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The SmarK Rant for WCW Great American Bash 1996

The SmarK Rant for WCW Great American Bash 96 – 06.16.96

Upgraded from my Roku Streaming Stick to the brand new version of the Roku 3 today, and everything is blazingly fast now. Except for the WWE Network, which immediately crashed the Roku when I tried to fast-forward something. Because of course.

Live from Baltimore, MD

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Dusty Rhodes.

I totally forgot about the goofy SNME-style promos before the show, actually. They were definitely ripping off aspects of the WWF presentation style around this point.

Fire & Ice v. The Steiner Brothers

Ice Train overpowers Scott for two, but the Steiners clean house. Norton works on Rick, but he gets suplexed for two and Scott adds a dropkick. Norton of course is merely inconvenienced and beats Scott down, allowing Ice Train to come in for more punishment. Corner splash misses and Scott suplexes him out of the corner, then he suplexes Norton and nearly breaks his neck. He’s got a pretty thick neck anyway, I’m sure he wouldn’t have even noticed. Norton bails and Scott tries a flying bodypress in the ring, but Norton catches him with a powerslam for two. Train comes in and works on the shoulder, with Norton adding a shoulderbreaker into an armbar. Rick repeatedly kicks Norton in the face to break that up and I’m sensing some tensions here. Another shoulderbreaker, but Scott manages to tag Rick while on Norton’s back and Rick runs wild with clotheslines. Fire & Ice double-team Rick with a powerbomb into a splash, however, and they try a Doomsday Device, but Scott breaks it up and they get the flying bulldog on Norton for two. Scott with the Frankensteiner on Norton to finish at 10:31. Kudos to Flash for taking that thing. Good hard-hitting match to start. ***

US Title: Konnan v. El Gato

Gato is no Joe Gomez as far as challengers go. As always, I remind you that El Gato is Spanish for “Pat Tanaka”. This was typical WCW weirdness, as they decided to book a match between Konnan and a masked man named El Gato, but had no real idea of who would play the part. So instead of getting any actual Mexicans, they found Tanaka at whatever waffle house he was wrestling out of in 1996 and gave him the gig instead. And they’re not even TRYING, as Tanaka is just wearing his usual gear with a Tiger Mask gimmick stuck over his trademark hair. Gato uses his South American martial arts to take Konnan down with armdrags, but Konnan puts him down with a clothesline for two. Gato gets a superkick for two and a sunset flip for two, but Konnan takes him down and works on the leg. Konnan puts him on the floor with a powerbomb, and then finishes with a jackknife slam back in the ring at 5:57 to retain. Just a Nitro match. **

Sting goes on a huge rant against Steven Regal and his prissy mannerisms, but then completely loses his train of thought mid-promo in a funny goof and Gene has to give him a minute and jumpstart him again. That was definitely live.

Lord of the Ring match: Diamond Dallas Page v. Marcus Bagwell

They immediately fight to the floor and Bagwell sends Page into the front row, but DDP cuts him off on the way back in. Bagwell starts working on the arm as Tony relates a backstory about a film student finding DDP homeless on the campus of his college and then giving him the money to enter WCW again. So was that the payoff the benefactor angle? Bagwell dumps him and follows with a dive, but goes up and gets crotched as DDP takes over. Backbreaker gets two. Backdrop suplex gets two. Page with the abdominal stretch and some sort of half-hearted piledriver for two. Bagwell comes back with a pair of atomic drops and a slingshot clothesline for two, but a blind charge misses and DDP gets two. Bagwell comes back again with a headscissors, but DDP drops him with the Cutter at 9:36. You can see them building up the “out of nowhere” aspect of that move and really getting it over. **1/4 Pretty dull stuff here.

WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko v. Rey Mysterio Jr.

