Sometimes it’s hard to embrace change, and other times it’s just so good it’s delicious. I’m still not quite sure what to make of Monday night. On one hand, you can’t question his motives – his track record has earned himself the benefit of the doubt. But was it the right move in the long run? I don’t know. I think at the end of the day, it probably wound up hurting a lot more than it helped at all, and even though likely won the Ugly Christmas Sweater contest at Turner Studios, I truly believe Ric Flair cost himself at least a dozen riders for Space Mountain.
TONY SCHIAVONE has stopped his protest and rejoined the cast of WCW. DUSTY RHODES is dressed with him, all in black, to mourn the death of Ric Flair’s style. Also on the agenda, discussion of Eric Bischoff’s new role as the leader of the nWo.
GALAXY and CICLOPE vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart)
Biscuit! writes: When you see them comin' better run for cover
Girls you don't need a weekend lover...
MMMMM!!!! The Faces of Fear!
Biscuit! – congratulations, you are this week’s winner of the inexplicably awesome WCW comment of the day. Here is your prize:
When we tuned into Nitro on Monday, Galaxy and Ciclope were making their debut as a tag-team, and had been effectively wiped out by the Outsiders and their baseball bats. WCW, in their infinite wisdom, decided “you know what? Let’s give them a match with the Faces of Fear. That’ll make everything better.” Ciclope manages a missile dropkick on Meng from behind, and the Luchadores use a double team attack. It’s mildly effective, until Meng beats them both up and headbutts them to death. Barbarian comes in and gets clubbered, but that only pisses him off, and it’s boots for everyone! A backbreaker on Galaxy gives him a seizure or something, and Meng delivers a superkick for good measure. An elbowdrop sets up Meng picking Galaxy up at 2, because he ain’t done, no sir. Barbarian gives him a military press slam, but refuses to get the pin. Double headbutts bring Meng back into the fray, but Galaxy slips away and tags in Ciclope. He chops Meng with everything he has, a springboard crossbody … barely gets 1. Meng backdrops him into the awaiting arms of Barbarian, who hits the powerbomb for the pin at 4:22. Galaxy tries to get in a free shot, so Meng gives him the Kick of Fear, while looking completely unconcerned. **
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND grabs the winners backstage, and Meng is actually smiling! Gene thinks that Hart paid someone off to get a tag-team title match, but Hart swears it was common sense from WCW. Yeah, they’ve never displayed that before, not buying that.
KEVIN SULLIVAN vs. SCOTTY RIGGS (with Marcus Bagwell)
Riggs declares it a great night for a fight! I’m betting he’s right, but what he DOESN’T know is that it’s probably coming with Bagwell. Sullivan kicks Riggs in the jaw, and runs him over with a clothesline. Riggs fires back with a pair of dropkicks, and hits a flying forearm shot for 2. Sullivan tosses Riggs through the ropes, and kicks Bagwell in the back of the head. That draws Bagwell to the apron as Riggs gets back in, but Riggs winds up running into him off an Irish whip, and Sullivan gets the pin off a small package at 1:53. Riggs has had just about enough of Bagwell costing him matches, but Marcus pleads his innocence. Tony suggests they take a break. I disagree, ask Ross Gellar how that turned out. DUD
Meanwhile, “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND has tracked down CHRIS BENOIT and WOMAN. Later tonight, he faces Kevin Sullivan in Baltimore, and if things go according to Sullivan’s plan, he won’t even make it to World War 3. Benoit says Sullivan isn’t even a fraction of the man he used to be, because while he’s been at home sipping margaritas in his $250,000 luxury pad (Christ how times have changed!), he’s been on the road, in hotel rooms with Woman, perfecting his “craft” if you know what he means. While he’s been on Lear jets, politicking and pushing the pencil, he’s been laying people out. This whole angle is ridiculous. While they’re trying to be cutesy and “subtle” without specifically saying “hey Sullivan, I’m laying the pipe to your wife”, because Woman has never been ACKNOWLEDGED as Sullivan’s wife, you’re left with a feud between one of the most intense wrestlers on the planet, and a crazy old man, who sit around and speak in tongues to 98% of the 1996 audience. But hey, at least Sullivan’s Working The Boys! Ha ha!
