Bizarro World

Hello Sir

Hopefully you or some of the great commenters this board brings together can answer my question: Why were Ken Shamrock and Goldberg mostly booed by Canadian fans whenever WWF & WCW would tour?

Maybe I'm mis-remembering things but it always seemed like the Canucks strongly disliked both guys. 


Whilst I'm on the subject, wa there anybody else that Canada was supposed to like but rejected? Aside from all of Summerslam 2004, obviously.

P.S. Love you.

​Aw thanks, Maffew, I care deeply about you too.
Both guys were basically a case of who they were matched against.  Shamrock had the run against Owen Hart, especially at the Breakdown PPV in Hamilton, and Canadian fans were just really resentful of Owen having to put over someone they perceived as an outsider, I think.  Plus Shamrock always came off as a dick.
Goldberg is even easier, because WCW put him against Bret Hart in Toronto and that was a losing battle.  Not to mention that Canada was always WWF-centric, and Goldberg was (right or wrong) perceived up here as the guy ripping off Steve Austin.  ​

PTBN Reaction Show: ROH Best In the World 2015…and more

Will and Dylan Hales (Wrestling Culture) discuss the latest PPV offering from ROH. We discuss the character work of Dalton Castle, the awesome year from Roderick Strong, the questionable booking of Moose and the advantages and disadvantages of making Jay Lethal your top title holder. We also discuss our disappointment in the tag title match. Where does Jay Briscoe go from here? All this and more!

PTBN Reaction Show: ROH Best In the World 2015

Also from this week…

In our What If series, we discussed potential King of the Ring winners in year that no PPV tournament occurred: PTBN’s Wrestling What If… King of the Ring Winners

In our Rewind podcast series, we revisited King of the Ring 1994: Place to Be Network Rewind Series: WWF King of the Ring 1994

Kevin Kelly was joined by Dr. Tom Prichard to pay tribute to the late, great Dusty Rhodes: The Kevin Kelly Show Episode 37 – A Tribute to the American Dream

Zanadude Presents: World Pro Wrestling 2015/05/31

Welcome to the best 30 minutes of wrestling on television today: World Pro Wrestling!  Inspired by Scott’s review of NJPW shows from North America, I thought I would try my hand at the same style of just giving a basic overview of the show without calling every fucking move.  A digest of a digest, if yah wheel.
As I don’t subscribe to NJPW World, this 30 minute digest show is my only exposure to the product, so everything I see is fresh to me.
 

World Pro Wrestling – May 31st, 2015
Announcers: Terakawa Shunpei and Kazuchika Okada

The show airs at 3:15am in Japan, meaning that this show airs one day after Scott receives the report on it.  Mind. BLOWN!

We start with the same intro music that I heard from my Nth generation VHS dubs of this show from the 80’s, although the intro graphics are much flashier.

This is a show that wastes absolutely none of our fucking time, jumping right into Kazuchika Okada on commentary as Jushin Liger makes his entrance.  Yohei Komatsu is another guy that doesn’t believe in wasting any of our fucking time, jumping Liger before the bell with two dropkicks to send him out of the ring, and I guess we’re going to start right here:

Jushin Thunder Liger vs Yohei Komatsu

This is a one fall 30 minute match in the A block of the ongoing Best of the Super Jr. XXII tournament.  Less than 30 seconds into the match, Liger hits a brainbuster on the unpadded aisle floor, because NJPW.  Less than 30 seconds later, Liger hits a superplex into the ring, which Komatsu no-sells, because AJPW.  No?  OK, I got nothing.  A helpful graphic tells us that Liger is the 1994 and 2001 winner of this tournament…it’s insane that this guy has been around for nearly 30 years, given the style of wrestling he used to do.  At least he’s aged better than Muta.  Liger hits another brainbuster in the ring for the clean pin in about 2 minutes aired of an 8:36 match.  There’s no way I can judge the whole match based on that…it looked more like watching a video game than an actual wrestling match, but I was entertained nonetheless.  Call it *1/2 for what I saw.

They immediately jump to a package on the history of the Best of the Super Jr. tournament, including CHRIS BENOIT hitting a second rope tombstone piledriver, following by a review of all of this year’s participants:

A Block: Jushin “Thunder” Liger, Ryusuke Taguchi, Yohei Komatsu, Beretta, Gedo, Barbaro Cavernario, Chase Owens, Kyle O’Reilly

B Block: Tiger Mask, KUSHIDA, Alex Shelley, Mascara Doarda, David Finlay, Rocky Romero, Bobby Fish, Nick Jackson

A shame they couldn’t get Ricochet on board for another year.

They finish with a montage of former champions, thankfully leaving Wild Pegasus out of the list, and then leave us about 18 microseconds to digest all of that begore jumping to the next match:

KUSHIDA vs Masukara Dorada

This B Block match is joined in progress.  I expected more out of Okada on commentary…despite being a heel, he is surprisingly bland.  At least last week we got to hear Jushin Liger talking about what it felt like to have his face mashed into Maria’s breasts.  Lots more flying around in this match, mostly by Dorada, but KUSHIDA shows he can hang with a nice top rope tope to the floor.  But I don’t think anybody could take KUSHIDA seriously with that hair style…he would gain a lot by wearing a mask. For all the flying around, the match ends when KUSHIDA catches a Hover Board Lock for the submission.  Again, a nineish minute match of which only about two minutes aired, but again, I am entertained.  ** for what I saw.

And immediately into another B Block Match:

Alex Shelley vs David Finlay

Finlay is, to my knowledge, pro wrestling’s only fourth generation wrestler.  Finlay is rocking the Scott Keith haircut, so he must be the heel.  While WWE runs away from history, NJPW embraces it, showing us footage of a 1994 BOSJ match between Finlay’s father and Jushin Liger, which Finlay Sr. actually wins.  He looks decent enough, but still about an 0.7 on the Cody Hall Greenometer (happy 24th birthday Cody!)  As expected, it’s pretty much a squash for Shelley, who wins with his Automatic Midnight finisher, which is the first time I’ve seen an Irish guy LOSE via that move.  So little of the 5:32 of this match was shown that it doesn’t even seem worth rating.

After the match, we are shown a clip of a botched Shelley superkick that lead to chip fracture and ligament damage in his foot, knocking him out of the tournament for the second straight year.  I think Finlay was to blame there, so I’ll bump his Cody Hall Greenometer up to 1.2, or maybe just rename it in his honor and set that as the new 1.0.

Tiger Mask vs Nick Jackson

Speaking of Cody Hall, he wastes no time (does anybody?) in getting involved in this match, pulling Tiger Mask out of the ring.  This is a much different kind of match than the others, with a ton of outside interference.  The Bullet Club’s cheating really stands out, because nobody else actually does that in NJPW.  Jackson kicks out of Tiger Driver, which I thought would be the finish, but doesn’t have enough to kick out of the Tiger Suplex.  Another eight minute match of which less than two aired.  Probably my favorite of the digest matches thusfar. **

Ryusuke Taguchi vs Gedo

Finally back to the A Block here.  Both men’s entrances are featured, leading me to believe that we shouldn’t expect much of the match itself. Boy, was I wrong about that! Gedo goes all Randy Orton on us with a Hanging
DDT to the floor.  Then Taguchi goes all Goldust on us with a Butt Bump to the floor.  You know NJPW is better than WWE because they not only use their moves, they use them on the floor.  Another shoutout to Chris Benoit
with the Gedo Crossface, followed by a Kurt Angle shoutout with an Ankle Lock.  Even the refs no-sell bumps in NJPW!  Gedo kicks out of something that should have finished him off, and fellow CHAOS member Okada is going nuts along with the rest of the crowd!  While the ref is distracted, Gedo lands a shot to the nuts and hooks on the Gedo Clutch for the win!  It’s GOOD to be KING (unless you’re King Barrett).  The longest match of the night, both total and aired time, time well spent for the entertainment value provided. ***

After the match, Okada gives Gedo his seat and is about to interview the manager of CHAOS, as we head to our FIRST COMMERCIAL BREAK!

We come back with Ryusuke backstage, clutching his groin and lamenting the state of his dick.