For those keeping track, this is where the show really takes off. This is of course Rey’s PPV debut, on par with a Joe Gomez although without the longevity or career highs to follow. They do the stalemate sequence to start and start pulling out the awesome lucha gymnastics as Dean bumps to the floor. Rey with the springboard dropkick, and back in for a sunset flip out of a knucklelock. Dean dumps him and tries a baseball slide, but Rey casually slides back in to avoid it. Back in, Dean goes to work on the arm with some vicious stuff, but Rey walks the ropes and dropkicks out of it. Dean puts him down with a clothesline out of the corner for two and goes back to the arm with a hammerlock slam for two. Dean really cranks on the arm as this stays on the mat for way too long. Dean stomps him down and starts on the arm again. What an odd choice of a match style for REY MYSTERIO to debut with. Even WWE knew enough to have him go out there and fly all over the ring when he started. Butterfly suplex gets two. Dean goes back to the arm, but Rey finally makes the comeback and puts Dean on the floor before following with an insane somersault plancha halfway up the aisle. Back in with a springboard dropkick for two. They trade pinfall reversals for two and the West Coast Pop gets two. They fight to the top and Rey takes him down with a rana for two, and reverses a backbreaker attempt for two. Dean blocks another rana attempt with a powerbomb and pins him with his feet on the ropes to retain at 17:55, however. Those last few minutes were CRAZY. **** Meltzer kind of buried the match, despite giving it the same rating, noting that Rey’s cred was pretty much shot now because he lost his debut to a midcard guy. BURIED. And he spelled his name wrong, listing it as “Oscar Gonzales”. DOUBLE BURIED.

Big Bubba v. John Tenta

They brawl outside to start and Tenta throws him into the stairs and then works him over in the corner. Bubba finds an international object and slugs Tenta down for two, then follows with an enzuigiri for two. Tenta tries a slam and falls back, and Bubba smothers him for a while. Bubba goes up, however, and Tenta powerslams him for the pin at 5:31. Unfortunately, this feud MUST CONTINUE. DUD

Falls Count Anywhere: Chris Benoit v. Kevin Sullivan

They immediately do a crazy brawl into the crowd and up the stairs, ending up in the men’s bathroom. Dusty is just in his glory here, as this is literally the greatest thing he’s ever seen, culminating with them fighting over a urinal and a woman in the men’s bathroom. Sullivan shoves Benoit’s head into the extra toilet paper and they get into a vicious slugfest before heading down into the arena again. Sullivan just dumps him down the stairs and chucks a chair at him at ringside. Benoit retrieves a table and they take turns whipping each other into it, but Benoit sets it on the top rope and they fight on top of it. And then from there, Benoit finally puts him away with a superplex at 9:52 to a huge pop. Can’t really go with the full monty any more, but it was still a great brawl with non-stop action, that set a template for Vince Russo for years afterwards. Not to mention it was Dusty’s finest hour as a commentator, even as he lost one of his oldest friends the day before. Now that’s a pro. ****1/4 Benoit goes for the beatdown, but Arn Anderson makes the save…and then turns on Sullivan and kicks the shit out of him as well. And that was an awesome payoff, too.

Meanwhile, the newly rejuvenated Horsemen cut their victory promo, and they wouldn’t be done yet tonight. Apparently Benoit has now “earned his stripes” with the Horsemen and is set for life with them.

Sting v. Lord Steven Regal

At this point I switch to the iPad for various reasons, and the quality is pretty iffy on it tonight. Also, has anyone commented recently how “The Man Called Sting” and “Steinerized” are basically the same song? Because they totally are. This was actually a pretty fantastic little feud built up on Nitro and WCWSN, with Regal being all kinds of a British super-dick and Sting being all “America is awesome, derp derp” and damn if it didn’t work great. Sting attacks to start, but Regal takes him down and pounds him with forearms, but Sting fights him off and Regal goes to argue with the front row for a bit. Thankfully the crowd is aware of their location in the USA and informs Mr. Regal. Back in, Steve offers a heartfelt handshake and smile, Sting THRUSTS HIS CROTCH at him. Is this how America treats visiting dignitaries and great men like Mr. Regal? No wonder he hates all the fans. Regal takes him down and rubs his knee in his face, then goes into a cobra clutch and pounds away with forearms. Regal controls him with a full nelson, but Sting takes him down with a sunset flip for two. Regal, who is a great professional wrestler, makes faces while fighting the move and threatens to take out his frustrations by punching the referee in the face at the same time. Regal was on another level of greatness at this point. Unfortunately we’re getting close to the point where he indulged in the drink and got fat and lazy for a long time. Regal with a dropkick for two and he goes to a headlock, but Sting suplexes out. Regal stays on him with a wacky armbar while yelling at the bloody fools in the front row and using the ropes. MULTITASKING~! Sting comes back with an abdominal stretch, but Regal slugs him down and shows his dance moves. Regal puts him in a headscissors and gets two off that, and he goes back to cranking on the arm. Sting fights up, so Regal hits him with rabbit punches (Dusty: “He needs to hit him with that open hand…NO NOT YOU, REGAL!”) and Sting goes down again. Regal goes for a crossbody out of the corner and Sting hits him with a dropkick with AWESOME timing and makes the comeback. They fight to the top and Regal takes him down with a butterfly suplex for two and hooks in the Regal Stretch, giving him the quality demoralizing trashtalk at the same time. Finally he just beats on Sting in the corner with backhands, and Sting has HAD ENOUGH. Sting beats the hell out of him with an awesome camera angle in the corner, but Regal blocks the Stinger splash with double knees. Sting isn’t taking more of Regal’s shit, however, and just hooks him in the Deathlock (with Regal kicking and screaming the whole way) to finish for good at 17:10. LOVED IT. Regal was just an insufferable dick the whole time and Sting got his revenge. FOR MURICA. ****

