I met Mick Foley Friday night. If you’re here for the wrasslin’, you may want to skip me as I indulge in a little long-winded epilogue of the night.
This probably isn’t much of a surprise, seeing as how he was in Ottawa to do his comedy show and I live here. Wrestling fans sorta flock to wrestlers, it’s how we roll. My best friend was able to help organize an outing with a number of people from his office, and to spice things up we brought a number of non-wrestling fan wives along for the ride (including my own).
We were having a drink at the bar next to the venue before the show, when much to my surprise, in walks Mick Foley and Jason Sensation, and a small pile of merchandise that he was selling (and donating the proceeds to charity). I quickly took my place in line, with my wife, to meet the Hardcore Legend.
My wife, Emily, wasn’t much of a Mick Foley fan. She didn’t “get it”, and I understand. Mick is someone you had to have experienced in his prime. You have to be a wrestling fan to appreciate the sacrifices he made on his body that he made night after night that extend far beyond the Cell that everyone links him to. You had to have experienced Commissioner Mick Foley, the happy go lucky geek, who swung his gavel wildly while making decisions to screw with the heel contingency and keep things in order. His shenanigans with Edge and Christian. His love for children, and the passionate ways he tries to make everyone happy. She never saw this. She sees the old hobo who shows up once in a blue moon to rave like a lunatic, and hobble away. I knew if she met him, this would change. I hoped.
I got there first. I asked Mick to sign a well-thumbed paperback edition of Have a Nice Day. I actually had a first edition hard cover once upon a time, but it was lost in a flood years ago. This was the replacement, as getting the hard cover editions are challenging these days.
I told him that I appreciated all he’d given to the wrestling business, with the exception of that match with Heavy Metal Van Hammer. He chuckled and said “come on, that was a good one.” I shook my head. I told him he was an excellent writer, that I had read all 4 of his autobiographies, and that I hoped he would never stop.
Then came Emily. The line at this point extended out the door. She presented my old copy of “Hard Knocks & Cheap Pops”, the only Foley DVD I still own after having sold most of my stuff years ago. He signed the front. She told him that she had heard (via me) that he sometimes granted second wishes to children who had used their “Wish”, but were still suffering years later. My wife worked with disabled children as a teenager, and she still would if the chips had fallen a little differently with her career. Mick looked at her in the eye with all sincerity and asked “do you know someone who needs a second wish?” Emily admitted she didn’t, but that she thought the fact he did this unselfishly was wonderful. Mick said he used to work with an organization who did those on the side as kids can’t have a “Second Wish”. He completely ignored the fact there were dozens of fans who were wanting a picture with the Hardcore Legend, because he was now engaged in a real conversation about a topic he truly cared about.
She wound up buying every glossy picture on his table, and asked that he autograph them to me. We all had photos done, and he thanked my wife for having the talk with him. It re-affirmed my long-standing belief that Mick truly is one of the good guys in the business, not looking to take advantage of Mark Money. He cares about his fans, kids, Christmas (yesterday was Day #304 of the Foley Is Santa shirt tour), and is a great spirit. His comedy was excellent too, albeit in a wrestling niche (most of his jokes went over my wife’s head unfortunately).
He made a new fan last night. And he re-affirmed my fandom forever.
But enough about that. You’re here for the CYBORG FACTORY. Full edition tonight as the baseball season is just about over (fkn Yankees). DUSTY RHODES and TONY SCHIAVONE hype Halloween Havoc which is just a week away, and they’re worried about WCW because now Savage is an emotional wreck. Will he make it to the big show?
EDDIE GUERRERO has a message for DDP. When he won the Lord of the Ring, it was a big accomplishment (eep, set the bar a little higher, Barbarian nearly won the dang thing). But now he’s hurt his family, and he’s mad. Spitting mad!
