Saturday, November 29, 2014

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.

43 comments:

  1. Wasn't Savage actually in contract negotiations at this point and that's why they weren't mentioning him on TV?

    And how often did we see nWo Sting after Fall Brawl? I remember seeing him in group shots but only maybe 1 or 2 matches. I know he was a big deal in Japan.

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  2. Paul Bearer had a pretty good run from 92-96. He got a huge pop at summerslam 93
    when he made his surprise return in the middle of the match. Plus he carried the real Undertaker's feud with fake undertaker up to the ppv.

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  3. I kinda enjoy his style of idiocy.

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  4. That entire Jazz/Trish series is extremely underrated. Jazz doesn't get enough credit for helping Trish mature as a worker.

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  5. It's kinda hard to compare "top guy" to "#2 guy."


    For instance, as #2 guys, Austin had Rock, Taker, Trips, and Foley.


    Shawn had Diesel for about a month, then, um… Ahmed Johnson? Bret came back in November, about when Austin started to be elevated, but by that point Shawn's run was basically done.


    SHawn could have easily been Austin's #2 guy (and arguably was in early '98) and done just fine; it helps to be stapled to the biggest star in wrestling history.

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  6. Maybe, but "what ifs" don't count for much. The way history played out, HHH is a bigger star than Shawn.

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  7. Bret also wasn't figuring out who the up and comer was, then coming out of retirement to steal their heat, which I think is more the beef with Trips.

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  8. That's a question of perspective; a case could be made that the smallest #1 is bigger than the biggest #2.

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  9. How strange.


    Punk acts like the HHH thing is what killed his momentum, and of course it had *nothing* to do with his terrible whiny interviews as a face, nothing to do with his heatless program against John Laurinitis, nothing to do with his ridiculous angle with Jericho, and in fact nothing to do with *anything* Punk has ever done. In fact are there even points in this interview where Punk takes any sort of responsibility for anything or is everything that has ever happened to him someone else's fault?


    Look, the doctor thing is ridiculous, no one is denying that, and the Ryback thing dumb as heck (why did they do that to him?) and for *sure* the Batista-orton thing is super laughable. But, RIP Farva, Punk still manages in this to come off as an insecure child. The only reason he would've shared the story about HHH is to make himself feel better about the fact that they *just didn't see him as main event material*. Even if he *had* stayed around and they still removed Batista...they weren't going to put Punk in the main event, because those crowds weren't chanting "YES YES YES" for Bryan. And Punk or other people acting like his departure somehow is the sole reason for Bryan's movement in the main event terribly overrate Punk and terribly underrate Bryan.

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  10. Wait - honestly I'm not trying to be contrarian here but out of all the things in the CM interview, where did you get that Hunter is a fragile egomaniac? Because CM said he was?

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  11. That's actually exactly why she's not on the show; her husband doesn't work for them and they don't want to promote him.

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  12. Yup, I go with Mickie/Trish WM22 as well for best women's WWE match

    As for best women's match ever, I always point to Megumi Kudo/Combat Toyoda from FMW in 96

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  13. I just watched that opening cruiserweight match. I was a little annoyed by how they burned 20 finishers in one match, but their execution was amazing. A little thing I noticed: there are two jumping sit-out powerbombs where Dragon gets his feet above Rey's arms before they strike the mat. Maybe it's not as difficult as I think it is, but it just seems like one of those things that takes unbelievable timing and skill.

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  14. If Jarrett learned his lessons from TNA, his thing could be good. Only time will tell, but we can hope.

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  15. It would be a very weak case since nothing suggests that. If anything, the opposite is suggested.

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  16. There's the other problem, that HHH had to be 'kept strong' for Undertaker when a) it was a foregone conclusion that Taker would win again and b) nobody really wanted to see yet another Streak match wasted on Hunter.

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  17. And that was just after Miz hopping back to the ladder match on one foot drew a monster face pop from the Chicago fans at the MITB PPV. If there was ever a time to turn Miz face and tweak his character, that would've been it.

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  18. And all those senators and congressmen were so ticked off at Hogan's testimony that they totally colluded to undermine his presidential campaign in 1999, brother.

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  19. This show was the first "modern" WCW show I saw. My friend and I had our minds blown by the amazing Cruiserweight stuff, which seemed like it was in another stratosphere, and the nWo & Sting were fascinating to us. Too bad the 60-Man Battle Royal sounds more interesting on paper than it is in practice, because it sound amazing.

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  20. I've never heard of this before but this sounds very interesting!

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  21. Yeah, it was a whole new style for fans at the time. I think they were just showing off here, to help get the new style over. The "20 finishers in one match" style would only really get a bad rap much later, when it got used a lot in the poorer Ring of Honor spotfests and became an Indie Cliché.

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  22. You have to love the NFL's continuity, though, by booking the Cowboys for yet another December collapse. That never gets old.

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  23. If we ever had a 'wrestlers who were way ahead of their time' list, the Jumping Bomb Angels would have to be near the top. They would've been mind-blowing 20 years later, never mind in freaking 1987.