Ric Flair & Arn Anderson v. Steve McMichael & Kevin Greene

Most people were expecting a by-the-numbers celebrity trainwreck, which makes what we got all the better. The crowd already hates Mongo and some dudes managed to bring in a huge “Mongo Sucks” sign on a bedsheet. They’re not wrong. Arn does some football drills with Mongo and that goes badly for him. Tony relates a conversation with the football players, where he learns that rattlesnake hunting is a profession in Texas. Dusty is flabbergasted. “Of course! We all hunt rattlesnakes in Texas!” The football team does a beatdown on Arn in the corner at Savage’s behest and the Horsemen regroup, and Kevin Greene comes in for his debut. Greene is having a blast and Flair comes in and matches energy with him, then waits for Greene to go into the three-point stance and kicks him in the face. Greene comes back with shoulderblocks, however, and the Horsemen run away again. And this time Savage kicks Flair’s ass and tosses him back in. Flair is so great that he actually makes two green rookies look like killers and makes the crowd cheer for them. Mongo tags in and Arn pulls back from Flair’s tag in a funny bit. Mongo keeps overpowering Flair as they keep it simple and effective, and Mongo no-sells the chops and does his own, then adds a backdrop as Flair is just bumping like crazy here. Flair goes up and gets slammed off, and we get stereo figure-fours from the football players as the crowd goes crazy for it. The women all head back to the dressing room after an argument and Arn finally turns the tide with a cheapshot on Mongo, and the Horsemen go to work. Mongo gets dumped and Bobby gets his shots in, and back in Flair goes low and drops the knee to make sure the heels get no sympathy from the crowd. Kevin Greene as the babyface who is incredulously angry at the rampant cheating is just amazing for someone having his first match. The Horsemen cut off the tag to continue building sympathy for Mongo as face in peril, but he rams the Horsemen together off an atomic drop and makes the hot tag to Greene. Powerslam on Flair and you can see Flair leading him through the positioning for the next spot, but doing it totally naturally. Greene suplexes him in from the apron, but Arn clips him from behind like a dick and goes after the knee. The Horsemen cut off the ring and Flair tries the figure-four, but Greene reverses into a small package for two. Flair stays on him with the kneecrusher and this time gets the move, complete with help from Arn in the corner. Finally Savage can take no more of these shenanigans, but Chris Benoit joins us and beats on him. And then the evil women return with newly glammed out Debra and the Halliburton case filled with cash, which Mongo considers carefully…and then hits Greene in the face with it. Flair gets the pin at 20:50 of an insanely entertaining tag match. ***1/2 And the Four Horsemen are complete again! We get an epic beatdown of Randy Savage and Kevin Greene for good measure. Mongo was a terrible worker but fit in perfectly with the group as a character. Given that everyone assumed it would be the usual goofy match and celebrity going over Flair formula, this was awesome.

This would have been the capper on any other PPV as it is. But wait, there’s MORE!

Eric Bischoff brings out the invading Hall and Nash, so that WCW can formally answer their challenge. Bischoff still won’t use their names, which is another nice touch. So the match will happen at Bash at the Beach, and Bischoff specifically asks if they work for the WWF, trying to get the lawyers off his back. Bischoff promises the reveal the WCW team on Nitro, so Hall kicks him in the gut and Nash powerbombs him off the stage and through a table, which has the crowd freaking out. This was amazing on so many levels, not the least of which was that Bischoff had never been touched to that point, and it was the first acknowledgement that Bischoff was the guy in charge of the company, a year before Vince came out as owner of the WWF on TV. Needless to say, I was losing my shit at this point and this was one of the biggest angles in the history of the company. It was suddenly a totally different atmosphere, with two guys who weren’t playing by the arbitrary rules of the wrestling “universe” coming in and just doing what they wanted in ways that fans didn’t know how to react to yet. It was DIFFERENT and off-putting and suddenly made everything must-see and dangerous.