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. SCOTTY RIGGS (with Marcus Bagwell)
Holy crap, Scotty Riggs still lives! I thought we’d lost him when Bagwell started to succumb to Jim Powers’ charm last month, but they’re back! Riggs sings his own theme music because he isn’t embarrassing enough already. NICK PATRICK is your referee, but DDP’s involved so that really should have gone without saying. Riggs gets a hiptoss, and he’s mighty proud of himself. Page elbows him in the face, and hits a swinging neckbreaker that’s got him all fired up. A pancake gets 2. Riggs manages to fight out of a headlock, and dropkicks Page to the floor. He’s right behind with a plancha, and a world of personal excitement! Back in, Riggs nails a double axehandle off the top, and a follow up super sunset flip gets 2! Tony: “Nick Patrick is still favoring his neck!” Dusty: “What neck?” Tony: “…the one on his head?” Before we can explore Dusty’s newfound interest in anatomy, a Diamond Cutter gets the pin at 3:14 despite the fact Riggs’ foot was under the rope. Page is so nWo at this point I’m surprised he isn’t painting himself black and white like Roddy Piper did that one unfortunate time. *
TONY SCHIAVONE stops Page in the back. Page brags about taking advantage of Riggs’ mistake, something that “seniorita” Eddie Guerrero knows all too well. If he was any kind of man, he’d have left the Clash of Champions with the ring months ago. He promises to play La Bamba with burrito boy’s head on the turnbuckles. Don’t be offended, this is nothing in 1996 pro-wrestling. Over on RAW they were openly encouraging the fans to chant a 6-letter f-word at Goldust that I can’t even type without getting uncomfortable.
DEAN MALENKO (with Rey Mysterio Jr’s mask) vs. ALEX WRIGHT
This is a return from the upset on Nitro a couple of weeks ago, which Tony declares “very important!” Wright hits a spinning heel kick, and works a hammerlock. Malenko comes back with a grapevine of the leg, and starts working over the knee. He crushes the bones into a fine powder, with a series of kneedrops and holds. They battle to the apron, and in the melee Wright gets a German suplex with a bridge for 2! A series of European uppercuts sets up a wobbly dropkick for 2. They start trading pin styles, before Malenko dropkicks Wright’s dropkick (yes!), and a double underhook pin gets the victory at 4:20. *1/2
TONY SCHIAVONE feels Deano’s on a roll going into Havoc. Malenko promises lightning won’t strike twice from Rey, and he just proved it by avenging previous losses this week, with Brad Armstrong and now Alex Wright.
JEFF JARRETT vs. STEVE ARMSTRONG
Tradition and heritage – mark off your Jeff Jarrett buzzword Bingo cards! A hiptoss is enough to get Jarrett to start his Fargo strut. A drop toe hold sets Jarrett to dance on Armstrong’s back, but he struts one time too many and gets his ass kicked. Jarrett comes back with a sitdown powerbomb, and follows with a slingshot suplex – which is because he’s so SMART (which you can see when he POINTS TO HIS HEAD!). Armstrong sneaks in a backslide for 2, and he follows with a clothesline to hold the momentum. A powerslam and quick splash gets 2. Jarrett stops the comeback with a single leg atomic drop, and slaps on the Figure Four for the win at 3:33. Which dum-dum decided he’d be best served as a frickin’ BABYFACE? *
TONY SCHIAVONE cuts Jarrett off on his way to the Pay Windah. Jeff says he’s made an impact since he’s been here (no he hasn’t), and now he’s going to make the biggest impact of them all when he slaps a Figure Four on the Giant at Halloween Havoc. He vows to make the nWo respect him. He can’t wait to show the No Wrestling Organization what happens when you step in the ring with a real traditionalist. Shoot me.