SERGEANT CRAIG PITTMAN (with Teddy Long) vs. CHRIS JERICHO
This is a warm up match for Jericho’s upcoming “one hand behind his back” match with Nick Patrick, except he totally wrestles here with two hands so either he lacks self-confidence, or Tony’s a complete liar. The two dance to the corner, which would have been impossible with just one arm. Not that one-armed people can’t dance, but certainly not in that violence scrappy way, without getting hurt. Jericho drops a knee across the shoulder of Pittman, which is certainly do-able with one arm, but the test of strength that follows likely would not have gone well at all. Not that it goes well here, but Jericho eventually wriggles loose. Jericho is tossed to the floor, and Pittman uses a CLENCHED FIST! Tony is beside himself with anger. Then he throws Jericho into the ring post, and Teddy Long tells him NO, that’s WRONG! Pittman goes for Code Red, but Teddy interjects reminding him Jericho needs that arm, playa. As they argue, Jericho perches himself up top, hits the missile dropkick, and scores the pin at 4:07. * Long rushes over to raise the hand of Jericho, as Pittman scowls. Can’t we all just get along?
Jericho is stopped on his way to the Pay Windah by “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND. Jericho promises revenge tomorrow night against Nick Patrick, because he’ll still have one arm, two legs, and a head to hit Patrick with. He doesn’t even want to think about what’s going to happen. How Chris Jericho became one of the best talkers in the business is lost on me, because he’s about the least convincing wrestler I’ve heard speak. Even worse than that guy with one leg.
BUNKHOUSE BUCK vs. ARN ANDERSON
Was this taped in 1993? Does the winner face Stunning Steve for the US title? How will this affect Dustin Rhodes? Neither announcer pays any attention to this, because Tony’s too busy whining about the nWo attack on Monday, and promises that if they do it again, he’s going to leave yet again. I’m going to assume that since the boss is on THEIR side, that might be a career limiting move. Arn kicks Buck in the throat, and pounds him as he lays face down on the buckle. Meanwhile, it’s just occurring to Tony, that at Bash at the Beach, Eric Bischoff disappeared at the last second and he had to do the broadcast. And who was responsible for the briefcase in the limo? Now they’re using their heads, props to the announce team and writers for keeping the story together nicely. DDT wins it for Anderson at 3:38. DUD
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND invites Arn to chat. He hopes that Luger saw the DDT he just gave Buck. See, because Luger failed to finish him at Halloween Havoc, he’s come back to haunt him, and he’s gonna catch him at World War 3. Then he’ll win the Battle Royal, because in the last year alone he’s beaten Hogan twice, and even Flair. You tell ‘em, Arn!
THE AMAZING FRENCH CANADIANS (with Colonel Robert Parker) vs. MARK STARR and CASEY THOMPSON
The Canadians try their best to show a little patriotism, but nope, Tony Schiavone talks ALL over them. As we all try to shake off our collective disgust, I am a little intrigued by Casey Thompson. Is he our 4th member of the Men at Work? Should we order him a hard hat? Or did Mark Starr tender his resignation, and has gone scab against the Union to work independently going forward? Honest to god, WCW does not do anywhere near enough with their sideline reports (I’m looking directly at YOU Gene Mean) to answer these types of pressing questions. Of course, without the Union protection, this match does not go well. Casey Thompson is unpolished, and probably doesn’t belong in this kind of environment, succumbing to an assisted senton at 1:33. Mark Starr never even got a chance to enter the ring. DUD
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND discusses tomorrow night’s World War 3 with the French Canadians, or as Gene calls them, “The Amazing Canadians!” The Colonel is a little late, because he’s changing into his “war clothes”. Ouellette promises to show the world what Quebec is all about tomorrow night. A high rate of teenage smoking, and unemployment? Vast Pepsi consumption and an unhealthy obsession with hockey? The Colonel arrives, dressed like the missing piece from your Stratego box, and vows incapacitation for Harlem Heat. He’s still livid that Sherri “jerked him off” … the apron, and slapped him. He will have his way with her one more time. Oh my.
THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER
Nash is a little annoyed that he only just got a leaflet that indicates they’re now in a triangle match at World War 3 last night. The way he understands it, if one of the fat guys pins one of the other fat guys, they lose the belts. Hall knows it’s a lame attempt by WCW to screw them over, but they’ve already taken out the Nastys before and they’ll do it again. Regarding the “savages” from the island, they punked them on Monday, so they’re no problem either. Eat your words.