Really, the World title match should have been stuck in the middle of the show somewhere because nothing was going to top that, but they go ahead with it anyway.

WCW World title: The Giant v. Lex Luger

Really, these guys have no hope of following anything that came before. Luger slugs away on the Giant to start and clotheslines him to the floor, then does a clumsy leap onto Giant’s back with a sleeper. Jimmy Hart tries to break it up with the megaphone, but Sting comes out and chases Jimmy to the back. Giant beats Luger down in the corner to escape and whips Luger around the ring, as Luger somehow grunts even louder when he’s selling than when he’s on offense. Giant puts him in a body vice and tosses him down for a surfboard and the crowd is just totally dead. Can’t even blame them. Giant slowly pounds away on the back. Lex makes the comeback with the offense grunts instead of the defense grunts and pounds away on the Giant, who charges and ends up laying on the top rope somehow. Luger uses that contrived position to put him in the Rack, but Giant falls on top of him and finishes with the chokeslam to retain cleanly at 9:30. I think with hindsight they should have put the title on Luger here and passed it to Hogan that way, since it would have ripped the hearts out of the fans that much more and Luger had earned it anyway. *1/2

The Pulse

If not for the main event, this is the greatest PPV in WCW history and probably one of the greatest of all-time, period. As it is, it sits comfortably below Bash 89 on my list. Taken with Bash at the Beach three weeks later, it’s a hell of a one-two punch that nearly destroyed the WWF in the process and really, probably should have. Strongest recommendation!

Comments

  1. This was a great time to be watching WCW

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  2. I don't think I've ever had really great experiences with fast forwarding/ rewinding streaming content on Roku (2 XS in my case).

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  3. Fantastic show. It's still my number three for wcw as I prefer bash 89 and spring stampede 99 to this, but it's neck and neck with starrcade 96 for the third spot.

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  4. If he hadn't been such a fine football player, Greene would have made a hell of a pro wrestler. The guy just GOT IT.
    And even with the reduced rating, I still think that Benoit-Sullivan is overrated, and for only one reason. Kevin Sullivan. His (non) selling in that match made '95 Hogan look like Ricky Steamboat by comparison. It just totally drags the match down for me every time I watch it.

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  5. This was my first ever WCW experience way back when. I'd only ever hired WWF VHS PPV tapes before then, I remember this being a big deal for me being the first PPV I ever purchased, my Dad and I used to stay up late on Fridays and watch Nitro after this. Was some cool bonding moments, but this made me a die-hard WCW fan until the very end. Oddly, I never purchased BatB but waited for it on VHS yet watched Nitro pretty religiously... Kids make weird decisions. Great review, need to track this down and give it another watch I think.

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  6. I've always maintained that that Fire and Ice vs Steiners match was pretty underrated, so I liked seeing Scott give it three stars.

    The Arn turn is still one of the biggest pops ever, and getting the fourth member later that night and how it was done was just brilliant. Yes, Mongo sucked, but from a storyline perspective it was gold.

    I wasn't on the net in 1996 so when I first saw Hall showing up my first that really was "oh, the WWF and WCW must have worked out a deal to business together". Even their answer to Bischoff still made it seem like they were (unless my memory is off). Then, as bad as it sounds, when JR announced Razor and Diesel returning I thought it was just to further the story somehow, and I'm being serious, we'd find out JR was the one leading the charge (bitterness at both Vince and Eric. So he takes these two guys with the same feelings).

    What I'm saying is the internet really took away a lot of my niavate (I think that's the word) that made wrestling so much funner. I just miss getting lost in the stories like the old days.

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  7. Scott, are we forgetting Spring Stampede/Slamboree 94.

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  8. I disagree on Mongo as a Horsemen.

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  9. Dusty Rhodes getting super energetic and excited when Benoit and Sullivan headed backstage in their match was pretty funny.

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  10. By the way. Am I crazy for thinking now that JR as the guy behind the NWO would have been brilliant?

    I'd look at it this way. JR would have bitterness against Vince for getting fired. You could argue that Hall, Nash, and even Hogan would too for various reasons. They also have the same feelings for WCW over their past experiences and in Hogan's case his current where WCW fans were turning against him in droves.

