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WCW Saturday Night: January 18, 1997

It’s so bloody easy to fall behind in these recaps when you’re covering 3 shows, that I had to go back and give myself a refresher tonight. I’d bank on WCW to keep me abreast of all critical information, but their opinion of critical information is speculating on what Roddy Piper might be doing at this very moment in time. (Likeliest scenario: Trying to figure out how to incorporate Cindy Lauper into his Hogan feud.)

How I managed to forget about Hogan and Giant’s 46 minute classic during Robin Hood is beyond me – but I’m sure everything will be jogged up to speed quickly. If TONY SCHIAVONE won’t do it, I feel I’ve learned enough DUSTY RHODES speak to put it all together.


MR. JL vs. CHAVO GUERRERO JR.

Keeping up with JL’s theme music is becoming a chore, but we’ve flipped back to the Jerry Flynn / Jerry Lynn beat, as heard here on Youtube for all of those who are no doubt dying to hear its groovy beat just one more time. I can’t decide if the title “Greatest WCW Themes” is sarcasm, or fact. My favorite comment comes from someone named Furry Senpai, who writes: “rocking to this now as i make a quick breakfast before heading out to Tang Soo Do class.” For starters, Tang Soo Do sounds like something Glacier came up with to add to his already preposterous background. And, Rocking Out? To WCW’s Generic Jerry F/Lynn track? You, sir, are someone I want to know. Do you headbang to “Not Evenflow”, the theme song of Chris Jericho circa 1998? Do you well up every time you listen to “Fit Finlay’s Stolen Theme Song RIP” knowing what could have been if not for that awful Ron Studd? Am I wasting time that could be dedicated to this match? Yes, probably. Moonsault finishes at 2:16. This was okay, but since I didn’t provide play-by-play, I can tell you anything. *

BIG BUBBER vs. KONAN (with Jimmy Hart) (in a Chain match)

Speaking of rotating music, Bubba’s moved on to “Stunning Steve Austin”, which is passed around with more frequency than a young Missy Hyatt. Konan seems to have permanently lost his second N, but not his third. Konna would be a lot more fun, but I ain’t the booker. The rules are the same as the Strap Match which these two have inexplicably been continually having for weeks now. I’m disappointed that Jim Duggan’s lost his regular sparring partner with this new distraction. Konan crotches Bubba with the chain, and Dusty tells us “he let out a high thqueak!” complete with high pitched squeak of his own. Konan starts whipping Bubba on the floor, and he hightails it out, drawing a double count-out at 2:03. Chop another 90 seconds off, and we have the greatest Konan match of all time. DUD

PSYCHOSIS vs. “LORD” STEVEN REGAL (for the WCW world television title)

I’ve decided I don’t like Regal’s switch from the old Bluebloods theme to Trumpet Voluntary. The other one was so bloody catchy, this one just sucks the air right out of the crowd faster than a cold afternoon in Lucas Oil Stadium. This is the fourth Regal / Psychosis matchup for the TV title. Can Psychosis finally capitalize and capture his first gold? While I like the IDEA, not at the expense of my Lord, no sir. Regal works over the wrist of Psychosis, before laying in his massive English fists. Psychosis fires back with a dropkick, and heads up for a super spinning heel kick! Regal, livid, lands some stiff ass punches, and sends Psychosis to the top. Psychosis punches loose, and hits a moonsault off the top for 2! A headscissors takeover sets up another spinning heel kick, and Regal rolls to the floor. Psychosis is right behind him with a guillotine over the top, and all the way to the mats, and that probably hurt an AWFUL lot more than it looked. Psychosis sells the leg a little, but manages to roll Regal in. A splash is blocked with a dropkick to the midsection, and Regal nails a reverse suplex to set up the Regal Stretch, and Regal FINALLY beats his nemesis at 3:15. Don’t hate, appreciate. **

Marked Man is coming out on VHS soon starring Roddy Piper, and if I could find a bloody Youtube trailer you’d see what I see, but the only clips available are The Entire Movie. Seek it out if you like awful.

