Six of the Best – WCW Slamboree

Back once again to this feature, with us taking a look at WCW’s annual May event of Slamboree. Originally conceived as a “Legends Reunion” type show for it’s first three years, and flirting with the Battle Bowl format in 1996, Slamboree eventually became just a standard pay per view event from 1997 onwards and was often a show that was rarely treated as a big deal. The fact the 95, 97 and 98 events were all main evented by almost throw away tag matches would be a good example of that. Slamboree was really just there to bridge the gap before the two major summer events of Great American Bash and Bash at the Beach.

That’s not to say that nothing of any value happened at the events of course. Ric Flair’s brutal beatdown of Angelo Poffo at the 95 event started a blood feud with Randy Savage that actually drew good money at house shows, whereas the 98 show saw the unthinkable happen as Scott Hall turned on Kevin Nash to break up The Outsiders tag team. However, these moments were normally the exception as opposed to the rule. By the 2000 event WCW was on it’s last legs, a situation that wasn’t helped by having David Arquette competing in the main event as defending WCW World Champion.

Compiling this list was kind of tricky as Slamboree had quite a lot of middling bouts over the years that weren’t especially bad but also weren’t the sort of exciting and classic matches that immediately jumped out at me as ones I just had to include. Despite this, I eventually found six matches that I was happy with and I had to leave a few out in the end as well, which shows that there was ultimately a healthy amount of decent bouts when all was said and done.

I would just like to give a special shout out to Gorgeous George Vs Charles Robinson from the 1999 event as well, because my word is that match a hundred times more enjoyable than it had any right to be. George looked great for someone with so little experience whilst Little Naitch was making the absolute most of his 15 minutes by giving a brilliant Ric Flair impersonation, complete with all of Flair’s tradional spots. It really is absolutely mountains of fun and I can strongly recommend it as one of the best comedy/manager matches I’ve ever seen.

As always, these are just my own personal picks. This isn’t supposed to be some sort of objective list or anything. If I leave out a match that you think warrants inclusion, then please feel free to put it down in the comments section below. As with previous lists, I’ll be listing the matches in chronological order.

So without further to do, let’s take a look at Six of the Best for WCW Slamboree!

Read moreSix of the Best – WCW Slamboree

Rock Star Gary reflects on WCW Slamboree ’93

Live from Atlanta, GA

Airdate: May 23, 1993

Attendance: 7,008 (3,722 paid)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone and the “Living Legend” Larry Zbyszko

Can Smith derail the freight train that is WCW World champion Vader? How will Arn fare against NWA World champion Windham? Quién son los Dos Hombres? Will they defeat the Hollywood Blondes? Let’s find out!

Read moreRock Star Gary reflects on WCW Slamboree ’93

Slamboree 2000

Slamboree 2000
Date: May 7, 2000
Location: Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Missouri
Attendance: 7,165
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Scott Hudson

It’s time for the David Arquette pay per view with the triple cage match which has only been vaguely described on TV. Coming off this week’s Nitro and Thunder where there was barely any build for most of the matches, it’s really hard to get into this show. Maybe there will be some actual effort this time, though I have a feeling I’m going to be disappointed. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSlamboree 2000

2015 Scott Sez: Slamboree 96

(It was pointed out to me that I skipped this show and went right to the Nitro the night after.  So here we go.  Also, this show was dogshit and thus I’m never watching it again, but I’ll probably at the very least rewatch Bash 96 to get a fresh look for the Scott Sez repost.)  The SmarK Retro Rant for WCW Slamboree 96 – Into the home stretch of WCW PPVs now, as we wrap things up with Slamboree ’96 (which I didn’t order back in the day and have only watched once since then) and then finish off with Road Wild ’99 (which I watched live, but was very drunk while doing so). And then that’ll be every WCW PPV ever, in the bag.  (We are at least now approaching the point when I met my longtime circle of friends in Edmonton in late summer of 1996 and learned about the wondrous creation that was that the black box imported from Mexico, which meant I didn’t have to order PPVs anymore.)  (…allegedly.)    – Live from Baton Rouge, LA – Your hosts are Tony, Bobby & Dusty. – This of course is the last, and worst, iteration of Dusty Rhodes’ original “Battlebowl” idea, with “random” drawings forcing people to team up, with winners advancing until there’s 8 people left for a battle royale to crown the “Lord of the Ring”.  (Now, at the point I was writing this, would Lord of the Rings jokes have been a hilarious and topical thing?  Because I’m surprised I didn’t go for the low-hanging fruit in some form if so.)  – Opening match: Road Warrior Animal & Booker T v. Road Warrior Hawk & Lex Luger. Let’s see if Booker can carry three guys at once. (Spoiler:  Fuck no.)  Oddly enough, Hawk & Animal have different variants on the same “Iron Man” ripoff. (So apparently when they did the graphics on Nitro a few weeks before this where they were the “Roadwarriors” as all one word, it might have been some weird legal dodge because WWF ended up with the rights to the Road Warriors name after their initial stint there.  If so, that’s would be all kinds of fucked up.)  Luger was in full babyface mode at this point, in preparation for the impending nWo invasion. (More specifically, Giant chokeslammed him through a table on Nitro leading up to this, which was the babyface turn once and for all.)  Animal starts with Luger and they do the dramatic lockup in the corner, before Luger stomps away. Powerslam, but he doesn’t cover. Animal works him over in the other corner, and gets his own powerslam. Luger gets a suplex, which is no-sold, and Booker comes in to work on Luger’s arm. Charge hits boot, and Luger gets a clothesline out of the corner to take over again. Okay, we’ve obviously mastered the punching and kicking, let’s move into the 20th century now. Booker misses an elbow but recovers with a Spinarooni and sidekicks Luger. That gets two. It’s funny – WCW marketed Booker as a viable contender while ignoring the marketing possibilities of the Spinarooni, while the WWE markets his catchphrases while ignoring the viability of him as a contender. That pretty much sums up their differences in a nutshell. (Guess this was written pre-2003.)  Axe kick gets two. Partners Hawk & Luger get into a fight, which leads to a pier-six brawl, and Luger runs away from the fight. It’s a double-countout at 6:55, which eliminates both teams from the tournament. That is so incredibly stupid that it can only have come from WCW. Horrible match, filled with bad wrestling. DUD – The Public Enemy v. Kevin Sullivan & Chris Benoit. This match really stretches the bounds of credibility as far as random drawings go. (This whole show really stretches the bounds of credibility as far as “wrestling PPV” goes.)  I mean, at least back in the early 90s the teams were suitably bizarre and thus seemed random. Benoit starts with Rocco Rock and gets pounded, and Rock hits him with a headscissors. That turns into a shoving match and stalling follows. Rocco gets a rana as Dusty and Bobby have a funny discussion about what would happen if they were partners. A second rana is reversed into a powerbomb by Benoit. He pounds away and brings Sullivan in, which turns the match into a brawl. That’s smart, because 3 out of the 4 guys aren’t good for much else. Sullivan pounds on Rocco with a chair, but gets put on a table. Benoit cuts off a dive by Rocco with a clothesline, but gets suplexed out of the ring. Sullivan and Johnny Grunge keep fighting on the floor, but Sullivan and Benoit both end up on the table, and the Public Enemy dive onto it, putting Benoit through when Kevin moves. Back in, Rocco gets the pin on Benoit at 4:44. This could have been SO much more if they had booked it like one of the crazy brawls both teams were known for. 1/2*  (OK, I confess to being really confused as this point.  Benoit and Sullivan didn’t interact at ALL on Nitro around this time, but by Bash 96 they’re engaging in a giant blood feud?  When did Sullivan transition from Pillman to Benoit as far as the feud went and where did that happen?)  – Sgt. Craig Pittman & Scott Steiner v. Rick Steiner & The Booty Man. I’ve had nightmares involving these four guys wrestling each other. I mean, seriously, Rick Steiner and BRUTUS BEEFCAKE? Is that someone’s idea of a sick joke? (That’s Hulk’s idea of DRAWING MONEY, brother.)  Kimberly is playing Brutus’ “booty babe” as a result of DDP jobbing to him at Uncensored. So there’s at least one (or two) things to watch here. (I was referring to her boobies.)  Pittman and Booty start, and do a ridiculously bad mat- wrestling sequence. Pittman headbutts him low to end that charade, and Scott Steiner, who was not yet the Big Bad Booty Daddy and thus couldn’t really be confused with The Booty Man at that point, comes in with a butterfly powerbomb for two. For some reason he tags Pittman back in, as Booty tags out to Rick. Pittman pounds on Rick, who cheerfully no-sells everything and powerslams him. Pittman gets a german suplex, but Rick comes back with a Steinerline and Pittman decides that cowardice is the better part of valor and tags out to Scott. This actually gets the crowd going, and Scott takes Rick down with a fireman’s carry. Rick responds with a side headlock, but Scott goes behind to control on the mat. They do some mat-wrestling, and Scott gets a side suplex, but Rick gets a Steinerline. Scott suckers Rick into checking on him, and cradles for two. Scott gets a full-nelson, but Rick reverses to a german suplex and goes up. Scott follows and superplexes him, but Rick tags out to Booty to end the awesome. So we get Booty v. Pittman again and Pittman works on the arm, into the cross- armlock. Booty tags Steiner to escape the hold (which isn’t actually legal), and Rick suplexes Pittman for the pin at 8:21. Oh man, that stuff with the Steiners fighting in the middle was shaping up to be one of the best matches of the year given some time and a proper match. The rest was junk, so it evened out. **3/4 I briefly considered giving it another 1/4* in celebration of Kimberly leaving her bra in the dressing room, but then we’ve already seen her naked anyway. – Lord Steven Regal & Squire Dave Taylor v. Hacksaw Duggan & VK Wallstreet. Amazingly, it’s another combination of archenemies facing regular tag team partners. Oddly enough, Mike Rotundo was playing a Wallstreet spoof of Vince McMahon 4 years before the WWF went public. (And now he and his sons all work for Vince.  Life is funny.)  Duggan and Regal start and we get a posedown-slash-stallfest. I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to guess who does what. Regal gets a cheapshot, but Duggan hiptosses him. Clotheslines send Regal running to the corner, and tags abound. Taylor and Regal work over Wallstreet’s arm, but he fights back with forearms. Duggan and Wallstreet can’t get the teamwork going, however, and Regal takes advantage with a beatdown on Duggan in the corner. Duggan & Regal collide, but Wallstreet won’t take the tag. Duggan makes his own comeback, including nailing his own partner, and uses the ATHLETIC TAPE OF DOOM on Taylor for the pin at 3:49. Short and bad. (Just like both of Rotundo’s kids, AM I RIGHT?)  1/4* – Dirty Dick Slater & Earl Robert Eaton v. Alex Wright & Disco Inferno. Disco ducks away from Slater to start, in order to save the hair. Dancing follows. Slater chops away, prompting Disco to tag out. Eaton slugs away on Wright, but he fires back and gets a hiptoss and bad headscissors. Leg lariat gets two. Slater comes in with a neckbreaker, but Wright escapes a piledriver and Disco cleans house. Was that supposed to be the hot tag? It’s breaking loose in Tulsa and Wright dumps Eaton, but Slater nails Disco with his boot and gets the pin at 2:56. Yeah, okay. DUD  (Disco was really a non-entity on Nitro at this point, as the last I’ve seen of him was getting squashed by the Booty Man.  It really wasn’t until the two and three hour versions of the show that guys like him started getting any kind of TV time.)  – DDP & Barbarian v. Meng & Hugh Morrus. This show gets better and better. Speaking of Hugh, I was watching bits and pieces of Confidential, and listening to him yelling at kids about how they’ll never make it in the WWE was kinda surreal. I mean, this is HUGH FREAKIN MORRUS telling someone that THEY don’t have what it takes to make it. (Huh.  Now there’s an oddly coincidental comment on my part.)  All they need now is HHH to come out and tell the kids that they don’t know how to work. (They do have that, it’s called NXT.  That’s what he’s been telling Hideo Itami, in fact.)  DDP grabs a headlock on Morrus to start, but gets dumped. Hugh follows with a pescado and misses by a mile. Back in, Page gets a lariat for two and brings the Barbarian in. This leads to the showdown of the Faces of Fear, as Meng starts pounding with chops. Barbarian overpowers him in turn and elbows away, but neither guy sells anything. Barbarian finally gets a back kick to drop Meng, and he presses Page onto him. Meng comes back with a headbutt and Morrus comes in and goes up right away. Flying elbow gets one. He changes his mind and goes up again, but DDP crotches him and Barbarian gets a belly-to-belly superplex for two. That looked pretty bad. Meng comes back in for some double-teaming and Morrus heads up for the moonsault, which gets two. It’s BONZO GONZO and DDP eats a superkick from Meng while Barbarian hits Morrus with the KICK OF FEAR, and since DDP is in the ropes, Barbarian’s pin counts and they win at 5:16. Who booked this shit? (Kevin Sullivan.)  They tried, but the universal suck force bound them together too tightly. 1/2* – Big Bubba & Stevie Ray v. Scott Norton & Ice Train. Kill me now. It’s like someone wanted to book Fire & Ice v. Harlem Heat, but decided to replace Booker T to ensure the worst match humanly possible. Why? Who would be cruel and inhuman enough to book such a match? (Kevin Sullivan.)  Norton pounds on Stevie, but charges and hits boot. Stevie clotheslines him and brings Bubba in, as Norton does an astounding amount of selling for an astoundingly bad run of offense. Spinebuster gets two. Norton gives Bubba the worst faceplant ever seen on TV, and Juice Train gets a buttsplash for two. Clothesline and both guys are out, as even Tony is riffing on the excessive number of clotheslines in the match. When TONY SCHIAVONE thinks you’re lame, you’ve got trouble. Norton comes back in and hammers on Stevie, but Bubba collides with his own partner and Norton pins him at 3:28. And thank god it’s over. DUD – Eddy Guerrero & Arn Anderson v. Ric Flair & Randy Savage. If there’s any justice they’ll give this a decent amount of time. Arn attacks Savage while waiting for Flair to make his entrance, and Flair adds some punishment on his own partner until Eddy (still a babyface) makes the save. Flair chops away, but Eddy wants to bring it! Liz & Nancy quietly make their way to ringside. Eddy backdrops Flair and dropkicks him a couple of times, but Flair goes to the eye, and then nails Savage for fun. I guess that was a tag. Arn comes in and beats on Savage, with Flair’s blessing, but Macho fights back. Arn keeps pounding in the corner, but eats boot. He gets the spinebuster for two, however. Flair tags back in, beats on his own partner some more, but Eddy pokes him in the eye and chops away. This is wild. Another dropkick sets up a tornado DDT, and Savage comes in and goes after Flair again, while Arn turns on his own partner and DDTs him. Flair gets the pin on Eddy at 4:05. Oh man, that match was amazingly fun stuff and it’s tragic that they cut it off at 4 minutes. ** Liz and the Horsemen give Savage some more abuse on the floor afterwards. – We review the winners and set up the next round of matches (determined by another “random” drawing, with one team getting a bye due to the double countout. Mean Gene and some Hooters girl select a team at random for the bye – Fire & Ice. The rest of the matches are drawn from there. – WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko v. Brad Armstrong. Tony talking about the “lengthy double-elimination tournament” for the belt (in reality: One match between Shinjiro Ohtani and Chris Benoit) is slightly bizarre given that even in 1996 it was easy to look this stuff up on the ‘net. Also Dean is apparently a youngster. (In all fairness he looks exactly the same today.)  They do some mat-wrestling to start and Brad gets an enzuigiri. They fight over a hiptoss and neither gets it, but Brad armdrags him and Dean bails. Back in, Dean dropkicks the knee and wraps it around the post, going to work on it. He uses an Indian deathlock and gets a backdrop suplex. Brad reverses a fireman’s carry into a sunset flip for two, but Dean goes back to the knee and keeps him down. Stump- puller (now there’s a move you don’t see everyday) and Dean goes back to the knee. He grabs a kneebar, but Brad makes the ropes. Pump splash hits foot, and Brad makes the comeback. Charge hits boot, but he gets a powerslam and goes up for a missile dropkick. He puts Malenko into a Texas Cloverleaf, but Dean makes the ropes. Brad gets dumped, but goes up again until he gets caught by Dean and hit with an Atomic Gutbuster for the pin at 8:25. Crowd didn’t care about any of this, and you can thank Rey Mysterio Jr. for completely salvaging this division from the scrap heap. Match didn’t really work, either. **  (And then Brad was on Nitro the next night doing a meaningless job to DDP anyway.)  – Dick Slater & Robert Eaton v. Hacksaw Duggan & VK Wallstreet. (Yes, two of these people are going to the FINALS.)  Slater hammers on Wallstreet to start while Duggan takes Eaton. Duggan and Wallstreet want to go, but Duggan calls for peace…and Wallstreet turns on him and dumps him. Slater gets a legsweep on VK for two. Elbow and the Slater-Eaton team work him over in the corner, but he comes back on Eaton. Eaton bails and Duggan beats on him outside, and back in Wallstreet gets the abdominal stretch, but Duggan refuses to help out by grabbing his hand. What a wuss. Duggan tags himself back in and pounds everything that moves, and gets two on Slater. We hit the chinlock. Slater & Duggan collide and tags abound. Duggan & Wallstreet disagree and Eaton rolls up Wallstreet for the pin at 4:04. Well, at least it was short. 1/2* – The Public Enemy v. Ric Flair & Randy Savage. Liz throws out Savage’s alimony money into the crowd, so Randy charges out and attacks Flair during his entrance. Security pulls them apart to prevent anything interesting from happening, and TPE wins by forfeit. GIMME A BREAK. – DDP & Barbarian v. Rick Steiner & The Booty Man. I can’t imagine this show getting much worse, so there’s always that on the bright side. Just call me Positively Netcop. (Well don’t really call me Netcop because I don’t wanna get sued.)  We’re really rushing through now, so this should be short and painless. DDP pounds on Booty to start, but gets dumped. Tony actually stops to give a logical explanation for DDP’s reinstatement following his retirement match: Since Johnny B Badd left the promotion and thus the match with Booty Man wasn’t for the TV title, DDP was under no obligation to put anything up, either. Okay then. Steiner comes in and pounds Page, but gets dropped on the top rope. Barbarian uses the power of the foot on Rick, but gets caught with a backdrop suplex. Sloppy belly-to-belly gets two, but Barbarian no-sells and powerbombs Rick, for two. Booty accidentally ties up the referee’s attention, allowing the heels to work Steiner over in the corner. Barbarian gets a clothesline, but Rick hotshots him and makes the “hot” tag to Booty Man. High Knee of Death gets two. Rollup is broken up by Page, and Barbarian GETS THE PIN at 5:05?!? From an ELBOW? Geez, is Brutus suffering from that brittle bone disease like Mr. Glass or something? (Cocaine is a hell of a drug.)  DUD – US title match: Konnan v. Jushin Liger. Liger is sporting the EVIL BLACK TIGHTS tonight, but the pink boots sort of ruin the effect. Konnan only has one “N” in his name at this point. Konnan takes him down with a reverse bow-and-arrow to start, but Liger escapes. They do the wristlock reversal spot and lots of RVD-ish flipping results. Liger gets a senton and Konnan bails, which allows Liger to follow with a pescado. Back in, brainbuster gets two. Liger goes into a cross-armlock, but Konnan reverses to a Regal Stretch. Liger goes to a half-crab while the crowd snoozes. They exchange palm strikes and Liger gets the Koppo kick, and they head up. Liger gets a superplex and goes back up with a flying splash that gets two. Dropkick puts Konnan out, and Liger follows with a plancha, but Konnan catches him with a kick on the way down. Back in, Liger gets a fisherman’s buster for two. Konnan gets a whiplash slam for two. Liger reverses a powerbomb into a sunset flip for two. Cradle gets two. Ligerbomb gets two. Liger goes up and lands on Konnan’s foot, which sets up Splash Mountain for the pin at 9:30. Crowd was getting into it by the end. *** – Flair and Arn Anderson are doing an interview, but Steve MacMichael interrupts and challenges them to a match for the next PPV. Kevin Greene comes out as Mongo’s partner. – Battlebowl finals: Scott Norton, Ice Train, Dick Slater, Robert Eaton, DDP, Barbarian, Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge. This is just a plain old battle royale, with the winner getting a title shot at the Giant. Let me repeat that: The winner of THIS match, with THESE guys, was supposed to get a shot at the champion on PPV. This is why WCW was in so much trouble before the nWo. Usual kick and punch stuff with absolutely no storyline to the match. Page gets booted out by Barbarian, clearly eliminated, but the ref misses it (even though the camera shows it all). Gotta love WCW. More kicking and punching as guys randomly switch dance partners with no rhyme or reason. They should have done a Survivor Series elimination match or something to settle this. Rocco charges Barbarian and gets backdropped out. Slater hits Eaton with his boot and eliminates him. Slater follows him out via unseen elimination, and brawls with Eaton back to the dressing room. DDP dumps Norton, leaving four men. Ice Train powerslams everyone and forms an alliance with Barbarian, then turns on him. DDP Diamond Cuts everyone, and pins Grunge, and Train. Um, WHAT? Barbarian kicks out, however. This is retarded. What is this, the AWA World title battle royale? Where’s Tom Zenk? (Good question.  Did we ever figure out what the hell happened to Zenk that caused him to disappear off the face of the earth?  Jail?)  Barbarian clotheslines Page for two. He charges and Page gets two in the corner. Page charges and Barbarian gets two. Tombstone piledriver (which looked like it nearly killed DDP) gets two. That was almost an OwenDriver. Sleeper is stopped by DDP going low, but Barbarian gets a powerbomb for two. Barbarian goes up, but misses the flying headbutt, and the Diamond Cutter ends it at 9:36. And the crowd goes apathetic. ** DDP didn’t get his promised title match until more than two years following, at Halloween Havoc ’98, and even then he had to win WarGames to earn that. – WCW World title: The Giant v. Sting. We’ve got like 10 minutes of airtime left here, so this should be quick. Those who give me that garbage about Big Show not being able to move faster and be thinner than he is now should watch his stuff from 1996, when he still sucked, but sucked in such a way that you could at least watch his matches without being embarrassed by it. This would be the point when Sting started growing his hair out, for whoever asked me a couple of weeks ago. Sting tries a bodyblock to start, but bounces off harmlessly. He keeps hammering on Giant and tries a sleeper, but gets shoved down. Seriously, Giant is MAYBE 400 pounds here. Maybe. If he got down to that size again and stayed there, I’d have no problem with him in the main events. (Keep in mind this was written something like 14 years ago, and now Show is still stinking up main events.)  Sting keeps bouncing off Giant, and bails. Back in, Sting tries an enzuigiri, but that gets no-sold. Giant charges and Sting tries a slam, but Giant falls on him for two. Giant elbow and he simply walks on him to set up another elbow. Back elbow puts Sting down again and Giant works him over in the corner. Headbutt low and Giant chokes away. Another elbow and we head to a bodyscissors. That’s a pretty smart move, actually. Giant uses the ropes for good measure. That goes on for a while. Giant tosses him and sends him hurling down the aisle, but Luger prevents a chokeslam through the table by holding Jimmy Hart on the table. A REAL man would sacrifice his manager for the greater good. You think Ric Flair would have blinked twice before throwing JJ Dillon out there as a diversion? Giant misses a dropkick and the ref is bumped by mistake, as Sting makes the comeback and gets the Stinger Splash. He keeps hitting them, and Giant keeps not selling them. Giant finally goes down as Luger has Jimmy Hart tied up, but there’s no ref. Sting makes the fatal error of going after Hart with another splash, misses, and then recovers with a flying splash for two. Ref is bumped again on the kickout, so Sting hits him with another splash and gets the Scorpion Deathlock. Luger “accidentally” hits Sting with the megaphone, chokeslam, goodbye at 10:40. Surprisingly good, given that they kept it around 10 minutes to compensate for Giant’s weaknesses. ***  (And then there was no followup on that megaphone deal the next night.  Because WCW.)  The Bottom Line: Well, when the nicest things I can muster up about a show are that some of the matches are “surprisingly good” and “entertaining despite all the other crap” and “they tried hard but still sucked”, you know there’s not going to be much worth watching here. Not the worst show ever, but one of the weirdest in terms of booking, and certainly not one that you’d wanna watch more than once. Strong recommendation to avoid.

Slamboree 1999

Slamboree
1999
Date:
May 9, 1999
Location: TWA Dome, St. Louis, Missouri
Attendance:
20,516
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Things
are going downhill in a hurry around here and the pay per views can
be the biggest disasters they have. The main event here is Page vs.
Nash for the title along with a Sting vs. Goldberg match that you had
to pay attention to hear about. We also have Piper vs. Crazy Flair
for control of the company, even though both have been fired in
recent weeks. Let’s get to it.