    The NWO does two things. Gives these guys an avenue for beating the tar out of WCW all while making Vince look bad because it's looked at by the hardcore wcw base as these WWF guys, these sports entertainers, coming in to fuck up their wrestling company.

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  11. While the early nWo was spectacular, I still think WCW was going to end up gaining momentum and put WWF/E aside around this time even if nWo never happened.. They were putting out a better product and much more realistic once they finally put that Dungeon of Doom nonsense behind them. I always find it funny that this PPV and of course the Bash happened the next month, and this was a company that only a few months before was putting on DOOMSDAY CAGE.


    Also, I'm kind of curious if nWo did not happen, how things would have played out. The great thing about the nWo was that it was the nWo and totally fresh, but it also put all the WCW guys down the toilet and their angles became secondary in comparison. It was all nWo all the time after the Bash.

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  12. Who did Dusty lose?

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  13. Dean was a great worker in terms of pacing and moveset. But the man was just plain stupid on a consistent basis. Working the arm on Rey, lifting wrestlers up after they had been working his leg, etc. He compromised himself so many times, but was still so damn good that he'd bust out incredible matches.

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  14. "DERE'S A LADY! DERE'S A LADY IN THE MEN'S BATROOM, TONY!!"

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  15. I think Hogan would still have turned heel at some point.

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  16. Amen. This is technically a good match but just a horribly timed one. I mean, obviously it didn't hurt Rey in the long run, but he couldn't have guzzled him worse in his breakout debut. These two had a doozy of a match at Halloween Havoc, so there's goodness to come.

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  17. Glad to see love for Regal vs. Sting. When I watched this show a few weeks ago I thought it absolutely smoked Rey vs. Dean. Now if Scott ever comes around on Regal vs. Arn from SuperBrawl...(if he did, I missed it).

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  18. Rey more than made up for it at Bash at the Beach.

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  19. Man, 20 years later, still no announcer has come close to Mean Gene Okerlund.

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  20. Why is there no chapter marker for the big tag match? Did Mongo kill someone?

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  21. Macho Man got turned on on consecutive PPVs. Not even Sting was that gullible!

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  22. Theberzerker, #1 HUSS CHOMPIONApril 24, 2015 at 10:10 PM

    Commentary Hall of Fame moment right there.

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  23. It's kinda odd that Dusty sorta blows this off when Tony mentions it at the top of the show

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  24. Stranger in the AlpsApril 24, 2015 at 10:10 PM

    If you subtract 1996 from 2015, you get 19. When you round up to the nearest 10, you get 20.


    That's how long Big Show has been at or near the top of the card.


    When you take the word DUCK, drop the D and add an F, you get my point.

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  25. Might be just me, but Dusty seems like a "the show must go on" professional kinda guy.

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  26. That was Hog Wild, no?

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  27. You wanna bang Big Show?

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  28. On Roku 3 crashing: in the past I've had to let shows play a moment before trying to fast forward. But once it gets going, I'm able to blip through the NXT breaks without a problem. Just hit FF real then play real quick a few times and it runs through the ads without overshooting (since it's just a small window of time).

    Never had a problem with longer FF's

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  29. Dick Murdoch and Ray Stevens died within a matter of weeks of each other, forget who was first. So it could have been both.

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  30. Excellent question, Shelton.

    Wait....

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  31. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 24, 2015 at 10:26 PM

    I agree, Greene totally just looked like a natural in there.

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  32. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 24, 2015 at 10:27 PM

    Starrcade 96? I remember that show being terrible.

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  33. What was with Rick Steiner kicking Norton in the face on the armbar spot? He kicks him like 3 times and he doesn't even flinch. Seemed like a weird bit of no selling.

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  34. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 24, 2015 at 10:28 PM

    In 1996? Man, he was in the Rumble the year before and looked pretty good for an old brawler.

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  35. I think Kevin Greene should have turned on Mongo and joined the Horsemen. Having a member of the Horsemen in the NFL would have been huge.

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  36. Dean/Dragon, Mystero/Liger, Eddie/DDP

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  37. The guy carried himself as a badass, but he was shit in-ring. He was essentially Sid Vicious without the temper or the height.

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  38. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 24, 2015 at 10:39 PM

    Only thing I remember is the terrible main event, really. Definitely gotta track down that Liger match and watch it again.

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  39. Minor threadjack, but am I the only one who likes the 4 Horsemans LAST theme, the best?

