One Year Ago: On the 02/03 Saturday Night, Ric Flair cheats to beat Dean Malenko before vowing to have Elizabeth ride Space Mountain one more time. On the 02/05 Nitro, Chris Benoit and Randy Savage tear it up, Marcus Bagwell has what is likely his best singles match ever, and the Road Warriors get a tag-team title shot. Feel free to look back fondly at all your favorite Todd Morton moments by clicking those links. I’ll still be here when you get back.
TONY SCHIAVONE and DUSTY RHODES welcome us to the Cyborg Factory aboard the Mothership for my favorite 2-hours of the week. Yes, even more-so than Nitro, because the nWo stays away from this show and they’re really starting to get on my nerves. Thank god Hogan doesn’t work Saturdays.
GLACIER vs. ACE DARLING
Tony hypes a man that has made a big impact in our sport; but I fail to see this person. Glacier sports his 3000 year old hat and Krang belt. This guy has the best deal in the company; work once a month, get a colorful blizzard every time you show up, and not only don’t you have to sell, your opponent isn’t allowed to hit you with an offensive move. When Hogan’s out-working you, you’re sitting pretty. Glacier does martial arts, causing Darling to cower in the corner, and Glacier won’t attack because of his Honor. Darling steps forward to fight, and like any good Mortal Kombat player does against an amateur, he sweeps out the legs. Darling knocks down Glacier and heads up, but he misses a guillotine legdrop and takes a tigerbomb. The Cryonic Kick puts this away, and Glacier remains undefeated at 2:00. DUD
The Bischoff / Randy Anderson segment is replayed from Nitro.
LEE MARSHALL checks in with the mental state of the STEINER BROTHERS. The latest addition to the world of leather fetish, Scott Steiner, has decided they are in fact the world tag-team champions no matter what Bischoff says. And, if the nWo want to reclaim the title, they’ll have to fight them. Glass half full!
THE AMAZING FRENCH CANADIANS (with Colonel Robert Parker) vs. HIGH VOLTAGE
I have to applaud the bookers, who, armed with a roster of 8000, have successfully put together a match I have absolutely no desire to see. Rougeau tries his hand at the National Anthem, and Dusty’s even ruder than Tony usually is, because he doesn’t even stop talking to give them a CHANCE, completely ignoring them. High Voltage gives them a Thumbs Down, and them’s fighting thumbs. Rage hits a springboard splash on Ouellette for an early 2, but the big man flattens him with a clothesline. The Colonel gets in a couple of free shots on the outside. Back in, Rougeau slams PCO onto Rage, and that sets up the Quebec Crash at 2:21. 1/2*
Teaser: Bischoff should be nervous, Piper returns Monday.
DISCO INFERNO vs. TREVOR ALLEN
You know, if Disco’s planning on being the Honky Tonk Man’s protégé like all the NewzSites are saying, he’s gonna have to hurry up and actually leave WCW. Movie buffs are likely familiar with Allen; he played the banjo in Deliverance.