Back to ringside, Okada tries to ask Gedo his feelings, but Gedo instead confronts Okada about his telling a newspaper reporter that “there was no way that [Gedo] could win”  As the crowd roars with laughter, Okada clarifies, saying that what he said was “there’s no way that Gedo could win the championship”  After calling Okada “cold”, Gedo claims that he’s “found his groove”, and announces that he will fight Kenny Omega for the IWGP Jr. title at the July 5th Osaka show, and vows to become a champion on the same night as Okada.  Well, if you’re gonna book your own angles, best to do it in style!  And because he’s the booker, he also steals Okada’s catchphrase, to the roar of the crowd.  This guy has Triple H
beat in every way, and he didn’t even have to marry the daughter of the booker to do it!

And right before our next commercial break, we introduce another A block match:

Barbaro Cavernario vs Chase Owens

Barbaro sports the Daniel Bryan fuzzy boots…and hits a superfly splash from the top rope to the floor, because everything goes to the floor in NJPW.

Cut back to Owens attempting a powerbomb, because we don’t need no stinking transitions, and as the credits roll, Barbaro hooks in a modified Romero Clutch for the submission win.  Less than a minute of this seven minute match is shown, but like everything else, it is a highlight reel of awesomeness.

At the very last three seconds of the show, Okada delivers his only memorable line of the night on the jungle man Barbaro: “How did he get into this country?  Does he have a passport”?

This show is the ultimate Cliffs Notes of wrestling.  Literally every dull moment is squeezed out, leaving an intense 25 minutes with not a second of dullness to be found.  Probably a lot of good stuff taken out as well, but if you’re a busy man with no more than 25 minutes a week to spare on wrestling, then this is the show for you.

Place to be Nation Presents: Real World Champion (2008-2014)

The staff over at Place to be Nation have voted to determine which wrestler in North America earned the title of the “Real World Champion” for each given year. Wrestlers were determined by the following factors: workrate, drawing ability, influence, and general overall presentation. Don’t think of this as which actual champion was the best but rather which wrestler of a given year best represented a combination of all these factors, the factors in which you would look for in a champion. Click on the link below to read the article and comment here too to voice your opinion on the selections. 

http://placetobenation.com/ptbns-real-world-champion-2008-2014/

Place to be Nation Presents: Real World Champion (2001-2007)

The staff over at Place to be Nation have voted to determine which wrestler in North America earned the title of the “Real World Champion” for each given year. Wrestlers were determined by the following factors: workrate, drawing ability, influence, and general overall presentation. Don’t think of this as which actual champion was the best but rather which wrestler of a given year best represented a combination of all these factors, the factors in which you would look for in a champion. Click on the link below to read the article and comment here too to voice your opinion on the selections. 

http://placetobenation.com/ptbns-real-world-champion-2001-2007/

Place to be Nation Presents: Real World Champion 1995-2000

The staff over at Place to be Nation have voted to determine which wrestler in North America earned the title of the “Real World Champion” for each given year. Wrestlers were determined by the following factors: workrate, drawing ability, influence, and general overall presentation. Don’t think of this as which actual champion was the best but rather which wrestler of a given year best represented a combination of all these factors, the factors in which you would look for in a champion. Click on the link below to read the article and comment here too to voice your opinion on the selections.

http://placetobenation.com/ptbns-real-world-champion-1995-2000/

Place to be Nation Presents: Real World Champion 1989-94

The staff over at Place to be Nation have voted to determine which wrestler in North America earned the title of the “Real World Champion” for each given year. Wrestlers were determined by the following factors: workrate, drawing ability, influence, and general overall presentation. Don’t think of this as which actual champion was the best but rather which wrestler of a given year best represented a combination of all these factors, the factors in which you would look for in a champion. Click on the link below to read the article and comment here too to voice your opinion on the selections.

http://placetobenation.com/ptbns-real-world-champion-1989-1994/

The post-PPV world of the near-future.

Scott,

Let's assume that 5 years from now, most or all WWE PPV/"Special Events" are not on Cable or Satellite but exclusive to The Network.

In such a scenario is there any reason for them to keep having so many "Special Events" a year?

The entire reason they started doing monthly PPVs was to compete with WCW, and that was 20 years ago!

Why do they not adjust their business model to reflect the fact that once "real" Pay-Per-View is dead, there is no reason to have events every month?

Once "real" Pay-Per-View revenue has finally dried up to nothing, there's really no incentive to spend the money on producing them every month, is there? 

-Paul.

​Yeah, but TNA did that approach and look what happened to them.  They lost all focus in their storytelling and turned into a bunch of week-to-week TV that didn't lead anywhere.  It frequently happens with WWE as well if there's too long between shows — the writers spin their wheels for four weeks and then do two weeks of build once they realize that they HAVE to.  Look at how much better NXT has become now that things build to quarterly specials, for another example.  The booking needs a target, an endgame, something.  It's become the nature of the business now.  ​

WWE World Title BOD question

So, let’s play a little true or false. These guys have won their last WWE World Title:


Brock

True.  I think everyone knows and acknowledges that the experiment was a failure as far as having a part-time champion goes.  

Daniel Bryan 

False.  Something will happen and they'll need a transitional guy and that's Bryan.  

Dolph Ziggler 
Well he's never won it in the first place, and I think he'll get it someday.  False.  

HHH 

If he was gonna, the Bryan storyline would have been the time.  So true.  

John Cena 

Are you kidding me?  

Randy Orton

See John Cena.  They'll be trading the belt when the world is reduced to post-apocalyptic rubble and Paul Heyman is managing the cockroaches.  

World Class Lightning Round

Scott….Going thru my VHS tapes purge has inspired me to ask: can you do a “World Class” version of the Lightning Round? If you could give me (your pick) the best (North America) match of the following:


Kerry Von Erich (overall)

He had some hellacious matches with Flair (duh) but my favorite was actually a match with Harley Race of all people, shortly before Kerry won the title.  It was on WWE 24/7 on some random themed month and it was GREAT. 

Kerry Von Erich (post amputation….after 1986-ish)

Jerry Lawer at Superclash, and it’s not even debatable.  Everything else he did with the missing foot was hot garbage.  

Bruiser Brody

I honestly haven’t seen more than about 3 Brody matches in my life.  He was before my time as a fan for the most part.  

Chris Adams

Discovering and training Steve Austin eclipses anything else he did in the business.  He had some great tag matches with Gino, but nothing I can think of off-hand.  Another guy who was basically before my time as a fan when he was peaking.  

Kevin Von Erich

Gotta be Flair.  

David Von Erich

Died before I even became a fan.  

Michael Hayes

One of the 80 million six-mans with the Von Erichs.  

Terry Gordy

He had a lot of great ones in All Japan.  

Gino Hernandez

Before my time.  I vagely remember the team with Chris Adams and saw some good stuff there, but otherwise I couldn’t judge.  

Abdullah the Butcher

Yeah OK then.  

Brian Adidas (talk about obscure…….)

No idea.  

Jimmy Garvin

Flair in the Precious cage match.  

Thanks…..

(Also, going forward, which email is the best one to use?)

How to Order Wrestle Kingdom 9 on NJPW World

Less than 10 hours away from the biggest show of the year. The Tokyo Dome is apparently sold out, which means over 60,000 in attendance, their biggest crowd in a decade. The main event, IC title match, and NEVER Openweight title match in particular look incredibly strong. Lots of North American talent all over the card including AJ Styles, Shelton Benjamin, Young Bucks, reDRagon, Alex Shelley, Davey Boy Smith Jr, Jeff Jarrett, Karl Anderson, and more. The best part? It’s only 999 yen, which is only about 8 DOLLARS~!

The homeboy, puro historian and tape trader Roy Lucier has put together a video on how to order the NJPW network. It only took me about 3 or 4 minutes, following the video. Not only do you get tonight’s gigantic PPV, also this week you would get the Kōrakuen Hall show, and two NJPW/CMLL shows later this month… for only 8 dollars and some change. Tonight’s show is a CAN’T MISS. Enjoy…

Paramount kills Team America: World Police

http://insidemovies.ew.com/2014/12/18/team-america-world-police-screenings-canceled/

Given that the makers of this movie are the guys behind South Park, it seems only fitting that they are trying to capitalize on the revolutionary Cartmanland Marketing System:

“I’m sorry, you can’t see this movie!  Nobody can see this movie!  Even I can’t see this movie!”

Congratulations to North Korea on securing some of the prophet Mohammed’s special goo.

RVD World Champion

Hi Scott,

RVD had a wonderfully entertaining year in 1998 having some genuinely great matches against Bam Bam and Jerry Lynn that year, elevating the TV title into his own and becoming a very popular face for the company.

