWF Shotgun Saturday Night: January 25, 1997

Last week, the WWF failed to Shock Us with topless managers, sex with Todd Pettengill in an Elmo costume, or the ever present threat of Goldust giving birth. Instead, they bored us with Steve Austin running rampant around San Antonio for an hour, getting into both a verbal and physical showdown with Terry Funk. Somehow, this turned out amazing. Have we learned anything? Or will heading back to New York ruin it for all of us?
We are LIVE from Webster Hall, because THIS stupid show is the one show that doesn’t need to be taped. SUNNY is dancing on a stripper podium, while VINCE MCMAHON and OWEN HART handle commentary duties.

MANKIND (with Paul Bearer) vs. BRET HART
Mankind spies the dancers on the way to the ring, and simply can’t help himself. Years of being locked in a basement learning to become a piano player and living off rats have made him hornier than a federal inmate, and he starts humping one of the podiums like a dog. Slowly, he corners one of the girls, but Bret pops out from the shadows and starts to kick his ass. “HE’S HAD HIS SOCKS ROCKED!” screams the hipper than hip McMahon. Owen wants to know why Bret’s even allowed here since “he quit on Monday, I heard it with my own ears!” Vince blows it all off as a misunderstanding. Owen hypes the Final Four match coming up next month, even though he could beat all the guys by himself. Owen starts talking down the hos that distracted Mankind, but Sunny joins commentary and tells him to watch his mouth in the presence of a woman. Owen: “That’s fine, but I don’t see any women around here.” Bret and Mankind find themselves throwing punches in front of the announce table, and Bret gives him a vertical suplex right on the unprotected club floor! Mankind grabs Bret’s face and starts clawing and squealing. Sunny starts accusing McMahon of being the puppetmaster of the WWF, seeing as how Gorilla seemed to be doing whatever Vince told him to on Monday night. Vince says he was just trying to smooth things over, and then quickly changes the subject by screaming “WORLD FAMOUS WEBSTER HALL LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!” Mankind runs a knee into Bret’s face, and Owen apologizes to mom for Bret’s new mangled face. An elbow is launched right into Bret’s mouth, but Mankind misses the Cactus clothesline and crashes to the floor. A little dazed, he finds his focus by crawling back towards the sluts, and Vince calls for an immediate commercial break.
The traffic has been redirected to ringside by the time we’re back, and Bret drops Mankind across the guardrail, right on the beans. That must have smarted, especially given his violent erection. Bret pulls them back in, while TODD PETTENGILL stops to talk with A SLUT dressed like Princess Leah. They have an awkward discussion about her fuzzy bra, while Mankind drops Bret with the double arm DDT. He misses a charge in the corner, and Bret drops him with the Russian legsweep. Fistdrop sets up the bulldog, and Bret gets 2. Owen calls for a DQ because Bret had a handful of hair, apparently. The swinging neckbreaker gets 2. Mankind is hit with the backbreaker, and having gone through his repertoire, Bret goes to the Sharpshooter. Owen leaves the broadcast location to attack Bret, and we have a DQ at 10:32. Bret feeds it right back, and both guys brawl to the backstage area. **
PAUL BEARER cries to TODD PETTENGILL that he knew this would happen in an environment filled with sex and liquor. “OHHHHHH MY MANKIND! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HIM?” But it’s too late; Mankind has worked his way back to the stripper stage and is desperately trying to fit in with the ladies, just like his role model Shawn Michaels.
Apparently Vega turned on Ahmed Johnson at MSG earlier in the day, and is now a member of the Nation. Vega offers Rocky the hand of friendship, while the fans start chanting for the BWO. Rock snapmares his Puerto Rican opponent, and Vince feels it would be a “major upset” if Rock won this match. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Major Upset, since Rock never really loses. Sunny offers her body to Vince, who blows her off. What planet is this show taking place on? There is NO way Vince is turning that down, then OR now. FAAROOQ and CRUSH come down to ringside, and give Savio the salute. Vega acknowledges it, and pounds Rock into the mat. Rock comes back with a crossbody block, but barely gets a 1 count. TODD PETTENGILL tries to find out what’s going on with the Nation. “ASK CRUSH!” Crush advises Pettengill to get out of his face if he wants to keep it, and Todd scatters like a cockroach. Vega works a nerve hold, but Rock fights to his feet and schoolboys Vega for 2. Vega fires back with a roundhouse kick, and Rock is seeing stars. Back to the nerve hold, but Rock escapes again and they start trading punches. Vega stops any momentum with a boot to the face, and that gets 2. And, because he really doesn’t know very many moves, Vega goes to the nerve hold for a 3rd time. And a 4th. Despite the fact I’m bored out of my mind, the fans blame Rock, chanting “ROCKY SUCKS” with a great deal of vigor. Rock delivers some hard chops in the corner, but Vega gives it right back. And yes, if you guessed a 5th nerve hold was coming, you win the prize. “It’s doubtful Savio Vega will defeat Rocky Maivia in this manner” says Vince. You mean the fact it didn’t work the first 4 times wasn’t telling enough? Vega dumps Rock to the outside, in front of the particularly vocal group who hate his guts. Since this is a horrible match, there truly is only one way to end it … with Rock failing to respond to the 10 count at 12:00. TWELVE minutes?!? For THESE guys?!? Vega pulls Rocky back into the ring afterwards, and beats the snot out of Rocky. Where was THAT in between the half dozen nerve holds? Faarooq heads in, and whips Rocky like a government stepchild. I never want to see these guys wrestle again. -***
Backstage, JAKE ROBERTS French kisses his snake.
HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY joins the announce table.
Triple H starts riffing on Vince’s confused commentary; “Great match with Rocky Johnson earlier tonight, eh McMahon?” Sincere pokes Jake in the eyes, but Roberts responds with a hard whip to the corner and Sincere begs off. Jake locks on a headlock, but Sal makes the ropes to break. Sincere misses a charge and eats post, and Roberts takes his head off with a short clothesline. A DDT finishes matters at 3:04. Sincere has Jake’s “sloppy snake” (per McMahon) dropped on his prone body. DUD
During the break, Helmsley stormed the ring and gave a Pedigree to Sal for the hell of it.
Sid enters through the crowd and gets a heroes’ welcome from this group. A bunch of clotheslines have Crush staggering, so Sid easily disposes him over the top. He follows off the apron with an axehandle, and his ankles hold up. FAAROOQ and SAVIO VEGA saunter down, but I doubt Sid notices or cares. We head to commercial as he hits Crush with a flying shoulderblock.
We return to Crush gnawing on Sid’s face, and that seems to take him down a peg. Still, the fans chant his name, Sid looks every which way, and he’s right back in this. Crush slams him, and shares a little black power with Faarooq. The Heart Punch is blocked with a Chokeslam, and Sid asks the crowd if they want a powerbomb. Of course they do, so Sid obliges, but he doesn’t go for the pin because he can smell the cavalry and he rolls outside. He grabs a steel chair, and starts wildly swinging at the Nation who disappear … but then he cracks Crush anyway for the hell of it and gets DQed at 5:07. With time at a premium, Sid simply stands there to soak up the adulation of the pro-ECW group, and the show heads off the air in a hurry. 1/2*