The
opening video is your basic look at the three main events with a
bunch of circles coming out of the middle of the screen. The rest of
the card gets a quick focus as well.
The
announcers do their opening chat.
Gene
runs down the card as well and plugs the Hotline.
Tag
Team Titles: Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko vs. Saturn/Raven vs.
Kidman/Rey Mysterio Jr.
Kidman
and Mysterio are defending and this is one fall to a finish with
three guys in the ring at once. You
can only tag your own partner. Saturn and Kidman drop Malenko with a
double clothesline to start before a dropkick puts Dean on the floor.
Benoit comes in and gets dropkicked as well before Saturn nails
Kidman with a dropkick. A huge belly to belly suplex sends Kidman
flying out to the floor as the fans think the Horsemen suck.
Back
in and Benoit grabs a German suplex on Kidman for two with Raven
making a save. Rey comes in and throws Raven down before taking
Chris down with a hurricanrana. Mysterio’s slingshot legdrop hits
Benoit by mistake to give Raven two. Kidman and Benoit drop Raven
across the top rope but the Canadian turns on his short term partner.
This is really fast paced stuff so far.
Kidman
misses a top rope splash on Benoit and gets caught in the Crossface
until Raven makes a save. Raven hits a front suplex on Kidman so
Saturn can nail a top rope splash but Dean makes a save of his own.
Malenko throws Rey over his head but Mysterio lands on the top rope
and moonsaults back onto Dean for two. Awesome spot. All
six guys are in now but it’s quickly down to just Raven and Saturn.
The
Horsemen come back in to clean house and double team Saturn.
They do the same to the champions until we settle down to Benoit vs.
Kidman vs. Saturn. Kidman runs Benoit over but Saturn crotches him
on the top and runs him over, sending Kidman to the floor. Benoit
runs Saturn over and knocks him out to the floor as well. Back and
in and Benoit and Saturn collide to give Chris a two count. Benoit
rolls some Germans but Kidman runs in for a last second save.
Saturn
counters the Cloverleaf with a small package for two but Kidman makes
another save. Dean spits at Rey to tick him off, allowing the
Horsemen to run Kidman over. It’s back to the tagging again as the
announcers are saying let the guys fight. A
snap suplex gets two on Saturn and Benoit stomps away at Kidman.
Dean
comes back in and throws Kidman in the air, earning him a dropkick to
the chest. Saturn
tags Raven in for some rolling vertical suplexes on Benoit for two.
Kidman
brings in Mysterio for some near falls and everything breaks down. A
top rope clothesline drops Benoit and a springboard seated senton
does the same to Saturn. There’s a Bronco Buster to Raven before the
champs do the launched hurricanrana off the top to take down Benoit.
They try it on Saturn but Mysterio gets planted with a super sitout
powerbomb.
Kidman
reverses a powerbomb from Saturn but
Saturn calls for the Death Valley Driver. This brings in Anderson
for the spinebuster to Saturn and Dean puts on the Cloverleaf.
Someone in a Sting mask, DDP shirt and backwards hat comes in to
shove
Kidman
into the Evenflow to give Raven
the pin and
the titles.
Rating:
B+. This was a really hot
opener and I can’t imagine how good it was going to be if they let
the guys go nuts like Tony was asking for. Either way it got the
crowd into things and was the right way to end this long running
feud. Raven and Saturn are the only ones that haven’t had the belts
yet, though they didn’t need Kanyon’s help to get them.
The
masked man was Kanyon.
Video
on Page.
Konnan
vs. Stevie Ray
This
is due to Ray attacking Konnan a few weeks back. Ray hammers Konnan
down in the corner to start but Konnan comes back with right hands
and a float around bulldog for two. Back up and Stevie nails a big
boot to take over before sending Konnan out to the floor for a
beating from the Black and White. Stevie hooks a chinlock back
inside before a suplex gets two. Konnan fights up for the rolling
clothesline and X-Factor but has to knock Vincent off the apron.
Mysterio comes out to try for a save but has to fight off the Black
and White. In the confusion, Rey nails a top rope seated senton on
Stevie to give Konnan the rollup pin.
Rating:
F.
A six minute Stevie Ray vs. Konnan match had a referee distraction
and three people interfering for a rollup finish. The match was
boring and WAY too much chinlock before all of the interference. It
doesn’t help that the story was barely there, making the match feel
all the more pointless.
Video
on Nash.
Rick
Steiner says he has a lot to prove.
Video
on Sting, mostly with clips from 1997.
Page
and Bigelow are in the back and have a conversation we can’t hear.
King
of Hardcore: Brian Knobs vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
I
think the title is vacant coming in but you can’t really tell with
this company. We get a
bonus stipulation for the match: falls count anywhere. I guess
that’s only standard in WWF hardcore rules. Neither guy has music.
They start with the weapons early and Brian nails him with a waiter’s
tray and cookie sheet. Bigelow botches raising his feet in the
corner by kicking the trashcan when it’s down by Brian’s knees. Bam
Bam puts him on his shoulder for something like a backwards suplex
into a Diamond Cutter for two.
The
top rope headbutt gets two for Bigelow as
the announcers get in a stupid argument over talking when the weapons
hit. Knobs misses a chair
shot and falls out to the floor to really make it hardcore. Bigelow
sends him into the steps and hits Brian with various metal weapons.
He uses a pair of trashcan lids like cymbals around Knobs’ head and
hits a LOUD cookie sheet to the head.
Both
guys are already looking spent. Bigelow is sent into the weapons
cart but Brian misses a charge into it as well. Brian gets a mop
bucket put on his head and a punch makes things even worse. The fans
want tables but get a chair to Knobs’ ribs instead. They
fight over to the souvenir stand that is there for them to fight in.
Off to backstage (complete with a shot of about
10,000-15,000 empty seats. Remember that this is a football stadium)
and swing a ladder at each other. Knobs dives off a ledge onto
Bigelow to drive him through a table. Naturally
he jumps too far and just crashes because this match is a disaster.
Bigelow suplexes him through the table for the win.
Rating:
D-.
Heenan’s line of “And they do this for a living” sums up the
whole thing. The fact that these people make more money than I
likely will in years makes me feel very very sad, though that might
be due to the last twenty five minutes of whatever it was that I’ve
had to sit through. Between Stevie’s lame chinlock and this mess, I
need something good to cleanse the pallet.
We
recap Rick Steiner vs. Booker T. THAT’S NOT WHAT I MEANT!!! They’re
fighting because Booker is champion and Rick Steiner is employed for
some reason.
TV
Title: Booker T. vs. Rick Steiner
Booker
is defending. They circle
each other for a minute or so until Rick hammers him with right hands
and a belly to belly suplex. Booker bails to the floor for a
breather as the crowd is silent. Back
in and Booker fires off some kicks with a spinning shot to the face
putting Rick on the floor again. Steiner head back inside and gets
elbowed in the jaw for two before the champ puts on a chinlock.
They
head outside a third time with Rick sending him into the barricade
over and over. A release
German gets two for Steiner and he hammers away with right hands on
the mat. Booker tries to
fight back but gets elbowed into the corner to keep him in trouble.
Back to the chinlock on the champion before a hard kick to the face
drops Steiner again. The sidewalk slam sets up the missile dropkick
but Scott Steiner runs out for a distraction. Rick gets two off a
Steiner Line but Booker sends the brothers together. The side kick
gets two and Booker is fired up, until Scott grabs his foot. The
Steiner Bulldog gives Rick the title.
Rating:
D. Can anyone explain to me why
the Steiners are both champions in 1999? He’s had like two matches
back and he gets to pin Booker T. on PPV? It’s getting really
frustrating watching Booker have consistently good matches (when he
doesn’t have a horrible opponent of course) and have to keep
rebuilding himself up because WCW keeps wasting him.
We
recap Gorgeous George vs. Charles Robinson. This is a side feud of
Savage vs. Flair who are feuding for reasons not quite clear.
Robinson is Little Naitch here and has been calling George a bimbo.
Rick
looks for Scott in the back and warns Buff Bagwell to be careful
tonight.
Charles
Robinson vs. Gorgeous George
If
George wins, Savage is reinstated. Robinson is doing a perfect Flair
impression here, complete with the smirk and strut. The nurse is now
named Asya (oh so funny) and Flair is at ringside here. Charles’
fingers are even taped up. Thankfully George isn’t dressed like
Savage. Flair says he’s always wanted Madusa to ride Space Mountain
and Miss Madness can come with her. George is being left to Little
Naitch though and Charles says he’ll let George ride Space Mountain
all night. Savage gets on the mic (pop of the night so far) and says
George is going to destroy Robinson.
We
get started and Charles is now in regular Flair gear. They
stall for about a minute and Naitch avoids the lockup and WOOs. Well
woos actually since he’s Little Naitch. Robinson gets in Savage’s
face so George cranks on his arm. They trade wristlocks with George
cranking on a hammerlock followed by a full nelson. She shoves the
Nature Boys together and the big guys get in for a staredown.
Robinson
and Miss Madness fight over a chair on the floor. Naitch shoves her
down and slams her so Savage calls for a medic. The regular referee
shoves Robinson down as the match kind of stops for a bit. Back in
and Robinson chokes George on the ropes before being sent into the
corner for a Flair Flip. He runs the apron and goes up, only to get
slammed off the top. George nails a clothesline and the Flair Flop
sets up a two count.
Asya
trips George up and cranks on her knee but Kung Fu Madusa makes the
save with a kick to the head. Robinson goes after the bad leg and
NOW WE GO TO SCHOOL! He puts on the Figure Four but George turns it
over. Flair sneaks in to save Robinson but Savage slams Robinson,
setting up the top rope elbow from George (so much for the leg) for
the pin.
Rating:
C. Well they tried. That’s
more important than anything else here and the match was WAY better
than it could have been. This could have been a disaster and it
wound up being a fun little match. Robinson nailed the impression
and George looked great in her cheerleader outfit. Again, they tried
and that’s what matters in something like this.
We
recap Steiner vs. Bagwell, which stems from Steiner blaming Buff for
losing the TV Title and Buff saying Steiner’s ego was out of control.
US
Title: Buff Bagwell vs. Scott Steiner
Buff
is challenging and jumps Steiner before he can get to the mic. A
swinging neckbreaker drops Scott while he still has the belt on.
Steiner drops Buff with a low blow and the muscle clothesline gets
two. He plants Buff ribs first against the turnbuckle before
tying him up in the Tree of Woe to crank on Bagwell’s neck. Scott
chokes and swears a lot before planting Buff with a butterfly
powerbomb for two. Total dominance so far.
There’s
a belly to belly but Scott goes outside and grabs a chair. Buff
clotheslines it into the champ’s face before making his comeback with
a dropkick. There’s an atomic drop but Scott pulls the referee in
front of a clothesline. Cue
Rick Steiner to chair Buff into the Recliner to keep the title on
Scott.
Rating:
D. Erg this show is trying to
drive me crazy. I have no idea why WCW thinks the Steiner Brothers
being together (after never having a real match against each other)
is a good idea, but this is what they’re going with to combat Austin
and Rock vs. the Corporate Ministry. They deserve what they get.
Video
on Goldberg.
Video
on the two singles matches people might want to see. That would be
Sting vs. Goldberg and Nash vs. Page if it’s not clear.
Video
on Flair being the crazy president. I’m sure the fans must be loving
this.
Roddy
Piper vs. Ric Flair
For
the Presidency. Charles
Robinson comes out to be referee and Johnny Boone is fired for the
heck of it. Piper slaps Flair down to start as Tenay tries to make
sense of who has been fired. Tony: “Who knows?” Ric is knocked
to the floor but Robinson won’t let Roddy go after him. Back
in and they trade chops in the corner until Piper punches Flair down.
They head outside with
Piper throwing more chops against the barricade to keep control.
Back
in again and a low blow puts Piper down. Robinson: “You got a
stomach ache?” He yells at Piper for choking before turning his
back so Anderson and Asya can get in some shots of their own.
Another low blow drops Roddy
but Flair takes forever to cover, allowing Piper to make his
comeback. He can’t follow up after a backdrop though and Anderson
chokes him on the ropes. Roddy fights back with chops to Ric’s chest
and Flair flips over the corner and out to the floor.
That’s
a bit too much work so they head back inside for a collision to fall
on the mat. Flair is up first and starts going after the knee as
this match just won’t end. A cannonball onto the leg sets up the
Figure Four but Piper quickly turns it over. Ric sends him outside
again but gets his trunks taken down on a sunset flip attempt.
The
worst backslide in history gets no count as Robinson is with Anderson
and a small pile of unfastened boxes (there’s no package to it at
all) gets the same. Piper puts on the Figure Four and Flair shouts
that he gives up but Anderson comes in for the save. Roddy slaps a
sleeper on him but has to let it go to put it on Ric. Asya comes in
for the save and gets kissed and put in the hold as well. Piper
finally nails Robinson but gets hit with a foreign object as Robinson
gets up just in time to count the pin.
Rating:
F. This was on pay per view in
1999 so it’s a failure on principle alone. On top of that, the match
was a disaster with the spots being totally blown and neither guy
looking like he had the energy to last three minutes let alone the
twelve this got (third longest match on the card). Horrible match,
but we’re not done yet.
Eric
Bischoff comes out for the first time in months and says he isn’t
screwing this up. He declares Piper the winner for reasons that
aren’t explained. Why he has the authority to do this (remember that
he had his power stripped), why he’s suddenly good (not explained)
and why he did this (ok to be fair there are about a million reasons
to disqualify Flair. I’ll give him that one) aren’t explained.
Piper immediately fires Flair and thanks Bischoff for what he did.
Very
quick video on Goldberg vs. Sting in case you didn’t catch the other
three of them.
Sting
vs. Goldberg
The
announcers spend the entrances trying to explain the Bischoff stuff.
Feeling out process to start
with Sting trying to escape a powerslam but falling out of the air.
A powerslam puts Sting down again and Goldberg clotheslines him out
to the floor. Back in and
Sting ducks a superkick and hits a dropkick to stagger Goldberg. A
clothesline puts Goldberg outside as well and it’s a stalemate.
Back
in and Goldberg puts on a cross armbreaker but Sting makes the ropes.
Sting goes after the knee and drops all of his weight down onto it a
few times. There’s a Boston crab but Goldberg powers out of it and
sends Sting out to the floor again. Back
in and Sting grabs a headlock as this is still in low second gear.
The
headlock goes about as well as you would expect and Goldberg
hiptosses Sting over. A horrible looking swinging neckbreaker drops
Sting for two but he jumps to the top for a clothesline. The Stinger
Splash is countered into a spinebuster which the announcers call a
spear. Cue Bret Hart to beat
up the referee and whack
Goldberg with a chair for the no
contest.
Rating:
D+. This was really dull as
they were just filling time until they got to the stupid ending.
Sting vs. Goldberg is a match that should have headlined Starrcade at
some point but instead it’s used as a plot device to get Bret Hart
back on television, because you know WCW is going to use him right
after a year and a half of wasting him.
Bret
destroys Goldberg’s knee for a bit and leaves. The Steiners come out
to beat up Sting and Goldberg because they’re the top villains now I
guess.
Yet
another Nash vs. Page video because three weren’t enough.
WCW
World Title: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Kevin Nash
Nash
is challenging. Page tries
a fast Diamond Cutter but gets shoved away, only to come back with
rights and lefts. A big
boot puts the champion on the floor before
Nash brings him back inside for some slow right hands. Page
fights out of the corner and keeps swinging away until Nash shoves
him across the ring. A low blow stops Nash and Page uses the
distraction to cut off a turnbuckle pad. That’s just a distraction
to let Page hit Nash with the microphone for two.
Nash
rolls to the middle of the ring and pulls Page face first into the
exposed buckle. A very
delayed cover gets two as both guys are still laying on the mat.
They slug it out again and a clothesline puts Nash outside again. A
Diamond Cutter on the floor lays Nash out, meaning we continue the
lack of action. For reasons
not quite clear, Page thinks this is falls count anywhere (he says
that to the referee and is stunned when it’s not true). Back in and
Page gets two with his feet on the ropes.
An
elbow drop between Nash’s legs let Page pose even more. He goes to
put on the Figure Four around the post but Nash kicks him into the
barricade. Back in and Nash still can’t get up. The fans look at
something in the crowd as Nash makes his comeback, complete with
Snake Eyes onto the exposed buckle. There’s the Jackknife but Savage
runs in for the DQ.
Wait
scratch that as Bischoff still has some authority and says keep
going. They’re just making this nonsense up as they go aren’t they?
Tony says this is No DQ even
though Bischoff never said that. Page hits a Russian legsweep and a
clothesline for two before puttnig on a horrible looking sleeper.
Nash reverses into a hold that looks like he’s trying to rip off
Page’s ear. The champ grabs a jawbreaker for two and gets a chair.
The chair hits the top rope
and nails Page in the head for two. Back
up and the big boot and Jackknife give Nash the title.
Rating:
D-. Another boring match which
fits the theme tonight. We still have no explanation as to why
Savage and Page are associates now and I can’t imagine we ever will.
This was supposed to be about Nash getting revenge for Hogan, but
given that it hasn’t been mentioned in weeks, I’m assuming WCW has
forgotten about it. Bad match here with neither guy feeling
interested in working.
Overall
Rating:
D. I can’t say a show
with an opener that hot is a failure. This
period of WCW has the biggest problem a wrestling company can have:
it’s really uninteresting. The matches aren’t very good for the most
part, but that sort of thing can be fixed. The problem here is the
main stories range from really stupid to something that completely
falls apart if you think about it for more than five seconds. Things
are about to get even worse though and the
few good spots are getting rarer and rarer.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Slamboree 1998

Slamboree
1998

Date: May 17, 1998
Location: The Centrum,
Worcester, Massachusetts
Attendance: 11,592
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Tonight
is pretty much a filler show as Hogan is nowhere to be seen and we
have a double main event. We have Hart vs. Savage in a grudge match
and Sting/Giant vs. the Outsiders for the tag titles, with Sting in
WCW and Giant in the NWO Black and White. There is however one
moment on this show that ranks right up there with the biggest
surprises and best received moments in WCW history. Let’s get to it.

The
opening video has some words like controversy and power over shots of
the people in the two main events.
The
announcers talk about the main events tonight to convince us that
buying this show was a good idea.
We
get Bischoff’s challenge to Vince from Thunder, complete with him
reading the letter from Vince’s attorney.
We
go outside to see Doug Dillinger (head of WCW security) waiting for
Vince to arrive with WCW fans (certainly not plants of any sort)
shouting about how much they hate Vince. Tony tells us not to worry
because the matches will indeed go on despite Vince not being here.
TV
Title: Chris Benoit vs. Fit Finlay
Finlay
is defending. The set here is simpler than most from 1998 with a big
SLAMBOREE logo and a door in the middle. You don’t often see doors
in sets so it’s a change of pace if nothing else. They shove each
other around a lot and the crowd is really into this already. Benoit
counters a headlock into a top wristlock as Tony confirms that the
name Fit is due to Finlay being fit for any sport.
They
fight into a test of strength and wrestle into a string of near falls
either way until Finlay takes over with an armbar on the mat. Back
up and they run the ropes with Benoit getting two off a hiptoss and
we have a standoff. Benoit hits a chop so hard that it knocks
Finlay’s strap down. A backbreaker has Finlay in trouble so Benoit
pulls him from the ropes to the mat, slamming Finlay’s back onto the
canvas again.
Finlay
comes right back with a hard clothesline and Chris rolls to the
floor. This has been very physical so far with both guys beating the
tar out of each other. A hard slam on the floor has Benoit in even
more trouble but Finlay actually goes inside to give Benoit a change
to get up. Back in and Finlay stomps away before putting on a
reverse chinlock. Benoit stands up with Finlay on his shoulders into
an electric chair drop, hurting his own head in the process.
Some
hard chops stagger the champion but he goes right to the eyes to stop
Benoit’s comeback. We hit a chinlock for a good while before Finlay
elbows and kicks at Benoit’s back. Back to the chinlock for a bit
before he drives Benoit chest first into the apron. They head to the
floor with Benoit cracking Finlay with a chair for a pop but not a
DQ. Benoit goes in for a suicide dive but goes head first into the
chair to give Finlay control again.
Back
in again and Finlay slams him down for two before staying on the back
with more elbow drops. A clothesline drops Benoit again and we’re
into chinlock #3. Benoit fights up again and avoids a charge into
the corner, followed by the rolling Germans. Finlay elbows him in
the face to block a fourth but has to quickly get to a rope to break
a Crossface attempt. The snap suplex sets up the Swan Dive but
here’s Booker T before Benoit can jump. Finlay uses the distraction
to kick Benoit in the back of the head to knock Chris out cold. Back
in and the tombstone retains Finlay’s title.
Rating:
C+. Nice opener here but again,
is there any point to not giving Benoit a title yet? He’s over, he’s
having solid matches, there’s a feud with Booker already written, but
he can get two days total as champion without ever being on TV with
the belt? Nothing against Finlay, but I don’t see the point in
having him as champion here.
Brian
Adams vs. Lex Luger
This
is fallout from Scott Steiner and Adams injuring Rick Steiner’s
shoulder. One punch sends Adams out to the floor and Luger follows
him out so he can ram Adams’ and Vincent’s heads together. Luger
rams Brian’s shoulder into the post twice in a row for some payback.
The arm gets snapped across the top rope and there’s a powerslam to
set up the Rack less than two and a half minutes in.
Vincent
finally does something by distraction Luger so Adams can hit a quick
piledriver to take over. They head outside again with Adams kicking
away to protect his bad shoulder. Back in and Adams gets two off a
backbreaker and a pair of legdrops gets the same. A double
clothesline puts both guys down but Adams is quickly up. In a
surprise ending, Luger ducks a clothesline and grabs the Rack for the
submission.
Rating:
D. As shocking as it was for
Luger to win a match with anything other than his usual sequence,
there wasn’t much to see here. This could have been on any given
episode of Nitro and probably should have been. Luger was just so
lost at this point, having nothing of note to do and just floating
from one NWO match to another.
Saturn
cancels the gauntlet match against Goldberg and says he’ll be going
one on one with him. Why this was changed is beyond me but it’s
probably better this way. If anyone in the Flock doesn’t like it,
they know where to find him.
Cruiserweight
Battle Royal
You
can be eliminated by going to the floor or pinfall here and the
winner gets a title shot at Jericho later in the night. The more
entertaining part though is Jericho doing the introductions in Dave
Penzer’s place.
Super
Calo: This guy’s hat never comes off!
Chavo
Guerrero Jr.: He used to be a great bartender but he’s the scourge of
the Guerrero family.
Ciclope:
From selling chimichangas to WCW!
Damien:
He can’t afford a mask so he’s using paint!
El
Dandy: The winner of the Lou Ferrigno look-a-like contest.
El
Grio: The world light featherweight champion!
Juventud
Guerrera: Pulled up in a rusted out 67 El Camino Chevy, the ugliest
man in our business, Quasimodo Guerrera!
Marty
Jannetty: He’ll rock rock until he drops drops.
Kidman:
A lost and lonely soul and Jericho has calamine lotion with him.
Evan
Karagias: 0/10.
Lenny
Lane: I want my Loverboy tape back!
Psychosis:
He has a lot of hubcaps in his collection and can get you one if you
need it.
Silver
King: If he wins 12 more matches he gets to be Gold King.
Johnny
Swinger: Johnny Cinger!
Villano
IV: Representing Villano I-LXII!
Everyone
goes at it to start and if you go through the ropes to the floor it’s
an elimination as well. Evan is out first but there are still too
many people to be able to do much. Chavo backdrops Swinger out and
hits a tornado DDT on someone I couldn’t see. Psychosis hits a
springboard hurricanrana on Damien but doesn’t throw him out. Super
Calo is dropkicked out by Juvy and King is out at someone’s hands.
Lane and Dandy have a mini match in the middle of the ring as Juvy
hits a gorgeous top rope hurricanrana to take Psychosis down.
Grio
gets dumped and Lane misses a dive off the top. Jannetty and Villano
both go out as we’re down to eight. Lane goes up but Kidman throws
Juvy into him to knock Lane out. Juvy dropkicks Damien out and we’re
down to six. Dandy is dropkicked off the apron and it’s five:
Ciclope, Chavo, Kidman, Psychosis and Juvy. Kidman low bridges Chavo
out as Heenan does his schtick of picking everyone in the match.
Psychosis misses a charge and goes out as Juvy pulls Kidman out.
Juvy sees he’s alone with Ciclope….and eliminates himself to give
Ciclope the title shot?
Rating:
C. It’s a battle royal so how
good can it really be? The high spots were nice but at the same time
they made a lot of the guys in the match look stupid for trying
something like that. The ending was confusing but all will be
explained in just a few seconds. Nothing outside of the ordinary
here other than some high spots.
Jericho
hits the ring immediately but Ciclope unmasks to reveal…..DEAN
MALENKO! The place goes NUTS in one of the loudest pops WCW ever
had.
Cruiserweight
Title: Dean Malenko vs. Chris Jericho
Dean
shows more emotion in a fifteen second burst than he did in his
entire career, stomping Jericho down in the corner and a suplex puts
him down again. A dropkick sends Jericho out to the floor and Dean
follows him out with right hands to the head. Back in and Dean opts
to fire off more punches instead of rolling Jericho up when he has
the chance. A quick hot shot gives Jericho a breather and a
backsplash gets two.
Jericho
suplexes his down and gets another two off the arrogant cover. The
Lionsault gets the same and we hit the chinlock. Dean fights up and
tries the Liontamer on Jericho but Chris quickly makes the rope. A
top rope back elbow to the jaw gets two on Malenko but the top rope
hurricanrana is countered into the top rope gutbuster. The
Cloverleaf gives Dean the title back.
Rating:
A. The match was decent though
nothing great, but the story here is the emotion. This whole story
was built up on the emotion the fans felt for Malenko and wanting to
see him make Jericho eat his words. It’s a classic story: hero
falls, villain reigns and runs his mouth, hero returns to vanquish
the villain. No unexplained turns, no politics, no swerves (ok maybe
one with the disguise) and possibly the loudest reaction ever in WCW.
Clearly there’s nothing to this storytelling idea though right?
We
have a Vinnie Mac cam and a white limousine arrives. Tony: “If Jim
Ross comes out and carries his bags you know it’s Vince.” They cut
away before anyone gets out.
Diamond
Dallas Page vs. Raven
This
is a Bowery Death Match, meaning last man standing inside a cage.
There’s a roof on the cage too. Page pounds away to start but Raven
sends him face first into a trashcan in the corner. An elbow to the
face drops Raven but he sends Page into another can. Page is whipped
face first into the cage several times and Raven empties the weapons
from the cans. The breather lets Page get the bullrope around
Raven’s neck to whip him into the cage a few times.
Page
wraps the rope around the top of the cage to hang Raven but Bird Boy
gets his legs on DDT to block the pressure. Raven falls to the mat
for an eight count but a VCR shot to the head draws an ECW chant and
a seven. Page gets kicked into another can in the corner and a shot
to the back with said can gets another seven. Some cookie sheet
shots have Page in trouble and Raven puts on a sleeper, only to have
Page ram him into the corner, crushing the referee in the process.
Page
hits a quick jawbreaker and sends Raven face first into the chair.
Reese and the Flock easily overpower Raven’s riot squad and cut open
the lock on the cage. Van Hammer comes out from under the ring with
a stop sign to lay out the rest of the Flock and handcuff Reese to
the guardrail. Page stomps Raven down in the corner but two members
of the Riot Squad comes in to stomp DDP down.
They
unmask as Kidman and Horace but Page fights them off with Diamond
Cutters. Raven comes back with a fire extinguisher to the ribs and
the Even Flow but Page is up at eight. They slug it out in fast
motion before Raven Diamond Cuts Page. Page is up again, ducks a
chair shot and Diamond Cuts Raven for the ten count.
Rating:
C-. This was WAY overbooked but
it’s not a horrible match. Hopefully it ends the feud though as
there’s just nothing left for these guys to do to each other. Ending
it inside of a cage is as good as they’re going to get, especially
after Page had to fight off the Flock almost on his own. Decent
match here but it needed more violence.
Post
match the last riot squad guy starts handcuffing all the Flock
members to the cage. He cuffs Raven as well, reveals himself to be
Mortis, unmasks as Kanyon (yet to be named) and does the Tommy
Dreamer chair shot heard round the world.
More
from the Vinnie Mac Cam.
The
announcers talk about the tag title match, which sounds like the main
event.
Ultimo
Dragon vs. Eddie Guerrero
If
Dragon wins, Chavo is free from Eddie. Eddie takes him down by the
arm to start but Dragon armdrags him down. There are A LOT of empty
seats across from the cameras here which I believe were full earlier.
Dragon takes him down with a snapmare but Eddie complains about a
hair pull, going so far as to demonstrate on the referee. Off to a
test of strength with Dragon bridging off the mat. Eddie drops down
onto him but can’t break said bridge which is always impressive.
Dragon
fires off his kicks but a simple dropkick from Eddie puts him down.
A headscissors out of the corner takes Guerrero down again and here
are more kicks from the masked man. Back in and Dragon kicks away
even more before putting on a half crab into a bridging Indian
Deathlock. Eddie gets back up and pokes Dragon in the eye to take
over before getting two off a suplex.
Off
to a quick front facelock from Guerrero before they head outside for
some fun. Guerrero sends him into the barricade and chokes with a
camera cord. Instead of following up though, he slaps Chavo around
for a bit. Back inside and Eddie loads up a hurricanrana off the
top, only to get crotched and enziguried to the floor.
The
Asai Moonsault takes Eddie down again but Dragon hits his head on the
way down. Back in and Dragon gets two off a backbreaker and a
moonsault gets the same. The super hurricanrana is countered into a
tornado DDT from Eddie but the Frog Splash misses. They trade Dragon
Sleepers but Chavo takes Eddie’s feet off the ropes. Dragon
accidentally kicks Chavo, allowing Eddie to hit the brainbuster and
Frog Splash for the pin.
Rating:
C+. Usual high quality match
from these two as the Guerrero Saga continues. Dragon looked good
out there as it’s nice to see him finally have a story of some sort.
The Guerreros’ story is solid stuff as well with actual character
development, which compliments the matches very nicely.
Post
match Chavo yells at Eddie before stomping Dragon out of frustration.
Eddie offers him a free shot but Chavo can’t do it. He kisses Eddie
on the cheek instead as the insanity is about to begin.
Vince
“The Reason For The Ratings” McMahon has a dressing room. Just
go with it.
US
Title: Saturn vs. Goldberg
Just
one on one instead of the advertised gauntlet match. Goldberg easily
shoves him into the corner to start before clotheslining the
challenger down with ease. A gorilla press into a powerslam puts
Saturn down and a shoulder knocks him to the floor. Back in and
Saturn fires off kicks in the corner but charges into a spin kick
from the champion. Goldberg LAUNCHES him into the corner before they
head outside.
Saturn
ducks a clothesline and Goldie’s arm goes into the post. Back in and
a top rope spinwheel kick gets one and we hit the chinlock. Goldberg
fights up but walks into a swinging neckbreaker to set up the
chinlock again. Back up and Saturn grabs a chair before superkicking
Goldberg into the corner. Using the chair as a springboard, Saturn
kicks Goldberg in the back but a second attempt is countered with the
spear. The Jackhammer retains the title.
Rating:
D+. This didn’t do much for me.
The arm went nowhere and it never felt like Saturn had a chance.
Goldberg is in an awkward place as he’s too big to squash people and
midcarders are no real challenge anymore but he’s not quite ready to
face main event guys. That’s a very tricky jump to make but it would
come soon enough.
We
actually get full entrances for Bischoff vs. Vince with Eric winning
by countout. Well done on wasting PPV time and looking silly while
the WWF was starting to crush you, but at least Bischoff gets to
laugh. In all sincerity though, at least they didn’t use the WWF
method of using an impersonator or a midget.
Bret
Hart vs. Randy Savage
Roddy
Piper is guest referee for no apparent reason. We get the long stall
session to open things up until Bret gets in the first shots,
pounding Savage into the corner. Savage goes to the eyes and maybe a
low blow for two. He pounds Bret down in the corner and chokes away,
only to have Bret go after Randy’s bad knee. A suplex puts Randy
down and a headbutt to the hamstring puts Savage on the floor.
Bret
throws the steps at Savage but Randy moves to avoid breaking bones.
Savage sends him into the barricade and they head into the crowd for
the big walk around the arena which is called brawling. Back to
ringside with Savage slamming him on the floor. This has been a
brawl the entire way so far. They get back in with Bret wisely going
after the knee and starts his usual wear down sequence.
He
cannonballs down onto the knee, wraps it around the ropes and
stretches the hamstring a bit. A Russian legsweep and a piledriver
get two for the Canadian before he just stomps Savage down in the
corner. Randy gets in some shots of his own and actually gets two
off a one legged suplex. The top rope elbow connects but Randy bangs
up his knee on the landing, allowing Bret to kick out at two.
Bret
sweeps the legs and puts on the Sharpshooter as Liz comes running
out. Savage counters into a Sharpshooter of his own (camera was on
Liz so we didn’t see it) but Bret gets a rope. Bret kicks Savage low
and hits Piper with a foreign object, only to have Savage take it
away. Here’s Hogan to wrap Savage’s leg around the post, allowing
Bret to put on the Sharpshooter for the win.
Rating:
C. This took awhile to get
going but the overbooking drags it down again. Hogan showing up
makes you wonder why he couldn’t defend the title here or why he
needed to be champion in the first place. Have Savage defend against
Bret here and keep the title by DQ etc, but Hogan just NEEDED to be
champion again I guess. Also it’s looking like we’re never getting
an explanation from Bret on why he helped Hogan.
Piper
takes the object off Bret’s hand but doesn’t do anything.
Tag
Titles: Outsiders vs. Sting/The Giant
Hall
is back and does the survey for the first time in months. Sting
starts with Scott and there are the driving shoulders to get us
going. A quick chokeslam puts Sting down and there’s the Giant
imitation. Sting comes back with a pair of atomic drops and a
Stinger Splash but he has to fight off Nash as well. Giant comes in
and headbutts Nash to the floor and Hall joins him for a meeting.
Back
in and it’s time for the battle of the monsters with Nash now all
aggressive to go after Giant. Nash can’t Jackknife him so he chokes
in the corner instead. Giant comes back with a big boot and an elbow
drop before driving his hips into Nash’s ribs in the corner. The
fans cheer for the Wolfpack as Sting comes in. Sting takes Hall down
but gets kicked in the face by Nash, allowing for the tag off to
Scott. A quick fallaway slam gets two on Sting as the fans are WAY
into Hall.
Back
to Nash for Snake Eyes before it’s back to Hall for some stomping.
Nash drops the crotch on Sting’s back before firing off knees in the
corner. Hall comes back in again for the abdominal stretch with a
hand from Nash. Sting hiptosses out but misses an elbow drop,
allowing another tag to Kevin. We hit the bearhug but Sting claps
the ears a few times, allowing for the hot tag off to Giant, even
though Giant is a heel.
Giant
kicks Nash down and drops a Hogan leg for two before going….to the
top? He misses a splash from up there so Nash can stay alive and
Dusty gets on the apron for some reason. Nash loads up the Jackknife
but, of course, Hall turns on Nash with a belt shot to the back,
giving Sting and Giant the titles.
Rating:
C-. Match was just ok but the
illogical heel turns are getting annoying really fast. There’s no
reason for all these turns and the lack of ANY explanation so far is
making them even worse. So now we have a WCW guy and an NWO Black
and White guy holding the tag belts, meaning it’s now all on Sting to
make a decision and presumably setting up Hall vs. Nash. Anyone want
to bet on that match not happening?
Giant
and Hall welcome Sting to the NWO but Sting doesn’t move to end the
show.
Overall
Rating:
C. I watched this show
about a year and a half ago and other than the Malenko stuff, I don’t
remember a thing from it. The show isn’t that bad but NOTHING on it
stands out at all. It’s a totally watchable show with some good
matches sprinkled in and nothing horrible, but it comes off like one
of the least important shows I can remember, doing little more than
setting up Nitro. Find the Malenko/Jericho stuff though as it’s well
worth seeing.

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

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

WCW Slamboree ’93

Live from Atlanta, GA
Airdate: May 23, 1993
Attendance: 7,008
Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko
All the legends are in the ring as fireworks explode to open the show. Tony and Larry welcome us to a legend’s reunion!