MIKE ENOS and BUNKHOUSE BUCK (with Colonel Robert Parker) vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart)
Dusty wonders why the heck Enos isn’t tagging with Dirty Dick, because they’ve become a “really great team” these last few months. Have they ever won a match? Enos has probably had enough of the losing and is looking to shake things up a little. Of course, trying this against the Faces of Fear who have LEGIT become a really great team these past few months is not a good place to start, unless of course you have already filled out a legal will (which is not hard to do in 1996 WCW, as every break features people so eager to prepare your will, that they appear to have rabies). There’s an interesting dynamic here with Parker, because Buck couldn’t be happier to see him, but Enos is so offended by his presence that Parker is chased to the back, defending himself with the cane. Meng starts beating down Buck. Buck tries to fight off Meng, but he gets powerslammed. NICK PATRICK is your referee, and despite his neck brace, will probably be in better shape than the impending losers when this is over. Everyone trades off, and Enos tries to suplex Barbarian. That goes nowhere, and he eats a bunch of elbows. A crossbody is stupidly attempted, and Enos winds up in Barbarian’s awaiting arms. Enos slips off and throws fists, that Barbarian doesn’t even react to. Enos takes a nasty looking powerbomb, and both members of Fear hit leaping headbutts simultaneous. Enos is saved at the last second by Buck. Barbarian gives Enos some chops that echo through the rafters, but misses a falling headbutt allowing Enos to tag out. Buck comes in with the clubberin’, and successfully gets a sunset flip for 1. Parker re-emerges with SISTA SHERRI in tow now. Meanwhile, everything breaks down, with Meng single handedly beating down everyone. Enos winds up on the floor, where Parker stomps the shit out of him. Back in the ring, a Kick of Fear finishes Buck at 4:28. ** I haven’t got the foggiest idea why Mike Enos thought this match was a good idea.
MARK STARR vs. LEX LUGER
Starr isn’t wearing his construction dregs; Man Off Work? Is Kanyon picking up his slack? How does Mike Winner feel about this? Starr misses a blind charge and winds up getting schoolboyed for 2. A backslide gets 2. Starr winds up throwing Luger between the ropes to the floor, and when he tries to re-enter quickly, Starr kicks him on the apron. Starr slams him into the buckle, but that just seems to get him fired up, because he’s ROARING! Lex, you stud! A powerslam sets up the Rack, and a winner is Lex at 3:19. Not a good weekend for Starr, a big loss, and likely discipline from his superior for not finishing that tough measuring job. 1/2*
Backstage, TONY SCHIAVONE presumably wants to talk to Mark Starr about his current construction project. Unfortunately, he gets Luger instead. Luger says his back is feeling better than ever, and Arn Arnderson should ask Mark Starr about it. Is Mark Starr studying chiropractic work on the side? This is a fascinating man! Luger promises to Rack Anderson, AND hurt him.
RON STUDD vs. CHAVO GUERRERO JR.
Ron Studd gets interview time! This is the best Saturday night ever! He says Jeff Jarrett doesn’t know if he’s a country singer or a wrestler, but he knows what he is, and that’s a wrecking machine. “This Monday on Nitro, you’ll be SINGING THE BLUES!” I think I need to hear a lot more from Ron Studd. Specifically, why he’s no longer a Super Giant Ninja, and why he has clearly murdered Fit Finlay and stolen his music. We’ve got a clear mismatch here, but Benoit’s knocked off Studd a bunch of times, so Chavo has no excuses. Studd drops down to his knees to bring himself to Chavo’s level (he’s still taller), so Chavo leapfrogs him and dropkicks him in the back. Off the top, a crossbody gets a 2. Then it’s STUDD TIME – as he gives backbreakers galore, and pounds himself in the head! A standing vertical suplex gets the win at 2:02. Studd’s on a winning streak! If I were Jarrett, I’d think seriously about quitting WCW immediately. In fact, I encourage this. DUD
Meanwhile, over in nWo world, we’re now hosting an nWo Cruiserweight title tournament …
JOHNNY “TOO TOUGH” ACCABELLA vs. SYXX
We have stats on Accabella! He’s 6’2”, 195 lbs, with a 33” reach. His left fist is 13 1/3”, while the right extends to 14 1/4". From his hometown of “The Dark Side”, his pro record is an excellent 34-5. Other credentials include being the Dr. Donut Dozen Eating Champ (1987-1990), as well as the Winner of the “Mr. Shape” Contest in 1991 – Boise, Idaho. He threatens with his finisher, the Screaming Sleeper. Your ring announcers are THE OUTSIDERS, and the MASKED REFEREE is once again present, who is obviously NOT Nick Patrick. Syxx trades Wolfpac kisses with the Outsiders, before they take over commentary. Apparently the referee’s name is Dr. X. Accabella hits a “deep armdrag!” Nash encourages Syxx to use his girth advantage, but he’s busy being slammed into the turnbuckles. Syxx finally gives off a “belly to back soufflé”, before giving him the “car wreck” on the outside. He starts chopping Accabella, “simply tearing the skin away, like peeling an onion”. A quick legdrop sets up a “vertical soufflé”, and Hall starts asking Syxx to whip out a spin kick. Instead, he hits a dropkick in the corner that Hall calls the “buzzkiller”. Then he gives the spinning heel kick, and scores the pin at 4:06. This is shameless masturbatory stuff, but it cracks me up and is harmless in contrast to taking over the shows.
