Having just completed the entire 1996 year, I’ve decided I want a permanent home to house my writing. About a decade ago, I owned the shootingstarpress.com name; but it lapsed around 2007, and the current squatters want $1250 American style dollars. I offered $25, and a nice gentleman named Blake suggested I’d be better off asking Archie Karas for financial planning advice.
So I bandied ideas around, to and fro, before finally settling on one I knew had to be available. There was simply no way it was taken.
You have GOT to be kidding me.
So I turn it to you – dear reader. I urge you, to dig deep in your creative receptacles, to help me find something that fits me. Something ridiculous. Something easy to remember. Something available for $3.99 on GoDaddy! I know you can do it.
A new year brings fresh hope, fresh faces, and fresh storylines. WCW Worldwide is no exception, and they haul out only the biggest of big guns for this week’s edition. Can you imagine seeing Disco Inferno, Psychosis, Juventud Guerrera, Alex Wright, AND Harlem Heat in the same exciting hour? I know you’re probably not buying that lineup, but it’s happening RIGHT NOW (18 years ago).
TONY SCHIAVONE and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN are talking New Year’s resolutions, but Heenan didn’t even realize the calendar had turned and gets a headache just thinking about it.
BILLY KIDMAN vs. JIMMY GRAFFITI
Heenan doesn’t even want to put his headset on because he’s so upset by this shocking revelation of a new year. Hey, Graffiti’s still here; his contract must have rolled over. It’s incredible to think that one of these two guys is going to start the year with a winning record, but miracles happen all the time. Graffiti hits a front suplex, and Kidman’s seeing stars. He swings wildly, but Graffiti sidesteps with ease and rakes the eyes. A superkick has Kidman on the edge of defeat, but Graffiti, having never been in this position before, celebrates like it’s 1997. Kidman is given enough time to recover, and he promptly misses a dropkick and lands on the back of his head. Graffiti manages to miss a legdrop from a half foot away, and Kidman hits a top rope crossbody for 2. A tornado bulldog gets 2, so Kidman tries it again and Graffiti throws him across the ring. Jimmy comes off the top with a senton, and gets the win at 3:27?!?!? Seriously? Billy, welcome to rock bottom. *
DISCO INFERNO vs. RON THOMPSON
I am fairly certain this is Ron Thompson’s first WCW appearance in nearly 2 years, because I know I didn’t recap a single one of his bouts in 1996. Ron has that classic lean, ripped, tall, and handsome look – so you know if he’s a jobber he’s got the skills and personality of a wilted lettuce. Ron proves me right immediately by somehow not even managing to properly execute a bodyslam. Disco goes for his special leg hold, but he can’t remember how it works, and Thompson kicks him. Disco throws a back elbow with more aggression than he’s ever shown, but then he stops to dance because an idiot’s an idiot. A monkey flip is shrugged off by Thompson, but he misses a dropkick and Disco actually succeeds in tying up the legs like a front Sharpshooter, and despite the fact I have no idea how or why this is supposed to hurt, Thompson flails his arms in defeat like a hummingbird at 4:14. -*
LEE MARSHALL hypes his first interview of the year, which also happens to be our first major letdown of the year when THE NASTY BOYS walk in. Knobbs screams this it’ll be the year of the Nasty Boys, and they plan to show the Outsiders who’s boss. And boy would they!
PSYCHOSIS and JUVENTUD GUERRERA vs. SOUTHERN POSSE
Juvi gives the fans a big THUMBS DOWN to let the fans know he’s the bad guy tonight. Did Eric Bischoff go on a spree of signing 1995 jobbers to new contracts on New Year’s Day? We haven’t seen Southern Posse in forever! Heenan announces he’s been practicing his “Mexican”, and shares his first word … “Alamo”. Meanwhile, Juvi hits Trout with a missile dropkick. Thames tags in, and stomps the hell out of Guerrera, because he’s rough and mean. A mule kick gets 2. Juvi makes a blind tag, and Thames misses Psychosis entering with a spinning heel kick off the top. A drop toe hold sets up a top rope guillotine from Juvi. They repeat the same for Trout. Thames is given the electric chair, and a DDT from Psychosis signals the end. A Firebird splash from Juvi gets the easy win at 3:07 – the Valvoline high performance of the week! *1/2
ALEX WRIGHT vs. CASEY THOMPSON
Thompson-mania is running wild tonight! This is the NXT Revolution of WCW Worldwide. Casey tries to yank Wright’s arm out of socket, and I think I speak for everyone when I say, I hope he succeeds. A corner clothesline rocks the young German, but a European Uppercut (domain not available) changes EVERYTHING, and Wright gets 2. Heenan figures Wright’s put on about 10-15 pounds in the last year which is laughable, because he’s got about as much definition as a runway model. Thompson starts bringing the heat, which is so inspiring, I’m feeling poetic.