 

Match 1: “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton and Chris Benoit versus 2 Cold Scorpio and Marcus Bagwell
Benoit and Scorpio start with an excellent rope sequence culminating with a Scorpio dropkick and armdrag. Tony refers to the match Scorpio and Benoit had at Superbrawl as “one of the greatest matches…in WCW on PPV.” Benoit suckers Bagwell into the ring so that Eaton can Pearl Harbor Scorpio. They double cross-corner whip Scorpio, but he jumps to the second turnbuckle and leaps over Eaton. After Benoit ducks a clothesline Scorpio delivers a springboard high cross body to him. Eaton tries to drop an elbow on Scorpio to break the pin but hits Benoit instead. A double dropkick by Scorpio and Bagwell send their opponents reeling to the outside.
Eaton tags in and receives a hammerlock for his troubles. Bagwell tags in and works the arm. Meanwhile Tony explains Jesse “The Body” Ventura’s absence with a hospital stay in Minnesota. Bagwell and Eaton begin another rope sequence until Benoit puts a knee into Bagwell’s back. He holds his arms so that Eaton can double-team him, but Bagwell vaults Eaton over the top rope instead.
Unceremoniusly Bagwell brings Benoit in the hard way then he and Scorpio whip him off the ropes into Eaton on the apron. Bagwell follows up with a pair of forearms and a dropkick. Again Benoit retreats to ringside. Eaton comes in but Bagwell grabs a hammerlock. Eaton counters and they hit the ropes again. Viciously Benoit delivers a clubbing forearm to the back of Bagwell.
While Benoit distracts the referee Eaton tosses Bagwell over the top rope to the floor. Upon Bagwell’s return Eaton slams him then comes off the top rope with a knee to the chest. Benoit tags in and gives Bagwell an excellent running clothesline. After working Bagwell over with some kicks and punches Benoit slams him, comes off the second rope with a leg drop, but only gets a 2 count.
Eaton tags in and gives some knees to Bagwell. After distracting the referee by choking Bagwell on the second rope Benoit drapes his leg over Bagwell’s neck. Benoit tags back in and gives Bagwell a belly-to-back suplex. That gets a 2 count. He gives Bagwell a snapmare then applies a figure-four headlock. While the referee checks to see if Bagwell wants to submit Eaton provides assistance by holding Benoit’s arms and pulling.
Upon breaking the hold Benoit delivers a spinning neckbreaker to Bagwell. He then slams Bagwell and mounts the top turnbuckle. He attempts a swan dive splash but hits only knees. Scorpio gets the hot tag and goes to work on both Benoit and Eaton.
Bagwell rejoins the party as Scorpio gives Benoit a back body drop then mounts the top turnbuckle. He delivers the flying splash while changing direction mid-flight. He appears to get the pin but Eaton saves. That sequence didn’t look crisp. However, after some heel miscommunication Scorpio gives Benoit the moonsault leg drop for the victory! **1/2
Tony and Larry relate the story of Colonel Rob Parker dismissing Van Hammer as a meal ticket. Subsequently Van Hammer put his hands on him, so Parker found another meal ticket in…
Match 2: ??? (w/ Colonel Rob Parker) versus Van Hammer
Parker states that Van Hammer “bruised his feelings,” so Parker asks for the gurney to be brought out. Then he introduces Sid Vicious to a big pop! Hammer blocks a punch and lands three of his own until Sid kicks him in the midsection. Next he comes off the ropes and delivers a huge running clothesline. The crowd is definitely behind Sid here. He plants Van Hammer with the powerbomb and gets the pin. DUD
Match 3: Dick Murdoch, Don Muraco, and “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka versus “Chief” Wahoo McDaniel, Blackjack Mulligan, and “Jumping” Jim Brunzell
This is the first match from the Turner Home Entertainment version of this show. Initially Brunzell and Snuka start. They tie up a couple of times and exchange hammerlocks. Brunzell executes a drop toehold then works the arm. Mulligan tags in and continues to work on Snuka’s arm until Murdoch grabs ahold of Mulligan’s hair and lays in some blows.
Murdoch comes in and begins a rope sequence with Mulligan. It culminates with a Mulligan hiptoss. They stall for a bit then Murdoch works him over. He snapmares Mulligan then drops the elbow. I had completely forgotten how similar Dusty Rhodes’ and Dick Murdoch’s styles were until I recalled their tag team partnership.
Anyways, Muraco and McDaniel tag in. A headlock segues into a rope sequence that Wahoo wins with his famous chop to the chest. He then slams Muraco twice before “The Rock” retreats to his corner. Murdoch tags back in after getting McDaniel in the heel corner along with some heel shenanigans. McDaniel and Murdoch exchange chops and punches respectively with Wahoo winning that battle.
Brunzell tags in and immediately delivers his patented dropkick to Murdoch. Another rope sequence leads to a Murdoch hiptoss followed by a flying headscissors! Unfortunately for Murdoch Brunzell comes back with an armdrag to ruin his celebration. He bars Murdoch’s arm then whips him off the ropes. Brunzell then applies a sleeper, but Murdoch backs him into his corner.
The heels work over Brunzell in the corner until Muraco tags back in. He slams Brunzell then gives him two leg drops. He applies a front facelock in order to deter Brunzell from tagging out. A false tag occurs. Muraco comes off the ropes supposedly to clothesline Brunzell but hits Snuka instead! Murdoch tags back in as Snuka wonders what’s going on. Murdoch gives Brunzell a swinging neckbreaker for a 2 count. Next he cross-corner whips Brunzell and gives him the knee to the back of the neck from the top rope! He slipped on the way up, but, hey, he’s a legend! Give him a pass for it. He only gets a 2 count because the faces make the save.
Muraco tags in and whips Brunzell off the ropes. After ducking a clothesline Brunzell delivers a high cross body to Muraco. Snuka finally tags in and slams Brunzell. He comes off the ropes but misses a diving headbutt. He tries to slam Brunzell, but receives an inside cradle for a 2 count. After taking Brunzell back to his corner via a front facelock Muraco holds him so that Snuka can chop him. Snuka then comes off the ropes to chop him again but hits Muraco instead!
Pushing and shoving from the heels occur until McDaniel rolls up Snuka for a 2 count. Everyone is in the ring now and referee Randy Anderson has seen enough so he throws the match out. Boo! *
Match 4: Ivan Koloff and Baron Von Raschke versus Thunderbolt Patterson and “Bullet” Bob Armstrong
Patterson comes to the ring alone. He gets on the microphone and states that Armstrong had a knee operation and isn’t able to wrestle. He threatens to take out both foreigners himself while Zbyszko tries to decipher street lingo. Koloff and Von Raschke badmouth Armstrong for wimping out of the match so Brad Armstrong comes to his father’s defense and accepts his partnership with Patterson!
While Patterson chokes Von Raschke in the corner Armstrong gives Koloff a back body drop and a dropkick. It should be noted that Armstrong is not dressed to wrestle as he competes in “jeans and Reeboks” according to Tony. The match starts properly as Patterson and Raschke start. The Baron tries a couple of side headlocks, but Patterson easily wiggles out of both of them.
Koloff tags in but Patterson works his arm. Armstrong tags in and applies an armbar. As if it was 1971 all over again Koloff takes over with a snapmare and a kneedrop. Baron tags in and they double-team Armstrong. While Schiavone rattles off wrestling history better than a Sunday afternoon on Long Island with Bill Apter Raschke whips Armstrong off the ropes and gives him the claw. Unlike the Von Erichs Raschke would put his forearm on the back of the neck in order to apply better pressure.
Armstong gets out of it with a single leg takedown and tags in Patterson. Koloff tags back in but wants no part of Patterson. The Atlanta faithful get behind their hometown hero. Patterson works over both evil foreigners with headbutts and punches until he and Armstrong whip them into one another. While Armstrong gives Koloff the 10 punches from the second rope Patterson whips Raschke off the ropes and nails him with a double thrust to the throat for the victory? Isn’t that a DQ? Oh well. Patterson won his “retirement” match. DUD
“A Flair for the Gold”
Decked out in a tuxedo with a black and white bowtie Flair welcomes to the live presentation of “A Flair for the Gold.”  He promises a “reunification” of the Four Horsemen. Before business can take place though Fifi gets to “walk that aisle.” Flair then introduces Arn Anderson to a pop. According to Flair, Anderson is “stylin’ and profilin’” tonight. Anderson cuts a quick promo on Windham promising that he’s going to “make (his one shot) good.”
Flair then relays the bad news to Anderson. Not only Windham snubs them but also Tully Blanchard snubs them. He invites Arn to join the ladies but stay dry until after his match. Flair then introduces “our mentor” Ole Anderson. Ole badmouths both Windham and Blanchard. Flair invites Ole to “get his feet wet” while he makes his next introduction.
The “special addition” to the Four Horsemen is introduced and it’s “Pretty” Paul Roma? What? The guy may have had the look. He may have had the cockiness. But in no way, shape, or form is he a Horseman. I wish this was a rib, but it isn’t.
After Flair issues a challenge to WCW World Tag Team champions Brian Pillman and “Stunning” Steve Austin he declares that “the Four Horsemen are reunited again.”
Back to ringside Tony introduces “the greatest US heavyweight champion of all time” Johnny Valentine to add color commentary for the upcoming match. He then informs us of the next WCW PPV: Beach Blast ’93 on Sunday, July 18!
Match 5: Dory Funk, Jr. (w/ Gene Kiniski) versus Nick Bockwinkel (w/ Verne Gagne)
The terms “legendary” and “classic” are coined quite often in professional wrestling; however, with these 2 combatants “legendary” fits the bill with all the NWA and AWA title reigns between them. Unfortunately we cannot turn the clock back to 1975 to watch these guys in their prime so this will not be a “classic.”
Zbyszko wastes no time mentioning that he retired Bockwinkel. Funk and Bockwinkel tie up and exchange blows several times until Bockwinkel grabs a hammerlock and takes Funk down to the mat. Funk gets to his feet and takes him to the corner. He fires a series of forearms and snapmares Bockwinkel to the mat.
Both Kiniski and Gagne get on the apron to distract the referee while Funk works on Bockwinkel’s neck. He gives him another snapmare and tries to give him a headlock. Instead Bockwinkel counters into a headscissors. He maintains the hold until Funk can twist out of it. Funk confers with Kiniski to waste some time.
They tie up again and Bockwinkel grabs an armbar. Funk slams him to counter but gets kicked in the face when trying to follow up. Bockwinkel then slams him so Funk retreats for more consulting with Kiniski. Upon Funk’s re-entry they tie up and again Bockwinkel grabs an armbar. Funk shoots him off then gives him a back elbow.
Funk delivers a couple of forearms yet gets a 2 count when Bockwinkel puts his foot on the bottom rope. Funk grabs a headlock and takes Bockwinkel to the corner. Nick makes his comeback with some forearms that send Funk to the other side of the ring. Bockwinkel tries to cover, but Kiniski runs interference.
Upon Bockwinkel’s re-entry they tie up once more until Funk grabs a headlock. He shoots the half but Bockwinkel counters. In turn Funk counters and the hold is broken. Bockwinkel then gets a double leg takedown and tries to turn him over for a Boston Crab. Funk counters again. Bockwinkel grabs a headlock but Funk gives him a belly-to-back suplex to counter and gets a 1 count.
When both men return to their feet Funk grabs and maintains an armbar. Tony remarks on the great condition of both athletes as we reach the 10 minute mark. Valentine offers his first bit of insightful commentary as he says that he can see these men “going all night like this. They’re great athletes.” Funk grabs a surfboard while Bockwinkel tries to counter. They go back and forth until Bockwinkel finally has the advantage. While Funk drops down to counter the hold I break out into a golf clap.
Another tie-up leads to a side headlock by Bockwinkel. Funk takes him to the corner and puts some forearms into his midsection to break the hold. He then delivers a forearm to the head. However, Bockwinkel switches and delivers some forearms to the midsection himself. He follows with a snapmare for a 2 count.
Bockwinkel maintains the headlock while Funk tries to counter as he grabs the knee. Instead Bockwinkel cinches in harder but gets taken to the ropes. Funk breaks the hold with a knee to the midsection then delivers two forearms to knock Bockwinkel to the ramp. While the referee shoos Kiniski from trying to grab the leg of Bockwinkel Funk suplexes him back into the ring for a 2 count.
With 2 minutes remaining in the match Funk gives Bockwinkel a piledriver. A foot on the ropes by Bockwinkel prevents the pinfall. Funk tries to give him the double underhook suplex, but Bockwinkel counters into a backslide for another 2 count. Funk then whips him off the ropes and gives him a back elbow.
Funk gets a double leg takedown and applies the spinning toehold to Bockwinkel. In lieu of submitting Bockwinkel gets an inside cradle for 2. With time running out Bockwinkel cinches in the figure-four leglock. Again Kiniski runs interference, but the referee lets it go. Funk reaches the ropes to break the hold with less than 30 seconds left!
Bockwinkel slams Funk and gets another 2 count as Cappetta runs off the last ten seconds of the match. Funk grabs an inside cradle but they are in the ropes to end the match. The crowd gives them a standing ovation! The official decision is a time-limit draw. Wow! A technical classic! I retract my earlier assessment. ***1/2
Match 6: U.S. Heavyweight champion “Ravishing” Rick Rude and World Television champion “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff versus “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes and Kensuke Sasaki
Before Rhodes and Sasaki are introduced Rude stops the music and badmouths the “inner city sweathogs” of Atlanta. Perhaps he didn’t like his burger from the Varsity. Rude and Sasaki start as Rude is embarrassed by Sasaki’s lack of physique. He shoves Sasaki and poses in classic Rude fashion. Sasaki returns the favor and shoves Rude back into his corner.
As Tony mentions Sasaki’s former tag team partnerships with Hiroshi Hase and Road Warrior Hawk Rude goes to work on Sasaki. Rude whips him off the ropes but misses a clothesline. Sasaki grabs the arm and yanks on it. He then gives Rude a wristlock to maintain control. Rude is able to tag out, but Orndorff receives an armbar upon his entrance.
Rhodes and Sasaki tag in and continue to work on Orndorff’s arm. Rude tags back in, and Rhodes wants revenge for Rude stealing his title. A brawl between them breaks out until Rhodes whips him off the ropes and gives him a back body drop. He cross-corner whips Rude but hits knees when he charges in. Rude receives the same treatment when he tries the same; however, when Rhodes charges out of the corner Rude uses his momentum to send him over the top rope to the floor!
Orndorff works over Rhodes at ringside as Rude suckers Sasaki in to distract the referee. A swinging neckbreaker by Rude gets a 2 count. Orndorff tags in and continues to lay the punishment on Dustin. Rude tags back in and tries a piledriver on Rhodes. Rhodes escapes, but Rude then tries to tombstone piledrive him. Rhodes counters that into his own tombstone piledriver!
Sasaki tags in and gives Rude a top rope elbow and a second rope clothesline. He whips Rude off the ropes and gives him an inverted atomic drop. He mimics Rude and delivers three running clotheslines. Orndorff comes in, but that brings in Rhodes. Dustin takes Orndorff to the ramp as Sasaki mounts the top turnbuckle.
With the referee distracted Orndorff launches Sasaki off the top rope. Rude grabs him with some difficulty and gives him the Rude Awakening for the pin. **
Gordon Solie is in the ring to present the WCW Hall of Fame induction. To begin Solie mentions the legends who have passed on. The first inductee is Lou Thesz. He won the title for the first time in 1937 and is a six-time NWA champion. The second inductee is Verne Gagne. The third inductee is Mr. Wrestling II. Interestingly he had to decline an invitation to Jimmy Carter’s inauguration because the Secret Service required him to remove his mask. The fourth inductee is Eddie Graham. His son Mike Graham accepts the award on his behalf.
Match 7: Sting versus Scott Norton
Instead of Scott Norton who reportedly would not be at Slamboree as of the previous afternoon the Prisoner will wrestle Sting. He comes out in an orange jumpsuit with a nightstick. The fans chant “BossMan” at him. For those unfamiliar with him he portrayed Nailz in the WWF. When the bell rings The Prisoner immediately starts choking Sting almost incessantly.
The Prisoner then whips Sting off the ropes and delivers a back elbow. He pounces on him and chokes him some more. Next he cross-corner whips Sting and goes to work on him in the corner. Afterwards he gives him a backbreaker. Next He cross-corner whips Sting but Sting evades him charging in. They exchange blows until the Prisoner tosses Sting to the outside.
At ringside the Prisoner grabs a video cable and chokes Sting with it. Back in the ring he whips Sting off the ropes, but Sting delivers a high cross body for a 2 count. He whips the Prisoner off the ropes and gives him a back body drop. He follows with the Stinger splash and then covers him for a 2 count. Next he slams him but misses the running elbowdrop.
The Prisoner then works Sting over in the corner some more until the referee gets in his face. This allows Sting to mount the top turnbuckle and deliver a top rope clothesline for the pin out of nowhere. Even referee Nick Patrick was happy to end this dreck. Prior match planning is one thing, but methinks wrestling Kevin Wacholz is whole ‘nother ballgame. DUD
Match 8 for the WCW World Tag Team titles in a steel cage: The Hollywood Blonds (champions) versus Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Shane Douglas
Woah! Wait a minute! Even Gary Michael Cappetta is surprised as I am to see two masked wrestlers wearing sombreros coming to the ring. While it may appear to be a coup to play switcheroo on the tag champs, in reality Shane Douglas moved on to another famous NWA territory Eastern Championship Wrestling prior to this match. From there a <cough>“legend”<cough> was born. In actuality Tom Zenk was substituting for Douglas here. Steamboat announces them as Dos Hombres.
While the Blonds make their way to the ring Pillman is carrying a clapperboard but no imaginary cameras are rolled. They mean business. Two men in sunglasses take notes at ringside. Austin and Hombre #1 start. Austin takes him to the turnbuckle immediately and then tries to rip the mask off. After a couple of chops it’s obvious that #1 is Steamboat. Austin heads for cover and tags in Pillman.
Unceremoniously Pillman receives a drop toehold from #1. Initially #1 grabs an armbar, but when Pillman leads him to the corner he goes to work on #1. Pillman whips #1 off the ropes but gets punted when he sets up for a back body drop. Pillman tries to ram his head into the cage, but #1 blocks it. A rope sequence leads to an armdrag by #1.
Austin tags in and receives an armbar from #1. Hombre #2 tags in and continues to work on Austin’s arm. When #2 has Austin in a hammerlock Austin tries to snapmare out of it, but #2 hangs onto the hammerlock. He then tries to ram Austin’s head into the cage. Inexplicably Austin goes to the apron, but that enables #2 to ram him back first into the cage!
Hombre #1 tags back in and continues to work on Austin’s arm. Zbyszko informs us that during his 18 year career he kept the same laces for his wrestling boots. I hope he washed them often. After a rope sequence Austin gets backdropped onto the bottom two ropes in a wicked spot. He then picks Austin up and gives him an atomic drop. Austin’s momentum sends him directly into the cage face-first!
Hombre #1 then tosses Austin into the opposite side of the cage. Hombre #2 tags in and hammers Austin’s back with a double sledge from the top rope. Tony and Larry continue to discuss the cage match between Sammartino and Zbyszko from Shea Stadium in 1980. Austin gets a quick advantage with an eye poke and tags in Pillman.
Immediately Pillman rams #2’s head into the top turnbuckle to maintain control. After a missed elbowdrop #2 takes over and tags in Hombre #1. After a rope sequence #1 military presses then tosses Pillman directly into the cage! Say what you want about Zbyszko’s color commentary but his reactions add emphasis to moves such as this.
As Pillman retreats to his corner he suckers #1 in and tags Austin. An attempted slam by Austin is thwarted by Austin’s back acting up. Instead #1 chops away at Austin. #1 then suplexes Austin and hangs him feet first from the top of the cage. He then mimics Austin’s imaginary camera rolling. To continue punishing Austin’s back #1 comes off the ropes and launches himself at Austin’s chest ramming his back again into the cage! Excellent psychology!
#2 tags in. He whips #1 who reverses and tries to whip #2 into Austin, but Austin falls and #2 hits the cage! Austin grabs #2’s boot and tags in Pillman. He gives #2 a jawbreaker and goes to work on him. Austin tags in and rolls his imaginary camera at #2. He whips #2 off the ropes and gives him a back elbow. After a snapmare Austin delivers his patented second rope elbow to #2.
Pillman tags back in and goes to work on #2. Quickly Austin tags back in and continues to work on #2 in his corner. When he distracts the referee Pillman uses the towel to choke #2. When Austin turns around he rolls #2 over but the foot is on the ropes. Just for the sake of cruelty he drops down across the leg on the bottom rope. That’ll teach him not to do that again!
Pillman tags in and gives #2 a snapmare. He mounts the second rope but hits a well-timed boot on the way down. Austin tags back in and keeps #2 from making the tag. Another rope sequence finishes with #2 giving Austin a dropkick. Austin gets up first but in the wrong corner. He gets pinballed between #1 and #2. After giving Austin a couple of right hands #2 sends Pillman back to his corner and makes a leaping attempt at a tag. Austin catches him and delivers what resembles Faarooq’s Dominator.
As if Zbyszko is a soothsayer he claims Austin will be receiving awards and accolades down the road should his body hold up. Excellent prognostication there, Larry! The Blonds try the Midnight Express Rocket Launcher but Pillman hits the knees. #1 finally gets the hot tag and delivers chops’o’plenty to Austin. After he sends Austin face-first to the cage Pillman comes in to get chopped.
Hombre #1 sends Pillman face-first to the cage and beats his chest like Tarzan. Did Turner tell him to do that in order to woo Jane Fonda perhaps? Nah. Too simple. Austin retreats up the turnbuckles, but #1 catches him by the seat of his pants then gives him the electric chair. Pillman tries to escape the cage but gets crotched on the top rope! OUCH!
Stereo 10-punch counts in the corners are given by Dos Hombres. They cross-corner whip the Blonds into one another. Then they whip them off the ropes. Pillman reverses and #2 goes into the cage but so does Austin. #1 dropkicks Pillman then takes off his mask and it’s Hulk Hogan! No, it truly is Ricky Steamboat.
Steamboat climbs to the top of the cage and delivers a high crossbody to both Blonds! It would appear Dos Hombres are the champs, but the Blonds kick out at the very last instant! Steamboat gives Austin a DDT and covers him. The referee is preoccupied with telling the timekeeper the match isn’t over and is late to count the pin. Thus it only gets 2.
Steamboat then gives Pillman a DDT but only gets a 2 count. #2 comes in and they whip the Blonds off the ropes and deliver the double dropkick! Are they the champs yet? NO! Both Blonds kick out at 2! Steamboat and #2 cross-corner whip the Blonds, but Pillman reverses so that Austin can catch #2 and stungun him! As Pillman controls Steamboat with a DDT Austin pins #2! The champs retain! Wow! *****
Match 9 for the NWA World Heavyweight title: Barry Windham (champion) versus Arn Anderson
A quick rope sequence begins the match and smartly Arn goes for the cover off a shoulderblock. A second rope sequence has Anderson giving Windham a belly-to-belly suplex for another 2 count! They tie up again and Windham gets the advantage, and cross-corner whips Anderson, but Arn reverses it. Windham comes out of the corner and receives a back body drop.
Methodically Windham delivers two right hands to Anderson, but the third one misses and Arn gets the DDT! Is Arn wearing the big gold belt? Not yet, as he only gets 2. They fight on the ramp, but when Anderson tries to re-enter the ring he gets a well-placed knee to the head. Windham tries to ram Anderson’s head into the pole, but Arn blocks and rams his head into the top turnbuckle.
Anderson mounts the second rope but when he attempts the double axehandle Windham clotheslines him. He follows with a DDT of his own and an elbowdrop for a 2 count. Next he tosses Anderson outside and elbows him in the mush. When he tries to bring Anderson in the hard way Anderson changes the momentum and sends Windham to the outside.
Anderson follows Windham and rams his head into the steel railing. Windham is busted open. Arn rakes his eye across the top rope and gets a pop from the crowd. He then hooks an inside cradle but only gets 2. After a snapmare he continues to work on the cut. After another snapmare and a knee drop Arn heads to the top turnbuckle. Unfortunately for Anderson Windham dropkicks him out of the ring!
Wow! Windham is a bloody mess. He meets Anderson at ringside and gives him a suplex on the mats. When Arn gets back in the ring Windham delivers a top rope clothesline. A knee to the small of the back gets another 2 count for Windham. Anderson gets a shot to the midsection then nails him with an uppercut.
Anderson goes for the gourdbuster but can’t get him over. Windham counters with a vertical suplex and his sweet floatover for a 2 count. They get to their feet and Anderson whips Windham off the ropes. He then gives him his patented AA spinebuster! Cover him! Get the gold! Oops, sorry…I’ll try to contain my partiality here.
Smartly Windham rolls to the outside. He grabs his championship belt and starts to leave the ring. Arn tosses the referee down and goes after Windham. He nails him and tosses him back into the ring over the top rope. Next he tries to keep punching Windham but the referee keeps getting in his way. Anderson has had enough and tosses the referee again out of frustration.
Anderson realizes his mistake as Windham rolls out of the ring again. Windham grabs his belt again and wallops Anderson in the head. The referee didn’t see that, but he sees Windham’s cover of Anderson and counts the pin. Damn, Arn was so close. ***1/2
Match 10 for the WCW World Heavyweight title: Big Van Vader (champion w/ Harley Race) versus The British Bulldog
Tony informs us that Bulldog is dedicating this match to Cactus Jack, Joe Thurman, Sting, and Ron Simmons due to all the carnage that Vader unleashed upon them. They tie up and it’s a stalemate. Vader tries a short arm clothesline but it does not affect Bulldog. Another tie-up gives Vader the advantage, so he comes off the ropes with his standing splash. Bulldog still won’t go down.
Vader takes Bulldog to the corner and destroys him with a series of punches. As Bulldog goes down to a knee Vader mauls him to the outside. While there Race puts a few shots into him. With the Bulldog leaning against the steel railing Vader charges but misses and flies over the railing! ECW! ECW! Oh, wait, wrong promotion.
Amazingly when Vader tries to return over the railing Bulldog hoists him up and slams him on the mats. When both men return to the ring he gives Vader his patented delayed vertical suplex. Impressive! He misses a blind charge, but when Vader comes off the second rope he catches and powerslams him! Vader gets to his feet but Bulldog clotheslines him out of the ring!
As the crowd chants “Whoomp! There it is!” Bulldog gets a crucifix on Vader but falls victim to a Samoan drop. Vader then drops a couple of elbows into Bulldog’s quadricep. Next he mounts the second rope and drops the Vader Bomb! Bulldog kicks out at 2 though. Vader goes back to work on him and slams him. He mounts the second rope and gives him another standing splash!
Vader hoists Bulldog onto the top turnbuckle and tries to superplex him; however, Bulldog counters and suplexes Vader face-first to the mat. Not so intelligently he channels the Dynamite Kid and gives Vader a head butt to the shoulder. Both men are down. With a broken nose Bulldog plants Vader butt-first on the canvas.
After a clothesline Vader whips Bulldog off the ropes. A sunset flip is tried by Bulldog, but Vader tries to sit on him. Fortunately Bulldog avoids getting squished like a bug. Vader then snapmares him and goes to the top rope. This time Bulldog cannot avoid getting squished as Vader delivers the top rope splash. Stick the fork in Bulldog! He’s cooked!
On the other hand Vader appears to have hurt his sternum so he tosses Bulldog to the outside. He regroups while Race drops a knee to Bulldog’s head. When Bulldog gets back in the ring Vader pounds him into Alpo. After he slams him he gives him a butt splash. Vader applies a reverse chinlock, but ultimately Bulldog counters with an electric chair!
Bulldog makes a comeback with some fists and a clothesline for a 2 count. He tries to cross-corner whip Vader but gets reversed. When Vader attempts to splash him Bulldog catches him and gives him the running powerslam. While being near the ropes Race pulls Bulldog to the outside. While Bulldog beats up Race Vader grabs Zbyszko’s chair and creams Bulldog. The referee calls for the DQ. Boo!
After the match wrestlers from the back come out to protect Bulldog but get destroyed by Vader. Before Vader can powerbomb Bulldog Sting hits the ring and gives Vader a top rope clothesline. A couple of discus punches by Sting send Vader to the showers. ***
Tony and Larry wrap up the show while interviewing Verne Gagne. Verne practically wishes he was the owner of WCW with all the “excitement” he saw tonight.
Overall this show really surprised me. The main event was a pretty good power match. There was no way Smith was walking out of the Omni with the title so the ending made sense. The NWA title match was great based upon Anderson’s efforts. It’s a shame he never got a World title run. I cannot give enough praise to that tag team match in the cage. Those guys worked their asses off and gave the audience its money’s worth.
While not for everyone the Funk-Bockwinkel match was an amazing performance from two great legends. A time-limit draw made perfect sense and its story was told beautifully. With the return of Sid Vicious WCW looked like a juggernaut heading into the stratosphere. We’ll see on Worldwide where the direction heads from here.

Be sure to visit http://www.rockstargary.com to check out more info on me!

Slamboree 1997

Slamboree 1997
Date: May 18, 1997
Location: Independence Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
Attendance: 9,643
Commentators: Dusty Rhodes, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

So you remember how Spring Stampede was a filler PPV? This one is as
well but probably moreso than that one. The main event is the Wolfpac
vs. the Horsemen in a meaningless six man. Hogan had this annoying habit
of taking the summer off and he did it again here too. He wouldn’t be
back until July with Bash at the Beach for another meaningless tag
match. To give you an idea of how dominant WCW was, the world title
wasn’t defended on PPV from February until August and they still
dominated WWF. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is about the three former football players that are
wrestling tonight. You know, because that’s what we bought wrestling
PPVs to see.

The announcers babble about tradition.

TV Title: Steven Regal vs. Ultimo Dragon

Regal is challenging. Dragon goes to a wristlock and manages to stop
Regal’s usual counter to it and hooks an armbar. Test of strength goes
on with Regal taking him down but Dragon pops right back up. They go to
the corner and Dragon does his stand on his head in the corner deal. Why
does no one ever hit him while he does that? I get the real life reason
that he might die, but in kayfabe why not hit him?

Back on the mat Dragon fires off some kicks and hooks a half crab.
Regal makes the rope and fires off some kicks of his own to send the
champion to the floor. Back in a suplex gets two for Regal. They trade
full nelsons and Dragon gets a sunset flip for two. Regal Stretch is
avoided and Dragon is all fired up now for some reason. They get into a
chain wrestling match and Regal is in his element. Regal tries the
Stretch again but Dragon grabs his own mask to block it.

Since the Stretch won’t go on it’s time for the bow and
arrow/surfboard (Dusty and Tenay call it either or) but Dragon escapes
and fires a kick to the back. Here’s the bridging Indian Deathlock and
the fans chant for Regal. Dragon switches to a camel clutch and it turns
into a brawl. Dragon dropkicks him to the floor and Sonny fires off
some kicks. Those get him yelled at by the champ so Dragon sends Regal
back in and hits a top rope rana for two.

Regal tries the Stretch again but Dragon makes the ropes. The fans
are firmly behind Regal now which is strange as this is heel vs. heel
and Dragon has been the good guy by default. Both guys try rollups for
two but Dragon takes over with a spinwheel kick. Tiger suplex is
countered but Dragon sends Regal to the floor. Asai Moonsault hits and
Sonny adds in some more kicks. Dragon stops him so Sonny kicks Dragon,
allowing Regal to take over. In the ring a reverse suplex sets up the
Regal Stretch and we have a new champion.

Rating: B. This was getting really good at the end
and was still good when Sonny got involved. Was there ever a more
useless manager now named Paul Jones? Really good opener here as they
were beating the tar out of each other. Dragon would get the title back
in a little over two months.

Madusa vs. Luna Vachon

This is the fallout from last month. Luna is billed from the Other
Side of Darkness. Lee Marshall is brought in as a women’s wrestling
expert here. Luna takes her down to start and chokes a lot. Madusa tries
to throw punches but gets beaten down again. Marshall talks about
Martina Navartilova as Madusa kicks Luna’s head off with a SWEET spin
kick. Luna comes back with a stomach claw which that schnook Marshall
calls scandalous. Madusa hits something like a Stinger Splash and
screams a lot. Clothesline gets two. Luna manages a thumb in the eye,
misses a top rope splash, and gets German suplexed for the pin.

Rating: D-. Nothing at all to see here as neither
girl cared and none of the fans cared either. Bad match and there was
nothing going on. The division didn’t exist but we got this stuff every
now and then so that WCW could claim they had women’s wrestlers. Bad
match but Madusa is kind of cute at times.

Post match Madusa takes her vest off to reveal her bra, which you could see 80% of already.

Here are Savage and Liz for a little chat. They throw Gene out and
head to the ring. He talks about how the NWO is the center of the
universe and how Page doesn’t matter because he doesn’t want any more of
Savage. Cue Page through the crowd with a crutch to taunt Savage. The
NWO has a conference in the aisle as Page makes fun of Savage, saying
that he washes Hogan’s car. Savage finally comes in and gets beaten down
by the crutch. More NWO comes in and beat him down but the Giant makes
the save. Page vs. Savage would main event the next show. This took
almost eight minutes.

Rey Mysterio vs. Yuji Yasuraoka

Yuji is a guy who I can only find very infrequent matches in New
Japan for. He debuted last night on Saturday Night and that’s about all
they’ve got on him. In other words, he’s a nobody. They both trade some
quick holds and Rey works on the leg. Yuji comes back with a suplex and a
kick to the back to take over. He’s the heel by default here because
he’s Japanese and therefore evil. Oh and because he’s facing Mysterio.

Spinwheel kick gets two for Yuji. He puts his hands on the chest
instead of a usual cover with a leg hook to really show how evil he is.
Rey sends him to the floor and sets for a dive but the referee gets in
the way. Rey is like screw it and dives over Curtis the next time
instead to hit Yuji. Back in the ring Rey hooks a camel clutch which
looks really awkward for him. Yuji comes back and hooks a Fujiwara
Armbar as things slow down again.

Apparently Yuji is a former partner of Lance Storm. Heenan: “He
sounds like a weatherman from Omaha.” Now it’s a cross armbreaker to
really put the fans to sleep. Well not to sleep but remember that this
is a no name guy keeping things on the mat in a non-title match. Why
should we care? Out to the floor and Yuji hits a double ax off the top
to take Rey out. Suplex back in gets two. Rey sends him into the corner
and hits a split legged moonsault for two.