With the following years his popularity never dwindled and was a big fan favourite, so why did Paul Heyman never pull the trigger on giving him a World Title run especially towards the end? Were there back stage politics or did Heyman just not think it was worthwhile?

Thanks

​Heyman was all about the chase and was kind of obsessively building up the perfect heel foil for RVD to dethrone and pay off his quest, but unfortunately Rob got injured and they never found the right moment to put it on him.  It wasn't politics or anything, they had every intention of making him champion.  ​

Throwback link for the blog about miz and the Real World

Found this article while cleaning out my mailbox. Article on the Real World season The Miz was on, from right before when the season in question debuted, which singles him out as far as his presence on the show embodying how far the franchise had fallen in terms of the franchise becoming formulaic and cliched.  

I only watched a couple of episodes of the season in question when it first aired (Real World pretty much jumped the shark around Seattle/Hawaii and Hawaii itself pretty much was a clusterfuck of fail that broke the franchise) but I'm curious, given the retroactive fame issue and that that The Miz is one of the ultra few Real World cast members to go on to amount to anything, why the WWE never really mentioned or brought up his Real World days when he became a centerpiece of the company. Even when he was going toe-to-toe with John Cena, we never got to see Cena throw the Real World into Miz's face to mock him. Is the Real World off-limits by the WWE (which is insane given that you've had other wrestlers be upfront with their pasts and dirty laundry) or is it a matter of Vince, ever being several years behind the curve, not even knowing Miz was on the show, let alone what Real World is?

Jesse Baker     

 
 
image
 
 
 
 
 
“The Real World” refuses to grow up

The show that spawned reality television comes back for its 10th season, forgetting the lessons it taught everyone else.
Preview by Yahoo
 

​I never watched or even knew what the Real World was until many years after it was gone, but perhaps one had to be of a certain age and disposition to pay attention to it in the first place.  Might have also had to do with not getting MTV in Canada at the time it would have been airing.  ​

WCW World War 3: November 24, 1996

What have we seen in the last 4 weeks? Well, for starters, I’m more concerned with what we haven’t seen. The last pay-per-view was completely dominated with the Savage / Liz storyline from hell, but yet, I remain on edge since Randy disappeared right after that event and hasn’t been heard from since. Of course, the announcers have not mirrored my elevated levels of alertness, but this is WCW so that is no surprise.
In other news, Mean Gene returned to his natural post, while Ric Flair found a shirt that was completely unnatural. Jeff Jarrett has appeared on every show, wrestling the exact same match, and giving the exact same interview. Bill Murray wishes he had that kind of stoic, repetitive range.
Sting has turned into a brooding teenager, and rarely comes out of his room. When he does, he’s in a foul mood, wears dark clothing, and doesn’t want to talk to anyone.
Diamond Dallas Page has started garnering a little fan support by rejecting the nWo, while Chris Jericho has attempted to garner fan support by being a smiling wiener. Nick Patrick has ceased appearing on every single show (it’s true – check out this week’s results!), but Jimmy Hart has not.
The Faces of Fear have turned into the kind of hero warriors that video games are written about. Roddy Piper is rarely seen, but his segments air every 34 minutes, in full. Glacier came, and true to his manhood, hasn’t called us since. Fit Finlay is presumed dead, while Steven Regal is not.
And finally, Eric Bischoff is the biggest weaselly weasel who ever weaselled.
This is World War 3.
All 3 rings CATCH FIRE because we are LIVE in Norfolk, VA! TONY SCHIAVONEDUSTY RHODES, and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN are styling! Well, except Dusty, who’s dressed in the skin of several prized cattle.