Nowhere near as good as last week’s wild showing, but the WWF seems to have found a niche with Shotgun, upping the violence and language, and eliminating the stupid ratings stunts that do nothing for the storylines. They have a solid group of mid-carders who seem hungry for opportunity recognizing (rightfully) that outside of Bret, Taker, Sid, and Shawn that there’s a lot of room at the top of the card. As a result, everyone’s showing a little extra aggression and doing whatever it takes to get noticed, with Triple H and Owen killing it on commentary tonight, and Mankind having a little fun with his character. Overall, a nice palate cleanser from nWo Souled Out, as we head into the Monday shows.

BoD Saturday Night Thread

On tap for tonight:

At 8pm EST on the WWE Network you can see the “Best of Hall of Fame” show as they highlight Gene Okerlund and Shawm Michaels. Then at 9:30pm EST you can watch the 7/29/89 episode of “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”

The NBA has 5 games on the schedule tonight. At 8pm EST the Phoenix Suns face off against the Chicago Bulls on NBA TV.

In the NHL there are 9 games tonight. At 9pm EST the Los Angeles Kings take on the San Jose Sharks over on NBC Sports.

College Basketball has several Nationally televised games tonight, highlighted by #3 Gonzaga vs. St. Mary’s at 10pm EST over on ESPN 2.

Also, the Koko B. Ware shoot interview won the poll and that recap will be posted Thursday at noon.

And as usual, talk about anything else going on tonight here.