Time to trade some reversals with both guys getting two, Yuji’s off a
countered victory roll and Rey’s off the counter to the counter. Yuji
tries a rana but gets powerbombed for two. Rey misses a top rope splash
and Yuji hits his finisher, a double arm DDT, for two. Another attempt
at it is countered into a northern lights suplex for two. A top rope
cross body is dropkicked down by Rey and the West Coast Pop gets the
pin.

Rating: C. It’s not a bad match but at the end of
the day, it’s just another cruiserweight match that doesn’t mean
anything because Syxx wouldn’t defend the freaking title. On top of that
the match was only ok. Yuji would never be seen again that I know of
and after this, I can kind of see why. Again not a bad match, but
nothing we haven’t seen a million times.

Mortis vs. Glacier

This is one of those feuds that went on forever and I don’t think
there was ever any real resolution to it. Glacier charges in and the
fight is on quick. Mortis goes after the knee and Glacier is down in the
corner. And here’s Wrath who has debuted before this apparently.
Glacier hits a German on Mortis before Wrath gets here but there’s the
DQ like two minutes in. This is what NITRO is for people!

Ernest Miller comes in through the crowd for the save. He hasn’t been
named yet at this point. Oh ok he is named and the announcers
immediately recognize him as a world karate champion, because Eric
Bischoff seemed to think that EVERYONE followed tournament karate.

US Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. Dean Malenko

Dean is defending and Debra brings out Jeff. They fight over a lockup
to start and Dean gives him a clean break in the corner. Jeff takes him
down with a shoulder but doesn’t follow up. Even Tony is confused by
that. Dean hits a drop toehold but doesn’t follow up either. They both
seem hesitant to charge in here. Dean hooks a quick chinlock but Jarrett
counters into a mat hold of his own that is countered so quickly that
it’s off to an STF by Dean.

Debra says something and they’re still feeling each other out in the
ring. Dean hooks a leg bar which goes nowhere either. Out to the floor
and Jarrett’s leg is put over the railing and kicked, but he’s fine
enough to rapidly stomp Dean on the way back in. Dropkick gets two. Off
to an abdominal stretch which lasts for a few moments. Dean tries to
speed things up and sends Jeff to the floor.

Back in Dean still won’t go after him and for the life of me I don’t
get why. It’s Jeff Jarrett in 1997. Armbar goes on followed by a
swinging neckbreaker. Here comes the Figure Four but Dean escapes by
hitting Jeff’s knee. Cloverleaf is countered into a small package for
two. Another Cloverleaf attempt is countered by Dean being sent to the
floor. Back in the ring a cross body is rolled through for two for Dean.

Off to a sleeper so Tony talks about Piper. Now Malenko counters into
a sleeper of his own but Jeff quickly counters into the Figure Four.
Dean panics then realizes he’s 8 inches from the ropes. The fans are all
over Jarrett here. Dean sends him into the corner and we get an
embarrassingly bad collision. Here’s Mongo to pull Debra away and throw
Jarrett back into the Cloverleaf so Dean can retain.

Rating: C. Again the match isn’t bad but so what?
Back in February Mongo and Jarrett were fighting because of Debra and
now it’s May and they’re still fighting about Debra. Also keep in mind
that this is when Jarrett was still REALLY boring in the ring and could
pretty much just throw dropkicks and put on a Figure Four. Nothing to
see here as Malenko keeps the title and that’s about it. Jarrett would
get the title about three months later in an attempt to make the Mongo
feud mean something.

Meng vs. Chris Benoit

This is a death match which means last man standing. Speaking of
feuds that WOULD NOT END, this is more Benoit/Horsemen vs. Dungeon. At
least Woman looks pretty good here. Benoit is tentative to start but
grabs a dragon screw leg whip to put Meng down for about a second. Meng
comes right back so Benoit heads to the floor where he gets counted for
no apparent reason.

Back in the ring Meng hits a belly to belly suplex. Meng tries to
throw a punch but Benoit slips behind him and hits a German. Benoit
keeps going for the legs which is smart strategy but he gets kicked off.
Out to the floor and Meng is sent into the steps in a scary looking
bump as the corner almost hit his eye. Meng comes back in and pounds him
down in the corner but Benoit comes back with chops.

Meng goes all psycho Samoan…..and for the love of all things good and
holy freaking Jacqueline is here. NO ONE LIKES YOU AND NO ONE CARES
ABOUT YOU NOW GO AWAY!!! Woman chases her away for some reason that I
don’t care about at all. Meng hooks a half crab and I think you can win
by submission as well. Benoit makes the ropes which is a break in a
match that has no DQ.

Benoit tries a comeback but gets headbutted right back down. A good
piledriver puts Benoit down for eight. Out of nowhere Benoit grabs the
Crossface (not named yet. Ok apparently it is but Tony calls it an
armbar submission at first) but Meng slides to the floor to break it.
Now Dusty says you have to break in the ropes. What happens if you
don’t? Benoit keeps getting up and screams for more so Meng keeps
kicking him in the face.

A running kick in the corner misses and Benoit fires away at him.
Here are the rolling Germans which that idiot Tony calls dragon
suplexes. This show is ticking me off already and now we have to listen
to Tony screw up move names. Here’s the Crossface again but Meng rolls
outside again. Wicked suicide dive takes Meng down but Benoit can’t
follow up. Back in a suplex puts Meng down but he catches Benoit in the
Tongan Death Grip while Benoit tries the swan dive. Benoit passes out
for the loss.

Rating: D+. Another match that more or less was a
singles match but more hard hitting. It wasn’t terrible but with Tony
and Jackie out there messing up everything, it was hard to care. On top
of that, why have Benoit lose here? That would apparently be so that
they could do THE EXACT SAME MATCH the next month.

This show is already bad but the problem is that none of this stuff
matters. That’s the case for Spring Stampede, this show and the Great
American Bash, because most of the big names weren’t here and none of
the matches meant anything because it was clear that everything was
leading up to Sting vs. Hogan, and Hogan didn’t appear on any of these
shows, nor did Sting I don’t think. In other words, we had three months
of worthless PPVs, which make them even harder to sit through.

Konnan/Hugh Morrus vs. Steiner Brothers

See my point? Scott and Morrus start. Dusty says these teams both
want to be tag champions. That’s hilarious: like the Outsiders would
ever defend those things. To give you an idea of things: the Steiners
won the belts in October. From October 1996 until May of 1998, ONLY the
Outsiders and the Steiners held the belts (not counting the Giant/Luger
title win as they had to return them the next night). On top of that,
aside from 18 days in Spring of 98, either an Outsider or a Steiner held
the titles from October of 1996 until January of 1999. Think about that
for a minute.

Morrus gets thrown around by both Steiners and Rick hits some Steiner
Lines. A top rope Steiner Line puts Morrus on the floor and the
Steiners clear the ring. Rick vs. Konnan now with Konnan getting thrown
all over the place with “that move that Benoit used in the last match”
(German suplex). Back to Scott as we’re in squash mode so far. Konnan
finally gets a boot up in the corner to give the Dungeon an advantage.

Never mind of course as Scott suplexes him over. Morrus comes in
again and Jimmy trips Scott to give his team a chance. Hugh manages a
suplex and it’s back to Konnan who gets two off a neckbreaker. Morrus
hooks a Fujiwara Armbar but it’s off to Konnan for a modified Rings of
Saturn. Scott gets up and hits an overhead belly to belly. Morrus tries a
double ax while Scott is on his back because the put the boot up while
the other guy does a move that only exists to jump into the boot spot is
REALLY what I want to see right now. Hot tag to Rick, bad top rope
bulldog, everything breaks down, Frankensteiner, pin.

Rating: D. Another whatever match here as none of it
means anything and we got a glorified squash on PPV. Then again Rick
lost a glorified squash last month as well but hey, it sucked last month
so maybe it will here too! Nothing to see here (of course) as the
Steiners wouldn’t get a title shot until AUGUST.
Konnan beats up Morrus post match, quitting the Dungeon to become a rapper.

Reggie White vs. Steve McMichael

GREAT. This is EXACTLY what this show needs. Why is Reggie White
fighting? Who knows? Who cares? My guess is because even though Mongo is
a face here, he turned heel on Greene like 11 months ago and this is
REVENGE. You would think that Greene would want revenge himself, but
he’s in the main event with the guys that Mongo turned on him for. In
theory White is a heel here, but naturally he’s treated as the hero
against a Horseman in CHARLOTTE. He has his strength coach with him.
This is White’s first match ever and they put him with STEVE FREAKING
MCMICHAEL. Let’s get this over with.

Feeling out process to start as Mongo is definitely playing heel.
They collide and both stumble. They do it again and Mongo stumbles a
bit. White hooks a headlock and they ram again with Mongo going down
this time. Steve draws the scrimmage line and they go at it with Mongo
taking the leg out. They do it again and White jumps over him, then hits
him in the side of the ribs which is a “clothesline.”

Mongo tries to leave but one of White’s teammates comes out to throw
him back in. It’s a nose tackle from the Packers apparently. White gets
some great height on a dropkick for two. The kick sucked but he was UP
THERE. The fans cheer for Mongo but he keeps playing heel because that’s
what was set before the match and White (not his fault) doesn’t know
how to be a heel because HE ISN’T A WRESTLER.

Mongo hooks an armbar and shouts about how Jesus may have White’s
soul (White was known as a very religious man) but Mongo has him right
now. That gets McMichael sent to the floor and it’s more stalling. White
hooks a headlock but Mongo escapes and clips him to take over. Side
slam puts Reggie down but he comes back up quickly and puts the headlock
on again before hitting a cross body for two.

Off to a nerve hold by White but McMichael hits him low and makes fun
of church bells. Off to another leg lock and then a half crab. They ram
each other into the corner a few times but Steve kicks the knee out.
Figure four is countered and White shoves him down. He actually SELLS
THE KNEE….or maybe he’s just tired. They slug it out in the corner and
Reggie is all fired up.

There’s an atomic drop and a much better clothesline to put Mongo on
the floor. Back in and McMichael takes over, only to have his suplex
countered. He hits a splash but there’s no referee because of Debra.
Briefcase is stolen by the other football player but Jeff Jarrett comes
out and throws in another case and the shot with that gets the pin on
White.

Rating: F. As in FIFTEEN MINUTES that this match
got. Now before I get into this, I want to emphasize something: Reggie
White was TRYING out there. He looked fired up, he was going the entire
time, and there have been far worse celebrity performances in the past.
That being said, the match was WAY too long and McMichael was the
totally wrong person to try to carry him.

Think back to the 97 Great American Bash when it was Mongo/Greene
debuting as a team. They faced Arn Anderson and Ric Flair, two of the
best ring technicians ever. Flair and Arn walked then through a 20
minute match and it wasn’t that terrible. That being said, this was a
HORRIBLE idea. You took basically a rookie and had him work a fifteen
minute match with a football player. Horrible match, but more based on
the people that put it together rather than the wrestlers.

Kevin Greene/Roddy Piper/Ric Flair vs. Syxx/Kevin Nash/Scott Hall

Here’s your main event. Nothing on the line, just pride. It’s Flair’s
first match back in 8 months. Greene played for the Carolina Panthers
so he’s incredibly popular. Flair vs. Syxx to start. Syxx takes him down
quickly and grabs a headlock. Flair chops him down but Syxx kicks him
in the face. Syxx chops him in the corner and Flair is all like boy
please. There’s a backdrop and a pelvic thrust to the Outsiders.

Hall comes in and takes a punch and Flair wants Nash. Greene and
Piper haven’t done anything yet. Hall comes in legally and Flair says
bring it on. Now it’s off to Greene and it’s time to stall. Nash comes
in before Hall does anything. They shove each other around and Nash
pounds away with the usual stuff in the corner. Greene comes back with a
shoulderblock to take down the other Kevin and he does it again. Nash
heads to the floor so Greene beats up both other Wolfpac members.

Hall wants Piper so here he is. Piper has a HUGE bandage on his right
thigh. Into the corner and Piper rifles off rights and lefts as we
continue the start and stop nature of this match. A knee lift by Piper
puts Piper down (not a typo) but Hall shoves him into the corner. Roddy
fights off all three of them at once but Syxx manages to get in a shot
to the leg to give the NWO their first advantage.

Piper kicks away a figure four attempt and dives to Flair, putting
the total time the NWO was in control at 19 seconds. Flair comes in but
gets knocked into the corner for the Flair Flip. He comes off the top
and jumps into the fallaway slam by Hall. They all head to the floor and
Greene runs over Syxx. Flair is the face in peril and gets caught in
Snake Eyes.

Back to Hall for nothing of note and it’s back to Syxx. He hits the
Bronco Buster, drawing a homosexual slur chant. That of course fires up
the He-Man known as Ric Flair but Syxx takes him back down almost
immediately. Flair tags in Piper but the referee doesn’t see it. Piper
is like screw that and decks Anderson and everything breaks down. Nick
Patrick, freshly good again, replaces Anderson. Flair hits Hall low and
puts on the Figure Four. Piper puts Nash in the sleeper and Syxx gets
powerslammed for the triple win.

Rating: C. This was a basic six man tag but MAN did
the place pop for the win. This is supposed to be a big deal for some
reason with Tony calling it the biggest moment in the history of WCW.
It’s probably the best match of the night other than the opener and this
one kind of almost means something so I’ll give it the point. Greene
was having a blast out here and did what he could.

Overall Rating: N. As in nothing. I’ve got nothing
that could accurately describe how worthless this was. Some of the
matches are ok at best but for the most part they were either bad or
pointless. Nothing to see here at all as none of the big stars were here
for the most part, at least not wrestling. This was the second of three
straight PPVs with no Hogan and as annoying as he was, without him
there was really no point to anything because he was world champion.
Horrible show that was actually making me mad at times, which is a
rarity.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com

Assorted May-Per-View Countdown: WCW Slamboree 2000

(Yeah, OK, so it’s June now.  But if movie audiences can buy that CHARLIZE THERON would be threatened by the youth and beauty of Kristen Stewart, I’m sure y’all can pretend it’s still May for a while.  That movie was kind of disappointing, by the way.  And speaking of giant disappointments…) The Netcop Rant for WCW Slamboree 2000

“Déjà vu, just a different crapper” Terry Funk, just before the hardcore match.

– Live from Kansas City, Missouri. – Your hosts are Tony, Mark & Scott – The Millionaire’s Club arrives in a bus, which would be fine except that everyone in it already cut promos IN THE ARENA during the pre-game show.  (Perhaps they left and then came back again?)  – Opening match, Cruiserweight title: Chris Candido v. Prince Iaukea. Well, at least we can get the Artist out of the way. (The wrestling business took care of that for us after WCW folded.)  Prince gets a german suplex off a feeling out sequence to start. Candido takes a manly bump to the floor and they brawl. Candido tries a tope but gets caught coming down. Back in for a crappy wrestling sequence. Remember when this belt used to be contended in GOOD matches? Prince ends up on the apron and suplexes Candido to the floor. Back in, Prince hits a horrible powerbomb, but Candido blocks the jumping DDT. Thank god, given the spot-blowing shown here, he’d have killed Candido with that move. (Yeah, I know, there’s lots of mornings I wake up and think “Well, I guess this wasn’t the time that God drops an anvil on me in the middle of the night in retaliation for all the dumb things I’ve said over the years.”)  Candido tries a top rope rana but blows the move, then Prince comes off the top with what was supposed to be a flying rollup, but HE blows the move. The crowd starts chanting “You suck!” at both of them. Man, good thing this wasn’t an ECW show, the crowd would be eating them alive. (Maybe if it was “Free Bath Salts Night” at the arena…hey, is that an anvil I hear?)  Candido goes up again, but gets Samoan dropped off. Catfight erupts just to ensure we don’t get a clean finish, and Tammy hits Prince with a chair by mistake (well, in as much as she was aiming for Paisley) and Candido gets the pin. No, wait, the ref seems to think it’s two, so Candido goes up and hits the swandive headbutt for the redundant pin to retain at 7:58. Whatever. Match would have been decent if any of the spots had hit. *  (I’d call this era the low point of the belt, but I think Daffney ended up with it somewhere in here too plus we had already seen Madusa as champion, so this looks like Flair-Steamboat by comparison.)  – Hardcore title: Terry Funk v. Norman Smiley & Ralphus. Terry supplies us with the quote above, and we’re underway. Funk finds Ralphus in the bathroom and gets jumped by Smiley. Norman actually sheds his ridiculous “screamin’” personality and beats the hell out of Funk, which provides the good moments for the match. Then we swing 180 degrees in the other direction, as Ralphus throws cardboard boxes at Funk and delivers some of the weakest garbage can shots this side of Three Count’s reign. Man, if they had cut the Ralphus stuff out, this would have been a hell of a match. As it is, it’s just hell. Funk gives Norman some stiff shots on the WCW.com table, then drags Ralphus out to the ring. Ralphus’ tights get yanked down and we’re blessed with the sight of his ass. To quote Scott Hudson: “Where’s standards & practices when you need them?”. Norman makes the save and wipes out Funk with a ladder, then Wiggles. Funk then recognizes the weak link (only took him 10 minutes, too) and pounds on Ralphus with a chair. Norman tries to protect him, and gets rolled up and pinned at 10:22. The Smiley-Funk parts were worth close to ***1/2, while the Funk-Ralphus parts were -**, so we’ll spilt the difference and call it *1/2. It was certainly perversely entertaining, though.  (There was a lot of that during this era.)  – Sean Stasiak v. Curt Hennig. I really hope that Hennig jumps back where he belongs in August and shows Sean the REAL way to do the Perfect gimmick. (Yeah, he did go back, and he was so spun out on coke that he got himself fired and then died.  Maybe he should have stayed away instead.)  Benoit-Hennig, anyone? (Definitely not now.)  Big long stall session to start. Curt seems totally uninspired here, probably because he knows he won’t win another match in WCW. He’s pretty over, though. Brawl outside, back inside where Sean gets a flying lariat and a sleeper. And that kills off a few minutes. The camera pans to the Misfits in the front row…but we can’t see them, because of the camouflage uniforms they’re wearing. Well, maybe if they were planning on invading Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory then the purple, orange and bright green outfits might hide them, but otherwise I’d say it’s time to fire the tailor. Small note: Van Hammer is wearing the orange suit while Lash LeRoux has green. Wouldn’t it make more sense for the red-headed Lash to wear the orange one? GOOD GOD, WHAT IS THIS BORING MATCH DOING TO ME??? Okay, shake it off, Scott. Hennig makes the comeback with some chops, but makes his usual fatal error: Slapping him around in the corner. And indeed, as anyone who’s watched more than, oh, two Hennig matches knows, the best way to beat him is to slingshot him into the ringpost, because he NEVER gets up from that. And indeed, Hennig is knocked silly and his very own Hennigplex puts the finishing touches on him at 7:53. Oh, Irony, what a cruel mistress are thee. Enjoy job-duty for the next three months, Curt. ¼*  (That’s pretty much how it went, in fact.)  – US title match: Scott Steiner v. Hugh G. Rection. Yes, Vince Russo has found a way to work his first naughty pun into a wrestler name, as TAFKA Hugh Morrus announces his “real name” before the match. And you all thought “Uranus” would be the first candidate for that sort of joke. Apparently this has gone from non-title match to title match between the pre-game show and this point, which pretty much gives away the finish. Wrestling sequence goes nowhere until Scott jumps on Hugh G. Rection and beats him. While this name is good for people such as myself to utilize, I can’t see Hugh G. Rection rising to the main event this way. Hugh G. Rection comes back with power stuff but the nWHos trips him up and Hugh G. Rection goes limp. Scott flattens Hugh G. Rection with an elbowdrop and a suplex. Scott stalls. And stalls. And argues with ringside fans. Next he goes into the bearhug, squeezing Hugh G. Rection for all he’s worth. Steiner stops and argues with some more fans. More stalling. Hugh G. Rection makes a comeback and rams into Scott in the corner, twice. Scott catches Hugh with a lariat on the third try. He tries a tombstone, but Hugh G. Rection is too heavy and causes Steiner to fall backwards, and Hugh hits a K-Driller (OwenDriver ’97, Austin-Killer, whatever) and goes for the moonsault. Hugh G. Rection goes up, but the hos come in and fiddle with Hugh G. Rection, and he misses his mark. Scott hooks the REAR CHINLOCK OF DOOM and pulls back on Hugh G. Rection until the submission at 9:22. Booker pulls Steiner off Hugh G. Rection before permanent damage is done. * Remember kids: DICK JOKES ARE NOT A TOY! Only professionals should be using them.  (Eh, I work with what I’m given.  I regret not mentioning how jacked up that Hugh G. Rection looked, or that Steiner was whacking Hugh G. Rection in the corner.)  – Mike Awesome v. Kanyon. (The dead wrestler count is starting to get depressing again.)  Slugfest to start and Kanyon hits the floor. Awesome follows with the tope con hilo. Kanyon rams him to the post, then follows with a somersault off the apron. Nice. Back in, Awesome gets the flying lariat and tosses Kanyon, then delivers some sweet chairshots and they brawl into the crowd. Back in, Awesome hits a slingshot splash for two. He goes up but gets crotched and neckbreakered off the top. Spinning neckbreaker gets two for Kanyon. Bodypress attempt is rolled through for two. Pancake drop gets two. Awesome comes back with a SCARY powerbomb on Kanyon, landing him right on his head. He goes outside to set up the mats and give Chris a chance to recover, then hits a slingshot shoulderblock on the way in. German suplex follows, and they go out to the ramp…and Big Poochie meanders down, followed by all of the New Blood and Millionaire’s Club for a big double-DQ at 12:10. Oh, man, that was the best match of the night and they RUINED it! *** – Buff Bagwell v. Lex Luger. The Idiots still aren’t sure if the Kronick are the tag champs or not. Hey, here’s a thought: Why doesn’t someone FIND OUT? (They eventually decided that in fact, they were.)  Anyway, this is every Buff-Lex match from 1996 (which sucked then) played back at half-speed. Pose, pose, chinlock, chinlock, and Liz comes out with the foam baseball bat and nails Buff, allowing Lex to get the rack at 9:30 (!) for the submission. Then Lex gets attacked by the New Blood’s secret weapon: Chuck “The New Total Package” Palumbo. Hey, that’d be cool if we hadn’t just seen the same gimmick in the Stasiak-Hennig match. DUD  (And then Buff and Luger started teaming after this as Totally Buff, right?  Or was that before and they did the breakup here?  And does anyone really care anyway?  And I thought there wasn’t supposed to be any more DQs in the New WCW?)  – Shane Douglas v. Ric “I will never do a job for Shane Douglas” Flair. (Talk about stupid fucking internet wank booking.  As if ANYONE watching gave a shit about seeing Douglas finally get his win over Flair, six years after his ridiculous grandstand challenges in ECW.)  Wrestling sequence to start. They exchange chops, then Flair goes up and gets slammed off. Mark Madden steals my joke about Flair always getting slammed off. Douglas goes to the figure-four and Flair escapes, then hits a ballshot with MUSTARD. Ever see “Hot Shots: Part Deux” where Charlie Sheen hits the Asian brawler so hard that walnuts come out of his mouth? We’re talking that kind of pain here. Brawl to the floor. Back in, Shane pulls his trusty chain out of his boot, and even goes to the trouble of hiding it from the referee. Silly boy, there’s no more DQs in WCW anymore. Unless the storyline calls for them, of course. (Yeah, shit like that really showed how the wheels were coming off the whole thing, even a month into the big reboot.)  Flair comes back with chops, and another pair of VICIOUS ballshots. Man, his muscle tone may have disappeared, but if you gotta hit a guy in the can so hard that his eyes pop out, there’s still only one man to call for the job. (I wonder if there was some reality injected into those as a receipt for the years of shit-talking?)  Flair does some token work on the leg, but Buff and “Sting” come out and nail him with the baseball bat on the figure-four attempt and Douglas gets the pin at 8:56. Way to build up Flair for that title shot next month. (Did that even happen?)  Match was decent. **1/4 Flair decides that “Sting” is obviously Russo, so it’s obviously not. And in fact it’s David Flair, who jumps his father along with Russo and they beat him up. (What a swerve!)  I guess this is the 5-minute “match” because the clock is ticking. Kevin Nash comes out to save Ric, but Daffney jumps *him* and the Three Least Threatening People in Wrestling leave Flair and Nash laying. On the upside, at least Russo is beginning to grasp the whole “heel beatdown” concept. I just wish it wouldn’t have to involve him actually doing the beating down.  (Good thing he didn’t decide to put the World title on himself, HAR HAR HAR!)  – Sting v. Vampiro. Thankfully good taste prevails and Sting just walks out. (I find it hard to believe good taste prevailed on any show featuring Hugh G. Rection’s debut and the main event that we got, but then I was making a bath salts joke earlier so who am I to talk?)  They fight on the ramp to start. Into the ring, Sting hits a missile dropkick, and tosses him out, following with a plancha. He hits a DDT on the floor. Back in, Vampiro rallies with a lariat off the top. He finds a lead pipe and beats down Sting in full view of the referee. Ugh, I really hope we don’t have to put up with this nonsense in every important match from now on.  (As it turned out, we were long past the point of WCW having matches that could be described as “important” anyway.)  We head down the ramp, where Vamp hits a spin kick, then drags Sting back in. That was kinda silly. Vamp tries a top rope rana, but gets powerbombed (in a manner of speaking) off the top. Although Sting dropped to his knees doing the move, so the total impact was about one foot in the air. Two Stinger splashes and two deathdrops finish it at 6:48. I could have lived without the lead pipe. **  (Who did Vampiro blow to get programmed in a top level feud with Sting, anyway?  I’m sure Konnan would immediately say “Bob Barnett”, but I’d like to think I’m above that sort of thing.)  – Billy Kidman v. “Stone Cold” Hulk Hogan. (The flea market feud!  With Hogan’s “FUNB” vest in all its delusional glory.)  “Stone Cold Jr.” Horace Hogan gets tossed by Evil Referee Eric Bischoff before the match. Hogan tries a feeble attempt at a slam, which is reversed by Kidman into a small package for two. He crotches Kidman on the top rope, then grabs a chair and drops Kidman on it. Kidman comes back with a poorly-sold rana and a dropkick, so Hogan bails. Kidman uses Torrie as a shield, allowing him to get a cheapshot on Hogan and take over. They exchange weightlifting belt shots, then Hogan hiptosses Kidman to the floor. Back in, Bischoff won’t count. Kidman dodges Hogan’s elbowdrops, then back to the floor we go. Back in, Hogan hulks up, but Bischoff won’t let him do the legdrop. Hogan decks him, then knocks out everyone with a chair. He finds some tables and sets them up in the ring. Kidman hits him with a chair, getting two. Hulk blades. A second chairshot backfires, and Hogan powerbombs Bischoff through the table. Kidman sets up a fourth table and puts Hogan on top, but misses a splash and goes through it, giving Hogan the pin at 13:31. I don’t really see what this did for Kidman except allow him to bump all over the place for Hogan, but I’m sure some will praise Hogan’s work here. I’d rather see Kidman doing actual wrestling, but you take what you can get, I guess. **  (This is the classic, classic example of the anti-rub, where you put your newer star into a feud with an established guy who is so selfish that the new guy actually ends up LESS over for participating in it.  See also:  H, Triple.)  – Main event, WCW World title, Triple cage: David Arquette v. Jeff Jarrett v. DDP. Arquette is dressed like Elvis. I haven’t seen the movie in question, and the announcers basically assume everyone watching has seen the movie, so the result is less-than-impressive in terms of trying to figure out the concept. (I finally did of course see Ready To Rumble many years later.)  Arquette wisely runs away while Jarrett & DDP do their usual match. Jarrett gets posted on the floor and blades. I guess you have to use a ladder to climb to the second level, because there’s a bunch of them around. One gets set up in the corner and JJ and DDP take turns bumping off that. Arquette wisely stays out of the way. DDP makes it to level 2, Jarrett follows. They fight in the “hardcore cage” and actually break through the cage wall in a scary moment. Someone gets the bright idea of setting up a table on the second level, and after 10 tries to steady it, Jarrett goes through. Arquette finally scurries up to the top level…and stays there. Um, why not just grab the belt, dipshit? Either that or he’s gonna turn on DDP. Probably the latter, just to bug me. Mike Awesome suddenly appears on the second level out of nowhere, but gets Diamond Cut. Just what we needed – a run-in. Page and Jarrett hit each other with a selection of guitars from the third cage, then Page climbs to the top…and Arquette turns on him, of course. Jarrett grabs the belt at 15:20 and celebrates with Arquette. So we’re now back where we were two weeks ago, except the title is now worthless. Great booking. Match was a pretty good brawl otherwise. ***1/2 (WHAT?!  ***1/2 for that fucking piece of shit David Arquette match with people popping in out of the layers of cage like they’re emerging from hyperdrive or something?!?  Fuck off.)  Kanyon suddenly arrives on the second level (what, do they have taxi service up there or something?) and gets tossed off by Awesome through the rampway. Good god, did we HAVE to have someone taking an insane bump in THIS arena? Especially a meaningless one like that?  (Oh yeah, almost forgot about that bump.)  The Bottom Line: It ended up being a decent show despite itself – Russo is a weird mish-mash of interesting ideas while still being his own worst enemy booking-wise. If he’d only admit to his own weaknesses for once and let someone else handle the in-ring stuff, he might be all right. (BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!)  Sadly, WCW is having to go the ECW / WWF ’97-98 route and turning everything into a garbagy brawl because they either don’t have the talent to carry an actual wrestling match or the booker is too stupid to realize that he has actual wrestling talent who might not happen to fit his ideals of what American wrestlers should be. Another thumbs in the middle show, with bad wrestling saved by entertaining brawling, but this is not a strategy that is going to pay off in the long-term or do any favors for young guys like Kidman who don’t need to do this crap in order to get over. (To say the least.  This was the lowest buyrate in WCW’s history, by the way, until the 2001 death shows where only the hardest of hardcores were bothering to order anymore.) 

