Tuesday, December 2, 2014

WCW Nitro: November 25, 1996

World War 3 is in the books. Despite the fact the nWo came out on top AGAIN, there were a couple of positives. Steven Regal and Lex Luger looked like a million bucks, needing the entire nWo to eliminate them from the battle royal. The Faces of Fear not only held their own against the Outsiders, but flat out dominated them; never actually losing the match, but seeing the useless Nastys take the fall. Jeff Jarrett got his ass kicked by Sting again – and maybe it’s time he stopped talking and just put up, as he did in the main event. And … could DDP actually align with his company instead of his best friends? Seems unlikely, but he’s still butt hurt from the early rejection. He needs you to need him, and the nWo doesn’t truly “need” him. Could we be seeing a new faction? And what role will Joe Gomez play in it?

TONY SCHIAVONE is swelling with WCW pride – though lord knows why, since the nWo continued their winning ways. We are LIVE from Salisbury, Maryland – home of the steak! LARRY ZBYSZKO joins us, and we’re all abuzz about Roddy Piper signing on to face Hollywood Hogan at Starrcade. But, and you won’t believe me, the nWo attacked Piper! Still shots prove to us that last night, shocking the world, that Eric Bischoff and Roddy Piper were not particularly photogenic.


ARN ANDERSON vs. LEX LUGER (in a first round tournament match for the WCW United States title)

Other developments last night included that Ric Flair had been stripped of the United States title due to his inability to defend it, and apparently the Giant parading around with it didn’t make him the champion. Tony tells us if the Giant refuses to give it back, they’ll just make a new belt. Or, you know, have him arrested for possession of stolen property – have we considered that? Arn is still wrapped up from his Halloween Havoc encounter with Luger, and considering his current momentum, Lex has to be considered a favorite to capture the belt. Both guys slug it out to start, until Luger gets bored and starts hammering in with some shoulder blocks to send Anderson to the floor. Arn tries to get back in, and gets a knee to the face for his trouble. Luger wraps the arm around the ring post, proving you can cheer the guy all you want, but once a heel, always a heel. Lex pounds away with axe handles, before turning his attention back to the bad arm. Anderson breaks up the momentum with a drop toe hold, but Luger immediately mounts Arn from behind and applies a hammerlock. Back to their feet, Arn goes for a backdrop, but Luger stops short and kicks him in the face. Arn starts kicking at Luger with all his energy, and Tony calls for a commercial break. Sigh.

Back from the break, Anderson is in the process of hiptossing Luger face first into the buckle. With Lex finally down, Arn quickly drops a knee and heads up. Unfortunately for him, Luger’s still fresh, and punches him on the way down. Anderson boots Luger in midsection, and heads to the floor to choke flexy Lexy. Back in, Arn catapults Luger, throat first across the bottom rope, and that gets 2. Back to the floor, Anderson sets up Luger against the ring post, but misses his chop, and Luger drives him back first into the post. They head back in where Lex hits a standing vertical suplex, and the fans start to buzz with the prospect of the Rack. However, interrupting matters is THE GIANT, holding the US title. He screams that it’s the most prestigious belt on the planet, and that he’s still the champion no matter what WCW says. Whoever wins the tournament is welcome to face him, and then we’ll see who the real champ is. The wrestlers, amazingly, manage to ignore his ranting, and keep on keeping on. Anderson heads up for an attack, but Luger cuts him off, and tries to put him in the Rack. Arn hooks the ropes for safety, so Luger clotheslines him to the floor instead. Lex comes off the apron, right into a fist from Anderson, and he goes for a piledriver! Lex reverses, and puts Anderson in the Rack. The referee orders him back in, but Lex refuses, and both guys get counted out at 12:56. As a result, both guys are eliminated from the US title tournament. The favorite is out. Now what? **

THE NEW WORLD ORDER come strutting down to the ring, led by Bischoff who has found a “cool” leather jacket to go along with his new friends. Also here are Syxx, Vincent, The Outsiders, and the Giant. Bischoff starts yakking, but the audio doesn’t pick it up for awhile. Now the explanation we’ve been waiting for; it basically boils down to the fact that after he took the powerbomb at the Great American Bash, he asked if he wanted to be consumed by the power or lead the force. So with Bischoff’s position as the highest official in WCW, he gives a warning to the locker room. They have 30 days to convert their WCW contracts to nWo contracts, or else.

THE AMERICAN MALES come down to ringside, arguing a little. Bagwell immediately starts high fiving everyone in the group, happily siding with the enemy. Riggs can’t believe what he’s seeing, but Bagwell goes over to whisper sweet nothings in his ear … for the last time. Swinging neckbreaker! My god – they took Hogan, they took the Giant, but breaking up the American Males?!? Last straw, nWo.

DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. DISCO INFERNO

Tony updates us on the state of the locker room. Apparently tempers are flaring, and everyone’s on edge. Nobody has any idea what anyone’s going to do over the next 30 days, and as a result it’s straight up anarchy. One would have to imagine Page is probably next, regardless of feeling slighted before, he won’t turn his back on his friends. Page picks up Disco like an atomic drop, but releases him straddling the ropes – right on the disco balls. Disco slowly recovers, but gets in a pair of swinging neckbreakers, and so we dance! Tony starts trying to convince us that there are 37 different variations of the Diamond Cutter, just as DDP hits the same one he ALWAYS hits for the pin at 2:14. 1/2*

“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND slides into the ring to talk to Page. DDP understands that the nWo is trying to build a dynasty, so they’re courting the guy with the baddest finisher on the planet. Gene reminds us that Page has a good relationship with Hall and Nash, who he used to manage and tag wish. And his next door neighbor is Eric Bischoff. Gene: “You’re telling me you’re not going with the nWo? Who are you trying to kid?” DDP says he knows Bischoff better than anyone else, and even he was made to look stupid last week. He wishes he didn’t know now, what he didn’t know last week.

TONY PENA vs. STEVEN REGAL (for the WCW world television title)

… I keep waiting for the announcers to burst out laughing, but it doesn’t happen. This is apparently serious. Pena is probably better known to WCW fans as “Villano IV”, who debuted last night at World War 3. I really don’t approve of switching in and out of masks to give us multiple characters by the same guy, especially in company with about 1000 people under contract. Both Mr. JL and Jerry Lynn agree strongly with me. Regal starts with the palm thrusts right off the bell, but Pena counters by trying to throw him out stealing 2nd base. Regal delivers a changeup in the form of a drop toe hold, and he goes for the Regal Stretch. Pena makes the ropes. Pena nails a DDT, but it doesn’t shake Regal, who fires back with a butterfly suplex for 2. European uppercuts are thrown, before finally applying the Regal stretch for the submission at 3:05. * Regal gives all the filthy Americans a dirty look.

Appearing on the ramp is RICK STEINER, with “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND. Steiner’s been in Japan for a few months, but he’s back, declaring his loyalty to WCW. Steiner doesn’t understand what the hell Sting’s problem is, but at least WCW has guys like Lex Luger and Roddy Piper. I feel dumber just listening to him talk.

KONAN vs. EDDIE GUERRERO (in a first round tournament match for the WCW United States title)

Larry isn’t a fan of Eddie Guerrero, because he feels like he takes too many high risks and someday he’ll blow up in mid-air. Wait … what? Like, spontaneous combustion from plancha? I’ve never heard of such a thing, but it’s entirely possible Larry knows since I assume he’s watched more wrestling than I have. And just like that I jump about 3 feet off the couch when I hear something detonating, but it turns out to be fireworks, because …

It’s hour #2! MIKE TENAY and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN take over the booth. So Eric Bischoff is out? Did he fire himself from commentary out of disgust for his own actions? Did Mike Tenay threaten to give him the Tenay Family Heat if he got within 6 feet of him? And then, a familiar voice. Nope, not Bischoff, but TONY SCHIAVONE has joined them, now pulling double duty. Have I unfairly kept from calling this match? Probably not, it’s been all Konan, and I don’t like acknowledging that. A gutwrench powerbomb gets 2, but Eddie makes the ropes. A leg grapevine is applied while Heenan starts listing every member of the Guerrero family, which turns out is quite the list. Tony believes Bobby’s making it up, but I’m not so sure. Meanwhile, Konan comes off the top, right into a dropkick from the possum Guerrero. An uppercut flattens Konan, and Eddie heads up to finish. Konan cuts him off first, and hits the superplex. He goes for the pin, but arrogantly pulls Eddie up at 2. Really Konan? Mexican Hulk Hogan doesn’t work OUTSIDE Mexico, so that was probably a mistake. No shock, seconds later, Konan goes for Splash Mountain, but Eddie twists in mid-air, falling on top for the pin at 5:23. *1/2

BIG BUBBER (with Jimmy Hart) vs. RICK STEINER

Where on earth has Scotty been? It’s even more concerning that nobody ever seems to acknowledge his absence, not even his brother (who talks like Scott is still around most of the time). Rick has some words for Sting on the way to the ring – he never thought he’d see the day where he no longer trusted him. What’s sad, is no matter how tame that is, that’s EXACTLY the kind of cutting stuff that’s going to make Sting lose his business, since he’s so bloody oversensitive to EVERYTHING. Rick flattens Bubba with a German suplex, but he makes the ropes. STING makes his way down from the rafters, heading straight towards the ring, just as Steiner hits the top rope bulldog. Bubba gets dumped to the outside, while Tony speculates that Sting is here to finally tell us what he’s thinking. Instead, he sneaks in behind Steiner, and gives him the Scorpion Death Drop! Bubba dives back in for the easy win at 3:15. Heenan feels that’s proof once and for all that Sting has sided with the nWo – of course looking silly while Bubba screams that WCW will prevail. *

PSYCHOSIS vs. REY MYSTERIO JR.

