Tuesday, January 13, 2015

WWF Superstars: January 5, 1997

Folks, I know with hindsight being what it is (spoiler: it’s often 20/20), the Monday Night Wars are looked back on as the pinnacle of sports entertainment. Two companies, slugging it out, mano y mano, for ratings shares, advertisement dollars, and personal glory. It is also fondly remembered by many of us, for the lack of JBL on commentary.

But to get to Mondays, you must first go through Sundays, and that’s where the real blood was drawn. We’ve taken a lot of time to reflect on WCW Worldwide, and the never-ending appearances by VK Wallstreet and Alex Wright. But have we really explored all Sunday has to offer us? Like college, now is the time for experimentation. THIS ... is WWF Superstars.

Do you like time to settle in and get prepared for your show? Do 20 minute promos give you the time you need to pop your corn and crack your soda? TOUGH – on Sundays we give it to you raw and ready. Our hosts are JIM ROSS and JAMES E CORNETTE.


PIERROTH & CIBERNETICO vs. DOUG FURNAS & PHILLIP LAFON

So, lost in the black and white grain of the New World Order, one of the biggest transformations in the professional wrestling landscape was the mass influx of Crusierweight talent to WCW. Opening matches were longer left for mid-card tag-teams, or colorless jobber squashes. Hotly contested matches between faced paced, creative-looking international superstars were quickly becoming some of the most-talked about night after night. Vince McMahon, not blind to what was happening, decided to bring in some Mexican wrestlers of his own.

The problem of course, is that Konan had already stolen what was essentially AAA’s hottest, and even moderate level stars, many of whom would be shunned from working with the promotion for a long time, and in some cases, forever. AAA was willing to exchange talent with the WWF (under the assumption they’d be gifted appearances from Bret Hart, The Undertaker, and Shawn Michaels), but by then, McMahon was left with the scraps. P&C are the scraps. The drizzling scraps.

Pierroth cuts an angry promo in Spanish, leaving several Stunt Grannies to shake their heads in disgust. MIL MASCARAS joins the commentary team, and through his muffled mask and broken English, we’re informed that he’ll be in the Royal Rumble. Cibernetico takes a picture perfect dropkick from Furnas, and Lafon follows with a side kick. Pierroth chops at Lafon, but he no-sells. Furnas misses a blind charge and crashes over the top, while Mascaras starts rambling away. “You kids, you know, I beat many many times.” JR: “Errrr ... yes, absolutely.” Furnas heads back in, and Cibernetico drops an elbow. Mascaras is completely incomprehensible at this point, and JR just keeps responding with stuff like “that’s amazing!” Lafon heads in, and takes out both guys. Cibernetico takes a spinning heel kick for 2. A brawl between both teams erupts, but it’s less of an eruption than an uncomfortable gasp. Furnas goes for a springboard crossbody on Cibernetico, but the cheating foreigner shoves the referee in front to get clobbered instead. The referee issues a DQ, and gives the win to Furnas and Lafon at 4:40. Pierroth takes over with the microphone again, and is given another couple of minutes to carry on in Spanish. *

FLASH FUNK (with the Funkettes) vs. SALVATORE SINCERE

Boy, Naomi and Cameron have barely aged a day in the last 20 years. Flash Funk is pretty much considered the low point for 2 Cold Scorpio, but nothing’s lower than his dong. Also, have you SEEN the WCW VHS classic New Blood on the Block? No? Well, allow me:



There is nothing finer than Black Culture being depicted through the eyes of a bunch of white dudes. Of course, that applies to both Flash Funk AND whatever the hell we just watched. This is a matchup of ECW alumni. Funk throws a few dropkicks to knock Sincere to the floor, and follows with a baseball slide. Air Funk is on point, but he can’t capitalize. Sincere decks Funk from the apron, and re-enters with a slingshot splash for 2. Overhead belly to belly with a bridge gets 2. Funk comes back with a half crab, but it’s broken up quickly in the ropes. Jim Ross recaps Marlena’s breasts. An Oklahoma roll gets 2, and a spinning heel kick has Sincere dizzy. The handspring back elbow and enzuigiri sets up the Flash Splash for 2. The 450 finishes at 3:43. *1/2 We gonna step.