Assorted May-Per-View Countdown: WCW Slamboree 99

(No mean-spirited trick post this time around, fear not.  I only like to screw with my audience’s heads once or twice a year at most.)  What if they gave a PPV and nobody cared? The Netcop Rant for WCW Slamboree 1999 – Live from St. Louis, Missouri. – Your hosts are Tony, Bobby and Mike. – Okay, those not aware of my patented rating system, I’ll be using the Hot Poker Up the Ass system to rate the matches tonight.  In a nutshell, for bad things that happen, I shove imaginary flaming pokers up Tony Schiavone’s ass , and for good things, I cool him off by shoving cool, refreshing bottles of Surge(tm) up his ass.  In order to prevent permanent scarring to poor Tony’s tender areas, we’ll limit ourselves to 10 pokers and bottles of Surge(tm) either way. – Opening match, WCW World tag team titles:  Kidman & Rey Mysterio v. The Vanilla Midgets v. The Flock 2.0.  STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!  You don’t start out the show with the only match that is guaranteed not to suck.  (Well, another theory would say you do open the show with it because it’s a hot start to the show.)  Big mistake, I’m predicting it right now, because you can only go downhill from here.  (You can say that about a lot of WCW things in general.)  Anyway, Horsemen get a big heel pop, Flock gets a big face pop, and the champs are somewhere in between.  Saturn, Kidman, and Malenko start out, with Saturn and Kidman double-teaming Malenko. Kidman does the over-the-top bump from the belly-to-belly early.  Great double-team german suplex from the Horsemen.  Why is Rey dressed like a Godwinn?  Horsemen are drawing mad heel heat.  Beautiful sequence as Malenko alley-oops Rey to the top rope, and he comes back with a moonsault.  Just gorgeous.  Everyone fights to the floor, leaving Benoit against Raven.  Horsemen seem to be controlling the flow here, stomping everyone into oblivion at one point and tossing the fallen team members to the floor with regularity.  Big highspot crashup leaves everyone fighting on the floor.  Benoit and Saturn are left in the ring by default and Benoit takes advantage with the ROLLING GERMAN SUPLEX~! Malenko must be in a bad mood today or something, he’s spitting on the faces a lot.  OH MY GOD…Malenko actually powerbombs Kidman without it getting reversed!  This is a historic day!  Dragon suplex from Benoit gets two on Kidman.  I’m impressed at Tony actually calling the match. (I’m less impressed with 1999 Scott for NOT calling the match.)  Raven gets a hot tag and does his rolling vertical suplex~ on Benoit. It’s cooler when Benoit does it.  (Less cool once we realized what damage it was doing to him.)  A true pier-six brawl with everyone doing big moves on everyone else.  Kidman and Rey do the alley-oop rana on Benoit, but when they try it on Saturn he reverses to a superbomb. Kidman goes for the shooting star press, but Kanyon comes out of the audience and pushes him off the top, into an Evenflow DDT for the pin. Malenko had Saturn in the Texas Cloverleaf at the time, but I guess Saturn didn’t give up.  The Flock 2.0 is the new champions, which is the right booking decision.  (Yeah, until Kanyon turned on them for that Jersey Triad bullshit.)  We’ll give Tony 8 bottles of Surge(tm), which should give him some leeway for the crap ahead.  Too much brawling for my tastes, but I’d give it **** easy.  (I don’t see how this couldn’t have ruled.)  – DDP video package. – Gonnad v. Stevie Ray.  An automatic 2 hot pokers for anything involving Gonnad (see Starrcade 98 for the precedent).  (Yeah, I wasn’t a big Konnan fan…well…ever, really.)  We play the CRZ version of the Catchphrases of Doom (basically it involves yelling “you suck” at the TV).  We run through the 3 moves of insufficient doom very early, but Vincent interference gives Stevie Ray the advantage.  Stevie Ray is the only guy in wrestling who has a lazy CHINLOCK for christ’s sake.  I mean, the whole idea of a resthold is that it requires zero effort, but Stevie can’t EVEN DO THAT RIGHT!  (Oddly enough, his color commentary was entertaining in a twisted way, whereas his brother got all the wrestling talent and can’t do coherent commentary to save his life.  That’s some odd DNA.)  Stevie comes off the second rope and Gonnad puts his foot in the air, in the general vicinity of where Ray’s head would be, but no contact is ever made.  Stevie sells anyway.  nWo interferes freely, and Rey Jr. tries to even the odds, so Stevie Ray is nice enough to slowly put Gonnad into the Slapjack and wait for Rey to come off the top rope and allow Gonnad to get the cradle for the pin.  We’ll add another 3 hot pokers for the match, and a bottle of Surge(tm) for at least keeping it short. – Kevin Nash video package. – Sting video package. – DDP meets Bam Bam Bigelow backstage and they have a male bonding moment.  (That ended up being the start of a bad storyline.  They had such a hot series of feuds going over the tag titles, and then the DDP/Bigelow/Kanyon team sucked the life out of the division for good.)  – Brian Knobs v. Bam Bam Bigelow.  The usual international objects line the ring.  Knobs is usual no-selling shitty self.  They fight outside the ring.  I think someone is severely overestimating the Nasty Boys’ worth on the cosmic scale for Knobs to get a job.  (Or severely underestimating Hogan’s influence.)  See, he’s a heel because he yells “Nasty!” every couple of minutes, I guess.  Knobs sells like the Rock — Starts at 100%, takes a bump, shakes his head for a minute, then is back to 100%.  (You shut your filthy whore mouth, 1999 Scott!)  Pretty boring hardcore match, too.  They fight to the back, where a conveniently placed souvenir stand awaits. Knobs pulls back the Wizard of Oz’ magic curtain, revealing a huge section of empty seats.  That’s a no-no, Brian. (Obviously 7000 fans were running to the payphones to call their friends and tell them to tune into the PPV mid-show.)  Knobs hits a version of the Nastie’s patented Shitty Elbow off the balcony to a table below, but Bigelow just no-sells, suplexes Knobs through said table, and gets the pin.  2 hot pokers for Knobs’ involvement.  (So let’s give Brian Knobs a BIGGER push!)  – World TV title match:  Booker T v. Rick Steiner.  Booker gets a rather anemic pop.  Steiner controls with shoulderblocks to start, but Booker comes back with his spinning kicks.  Steiner won’t sell Booker’s stuff for some reason.  (Because he was a grumpy shithead after the team split up?)  Steiner controls with some slow suplexes.  Really dull stuff here.  Steiner is just punching, choking and resting.  Crowd has absolutely no interest in this match.  Booker comes back with the axe-kick and spinebuster.  Missile dropkick, but Scott Steiner runs in and allows Rick a Steinerline for two.  Booker whips Rick into Scott for two.  Scott trips Booker and Rick Steiner gets the neckbreaking bulldog for the pin and TV title.  Oh, fuck you, WCW.  5 hot pokers for putting the TV on Rick Steiner and making a royal fuckup of Booker’s TV title reign.  (Luckily Booker would keep rising up the card, although Steiner would also continue failing up the card.  I kind forgot what my point was supposed to be.)  – Charles Robinson v. Gorgeous George.  Robinson’s robe and haircut is too funny, as he looks like a dead ringer for Flair.  The real Flair and the nurse (Asia?  Oh, I get it, ha ha) (Asya, actually.)  are at ringside.  George has kind of a cheerleader outfit thing going.  Please let this be short.  Please. They fight over a wristlock to start, with Charles even mimicking Flair’s selling.  Then Stall-O-Mania 99 breaks out, with Robinson bodyslamming the beauty queen on the floor and other shenanigans. Robinson chokes out George.  They trade chops and Robinson even pulls out a Flair flip, and gets slammed for it.  Flair Flop follows.  This is like watching a midget match in Mexico.  The evil nurse hurts George’s leg, and Robinson goes to work on the knee.  Well, can’t fault the psychology, that’s for sure.  Charles gets the figure-four (on the wrong leg, of course, but it’s reversed.  Then Flair interferes, and Savage interferes, and George drops an elbow off the second rope for the pin. This fell under WCW’s specialty division:  Entertaining crap.  5 hot pokers for the stupidity of the idea and putting this on a PPV, but 2 bottles of Surge(tm) for the principles at least making an effort not to suck.  (I seem to remember Little Naitch being ridiculously entertaining in this role and probably living out the dream of a lifetime in the process.)  – US title match:  Scott Steiner v. Buff Bagwell.  Buff jumps Scott before the bell, but a couple of blatant shots to the Konnans turns the tide.  Brawl outside the ring allows Scott the chance to chat with the fans.  Steiner continues beating on Buff while yelling at ringside fans. Half-assed Tiger Driver gets two.  Belly to belly lays out Buff, and Scott grabs a chair, which ends up getting used against him.  Buff comeback.  Two bad looking dropkicks and an atomic drop, but the ref is bumped.  Predictably, Rick Steiner runs in, waffles Buff with the chair, and Scott gets the SHITTY REAR CHINLOCK OF DOOM for the submission.  The reunited Steiner brothers beat on Buff.  Bagwell did NOTHING here.  I officially give up on Buff — the neck injury has ended his career.  (Yup.  Not much more to be said there.) 2 hot pokers for the bad match.  Both Steiner brothers are singles champions — the Apocalypse is officially upon us. – Goldberg video package. – Nash/DDP/Sting/Goldberg video package.  None of this does anything to explain why either Nash/DDP or Sting/Goldberg is even happening, but I suppose it fills time nicely. – Flair video package.  Same one we’ve seen for the past month or so. – Rowdy Roddy Piper v. Ric Flair.  Flair boots Johnny Boone out of the match and replaces him with Charles Robinson.  (Man, the days when I used to give a shit about referee names.)  Stalling from Flair to start.  Piper throws his 1982 potato punches and Flair stalls again. Piper does his devasting eye poke and hand-clap, but Flair hits a low blow to take control.  Then Arn beats him up.  Then Asia beats him up. What a classic.  Flair should be ashamed for resorting to this crap. They “brawl” outside the ring.  Double KO spot — I feel like someone should be yelling “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up”.  Figure-four, reversed by Piper.  Flair shows his ass on a sunset flip attempt. Robinson converses with AA while Piper gets a couple of pin attempts. Piper gets the figure-four, and AA breaks it up.  Piper puts the sleeper on him, then on Flair.  Asia breaks it up.  Piper kisses her, and puts the sleeper on her.  Flair gets an international object, hits Piper with it, and gets the pin.  Oh, great, now Eric Bischoff is out.  He declares Piper the winner.  Um, HELLO?  Didn’t he lose the Presidency? And how exactly did Piper win that match, anyway?  This makes no fucking sense. 10 hot pokers for this whole clusterfuck.  Even Tony Schiavone is having trouble explaining what’s going on.  (I remember exactly none of this, but at least it’s less embarrassing for Flair than his TNA run was.)  – Sting v. Goldberg.  The announcers are still trying to rationalize the last match.  Okay, anyway, on with this, which also makes no sense but at least it should be a decent match.  Goldberg messes up a backdrop and hits the powerslam early.  Sting stalls.  Back in and Sting clotheslines Goldberg out.  Goldberg stalls. Goldberg with a cross-armbreaker, and Sting escapes and dropkicks the knee.  Boston crab, which Goldberg powers out of.  Sting goes to the headlock.  Hmmm, maybe DDP *did* carry that match on Nitro.  Sting with a couple of Stinger splashes, but Goldberg catches him and slams him to a big pop, but Bret Hart comes in with a chair and it’s a big schmozz as Bret hammers Goldberg.  I suppose someone jobbing would have been too much to ask.  The Steiners attack everyone for fun.  Very disappointing match.  3 hot pokers for the match, 1 bottle of Surge(tm) for Bret Hart making an appearance, even if it is a token one.  Why did they even bother doing the match?  (So they could advertise it for PPV buys and then not have to deliver, of course.)  – DDP-Nash video.  Why are they even fighting again? – WCW World title match:  DDP v. Kevin Nash.  (I had actually forgotten that DDP’s title run was actually only a month.   Seemed much longer in retrospect.)  Okay, let’s see if DDP can carry the Laziest Man in the History of our Sport.  Tenay reminds us that DDP and Nash started out as a midcard jobber team.  Okay, maybe not in those words.  Hey, this was also the very first Thunder main event. How come they don’t mention that?  Nash gains control and runs through his usual stuff.  DDP comes back with the equalizer of choice tonight — the groin shot — and chokes him down.  He cuts off a turnbuckle pad to distract the ref and hits Nash with a microphone.  I feel like I’m in Memphis here.  Nash comes back and we have a slugfest.  DDP knocks Nash out with a baseball slide, and brings him in, then gets a two count with his feet on the ropes.  Another lowblow.  Must have been training with Scott Steiner.  DDP decides to start working on the knee.  Nash blocks the ringpost figure-four.  Another slugfest, won by Nash.  Snake Eyes to the exposed turnbuckle, and Jackknife powerbomb draws Randy Savage into the ring for the ultra-cheap DQ ending.  No, wait, here’s Our Hero, Eric Bischoff again, to restart the match.  On whose authority?  (The anonymous Nitro GM?  Joe Laurinaitis?)  DDP gets controls and gets a two count on an ugly clothesline.  They my favorite of moves, the sleeper.  Gosh, nothing I love more than a good sleeper and reversal spot.  DDP gets a chair but it backfires and Nash gets a two-count.  A DDP lowblow gets two.  Nash hulks up, and powerdrops DDP to win the World title.  Oh, how inspirational.  Nice to see the booker being so selfless and allowing DDP to escape without a stretcher job. (Yes, Nash not only sunk the company, he also booked himself to win the World title…TWICE.)  Call it 4 hot pokers, with no real redeeming value. The Bottom Line:  Well, our final tally stands at 36 hot pokers, and 12 bottles of Surge(tm) to counteract the burning.  That’s a grand total of 24 hot pokers against, which puts Tony in serious pain. Everything pretty much went actually as everyone thought it would, except for the brain-dead Bischoff thing, which means my recommendation falls right where I thought it would before the show:  Thumbs down.  (99 under the Nash regime was horribly non-memorable and yet shitty at the same time.  But just wait until we get to NEXT year’s show…)

Assorted May-Per-View Countdown: WCW Slamboree 1998

The Netcop Rant for WCW/nWo Slamboree 98 Live from Worcester, Massachusetts (Oh man, just reading this one over makes me think it’s LONG overdue for a re-rant, given all the historic stuff and interesting tidbits that I wish I would have known about 14 years ago.)  Your hosts are Veni, Viti and Vici. Recap of Bischoff’s grandstand challenge from Thunder. This becomes a recurring theme all night. (So yeah, historic thing #1:  Eric Bischoff challenges Vince McMahon to a fight, putting up a sign on the fake dressing room door that says Vince “Reason For The Ratings” McMahon.  The implication here is that the WWF’s ratings victory over WCW, which was a new thing back in 98, was somehow an aberration caused by Vince being all over TV and not by their stars.  So anyway, Bischoff issues a challenge for a fight, but in the buildup to the show WCW’s legal team makes him note that Vince would not be there to cover their bases.  However, the WWF’s legal team sues for falsely advertising Vince McMahon as appearing, because in wrestling when you say someone is NOT going to be there, you are implying that they ARE going to be there.  Thankfully they settled that one out of court without the judge having to rule on the nature of reality itself within the WWE Universe, although I don’t believe the official terms were ever disclosed.  It involved a lot of money, though.)  Opening match, TV title: Fit Finlay v. Chris Benoit. Cool wrestling sequence to start, but it slows down a lot. Many chinlocks from Finlay bring it down. A beautiful spot near the end, as Benoit tries a tope suicida, but Finlay simply holds up a chair, which Benoit slams into in mid-air. Cool. (Bret Hart once talked about how wrestlers get hit with chairs without it hurting or doing damage.  Short answer:  They don’t.  To expand on this, I often wondered how Benoit could slam his head into chairs repeatedly in stupid spots like that one without suffering brain damage.  Short answer:  He didn’t.)  Back in the ring, Finlay goes shoulder-first into the turnbuckle and Benoit does the triple suplex, but Fit blocks. Then a Crippler Crossface, but Fit’s in the ropes. Oh, dear lord, I don’t like the looks of this. Cue Booker, in a suit and tie. Benoit stands and yells at him, and Finlay baseball slides into him, knocking him out. Tombstone, and Finlay retains. **1/2, and may I be the first to say GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING SHIT DO I HATE THE FUCKING WCW BOOKING COMMITTEE AND I HOPE KEVIN FUCKING SULLIVAN FALLS INTO THE TOILET AND DROWNS THE NEXT TIME HE’S FIGHTING SOMEONE IN THE BATHROOM!!!!  (Well that’s a bit extreme, 1998 Scott.  The finish was right out of the RAW lazy booking playbook, though.)  Okay, I’m better now. Bryan Adams v. Lex Luger. Wow, demoted to second from the bottom. That’s gotta be a slap in the face. A gigantic, heaping plate of suck steak with fried suck potatoes on the side and suck pudding for dessert. (Mmm, suck pudding…)  Adams swings at Lex and he ducks and catches him in the Rack out of nowhere for the submission. Whoa, that last one was almost a wrestling move! DUD (Two matches in, two dead wrestlers.)  Cruiserweight battle royale: Chris Jericho comes out to introduce all the participants, in a bit so funny at times (“Rock rock til he drops, rock rock never stop!”) that I nearly spit out my Coke. I can’t even do it justice. (Chris Jericho when he was young and hungry and trying to Zack Ryder himself up the card was a thing of AWESOMENESS.)  No Malenko, though, oddly enough. A nothing battle royale which comes down to Juvy and Ciclope (!). They have a staredown, and suddenly Juvy jumps over the top and eliminates himself. Que? Ah, Ciclope is unmasking to be…drum roll…DEAN MALENKO! (The crowd came UNGLUED for that one.  One of the great swerves in WCW’s history, actually.)  Cruiserweight title match: Chris Jericho v. Dean Malenko. Dean looks like a tool in the Ciclope suit. He absolutely goes medieval on Jericho’s ass, and the fans pop like nuts. You hear that sound, WCW, it’s HEAT for this feud. (Yeah, but then it kind of died off after this, because they didn’t know where to go with it.)  Juvy cheers Dean on at ringside for the added touch. Good but not great match with terrific crowd heat, including several “Jericho sucks!” chants. Jericho tries the Liontamer a couple of times but Malenko keeps reversing it. Jericho tries the SuperFrankensteiner, but Malenko turns it into a gut-buster from the top rope, seemingly buggering up his knee in the process. Texas Cloverleaf, and Jericho has nowhere to go but Tap-Out City. The arena just explodes! **** for the whole thing, including the battle royale. (Apparently an exception to my non-rating of battle royales, although I hadn’t really established that rule back then.)  Juvy taunts Jericho a bit more as Malenko celebrates the title victory. Unfortunately, the show pretty much descends into silliness from there. We cut to a “Vinnie Mac Cam” outside the arena as a white limo pulls up. Nothing comes of it. (Except a giant LAWSUIT!)  Bowery Death Match: Raven v. DDP. It’s an enclosed cage with two garbage cans full of weapons on either turnbuckle. 80 million sharp objects and DDP goes for the bullrope. He tries to hang Raven a couple of times. Absolutely zero wrestling here, just senseless foreign object shots out of the Gangsta playbook. Okay, pay attention because now the Hyper-Fighting Booking Style of WCW kicks in: Ref gets bumped and is out for like six minutes. The Flocks runs in past the riot squad and cuts open the cage to interfere. Van Hammer is under the ring, and he comes out and holds off Riggs and Sickboy and Reese. Then two of the riot squad come in themselves and reveal themselves to be Kidman and Boulder. DDP is up and takes *them* out with a pair of Diamond Cutters, but Raven DDT’s DDP and then after another sequence gives DDP a Diamond Cutter of his own. But Page is up at 8 or so, delivers his own Cutter to Raven, and beats the 10 count up for the win. Yay, this feud should be over now. –** (That sounds pretty harsh to me.)  Then *another* riot squad member comes in and handcuffs the remaining Flockers, then Raven, then unmasks to be Mortis, who then unmasks again to reveal what Mortis looks like without the mask. I hope this kills those dumb “Mortis is Chris Champion” rumors. (I’m assuming that rumor came from Chris Kanyon having a similar name and some doofus on RSPW confusing the two.  And add Kanyon to our dead wrestler count for this show.)  Mortis smokes Raven with a chair. This is what Steve Austin was referring to when he noted that ECW is a “bunch of violent crap.” They didn’t even bleed here, despite a VCR shot to Raven at one point. There was no flow or storyline to this mess, just a bunch of weapons and Diamond Cutters. And ECW logic kicks in again: Raven isn’t put out by a friggin’ VCR to the head, but a Diamond Cutter knocks him out cold? Puh-lease, I have to endure enough of this garbage when I watch ECW, I don’t need Scott Levy importing it to WCW in a watered down form. I hated almost everything about this and I hope I never, EVER, have to see Raven v. DDP again. And furthermore, what about all the Jake Roberts and “childhood friends” hints and shit they dropped? Were they just making it up as they went along? Next match, please. (Yeah, I dunno if that was Raven going into business for himself and trying to come up with a storyline or what, but that went nowhere, and later there was that stuff with Raven being a rich kid that got dropped and forgotten too.)  Ultimo Dragon v. EDDY~! Guerrero. Crowd just dies like THAT. (Speaking of dead…here’s another one to the tally for a total of four dead people thus far.)   Whoa, that’s not a good sign. The match is very lacklustre, mainly Sabu stuff (spot-rest-spot). Fast forward to the end: Eddy hits a tornado DDT (with the announcers correctly noting that Chavo uses it) but misses the Froggy Splash. Ultimo with the Dragon Sleeper, but Eddy flips out and puts Ultimo in his own. Nice. He puts both feet on the ropes, and Chavo jumps up and tries to break it up. While they argue, Dragon tries to kick Eddy but misses and nails Chavo. Eddy with the brainbuster and Froggy Splash #2 for the pin. A disappointing, Worldwide-worthy match. **1/2  (It’s gotta be better than that.  I need to watch this show again, I’m pretty sure.)  Chavo snaps and wipes the mat with Dragon for not freeing him from Uncle Eddy. Eddy looks very proud, but Chavo is about to hit him, too. Eddy begs him on, but Chavo can’t do it and gives him a kiss on the cheek instead. Is this feud EVER going to blow off? Do we get another two months of teases again?  (Nope they blew it off pretty quickly after this.)  US Title match: Goldberg v. Saturn. Apparently, the Gauntlet match that was announced on Thursday has already been scrapped and replaced with a Saturn-Goldberg match. That’s WCW for ya, here today, gone later today. (Just to clarify here, the bookers changing their mind on an advertised match after they were already announced…that’s something that WCW did.  So to do that would be a bad sign, right?)    I guess this is a face turn for Saturn, who told off the Flock in a previous interview, but putting him against Goldberg isn’t a great way to get him over a face, or a major factor in anything. Oh, well, there’s always Glacier. (The Raven v. Saturn feud ended up being pretty hot, although Saturn didn’t get any farther up the card than that position either in WCW or when he jumped with the Radicalz.)  Lots of standing around with the occasional good move tossed in. Goldberg comes so close to imitating Warrior’s mannerisms at times in this that it’s almost eerie. Be afraid. Not as good as Spring Stampede, and it’s the usual Goldberg ending. * In what I guess is the payoff for this whole stupid Vince McMahon angle, Eric Bischoff actually has Michael Buffer introduce a “match” between them, complete with referee. Vince, of course, doesn’t show up so it’s a win by forfeit for Eric. Words don’t do justice to how incredibly pointless this was. Why not challenge Steve Austin and then declare yourself the WWF champion when *he* doesn’t show? Same thing. (Vince would of course go on to make much crazier grandstand challenges to people who would never care a bit about answering him.  Oh, and when we finally did that payoff for the Eric v. Vince feud in 2002, it was…a hug.  ON THE FIRST SHOW.  And people were surprised when Brock lost…)  Bret Hart v. Randy Savage, Grudge Match From Hell. Hey, do you think I make up these match titles? (Well sometimes I do.  Mostly when midgets are involved.  Oh, and Randy Savage makes five dead wrestlers.)  Bret gets screwed out of the main event again. This is bad wrestling that segues into weak brawling outside the ring when they realize that the in-ring stuff isn’t working. So they go into the crowd, walk over to the hockey boards, do a shot there, and then walk back to the ring. Bret works on the knee. Move, taunt, move. In retrospect, I’m becoming more and more happy that Vince dumped Bret when he did. (In retrospect of that retrospect, I wish one of them would have swallowed their pride and made up so that Bret could go back to the WWF before Goldberg kicked a hole in Bret’s head to end his career.)  This is a 1995 Savage match, with Randy taking punishment then mounting a one-move comeback, that being the Big Elbow. Savage’s knee gives out, and he can’t make the pin. Sharpshooter, but Savage actually reverses it into his own. Elizabeth (what? She’s still here?) bounces out and gets into a shoving match with referee Roddy Piper, which allows Bret to deck him from behind with brass knucks. Ah, nice to know he’s become a total snivelling coward in the Hulk Hogan tradition. You know, this is exactly the sort of heel turn that Bret whined about Vince wanting him to do. (That’s because WWF Bret actually give a shit about his character and motivations, unlike WCW Bret.)  And speaking of Hogan, he runs in and wraps Savage’s knee around the ringpost, which allows another Sharpshooter and a submission win for Bret. *1/2 Overbooked as usual and non-sensical to boot. Let me get this straight: Bret hates Hogan so he’s teaming with him, Savage hates Bret for teaming with Hogan and hates Hogan because he lost the World title to him because of Bret, and Hogan hates Savage so much he’s willing to help Bret. The question I have is why didn’t Bret help Savage to win on Nitro so that this match would be a title match? Oh, yeah, because he wants to win the title from Hogan, who he hates so much that he’s willing to help. You know, maybe it’s me, but this seems like a lot of trouble on Bret’s part, and furthermore who’s gonna want to see two mega-heels go at it? Why would Hogan even agree to give Bret a title match? (Hmm, so WCW was also known for characters changing motivations without any internal logic at the drop of a hat?  Sometimes from show to show because the creative team couldn’t keep their own storylines straight?  Interesting…)  Anyway, next match… Main event, WCW tag team titles: The Outsiders v. Sting & Giant. Just Giant, he had to drop the “The” when he joined the nWo I guess. And Hall actually shows. Seems a little wobbly coming in. I called the ending to this before the show even started, it should be noted. Hall brings back the survey, even though he’s endorsing nWo Hollywood while doing it. The usual crap once the match starts. Sting has deteriorated so much I’m surprised he doesn’t fall to pieces once he gets in the ring. He plays Ricky Morton, and makes the hot tag to Giant. Giant tries a top-rope splash, but falls flat on his face. Nash goes for the powerbomb, but Hall comes in and turns on Nash, decking him with the belt. Giant pins Nash and we have new tag champs. Rhodes and Hall celebrate with Giant as Sting looks stunned, probably because he’s trying to understand the booking just like me. DUD. (Don’t worry, once the Wolfpac threatened Hogan’s spot too much they reversed everything and turned them all heel again anyway.)  The Bottom Line: Why in the HELL would Scott Hall turn on Kevin Nash? I knew it was coming because that’s exactly the sort of thing that WCW has resorted to lately, but there’s only so many shock heel turns that can be done. (Hmm, so swerves and heel turns just for the sake of being shocking are a bad sign?  I see.)  Kevin Nash, Sting and Randy Savage are pretty much the only faces left on the upper card, and of those Sting is only one that even resembles a traditional babyface. There’s just no one for the fans to cheer for anymore. And none of it interests me as a wrestling fan. nWo v. nWo? Great, let them kill each other, it’s about time we got rid of them. I’m sure there’s others who agree with me on that one. (They probably would have some good coin off that too, had Kevin Nash not gotten out-Nashed by Hogan.)  There’s no “big money match” on the horizon — Nash v. Hogan won’t happen because of egos (didn’t happen until 99, long past anyone caring), and Hart v. Hogan won’t draw because the fans hate both of them now. (Happened on Nitro, no one cared.  Probably should have headlined a Starrcade.)  I don’t even know if I liked this show or hated it. Hall’s heel turn wasn’t really a heel turn because he was already a heel. I guess maybe it’s a Nash face turn, but he’s still nWo so he’s a heel, right?   (Nope, this was Nash’s face turn as it turns out.)  There is such a thing as too much character development, never more evident than in this case.  (You could say that having too many writers overthinking the details instead of paying attention to basic storytelling ruined things for WCW.  I see.)  WCW seems so concerned with shock value that they probably don’t even realize what a great reaction the whole Jericho-Malenko bit got. You know why it got a great reaction: Because Jericho’s a great heel and the storyline is timeless. And the face went over. (After the heel initially won to make the fans think that the babyface couldn’t beat the heel.)  Where does the upper card go now? Hall v. Nash, I guess, but that’s a dead-end feud. Hart v. Piper? Who wants to watch that? (A sharply decreasing number of PPV buyers.)  Hogan v. Savage…again?  (AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN) I dunno. Thumbs in the middle for Slamboree, leaning towards up, but I don’t know what they’re going to do when they run out of heel turns and they have to depend on, you know, wrestling to carry them. (Oh wait, I’ve got it!  We’ll beat our biggest star on the biggest show of the year, then the guy who beat him will just lay down for a fingerpoke from Hulk Hogan and lose the title to him!  That’ll put butts in seats!) 