REY MYSTERIO JR. vs. THE ULTIMATE DRAGON (with Sonny Onoo) (for the J-Crown championship)
The J-Crown is made up of all 8 belts that Dragon carries around, and they appear to weigh as much as Rey Mysterio Jr. If he wins, I recommend he also try and take Sonny Onoo with him, since there’s no way he’s going to be able to haul those through airports. Dragon works an armlock, and drags Rey to the mat where he drops a knee across the elbow. Dragon connects with a scoop slam and applies a chinlock. Rey slips loose, but misses a moonsault. Both guys try dropkicks at the same time, kip up, and pause to soak in the cheers. Rey blinks first, and Dragon hits a spin kick. Mysterio pops to the apron, but Dragon uses the springboard and dropkicks Rey to the floor. Back in, Rey is welcomed with a German suplex, and the bridge is held for 2. Sonny complains, but it was clean. Rey goes for a rana, but Dragon catches him mid-spin, puts him in the Fireman’s carry, and drops down with the Atlantinda backbreaker drop! He doesn’t relax, immediately connecting with a backbreaker, and a half crab is locked on. The fans try to rally Rey, who refuses to tap. A Dragon Bomb complimented with a slingshot guillotine gets 2! Rey tries to make stuff happen, but is given an atomic drop, and then the Giant Swing! He gets about 8 rotations, or 1/3 Cesaro – and after release, he falls down himself. Mysterio is a mess, and a fisherman’s buster gets 2. Since that didn’t work, Dragon uses a brainbuster for 2. He goes to the well one more time, and Mysterio rolls forward in a package for 2. Dragon pops up, pissed, and starts kick Rey in the ribs. Satisfied, he grapevines the leg, and Mysterio screams for his life. Move released, and a JUMPING TOMBSTONE connects … only getting 2! There’s been about 6 moves that would have ended this in 2014. Rey hits the floor, where Dragon kicks him in the mouth with a swinging dropkick. Dragon then hits the deck, and whips Rey into the guardrail rib-first. And, because we haven’t done enough longterm damage, a tombstone is delivered on the floor, before Dragon scrambles back in for a slingshot splash on the now deceased Mysterio. Onoo waves Dragon with a fan, but I don’t even know that he’s worked up a sweat. Mysterio is placed on the top rope, and nails the Dragonsteiner FAR too easily, but again Mysterio kicks out at 2. A running Dragonbomb is next, and another kick out. Dragon, frustrated, blindly charges, and winds up on the receiving end of a spinning heel kick. Rey quickly follows his first advantage of the match with a springboard moonsault, but only gets 2. He won’t give up however, and connects with a springboard dropkick, sending Dragon crashing to the floor. With momentum, Rey springboards off the second rope, and flies to the outside with his patented somersault dick to the face! Mysterio rolls him in, and is right behind with a springboard sunset flip – but Dragon pops out at 2 and in one fluid move he floats over with a bridged pin … but only 2! Dragon goes for the electric chair, but Rey spins around mid-move, hits the rana and hooks the legs, but Dragon wiggles loose at 2. Rey tries to pound away, but Dragon flattens Mysterio with a fast Dragon Suplex, but Rey again kicks out at 2! He goes for another Dragonbomb, but Rey rolls backwards, and holds on for a package, and 2 count. Mysterio hits the apron, calls for the West Coast Pop, but Dragon holds his legs mid-move, catapults his body off the ropes, and flattens him with a Dragonbomb for the pin at 13:48!! Well, Rey looks virtually unbeatable (even though he lost), and Dragon comes across as the most dangerous competitor in the Cruiserweight department, so … mission accomplished! This is an easy MOTYC. ****1/2
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND has some exciting news for those of you in “cyberspace”. WCW.com is providing play-by-play results, on wcwwrestling.com! Results in real-time? That’s more than my 28.8k modem can handle! Meanwhile, DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE is not far, and Gene wants to know if Page is jumping to the nWo. Page admits when you’re the very best, everyone wants a piece, but he has no interest in discussing his relationship with the nWo. Gene refuses to let it drop, because it’s a public matter now. In fact, because Eric Bischoff is his next door neighbor, his role is more important than ever. Good point, Gene-o. Page says what other people are doing doesn’t affect him, and his only focus is the World War 3 battle royal. He reminds us, he won Battlebowl in the spring, and he will be the last man standing tonight.
NICK PATRICK (with Neck Brace) vs. CHRIS JERICHO (with Teddy Long and one arm – Jericho, not Teddy)
The referee for this one is SCOTT DICKENSON in what appears to be his WCW debut – welcome aboard, Scott! He’s charged with tying up Chris Jericho, as we’re reminded it’s Teddy’s fault that Jericho’s in the mess. A heel turn here from Teddy would be glorious. Patrick talks trash to Jericho, and delivers a shove. Jericho responds by pushing Patrick into the corner and then giving him a legsweep. Patrick’s moving pretty well despite the injured neck, good on him for manning up. Patrick rolls to the safety of the floor, and reminds Dickenson that Jericho needs to watch the neck. Jericho leads the fans in a “PATRICK SUCKS” chant, because he’s unable to draw heat without spelling it out. I *hate* 1996 Chris Jericho. Patrick re-enters and challenges Jericho to a test of strength, but Jericho reaches out and puts Patrick in a hammerlock. A dropkick sends Patrick neck-first into the buckle, and Jericho follows with a hiptoss. Patrick hits the floor once more, where an irate Teddy Long tells him to get his ass back in the ring. Patrick shoves him out of the way, so Teddy shoves back – but the watchful eye of Scott Dickenson sees it, and jumps in between, giving Long a stern warning. Back in again, Patrick delivers a bitch slap, so Jericho gives one right back twice as hard. Patrick rolls back to the floor, but this time Jericho’s right behind him, and with one arm he pulls Patrick back in the ring. A clothesline goes to take his head off … and Patrick hits the floor again. Hah – I know it doesn’t make for the most exciting match, but the stalling is the perfect fan-troll. Jericho goes to punch Patrick in the face, but he ducks and Jericho’s only good hand punches the ring post! Patrick’s got him now, and takes him back in, delivering a Mr. Perfect style snapmare. Patrick works Jericho over like a piece of meat in a freezer, but Jericho swings with a hook and Patrick is staggering. A big boot knocks Patrick out for a second, so Jericho picks him up and slams him face first to the buckle repeatedly. Patrick runs around to the floor again, and once they’re back in, nails Jericho with a shoulderblock. Patrick heads up for a little high flying(!), but Jericho catches him with one fist, and slams him. Sweet Chin Music finishes at 8:04. This match was begging for a screwy ending, to out Patrick as an nWo guy once and for all. Patrick’s arm WAS under the ropes, so maybe we’ll have a re-match next month. *1/2
wcwwrestling.com update – MARCUS BAGWELL and MARK MADDEN are “answering email”. Of course, Bagwell is nowhere near a keyboard, because one fingered typing probably isn’t particularly effective at this task.
Is it the shank of the evening? Because “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND welcomes RIC FLAIR to our program, dressed more like the Nature Boy I know and love. He’s still got an arm-brace, and unlike Nick Patrick, he’s probably not going to wrestle through it. Flair sucks up a little to Sting, when talking about the guys who truly represent the history of WCW. He promises that before it’s all said and done, the nWo will belong to WCW.
THE GIANT vs. JEFF JARRETT
Tony updates us on the US title: because Flair hasn’t been able to defend the title, he has officially been stripped of the belt. And of course, neither is the Giant seeing as how he never won it. No news what we’re going to do with it, but presumably a tournament is in our immediate future. And who doesn’t love a good tournament? Jarrett attacks Giant before the bell, and delivers an uppercut. Giant isn’t phased, and begins to stalk his prey. A punch misses near the corner, and Jarrett mounts the big man to deliver some punches. Giant shoves him off, and runs him over with a clothesline. Jarrett quickly comes back with a series of Stinger splashes, but a third go gets a big old boot to the gut. An elbowdrop ensures the advantage stays pro-nWo, and Giant enjoys this by using Jarrett as a step-stool. Jarrett tries to deliver some chops, but that goes nowhere, and Giant continues to kick him down. All the fans start pointing to the ceiling, because STING is walking back and forth in the rafters, watching the ring. Giant hits a big leg drop as Sting starts descending, and heading through the crowd. Giant delivers a backbreaker, and heads up for a Vaderbomb. Jarrett side-steps, and comes off the top with a crossbody for 2. Jarrett dropkicks Giant, who collapses over the top rope to the floor, and Jeff struts. Sting appears behind Jarrett, and gives him a Deathdrop!!!! The referee sees nothing because he’s busy counting out the Giant, and Sting disappears to the back. The Chokeslam does hit – so Jarrett’s out of bragging material, and Giant scores the win at 6:05. That’ll teach Jarrett to run his mouth about people who he believes are out of earshot. Match was awful. 1/2*
The familiar bagpipes warm up, because RODDY PIPER is most definitely in the house. He’s got a contract in his hand – and with luck it’s a restraining order against the airing of his music video ever again. He’s your mannnnnnn! Heenan laughably calls Piper a bigger movie star than Hogan. Piper doesn’t waste time, ordering Hogan to get his ass out immediately and sign the papers. Instead, we get ERIC BISCHOFF wearing an nWo shirt, and flanked by VINCENT and TED DIBIASE. Uncle Eric reports that Hogan’s a little busy looking over movie scripts, but he has power of attorney. Piper shoves Vincent aside, “I taught you how to fight, get out of my way”. He calls Bischoff a never-was wanna-be, and starts slapping Vincent around. He tells Bischoff he can get away with wearing a kilt because he’s tough enough to do it, and gets in Eric’s face. Eric warns him that it’ll cost him if he takes a swing. Piper: “How much?” Eric: “More than you’ve got.” Piper shows them that he’s signed the contract, and said he doesn’t care if the nWo is ringside and interfering, because he wants the fight. He orders Bischoff to get to the back, and demands Hogan get out here.
