joedust writes: They really booked an angle where Savage no-showed a match against a fat jobber to sell Halloween Havoc? Oh boy.
I wouldn’t call Benoit a fat … oh, you meant Road Block! How dare you. Road Block is one of the finest wrestling specimens we’ve ever laid eyes on. Quite frankly, Randy Savage should be thanking his fine judgment for having skipped this one. Earthquake’s attack on Hogan in 1990 would have paled in comparison to what Road Block had in store for Mach.
WaylonMercy2K4: Seriously, somebody won a match with a vertical suplex in 1996? Did Southern States Wrestling travel back in time and invade WCW Saturday Night?
I called it incorrectly. It was in fact a vertical soufflé.
AdamDoling: Chris, I just want to echo the sentiments of others and say that you do a really great job with these various recaps. Although there have been a few people already to recap WCW shows from this time period, I think your writing is among the most interesting in terms of these recaps.
I actually went to your site and read every review beginning with January '96 until the present ones. Your sense of humor and wit come through in your writing, and it makes me feel like I'm right back watching these shows (especially your recaps of early NWO storyline).
Just wanted to say great job again and thanks for taking the time to recap these shows. I truly think you do one of the best jobs of capturing the moment with your recaps.
Let me assure you that the entire reason I’ve been doing these has been a labour of love, but reading comments like this really makes my day, even if AdamDoling is secretly my mother’s online handle. Truthfully, I never wanted to become a WWE convert, but was forced to grudgingly jump ship in 2000 due to the severe decline in quality from a company I was once proud of. All these years later, I still have lots of warm memories of WCW, and while some haven’t quite lived up to my expectations (a lot of the nWo BOOKING has rubbed me the wrong way, WCW simply isn’t getting a fair shake, and a lot of the long term problems with the uppercard they developed were already apparent as early as these 1996 shows), there’s been a lot of surprises (like suddenly being blessed with the fact the Faces of Fear were at one time the best tag-team on the entire planet).
One thing I COULD do without is being reminded about Liz/Hogan/Savage, because it’s 1996 and not 1989, but hot damn we just whip that one out like an over enthusiastic dude at his first porn audition. TONY SCHIAVONE and DUSTY RHODES are on it like buttah on Big Bubber’s Thanksgiving table. You know where we WOULD have avoided this? WCW Prime. I miss you already.
ROUGH & READY vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri and Colonel Robert Parker) (in a non-title match)
No, I can’t take it anymore! This is SETTLED! It was settled on July 15th! And August 3rd! And August 11th! And September 8th! And October 7th! And October 12th! Unless this is some sort of Best of 7 that doesn’t end after 4 wins that WCW forgot to tell us about (and anything’s possible with this company), there is literally no reason for these teams to have fought 7 times in the last 100 days. NICK PATRICK is your referee, still in neck brace. I hope he’s undergoing regular check-ups and some sort of therapy, because the length of this injury is getting seriously troublesome and I’m concerned about his well-being. I love that WCW declared that Harlem Heat wouldn’t defend their belts until Halloween Havoc in an effort to keep the champs as fresh as possible, and then promptly booked them in a non-stop series of non-title matches. Even Tony brings this up, noting how great it is WCW is behind Harlem Heat. THIS IS WHY THE NWO IS KILLING YOU. Mike Enos gives Booker a back breaker, and launches his with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Booker comes right back with a Harlem sidekick, and gets 2. Parker and Sherri share tender moments outside of the ring, while Stevie hits a bicycle kick I think he went to the well a little early there, because he’s officially out of moves. Thankfully, Booker’s a stud, and nails the axe kick. Sidewalk slam sets up a second rope kneedrop, but Enos rolls away. A powerslam is all Enos needs to tag in Slater, and he’s punching everyone! Russian legsweep on Booker connects, but Parker’s all up in Patrick’s business. Stevie can’t help matters, so now Sherri hits the ring and Patrick runs the other way intentionally trying to keep his eyes averted from any cheating at all. Slater chases Sherri to the outside, as this spills into the ring Patrick has no choice but to throw it all out at 6:25, giving a DQ win to Rough & Ready. Holy hell, the impossible has happened. We’ll need at least another 10 matches to determine which team is better moving forward. Nick Patrick makes sure to tell all the haters that he did the right thing. *1/2
TONY SCHIAVONE meets with the quartet of dysfunction in the back. Sherri screams that they need to stay focused. Booker declares tomorrow night’s just business, cuz they the meanest. Stevie tells everyone in an nWo shirt that they needs to watch they stinky asses. Something tells me the nWo isn’t too concerned about a team that can’t beat Blake Beverly.