Slamboree 97–Another View

Hey Scott Noticed you re-posted Slam 97 recently. I actually did a review of this back in Feb 2007. If you want, you could post this on the blog. It goes into a bit more detail and has match ratings. All the best Mikey From the UK: WCW Slamborree 97 There’s actually a back story to this review. Basically, I’m waiting for some Wrestlemania videos to come through the post and was looking for something to review. I was shuffling through my DVD collection to find something and I saw this show. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been pestering Scott Keith to do this one for years, seeing as it’s the only old WCW rant he’s not redone since his format change, and I felt I might as well bite the bullet and do this one myself. Scott absolutely tore it apart back in 97 but let’s see if it’s aged well. Hosts are Tony, Dusty and Bobby with Mike Tenay popping in for the matches containing Cruiserweights. We’re in North Carolina WCW TV Title
(c) Ultimo Dragon w/ Sonny Onoo Vs Steve Regal
Yes Dragon had a major singles title here which is more than WWE ever did with him. Regal had been chasing the belt all through early even going as far to say that it meant more to him than any other belt in the company. Aim low and all that I guess. Lock up leads to a Regal wristlock but Dragon counters to his own. They fight over the arm with some solid chain wrestling. Regal gets a head scissors but Dragon flips out and we go to a test of strength. Regal goes to the straight jacket where you grab both guys arms and wrap them around his throat and then pulls back, adding a knee to the spine. Awesome! Dragon counters to one of his own, so Regal goes to the face with extra malice. Regal is so good at making everything look agonising, both with selling and inflicting. Dragon tramples over Regal and gets the headstand in the corner before unloading with some vicious kicks. Dragon goes to a chin lock but rakes Regal’s face while doing it and then goes to a half Boston Crab. Swinging neck breaker lays Regal out but he fights back and sends Dragon to the outside with some stomps. Both guys are sort of tweener here with no guy really behaving like a face but I guess Dragon is the default face in this situation. Regal goes for the stretch but Dragon makes the ropes and pounds away with non-Dragonlike right hands. Dragon gets the cross arm breaker but Regal rolls him over into a Bow and Arrow. Dragon bites Regal’s arm and then delivers some more really stiff kicks before locking in the Indian Deathlock. Fans start a big “Regal” chant which is certainly unexpected but can you really blame them? He IS a Lord after all! Dragon sends Regal outside where Onoo gets some cheap shots in behind the refs back. Dragon chastises Onoo and sends Regal back in where he gets the Dragonsteiner for a two count. Dragon goes up for a Moonsault but Regal moves and goes for the Stretch again but Dragon makes the ropes before it gets locked in. Dragon gets a sweet counter for a Butterfly Powerbomb by turning it into a rana for two. Regal gets two off a roll up but takes a spin kick to the face and a La Magistral for two. Standing Lionsault leads to Regal being sent outside but he develops a great counter for a diving body press, MOVE! Dragon, unperturbed, comes back with an Asai Moonsault and both guys are out. Dragon climbs back in and Onoo gets some more kicks. Dragon rolls out to put Regal back inside but Onoo turns on him allowing Regal to gain the advantage and The Regal Stretch for the win. God save the Queen!
WINNER – STEVE REGAL
Time of Match – 16:04
***1/4 – Solid technical wrestling match with oodles of cool counters and stiff shots. Luna Vachon Vs Madusa
Oh yeah this will be awful I’m sure. Lee “I sound like I’m always constipated” Marshall does “Expert” commentary during the match. Luna gets a hairmare to start and yells at the crowd. Madusa attempts to fight back but gets clubbed down and choked on the ropes. Madusa fights back and gets a spin kick to the face but Luna fights back with the dreaded choke of doom. Madusa gets a Stinger Splash and some chops in the corner. Madusa nearly kills Luna with a lariat for two, good bump there by Ms Vachon, but Luna fights back with her dazzling array of chokes. Luna gets the Extreme Makeover and a neck breaker but misses a top rope splash and gets German Suplexed for the win
WINNER – MADUSA
Time of Match – 5:09
* – For the lariat bump. Madusa takes her top off post match to show off her implants Mean Gene Okerlund is in the aisle hyping the WCW Hotline where he is joined by Randy Savage and Elizabeth. They kick him to the curb and come to the ring to address the crowd. He targets DDP saying he doesn’t want any of the Macho Man. DDP begs to differ by showing up with a crutch and Savage bails. DDP gets a choice burn on Savage by insinuating that he has a prior engagement to wash Hogan’s car. Ha Savage just got Pwned! Savage comes to get some of DDP but he gets worn out with the crutch. The nWo B Team and Eric Bischoff come down for a gang beat down so The Giant makes the save. Big pop for that, as you would imagine. Not a bad segment but you’d think on a Pay Per View that it would be better to actually have a match rather than a first hour Nitro angle. Still I guess I just can’t see the big picture. I’m sure that nWo stuff never got too tiresome did it? Yuji Yasuraoka Vs Rey Mysterio JR
I officially vote Yasuraoka as having one of the hardest names to type in wrestling history. This is only his second WCW appearance too. I don’t know much of him but he was in the 1998 Best of the Super Junior. Rey looks much more lithe here than he does today. Yuji starts things off with a chinlock, which is never a good way to start a match. Rey targets the leg and grapevines them before getting a headlock. Yasuraoka gets some stomps and goes to a wristlock but Rey counters to his own. Yasuraoka gets a big clothesline for two and a spinning wheel kick for another two. Not much body on the cover though. Rey gets a back body drop and rana’s Yasuraoka to the outside. Rey gets a big Somersault Plancha to wake up the crowd and goes to a camel clutch inside. Rey gets some chops but Yasuraoka kicks Rey on the way down for a two count. Yasuraoka gets some right hands in the corner and then goes to a Fujiwara Armbar. Yasuraoka stays on the arm goes to the Cross Arm Breaker. The match has had a much better flow since Yasuraoka went after the arm. They just seem more focused. Crowd is pretty quiet but Yasuraoka is doing some really good submission stuff and is generally taking Rey’s arm apart. Case in point he gets a run of speed and jumps outside sending Rey’s arm onto the top rope. Rey rolls outside and Yasuraoka follows him out with a plancha. Yasuraoka suplexes Rey back in for two but he runs into a raised boot and takes a Split Legged Moonsault. Couple of pin reversals leads to Rey getting a Power Bomb. Rey has toally forgotten the arm work here which automatically deducts the match * on principle. Rey misses a top rope splash and Yasuraoka gets a Double Arm DDT for two. Rey counters another one with a Northern Lights Suplex foe two. Yasuraoka gets another spin kick but misses a charge in the corner. Rey dropkicks Yasuraoka and gets the West Coast Hop for the win.
WINNER – REY MYSTERIO JR
Time of Match – 14:58
**1/2 – There was some good stuff but Rey’s refusal to sell the arm ruined it’s chances of being anything else but average. Yasuraoka did some good submission wrestling but he didn’t really show much else. Mortis w/ James Vandenberg Vs Glacier
Vandenberg is better known today as Jim “Sinister Minister” Mitchell. Mortis is Kanyon in a freaking green outfit. He looks sort of what Kane looked like in 2003 just before he lost his mask except with green replacing red. Glacier charges the ring but it costs him as Mortis lays into him with kicks and right hands. Mortis targets the knee and beckons Wrath down to the ring. Glacier amounts a comeback with a lariat and back body drop but Wrath comes in for the goofy DQ.
WINNER – GLACIER BY DQ
Time of Match – 1:51
Barely a match. Glacier gets the crap kicked out of him post match but Ernest Miller makes his WCW Pay Per View debut and saves Glacier from a further beating. This was really disappointing because the match they had at Uncensored 97 was much better. Mean Gene shills the Hotline again. What shameless self promotion! WCW United States Championship
(C) Dean Malenko Vs Jeff Jarrett w/ Debra McMichael
Yes Malenko was actually the champion at this point. Jarrett was also a Horsemen at this point as WCW were desperately trying to give him every rub possible. Lock up leads to a clean break in the corner. Just to show how unpopular Jeff is with the hardcore Horsemen fans the crowd breaks out into a big “Jarrett Sucks” chant. Jarrett gets an arm drag and does some strutting but Malenko, being the humourless grump that he is, will have none of that and takes him down to the mat with a chinlock. Jarrett breaks out but gets locked in a side headlock. they fight over the hold, with Malenko staying in control, and that swiftly moves to them fighting over the legs. Malenko pretty much schools Jarrett with some good wrestling and gets a leg lock to ground him and take away the Figure Four. Jarrett gets some stomps and a dropkick for two. Jarrett, deciding to give up and play heel, uses the manager assisted Abdominal Stretch. They botch an Abdominal Stretch reversal spot so Dean stomps Jarrett to pieces out of frustration. They didn’t repeat the spot, which at least will make Scott Keith happy. Jarrett gets Malenko in a cross arm lock bur Malenko sends him into the corner and gets a back suplex for two. Jarrett nails a Swinging Neck Breaker and goes for the Figure Four but Malenko kicks him away and goes for the Texas Cloverleaf, which is countered to a small package for two. Really good sequence there. Jarrett sends Malenko outside where he drops him throat first on the guardrail. Back inside, Jarrett gets a high cross body but Malenko rolls through for a two count. Jarrett gets one of his favourite moves, the sleeper, but Malenko bags him into a corner and gets one of his own. Jarrett counters with a shin crusher and gets the Figure Four but Malenko makes the ropes. Fans chant that Jarrett sucks again as both men collide heads. Debra tries to help Jarrett up but Steve McMichael, her husband at the time, comes out and drags her to the back, leaving Jarrett to the wolves. Malenko quickly gets the Cloverleaf and it’s all over
WINNER – DEAN MALENKO
Time of Match – 14:54
**1/4 – Not a bad match by any means but nothing ground breaking either. Death Match
Meng w/ Jimmy Hart Vs Chris Benoit w/ Woman
Meng sends Hart to the back before the match even starts. This match came about because Benoit was feuding with Kevin Sullivan at the time who was in the Dungeon of Doom with Meng. Benoit gets a big pop from the pro Horsemen crowd. Benoit sticks a moves for a while to start with but Meng catches him and gets an overhead suplex. The rules of this match are basically just Last Man Standing, you don’t need a pin to start the count. Benoit fires off a German Suplex and goes after Meng’s legs but he gets kicked outside. Benoit sends Meng face first into the ring steps but that barely fazes him. Test of strength goes Meng’s way and he chops Benoit in the corner but Benoit returns fire with some of his own. Meng no sells that as Jacqueline, Sullivan’s hoochie at the time, comes out to watch but Woman intimidates her to the back. Meng continues to destroy Benoit in the wing with a Half Boston Crab. The story they’re trying to tell here is that Meng doesn’t care about winning and simply wants to take Benoit out for Sullivan. Crowd gets behind Benoit as he makes the ropes, which for some reason breaks the hold. I never got that. Meng has the gall to no sell some chops and knocks Benoit down with a head butt. Meng just DROPS Benoit with a piledriver but he makes it up at 8. Benoit gets the crossface on Meng but he rolls outside to break. Benoit pounds away as Meng continues to no sell his offence and crush him with ease. Meng clubs Benoit down to the mat but he gets up at 5 and dares Meng to bring it on. That’s why Benoit rules. Benoit gets up at 6 and again asks for more. Benoit gets the Multiple Gemran’s but Meng blocks at just two and sends sweat FLYING off Benoit’s chest with some chops. Benoit goes to the crossface again, which in the context of the match is a very smart move. Meng rolls outside again to break it so Benoit gets a suicide dive. Back inside, Meng tries to press Benoit off the top to the floor but Benoit flips out and gets the German off the second rope. Benoit goes for the Swandive but Meng catches him on the way down with the Tongan Death Grip and the ref stops the match
WINNER – MENG
Time of Match – 14:54
*** – The match was all Benoit selling but he’s very good at that so the match was good by proxy. Meng was good in his role but his no selling got very annoying at points. Creative finish though. Hugh Morrus and Konnan w/ Jimmy Hart Vs The Steiner Brothers
I don’t know if there is a particular back story to this one. Scott and Morrus start out with Scott getting a top wristlock but Morrus pounds his way back in. Scott gets the Spinning Belly to Belly and tags in Rick who gets crushed in the corner. Rick fights back with an overhead suplex and a pair of Steinerlines. One from the top leads to Morrus bailing outside to regroup. Konnan comes in to have a go with Rick but he gets Steinerlined and suplexed in short order. Scott comes in with some shoulder barges in the corner but runs into some raised boots. Scott shakes it off and suplexes Konnan again but gets tripped up by Hart to become your Roid Head in Peril. Plagiarism is only a crime if you get caught. Morrus and Konnan go after the arm of Scott with mostly rest holds and punching. Scott ducks a Morrus clothesline and nails Konnan with a suplex allowing the hot tag to Rick! Steinerlines are distributed in abundance and Morrus gets flattened with the top rope bulldog but Konnan saves at two. Morrus goes up for the Moonsault but he misses and Scott sneaks in with a Frankensteiner to give the Steiner’s the win.
WINNERS – THE STEINER BROTHERS
Time of Match – 9:35
*3/4 – Mostly a squash by The Steiner’s to build them up for a title win that didn’t come until months after it was too late. Konnan turns on Morrus post match which I think was the starting point of his nWo turn that finally led to him really getting over in the company. “Battle of Super Bowl Champions” Steve “Mongo” McMichael w/ Debra McMichael Vs Reggie White
I’ve heard so much bad stuff about this match. Mongo has to be one of the worst wrestlers in history. White shoves McMichael into the corner to start but Mongo goes to a side headlock and they do the “No one falls down on a double shoulder block” (Despite wrestling for over 4 years now I still don’t know if that has a special wrestling name) spot. White finally knocks Mongo down so Mongo challenges him to do the three point stance. Mongo gets a chop block from that and does some showboating. White calls for another and this time leapfrogs to avoid it. Mongo gets sent to the outside and tries to walk out but some fat footballer drags him back in where White actually gets a dropkick. I guess that puts him one step higher than Erik Watts then. Mongo goes to the arm with a wristlock and talks some smack, which serves to only piss White off and he sends him outside again. White gets a side headlock and cranks it on, showing more wrestling acumen than Mongo at this point but then so do I and I’m a worse wrestler than Snitsky. Mongo clips the knee from behind and then gets a side slam but he misses a leg drop. White goes back to the hold and gets a cross body for two. White goes to the nerve pinch which is a sure fire sign that this match is going nowhere fast. Mongo gets a low blow and then hotdogs for the camera before getting a head butt to the gut. Mongo gets a Half Boston Crab, which would appear to be our transition move of the night. This match isn’t very awful at this point it’s just really basic and dull, which is the best these two can do I guess. Mongo heads up but gets thrown off by White as this match descends further more into farce. Finally, the two can’t resist the urge to punch and they both throw big fake looking rights and lefts at each other. I’m personally surprised it took them so long. White gets an Inverted Atomic Drop and sends Mongo outside. White manages a vertical suplex and a splash inside but Debra is disracting the ref allowing Mongo to grab the briefcase but White’s football buddy stops that. Jarrett runs down with another briefcase and Mongo nails White with it for the win.
WINNER – STEVE MCMICHAEL
Time of Match – 15:17
¼* – White wasn’t awful but everything he did looked awkward and laboured. Plus, Mongo is certainly NOT the guy you put in there with a rookie and expect to carry the match. The whole thing was one big disaster. And why would Jarrett help Mongo win when he cost him the US Title earlier? Just stupid Main Event
No Disqualification
Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Syxx Vs Ric Flair, Roddy Piper and Kevin Greene
Syxx is better known as Sean “X-Pac” Waltman these days. Kevin Greene was a football player who had a shocking aptitude for pro wrestling. Flair gets the absolute monster pop, as you would imagine. Flair and Syxx start out with Syxx getting the advantage but he stops to taunt and Flair just PLASTERS him with a big chop. Syxx floors Flair with a spinning wheel kick and gets some chops in the corner but normal service soon returns with Flair taking over with chops of his own. Hall comes in and gets nailed and Flair even taunts Nash on the apron. Hall comes in but tags in Greene who is pumped. Pumped I say! Hall quickly tags out to Nash but Greene doesn’t back down. Nash gets some knees to the gut in the corner and then talks some smack but Greene comes off the ropes with a big shoulder charge and a clothesline. Greene’s stuff is a million times crisper and well executed than White’s or Mongo’s was. Greene actually clears the ring forcing the nWo to regroup. Piper makes his first appearance in the match to go at it with Hall. Hall acts like a jerk and slaps Pipers braced hip so Piper slaps him in the face and unloads with some right hands in the corner. Piper gets muscled into the nWo corner but fights them all off but Nash distracts the ref allowing Syxx to sneak in and nail Piper in the leg setting up what looks to be the heat segment. Hall goes for a Figure Four but gets kicked into the corner and Flair gets the tag. Flair beats the stuffing out of everyone but takes a thumb to the eye. Flair Flip in the corner leads to Flair attempting a cross body from the top but Hall catches him and gets the Fallaway Slam. Flair gets dumped outside where Nash gets a cheapshot giving Hall a two count inside. No one plays a better piece of shit than Scott Hall, except maybe Minoru Suzuki, you just want to slap that cocky grin off his face. Flair now seems to be the real face in peril and he takes a big side slam from Nash. Hall comes back in and slaps Flair around setting him up for a Bronco Buster. Fans chant “Faggot”at Syxx. Well, he did ask for it really for having such a gay signature move and he does hang around a lot with Hall. They could be more than friends if you know what I mean? Still, making gay jokes about Syxx is hardly original so let’s move on. Flair and Syxx hit heads and Piper makes a blind tag. However, rather than get out of the ring he nails the ref, hey it’s no DQ, and a big brawl takes place with all 6 guys. Greene nearly takes Syxx’s head off with a clothesline. Flair nails Hall right in the Razor Ramon’s and locks in the Figure Four. Piper slaps the sleeper on Nash and Greene pins Syxx with the Power Slam to give the faces the win.
WINNERS – FLAIR, PIPER AND GREENE
Time of Match – 17:20
**** – This was a tremendously fun match and it was great to see Flair actually win in North Carolina for a change. Shame it all led nowhere but it was a great moment while it lasted. The Inside Pulse
So this show certainly has some crap on it, make no mistake about that, but I’ve certainly seen worse and there’s still some good stuff to take out of it. The main event was a blast and Regal/Dragon was a solid technical wrestling match, plus most of the card was solid for what it was. Any show that contains Ric Flair mauling the genitals of Scott Hall is certainly worth a look for comedy purposes alone.

Assorted May-Per-View Countdown: WCW Slamboree 1997

(I could have sworn I did a redo of this show that wasn’t terrible, but I can’t find anything, so we’re stuck with the 1997 original rant.  Prepare yourself.)  William Shakespeare once wrote of sound and fury signifying nothing. Those were eloquent words. Slamboree was a three hour waste of time that didn’t even have sound and fury to keep the viewer’s interest. I’m not one to toss around phrases like “boring pile of shit” and “total waste of airtime” and “worst PPV of the year” but I think, realistically speaking, that all three apply quite nicely to this insult to the intelligence that was masquerading as a PPV. (Yeah, but Starrcade 97 was still to come.)  Even discounting for the moment the fact that I’m a WWF fan more than anything, I can still watch a show objectively, and this was a really, really, bad show. (My vitriol has died off a lot in the years since, given that I don’t remember a single thing about this show.)  How bad? Well… Opening match: Steven Regal v. Ultimo Dragon (TV title) This was the best match of the card, and that’s not saying much. And it was the start of a pattern tonight, because this was a looooooooong match. Around 20 minutes, I think. Steven Regal is not made for long matches. To be honest, the Militant Canucklehead contingent lost interest pretty quick and turned to discussing the Simpsons while this was going on, so I’m not even going to give it a star rating. (That’ll show them!)  At any rate, Steve Regal eventually hits the Regal Stretch for the submission and his fourth TV title, although at this point you’d be hard pressed to find someone who cares about that title anymore. (Oh, just wait.)  This was a SHITTY choice for an opening match, that much I’m sure of. Madusa v. Luna Vachon (Women’s title) We spent more time making jokes about the implants than watching the match here. Luna has, uh, developed rather dramatically since her appearance in ECW. Both women phone this one in, and that’s saying something considering that neither is particularly good to begin with. Madusa wins with the German suplex, I think there’s some kind of angle involving the championship belt, but who really cares?  (Yeah, that title disappeared right after this.)  Randy Savage comes out for an interview, DDP comes out to accept the challenge, Savage runs away, nWo runs in, DDP takes them out with a crutch, nWo gets the advantage, Giant cleans house. Whatever. This advanced nothing. Savage and DDP don’t like each other. Well, duh. Waste of five minutes.  Rey Mysterio v. some Japanese guy whose name I don’t remember. (That would be someone from WAR named Yuji Yasuraoka, who doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry and apparently was out of the business soon after this.  Usually when I’m bitchy about Japanese guys I don’t recognize, it turns out to be someone famous years later, but in this case it was just a guy.)  Why the fuck was this on a PPV? For $27.95, you’d think WCW would deign to at least allow the fans to watch Rey beat someone who they know. Stick this crap on Nitro, but not in the middle of a major show. Rey wins, big fucking deal. I mean, I’m as much a fan of workrate as anyone, but I’d least like to see some name guys on a big show like this. Instead I get Rey Jr. against some kid who just had his debut match in WCW last night.  (It was probably a damn good match, but I can’t really be bothered to check YouTube and find out.)  But it gets worse! Yes, it is possible! I may have the order wrong here, btw. Jeff Jarrett v. Dean Malenko (US title) Sorry, folks, but Jeff Jarrett is just not on the same level as Dean Malenko. And this was one incredibly dull match. Jarrett tried the figure four like, 14 times in this match, finally hitting it near the end. The match ends when Jarrett gets tossed from the ring somehow, Steve MacMichael tosses him back in, and Malenko puts him out of his misery. Again, I ask, so what? This advanced nothing. We’re an hour and a half into this drek and nothing of note has happened yet. (Also no star ratings or significant match recaps even.)  This stupid Horsemen angle has been going on forever. Either split up and get back together or something. (They went with “split up” after September.)  And what happened to the big Benoit-Guerrero-Malenko hate triangle that was forming last month? (It disappeared into the vortex of suck that was WCW.)  Where did that disappear to? Mortis v. Glacier At least it was short. They do some stuff, Adam Bomb (or Wrath or whatever) runs in for the DQ about two minutes in. Then some kickboxing guy whose name I didn’t catch because picking my nose was infinitely more interesting than this match saves Glacier. (That would be Ernest Miller.)  Canadian Sensation immediately dubbed him “Chocolate Mousse” and I just call him “Mousse” for short. Next match, please. Meng v. Chris Benoit (death match) At this point, it’s a battle to stay awake. This does nothing to help it. Here’s the synopsis: Benoit carries Meng’s fat ass for what seems like half an hour, selling moves that he shrugs off when anyone else does them, until Meng hits the dreaded Tongan Death Grip for the submission! (Well, you know, you have to put Meng over here because, um, well…)  Chris, this is a heartfelt plea: Go to the WWF now. Call Vince McMahon. Call Bret Hart. Get out before it’s too late. The Hart Foundation needs you. Brian Pillman needs a partner. You can escape the madness.  (Well, Pillman and Benoit can certainly form a team now.)  Steiners v. Konan and Hugh Morris. Glorified squash for the Steiners. I think some kind of face turn by one of the Dungeon members was teased, but I’m nearly catatonic due to boredom so I’m not sure. I’m begging to be put out of my misery by now, but the worst was yet to come… Reggie White v. Steve MacMichael. I take every bad thing I said about Scott Putski back. I would gladly, with a smile on my face, watch Scott Putski from now until the end of the decade as long as Reggie White never, ever, ever steps in the ring again. Ever. He fucked up a clothesline. Twice. He was that bad. It took Mongo 20 minutes, and *two* suitcases, to finally put this idiot down for the count. *I* could have taken Reggie White in two minutes, and it takes Mongo *20*????? This was easily the worst PPV match of the year. (I wouldn’t say “easily”, but this was given WAY too much time.)  The “main” event: Roddy Piper, Ric Flair, Kevin Greene v. the Outsiders Oh, god, please let it end. I don’t care if Sting doesn’t come down from the rafters, or if Mr. Perfect doesn’t debut, just LET IT END. (I feel the same way about this rant.)  Here’s the rundown: nWo member comes in, poses, points to a face. Face comes in, poses, points to an nWo member. Repeat for 10 minutes. Insert Syxx’s very gay-looking move (you know the one) which draws a “Faggot” chant from the crowd. (And to think that WWE would make the broncobuster into a major spot for him and GOT IT OVER.)  Ref bump, pier-six brawl, nWo goes down, Nick Patrick comes in, counts the pin on all three nWo members at the same time. Match over. Thank god. Tony and Dusty are gushing about how it’s a major win for WCW, as though this show actually meant something. And that’s it. Roll credits. No Sting, no Hennig, no Raven, no Luger, no Hogan, no point. Thumbs down doesn’t even do this justice. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, memorable about this tripe. I could hardly even remember what matches took place ten minutes after watching it.  (Let alone 15 years later.)  And the scary thing is, I’m sure this won’t even be the harshest review of the show on the ‘net tonight. I’m going to go watch some ECW now to wake myself up… (I’m pretty sure that given a proper review today, this show would come off more as a “thumbs in the middle” deal, but the lack of star power here was really glaring and absolutely nothing memorable occurred, so 1997 Scott has a point.) 

Assorted May-Per-View Countdown: WCW Slamboree 1996

The SmarK Retro Rant for WCW Slamboree 96 – Into the home stretch of WCW PPVs now, as we wrap things up with Slamboree ’96 (which I didn’t order back in the day and have only watched once since then) and then finish off with Road Wild ’99 (which I watched live, but was very drunk while doing so). And then that’ll be every WCW PPV ever, in the bag.  (I used to have a LOT of time on my hands.)  – Live from Baton Rouge, LA – Your hosts are Tony, Bobby & Dusty. – This of course is the last, and worst, iteration of Dusty Rhodes’ original “Battlebowl” idea, with “random” drawings forcing people to team up, with winners advancing until there’s 8 people left for a battle royale to crown the “Lord of the Ring”. – Opening match: Road Warrior Animal & Booker T v. Road Warrior Hawk & Lex Luger. Let’s see if Booker can carry three guys at once. Oddly enough, Hawk & Animal have different variants on the same “Iron Man” ripoff. Luger was in full babyface mode at this point, in preparation for the impending nWo invasion. Animal starts with Luger and they do the dramatic lockup in the corner, before Luger stomps away. Powerslam, but he doesn’t cover. Animal works him over in the other corner, and gets his own powerslam. Luger gets a suplex, which is no-sold, and Booker comes in to work on Luger’s arm. Charge hits boot, and Luger gets a clothesline out of the corner to take over again. Okay, we’ve obviously mastered the punching and kicking, let’s move into the 20th century now. Booker misses an elbow but recovers with a Spinarooni and sidekicks Luger. That gets two. It’s funny – WCW marketed Booker as a viable contender while ignoring the marketing possibilities of the Spinarooni, while the WWE markets his catchphrases while ignoring the viability of him as a contender. That pretty much sums up their differences in a nutshell. (And that’s why one is still here and one is gone.)  Axe kick gets two. Partners Hawk & Luger get into a fight, which leads to a pier-six brawl, and Luger runs away from the fight. It’s a double-countout at 6:55, which eliminates both teams from the tournament. That is so incredibly stupid that it can only have come from WCW. Horrible match, filled with bad wrestling. DUD – The Public Enemy v. Kevin Sullivan & Chris Benoit. This match really stretches the bounds of credibility as far as random drawings go. (It’s also pretty fucking depressing that 3 out of the 4 are dead.)  I mean, at least back in the early 90s (which I recently learned from the source that it WAS booked in advance, not truly random) (Wait, a wrestling event is predetermined?  HUBBA-WHAAAA?!)  the teams were suitably bizarre and thus seemed random. Benoit starts with Rocco Rock and gets pounded, and Rock hits him with a headscissors. That turns into a shoving match and stalling follows. Rocco gets a rana as Dusty and Bobby have a funny discussion about what would happen if they were partners. A second rana is reversed into a powerbomb by Benoit. He pounds away and brings Sullivan in, which turns the match into a brawl. That’s smart, because 3 out of the 4 guys aren’t good for much else. Sullivan pounds on Rocco with a chair, but gets put on a table. Benoit cuts off a dive by Rocco with a clothesline, but gets suplexed out of the ring. Sullivan and Johnny Grunge keep fighting on the floor, but Sullivan and Benoit both end up on the table, and the Public Enemy dive onto it, putting Benoit through when Kevin moves. Back in, Rocco gets the pin on Benoit at 4:44. This could have been SO much more if they had booked it like one of the crazy brawls both teams were known for. 1/2*  (Why the fuck would they put Public Enemy through to the next round anyway?  Who booked this crap?)  – Sgt. Craig Pittman & Scott Steiner v. Rick Steiner & The Booty Man. I’ve had nightmares involving these four guys wrestling each other. I mean, seriously, Rick Steiner and BRUTUS BEEFCAKE? Is that someone’s idea of a sick joke? Kimberly is playing Brutus’ “booty babe” as a result of DDP jobbing to him at Uncensored. So there’s at least one (or two) things to watch here. Pittman and Booty start, and do a ridiculously bad mat- wrestling sequence. Pittman headbutts him low to end that charade, and Scott Steiner, who was not yet the Big Bad Booty Daddy and thus couldn’t really be confused with The Booty Man at that point, comes in with a butterfly powerbomb for two. For some reason he tags Pittman back in, as Booty tags out to Rick. Pittman pounds on Rick, who cheerfully no-sells everything and powerslams him. Pittman gets a german suplex, but Rick comes back with a Steinerline and Pittman decides that cowardice is the better part of valor and tags out to Scott. This actually gets the crowd going, and Scott takes Rick down with a fireman’s carry. Rick responds with a side headlock, but Scott goes behind to control on the mat. They do some mat-wrestling, and Scott gets a side suplex, but Rick gets a Steinerline. Scott suckers Rick into checking on him, and cradles for two. Scott gets a full-nelson, but Rick reverses to a german suplex and goes up. Scott follows and superplexes him, but Rick tags out to Booty to end the awesome. So we get Booty v. Pittman again and Pittman works on the arm, into the cross- armlock. Booty tags Steiner to escape the hold (which isn’t actually legal), and Rick suplexes Pittman for the pin at 8:21. Oh man, that stuff with the Steiners fighting in the middle was shaping up to be one of the best matches of the year given some time and a proper match. (Sadly the eventual Steiners clash was junk, as Scott was too far gone to have a great match and Rick didn’t give a shit anyway.)  The rest was junk, so it evened out. **3/4 I briefly considered giving it another 1/4* in celebration of Kimberly leaving her bra in the dressing room, but then we’ve already seen her naked anyway. – Lord Steven Regal & Squire Dave Taylor v. Hacksaw Duggan & VK Wallstreet. Amazingly, it’s another combination of archenemies facing regular tag team partners. Oddly enough, Mike Rotundo was playing a Wallstreet spoof of Vince McMahon 4 years before the WWF went public. Duggan and Regal start and we get a posedown-slash-stallfest. I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to guess who does what. Regal gets a cheapshot, but Duggan hiptosses him. Clotheslines send Regal running to the corner, and tags abound. Taylor and Regal work over Wallstreet’s arm, but he fights back with forearms. Duggan and Wallstreet can’t get the teamwork going, however, and Regal takes advantage with a beatdown on Duggan in the corner. Duggan & Regal collide, but Wallstreet won’t take the tag. Duggan makes his own comeback, including nailing his own partner, and uses the ATHLETIC TAPE OF DOOM on Taylor for the pin at 3:49. Short and bad. 1/4* – Dirty Dick Slater & Earl Robert Eaton v. Alex Wright & Disco Inferno. Disco ducks away from Slater to start, in order to save the hair. Dancing follows. Slater chops away, prompting Disco to tag out. Eaton slugs away on Wright, but he fires back and gets a hiptoss and bad headscissors. Leg lariat gets two. Slater comes in with a neckbreaker, but Wright escapes a piledriver and Disco cleans house. Was that supposed to be the hot tag? It’s breaking loose in Tulsa and Wright dumps Eaton, but Slater nails Disco with his boot and gets the pin at 2:56. Yeah, okay. DUD – DDP & Barbarian v. Meng & Hugh Morrus. This show gets better and better. Speaking of Hugh, I was watching bits and pieces of Confidential, and listening to him yelling at kids about how they’ll never make it in the WWE was kinda surreal. I mean, this is HUGH FREAKIN MORRUS telling someone that THEY don’t have what it takes to make it. All they need now is HHH to come out and tell the kids that they don’t know how to work. (Well, he is running developmental now, so that’s probably closer to reality than we’d like.)  DDP grabs a headlock on Morrus to start, but gets dumped. Hugh follows with a pescado and misses by a mile. Back in, Page gets a lariat for two and brings the Barbarian in. This leads to the showdown of the Faces of Fear, as Meng starts pounding with chops. Barbarian overpowers him in turn and elbows away, but neither guy sells anything. Barbarian finally gets a back kick to drop Meng, and he presses Page onto him. Meng comes back with a headbutt and Morrus comes in and goes up right away. Flying elbow gets one. He changes his mind and goes up again, but DDP crotches him and Barbarian gets a belly-to-belly superplex for two. That looked pretty bad. Meng comes back in for some double-teaming and Morrus heads up for the moonsault, which gets two. It’s BONZO GONZO and DDP eats a superkick from Meng while Barbarian hits Morrus with the KICK OF FEAR, and since DDP is in the ropes, Barbarian’s pin counts and they win at 5:16. Who booked this shit? They tried, but the universal suck force bound them together too tightly. 1/2* – Big Bubba & Stevie Ray v. Scott Norton & Ice Train. Kill me now. It’s like someone wanted to book Fire & Ice v. Harlem Heat, but decided to replace Booker T to ensure the worst match humanly possible. Why? Who would be cruel and inhuman enough to book such a match? Norton pounds on Stevie, but charges and hits boot. Stevie clotheslines him and brings Bubba in, as Norton does an astounding amount of selling for an astoundingly bad run of offense. Spinebuster gets two. Norton gives Bubba the worst faceplant ever seen on TV, and Juice Train gets a buttsplash for two. Clothesline and both guys are out, as even Tony is riffing on the excessive number of clotheslines in the match. When TONY SCHIAVONE thinks you’re lame, you’ve got trouble. Norton comes back in and hammers on Stevie, but Bubba collides with his own partner and Norton pins him at 3:28. And thank god it’s over. DUD – Eddy Guerrero & Arn Anderson v. Ric Flair & Randy Savage. If there’s any justice they’ll give this a decent amount of time. Arn attacks Savage while waiting for Flair to make his entrance, and Flair adds some punishment on his own partner until Eddy (still a babyface) makes the save. Flair chops away, but Eddy wants to bring it! Liz & Nancy quietly make their way to ringside. Eddy backdrops Flair and dropkicks him a couple of times, but Flair goes to the eye, and then nails Savage for fun. I guess that was a tag. Arn comes in and beats on Savage, with Flair’s blessing, but Macho fights back. Arn keeps pounding in the corner, but eats boot. He gets the spinebuster for two, however. Flair tags back in, beats on his own partner some more, but Eddy pokes him in the eye and chops away. This is wild. Another dropkick sets up a tornado DDT, and Savage comes in and goes after Flair again, while Arn turns on his own partner and DDTs him. Flair gets the pin on Eddy at 4:05. Oh man, that match was amazingly fun stuff and it’s tragic that they cut it off at 4 minutes. ** Liz and the Horsemen give Savage some more abuse on the floor afterwards. – We review the winners and set up the next round of matches (determined by another “random” drawing, with one team getting a bye due to the double countout. Mean Gene and some Hooters girl select a team at random for the bye – Fire & Ice. The rest of the matches are drawn from there. – WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko v. Brad Armstrong. Tony talking about the “lengthy double-elimination tournament” for the belt (in reality: One match between Shinjiro Ohtani and Chris Benoit) is slightly bizarre given that even in 1996 it was easy to look this stuff up on the ‘net. Also Dean is apparently a youngster. They do some mat-wrestling to start and Brad gets an enzuigiri. They fight over a hiptoss and neither gets it, but Brad armdrags him and Dean bails. Back in, Dean dropkicks the knee and wraps it around the post, going to work on it. He uses an Indian deathlock and gets a backdrop suplex. Brad reverses a fireman’s carry into a sunset flip for two, but Dean goes back to the knee and keeps him down. Stump- puller (now there’s a move you don’t see everyday) and Dean goes back to the knee. He grabs a kneebar, but Brad makes the ropes. Pump splash hits foot, and Brad makes the comeback. Charge hits boot, but he gets a powerslam and goes up for a missile dropkick. He puts Malenko into a Texas Cloverleaf, but Dean makes the ropes. Brad gets dumped, but goes up again until he gets caught by Dean and hit with an Atomic Gutbuster for the pin at 8:25. Crowd didn’t care about any of this, and you can thank Rey Mysterio Jr. for completely salvaging this division from the scrap heap. (Yeah, for all the talk about Eric believed in the lucha style and wanted to revolutionize the business with it and stuff, they were ready to jettison the whole thing before Rey Rey set the division on fire.)  Match didn’t really work, either. ** – Dick Slater & Robert Eaton v. Hacksaw Duggan & VK Wallstreet. Slater hammers on Wallstreet to start while Duggan takes Eaton. Duggan and Wallstreet want to go, but Duggan calls for peace…and Wallstreet turns on him and dumps him. Slater gets a legsweep on VK for two. Elbow and the Slater-Eaton team work him over in the corner, but he comes back on Eaton. Eaton bails and Duggan beats on him outside, and back in Wallstreet gets the abdominal stretch, but Duggan refuses to help out by grabbing his hand. What a wuss. Duggan tags himself back in and pounds everything that moves, and gets two on Slater. We hit the chinlock. Slater & Duggan collide and tags abound. Duggan & Wallstreet disagree and Eaton rolls up Wallstreet for the pin at 4:04. Well, at least it was short. 1/2* – The Public Enemy v. Ric Flair & Randy Savage. Liz throws out Savage’s alimony money into the crowd, so Randy charges out and attacks Flair during his entrance. Security pulls them apart to prevent anything interesting from happening, and TPE wins by forfeit. GIMME A BREAK.  (Seriously, can you imagine how awesome Benoit & Sullivan v. Savage & Flair would have been?)  – DDP & Barbarian v. Rick Steiner & The Booty Man. I can’t imagine this show getting much worse, so there’s always that on the bright side. Just call me Positively Netcop. We’re really rushing through now, so this should be short and painless. DDP pounds on Booty to start, but gets dumped. Tony actually stops to give a logical explanation for DDP’s reinstatement following his retirement match: Since Johnny B Badd left the promotion and thus the match with Booty Man wasn’t for the TV title, DDP was under no obligation to put anything up, either. Okay then. Steiner comes in and pounds Page, but gets dropped on the top rope. Barbarian uses the power of the foot on Rick, but gets caught with a backdrop suplex. Sloppy belly-to- belly gets two, but Barbarian no-sells and powerbombs Rick, for two. Booty accidentally ties up the referee’s attention, allowing the heels to work Steiner over in the corner. Barbarian gets a clothesline, but Rick hotshots him and makes the “hot” tag to Booty Man. High Knee of Death gets two. Rollup is broken up by Page, and Barbarian GETS THE PIN at 5:05?!? From an ELBOW? Geez, is Brutus suffering from that brittle bone disease like Mr. Glass or something? DUD  (Well he did have that facial problem…wait, is this where he becomes the Man With No Face?  No, it can’t be, because he’s Booty Man when Hogan turns on him at Hog Wild.  It’s hard to keep up with Leslie’s gimmick changes.)  – US title match: Konnan v. Jushin Liger. Liger is sporting the EVIL BLACK TIGHTS tonight, but the pink boots sort of ruin the effect. Konnan only has one “N” in his name at this point. Konnan takes him down with a reverse bow-and-arrow to start, but Liger escapes. They do the wristlock reversal spot and lots of RVD-ish flipping results. Liger gets a senton and Konnan bails, which allows Liger to follow with a pescado. Back in, brainbuster gets two. Liger goes into a cross-armlock, but Konnan reverses to a Regal Stretch. Liger goes to a half-crab while the crowd snoozes. They exchange palm strikes and Liger gets the Koppo kick, and they head up. Liger gets a superplex and goes back up with a flying splash that gets two. Dropkick puts Konnan out, and Liger follows with a plancha, but Konnan catches him with a kick on the way down. Back in, Liger gets a fisherman’s buster for two. Konnan gets a whiplash slam for two. Liger reverses a powerbomb into a sunset flip for two. Cradle gets two. Ligerbomb gets two. Liger goes up and lands on Konnan’s foot, which sets up Splash Mountain for the pin at 9:30. Crowd was getting into it by the end. *** – Flair and Arn Anderson are doing an interview, but Steve MacMichael interrupts and challenges them to a match for the next PPV. Kevin Greene comes out as Mongo’s partner. – Battlebowl finals: Scott Norton, Ice Train, Dick Slater, Robert Eaton, DDP, Barbarian, Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge. This is just a plain old battle royale, with the winner getting a title shot at the Giant. Let me repeat that: The winner of THIS match, with THESE guys, was supposed to get a shot at the champion on PPV. This is why WCW was in so much trouble before the nWo. Usual kick and punch stuff with absolutely no storyline to the match. Page gets booted out by Barbarian, clearly eliminated, but the ref misses it (even though the camera shows it all). Gotta love WCW. More kicking and punching as guys randomly switch dance partners with no rhyme or reason. They should have done a Survivor Series elimination match or something to settle this. Rocco charges Barbarian and gets backdropped out. Slater hits Eaton with his boot and eliminates him. Slater follows him out via unseen elimination, and brawls with Eaton back to the dressing room. DDP dumps Norton, leaving four men. Ice Train powerslams everyone and forms an alliance with Barbarian, then turns on him. DDP Diamond Cuts everyone, and pins Grunge, and Train. Um, WHAT? Barbarian kicks out, however. This is retarded. What is this, the AWA World title battle royale? Where’s Tom Zenk? (Still don’t know the answer to that question.)  Barbarian clotheslines Page for two. He charges and Page gets two in the corner. Page charges and Barbarian gets two. Tombstone piledriver (which looked like it nearly killed DDP) gets two. That was almost an OwenDriver. Sleeper is stopped by DDP going low, but Barbarian gets a powerbomb for two. Barbarian goes up, but misses the flying headbutt, and the Diamond Cutter ends it at 9:36. And the crowd goes apathetic. ** DDP didn’t get his promised title match until more than two years following, at Halloween Havoc ’98, and even then he had to win WarGames to earn that. – WCW World title: The Giant v. Sting. We’ve got like 10 minutes of airtime left here, so this should be quick. Those who give me that garbage about Big Show not being able to move faster and be thinner than he is now should watch his stuff from 1996, when he still sucked, but sucked in such a way that you could at least watch his matches without being embarrassed by it. This would be the point when Sting started growing his hair out, for whoever asked me a couple of weeks ago. Sting tries a bodyblock to start, but bounces off harmlessly. He keeps hammering on Giant and tries a sleeper, but gets shoved down. Seriously, Giant is MAYBE 400 pounds here. Maybe. If he got down to that size again and stayed there, I’d have no problem with him in the main events. Sting keeps bouncing off Giant, and bails. Back in, Sting tries an enzuigiri, but that gets no-sold. Giant charges and Sting tries a slam, but Giant falls on him for two. Giant elbow and he simply walks on him to set up another elbow. Back elbow puts Sting down again and Giant works him over in the corner. Headbutt low and Giant chokes away. Another elbow and we head to a bodyscissors. That’s a pretty smart move, actually. Giant uses the ropes for good measure. That goes on for a while. Giant tosses him and sends him hurling down the aisle, but Luger prevents a chokeslam through the table by holding Jimmy Hart on the table. A REAL man would sacrifice his manager for the greater good. You think Ric Flair would have blinked twice before throwing JJ Dillon out there as a diversion? (JJ knew the deal.  Take the occasional Stinger splash in exchange for 10% of the Flair gravy train.  We’d all take that deal every day of the week and twice on Sunday.)  Giant misses a dropkick and the ref is bumped by mistake, as Sting makes the comeback and gets the Stinger Splash. He keeps hitting them, and Giant keeps not selling them. Giant finally goes down as Luger has Jimmy Hart tied up, but there’s no ref. Sting makes the fatal error of going after Hart with another splash, misses, and then recovers with a flying splash for two. Ref is bumped again on the kickout, so Sting hits him with another splash and gets the Scorpion Deathlock. Luger “accidentally” hits Sting with the megaphone, chokeslam, goodbye at 10:40. Surprisingly good, given that they kept it around 10 minutes to compensate for Giant’s weaknesses. *** The Bottom Line: Well, when the nicest things I can muster up about a show are that some of the matches are “surprisingly good” and “entertaining despite all the other crap” and “they tried hard but still sucked”, you know there’s not going to be much worth watching here. Not the worst show ever, but one of the weirdest in terms of booking, and certainly not one that you’d wanna watch more than once. Strong recommendation to avoid.