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  40. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 24, 2015 at 10:41 PM

    Those 2 are such experts in no-selling that they can invent new ways to do it mid-match.

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  41. They really buried the main. The smarter move would've been to drop the Bitchoff segment, and have Hall and Nash run-in on the main, kick the shit out of Luger and Giant, and powerbomb the Giant through the stage. THAT sends a message. "Oh, FUCK, they just laid out our huge-ass world champ, what WON'T these guys do?"

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  42. Some wrestling historians consider Joe Gomez a minor star, but I think you'll find that he's easily the equal of J.W. Storm, or even Steve DiSalvo.

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  43. Outsiders vs. Barbarian & Meng is pretty decent.

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  44. The one with the horses at the beginning? HELL YES.

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  45. Indeed to paraphrase a Scott quote, "It's not what one guy does yesterday, today, or tomorrow; that determines if he gets over. It's what he's doing 3 MONTHS following THAT.

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  46. Yep that's the one.

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  47. Gomez reminds me of a young A. J. Petrucci

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  48. That one is so epic. It really sets the tone for them being awesome.

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  49. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 24, 2015 at 10:46 PM

    Really? That kind of sounds like the opposite of decent.

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  50. That Sting/Regal match is a forgotten gem. It's Sting's last great singles match for a good while.

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  51. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 24, 2015 at 10:56 PM

    Nash powerbombing Wight has been shown to not be a good idea. But otherwise I still can't agree, it's a great idea on paper but it denies us seeing Bischoff get powerbombed through the stage. It would be like rebooking the segment where Cole took the F5.

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  52. Stranger in the AlpsApril 24, 2015 at 10:59 PM

    Touche, asshole.


    ;-)

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  53. I watched this show when the Network first came out and I had three thoughts


    1) With Scott Norton, Ice Train and The Steiners all in the ring at once, you could really tell just how small WCW's rings were compared to the rings of today, It's like they were in a phone booth.


    2) The part with Double A running and pulling Benoit off Sullivan only to show him how a Horseman puts the boots to somebody was great


    3) This the synopsis of Sting's promo "FAG CUZ BRITISH!"

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  54. Stampede/Slamboree 94
    GAB/BATB 96
    What are some other good 1-2 punch PPVs? (Mid-90s and beyond.)

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  55. You wanna touch the Big Show's asshole?

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  56. Thing is, at the time, Eric wasn't the asshole we all know and hate now. At the time, he was a semi-dorky announcer with immobile hair. Cole taking an F5 was like "THANK GOD, I hate that guy". Nash putting Bitchoff through the stage (at that time) was like "...jesus, these guys aren't screwing around". Big difference.

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  57. Watched Rey/Malenko again and felt it was *****. Yeah crowd wasn't into it all that much at first but those two guys had the crowd eating up everything and Malenko got the biggest babyface pop of the night even though he cheated!

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  58. Greene came back for an awesome angle a few years later with Giant, Goldberg, and Hennig. Dude was a natural.

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  59. Wrestlewar 92 and Beach Blast. . .

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  60. You really have to see his asshole in person to appreciate how big it is.

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  61. Mongo had his dog, Pepe put down.

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  62. Greene really missed his calling as a wrestler too. As Scott said he had great charisma and was a quick study.

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  63. You've seen the Big Show's asshole?

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  64. Burt Macklin, Man Without FearApril 24, 2015 at 11:54 PM

    If it's the one I'm thinking of then it's epic as hell.

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  65. Like Rodman in the nWo

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  66. Yeah Psicosis was the perfect Rey opponent.

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  67. Destroying Eric made the Outsiders look like such badasses. Hall and Nash really played up the thug/bully mentality of the nWo in the early days. Funny how the Horsemen and the Dungeon were the big bad stables before but ended up looking like pussies in comparison to the nWo.

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  68. If WCW could have got Michaels and Bret Hart at this time I think it would have drove WWE out of business. I'm not sure if Austin would have had quite the impact if he didn't have those two to work off of, and with no super-over Austin I don't know if The Rock would have achieved all the success that he did. No super-over Austin or Rock, and no Hart or Michaels at all, pretty much means that the WWE would have been dead in the water by 1998

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  69. Comparing this against past rants this is the last ever WCW PPV which received at least 5 matches being rated 3 stars+ by Mr Keith.

    Such an incredible show.