RICK STEINER (with Scott Steiner) vs. MIKE ENOS

That awful Mean Mike rushes up the aisle before “Steinerized” even stops, and attacks the Gremlin from behind – how terrible! A swinging neckbreaker from Enos sets up the end of his offense, and Rick starts throwing him around. On the floor, Enos gets into a shoving match with Scott Steiner, which is a big mistake considering Scotty’s arms have recently developed their own zip code. I’m not suggesting Scott’s taking any kind of illegal supplements … I’m flat out saying it. A quick ass whoopin’ sends Enos back in for the top rope bulldog, and Ricky wins at 1:38. 1/2*

LEE MARSHALL stops the brothers for his first interview of the night. Thank goodness, I was thinking old Stagger wasn’t here, and since Gene doesn’t work Saturdays anymore apparently, we’d be short on mustachioed announcers. I mean, we COULD ask Tony to appease us, but … well …


Scott screams about facing the nWo for the first time, and they’re gonna find out “soonalatah” what he’s got. Rick can’t even get his thoughts out, because he doesn’t get enough oxygen to his brain. His words.

THE GAMBLER vs. JIM DUGGAN


I probably don’t even have to tell you how happy I am right now. I could have sworn Duggan JUST finished trading in his Old Glory for the Purple and Gold, but here he is swinging around the US flag – the traitor. Duggan goes for the 3 Point Stance right away, so Gambler takes the bump before the move gets anywhere near him, and rolls to the safety of the floor. Brilliance! Duggan follows him, and throws Gambler face first to the ring post. Back in, Gambler gets in a couple of shots, but Duggan winds up and beats on Gambler’s face. The roll of tape is whipped out, but the referee see it, so he’s forced to use a 3 Point Stance instead. Then he punches Gambler with the illegal fist anyway, and gets the pin at 2:26. What kind of crap is that?!? Gambler played him straight up, and the referee (or dealer) SAW the cheating outright, and ALLOWED it? I recommend he change Casino’s, this WCW is crooked. 1/2*

DISCO INFERNO vs. BOBBY EATON

Disco promises us that the new leg hold will be shown tonight. He’s also wearing new tights, with “LE FREAK” tattooed across the ass – classy and stylish! He shows a little aggression, going after Bobby right off the bell and slamming him face first to the buckle, but Eaton fires back with a series of rights. A backbreaker leaves Disco crumpled, but he comes back and sweeps out Eaton’s legs. He whips out his Cheat Sheet that covers how the leg hold is applied, but he leaves the paper upside down, confusing him. Once he corrects matters, it’s been ages, and Eaton shoves him off and nails a neckbreaker for the pin at 1:34. In tears: “I HAD MY CHEAT SHEET AND ALL, I HAD IT UPSIDE DOWN, I HAD HIS LEGS AND … AWW HECK!” Soon, Disco, soon! DUD

ERIC BISCHOFF is granted his own segment, where he humbly thanks the fans and everyone in WCW for their great support over the last year. Just kidding, he brags about his new life as the King of wrestling. ELIZABETH films this on the camcorder, against her will as usual. Bischoff brags about his new motorcycle courtesy of Hogan, before shedding a few tears for the careers of Ric Flair and Roddy Piper. Liz looks thoroughly annoyed by the whole thing, which would be a nice touch of her role in the nWo made *any sense*. On to Savage, Bischoff figures the only things he ever wanted was Liz and Eric’s hair, and he has neither. I’ll say this, he understands the traits of being a great heel performer, but he has no idea how to FOCUS it to bring attention to the babyfaces who should be working off his heat. That leaves us with a greasy jackass, who gets to gloat with no comeuppance headed his way anytime soon. Sorry Eric, not loving the turn so far.

The Giant / Hogan footage from Monday is replayed. Still with about 44 minutes of footage missing, SHAAAAAAAAAAAME.

EDDIE GUERRERO (with ladder) vs. SYXX (in a non-title match?)

WCW’s decidedly unclear about whether or not the title is up for grabs, but Syxx is wearing it during his entrance. Eddie stands perched atop the ladder in the corner, watching Syxx like a hawk … and he pounces as soon as Syxx stops the pose. Syxx gets back to his feet quickly and kicks Guerrero in the head, and drags the ladder to the floor. A swing like mighty Casey misses – but that’s probably for the best because that would have left Eddie in need of reconstructive surgery. NICK PATRICK shows up in the ring, wearing an nWo shirt, as the two brawl to the back, and reclaims the belt on behalf of the group. Does that make him the US Champion? Because I’m ok with that.