On queue, HOLLYWOOD HOGAN emerges from the mist, with ELIZABETHTHE GIANTTHE OUTSIDERS, and SYXX. No love for the nWo Stinger? Hogan tries to talk, but Piper shoves the contract under his nose. Hogan tells Piper that he’s used to dealing with people that are actually on his level. 10 years ago, Piper couldn’t get the job done, but he wants a piece now? Hogan tells him to show the fans his hip. Piper happily lifts the kilt, showing off a hip. But it’s not that one, as Hogan lifts the other side – revealing a massive scar. Hogan says he doesn’t pick on cripples and peg legs, but since the whole world wants to see the War that Didn’t End the Score, he happily signs off on facing Piper. As soon as he does, Piper bitch slaps him, and dives on top. Unfortunately, he’s outnumbered by a ton of guys, and Giant grabs him allowing Hogan to get his shots in. Piper breaks loose, and starts gnawing at Hogan’s face. Giant pulls him back again, and lifts the kilt again showing the scar. Hogan smashes it with a chair, and chopblocks Piper in the hip. And, because we’re not done, Hogan spraypaints nWo across the bare leg, hocks a loogie, and unloads in Piper’s face.
Excellent start to Starrcade, we need a LOT more of this, and a LOT fewer music videos.
THE AMAZING FRENCH CANADIANS (with Colonel Robert Parker) vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri)
The Colonel slays me with his “Vive-la Quebec!”, complete with heavy Southern drawl. Booker promises to hurt somebody, OG style, and it’s on like neckbone. However, before we neckbone, we’re treated to the Canadian National Anthem, which Tony talks all over. How are they to improve, if we never get an honest, respectful chance to hear them out? Dusty complains about the filibustahs. Rougeau and Booker start, with Booker hitting a shoulderblock. Rougeau kips up, and dropkicks Booker, but that only serves to get him going. Booker hits a superkick, and tags in Stevie. Rougeau stuns Stevie with a back elbow, though a math question would have been equally effective. Ouellette enters with an avalanche, but Stevie ducks a clothesline and hits a backdrop suplex. A bicycle kick gets 2, and that’s a problem because Stevie Ray is officially out of move-set. Thankfully, he has Booker, who tags in and drops a knee. The axe kick has Booker giving us a little holla holla, but Ouellette pokes him in the eye. Both guys miss elbowdrops, but the spinaroonie gives Booker the power to hit the Harlem sidekick. Rougeau pulls Booker to the floor, and the Colonel gets in a few shots at his former client, without stopping to mop his brow! Once Booker is safely placed back in, Colonel starts wiping down his waterfall of emotion. Booker is given a double team hotshot, but he manages to sneak in a schoolboy on Carl for 2. Ouellette takes his head off with a clothesline. Rougeau applies a Quebec crab, as Ouellette flies off the top with a legdrop at the same time. Stevie finally gets the hot tag, where he gives Rougeau a gorilla press slam right into Ouellette! All 4 guys wind up in the ring, where Ouellette inadvertently turns the referee into an omelette. Booker misses a Harlem sidekick, and straddles the rope right on the old food stamps. This allows both guys to work over Stevie Ray, and a double spike piledriver connects! No referee to count, so they grab a table, because … why not, I guess. Ouellette also grabs the ringsteps and throws them in beneath the table which is balanced in the corner. A second set of ringsteps is placed on top of THAT, giving them the height they need for a SUPER Quebec Crash! However, as the 1995 referendum reminded us, there is no such thing as a Super Quebec, as Ouellette crashes into nothing, and Stevie clocks him with a superkick. Booker re-enters with the Harlem Hangover, and the referee awakes to give them the win at 9:16. This might be Harlem Heat’s best showing of the year. **1/2
Post-match, the Colonel stomps around in frustration, allowing Sherri to come at him from behind, and slam him face first to the buckle before tossing him aside. Over to Ring #2 now, she throws clotheslines like she’s Lex Luger, before coming off the top with a crossbody. The referee starts counting, and hilariously the Colonel kicks out, before sliding to his French compatriots and running to the back.
After a quick Hotline plug, “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND finds a little time for LEX LUGER. Gene wants to know what was up Sting on Monday, but Lex has no answers. He doesn’t know what the baseball bat means, but he’s worried Sting has been corrupted by the nWo. He doesn’t know why Sting turned his back to him after handing him the bat, but he hopes Sting is willing to talk to him soon. Regarding tonight’s match, he feels he’s got as good a chance as anyone, he’s been on a roll, and he really wants a shot at Hogan to help take some of the tarnish off of WCW.
PSYCHOSIS vs. DEAN MALENKO (for the WCW world cruiserweight title)
Sadly, the crowd gives neither guy much of a response during their entrances, and something tells me this isn’t going to compare the opener. Dusty smartly points out this is the first time these two guys have fought, which makes Tony happy, before Dusty admits Mike Tenay told him. Malenko applies a crossface, but Psychosis quickly makes the ropes. Of course, as soon as they’re back in the middle of the ring, Psychosis is right back in a crossface again. Dusty refers to the belt as the “cruiser heavyweight title”. Malenko locks the arms behind the back of Psychosis, rolls back, and scores a 2. Psychosis finally catches Malenko, and starts with a bunch of hiptosses. Malenko trips the challenger up, and grapevines the leg. Psychosis fights it for nearly 2 minutes before breaking it up. Dean’s a machine though, and immediately puts him in a side surfboard. Psychosis escapes, and nails a spinning heel kick that sends the champ to the apron. A dropkick has Dean crash to the floor, but he trips up during his next springboard and crumbles to the floor as Malenko walks away unharmed. He even appears to have caught his nose against the guardrail, and Malenko rolls his dizzy opponent back in. Malenko scissors the head, but Psychosis won’t tap. Malenko drops a leg, and the ref counts a little fast, but Psychosis still kicks out. Next up, the Edgecutioner – and despite the hip being yanked out of socket, Psychosis won’t give. Malenko releases, hits the tigerbomb, and locks on the Cloverleaf – but Psychosis is too close to the ropes and saves himself. Dean viciously just starts dropping knee after knee after knee on Psychosis’ damaged leg, trying to turn him into sawdust. Psychosis is tied to the tree of woe, but absolutely nothing happens. A monkey flip sends Psychosis over the top to the floor, but he misses the baseball slide and Psychosis gives him a backbreaker. Up to the top rope far too quickly for someone with a bad leg, Psychosis launches himself with a corkscrew senton! Back in, Psychosis hits a springboard guillotinem and that’s his finisher, but Malenko kicks out. That’s awful! Psychosis misses a blind charge, but still manages to stun Malenko who’s gone to the top – and the super Frankensteiner connects … for 2. He tries a brainbuster, but Malenko falls forward and packages Psychosis for 2. Both guys trade piledriver holds, and on the 4th reversal, Malenko hits the tombstone for 2! Going for what appears to be a back cracker, Malenko actually rolls through the move, then bridges back, and scores the pin out of nowhere at 14:35! Look, I love Psychosis like a brother from another madre, but they can do better. A lot better. **1/2
THE OUTSIDERS vs. THE NASTY BOYS vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart) (for the WCW world tag-team titles)
The Nastys are busy clearing the ring before the Faces of Fear even see their music hit. The obvious play here is to team up, and do whatever it takes to work against a team that appears completely unstoppable to this point, but I’m not sure the Nastys and Outsiders are smart enough to do that. Barbarian finds Nash on the floor, and tees off on him like a human punching bag. Turning to Scott Hall next, both guys turn on the clubberin, so Scotty bails. Knobbs goes after Barbarian with an avalanche splash, but Barbarian just puffs out his chest and Knobbs bounces off the brick wall. During that, Meng is casually beating down Sags like he’s a Worldwide jobber. Nash and Hall eyeball the carnage, but don’t dare get involved. Barbarian chops at Knobbs with such ferocity that I am not convinced multiple bones we haven’t even heard of haven’t been shattered. Then Knobbs hits a clothesline, and saps the believability right out of this. Both guys take turns hitting Barbarian, until Meng finally comes in and starts giving the world’s wildest ground and pound sequence to Knobbs. Barbarian is now fully recovered, as he’s gone about 8 seconds without being touched, and jumps in to help his buddy deliver a beating. Nash and Hall look on, amused, from the apron, with Nash pretending to calmly smoke. Meng continues his assault on Knobbs, and screams out in whatever language he speaks – and the fans respond in turn “OOOOH WAHHHH!” Nash tags himself in via Meng, and delivers a bunch of high knees in the corner. Hall starts teeing off on the back of Knobbs’ head, and then quickly tags Meng back in. Meng gives him a little more of the Island Fever, so Nash tags himself back in sensing an opportunity. Unfortunately for him, Knobbs cracks him with an elbow, so Nash quickly goes back to Meng. He and Barbarian trade off, until Knobbs desperately tags Hall. Hall pounds Barbarian in the corner, until Barbarian pops up and grabs Hall by the neck angrily. With one hand, he picks up Hall and tosses him to the corner, and then gives him a vicious clothesline in the corner. A powerslam is plenty, and he goes back to Meng who immediately