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  70. The part where Regal smacks the shit outta him and Sting gets pissed and fucks him up in return was fantastic. One of my favorite Sting matches.

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  71. This PPV was an embarrassment of riches for WCW. Even if they didn't have the business-redefining nWo angle waiting in the wings the next month, that Horsemen reunion could have carried the company for at least a year.

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  72. Spring Stampede 99?

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  73. My thought exactly! Deserves way more praise than it gets. Regal makes every resthold entertaining..!

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  74. When did the Heenan-Schiavone tension start, when (according to Bobby) Tony would not talk to him when not on the air? Heenan seems quite piased about it in his book, from what I remember. Was Tony just sick of Heenan starting to show up drunk to the broadcast somewhere in 97/98 or dud he never like him? Because on-air he sure has fun with him.

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  75. Agreed. The Amazon Fire TV is vastly superior to the Roku in every way. Better interface, Prime never ever buffers and you can install XBMC on the Fire TV, XBMC alone is worth getting the Fire TV box.

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  76. 2) And when the Dungeon arrives fir the save, Arn and Benoit just casually steps out of the ring - love badass touches like that from the pros.

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  77. The tension was definitely there by '96, especially during the Tony/Bobby/Dusty three man team broadcasts where Dusty and Bobby would do their usual comedy shtick and then Tony would snub both of them by calling the match and acting like he didn't hear anything they said.

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  78. I think they defenitely had issues with each other by the three hour Nitro era, but I think Heenan overstates it honestly. In 1993-1996, they basically were just doing the Heenan/Gorilla routine, which people somehow interpret as hostility.

    After that, once Heenan had to basically play a babyface announcer I did think their chemistry was off, but there are a ton of videos from satellite feeds of 1998 Nitro and Thunder on YT with them shooting the shit and joking with each other before the show was on the air. Actually the guy you really want to punch in the face in those is Mike Tenay, who is surprisingly juvenile and annoying given his on camera persona.

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  79. What kind of stuff did Tenay do that came off as juvenile?

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  80. What's weird too is WCW's rings were actually bigger in the early 1990s.



    I don't remember when they really shrunk, was it just as the Nitro era came on? I know part of it was in preparation for the cruiserweights.

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  81. Oh man, what a good show this was. I remember watching this live on PPV and just being totally blown away.

    First off, I LOVE those goofy intros. They are like a hybrid of the old NWA Great American Bash intros, mixed with the old school SNME intros. One of the few times WCW really let Heenan mug for the camera and you have to give it credit for being less generic than roughly 95% of the WCW PPV promos and intros you got later.

    This was the first time I'd had a look at Rey too and it was an excellent match despite him not REALLY getting to show off till the next month. You could just tell he was a star.

    Lots of good stuff in between and then of course the Nash/Hall/Bischoff stuff just felt totally outside the typical wrestling canon and gave the show a harder edge to go a long with the great Horsemen turn. That's what makes Spring Stampede 94 / Slamboree 94 so good too -- both of those shows just have that grittier feel to them that WCW really excelled in when they weren't having to do the Hogan babyface routine.

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  82. Making obnoxious noises, talking over everybody, talking himself up, trying to get under Tony's skin. Just basically being an asshole lol.

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  83. It's an excellent match for sure. I gotta go a little higher for their Halloween Havoc 96 match though, because of that insane top-rop gutbuster by Malenko.


    They are both ****+ for me though.

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  84. Superbrawl II / WCW Japan Supershow II? If that counts haha.

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  85. Virgil's Gimmick TableApril 25, 2015 at 3:49 AM

    Backlash/Judgment Day 2000. WM/Extreme Rules 2012.

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  86. Royal Rumble and No Way Out 2000

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  87. I very much disagree. announcers, presidents, commissioners etc. being beaten up on purpose had very rarely been done at that point (imo at that point even refs had almost never been attacked in the big two, every ref bump was made to look like an accident). that's why I think the Outsiders taking out Bischoff is a bigger deal than them taking out another wrestler.

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  88. "I'm not sure if Austin would have had quite the impact if he didn't have
    those two to work off of"

    I am: he wouldn't. even just taking out the Montreal screwjob (and the creation of "Mr. McMahon") would make it a lot more likely that Austin becomes just another big star instead of the biggest thing since Hulk Hogan.

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  89. easy solution: don't read newssites etc.?

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  90. I don't remember him making odd noises. I just remember him talking about how Silver King was "deceptively-stocky".

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