We’re well into hour #2, but finally, FINALLY we have a glimmer of hope for the fans of professional wrestling. THE ULTIMATE DRAGON and SONNY ONOO are perched on top of the ramp with Dragon’s 8 belts, watching this match. Dragon needs to get his priorities straight, it’s Dean Malenko he wants. Psychosis goes for a powerbomb, but rolls backwards and throws Mysterio over the top rope. This does not draw a DQ, because consistency. Rey gets back in, and Psychosis immediately flattens him with the top rope guillotine legdrop … for 2. Come on guys, that’s his finish, stop killing it. Rey is placed back up top, and Psychosis goes for a super splash mountain, but Mysterio catches him on the release for a super Frankensteiner, and scores the pin at 2:21. Yes, two minutes and twenty one seconds. 2:21 … EVEN TONY PENA GOT MORE THAN 2:21!!!!! -***** for the cock tease.

The entire contract signing, the hip scar, the beat down, EVERYTHING from the previous night’s pay-per-view is aired here, chewing up 15 minutes of air-time. Good stuff, I’m glad the Mysterio / Psychosis match was cut to 2:21 to give us time for that. Up yours, WCW.

ALEX WRIGHT vs. JEFF JARRETT

The entrances take a little under 2:21 to get through, but not much. Jarrett goes to slam Wright, but Alex kips right up. Jarrett doesn’t like arrogant people, and pounds away. Wright fires back with a European uppercut, and hits a pair of headscissors takeovers, finishing the sequence with a dropkick. Jarrett catches Wright trying a slingshot headscissors, dropping him snake eyes on the buckle. And we strut. Spinning heel kick from Wright gives him the time to head up for a slingshot bodypress, but Jarrett kicks out at 2.  An avalanche from Wright misses, and Jarrett applies a figure four, using the ropes for leverage like his buddy Flair, and Wright taps at 2:18. I am okay with the time on this one. *1/2

THE FACES OF FEAR vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri)

This is your main event, finally giving the Faces of Fear the spot they deserve. Sherri announces she is going to be one satisfied woman tonight. Is she planning a 2-for-1 Black Friday? Booker shoves Barbarian before the bell, which only seems to annoy him. Meng starts with Stevie. Stevie hits a clothesline in the corner, but Meng comes flying out with the clobbering. Stevie nails a bicycle kick, which serves to both draw the ire of Meng who gives him the Kick of Fear, as well as announce to the crowd that sadly, Stevie Ray has officially gone through his entire move-set and has nothing left to offer. Booker flies in, illegally, to give Meng a Harlem sidekick. A little Sweet Chin Music is delivered, followed by an Axe Kick, but as he goes to cover, Barbarian kicks him in the back of the head a lot. Meng backdrops Booker, right into the arms of Barbarian who powerbombs him. Meng takes a second to pose while his buddy goes to finish, but Stevie saves. A scoop slam from Barbarian sets up both guys to drop with flying headbutts, but against Stevie makes the save. Barbarian lumbers over to beat the crap out of him for continuing to stick his nose in here, and all 4 guys wind up brawling. Booker tries to backdrop Meng, but Meng understands the ropes don’t actually FORCE him to run, stops, and punches Booker in the back of the head. A backbreaker gets 2. Meng sets up a spike piledriver, but Stevie stops that, so Barbarian just takes him to the floor to teach him a lesson. That draws THE NWO down to ringside to attack … just Stevie Ray? The referee throws this out immediately at 4:09. **

Looks like the gang started with Stevie, but Hall throws Barbarian face first into the ring steps. They enter the ring next, while Vincent chokes the now fallen Stevie Ray all by himself. Giant delivers a chokeslam to Booker T, and then one for Meng. I keep hoping Meng immediately pops up, but he doesn’t, and I contemplate crying. Tony ushers us off the air, because apparently we’re well over the time limit. Why didn’t they drop the broadcast just 30 seconds earlier, and save me the heartache?


If you need me, I’ll be brooding in the rafters with Sting.

1 comment:

  1. Great review as usual. Reading these, I'm reminded again of just how old and dated the heel authority figure trope is...

    ReplyDelete