ROAD BLOCK vs. JEFF JARRETT
RIP Jeff Jarrett, it’s been an awful 2 weeks, we won’t miss you. Jarrett ducks a big meaty swing, and hits a drop toe hold, making him STRUT. Road Block doesn’t take kindly to that, and chokes a bitch. Somehow Jarrett gets out and faceplants the big man, ordering the Giant to look. Road Block tries to sit on Jarrett, but misses. Avalanche splash misses, and Jarrett hits a leaping clothesline off the second rope. A series of leaping punches rocks Road Block, and a top rope crossbody gets 2. Road Block throws an elbow to Jarrett’s face, and I wishfully hope for an explosion on impact. The big man goes up – holy crap – and dives with a big splash but he misses! Jarrett hits a suplex, and applies the Figure Four for the win at 3:51. What the shit was that? We’re seeing the greatest big man in wrestling history, and he’s jobbing to Jeff Jarrett on the B-shows? Not impressed WCW, not one bit. **
TONY SCHIAVONE excitedly tells Jeff Jarrett he’s become something of a Giant killer. Jeff says getting Flair’s personal endorsement made tomorrow’s match the most important of his life, and after tomorrow everyone will know he’s the smartest wrestler in the world. Even the canned heat is rightfully booing him at this point.
EDDIE GUERRERO vs. MR. JL
Eddie takes down JL, while Dusty starts imitating tomorrow’s announcement he can’t wait for, “THE NEW WORLD TAG-TEAM CHAMPIONS, RANDY SAVAGE!” That would cause a bit of a re-shuffling of the card, and defeat the purpose of a “tag-team title”, but what the hell, I’m on board. The lads brawl to the outside, where JL slams Eddie spine first into the ring post. Back in, Eddie hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, so I guess that ring post did nothing to ruin his day. A European uppercut floors JL, but he recovers enough to hit a desperation clothesline. Both guys fight to the top rope, and Eddie wins that war with a superplex. Frog Splash finishes at 4:52. *1/2
DEAN MALENKO (with Rey Mysterio Jr’s mask) vs. ALEX WRIGHT
Here’s another match we’ve seen far too many times. NICK PATRICK referees, and is practically immobile at this point. Wright takes the early advantage, but a slingshot splash is blocked with the knees, and Malenko takes over. Deano puts on the Lasso from El Paso, and moves to a half crab. The hold is released, and Malenko hits a standing vertical suplex for 2. Powerbomb sets up a camel clutch, as Malenko’s desperately trying to cling to his “man of a thousand holds” nickname. Side suplex gets 2. Wright fires himself up at this point, and hammers in a series of European uppercuts, but he is NOT Dave Taylor and he cannot finish. Malenko comes off the top, but Wright rolls though. Nick Patrick is far too injured to count fast enough though, and Malenko kicks out at about 8. The Oklahoma roll from Malenko is of no surprise seconds later, and he wins at 4:52, which seems to be the preferred match time tonight. **
TONY SCHIAVONE grabs Dean to talk about tomorrow night’s Cruiserweight title match. Malenko wants no more hype or talking, just a match and a winner. He will not leave empty handed.