THE SULTAN (with the Iron Sheik) vs. MATT HARDY

BOB BACKLUND joins the commentary team.  Matt Hardy is the future Matt Hardy, for those who aren’t in the know. He’s sporting lovely blue homemade tights, with the Hardy Boyz name stitched in anywhere he can find empty space. Unfortunately, tights are only one piece of the puzzle, and he taps to the camel clutch 1:31. Backlund walks off without having said a word. JR: “Nice of you to join us, scintillating conversation.” DUD

FREDDIE JOE FLOYD vs. HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY (in a non-title match)

Expect Freddie to be all over these shows until the plug is pulled in March. I’ll leave you to decide if I’m talking about this program, or Freddie. Floyd rides Helmsley, which JR says is “shades of the Brisco Brothers”. The entire gimmick, for the record, is some sort of giant rib on the Briscos. McMahon was just as interested in his self-amusement in 1997 as he is today. Hunter quickly comes back, hitting a standing vertical suplex, and dropping a knee. A swinging neckbreaker gives Hunter a chance to pose for that one screaming lady, who manages to overtake everyone else by herself. A kneelift and fistdrop continue to drag this out. Honestly, it’s been like 3 minutes, but Triple H already has me going to sleep. Freddie hits a dropkick, and starts the boxing routine. A Jawjacker hits. Cornette: “NOBODY GETS UP FROM THE JAWJACKER!” It gets 1. Pedigree finishes at 5:00. DUD

The Bret/Michaels confrontation from last week’s RAW is replayed. I’m sure you’re just as hyped for their Wrestlemania rematch as I am! I’m sure the direction is as obvious to me as it is to you. 4 words: Jose Lothario Heel Turn.

THE GOON vs. THE UNDERTAKER

Firstly: The Goon might be the finest non-Gambler jobber in wrestling today (then!). A toothless poofy-haired hockey stick wielding skate wearing out of place hockey player, trying his hand at a little pro-wrestling? How can this miss? Secondly: It’s weird to see the Undertaker, the ultimate in special attractions, with his once-a-year God-like appearances, turning up on the same B shows as Freddie Joe Floyd and Flash Funk. Goon tries to charge Taker as he removes his jacket, but Taker just side-steps and calmly shoves him into the buckle. A clothesline sends Goon to the floor, where he grabs his stick. Taker grabs him by the clown-hair, and takes the blunt end to the nose. And we take a commercial.

We’re back, and Goon has returned to his natural role of getting his ass kicked. Goon is whipped into the referee by mistake, and sensing opportunity, he grabs his stick and cross-checks Taker. 3 big whacks like he’s the second coming of Ron Hextall do nothing, since he’s the bloody Undertaker. The stick is taken away, one shot is delivered across the back, and a Chokeslam leaves him for dead. Honestly, that was probably enough, but that’s not how we do, and the Tombstone finishes at 2:54. A billion stars.

Cornette stands up from the commentary desk, and screams about Vader and the Royal Rumble. He vows to stuff Undertaker in his own body-bag. You might find that scenario a little implausible, but you’ve got to keep in mind that Undertaker’s been stuffed in even more uncomfortable places, if his teardrop tattoo is to be believed. Undertaker turns out the lights, and appears behind Cornette, dragging him to the ring by the throat. And, without Vader to save his hide, it’s Tombstone city, and Cornette is stuffed in the bodybag.


That was a whole lot of angle to close us out, so WWF wins the Sunday War this week. How WCW will respond should have all of us on the edge of our seats.

24 comments:

  1. It was like Hogan purposely used his creative control to take the title from Savage the night after he won it (twice).