Assorted May-Per-View Countdown: WCW Slamboree 1995

The SmarK Retro Rant for WCW Slamboree 95 (When I was going through the archives to see what needed to be done for May, I had to check twice to make sure there actually WAS a Slamboree show in 1995 and that I had actually done it.  There was and I had, but given I can’t remember a single match from it, that’s probably not a good sign.)  – Someone requested a repost of this one on my message board, despite my having never done it before. Ah, my fans, gotta love ’em. Anyway, we’ll get back to Japan next week. – Live from Leningrad, Florida. – Your hosts are Eric Bischoff & Bobby Heenan. Tony is off getting his neck surgery at this point (or as Eric might call it, back-leg-front-neck surgery) so we get the dulcet tones of Mr. Bischoff instead. Neck surgery apparently runs in the WCW announce crew, as Bobby was forced to go through it later that year, too. Apparently they were doing some jobs for All Japan on the weekends and things got out of hand during a match with Misawa. – Opening match, WCW tag team title: Harlem Heat v. The Nasty Boys. I firmly believe that if The Nasty Boys had changed their name to The Nasty Boyz, they could have established the trend that was set years later and thus extended their stay in the wrestling world by hours or even DAYS longer. Think about it. Despite the involvement of Booker T in this, the participation of Saggs and Knobs would seem to preclude any subplots involving shampoo, or personal hygiene of any sort for that matter. (Guessing this was written in 2002, then.)  Saggs comes out alone due to an undefined attack on Knobs. Perhaps it involved him stealing a Japanese shampoo endorsement contract, I don’t know. Please keep in mind that if you’re reading this in, say, 2007, these jokes will of course be horribly dated and probably make no sense out of context, but then that’s never stopped me before. (Besides, that’s what 2012 Scott is here for!  To explain the dated 2002 jokes!)  Hell, if Whoopi Goldberg can host the Oscars with HER material, then this is practically Season 5 Simpsons by comparison. Booker starts for the Heat and slugs away, but Saggs clotheslines him and holds off both Heat members. Double-DDT and he gets a shot in on Sista Sherri as well. Pumphandle slam gets two. Stevie Ray comes in for the double-team, but Sags goes low a couple of times. It gets two. Sags goes up with a double-elbow for two. Saggs chases Sherri like a moron and gets caught in the heel corner and choked out by Stevie. Booker gets a forearm and elbow, and hits the chinlock. The SPINAROONI (not yet named) and sidekick (which Eric calls something so incredibly stupid like “jumping front leg back spinwheel kick” that I’m inspired to note the rest of his retarded kick names) puts Sags down again, and Steve comes in with a dropkick. Sideslam sets up Booker’s Harlem Hangover, but he stalls too long and only gets two. See now, this has always been wrestling’s little mini-play about morality and the importance of following up right away, but really to be completely accurate, you’d have to also note that going to the top rope to do ANYTHING is pretty much a waste of time, given the spectacularly bad track record of heels who attempt to do so. Stevie Ray then makes my week by coming off the BOTTOM rope and yet still blows the legdrop. Now THAT’S funny. Eric thinks that this is so brutal that the ref should just stop the match. I not only fully concur with the sentiment, but I also vote the more extreme measure of building a time machine and going back to the 50s to kill all of the parents of the competitors. However, then I’d probably get jumped on the street by a gang of Comp Sci majors who spend their lives arguing that such a thing is impossible due to the precedent set by the Terminator movies. However, I do not personally discount the possibility of an evil computer from 20 years in the future sending back a cybernetically-enhanced Stevie Ray, whose only goal is to have horrible matches and annoy me. (At least I was in a good mood when I was enduring this.)  Sags suddenly starts no-selling (maybe HE’S the evil robot.) and piledrives Booker, as Knobs hobbles out with his indeterminate injury (there’s tape all over him, so it MUST be bad. I’d like to meet the medical personnel they’ve got working back there and find out how I can get a piece of that action — $500 an hour for wrapping a guy up like a mummy every time he gets kicked anywhere in the torso area seems like a pretty sweet deal to me.) He wants the tag! If I’m Sags, I’m thinking “Hey, great timing, I get beat up for 10 minutes and you hobble out like a hero and clean up.” But apparently Sags is too dumb to know when he’s being screwed, because he tags out and Knobs cleans house. Bulldog for Booker, and Stevie gets dumped. Sags then finishes Booker with the Shitty Elbow at 10:52 to win their third and final tag titles. Man, when they announced that it was the Nasty’s final title shot, I was like “Oh, man, they’ll NEVER win now because when does a babyface ever win their last shot ever at a title?” And then they went and won the title, and it was just like Andy Williams doing “Moon River” after all. You’d think that two teams who had as many matches as these guys would break ** one of those times, and you’d be wrong. * – The Man With No Talent v. Kevin Sullivan. Yes, it’s Ed Leslie’s all-too-brief babyface run from 1995, AFTER he realized that Kevin Sullivan was screwing him over as the Butcher, but BEFORE he went right back to him as Zodiac Man mere weeks later to join the fledgling Dungeon of Doom. Of course, later they claimed that he was a double-agent for Hulkamania all along, but then the WWF claims that Stephanie was in on the Vegas wedding and rape all along too, and we don’t listen to them, either. (Obviously time has shown that Stephanie wasn’t exactly putting up much of a fight against HHH.)  This was yet another epic storyline (in a series of them) stemming from the labyrinthine plot of the Evad Sullivan feud, as Kevin sacrificed the Butcher in order to get a win over his estranged brother. Butcher swore revenge, and then to show him that he REALLY meant business, he changed gimmicks.TWICE! First to the Man With No Face, and then to the Man With No Name. The first one was naturally false advertising, and the second is self-contradictory, much like rock groups releasing songs called “Untitled”. Besides, Eric generally refers to him as “Butcher, the Man With No Name” during the match, thus pretty much killing the point of the gimmick right out of the gate. Eric’s credibility streak continues, as he points out what great shape Butcher is in, while he staggers out with a Rikishi-like ass and beer gut. (In fairness to Butcher, by the tie he returned as Disciple he was in much better shape and had an awesome beard, too.)  Brutus starts out with a high knee and they brawl outside. Back in, Zodiac pounds away in the corner and chops away. Sleeper, but Sullivan miraculously escapes with a jawbreaker and tosses him. More brawling, but Bootyman chokes away when they head back in. Sullivan comes back, but Disciple no-sells and gets a chop to the head for two. I thought the Wahoo match wasn’t on yet? Butcher piledrives him for two. Sullivan goes to the eyes (hey, wait, I thought he didn’t have a face? REFUND!) and they brawl out again. Dizzy Ed meets the post, sort of, because he actually hits nothing, prompting Eric & Bobby to note that Sullivan was aiming for the TURNBUCKLE or perhaps the steel cable, “because it’s sharper”. I cannot make this stuff up if I wanted to. Back in, Furface misses a splash, and Sullivan hangs him in the Tree of Woe and finishes with the double-stomp at 5:45. THANK CHRIST! Well, it IS Easter. -*** Then just when you thought the pain was over, King Curtis appears on the video screen to direct Kevin to form the Dungeon of Doom. Why can’t these mysterious types direct the heels to do something useful, like planting drugs in Hogan’s gymbag and telling the FBI about it?  (Or hiding a video camera in his hotel room so they can frame him with a sex tape!)  – Legends Match: Wahoo McDaniel v. Dick Murdoch. This is in black & white, because that denotes things that are old and nostalgic rather than fresh and interesting. Gordon Solie is doing commentary, thus giving Bobby Heenan someone to recycle the material on. Wahoo gets a devastating armdrag, but Dick comes back with a series of elbows. They slug it out, and stalling results. Cheapshot turns the tide, but Wahoo gets him back. More stalling. Wahoo starts pounding, but Dick knees him and stomps away. Murdoch goes up and rides him down with a knee to the neck, and the big elbow gets two. Wahoo chops him down for the pin at 6:18. Smell the workrate! Oh, wait, that’s Ben Gay. DUD – IWGP title: The Great Muta v. Paul Orndorff. Wristlock sequence to start, but Paul retreats to the ropes. Muta takes him down and Orndorff stalls. Muta gets a spinkick (“jump back side kick”) and Orndorff stalls. They work off a headlock, which bores the crowd faster than an X-Pac match. Orndorff clotheslines him, but an elbow misses and Muta gets a dropkick (“jump double kick” I shit you not) and elbow. (Bischoff’s commentary here reminds me of Sheldon on Big Bang Theory, endlessly correcting everyone because he happens to know a bit more about an obscure subject that no one else cares about.)  Then he hits the chinlock. That goes on for a LONG time, before Orndorff suplexes him and stomps away. The BOOGIE WOOGIE ELBOW OF DEATH sets up another chinlock, this time for Orndorff. That goes on about as long as the Korean War before Muta escapes and misses a dropkick, and Orndorff goes to a facelock instead. Muta comes back with a clothesline and elbowdrop. Orndorff keeps slugging away and a fistdrop gets two. Piledriver is reversed an Muta spinkicks him and gets the handspring elbow for two. Moonsault finishes clean at 14:10. Yes, FIFTEEN MINUTES. ½* – World TV title: Arn Anderson v. Alex Wright. Alex was undefeated but was getting screwed around by everyone in the promotion outside of Ric Flair. Wright gets a quick armdrag to start and works a headlock. That goes on for a while. Bobby, in a desperate attempt to revive obscure 50s catchphrases, notes that Alex has “greasy kid’s stuff” in his hair. Alex gets an enzuigiri (“back leg round kick”) and back to the headlock. Dropkick and back to the headlock. Well, he’s certainly got that one down pat. AA gets a cheapshot to break, but Alex gets an STF after ducking Arn’s version of the enzuigiri. Arn makes the ropes and bails. Alex follows with a pescado, and sends Arn to the post. Back in, Alex goes to the arm, but Arn cheats to win. Spinebuster and he goes to work. Alex escapes a toehold and comes back with a leg lariat (“jump spin wheel kick”), and gets a missile dropkick for two. Arn cradles for two, reversed for two. They collide, and Arn DDTs him back to Germany at 11:34. Not exactly a classic or anything, but it was watchable. ** – Hawk v. Meng. This is bigger than a Surprise Match OR a Bonus Match it’s a SURPRISE BONUS MATCH! Meng slugs away with kicks (“back leg round kicks”) and a clothesline. Piledriver is no-sold and Hawk gives him a neckbreaker, which is also no-sold. Hawk misses a charge and bails, allowing Parker to get his shots in. Hawk meets the post. Back in, backbreaker gets two for THEMONSTERMENG. Hawk comes back, and Meng gleefully no-sells it all like Paul Heyman giving excuses to the bankruptcy court. (High five!  Anyone?)  Clothesline finally works. Fistdrop gets two. Hawk goes up and misses all the way to the floor, and they brawl for the double-countout at 4:40. It’s both a surprise because I expected a finish of some sort, and a bonus because the match is over. ¼* A group of concerned jobbers run out to prevent any further match outbreaks. (I had totally forgotten about this rant and bitchy sarcastic Scott is pretty awesome around this time.)  – The 1995 Hall of Fame inductions are next, as Dusty Rhodes (I know, I’m shocked too), Terry Funk, Antonio Inoki, Big John Studd, Wahoo McDaniel, Angelo Poffo and Gordon Solie are all welcomed in. Angelo’s induction was largely a joke, as he was only invited there as cannon fodder for the Flair-Savage feud. – Sting v. Big Bubba Rogers. Sting brings a table with him. Stalling to start. Sting gets a dropkick and Bubba bails and stalls. He pounds away back in the ring, and uses his emergency backup tie to choke Sting out. What is he, Italian now? (Or Daniel Bryan?)  Sting dropkicks him to escape. Bubba slugs again, but Sting clotheslines him for two. They brawl out and Sting rams him into the folded table and slams him on it. Bubba comes back with the BABY POWDER OF DISFIGUREMENT and they head back in, where the table gets set up in the corner. Sting hits it, but escapes a piledriver. Stinger Splash hits table, however. Bossman Slam gets two. He goes up and gets slammed off, and Sting splashes for two. Clothesline and Sting slugs him down, then puts the table on top of him and double-stomps it to set up the Scorpion Deathlock for the win at 9:36. They should market this show as a cure for insomnia. ½* – Ric Flair & Vader v. Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage. Hogan & Vader start and stall. Vader pounds away but Hogan follows suit and gets a clothesline. Vader gets dumped, and Savage follows with an axehandle. They Megapowers try some double-teaming, but get bowled over by Vader. Flair attacks Savage outside, and back in Savage comes back. Flair Flip leads into a Hogan boot. Cute. Savage dumps Flair, and stalling follows. Back in, Flair goes to the eyes and starts chopping, but Hogan comes in and no-sells the chops. Clothesline, but Flair goes to the eyes again and drops a knee. To the top, but Hogan slams him off and goes for a Dusty-like figure-four. They even do the spot where Arn runs in and gets cradled. But Flair goes to the knee and starts working on it. Vader helps out with a toehold, as Paul Wight stands in the entranceway and looks menacing. That pretty much marks the peak for his career. (Hey now, he went on to win the IC title from Cody Rhodes.  That’s, something, I guess.)  Hogan no-sells a suplex, but puts his head down and gets discombobulated by Vader. Flair chokes him down and Vader avalanches him. Pump splash, but the moonsault misses. Hot tag Savage, who quickly gets decked by Flair, but comes back with the big elbow before Arn pulls him out. IT’S AN AMBUSH, RANDY! Too late. Back in, Flair drops a knee and Vader gets that moonsault, for two. Eric notes that Savage is tougher than Nailz. No way, dude, Nailz beat up Vince McMahon, no one’s tougher than him! (High five!  Anyone?)  Flair chops away, but Savage fights back. Eric notes that only one thing can stop this match, and that’s a pinfall or the marine corps. I think that one speaks for itself. Hot tag Hulk, who pounds Flair and slams both heels. Big boot, but Arn trips him up. Vader splash gets two, but he Hulks up. Arn hits Flair by mistake, legdrop finishes at 18:56. Hey, Flair jobs again, what a shock. Match was pretty fun. *** Angelo Poffo tries to save Savage from a heel beatdown, but he himself gets beaten down to set up a Flair-Savage match for the next PPV. The Bottom Line: This show is so bad that I hear George Bush is going to invade and destroy it for the sake of wiping out terrorism in the world.  (High five!  Anyone?)  Strongest recommendation to avoid.