SERGEANT CRAIG PITTMAN (with Teddy Long) vs. CHRIS BENOIT
Oh hell, not this pairing again! They don’t mesh, stop it WCW! NICK PATRICK is assigned to this match. Pittman takes Benoit down, and howls to the stars. An overhead belly to belly launches Chris hard, and he falls to the floor. Back in, Pittman headbutts Benoit, and gives him the battering ram spear. Benoit tosses him to the floor, and attacks. Long wanders over, but one look from Benoit stops THAT plan. Some fan starts a USA chant, because Benoit is not yet hailing from Atlanta, Georgia. Pittman throws a few more battering ram spears, and both guys start trading chops. Pittman no sells because he’s a useless creep. Benoit whips Pittman to the buckle, and finishes with the swandive at 5:23. Nope, they’re still awkward ring-mates. *
TONY SCHIAVONE is with WOMAN and ARN ANDERSON. For the millionth week in a row, they confirm that Liz is no longer with them. Woman promises she can always be counted on. Over to Luger, Arn says he let everyone down, WCW, Sting, the Horsemen, everyone. At Havoc, he’s going to find out what makes the Horsemen so great.
CHRIS JERICHO vs. MARCUS BAGWELL (with Scotty Riggs)
Tony hypes Jericho’s match with Syxx at Halloween Havoc by talking incessantly about Miss Elizabeth. The guys trade hiptosses, and go for simultaneous dropkicks that miss, and Jericho gives them both a big ovation. Such a wiener. Bagwell issues a hiptoss, and puts on a hammerlock. Jericho comes back with a Lionsault onto a standing Bagwell, and gets 2. Up top, a missile dropkick is right on the money, but Bagwell kicks out at 2. Bagwell fires back with a dropkick to the “solar system” (thanks Dusty!), and a gutbuster has Bagwell clapping. Jericho comes back with a crossbody and gets the 3 at 3:33. Riggs applauds for both of them, which upsets Bagwell. It’s okay Marcus, you still have the Clap. *1/2
In the back, TONY SCHIAVONE stops Jericho. Chris reminds us that the nWo have never lost a match, but he promises to deliver the first chink in their invincible armour, and screams “COME ON BAYBEE!” I hate this version of Jericho with every fibre of my being; and the only chicken soup for the soul I can get out of this is the knowledge that Jericho himself does too.
ROAD BLOCK vs. RANDY SAVAGE
Yessssss, the legendary Road Block!
Now this is a man! Savage has no hope in hell. In fact, RANDY ANDERSON hits the ring and informs the referee and Road Block that Savage is gone. Road Block: “What do you mean he left?!? I’ve been waiting my WHOLE CAREER for this! I WANT SOMEONE OUT HERE NOW!” When WCW fails to deliver, Road Block tears off into the back, and grabs the first person he sees.
ROAD BLOCK vs. DUSTY WOLFE
He gives Wolfe a big powerslam, and orders him to stand up. Wolfe is dead, so he doesn’t. That just drives Road Block to do it two more times, and score the easy win at 0:37. Road Block demands Lex Luger now, and vows to show up at Nitro to fight everyone! *****
We end with Liz’s stupid video, and slow shots of Randy Savage crying. Can Halloween Havoc hurry up and be over so we can stop with this Liz crap? Thankfully Worldwide is up next and I’m pretty sure Liz isn’t contractually obligated to be there.