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  24. Jumping Bomb Angels were the shit. As Scott noted, it's a pity they didnt have better opponents but at least the Glamour Girls were decent power wrestlers.

    I wonder if Moolah hated them given how she normally trained women wrestlers

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  25. yep. Randy Orton as a smiling babyface would have never worked, it's just not Orton's appeal. if you like him, you like him BECAUSE he is a jerk.

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  26. I agree with Supermark, though. I will give Trips the benefit of doubt because I really think the intent is primarily "I want to get more over"/"become a bigger name"/etc. than "I want him to be less over" etc.

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  27. that's the point with Vince. he may not be in touch with the audience (anymore?) but at least it seems that in nine out of ten times, if he thinks something or someone will draw serious money for the company, he would go along with it regardless of personal feelings (there are only very few exceptions).

    I really believe Triple H and Stephanie are very different in that matter. of course I don't know them personally but from my perceiption I feel they mix "business" and "personal" a lot more than Vince ever did.

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  28. It wasnt bad. It made me smile. They dont all have to be grand slam home runs. A ground rule double is ok too. Miles ahead of that meltzer guy who posted here.

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  29. The evil that is done by careerist brown nosing interns / rookies. It's a good storyline that they should have ran for a lot longer.

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  30. eventually Wall Street will catch up to the McMahon family, even if it's after Vince is gone, and they wont be running things anymore and CM Punk, Rock, RVD, Booker T, Bret Hart and Mick Foley can all have a toast in the ring

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  31. watching the Jim Cornette KC Timeline 1997 shoot it would explain a lot... being no one in the entire company knowing what Vince gave Shawn so many passes... explains everything

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  32. The correct answer is Melina vs Alicia Fox.

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  33. "Heenan laughably calls Piper a bigger movie star than Hogan."


    I wouldn't call this "laughable" by any means. THEY LIVE outgrossed any of Hogan's movies except for NO HOLDS BARRED, and Piper had been in at least double the amount of movies than Hogan was by late 1996. In the mid 1990s Piper's face was all over the direct-to-video movie racks at your local Blockbuster or mom and pop video joint. He also regularly guest starred on TV series like Highlander, RoboCop, and Superboy.


    You could argue that Hogan was more popular because he made cameos in more popular movies - Rocky III (though that was 14 years previous), Gremlins 2, and Spy Hard, but in terms of amount of movies Piper definitely had Hogan beat. And in terms of quality, any movie starring Hulk Hogan (Suburban Commando? Mr. Nanny?) can't lace the boots of THEY LIVE.

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  34. Vince is petty, but in the "make a segment about pulling stuff out of JR's ass" kind of way. It wouldn't stop him from working with JR.

    I don't get that vibe from Triple H and Stephanie.

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  35. If I remember right, after a while, other people in WCW started complaining about the cruisers using too many finishers. The rumor going around at the time was that Nash didn't want them using powerbombs. Can't remember if that was true.

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  36. Yep. Both Rock and Cena single-handedly beat Awesome Truth on Raws leading up to the match.

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  37. Except for "Dr. D" David Schultz.

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  38. If I recall, the scuttlebutt was that the Bryan/Sheamus match was going to feature a heel Sheamus or be the impetus for his heel turn

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  39. I still find it amazing that the Summer of Punk's storyline culmination was Triple H vs. Kevin Nash in a ladder match. A-fucking-mazing.

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  40. "Punk acts like the HHH thing is what killed his momentum, and of course it had *nothing* to do with his terrible whiny interviews as a face"

    What.

    "nothing to do with his heatless program against John Laurinitis"

    What.

    "nothing to do with his ridiculous angle with Jericho"

    What.

    Seriously, these sentences do not touch reality at any two contiguous points.

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  41. The mistake was bringing him back so quickly after MITB. You could hear it in interviews Punk did after he came back: he knew coming back so quickly was the wrong move, but he was deceiving himself. I mean, just the little they did with the story was so hyperaccelerated (Rey wins tourney/Rey drops title to Cena/Punk comes back in 8 days) that it just killed one of the coolest angles in a very long time dead.

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  42. RIght now there are 9 others who have touched the same reality I'm touching. ;)

    I'm happy to have you disagree, but I feel Punk's face interviews were absymal. His picking on Laurinitis bordered on weird bullying (and part of that is probably the WWE face mentality) and wasn't in the slightest entertaining. His interviews where he talked about how "Vince McMahon would have a conniption if he saw CM Punk and Daniel Bryan in a main event" came off to me as childish and amateurish, All of his Chris Jericho stuff was terrible. Now, his interviews after the heel turn - the "your arms are too short to box with God", etc. etc. - those were great.


    To be fair, can you clarify for me what made the Laurinitis program, the Jericho angle, and his face interviews (not his early Cena ones where he was still the "unhinged rebel") so awesome for you?

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  43. Also one of my favorite accidental flubs was when I told my brother that the next match was "Jizz vs Trash."

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