stomps on Hall’s pooter. Hall tags out, to Knobbs, which is like serving Meng a fresh steak. Sags tries to bumrush the Outsiders now, but both guys see him coming and they beat him down as the referee desperately tries to restore order. Behind the back, the Faces of Fear hammer away on Knobbs like machines that never need to be reset. Once everyone clears, Knobbs gets a cheap shot on Barbarian, and Sags tags quickly to deliver a spike piledriver for 2 – saved by Hall. Sags tags in Nash, so Nash obliges … and punches Sags in the head. That was dumb, because now Barbarian is fresh as a daisy, and he strikes. Nash stops him with a boot to the face, and a clothesline for 1, because Meng is already in and stomping on Nash’s neck. Nash hits the sidewalk slam, but Meng saves again at 2. Hall gets the tag, and works over Barbarian with a series of punches, which lasts about 5 seconds before Barbarian storms out of the corner, and chops away at Hall. Nash runs over to save his buddy, so Meng tags in and gives Hall a sidewalk slam. He scores a really close count, but Hall kicks out at the last second. Hall tags in Barbarian, and Meng pretends to be ready to fight his buddy … but it’s a trick, and he tags in Knobbs. Even in the most important battle of the year, Meng has a sense of humor! Meng for World Champion! The Nastys double clubber on Barbarian, and Dusty immediately breaks out in a cold sweat. Hall tags himself in, which causes Knobbs to yell “YOU FUCK!” Fantastic. Hall paintbrushes Barbarian on the mat, who shoves Hall off with a big foot and takes the fight right to him. Hall tags Nash and TRIES to double team Barbarian, but now Meng is in and they all start trading punches. Nash hits a corner clothesline on Meng, slams him in the middle of the ring. He looks to finish, but Knobbs tags Nash, and they start fighting. Barbarian COULD let them go, but that’s not how he’s designed, and he gets involved too. Sags tags in, and gives Barbarian a backbreaker … for 1. Meng comes in, as does Knobbs, and Brian’s probably sorry because he’s on the receiving end of a piledriver for 2. Sags brings himself back in, but Meng’s like a pig – he’s all chops. Hall tags Meng, but Sags gives him an atomic drop, followed by an Andrew Golota – and Hall falls backwards in pain … tagging Meng. That’s fine by him, as he headbutts his prey. Then, in a moment that’s sheer lunacy, both guys look at each other, and tag Hall and Nash. The announcers figure out immediately why this is a bad move, because Nash lies down and Hall goes to pin him … but both the other teams rush back in and break that up. The Nastys clear the ring of the Fear, and Hall grabs a tire iron to wallop Knobbs. Jackknife from Nash, and the champs retain at 16:10. Who allowed the stupid goddamn Nasty Boys into this match? You want results, you call Meng and Barbarian. Fun brawl. ***
The announce crews are split into 3 different groups, so everyone has their own rings. On ring #3, LEE MARSHALL and LARRY ZBYSZKO make up the worst pairing in the history of ever. MIKE TENAY joins Dusty over at ring #1, and Tony stays put with the Brain by the middle. Dusty chooses his winner, Konnan.
WORLD WAR 3
Your competitors tonight are LEX LUGEREDDIE GUERREROTONY RUMBLEDIAMOND DALLAS PAGEKENNY KAOSROBBIE RAGEM WALLSTREETMARCUS BAGWELLSCOTTY RIGGSSERGEANT CRAIG PITTMANBOOKER TSTEVIE RAYBIG BUBBERHUGH MORRUSKONNANRON STUDDSTEVEN REGALLA PARKA“PISTOL” PEZ WHATLEYMONGO MCMICHAEL (with Debra McMichael)DISCO INFERNOTHE RENEGADEJOE GOMEZMENGTHE BARBARIANBUNKHOUSE BUCKARN ANDERSONJOHNNY GRUNGECICLOPEGALAXYSYXXSCOTT HALLKEVIN NASHTHE GIANTSCOTT NORTONTHE ULTIMATE DRAGONJIMMY GRAFFITIMIKE ENOSREY MYSTERIO JR.ROADBLOCKICE TRAINJACK BOOTJIM DUGGANCHRIS BENOIT (with Woman)JUVENTUD GUERRERAJACQUES ROUGEAUCARL OUELLETTEPRINCE IAUKEADEAN MALENKOJEFF JARRETTBOBBY EATONJIM POWERSDAVE TAYLORCHRIS JERICHOALEX WRIGHTMARK STARRMR. JLVILLANO IVRICK STEINER, and KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Jimmy Hart).
A couple of notes … Firstly, I had no idea Jack Boot was here, or I wouldn’t have bothered recapping this show since he’s the clear winner. Secondly, this is the debut of Villano IV – welcome to WCW Villano IV! Thirdly, Chris Benoit is a total mess, with Kevin Sullivan having cleaned his clock in Baltimore the night before. Apparently the Dungeon ambushed him in the bathroom, and destroyed him.
Benoit and Sullivan start fighting on the floor before the bell even rings, and the Dungeon drags Benoit to the side for more action. Arn rushes in to save his buddy, but they’re outnumbered. Benoit and Sullivan continue to find each other, no matter who else gets involved, and Benoit never stops his momentum. Neither does Sullivan, as both guys are worlds of energy. They disappear into the crowd.
Now we look at a trio of cameras, and it’s damn near impossible to follow along with anything, but I’m always up for a challenge. Benoit and Sullivan have found themselves at the top of the arena, and Benoit is thrown down the stairs. He gets right back up, and pulls Sullivan back to the ring for more.
The nWo stand around together in a corner, with absolutely no one paying them any attention. Somewhere in here, every member of the Dungeon of Doom and the Horsemen are declared out – and in the chaos, Lee Marshall gets smacked down by the Dungeon! Tony calls for medical attention immediately, because he got clobbered. This is my kind of match!
Marshall eventually recovers, and loses his business on Larry – hey that’s the second announcer this week! I’m starting to see a common denominator, Mr. Zbyszko, if you catch my drift.
Speaking of common denominators, pretty much every update features names like “Ciclope”, “La Parka”, and “Galaxy” being eliminated. In a sad turn of events, Pez Whatley leaves us courtesy of Craig Pittman. I never approve of black on black violence.
Mark Starr says his last goodbye, falling directly on his noggin. Should have worn the hard-hat, Mark. Tenay jumps in with a major update, dripping with excitement: “Lex Luger has just … eliminated Kaos!”
Joe Gomez leaves us; I guess that Powers / Renegade / Gomez / Wright alliance wasn’t 4 life, now was it? Marshall announces the loss of “Juventud Guerrero”, who I’ve never heard of in my life. Tony relays that every member of the nWo is still in this, which is impressive since I was led to believe Hogan, Vincent, DiBiase, nWo Sting, Nick Patrick, and Eric Bischoff were not participating.
Giant and Roadblock get into it, which seems to get a little buzz from the fans. Giant wins that fight, as you’d expect, and the fans erupt. Duggan performs experimental medical practices on Dave Taylor’s ding dong, but like Barry Gibb, he’s stayin alive.
The wrestlers start to realize if they don’t start working together, they’re never going to take out the biggest names in this match, and everyone in ring #1 bands together to work over Ron Studd. This includes a giant pile-on, which I haven’t seen since my 4th grade recesses.
Riggs is shown the door by his good buddy Marcus Alexander, who in turn hits the deck via Wallstreet. Riggs feeds it to his pal, and Bagwell does a hilariously exaggerated special needs version of the overhead clap, and both guys point fingers. Dave Taylor is tossed, but still threatens to beat up everyone in the building with his fists in the air like a good British warrior.
Scott Steiner is declared out, which surprises me since he was never in, and I haven’t actually seen him in ages. And with that bogus elimination, everyone combines in Ring #2 – but it takes forever for the cameras to do the same thing.
No surprises in the ring, big names like Craig Pittman, Jack Boot, Jim Powers, and Bunkhouse Buck all made it to the final 20. Ron Studd is still here, despite the group attempts to finish him off. Lex Luger has the Giant on the ropes, but more importantly, the freshly eliminated Jack Boot and Johnny Grunge start a new beef.
Craig Pittman and Booker T are eliminated within seconds of each other. Disco Inferno dances his last dance, and Bunkhouse Buck heads for the showers (finally). Stevie Ray, Rick Steiner, and Ron Studd all go quickly. Rey Mysterio headscissors the Dragon over and out – and nearly gets tossed himself, but he holds on and swings himself back in. Chris Jericho falls out, but Rick Steiner’s back in for some reason.
We’re down to the final 10 as Ice Train’s elimination ends all hope for locomotive lovers everywhere. For WCW, you have Lex Luger, Rey Jr., Eddie Guerrero, Jeff Jarrett, and Steven Regal, against the nWo 4. DDP sits in the middle of both groups, which is almost a beautiful piece of imagery from a usually incompetent group of writers.
Giant picks up Mysterio with one arm, and launches him gorilla press style into Guerrero who’s only just stood up. Jarrett and DDP brawl, because apparently they have no interest in winning this thing and just want to hand it to the nWo. Even his Lordship gets in on it, which disappoints me from the usually brilliant Englishman. Jarrett gets caught in an Outsiders edge, and even though Regal saves him from that, he’s quickly tossed.
DDP makes a run at Regal, who backdrops him over and out! The defending Battlebowl champion can’t make it a season sweep. Regal and Luger are your lone WCW survivors, and all the nWo guys go after Regal. Steve puts up a hell of fight, but the numbers overcome him.
Everyone turns to Luger, and huddle for a plan. I would think it should be easy enough, everyone come as one, and dump him. Instead, they run one by one like the Putty Patrol, and Luger fends them off. Giant comes last, and misses an avalanche, launching himself across the buckle. Luger puts on the Rack to a HUGE pop, but Syxx makes the save. Hall goes for the Outsiders Edge, but Luger backdrops him over and out! Syxx is picked up Gorilla Press style, and he’s thrown into Hall! Luger racks Nash now, so Giant has to intervene, but his shove sends Nash to the floor… with Luger tumbling right behind, and The Giant is your winner at 28:25. ***
As the fireworks explode and the nWo celebrates, Luger points at the crew and tells them that their day is coming.
So if the Giant is the #1 contender … does he cash in on his boss?
More questions, as we start the road to Starrcade. Strap yourselves in.