Assorted May-Per-View Countdown: WCW Slamboree 94

(2012 Scott sez:  A 2-for-1 rant, as the original was the first ever retro rant from 1998, which of course was badly in need of a redo.)  Netcop Retrospective – Slamboree 1994. Okay, given that I was incredibly critical of this year’s effort by WCW, I felt it would only be fair for me to go back and review one of my all time favorite cards, the 1994 version of Slamboree, which was entertaining and action-packed from top to bottom and seemed to mark a high point for WCW, one that they hadn’t achieved since the switch from the NWA to WCW. Of course, this would all change with the very next card, as Hulk Hogan entered WCW and sent the federation (Promotion, you mean?) spiralling into the toilet until the cruiserweights came onto the scene, but that’s neither here nor there. (Pfff.  It was dull, but hardly into the toilet.)  This show came from Philly, and the crowd was decidedly ECW-ish, with Hawaiian Guy in the front row. Michael Buffer does his usual shitty job of announcing the title matches. US title match: Johnny B. Badd (challenger) v. Steve Austin (champion) (I think this was the only time I actually stated champion and challenger in a rant.  From then on I just went with the format of “Title match:  [Champion] v. [Challenger] and let the reader figure it out.)  This was during an ugly period in both guys’ careers. Mero (I just can’t think of him as Badd anymore) was going nowhere as Johnny B Badd and was jobbing to major champions (Rude, Austin, Steve Regal) to make him look like a contender when in fact he was a glorified JTTS. (As opposed to his WWF run, where he wasn’t glorified at all.)  On the other hand, it was during this time that he began to truly show the (arguable) greatness in the ring that was to come. The Hollywood Blonds had split months ago, and Austin had won the US title at Starrcade 93, but was perhaps the biggest non-contending US champion ever, eclipsed only by the recent reigns of Eddy Guerrero and Dean Malenko, in that his shots at the World title were non-existent, as were meaningful feuds. (I’d say pretty much every WWE US champion in the past 5 years would handily win that designation away from Austin.)  Quick: Who did Austin fight at Superbrawl? Spring Stampede? (The Great Muta!) Can’t remember, can you? (I went 1 for 2 at least.)  I rest my case. (MAAAAAAAAAAAAATLOCK!) This match was a very good one, with some mat wrestling in the middle that, predictably, the clueless Philly fans booed. Paul E. had not yet introduced that aspect into ECW at this point. (Hey now, Tony Stetson and Johnny Hot Body could probably rock the mat with the best of them.)  Oddly, Steve has completely changed his arsenal since entering the WWF, for whatever reason. (Injuries and evolving as a worker, duh.)  I think that’s one reason his stint seems much fresher than someone like Vader, who has essentially been wrestling the same match since 1993. (Because he stopped giving a shit in 1996.)  The most striking thing here: Austin’s hair. He should have shaved it off years ago. It just never worked, no matter he tried, and the Guy Gardner look is no exception. (This is some tremendously in-depth analysis.)  Sidenote: Is anyone else waiting for Austin to declare himself the “one, true, WWF World champion?” Didn’t he actually use that quote on one RAW? If he starts wearing goofy boots and hanging out with a dog named G’Nort, I’ll kill myself.  (Well, in 2001 he started getting pretty goofy…)  Those who have no idea what I’m talking about, be glad. (Comic book reference to Justice League International.)  Okay, match going on, get a grip, Scott. (Jesus, I was already talking to myself back then.)  Super-hot ending sequence leads to several near-falls for the Badd Man, before Austin turns a belly-to-back suplex into an odd-looking pinning combo for the win to retain the title. ***1/2 Legends Match: Terry Funk v. Tully Blanchard. This would be the ersatz ECW invasion of WCW, three years before it happened for real in the WWF. (And then again four years after that.)  The crowd is totally behind the Funker here, and with good reason. Killer match, even Hawaiian Guy’s hat gets it here. Terry uses everything he can get his hands on — chairs, boards, the rampway — to funk up Blanchard. Crowd chants “We want blood!” several times. Gosh, what a surprise. Funk tries piledriving Tully, off the top rope, onto a chair, but it doesn’t quite work. Finally, Nick Patrick just DQs both guys, because it’s not ECW. **** for the match, but -1/2* for the ending, for a total of ***1/2 (I’m really not fond of doing that “subtracting stars for the ending” thing, or at least I’m not fond of quantifying it like that.  I’ve been reading really old-school Observers lately, like around Wrestlemania IV, and Meltzer was pretty fond of doing that sort of thing in his younger and snarkier days.  As I’ve gone on, I’ve come to think of the finish as just another part of the match good or bad, except for extraordinary circumstances.)  Non-title match: Steve Regal (TV champion) v. Larry Zbyszko God, hard to believe Regal has basically been TV champion off and on for almost four years now. Bill Dundee was playing Regal’s butler at this point, for you historical buffs out there. (Maybe Dundee got into a car accident with Regal and didn’t have insurance.)  Regal was a major-league heat machine back then, using stalling and psych-outs to the limit. For those who don’t know the backstory here, Regal made many anti-American comments while being interviewed by Larry Z, in retirement at that point, until finally Larry popped him one in retaliation, and came out of retirement. Did I mention the stalling? You want to see a human chess game, here it is. Regal and Zbyszko (hard to maintain 100 wpm while typing that…) (Thank god for autocorrect now.  Although my typing speed has fallen to about 80 since I’ve switched permanently from the full ergonomic style keyboard of my desktop to a standard keyboard on the laptop.  Just in case I decide to have a quiz later and you need to know that.)  pull out every trick in the book to psych the other guy out. Great stuff. (Yeah, Larry’s stalling, AWESOME, love it.)  The match itself is slow paced (can you guess how the crowd reacted?) but solid. Zbyszko reverses a butterfly suplex into a bridge for the pin, and gets a mega-pop. *** Zbyszko would go on to win the TV title from Regal before permanently re-retiring. (We can only hope.)  – I’ll skip the legends induction, because I edited it out of my tape for time considerations. Bullrope Match: Dustin Rhodes v. Bunkhouse Buck. Pretty weird watching Dustin as Dustin, because he and Goldust wrestle totally different match styles. (That’s because Dustin is a fucking nutjob method actor.)  Although lately Goldust has been incorporating Dustin stuff. (He’s got “getting fired” down pretty well.)  That being said, this was a pretty dull match, saved only by a post-match Terry Funk beating. Dustin won after hitting Buck with the cowbell, if it matters. ** for the match, extra 1/2* for the ass-kicking. **1/2 total. (Ugh, see, I don’t like that method of coming up with ratings.  Either it’s a **1/2 match or not.)  Dustin went on to do nothing of note in WCW, before getting fired for blading at the first Uncensored. Who can blame him for becoming Goldust? WCW World title match: Ric Flair (champion) v. Barry Windham (challenger) The big gimmick for this match was that Col. Robert Parker was promising a 6’2″, blond ex-World champion mystery man to challenge Flair, which was widely assumed to be Windham by everyone with half a brain at the time. WCW didn’t disappoint in disappointing, of course. Indeed it was Big Barry…and I do mean big. The guy had a beer gut the size of Texas here. Hey, it’s called a gym…you might try it sometime. (Cutting commentary there.)  It’s Flair v. Windham, which is always good, but Barry looked lacklustre, (If by “lacklustre” you mean “drunk off his ass and wanting to get the fuck out of there and collect his money”, then yeah.)  and Flair knew the end was near, so both of them kind of dogged it here. But that’s not bad given the talent…it had a lot of wasted potential, that’s all. The Flair Flip actually works here, as Flair nails the often-missed cross-body off the top rope for the pin to retain the title. **1/2 Aside: This was the last appearance of the true Ric Flair. Almost immediately after this match, WCW began a hasty heel turn in order to set up the ascension of the Hulkster to the WCW throne, basically flushing 6 months of character development down the toilet. Flair became a parody of himself, taking on Sherri as his manager and jobbing to Hogan twice that year, the second time sending him into (temporary) retirement. It was a truly sad thing to watch someone as great as Flair turn into a ranting old man, believe me, and a testament to the widely-held belief that the inmates should not run the asylum, of which WCW is a prime example. (Also, they shouldn’t marry the boss’ daughter, either.)  WCW World tag title match: The Nasty Boys (champions) v. Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan (challengers) The first of many, many ECW-style matches booked by Kevin Sullivan in WCW, and one of my top 10 favorite matches ever. (Maybe in 1998, but this is pretty far down the list now.  I’m just so tired of the style in general.)  Others prefer the Jack/Payne version of this match from Spring Stampede 94, but I like this one for it’s sheer historical weight. It settled, decisively, two separate feuds, gave Cactus his first major title, and set the template for every match the Public Enemy have since wrestled in WCW. It’s pointless to try to run down the match, because of the sheer chaos involved. Chairs, tables, fire extinguishers, garbage cans, a hockey stick, a camera from ringside, you name it, it was used here. Just utter, unmitigated brutality and hatred for ten minutes. Glorious, and never quite matched by any of these types of garbage matches in WCW since. Maxx Payne settles his score by giving Jerry Sags the coolest guitar shot you’ll ever see, and Dave Sullivan breaks a crutch on Knobs for good measure. Cactus and Sullivan winning the titles was almost incidental to everything else going on, which was a lot. Great booking, great match, the only complaint I have is Dave Schultz’s fast three-count, but he’s a hockey player, so counting that high is a challenge, no? I have since hated almost every other chaotic ECW brawl since, but this one still stands out in mind and is still enjoyable to watch today. One of the few times the Nasty Boys didn’t suck, which is worth ***** by itself. The match gets ****3/4 for the action, and the remaining 1/4* for the booking, for a total of ***** (God, stop with the piecemeal match ratings, pick one and stick with it.)  The only question left in my mind is why didn’t that match close the show? Instead we get… WCW/NWA/International/World/Gold Belt title match: Sting v. Vader. I won’t even get into the headaches that the fabled Gold Belt brought to WCW here, but suffice it to say at this point in time WCW was getting ready to unify it with the real WCW World title and get it out of their hair for good. Sting is subbing for Rick Rude here, due to injuries, politics, and a complex storyline involving a (sort of) title change in Japan. The match itself is #1856 (of 1872) in the eternal Sting v. Vader series, and just about all of them are an automatic ****. This is no exception, but by this time nobody really gives a shit about them fighting anymore, including myself. Total letdown after the last match. Sting wins after Vader misses the big splash, to claim his 5th World title, although I’d very much dispute that this should be counted as a recognized World title reign. I’d dispute his 4th reign, which was also this version of the Gold Belt. Okay, just for those who don’t know the story, here’s a quick rundown. The Gold Belt, by 1994, was like the biggest inside joke in professional wrestling. Back in 1991, Ric Flair jumped ship from WCW to the WWF, while still NWA World champion. At this point, WCW left the NWA and created their own World title, which, despite the fact they now use the same physical belt, is *not* the same title as the NWA version, by any means. While Lex Luger won the WCW version of the World title, Ric Flair was continued to be recognized as the NWA World champion while in the WWF. Confused yet? You will be. (Clearly I already am at that point.)  Ted Turner bought the actual belt back from Flair, since Flair was the one who actually paid for the belt himself back in ’86 and thus owned it. (WRONG.)  By 1992, what was left of the NWA had stripped Flair of the title and was forced, by financial necessity, to cooperate with WCW again. So WCW arranged for an NWA World title tournament (and World tag title tournament) in 1992. The singles tournament was won by Masahiro Chono, making him NWA World champion, which basically meant nothing because the NWA was just a WCW puppet at this point. (Not so much.  They weren’t doing as well as the glory days, but they were fine without WCW.)  The title itself passed from Chono to the Great Muta to Barry Windham to Ric Flair, losing meaning and prestige by the day. Finally, when it got to Flair, the NWA itself folded and was restarted by Dennis Corraluzo, with no connection to WCW. (Little more complicated than that, but fair enough.)  So WCW no longer had the legal right to the NWA name, and now had a worthless belt. (As opposed to WCW’s other super-valuable belts, like the TV title that Jim Duggan eventually won by fishing out of a trash can.)  Rick Rude won the worthless title from Flair, and it was simply called “The Gold Belt.” It should be noted that the title became absolutely and totally worthless at this point, and any title reigns after this are bogus claims. WCW came up with a (bogus) “International Committee” which then decided to “recognize” Rick Rude as (get this) WCW International World champion. Many observers, myself included, felt this was a load of horse shit and completely insulting to the viewer’s intelligence. (As noted in a thread recently, this situation actually becomes a lot more normal-looking in hindsight given that we’ve had two “World” champions in WWE since 2002.  Maybe WCW was just ahead of the curve the whole time?)  The 2nd World title was cheapening the real one, however, so before Hulk Hogan entered WCW, they did the wrestling equivalent of shooting the title to put it out of its misery by unifying it with the WCW World title. And it was about time, too. But I digress. Slamboree was, from top to bottom, a very entertaining card, with no match below the “fair – average” area. It was an easy thumbs up at the time, and remains so today. Of course, Hulk Hogan would soon bring Beefcake, Duggan, and the rest of his buddies and totally wreck everything they had worked so hard to build up, but that’s another rant. As always, I remain the net.cop… (Until someone tries to sue Sean Shannon over a frivolous trademark claim.)  The SmarK Retro Rant for WCW Slamboree 94 – This is a long-overdo do-over, of the first ever Retro Rant. The original, needless to say, wasn’t exactly verbose in terms of the match descriptions or details, so let’s try it again… – Live from Philly, home of some indy promotion called “ECW”. Never heard of it. – Your hosts are Tony & Bobby. – Mean Gene introduces the legends – Ole Anderson, The Assassin, Peggy Banner, Red Bastien, Tully Blanchard (with a big pop), The Crusher, Don Curtis, Terry Funk, Verne Gagne, Hard Boiled Haggerty (That is the most awesome wrestling name I’ve ever heard.  You just KNOW that fucker was tough.) , Larry Hennig, Killer Kowalski, Ernie Ladd, Wahoo McDaniel, Angelo Mosca, Harley Race, Ray Stevens, Lou Thesz, Johnny Weaver, Mr. Wrestling II and Tommy Young. – Nick Bockwinkel tries to award the WCW International World Saskatchewan Hardcore European TV Big Gold Belt title to Sting on a bizarre technicality, but Sting REFUSES to win in such a cheap manner and wants it to happen in the ring. Well, 8 years later THAT scenario sure played out different when HHH got involved with it. (Ha!  I write me some funnies sometimes.)  Kudos to Sting, though, for preserving the prestigious lineage of the title. – Opening match, US title: Stunning Steve Austin v. Johnny B. Badd. Johnny has “Philly Rules” on his robe, perhaps to suck up to the crowd and thus negate his incredibly gay personality. The best that the camera crew can do is find some kid with a pathetic little 5×7 Johnny B. Badd sign – man, when even the guys planting the signs turn against you, that’s a bad sign. Bobby brings his lame Philly jokes out of mothballs, so you know it’s a special occasion. Johnny takes him down with an armdrag to start and works a headlock. Steve uses some mindgames, so Badd takes him to the mat and works a 3/4 nelson. Austin escapes and drops an elbow to take over, grabbing a MAIN EVENT SLEEPER, (Bing!  So we’re in 2003 or so for the re-rant.)  which Badd easily escapes. Austin takes a powder and regroups, and Badd goes back to the armbar. Austin reverses to a headlock and they work off that, as Austin keeps overpowering him back to the mat. Tony spreads hurtful rumors of hair-pulling, but I won’t even dignify them. Criss-cross and now Badd goes back to the armbar again, and holds on through a slam attempt by Austin. Austin finally reverses to his own armbar, but Badd uses a headscissor takedown to move back into a headlock. Bodypress gets two. Back to the armbar. Col. Parker’s yelling match with Hawaiian Guy provides the most exciting moments of the match so far. Austin gives him the old knee to the gut to regain control, but gets cradled for two. Badd floats over, back to the armbar. Another criss-cross and Austin KILLS Badd with a double- axehandle to take over for good. Austin starts with the stomping and cheapshots, and tosses Badd to cut off a comeback. Suplex back in and kneedrop get two. We hit the chinlock, and Austin gets two while the fans chant “We’re not hostile”. Well, that’s good to know. Austin goes up and hits knee, and Badd hits a gutwrench suplex. Austin works him over in the corner, but gets backdropped. Badd hiptosses him and gets a rather nasty lariat, and Austin is reeling. Kneelift and Oklahoma Roll, but Parker is distracting the ref. Austin charges and hits Parker, and Badd rolls him up for two. Backdrop and Badd goes up for the flying sunset flip, which gets two. Austin goes to the eyes to come back, but Badd suplexes him, and Austin uses the tights to roll over for the awkward pinfall finish at 16:11. Weird ending, but the match was a solid mat-based affair. *** – Okerlund interviews Wahoo and Ernie. – Legends match: Tully Blanchard v. Terry Funk. There was actually all sort of politics going on here, as Blanchard was promised a larger payoff than he got, and thus refused to do the job as a result. (Blanchard’s story about the whole thing is really interesting, actually.)  Gordon Solie does the honors for this match. ECW was in its infancy at this point, and Funk was one of the reasons for the early success of the promotion. (Plus Paul saved money by stiffing all the talent.)  They get into a huge brawl to start and stiff the hell out of each other, until Funk gets an atomic drop to put him down. Into the ring, Funk gets a neckbreaker for two, and then tosses Tully and pounds away on the rampway. Funk uses a piece of the wooden stairs to nail Tully, and they head in for a piledriver onto it. Looked less dramatic with Terry’s ass taking the bump. They head to the ramp again, and Terry DDTs him there, as Nick Patrick chastises them like a couple of grade-school kids. The crowd wants blood, but it’s WCW, so it’s not likely. Back in, Funk gets another piledriver and goes up with the moonsault, which misses. That gets two for Tully. Blanchard starts pounding in the corner, and they just UNLOAD with stiff shots again. The ref is bumped and Funk gets a chair as Tully bleeds (thus guaranteeing that he wouldn’t return), and Funk sets him up for the piledriver off the top, which kind of fizzles out. Would have been cool, though. Patrick gets rid of the chair while Funk bails, so Tully gives Patrick a shot in the mush, too. They fight over the branding iron, until a DQ is called at 7:14. Good, wild brawl. **3/4 Funk elbowdrops Hawaiian Guy’s hat afterwards to vent his frustrations.  (Brock stole that spot from Funk!  I knew it!)  – Steven Regal v. Larry Zbyszko. Regal’s besmirching of America led Larry to finally retaliate on behalf of his country, thus coming out of retirement. If stalling was an Olympic sport, these two would be fighting for the gold and silver medals. (And if clubbing baby seals was an Olympic sport, Jake Roberts would get the gold.  The things you learn from wrestling promos!)  That talent is put into full effect to start, as they jaw with the crowd and each other. Larry ducks a shot from Regal after a solid 2:00 of stalling, and they stall some more. Larry then shows off his time-tested finisher, the SEVEN MINUTE STALL OF DOOM, so as not to get shown up by the youngster. A spinkick puts Regal on the floor, where he continues his ongoing conversation with the fanbase. Back in, more stalling. Finally, Larry starts working the arm, and reverses an abdominal stretch into a rollup for two, before getting his own abdominal stretch. He even uses the ropes for old time’s sake. Regal reverses for two. They do an armdrag-reversal sequence that ends with Larry getting the move again, and back to the stalling. Larry takes him down with a short-arm scissors and jaw with each other again. Regal responds by hammering on him with forearms in the corner, and that gets two. Reverse elbow gets two. Regal goes to a unique facelock/half-nelson submission as the crowd starts to lose patience with the match. Larry reverses a forearm into a backslide, but Regal counters with a bow-and-arrow to block the pin. He keeps laying in the forearms, but Larry fires back. MAIN EVENT SLEEPER and Regal is in trouble, but breaks with a jawbreaker. Sir William gives Larry a shot with the umbrella for good measure, but he reverses a butterfly suplex into a bridge for the pin at 11:35. HUGE pop for the surprise win. Larry would win the TV title from Regal a couple of weeks later. This was pretty slow, but nothing to be ashamed of. Regal carried most of the match, not surprisingly. **1/4 – Terry Funk reminds us that we’re live and he can say whatever he wants for as long as he wants. Veiled threats to Dustin Rhodes are made. – Gordon Solie hosts the Legends ceremony. – Bullrope match: Dustin Rhodes v. Bunkhouse Buck. Buck attacks to start, but gets hanged by Dustin and dragged into the ring. So much for that plan. Dustin chokes him out and attaches it to Buck’s wrist, and hits him with a bionic elbow and a low blow. Elbowdrop gets two. Buck tries to leapfrog him, but Dustin yanks up on the bullrope and ends THAT rally. He starts pounding the knee with the cowbell and the Philly crowd wants Blood again. C’mon, guys, Rick Steamboat isn’t even booked on this show! Check your programs before you chant. Dustin posts the knee and hammers away on the knee. Not quite the fast-paced action you expect in this sort of match. Buck, ever the pragmatist, simply clobbers Dustin with the cowbell to come back. Now that’s more like it. In true hockey fashion, Buck pulls the shirt over Dustin’s head and then whips him, before bringing him out and introducing him to the post. Then, in a unique strategy, he ties Dustin to the post (and Bobby goes for the obvious joke about being “tied up at the moment”) and chokes him out at his leisure. Dustin fights back one-handed, and then frees himself and cowbells Buck. Back in, Buck goes up, but Dustin hammers him down with a Flip Flop and Fly and slams him off. That gets two. The ref is bumped, because you can never get enough of that, and Dustin suplexes him and chases Parker. Buck and Parker try a little double-teaming, but that of course ends badly for them and Dustin clobbers Buck with the cowbell for the pin at 12:32. Not as good as their bunkhouse match from the month before, with too much dead space and resting. **1/2 Terry Funk (with a towel over his head as a disguise) runs in and destroys Dustin, setting up a fairly lengthy feud.  (My daughter often attempts to disguise herself by putting a towel over heard, operating on the logical fallacy of “I can’t see you so you can’t see me.”  And yet no matter how many times I’ve explained the underlying reasoning problems behind that strategy, she still thinks it’s hilarious when I pretend like I don’t know where she is.  Perhaps Terry Funk’s dad just never had that talk with him.)    – WCW World title: Ric Flair v. Barry Windham. The angle here was that Col. Parker was promising a 6’7″ blond mystery challenger who was a former World champion himself. This was of course supposed to make you think it was Hulk Hogan. It didn’t work. Barry, deteriorated and pudgy, was the plan all along, but the fans weren’t particularly thrilled about it. Windham pounds away in the corner, so Flair responds with the chops. Windham slams him, but misses an elbow and bails. This isn’t exactly the 45-minute draw from 1986. Flair goes for the knee and keeps chopping, but Windham gets the laziest lariat I’ve seen from him in ages, and dumps Flair. Suplex back in and legdrop, but Flair keeps fighting back. We hit the chinlock to REALLY crank up the excitement. Flair starts chopping again, but gets Flair Flipped to the floor. They do some exceedingly weak brawling and head back in, where Windham pounds away in the corner before getting atomic dropped. Flair goes up, but gets superplexed for two. He keeps chopping until Barry falls and then suplexes him into the figure- four. This of course is silly since he hasn’t so much as punched Barry’s knee since the first couple of minutes. Windham makes the ropes, but Flair takes him down again. Windham kicks out of a second attempt, but a third one works. Talk about stubborn. Windham makes the ropes again, so Flair goes up…and hits a move! Call the press! It’s an elbow, for two. Kneedrop and more chops, but Windham slugs back and they tumble out on a botched cross-body. Very few things look stupider than that spot when one guy can’t go over the top properly on the first try. Back in, Flair wants a slugfest, and gets a rollup for two. Windham goes low to turn the tide again, and tosses Flair. That backfires, as Flair beats on Parker and sunset flips in. Windham blocks it for two, reversed by Flair for two. Windham rolls him up for two. They exchange chops and Flair does the Flip again, and finishes the move with a bodypress for the pin at 13:13. So there you go – proof that he HAS made it across the apron after flipping over the turnbuckles. And hey, you know it had to get the pin, since it only works once every 15 years. An unmotivated Windham is an ugly sight, but they pulled it together well enough by the end. ** – WCW World tag title: The Nasty Boys v. Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan. Former Flyer goon Dave Schulz is the special referee, and this is falls count anywhere. It was original supposed to be the Nasties losing the belts to Kevin & Evad, but a knee injury gave Cactus a shot at his first major title. It’s an insane brawl from the opening bell, as Sullivan drags Knobs out and Sags beats on Cactus. Kevin uses a crutch while Sags and Jack fight into the crowd and security frantically tries to keep the crowd back. Sags moves down the aisle, while Sullivan dropkicks Knobs in the ring. We move to the entrance, as Kevin piledrives Knobs on the ramp and Cactus hits Sags with a (full) trashcan. Now THAT’S how you do it. Another shot with the can puts Sags down, and Sullivan joins in the fun. Tony & Jesse are almost speechless. Knobs gets put on the can at ringside, and Jack comes off the top, but misses and elbowdrops the trashcan instead, flattening it. Knobs BOUNCES the remains off his head, just delivering brutal shots with it. Sags whips him with a camera, and Knobs uses a good old chair, delivering sick, unprotected shots to the head with it. The flattened trashcan is just brutal as they swing away with it without regard for their own safety. Cactus clotheslines Knobs back into the ring, and Sullivan hits him with another chairshot. Sags decides to get the tables (this of course was before the days when they were standard issue ring equipment) and biels Jack off the ramp, through the table. That was pretty heavy stuff for 1994. Jack, of course, is too stupid to stay down, and takes some abuse from a light stand, too. At ringside, Sullivan and Knobs beat on each other, and Jack drops the remains of the table onto Sags. Sags shatters a piece of the table on Jack, and Sullivan and Knobs head down to join in the party. A fire extinguisher gets used off-screen, as the bad lighting and overwhelmed cameramen miss it. But you know what? It’s actually improved by having that look and feel, because you get the “bootleg classic” kind of vibe, like an underground video that you shouldn’t be watching. (Like NXT but with even less viewers.)  They finally head back to the ring, with Cactus busted open, and Sags goes up for the Shitty Elbow, but gives Dave Schulz attitude instead of covering. He grabs the hockey stick, but that’s DAVE’S stick, and it results in a pummelling from the ref and a shot from Jack with the stick for a fast count and the World tag team titles at 9:33. An absolutely brutal classic, which set the template for ECW’s entire tag team division for years following. Maxx Payne comes out and gives Sags the MOTHER of all guitar shots to get his final revenge on the Nasties, and when Knobs backs away peacefully, Evad Sullivan hobbles out and nails him with the crutch, too. And THAT is how you blow off a feud. ***** – WCW International World Saskatchewan Hardcore European TV Western States Heritage title: Sting v. Vader. This was originally booked as Vader v. Rude for the title, which was going to set up Rude’s push to the top of the promotion for a presumed run against Hulk Hogan. He was injured against Sting in Japan, however, and never wrestled again. (Although he was trying to just before he died.)  Sting and Vader have a stalemate to start, as Sting ducks and dodges. The always classy Philly fans inform us that “Sting must die”. (Philly was fine with Sting when he was there for Bound For Glory, so obviously they’ve forgiven him since then.)  Vader obliges, beating Sting in the corner until he sees Jebus. Sting fires back and Vader leaves to regroup. Back in, Sting gets a rather dramatic delayed vertical suplex and stomps away, and then they do the old “battle of the bulls” collision, which Vader wins 2 falls to 1, and then he goes up for the pump splash. That gets two. Another one gets two. Vader grabs a leglock for some reason and pounds on the back. Back to the leglock as we slow things down a lot. Sting fights out and drops an elbow, and both guys are down. Vader recovers first and drops his own elbow for two. Sting comes back and dives at Vader, but misses and bumps the ref. Vader chokeslams him for the visual pinfall, but Race gives Vader an accidental chairshot (a weak one, too) and Sting DDTS Vader for two. Sting dumps Vader and suplexes him back in, and then clotheslines him right out again. Geez, man, make up your mind. Vader comes in, walks into a Stinger Splash, but out-thinks Sting by catching the move and powerslamming him to counter. This sets up the moonsault, which misses, as Sting was playing possum, and Sting gets two. Race headbutts his own man by mistake, and a flying splash finishes for Sting at 13:51 to give him the title back. Another quality Vader-Sting outing. ***3/4 The Bottom Line: One of my favorite WCW shows ever, featuring quality matches up and down the card and no bad matches. The Philly atmosphere (despite a very small crowd) made for a super-hot show, and the tag team title switch is a classic that still holds up today due to the tremendously stiff shots delivered and Jack’s insane bumping. Highly, HIGHLY, recommended.

Assorted May-Per-View Countdown: WCW Slamboree 1993

The Netcop Retro Rant for WCW Slamboree 1993 (2012 Scott sez:  This was actually the first PPV I had ordered after getting “smartened up to the business” by RSPW once and for all.  By that time, the PWI Weekly newsletter was all but breaking kayfabe anyway because it was getting ridiculously difficult to spin stuff like the Freebirds’ negative title reign any way but basically coming out and saying “wrestling is fake”.  And this show sure cemented that.)   Live from the Omni in Atlanta, GA, wherever the hell that is. Your hosts are Tony and Larry, both of whom are remarkably on-topic and coherent (cf. today) Maxx Payne mangles the Star Spangled Banner on his guitar. This was odd at the time because Maxx was a heel. Opening match: Bobby Eaton & Chris Benoit v. 2 Cold Scorpio & Marcus Alexander Bagwell. Now, before you go getting all excited here, there’s some caveats: Caveat #1: Benoit was a glorified jobber back in 1993 Caveat #2: Bagwell & Scorpio were the ones getting the push Caveat #3: Eaton did most of the wrestling Caveat #4: The match was built around making Bagwell look good, and this was waaaaaaaaay pre-Buff. With all that in mind, it was a standard, Mickey Mouse opening tag match. This was before the era of Johnny B Badd having to be in every opening match on WCW’s PPV shows, as well. Benoit & Eaton play the typical cowardly heel team, with Benoit getting a chance to show absolutely nothing but his penchant for selling anything for anyone. (Benoit and Eaton actually would have been a HELL of a modern Midnight Express as far as in-ring goes.  Chris could pull off the flashy tights and everything.)  It should be noted that at this time, Raven was a light heavyweight contender named Scotty Flamingo. I shit you not. (What?  Shut up!  You’re LYING!  Stop lying!)  Most of the match is Eaton v. Bagwell. Ugh. Bagwell sucked shit more than just about anyone else outside of Van Hammer at this time, and we get to see him later, too. (Eh, he was green and overpushed, but not bad as such.)  Semi-hot ending as a big brouhaha erupts and a bunch of near-falls before Scorpio hits the Tumbleweed (one guess who jobs) for the pin. (Well, Benoit wasn’t even a regular guy at that point, why wouldn’t he job?  The goal was to get Bagwell and Scorpio over anyway.)  Bagwell and Scorpio would go on to win the World tag team titles in October. Yes, it’s 1993 WCW, where our motto is “We’ll push anybody!” (Especially if you’re black and suing us.)  ** Van Hammer v. Col. Parker’s Mystery Man. Col. Rob Parker had made his debut a couple of weeks beforehand and was pissing on Van Hammer’s leg (figuratively speaking, of course) because he wouldn’t join his stable. Hammer slapped him around a bit, and Parker promised a big payback for Hammer because of it. And who should Parker bring out but Sid Vicious! This was a huge shock at the time and the crowd pops big for it. (So big that Vicious nearly rode this push all the way to the World title.)  And the rout is on, as Sid dismantles and powerbombs ol’ Van in 30 seconds, legitimately injuring him and humiliating him so badly that he has no choice but to become a transvestite and join a creepy band of quasi-homosexuals after sitting out of wrestling for 4 years. *Sniff*, I still get weepy when I think about what a service Sid did for wrestling here… but the match is a DUD (Kind of a funny storyline progression if you think about it, as Hammer was the one who got wronged by the heels and was standing up for himself, and got DESTROYED as a result.  BE A STAR, Sid Vicious!)  Don Muraco & Jimmy Snuka & Dick Murdoch v. Wahoo MacDaniel & Blackjack Mulligan & Jim Brunzell. Yes, it’s as bad as it sounds. Tony spouts history like Mike Tenay and Jim Ross on speedballs. The sole high spots come from Capt. Redneck of all people. Respect for the legends is one thing, but you’re out of your fucking mind if you give these geezers 10 or 12 minutes to shuffle around the ring and only 7 or 8 to the opening tag match. A big brawl erupts and it’s declared a no-contest because of oxygen deprivation. 1/2* for the flying headscissors Dick does. (Given it was only 93 I’m not sure this was as bad as 98 Scott is making it out to be.  Murdoch was still pretty OK at that point, and Snuka was only 2 years removed from the WWF run, and Wahoo didn’t age until the day he died, so it might have been decent.  Probably was way too long, though.)  Baron Von Rashke & Ivan Koloff v. Thunderbolt Patterson & Brad Armstrong. Brad is taking the place of father Bob, who is supposedly injured here. Since when do commies and Nazis team up? (The lost Depression-era season of 24?)  Another shit match in a series of them tonight, as Koloff and the Baron are older than dirt. Hey, the legends’ reunion might look like a good idea on paper, but it’s no fun actually sitting through the matches. Thunderbolt uses a LAME double-chop for the pin. -** A Flair For The Gold: Flair introduces one of the single STUPIDEST FUCKING IDEAS in the history of stupid ideas, namely promising the original Horsemen reuniting and then delivering PAUL FUCKING ROMA. This was SUCH a brainfart on somebody’s part and almost totally ruined the Horsemen name. I mean, NOBODY bought this former jobber as a member of the “most elite team in wrestling” for 2 seconds. It’s stuff like this that frankly leaves me shocked that WCW even survived 1993, let alone went on to become as big as they did. (Yeah, blatant false advertising on their part, as they were literally promising the original Horsemen lineup for weeks and then couldn’t get Tully Blanchard, so instead we got Paul Roma.)  Johnny Valentine joins us for commentary. Dory Funk Jr. (w/ Nick Kiniski) v. Nick Bockwinkle (w/ Verne Gagne). Speaking of brainfarts, here’s Verne Gagne, who didn’t think putting the World title on Hulk Hogan was such a great idea. Hey, Verne, where’s the AWA now? Man, talk about the stupidest move ever…I mean, how hard is it to note that the guy was OVER? Did it never occur to him that maybe when you fake putting the title on the guy and the crowd nearly RIOTS that maybe you should actually give him a run as World champion? Do you think he can draw, Verne? I mean, hindsight is 20/20 and all, but you’d have to be seriously retarded not to notice that there’s a seriously huge fanbase worshipping this guy. Ask Vince McMahon…Verne let him go and like 4 seconds later Vince puts the belt on him and lets him do his thing for *4 years*. How do you NOT see that kind of star potential? How do you miss that kind of glaring, golden, supermodel-lying-on-your-futon-naked kind of opportunity and NOT go out of business 5 years later? Okay, I’m ranting again now. (I’m thinking maybe Verne should have put the World title on Hogan, then?)  Back to the match. Larry manages to work in the “I retired Bockwinkle” comment a record 4 seconds into the match. Way to go, Larry. Decent, solid, mat wrestling match which bored the shit out of me, but I can recognize good wrestling when I see it. 15 minute draw. **1/2 I just don’t want to watch it, that’s all. And I hate Dory Funk Jr. for other reasons. (No I don’t, that was just a very long running joke.)  US champ Rick Rude & TV champ Paul Orndorff v. Dustin Rhodes & Kensuke Sasaki. Worthless time-filling arm-dragging crowd-playing fucking boring horseshit featuring my least favorite Japanese wrestler at the time, if only because I didn’t yet know who Gedo was. At least he jobbed to Rude in this one. DUD  (Wow, calm down, cranky-pants.)  Sting v. “The Prisoner”. The parade o’ crap continues. This was supposed to be Sting v. Scott Norton in a bounty match, but Norton bailed out of WCW so we get Sting v. The Man They Can’t Call Nailz for Legal Reasons. Here’s the match: Choke, choke, choke, choke, choke, choke with a cable, kick, punch, Sting comes back, clothesline, pin. One of the worst pre-Crow Sting matches you will EVER see, I guarantee. -***, which is saying something because I don’t usually bother with negative stars. (Since when?)  And you know what…it was STILL BETTER than Sting v. Hogan from Starrcade. Go fig. (Oh come on now.)  The Hollywood Blonds v. Los Dos Hombres (WCW/NWA World tag title match). THE MOTHERSHIP IS CALLING ME HOME! My gods, my lords, my saviors, Steve Austin & Brian Pillman in the waning weeks of their greatness before WCW fucked them over. I relish each opportunity I can get to watch them tower over every other pathetic team WCW put together to try and deny that these guys were legitimately over. (I don’t think WCW was actually denying that they were over.  They just didn’t have the right political connections.)  This one included. The storyline here is that after Rick Steamboat and Shane Douglas lost the tag team titles to Steve & Brian, they pulled a fast one by wearing masks and masquerading as an up-and-coming pair of luchadors. They of course got the upset win in a non-title match and earned this cage match for the titles. The joke of course is that Shane Douglas was fired/quit/got injured/whatever before the whole angle even started, and it was Brad Armstrong under the other mask. (When you need a guy to work a **** match under a mask, call Brad Armstrong!)  And for this match, it’s Tom Zenk. (When you need a guy to say stupid shit and get himself sued, call Tom Zenk!)  Yet the announcers act like it’s Shane the whole time. No wonder he’s so pissed at WCW. (Not so pissed that he didn’t take the big fat payday when they came calling.)  Not a great Blonds match, but Austin/Pillman was such a better team than everyone else in existence at the time that there just wasn’t anyone who could work up to the level they were at. I mean, these guys were in SUCH a serious groove at this time. Cage doesn’t really factor into this one, as the Blonds use their tag team stuff to work over Zenk most of the match. Super hot ending as Steamboat tags in and nails a cross-body…off the top of the cage…onto both guys! Yow! Ref counts two but the bell rings and the crowd goes nuts. Just a flub on the timekeeper’s part, however. They exchange a ton of near falls, then Austin catches Zenk with the Stun-gun out of nowhere and gets the pin to retain the titles. *** (I think I did a more legitimate review on one of the millions of DVDs where this match is featured.)  NWA “World” title match: Barry Windham v. Arn Anderson. Last hurrah at the OK Corral for Barry, as this is basically his last good match before he becomes…that thing that’s in the WWF today. The storyline is simple: Barry turned down the Horsemen, so it’s ass-kicking time. (That’s two different people with the same storyline on this show, I should note.)  And Windham bleeds like a stuck pig as Anderson just pounds the shit out of him. However, Anderson gets frustrated and shoves the ref around, and that gives Barry a chance to just wallop Arn with the title belt and pin him to retain. ***1/4 and the best match on the card. Barry would lose the title to Ric Flair at the next PPV, but by then it was meaningless anyway. (This was a HELL of a match, actually, and 98 Scott is really doing it a disservice with the short review.)  Main Event: WCW World champion Big Van Vader v. Davey Boy Smith. This was the peak of the “brainless spending” era in WCW, in this case millions of dollars on Davey Boy, who hadn’t main evented a card in his life, and then shoving him in a World title match on PPV. I won’t even bring up the midget. Smith took extra steroids for this one, it seems. Still, can’t blame both guys for effort here, as they give it the old college try, even though there’s MAYBE 6000 people there (I’d bet 2000 paid at most) who don’t give a shit anymore. But Davey Boy does some nice power stuff that Vader is nice enough to sell like a champion and the crowd is totally into it. Not as good a match as their Clash of Champions rematch a few weeks later, but still a good power v. power primer. Bill Goldberg, watch this match and take notes. Match spills outside and Vader bops Smith with a chair for the disappointing DQ that sets up…the MINI-MOVIE! NYAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! **1/2 (I don’t remember this match at all.)  The various announcers wrap things up. The Bottom Line: 1993 was without a doubt rock bottom for WCW. They signed all the wrong people, pushed all the wrong talent, did everything possible that one company could do to self-destruct, and fucked that up too by actually surviving. If it wasn’t for Ric Flair at Starrcade 93, Turner’s accountants may have actually pulled the plug on the bottomless pit that was WCW because they lost something like 23 million dollars in that year before rebounding with the Hogan signing. I don’t know WHAT they were thinking with this show, which didn’t have a marketable main event or a particularly strong undercard to back it up. Good ideas on paper rarely translate well to real life. Still, the last three matches on the tape are certainly worth a look, even if everything before is utter tripe. Later. (This actually sounds like a decent show and may be worthy of a re-rant one day to view it through non-drunken eyes.)