    ReplyDelete
  2. Stop being such a buzzkill, Lance Storm.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like Hulk, but just sad to see him still hovering over the Macho Man even with the Hall of Fame induction. He didn't give Savage his own spotlight in WMIV; it made storyline sense, but Savage had no solo defenses on PPV during his year long run, just tags with Hogan. I'm actually surprised Hogan didn't run in and hug Savage & Elizabeth too at WMVI. WMVIII should have been Flair/Savage last... But the worst was Savage's first WCW title win at WWIII, Hogan's tirade after that one was ridiculous. I pretty sure they must have been close at some point, but after all of that, it was like Hulk was really trying to stick it to Savage.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've gotten chills watching wrestling recently.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like the concept of the Losers Title. In the WWE video games that had a create-a-championship option I used to always create a belt called the "Loserweight Championship" and would put it on the line in matches against my best friend. He would then let me win because he didn't want that "title".

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am in the same boat as you. Vince regretfully but fondly wishing Savage the best in his new endavour and talking about how he was such a great and valued friend is something no one else *ever* got from the guy. I'm sure the whole thing (particularly the Slim Jim stuff) but everything else really hurt.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sexy Flexy Biff KensingtonJanuary 13, 2015 at 11:47 PM

    Good Lord... Rick Rude may not have made it out of that program alive. I remember nearly shitting a brick when Jake Roberts slapped Elizabeth. A Rude Awakening would've put her in traction for a year.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Agreed. Does Hogan still need to steal his spot light?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think that was true. Look at all the maneuvering that Randy did to get his father inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Savage did have the hottest house show program of all-time, him vs Hogan circa 1986.


    But you're scenario would have been an easy number 2.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Comedy jobber? COMEDY JOBBER?

    I'll have you know that during his 91-92 run, The Mountie defeated Hall of Famer (Bret Hart) after Hall of Famer (Tito Santana) after Hall of Famer (Koko B Ware).

    ReplyDelete
  12. Not sure about Hogan inducting Savage, but I can't wait for his speech...

    "I REMEMBER WRESTLEMANIA 2 AT THE PONTIAC SILVERDOME BROTHER, WHERE I SAVED RANDY SAVAGE FROM THE 900 POUND GIANT BROTHER, HELPING THE MACHO MADNESS TO WIN MY WWF TITLE BROTHER. I KNEW RIGHT THEN THAT RANDY WAS THE BIGGST HULKAMANIAC OF ALL TIME, DUDE"

    ReplyDelete
  13. Savage wanted to wrestle, Vince wanted him on commentary/behind the scenes. That's it. And even in late 96, Savage wanted to main event and Vince wanted the new blood too. It's that simple, sadly. Both sides have valid points (Savage was still solid in-ring in 96/97, but Vince couldn't have kept building the WWF on stars from the 80s in main events), and by 2002 Savage wasn't in the best shape for when the nostalgia trip came back.

    ReplyDelete
  14. You mean doesn't care for a disrespectful guy who doesn't move the ratings at all?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Legend killer

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm guessing you mean douche chills.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Owen always called himself the Black Hart but I thought Savage was the Black Hart the way he crushed Steamboat's throat.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Buzzkill was DEVON Storm. DEVON Storm.

    ReplyDelete
  19. You would think the guy who saved us from Rapture would have gone into the Hall of Fame that very day!

    ReplyDelete
  20. "Yep Mode" Abeyance Brown ©January 14, 2015 at 5:35 AM

    Glad to see you're ok. Welcome back.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "Someone will admit to watching Superstars!"


    I've been giving it props every week for uh, weeks. Stop stealing my gimmick of being the Andy/Andrew-named guy who watches Superstars!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I don't really see the wwf allowing that to happen back then. Honky and Rude both shoved Liz, but I just can't picture anyone doing a full on move to her.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Glad to see you're doing Main Event. Glad you're ok, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Didn't watch it but just from the amount of action in the review seems it could have been 3 star match, regardless I think this match up (maybe sub out Rose for someone with similar size) or better yet turn Rose and Gabriel into a South African slumlord team with rose as the junkie who only gets a high from partying and shenanigans and Gabriel can keep his adrenaline junkie side but add a bit of action movie villain to his current stale tweeter character. Either way, most of the men in this match when put together could choreograph an opener that would steal the show.

    ReplyDelete