Disco spends the first 20 seconds of the match carefully removing his neck chain and vest. I hope to god the instructions to his leg lock weren’t in there! Disco knocks down his beady eyed opponent, and then gives him a high five. That’s fantastic. Of course, he’s a dick, and immediately takes to stomping on his new friend, with a little bit of a mean streak in his actions. A side slam sets up the leg hold, but his opponent shoves him off immediately. Disco, unsure what to do now, hooks the ropes to dodge a dropkick and makes a second go of it. Disco actually figures it out this time, named the Last Dance, and he wins at 3:10! Disco screams “IT WORKS?!?” in disbelief! So proud, he goes to do it again, but the referee tells him to piss off. Disco is a superstar amongst jobbers. *
BUDDY LEE PARKER vs. ALEX WRIGHT
Is it a slow week at the Powerplant or something? I don’t feel like we’ve seen Parker in 1997 yet, but I have the memory of an ostrich. Tony starts beating his chest about being the big ratings winners in the war of professional wrestling, thanks in part to all the biggest stars like Lex Luger, The Giant, and Dean Malenko. Dean Malenko? Seriously? I mean, I like bland old Dean just fine, solid worker, and I appreciate Tony throwing the Cruiserweights a bone; but Rey Mysterio Jr. is the obvious kingpin of that division from a marketing standpoint. Parker nearly succumbs to a sunset flip off the top, but he’s a military man and he’s determined to “send this man back to Germany!” Wasn’t he a cop? And where the hell IS Lieutenant Wright? I’m going to assume he’s still assigned to the grizzly murder of Fit Finlay, but there comes a point when you need to consider the case cold and get back to your regular duties like issuing traffic tickets and wrestling the Steiner Brothers on weekends. Wright hits a plancha, but that’s old hat in contrast to our new friends from south of the border. German suplex gets the win at 4:30, but Alex needs to pick it up. The days of a white meat babyface being enough are done, and no amount of hype changes the fact that he’s getting outworked by even the lowest of the imports like Galaxy and Ciclope. 1/2*
JEFF JARRETT and LEE MARSHALL get together to clear the air. Jarrett starts calling out the Horsemen for not being man enough to take on the leadership of WCW. He reminds the world he’s beaten all of them, and if Mongo wants to step up and start taking cheapshots, he’ll happily put him in his place and take over the leadership of the entire Horsemen group himself.
KONAN (with Jimmy Hart) vs. SGT. CRAIG PITTMAN
Konan has adopted new music which I have to presume is his own, but I can’t hear it very well on my choppy old copy of the show. He takes on … awwwww hell, Pittman’s STILL employed?!? Why god? Konan remains an N short, and has seen his push stalled since he lost it. Pittman works some sort of awful hammerlock, which Konan sells by grunting pleasurably. He changes to a wristlock, and follows with a crossface (IE: sitting on his ass and wrapping an arm around his opponent). Look, I have a rule, and I call it the Backyard Rule. If any untrained 13 year old wrestler can perform your moves without hurting themselves, you probably shouldn’t be in the ring. Hell, *I* can do this:
What the hell IS that last move? And no, I didn’t catch him mid-stream in an attempt to make my point, that is honest to god what he was applying. Tony tells us that Pittman is wrestling “his kind of match”, which is fine, but maybe he can keep it to his living room and not nationally broadcast television? Konan wins with a cradle DDT 6:37. -**
SUPER CALO vs. THE ULTIMATE DRAGON (with Sonny Onoo)
Tony pimps out an upcoming WCW event at the Florida state fair; but Dusty has little interest in working, promising fans will find him walking around the midway eating cotton candy. I have absolutely no reason to doubt this, actually. Calo tosses Dragon across the ring, and hits a spinebuster for 2. Frustrated, Calo stops to check that his hat is still on his head. Thankfully it is, and he’s so excited he actually manages to hit a somersault legdrop off the top. Seeing as how this is the first top rope move he’s ever hit, he goes for another one, forgetting to play the odds and just knock it off. Dragon blocks a splash with the knees, and it’s go time now. Brainbuster gets 2. The handpring back elbow misses, and Calo hits a butterfly suplex for 2. A fast senton yields the same, and Dragon spin kicks Calo in the face. Calo sandbags a powerbomb, and despite Dragon fighting like hell to pick him up, he finally drops him … right on the back of his neck. He’s thankfully ok, and Dragon gets 2. A dropkick sends Calo to the floor, but he sidesteps the baseball slide and hits a rope swing dropkick of his own! A slingshot somersault plancha drops the former champion, and Calo poses for the fans; hat and sunglasses not an inch out of place. He goes for a corner senton, but Dragon sidesteps and Calo hits the corner, landing right on the back of his neck again. Not a good day for Calo’s future. Dragonsteiner sets up the Dragon suplex, and that’s that at 4:47. Despite Calo’s sloppiness, this was a ton of fun. ***
The most critical storyline in WCW history is aired in full: The debut of Jacqueline. It eats 13 minutes off the back of the show though, so I ain’t complaining.