MARK STARR vs. MAXX (with Jimmy Hart)

Maxx lives!!! Did Jimmy go back to the Dungeon and re-teach him how to use the portals? Was he dealing with a bad case of the gout? Is he DDP’s secret benefactor? Is he the secret muscle working for the Construction Workers Union, and has been sent on an urgent mission to eliminate scab Mark Starr by Union Stewards Chris Kanyon and Mike Winner? I like that last option. Maxx finishes Starr with the Masterlock Challenge, and doing a fine job of it, at 2:11. Six stars, one for each member of the Dungeon of Doom who continue to fight the good fight to eliminate Hulkamania.

The Horsemen dysfunction is replayed in an attempt to explain why Debra yields any kind of influence, before we shift gears to ARN ANDERSON with LEE MARSHALL in the locker room. In fact, Anderson says that no woman has ever told the Horsemen what to do, and he showed Rick Steiner that he’s still got as much credibility as he’s ever had. The Horsemen are FOUR-MEN, and women do NOT run their business. He orders Debra to keep their problems at home, and Woman and Benoit do the same. And, fired up, Arn vows to kill the Barbarian. WHOA – ease up cowboy.

THE BARBARIAN vs. ARN ANDERSON

Arn is absolutely fired up, which gets him positively nowhere when the Barbarian starts whoopin him in the corner. An atomic drop takes them to the floor, and MENG heads down to check out the carnage. Anderson might be looking at a life of soup and straw-based meals. Back in, a powerslam gets 2, but I suspect it’s because Barbarian let him get up. Dusty talks about the domination of Barbarian to this point, “with the help of Meng”. Yooooo, Meng ain’t done a damn thing, and if you think Barbarian needs ANYONE’S help, you best step off. This man could build the Pyramids in a day. As in multiple Pyramids, not one, that’s how much man he is. Arn manages an elbow to fight loose, but he’s promptly thwomped with the Kick of Fear. JEFF JARRETT rushes in to break up the inevitable pin and draws a DQ at 3:07. Squaaaaash!

Jarrett tosses Anderson to the floor to “save him” and takes the fight to the Fear. Hah, you’ve got more balls than brains Jeffy. CHRIS BENOIT comes down to remind Arn that Jarrett’s a “waste of time, and waste of effort”, and urges him to come to the back to talk about it. Which Arn’s cool with, while Jarrett takes a double beating at the hands of the most savage warriors mankind has ever known.

And now a Special Look at Red Hot Lex Luger. WCW busts out all of the Windows Movie Maker special effects for this one. Now that’s quality.

SCOTT NORTON vs. LEX LUGER

Norton has also been gifted “Stunning Steve Austin” as his theme, I guess the nWo are willing to steal ANYTHING. Norton powers Luger back to the corner while Tony drops some naughty words, specifically “by Golly!” Relax Schiavone, be a professional. A running knee something or other gets a 2 count, but I’m not entirely sure why it was supposed to hurt / incapacitate Luger. They slowly brawl to the floor, and Luger’s gently nudged into the ring post. God, Lex might just have to retaliate with a one armed hug, or maybe an earnest pat on the head. Back in the ring, Luger fights back, but Norton no-sells, which causes Luger to double over in horror. Norton goes for the shoulderbreaker, but Luger rolls off the back, and accidentally clips the ref. The referee says it’s cool though, despite Norton’s request for a DQ, and a Torture Rack ends things rapidly at 4:32. Not your finest night, Lex. DUD

LEE MARSHALL closes us out, by asking LEX LUGER what Sting has been whispering to him lately. Lex iterates that his relationship with Sting has always been private, and he’d like to keep it that way. Regarding the Giant, they’ve had their differences, but he’d like to extend the olive branch and maybe make a truce in light of his current fight with the nWo. And finally, he looks ahead to the Clash of Champions this coming week, and he gets to face Scott Hall, the only man he hasn’t Racked in that group. That … sounds like maybe the worst on-paper main event match I could have possibly come up with. I truly don’t think I could have picked anything worse if I’d made an effort to do so.


While they live up to my lofty expectations? Who cares, because the PATRIOTS WON THE SUPERBOWL and nobody’s bringing me down from this high, baybee.