THE CHEETAH KID vs. JIMMY GRAFFITI
I’m cool with this. Jimmy clotheslines the Cheetah Iaukea, and hits a slingshot karate chop. A catapult across the bottom rope should cut off a little circulation, but the Cheetah comes back with a dropkick for 2. He misses a second attempt, and Graffiti hits a senton off the top for the win at 2:42. “First time at the pay windah!” Indeed. *
SERGEANT CRAIG PITTMAN (with Teddy Long) vs. CHRIS BENOIT
It’s the night of rematches from hell tonight, as here’s another duo that never seems to click. NICK PATRICK is once again assigned to this one. We start with a little mat wrestling, before Benoit changes things with a dropkick to the back of the knee. He attacks like Jian Ghomeshi with a hard-on, and tries to turn it into dust. Fans chant USA, as Benoit hits a single leg atomic drop. Pittman turns the attack and puts on the Code Red, but Patrick hurts his neck and can’t watch. Teddy Long takes off his jacket, having just about enough of this stuff. Pittman releases the hold, and starts screaming at Teddy he’s been in his way all along, and as Teddy plays innocent, Benoit hits a Dragon Suplex for the super fast pin at 5:15. ** Teddy backs Patrick into the corner, and screams bloody murder at him.
Benoit meets up with TONY SCHIAVONE to talk Dungeon of Doom. Since Benoit joined the Horsemen, the Dungeon has tried to destroy them, unsuccessfully. Horsemen are forever, and he’ll tell them how it is at Halloween Havoc. He hopes Kevin Sullivan remembers how much pain he’s put him through in the past. (Hah, just wait!)
Meanwhile, over nWo Saturday Night, we move to the 3rd round of the tag-team tournament.
“TUFF” TONY “THE TIGER” WASHBERG
Weight: 299 lbs.
Hometown: Robbinsdale, Minnesota
Pro Record: 59-18
Peco Golden Grappler Tag Team Winners
Boxing Champ of the Pipe Fitters of Minnesota
BUD “SMOKEY” GREENE
Weight: 225 lbs.
Hometown: Robbinsdale, Minnesota
Pro Record: 29-6
Winner of Michigan’s Bob Seger look-a-like contest 1978
Peco Golden Grappler Tag Team Winners
Your ring announcer tonight is NUMBER SIX. The masked DOCTOR X is still your referee.
TONY WASHBERG and BUD GREENE vs. THE OUTSIDERS
Once again, Nash works the commentary from the ring apron. Scott Hall hits a fallaway slam, or “SOS”, as Nash yuks it up. Both guys tag out, as Hall takes over the stick. Nash pounds away, while Hall talks about how crisp the Outsiders look heading into their match with the Houston area hillbillies, Harlem Heat. Nash hits the sidewalk slam, AKA “spinning jumping salto”. Back to Hall, who throws a number of knife edges, follows with the “high body beale!” The Outsiders Edge finishes Bob Seger off. The referee declares the Outsiders your victors, sounding much like Nick Patrick but without the neck brace it’s clear he’s not.
HIGH VOLTAGE vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart)
Rage hits a whole lot of moves on Meng, who just stands there laughing in his face! Voltage tries a tag-team sunset flip, but Meng ducks the clothesline from Kaos. Unfortunately, Kaos hits him on the other side, but that does little because Meng pops up and slams Rage. In comes the Barbarian, who turns Rage’s springboard senton into a powerbomb! A backbreaker sets up the clubberin’! Back to Meng, who hits a sunset flip, but Rage punches out and tags in Kaos. However, Meng just powerbombs him while Barbarian hits the Kick of Fear MID-MOVE for the super easy pin at 3:30. Barbarian beats up Rage some more for the hell of it. **1/2
TONY SCHIAVONE meets with the Dungeon guys, against his will. Hart mocks Flair’s dangling shoulder, with Anderson’s tied up with Luger. That leaves Benoit, and Steve “I want to be a wrestler” McMichael against the Faces of Fear. Debra is named the world’s oldest cheerleader (yes!), and Hart turns things over to Meng. He says a lot of strong words that I will choose not to repeat, and Barbarian tosses in a few wild and savage threats of his own. My wife is concerned my love of these guys may have surpassed my feelings towards her; and she might not be far off.
Closing the show, Tony grabs ARN ANDERSON. Anderson re-affirms Liz’s departure from the Horsemen for about the 8th week in a row. He doesn’t know if Liz, Hogan, or the Horsemen drove Savage crazy, or whether he’s just crazy, but he needs to deal with his life on a real personal basis. Regarding Luger, he wants no excuses, and now it’s time for Lex to meet his demon head on. He vows somebody’s gonna get hurt, and runs the knife across his throat. There’s your final sell!
I guess that means Benoit won’t be getting his rightful title shot. Shame on you, WCW.