WWE vs the world

WWE shills a stupid cat…Jarrett does this:
​It was kind of the obvious choice, but JR will probably have something to prove and be really motivated, so it should be fun.  I for one will be watching the shit out of that show, although trying to cram 5.5 hours of content into a 4 hour PPV window might be a huge trainwreck.  To say the least.  ​

Repost: The SmarK Rant for WCW World War III 1995

The SK Retro Rant for WCW World War III 1995 (This was originally done around 2001.)  – For those of you who follow my little personal asides in these rants, you’ll know that this was actually the show that ended my WCW boycott in 1995. I had actually stopped watching WCW entirely once the Orange Goblin won the WCW World title and killed Ric Flair’s career dead in the process, and after almost 18 months of waiting, Hogan finally lost it and WCW, probably not coincidentally, put together a card that looked good enough on paper for me to part with my $29.95 and come back into the fold. – Live from Norfolk, VA – Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Bobby Heenan. – Okay, so the Hogan Retardation Factor kicks in right away, as Hogan, Savage and Sting come out with a garbage pail and Hogan’s “dark side” black costume (not to confused with his nWo black costume, which would come later), and burn the costume. Hogan was only fooling, you see, and was playing mindgames to lull Kevin Sullivan into a sense of security. (Now there’s a Vince Russo motif if we’ve ever heard one.)  Then we pump up the surrealness as Hogan declares that Savage’s crippling arm injury was just another plan on their part, and THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH IT. Keep this in mind later, and also note that Savage has a HUGE bandage wrapped around his arm while giving this speech. Finally, Hogan finishes with a flurry by burning a copy of the Observer and calling it a “rag sheet”, noting that it said Giant would win the title tonight and Savage was injured, and that it’s the internet that really has the scoop on things. (In fact, Meltzer never wrote anything about the Giant winning in the issue he was burning, as Dave’s guess was either Sting or Savage.  Maybe Hogan got it from PWInsider and just assumed Meltzer wrote it? )  No, honestly, this interview really happened, just like that. You know, I almost miss the days of Hogan being on top, just for the yuks involved in listening to him distort the truth for his own means.  (Yeah, well, more of that was coming.)  – Opening match, TV title: Johnny B. Badd v. Diamond Dallas Page. DDP put Kimberly on the line here in exchange for the title match, as they were having domestic problems in the storyline. Badd and DDP do a shoving match and hairpulling bit to start, and roll out onto the floor. Back in, Badd crossbody is reversed by DDP for two. Badd gets a samoan drop for two, and he works a headlock. Page rolls him over for a few two-counts. They fight over a wristlock and DDP cheats to win. He works the arm, but Badd pulls the hair to break. DDP charges and misses, ending up on the floor. Badd fakes a highspot and then follows with a pescado. Page then tosses Kim at Badd to gain the advantage in an innovative spot. I’m surprised Savage didn’t do that one more. Back in, DDP gets a backdrop suplex out of the corner and stomps away. He gets a tombstone and showboats, but Kimberly no-sells and won’t give him a 10. Kimberly’s job was to stand around and hold up scores for DDP at this point, in case you don’t know. Badd catches his foot, but DDP clotheslines him for two. DDP keeps jawing with Kim, leading to him missing a blind charge. Badd then sidesteps a kick, which is a cute spot that looked better than it sounds. Badd makes a comeback, getting an inverted atomic drop and lariat. Kim gives Johnny a “10+”, which I’m sure isn’t Olympic standard. Ligerbomb gets two for Badd. Blind charge misses and DDP uses the ropes for two. He gets a sideslam for two, but Badd rolls him over for two. Flying headscissors and Badd goes up, but DDP lifts the knees to block the splash. DDP works on the ribs with a gutbuster for two, although the move actually looked like a blown rotation bomb. Tombstone is reversed, for two. KO punch puts DDP on the floor, and Badd follows with a somersault plancha, then tosses Page back in and finishes with a slingshot legdrop for the pin at 12:33, giving him the services of Kimberly, which he retained until his firing in 1996. DDP absolutely worked his ass off from 95-98 or so in an effort to get himself over, and the sequence of near-falls to end this thing were great. ***1/2 – Big Bubba Rogers v. Hacksaw Duggan. This is taped-fist match under knockout rules. Tony and Bobby spend the first part of the match relaying, in a completely serious tone of voice, a story about how Jim Duggan’s grandmother was a taped-fist champion in Ireland. I can’t parody stuff like that, kids. Duggan attacks outside to start, and into the ring where he threatens to use the 2×4, only to get cheapshotted. Duggan clotheslines him out, however, and they retreat to Ring #2 for some reason. Duggan jams his head in between two of the ringposts in an innovative spot, then comes off the apron and gets sent to the STEEL railing. Stallamania X7 results. Back in, Bubba does some choking. Slugfest leads to Bubba’s enzuigiri. Bubba adds some more tape to his fists, but Duggan punches him to the floor. Bubba, however, actually takes the advice Bobby Heenan has been giving all match and tapes Duggan to the top rope, allowing him a bunch of free shots. In one of the most retarded spots I’ve ever seen, Bubba charges at him, but Duggan HOLDS OUT HIS FIST and Bubba runs into it, and gets knocked down.  (“Yeah, well, I’m gonna hold out my fist like this, and if you run into it, then it’s your own fault!”)  It’s hard to truly comprehend this unless you keep in mind how slow Bubba runs and that Duggan wasn’t looking while holding out his fist. Bubba charges again and gets backdropped out, slamming his back into the apron in the process. Good one, Ray. Back in, Duggan hits the three-point stance clothesline, but VK Wallstreet sneaks in and gives Bubba a chain, which he uses to knock Duggan out for the win at 10:08. About what you’d expect from Duggan v. Bubba. ½* – Cutie Suzuki & Mayumi Ozaki v. Bull Nakano & Akira Hokuto. I have no idea why they decided to toss this on here, but god bless ‘em for it. Sonny Onoo is managing the heels, just so we know that they’re evil. Heels attack to start, and they clobber Ozaki. Bull tosses Ozaki around the ring, and Hokuto teases allowing a tag. Bull does some biting and brutally drags Ozaki around the ring by the hair like a caveman. Ozaki comes back but Bull no-sells. Hokuto chokes her out, but gets DDT’d to allow a tag to Suzuki. Dropkick gets two as the faces apply stereo half-crabs. They work on Akira’s leg. Bull comes in and quickly powerbombs Suzuki. Moonsault misses and the faces take turns with double stomps off the top, which the crowd pops huge for. Double-suplex attempt on Bull is reversed, as Nakano suplexes both at once. Hokuto comes off the top but misses the splash. The faces try to double-superplex her, but Nakano pulls them down off the top. Nakano & Hokuto go for stereo powerbombs, but they get reversed to stereo ranas for a pair of two counts. Suzuki gets a flying bodypress on Hokuto for two. Hokuto hits a nasty half-nelson suplex for two, but Ozaki comes back and drops her square on her head with a german suplex. Good lord. Bull tags in and kills Ozaki in retaliation. Hokuto comes off the top with a missile dropkick on both girls at once and they bail. Hokuto follows them out with a somersault tope off the top rope, and back inside the heels hit a Doomsday Device that gets two. Bull goes up and finishes Ozaki with a guillotine legdrop at 9:18. Slow start with a REAL good finish. ***1/4 (I think that’s low, actually.  I remember it being more like ****.)  They never really got another shot on PPV again, however. – US title match: Kensuke Sasaki v. Chris Benoit. I’ve never been a big Sasaki fan, and his position in Japan at the time as Hawk’s partner didn’t help things. And check the mullet on Benoit here. Attaboy. Benoit starts with some Canadian Violence right away, but Sasaki gets his own chops. He tries the armbar, but Benoit takes him down and works a hammerlock. Sasaki backdrops out and grabs a wristlock. Two bodyslams get a two count. We HIT THE CHINLOCK, leading to a leapfrog sequence and Sasaki press slam. Benoit manages to get him out of the ring and follows with a suicide dive. Back in, snap suplex gets two. Sasaki gets a powerslam for two. Benoit tries to debut the rolling germans, but Sasaki clotheslines him after the second one. (He actually debuted them on that episode of Nitro I just reviewed where they had their first match, so that’s actually a nice touch to show how Sasaki was learning.)  Tombstone is reversed and Benoit hits the diving headbutt for two. More Canadian Violence and a top rope rana gets two. Sasaki stops a slugfest with something resembling a chokeslam and goes for an armbar. Benoit clotheslines him, but Sasaki no-sells, hits a Northern Lights Bomb, and gets the pin to retain at 10:02. Nothing special at all. *1/2 (That sounds way low, too.)  – Randy Savage v. Lex Luger. Now remember, at the beginning of the show Hogan said that Savage did not have an arm injury, and he’s at 100%. Heenan immediately takes umbrage to that claim by pointing out the gigantic bandage on Savage’s arm, and Tony actually tries to argue that Savage is okay. Savage attacks to start and chokes Luger down. Blind charge hits boot, but Savage clotheslines Luger anyway. Into a Boston Crab, but Lex makes the ropes. They brawl on the floor and back in for the ELBOWDROP OF DOOM, but the ref is distracted with Jimmy Hart. Savage tosses Luger and they brawl some more. Luger catches Savage with a torture rack for some bizarre reason, and back in for an armbar, to Savage’s heavily bandaged arm, which gets a very quick submission at 5:25. Yeah, that’s arm’s just fine. In fact, Savage DID have a torn tricep muscle, so ignore the funny looking orange person with the male pattern baldness. DUD – Sting v. Ric Flair. This is the blowoff from Halloween Havoc and the Horsemen reformation. Slugfest to start, and Flair bails to Ring #2 and struts. Sting follows and continues the beating. Press slam, but Flair goes to the eyes. He chops away and does some stylin’ and/or profilin’. Sting clotheslines him to end that. Hiptoss and dropkick and Flair bails to Ring #3, thus making it a running gag. Sting follows and no-sells some chops. Slugfest won by Sting, and Flair bails again. He takes a walk, and back in Sting keeps no-selling. Press-slam and Flair bails AGAIN, back to Ring #1. Sting charges and splashes the railing by mistake. Back in, Flair goes low in dramatic fashion to gain the advantage. Kneedrop leads to more stalling. He goes after the leg and tosses Sting, and they head over to Ring #3 just to pound the joke into the ground. Figure-four, but Sting powers out and reverses. Backslide gets two. Flair bails to Ring #1 and Sting presses and clotheslines him. Flair cheats and goes upstairs, but gets slammed off as usual. Flair Flip and back in for the Sting comeback. Superplex and Scorpion Deathlock finish at 14:29. This was good in comparison to lots of other matches at the time, but not in comparison to the other, more awesome, matches these two have had. In fact, it was more like a Cliff’s Notes version of Sting v. Flair with some comedy tossed in. Still, Sting v. Flair is never too shabby. *** (Again, that’s low.  It was **** all day.)  WCW World title match, World War III: Okay, take a deep breath, because here’s the 60 guys in the match: Arn Anderson, Alex Wright, Brian Knobbs, Ricky Santana, David Taylor, Scott Armstrong, Sting, Joey Maggs, Pez Whatley, Disco Inferno, Meng, Stevie Ray, Mark Starr, Buddy Lee Parker, James Earl Wright, Lex Luger, Eddy Guerrero, Cobra, The Giant, Paul Orndorff, Khris Kanyon, Bobby Walker, Bobby Eaton, Chris Benoit, Randy Savage, Marcus Bagwell, The Yeti, Kurosawa, Hugh Morrus, Zodiac Man, VK Wallstreet, DDP, Scott Norton, Brian Pillman, Craig Pittman, One Man Gang, Super Assassin #1, Mr. JL, Bunkhouse Buck, Kensuke Sasaki, Mike Winner, Hawk, Shark, Steve Armstrong, David Sullivan, Scotty Riggs, Johnny B. Badd, Black Bart, Steven Regal, Dick Slater, Maxx Muscle, Super Assassin #2, Fidel Sierra, Kevin Sullivan, Jerry Saggs, Jim Duggan, Booker T, Big Bubba, Ric Flair and The Orange Goblin. – Okay, so 20 men per ring, and after 10 guys are out in each the rings will merge into one. Until then, they split the screen into three small squares with each ring covered by one of them. The end result is that it’s absolutely impossible to tell what the hell is going on at any one point, a problem compounded by WCW’s usual shitty camera work, and I’m pretty much dependant on the announcers to follow who gets eliminated, and even then that’s a problem given the announce team. Believe me, this match brings new meaning to the term “Three ring circus”. I’m not even gonna bother doing play-by-play because I have no idea what’s going on, but the order of elimination of jobbers goes Yeti, Mike Winner, Mark Starr, Buddy Lee, James Earl, Cobra, Bagwell, Kanyon, Black Bart, Maxx Muscle, Fidel Sierra, Steve Armstrong, Dave Sullivan, Mr. JL, Knobbs, Santana, Alex Wright, Pez Whatley, Scotty Riggs, Bobby Eaton, Dick Slater, VK Wallstreet and Scott Norton and apparently 23 guys is good enough for WCW because they merge the rings into one. Unless I missed 7 guys getting eliminated, which is very much possible given the amateur quality of this match. – Okay, so we’re down to one regular battle royale with all the jobbers out, thus making me wonder what the point of having them all in there in the first place was. Well, that’s WCW for you. One Man Gang and Regal fight on the floor as Joey Maggs gets to go first. Bubba goes out by Duggan’s hand, but hangs on and takes Duggan with him. Disco gets tossed. Luger hangs out on the floor and takes cheapshots now and then. Dave Taylor gets tossed by Hogan. Hogan then puts both Booker and Saggs out, as well as Kevin Sullivan. Savage & Luger head off to another ring for a private fight as Regal gets tossed out. DDP & Badd eliminate each other as Giant goes on a rampage, tossing Pittman and Benoit. Meng gets rid of Kurosawa, but Giant gets rid of him. Giant tosses some people around as Hogan and Orndorff renew their battle. Morrus and Pillman get rid of Zodiac, but Sasaki dumps Morrus. Hawk then dumps Pillman, who hangs onto Sasaki as Hawk tries to keep him in. Hogan of course sneaks up and dumps everyone. What a guy that Hogan is, always thinking of others first. Sting splashes Eddy as Hogan reverses an Orndorff piledriver and, you guessed it, eliminates him. 9 guys left. Eddy goes up with a missile dropkick on Anderson, but the Horsemen come back and work him over. Eddy gets dumped, missed by the camera. Sting splashes the Horsemen in sequence as Giant chokeslams Savage. Sting slingshots AA into Flair, putting both Horsemen out. 6 guys left. Sting & Luger double-team Giant, but Hogan…wait for it…dumps all three guys out. Giant, the scoundrel, pulls Hogan out under the bottom rope while the camera totally misses Savage tossing Gang. However, the refs were looking at Savage taking Gang out, and they assume Hogan went over the top, thus giving Savage the World title at 29:42. I don’t rate battle royales. Hogan, sportsman of the year, throws a huge temper tantrum and won’t endorse Savage, and the arena just completely turns on him ala Royal Rumble 92. Hulk Hogan, hero to millions. The Bottom Line: Aside from the god-awful main event abortion of a battle royale (which they considered such a good idea that they ran it for THREE MORE YEARS), this is a pretty decent show that started a good run for WCW. Of course, all the good workers that caused it got buried during the nWo era, but that’s WCW for ya. Recommended show. (It’s a HELL of a show, probably the best of 1995 up and down the card.) 