Comments

  1. Hogan and Giant went 46 minutes?

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  2. I would buy all of that. Have Barry Horowizt and/or Mike Sharpe host it...instant money forever

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  3. Keeping with the theme of theme song roulette, I guess Rick Steiner won Mike Enos's entrance theme in this match, since it was his for a little while after the Steiners' split in 1998

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  4. Thanks for the hugely entertaining recap. Funny stuff as ever. It's always entertaining to me to learn of the adventures of The Gambler, or learn that some guy I thought had never been in WCW, once had a cup of coffee on one of the C-shows. Makes a welcome change from the same old topics.


    I do desperately hope for a 'Best Of The Enhancement Talent' blu-ray some day. Ideally one volume for WCW, and one for WWE.

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  5. Mike Enos jobbing that quickly is a travesty.

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  6. Love the Starrcade '88 picture of Schiavone.

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  7. I was thinking maybe get a current popular WWE jobber such as maybe Santino? But if they could bring in Barry or Sharpe, that'd be fantastic! Bonus points if they can include Steve Lombardi in some of his many gimmicks, as a guest host.

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  8. Jeff Sword and Scott Colton or no buys.

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  9. Great review Chris! I LOVED WCW SATURDAY NIGHT~!

    A few things:

    Did we EVER find out why Elizabeth was with NWO? I remember Hogan telling us it was "WRITTEN IN STONE!!!" or was it etched?

    Mark Starr was a solid worker, did he ever get a decent run anywhere?

    Whenever I see the Faces of Fear I will now refer/think of them as: "THE MOST SAVAGE WARRIORS MANKIND HAS EVER KNOWN~!!!!!



    You pointed that Eric Bischoff did little to get over his opponents, the faces going up against the NWO and that pretty much summarizes the problem with the NWO angle: whenever it was time for a babyface to get some heat back it was unsatisfying and got rendered a mute point almost immediately. I will never understand Bischoff going over Flair at Starcade 1999, that match should have gone like Austin vs. McMahon at St. Valentine's Massacre. Bischoff more or less beat up Larry Zbysko at Starcade 1997.

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  10. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 2, 2015 at 2:38 PM

    What was the name of Wrath's finisher in WCW?

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  11. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 2, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    I bet it's setting up Reigns vs. Big Show

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  12. 8. Mr. America was Hulk Hogan

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  13. I was tempted to just go with "pump-handle slam", but I thought I'd play along with you.

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  14. 9. Dusty Rhodes was the Midnight Rider.

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  15. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 2, 2015 at 3:26 PM

    I bet the "big announcement" is just going to be Roman Reigns vs. Big Show at "Fast Lane"

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  16. Crossing my fingers for Brock Lesnar v Daniel Bryan at Fast Lane. I know it's a long shot, but a man's gotta dream, right?

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  17. 8. Mr. America was Hulk Hogan.

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  18. His post-Mania push sucked, but name me five people who were put over bigger in a Wrestlemania main event. Bryan beat three fucking main eventers, cleanly.

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  19. Meltdown. Why, are you having one?

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  20. Brock is already almost a face so turning reigns isn't a bad idea

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  21. Hey it's a impressive match in it's uncut form.

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  22. Reason # 905285 Chris Benoit was a HERO back then:


    -"Saves" Arn Anderson, leaves Jeff Jarrett to the Faces of Fear's "tender mercies".

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  23. Santino wasn't really a jobber. JTTS? arguable, yes. But no way was he actually a jobber.

    I still laugh at Monsoon referring to Sandy Beach as a newcomer on PTW and the match featured Sandy Beach jobbing to Paul Roma or Jim Powers.

    And how can Tom McGhee be that bad when his little brother Scott was so good. And speaking of brothers, why hadn't Luther Reigns come out to support his brother Roman?

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  24. Three times as contagious

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  25. Savage/Warrior/Mankind would be quite the stable.

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  26. Theberzerker Von HUSSingtonFebruary 2, 2015 at 9:40 PM

    HUSSHUSSHUSSHUSSHUSSHUSSHUSSHUSSHUSSHUSSHUSSHUSSHUSSHUSS

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  27. berlyn is who they wanted over and wall is the one who got over instead because no one cared for alex wright with a different look

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  28. It's interesting to look back now at the contrast of Bischoff and McMahon "characters", specifically how Vince got the heel authority figure so right and how Eric got it so wrong.

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  29. All hail Prophet Keith!

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