MIKE ENOS vs. JEFF JARRETT
Dusty’s all about this match up, because in his opinion, Mike Enos can beat anybody at any time. I’d like to start by seeing him beat anybody before we get ahead of ourselves. Enos headbutts Jarrett, but Jeff punches him around and struts. A hiptoss keeps Enos grounds, and Jarrett points to his head cuz he’s so gosh darn smart. Enos tries to come back, but misses a big splash, and winds up locked in an armbar. Enos fights loose, running Jarrett from corner to corner, but he misses an avalanche and gets pounded. More strutting leads to a swinging neckbreaker. Enos tries to powerslam Jarrett, but his knee buckles, and Jarrett applies the Figure Four for the win at 3:57. *1/2
Backstage, “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND is lurking like a moustachioed sex offender, dreaming of the golden locks of Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett reminds us he was never chokeslammed at Halloween Havoc, despite the fact Giant has chokeslammed every member of the Horsemen in the past. He’s going to chop Giant down to size, and then win World War 3.
Over in the world of nWo Saturday Night, the tag-team tournament rolls on. Tonight, we’re looking at:
“PISTOL” PEZ WHATLEY
Weight: 299 lbs.
Hometown: Chattanooga, TN
Pro Record: 99-76
Doughboy look-a-like winner
The largest small man in wrestling
“BIG BUCK” BREZNER
Weight: 263 lbs.
Fist: 18 1/4”
Hometown: Hamtramic, Mich
Pro Record: 33-32
Has the biggest feet in pro wrestling
Your ring announcer is TED DIBIASE, and the referee is the mysterious DOCTOR X.
“PISTOL” PEZ WHATLEY and “BIG BUCK” BEZNER vs. THE OUTSIDERS (with The Giant and Syxx)
Nash provides commentary on his walk to the ring, including glorious stuff like “it looks like Nash is going to stay on the apron”. Hall throws his toothpick in the eyes of Whatley, but fails to collapse in a laughing fit. Whatley uses “some kind of arm maneuver”, chosen because Hall is at his best from a vertical base. Still, Hall immediately turns the tables with a Japanese clothesline. Nash sees a great open opportunity, and tags himself in (without a tag and Hall on the other side of the ring), hitting a Japanese clothesline of his own while calling the action the entire time. Doctor X joins the fun now, and goes for the cover, but Nash’s neck goes out before he can make the 3 count. Buck tags in, and Hall takes over the commentary. Nash hits the barrage, and Big Grouchy is in full control. Hall tags in, and puts Buck in a pretzel hold. Nash compliments Buck on his astounding good looks, and he’s apparently often used as an extra on Melrose Place. Nash comes in and uses his big size 15 into the mush, and the sidewalk slam finishes, only after he demands a 5 count.
“LORD” STEVEN REGAL vs. DEAN MALENKO (for the WCW world television title)
Chance for Malenko to grab double gold here, though let’s face it, against my man Regal, he has no hope at all. With luck, the time limit on this one is longer than the 4 minutes we got last week. The two trade off a little chain wrestling, while the fans chant “USA” even though Tampa Bay isn’t actually acknowledged as part of America by any reputable geography major. Malenko takes down Regal in a test of strength and nearly scores a pinfall, but Regal’s strong core keeps him from staying down. Malenko grapevines the leg, so Regal escapes the hold using some of the finest counter moves taught to him by wily old shooters on the mean streets of Blackpool; specifically, he pokes him in the eye. A palm thrust is enough to draw a 2. Regal applies a grounded stretch, releases, and throws his knee into Deano’s face. Malenko fires back, but can’t whip the Englishman who hooks the top rope for safety. Regal misses a blind charge, but blocks a double axehandle off the top. Dean goes behind, but Regal reverse switches and gets a schoolboy for 2. Malenko comes right back with a backslide for 2. Regal mounts him from behind, but Malenko switches and hooks the shoulders almost getting 2. Regal turns to the European uppercuts, but Dean bridges backwards, hooks Regal’s legs, and scores the pinfall at 5:10. New champion? My mouth just went dry. I have lost the will to live. Wait, is that a glimmer of hope? Yes – Dean’s shoulders were down, and Regal retains! Regal lectures Malenko, which draws the ire of Dean and a nasty look. Please, Regal invented the nasty look. **1/2
Our main event is a complete replay of the Bischoff turn, which you and I already covered on Nitro. And that’s a wrap!
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone south of the border. Enjoy your time with your family. I’ll be back soon.