Counting Flair’s World Title Reigns.


Hey dude, quick question. I remember many moons ago you posted on the
blog a list of all possible Ric Flair title reigns, where you got up
to the mid to late 20's depending on how lenient you were. I wanted to
check it out again but couldn't find it. Any chance you have it
somewhere in your databanks? Thanks!

Hoo boy, let's see if I can pull this out from memory again:

Documented/televised:  
1.  Dusty Rhodes in 81
2.  Harley Race in 83
3.  Kerry Von Erich in 84
4.  Dusty Rhodes in 86
5.  Ron Garvin in 87
6.  Ricky Steamboat in 89
7.  Sting in 91
8.  Fujinami in 91
9.  Royal Rumble 92
10.  Randy Savage in 92
11.  Barry Windham in 93
12.  Vader in 93
13.  Savage in 95
14.  Savage in 96
15.  Hogan in 99
16.  Jeff Jarrett in 2000
As well, there was a pair of switches with Race in New Zealand, a switch with the youngster Carlos Colon in Puerto Rico that created the WWC Universal title, a switch with Jack Venano  in the Dominican Republic, a switch with the Midnight Rider that was overturned, a switch with Victor Jovica in Trinidad, and as well you could possibly count the 91 victory over Sting as a double title victory (winning both WCW and NWA titles).  The final total can go as high as 24 I believe.