LA PARKA vs. LEX LUGER
Ok, this pairing is sort of ridiculous. There is nothing wrong with feeding Luger a steady stream of fat jobbers; hell, Buddy “Valentino” Valentine must be looking for a payday. However, I don’t have any interest in watching the Chairman act as a tennis ball for Slim. Sadly, it’s what the bookers want. A jumping spin wheel kick sends Luger to the floor, and Parka’s all over him with a tope suicida! Back in, the missile dropkick has Parka in charge, and he gives Luger the old thumbs down. La Parkinator goes to finish … but Luger kicks out at 2. Fiddlesticks. Parka is unable to follow up and takes a clothesline, and it’s all Luger from here. Powerslam, Rack, goodnight dear skeleton at 2:57. *1/2
THE PUBLIC ENEMY vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Sista Sherri)
Nooooooooooooo! Calo and Dragon have completely saved this show from being one of the worst cards that I can remember in the last year+. Sherri helps too, calling the fan in the front row a “Green Bay Packer loser fan idiot!” She forgot scum, but that’s ok. Making matters worse, we’re gifted the “Nasty Boys” camera, where we do a “split” screen that only takes up a quarter of the screen so nobody can see anything. Try to remember this was shown on 27” tube TVs in standard def, making matters a zillion times worse. Grunge gets his hands on Sherri, but she scratches her nails into his eyes to escape, and everyone goes back to walking around the ring throwing punches. Somehow, Tony decides this is a fine time for commercial.
At some point while we were gone, between the walking and punching, everyone got back in the ring and a tag-team match broke out. Booker takes Grunge to the floor, and Sherri punches him in the pooter. Back in, Grunge fails to kick out at 3 off a snapmare, so the referee pretends he didn’t count to 3, and gives him a 4th chance to kick out. Stevie drops a leg for 2, and then distracts the referee long enough for Booker to get in a couple of cheap shots. Grunge hits a desperate neckbreaker, but Stevie manages to keep the ring cut off. He tries a jawbreaker next, but Booker punches Rock in the face to knock him off the apron, and then cracks Grunge with the Axe kick. Booker puts him up top, but Grunge hits a shoulderblock and finally gets the hot tag to Rocco. Both guys take clotheslines, and Sherri leaps on the apron. She’s held hostage on the apron, which just so happens to be right in front of TPE’s table. Booker pulls her to safety as Grunge flies in with the Drive By, and he takes his partner with him through the table. Both guys play dead for awhile, and the Heat Bomb finishes Rock at 8:35. Dusty: “This one was a mess.” Tony: “Yes, it was a mess, from the word go.” I couldn’t agree more. 1/2*
Tony replays the entire angle that led us to Roddy Piper’s title shot that was awarded Monday. Then we turn to “Language Experts” named MR. and MRS. SANDY MURRAY to tell us Piper was rambling about when he was hauled out on the stretcher back on the December 30th Nitro. Mr. Murray says that Piper was speaking ancient Gaelic and not in tongues. And, it just so happens that Mr. Murray is the director of the Atlanta Celtic Festival, and he just swelled with pride when Roddy started speaking his language while concussed. He calls Piper an excellent role model. Blow for everyone! Anyway, Piper reportedly said “the battle isn’t over until you get home” repeatedly, and while he can’t confirm that this was in reference to “Mr. Hogan”, he can assure us that He’s Serious and There Will Be Hell To Pay.
And just for your personal files, let’s meet Mr. and Mrs. Murray:
Dr. Unlikely is going to have a field day with these two, so I’ll pre-emptively thank WCW for their epic casting here.
Dusty believes that Piper’s rant means he still wants a match with Hogan. Thank god he’s here. Tony signs us off, by putting Piper’s “Gaelic” on a loop, which is probably about the 30 seconds of funniest TV I’ve seen since Viscera slipped on the beer.
Oh WCW, I love you sooooo much, but PLEASE, for the love of God, be better. With all the talent in the world at their disposal there's no reason for the last 6 weeks to have been so darn awful. Right the train, give me some quality mid-card wrestling, help Larry Zbyszko figure out what Sting's motives are, and we'll be ok.