Oh, somewhere on this awful show, the spotlight’s shining bright;
Wildcat Willie’s dancing somewhere, and somewhere jobbers fight,
And somewhere kids are screaming, and somewhere parents frown;
But there is no joy at Disney – mighty Casey’s counted down (at 4:18).
Meanwhile, in other parts of the building…
Yes, JIM DUGGAN sneaks up on LEE MARSHALL to announce that all he wanted for Christmas was a new 2x4, much like every Christmas going back all 78 years of his life. He hates on the Cruiserweights as a flash in the pan, because he’s got Old Glory. That’s … an odd place to bring the hate.
BIG BUBBER vs. KENNY KENDALL
WCW has the laziest production team in history. Is there seriously so little in the can that they can’t chop footage of Big Bubba as a member of the Dungeon of Doom (complete with entrance music), while the announcers pretend he’s an nWo member? They never hesitate to air 45 minute long Roddy Piper recaps on any other show; why stop now? Is a red and yellow clad Hulk Hogan defending WCW’s honor against the terror that is Hugh Morrus in our main event? Kendall takes down Bubba with a drop toe hold, but whatever he had planned off the top rope ends in a punch to the gut. Based on his vertical position on the leap, I’m going to assume he was planning on the force of leap to create enough force in the air to send Bubba flying around the arena like Mary Poppins, because he certainly didn’t have anything physical coming his way. Bubba goes through the usual, and finishes with the Bossman Slam at 4:03. *
HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri) vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart)
For the love of god WCW, do NOT do this to me a 3rd time this week. I’m 32 years old; my heart is no longer the once indestructible blood pumping ball of testosterone it once was. Another loss from the Faces of Fear could trigger all kinds of coronary problems; I could potentially face the first ever Octuple Bypass. That would lie on the shoulders of … does anyone actually book this show? I’ve always sort of assumed it was a free-for-all where whomever shows up looking for TV time is sent to the ring on a first-come first-serve basis. Booker T starts with Barbarian, and tries a flying shoulderblock. Barbarian stands there like the chiseled goliath he is, and roars to the Tongan gods. A corner clothesline is delivered with the strength of 40 Glaciers, so Booker to throws a desperation Harlem Sidekick. A second one knocks Barbarian down. This is on par with Rocky IV; the Russian was just cut. A fresh Meng tags in against a useless Stevie Ray, and Stevie takes him down with a clothesline. I’m starting to think this match might not be on the level. Meng restores my faith with a throat punch; going easy by not actually ripping out his throat. Both savages hit dual headbutts, but Booker saves the day at 2. He gets the tag, and puts a headlock on Barbarian, which is about as effective as putting a headlock on Mount Rushmore. Barbarian stands with ease, and hits a single leg atomic drop. Meng enters with an atomic legdrop that puts Hogan to shame, but it only gets 2. A bunch of karate chops are swung with the precision of a ginsu knife, but are at least 7 times more effective in causing bodily harm. Back comes the Barbarian, and Booker hits a desperation flying jalapeno. Stevie Ray uses a clothesline to take down Barbarian, which runs him through his entire move-set. The Fear start clubberin’ Stevie in the corner, and Jimmy gets on the apron. Sherri ain’t letting THAT happen, and the scrap causes a no contest at 6:54. Give the referee credit; he just saved the lives of Harlem Heat. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. **
TONY SCHIAVONE tries to wrap up the show, but Heenan refuses to come on stage because he’s too embarrassed to show his face next to Tony’s. Blah blah blah, New World Order, Nitro, goodnight!